Last week we took a look at some key moments from our 2016 content and now it’s time to look into the crystal ball and figure out what this New Year has in store for digital marketing for small and medium businesses.
Predicting the future isn’t easy. Of course, I turned to my phone – Hey Siri, what’s does the future hold for digital marketing?
I didn’t need to wait for an answer because it instantly occurred to me:
With more people asking their handheld devices questions on a daily basis, it’s pretty clear that voice search will continue to grow in 2017. For businesses, optimising for voice search is going to be a key component to achieving SEO success. Previously, a search engine optimisation strategy may have involved focusing on short keywords. However, the nature of voice-based search queries can be drastically different to typed queries as they are made up of longer phrases, including complete sentences and questions. This will mean that strategies will now need to be tailored to include longer tail search engine queries.
All Things Mobile
One of the most important factors in 2017 is to make sure that your business is visible not just through voice search but on mobile devices in general. The amount that consumers are accessing the web via mobiles and tablets now outweighs desktop users. Does your website responsively adjust to the device it’s being viewed on? Do your ads have click-to-call functionality on mobile devices? Social media apps are continuing to rise in popularity – are you socialising on the apps and networks your consumer’s use? Mobile is expected to expand even more in 2017, so be sure your business is ready.
Social Media Marketing
2016 saw a huge interest in social media, due to its reach and options for engaging audiences. There are several reasons why it’s only going to get bigger in 2017 and the years to come. Firstly, the fact that social media keeps evolving means that it responds to its users and new technologies. With its ongoing changes it constantly exceeds users’ expectations and competes to offer better features. Secondly people are starting to demand social media as a channel for experiences. It’s no longer enough to post your sentiments about an event; you have to show your networks what it’s like to be there. Live video, 360 images and real-time posting makes your followers feel like they’re a genuine part of the experience, as it’s unfolding. Finally, social channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn have access to vast amounts of user data such as their name, age, gender, location and behaviours. This take a lot of the guess work out of marketing, making social advertising campaigns highly targeted and specific. If you don’t have a social media strategy in place, now would be the time to get that happening.
Search Engine Advertising
Where does all of this leave Search Engine Advertising? Without a doubt, advertising on search engines will continue to grow and evolve. It is expected that more features will be released by search engines like Google which will be aimed at providing better audience targeting to reach consumers at the right moment of their journey. Your business will need a Search Engine Advertising strategy if you want to drive more traffic, leads, and conversions to make the most of your budget and to stay ahead of your competition!
2017 promises to be full of exciting opportunities in the world of digital marketing. There’s a lot happening in every area from SEO to mobile and social media to Search Engine Advertising. We are already more than halfway through January, so now’s the time to get ahead of your digital marketing strategy if you haven’t done so already. If you would to see how we’ve helped other local businesses succeed with their digital marketing check out our video case studies here.