Posted on Mar 19, 2018

5 Best and 5 Worst Digital Marketing Trends from 2017

According to Forrester, digital marketing investments and spending will be worth approximately $120 Billion by 2021 in the U.S. This number will only increase in the years to come as more people gain access to the Internet and mobile devices, and as innovations in technology gain traction.

With its increasing importance, it’s highly likely you’ll dabble with digital marketing for the website you build, if you haven’t started to already. And as you research digital marketing trends and practices, it’s important to note that not all digital marketing trends should stick around and be followed.

Below are five of the best and five of the worst digital marketing trends from 2017.

5 Best Digital Marketing Trends from 2017


1. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality allows customers to see products and places with three-dimensions and 360-degree views. Customers are able to get better close-up views, better real-world virtual experiences, and are better informed before buying anything. Plus, with augmented reality, they’re more likely to purchase something. According to a recent survey, 71 percent of shoppers would select a retailer more often if the retailer offered augmented reality experiences, and 40 percent of customers are more likely to spend more money on a product that comes with an augmented reality experience (Retail Perceptions). So, augmented reality in digital marketing is a win-win for customers and businesses.

2. Customization and Personalized Content and Offerings

With advances in website and data analytics, businesses are becoming much better at understanding their target audience and customers, and what they want. This has led to more customized and personalized content. Everything from better targeted marketing emails, to better web copy, to better coupons and discounts, to better website experiences. And customers love it.

Consider these statistics from research conducted by Accenture:

  • 56 percent of consumers are more likely to shop at a retailer who recognizes them by name.
  • 58 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when a retailer offers them relevant recommendations based on their past purchases or preferences.
  • 65 percent of consumers are more likely to shop with a retailer that knows their purchase history.

You’ll want to follow the trend of including customized content on the website you build too, and speak directly to your target audience and future customers. They will respond well to it.

3. Dynamic Video Advertising and Live Video

Dynamic video advertising offers businesses a great way to remarket their prospects and customers because it displays more relevant video ads based on each customer’s viewing history and preferences. Web users are actually 70 percent more likely to convert into paying customers when they encounter dynamic video ads (Digital Information World).

80 percent of people have also indicated that they would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog post (LiveStream). And, with platforms like Facebook Live, broadcasting live video to a vast audience at one time has never been easier or less expensive. 

4. Machine Learning Chatbots

Machine learning has made it easier to automate recommendations for customers on e-commerce sites. It’s also made it a lot easier for businesses to chat with their customers in messaging apps and chat windows, so they can offer products and help their customers with questions and concerns about products. Chatbots have made it a lot easier to turn prospective customers into converting customers because they provide them with the information they need exactly when customers need it. Some chatbots even take payments and disclose shipping details, as well as promotional notifications for flash sales and temporary discounts.

5. Optimized Customer Experiences

With advanced data analytics and machine learning, businesses are also better at understanding what method and medium of marketing really connects with their target market. They know when they should communicate with their target market, and where and how to reach them. They now know what pricing models to use and when to offer discounts, as well as how to effectively connect with their target market through better branded and optimized marketing experiences and communications. Businesses are essentially much better at offering their customers and prospects optimized experiences that they enjoy being a part of, instead of sending out marketing materials that never generate any real profit.

5 Worst Digital Marketing Trends from 2017


1. Sub-Par White Papers and Press Releases

A lot of people and businesses are building websites and publishing content in vast quantities all over the web, but many aren’t making it a point to verify their sources and provide verifiable links to the information they’re offering in their white papers and press releases. Or, they misunderstand what their audiences are interested in reading and either offer too much information or not enough. This trend has caused a lot of individuals to be skeptical of the work they’re coming across on different business websites, and for good reason. It’s essential for businesses to cite sources and verify the authenticity of any original research. And it’s critical they understand what type of content will actually be valuable to their target audience and customers.

2. Overloaded Website Animation and Ads

Using video display ads, pop-ups, and other dynamic marketing ad features can secure more subscribers and sales, enhance your website, and can make it more personalized and appealing to a visitor. However it can quickly become overwhelming and produce the opposite effect if there are too many of them present on your website. Too many flashing screens, images, and loud bursts of audio can be distracting for a website visitor and may cause them to abandon your site altogether. Most importantly, too many ads and pop-ups can slow down your website’s speed so significantly that web users will become frustrated and move on to another site before yours has even loaded its home page.

3. Experimental Website Navigation and UX Design

It’s important for your website or app to remain consistent enough that returning users will know how to navigate it easily, even if you try to keep it “fresh.” This is especially important for brand recognition. While you will want to learn about the features your users use the most and what they like, you won’t want to implement so many feature changes or enhancements at once that it becomes overwhelming. You also won’t want to change features and navigation so frequently that each time a web user visits your site or app, it’s nearly unrecognizable. Whenever possible, do as much research about your users before you’ve developed your entire website or app, and test different features and navigation slowly and carefully.

4. Only Focusing on Local SEO Techniques

While optimizing your website for local search results in search engines is helpful and even essential, it should never be the only SEO (Search Engine Optimization) you practice. All the content on your website should be optimized for search engines. Be sure to include meta tags and descriptions, and to make your entire website and its content appealing to search engines. Read this user-friendly guide for SEO in 2018, published by Backlinko. Or think about utilizing marketing services that will help you optimize your entire website for SEO.

5. Forced App Usage

If you want to gain and retain customers, don’t ever force them to use or download an app to access your content, marketing promotions, or products. Instead, make sure your website has a mobile responsive design that can easily be accessed on any mobile device. This way, users will still be able to access your website content via their mobile browsers if that’s what they want to do. Users don’t typically want 100s of apps on their phone that they’ll only use a few times, and they won’t appreciate being forced to use yours.

As you dabble with different digital marketing techniques in 2018, try to keep up with the best trends of 2017 that yielded highly satisfied website users and owners, while avoiding the trends from 2017 that didn’t yield great results.

Feature Image: Pexels