2016 Digital advertising trends recap and a look towards 2017

Devices, platforms, and social media channels change constantly. Every day we are exposed to new products, services, and digital innovations. As 2016 is coming to an end, let’s reflect on all the digital advertising trends that dominated this year!

Video ads are the new type of ads

Video ads have been around for quite some time now, however this year was different. Since Google got on board with in-SERP video advertising (Search Engine Results Page), it allowed video to emerge as thumbnails. Then the videos would be expanded when clicked or they could be introduced as auto-played videos. According to ReelSEO, by adding a video onto your homepage you could increase conversion rates by 20% or more!

Keep it short and sweet or say it with a GIF

Now that we’ve established that Video Ads continue to be one of the hottest trends, it is also important to know that the shorter the content is, the better. When people see a long article with just words they become uninterested. However, when they see a short headline with pictures or gifs included, it strikes a person’s eye. Nowadays people like to have all the information in front of them rather than having to read through it. By using pictures or gifs it helps give the brand more creativity. GIFs have been used by brands mostly on social media and email marketing and they can form part of a brand’s promotion, customer service or even the company culture. For example, in August 2016, Hootsuite used a GIF which helped them earn over 80 retweets, over 80 likes, and 760 link clicks on a single post.

The more personal, the better

Personalizing your content makes the user have a better experience. Consumers want immediacy and expect brands to meet their context. It also gives the marketers more freedom, since they don’t have to stick to a rigid content schedule; they are able to provide information on what users like. This is also the best way to stand out and be creative.

“Each customer leaves a footprint, which comes together to form a rich profile of the individual — including search behavior, clicks, location, time of day, preferences, sales behavior, profiles and social media interaction”, explains an article published by Mediapost. This profile information gives organizations the opportunity to craft tailored messages targeting specific consumers’ interests and therefore, increase engagement and build brand loyalty.

Real-Time marketing take over

It is no question that social media has skyrocketed this year. Many marketers have used this to their advantage by using famous social media apps to advertise their business. For example, Snapchat became a huge hit, giving marketers the opportunity to create integrated marketing campaigns that offer exclusive content to the younger generation. In the past it has been hard to target this group of people, but with the help of apps like Snapchat marketers are now able to create teasers for upcoming products or services with photos or videos that last for a couple seconds, as the trend increases its popularity.  Same with all other social networks, real-time marketing boomed in 2016, which allowed companies to create platforms that allowed users to be a part of the experience rather than just observing.

Those were only some of the hottest trends that occurred in 2016 and that will continue to be relevant. Now let’s take a look at these two trends that are predicted to boom in 2017.

Live Video Streaming

Now that our mobile devices have taken over our lives and thanks to the availability of fast internet everywhere, many social media platforms have taken this advantage and set up Live video streaming. We are seeing it more as the year is ending with social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc. We should really be thanking our best friend- our mobile device- for this to even be possible. This is great for any business since it’s cost effective and it’s easy advertising. It gives access to reach out to consumers. You could use live streaming to launch an event, give a behind the scenes tour, or even to show off a product demo. The opportunities with live streaming are endless!

Data Visualization tools will expand

It is imperative for a business to keep track of the quantitative information, to tell who’s buying what, when, why, and what message is most effective. It is hard for a person to keep track of all of this information on their own. That is why in 2017, many businesses are going to want to adopt data visualization tools. These are already on the market, however, they will become more popular as the year goes on because of how sophisticated the technology will be. One of the most famous tools that businesses use is Tableau. This software is a fast and easy way to analyze data and solve problems. Another tool that is commonly used is Power BI, created by Microsoft. This gives businesses a 360 degree view of all their most important metrics, and helps you integrate any other platform you use (E-mail management, CRM, Sales apps) to gather all data in just one place.

Written by: Nicole Lamsis, Social Media Content Creator Intern