5 Digital Trends That Small Businesses Should Know in 2017

February 6, 2018 Caitlin McElwain

The digital landscape is a fluid one: new apps and trends emerge almost every day, and others silently fall by the wayside. To help you start 2017 on the right foot, we’ve compiled a list of the Top 5 digital marketing trends we see emerging in the new year.

Some of these are oldies-but-goodies, set to continue cementing their positions as must-haves for business success, while others seem like something straight out of the Jetsons. Either way, there will be no shortage of exciting new trends to try out in 2017.

1. The user experience is growing in importance

People want to feel like they’re an important part of a your business community – a personalized user experience is top priority for many customers, and if they don’t get it, they could start looking elsewhere. That’s why more and more shoppers are placing greater importance on the user experience.

Whether you’re using fun chatbots to interact with customers, or simply engaging with your clients through a blog or on social media, it’s more important than ever to make your customers feel like they’re a member of your business family.

2. Video is (still) a heavyweight

You already know how important video is to your customers—71% of people say a video leaves them with a positive impression of the business. What’s more, some 96% of people say video helps them make a decision when shopping online.

You can even make videos more interactive with embedded quizzes, and get practical measurements and analytics to determine their impact on your business.

There’s no shortage of reasons why video should be a crucial part of your marketing plan—after all, it’s not going anywhere.

3. Reach your customers in real time

In today’s digital landscape, people want up-to-date information at their fingertips. That means making your business responsive in real time.

For instance, it’s increasingly possible to stream live videos or podcasts. Apps like Periscope and Facebook Live have made being in real-time easier than ever before, and have provided businesses with an opportunity to reach customers in a way they once couldn’t.

Businesses can also join the conversation organically by taking part in spontaneous social hashtags (like #ItsNotAFamilyGatheringUntil), ongoing weekly hashtags (like #ThrowbackThursday), and those around special events (like #SharkWeek).

4. Get customers to press your buttons

When it comes to social media buy buttons, you can’t deny the numbers. Revenue from social e-commerce was $3.3 billion in 2014—and that number has continued rising since then.

Still, for these buttons to be successful, you need to have a strong understanding of your customers. If a lot of people find your business via a mobile device or on a social media platform, buy buttons could be a great success. But, if your business mainly comes from word-of-mouth referrals, buy buttons might not be for you.

5. Get moving on going mobile

Mobile payments are expected to reach $142 billion by 2019. That’s one trend businesses need to get moving on!

In fact, mobile usage surpassed that of desktop back in 2014. With most people using a mobile device, it’s crucial for your business to be accessible from the palms of your customers’ hands—whether it’s a mobile-friendly website or a completely customized app.

Make the most of your digital strategy

Between your website, your mobile presence and being on social media, the digital landscape can be a challenge to navigate. We have a free guide that will help you identify your target market, create an effective website and get going on social media. Download it here.

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