The New Year is always a time of planning and goal setting. It’s not just individuals that are making plans and resolutions either.

Businesses, both large and small, are usually putting plans into place as well, and launching headlong into their annual marketing strategies. While big and medium sized companies are looking at channels like television, radio and outreach programs, the smaller, entrepreneurial businesses usually focus the lion’s share of their efforts on online marketing solutions. 2017 will be a big year for online marketers, chock-full of opportunities. What follows are seven internet marketing trends to expect in 2017. 

Voice-driven SEO

While digital assistants (SIRI, Cortana, etc.) get mixed reviews, make no mistake–voice queries are here to stay. Research shows that as much as 20% of all queries in the Google app are voice searches, and savvy business owners and website managers should put as much thought into the voice-driven SEO content as they would for written material. Re-evaluate which keywords you put into your content by constantly thinking about the phrasing used in voice queries. Finally, make a good impression with your web content. Visitors should want to stay on your page, not click back to the search results page.

More Live Videos

This is a big one. Video content (lousy and fantastic alike) is already all over the web, and if it’s not already a part of your marketing tool kit, it should be. Live streaming is an invaluable asset to small companies, because it allows companies to connect with visitors and potential customers on a personal level. It provides an unrivaled platform for customer support and Q&As. Live streaming special events like product releases and other special announcements can bring a lot of traffic to your website. 

Mobile First

digital media trends mobile first

With cell phone processing speed and capabilities rivaling most computers, small business owners should be assuming that the fruits of their marketing labor will probably be viewed on a mobile device of some sort. 2017 should bring a rise in augmented reality (AR) apps, thanks in large part to the success of last year’s Pokémon Go. The aforementioned live video will also be a prevalent tool for mobile marketers, and we should see an increase in super-personalized content based on location, lifestyle, etc.

Dominance of Content Marketing

Interactive content will be the name of the game in 2017. Quizzes, forms, video content, etc. will all be major tools in the online marketing arsenal. However, business owners should continue to focus on SEO and social media to help get traffic to their sites, where stellar content marketing can take over the heavy lifting. 

Expiring Social Content

The old saying “you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone” has never rung truer that it will in 2017–at least as it pertains to social content. Snapchat was the first social platform to really embrace the concept of expiring content. They set the bar by having their 10 second videos expire after a single view. Other social media platforms have followed suit, with the idea being to create a sense of urgency in the customer/reader. You can bet that the mantra of internet marketing optimization in 2017 will be “read this, buy this, etc., before it’s gone!”

Video Marketing Boom

Live streaming video won’t be the only video you’ll see marketers using this year. It’s expected that almost 70% of consumer Internet traffic will be video content. Videos offer a quick way to get information to consumers. It’s a great way to gauge the success of marketing efforts, too, because video traffic and “reach” is so easily measurable. Plus, video content is among the most shareable material available via social media, making it a perfect tool to reach your target audience online. Schedule a call with some explainer video company, get answers to all your questions and receive an effective video, which can be successfully used for your marketing purposes.

Chat Bots Return

internet marketing optimization

Chat Bots are nothing more than pesky annoyances for many website visitors, but for others it’s the only way they’ll communicate with companies. To say the least, chat bots get mixed reviews. The effectiveness and ROI of chat bots can sometimes be hard to measure, but with nearly 1.5 billion interactions with chat bots annually, it can’t be overlooked as a viable marketing channel. It doesn’t just stop with marketing, though. If done correctly, a chat bot can act as a 24/7 salesperson. Advances in technology have even made it possible for chat bots to process payments. Perhaps one of the most overlooked benefits of chat bots is the invaluable information it can collect from customers, specifically product preferences, which in turn can help with stocking and ordering. 

It’s hard to say which, if any, of these digital media trends will net the most success. The size and nature of your business will dictate which practices to put into place, but you can bet that a successful strategy will take a combination of established and new methods alike. The key will be to evaluate, improvise and adapt as you go along.