2017 Digital Marketing Trends

 In Sales and Marketing

Keeping track of trends can help small businesses in shaping their marketing plans, expanding sales channels, and increasing revenues. The start of a new year is a good time for business owners to consider what they want to achieve over the coming months. Here are some of the most important 2017 digital marketing trends set to impact small businesses.

1. Increasing Mobile App Usage

According to Pew Research, the majority of Americans now own a smartphone. On average, users are accessing 27 separate apps per month.  And the typical smartphone user is spending 37.8 hours a month on apps. For small businesses, developing a mobile app or tapping into popular apps in your industry can provide unique opportunities to reach new customers and increase customer engagement.

According to data from research firm Clutch, less than a quarter of small businesses currently use mobile apps. But that may be set to change in 2017. The firm estimates that mobile app adoption among small business owners will increase to 47% in the coming year as more businesses strive to increase their visibility and remain competitive in the marketplace.

2. Video Storytelling as a Marketing Tool

Print and digital marketing can be effective ways to promote your small business.  But thanks to platforms like YouTube and Snapchat and the addition of live video streaming to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, video storytelling is quickly becoming one of the hottest 2017 digital marketing trends on the scene.

So why is video storytelling something your small business should care about? Because in 2017 seventy-four percent of all web traffic will be video-based. If you’re not using video storytelling to your advantage yet, you could be missing out on a chance to expand your online presence. Airbnb is one of the most recognizable startup brands to jump on the video storytelling bandwagon, allowing hosts to share their stories via video on the Airbnb website.

A 2016 survey from the Web Marketing Video Council found that 61% of small businesses are incorporating video storytelling in their marketing plans. That’s a marked difference from the previous year, when 66% of those businesses weren’t using video. The numbers are on track to continue that upward trend in 2017 and beyond.

3. Augmented and Virtual Reality Continue to Gain Ground

Augmented reality and virtual reality technology were pushed into the mainstream spotlight in 2016 with the popularity of Pokemon Go. All signs point to the technology increasing in popularity as a marketing tool in 2017.

A survey from Walker Sands found that 55% of consumers think virtual reality will impact their buying decisions. Sixty-two percent said they were interested in shopping via VR and 22% said they planned to purchase a VR device within the next year.

Augmented and virtual reality may be brand-new territory for some small business owners.  But for those brave enough to venture in, AR/VR could be an opportunity to breathe fresh life into their marketing. According to research firm IDC, 30% of consumer-facing companies in the Forbes Global 2000 will focus on utilizing AR and VR technology in their marketing plans over the next year.

4. The Growth of E-commerce

If you’re still not doing business online, 2017 may be the year to consider changing that. Data from the Census Bureau shows that e-commerce has been on a steady climb since 2006, with total online sales for the third quarter of 2016 topping $101 billion. A report from Forrester Research projects that online sales will grow on average by 9.32% year over year through 2020. Worldwide, 54% of consumers say they buy something online weekly or monthly, according to a survey from PwC.

Millennials are driving this trend, as they are spending more time online than any other demographic.  According to Business Insider, young adults aged 18 to 34 spend around $2,000 a year online. This amount is spent despite their having lower average incomes than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers. Fifty-five percent of online shoppers have household incomes of $75,000 or higher. Making the effort to tap into this market in 2017 could prove valuable for your small business.

And the switch is not as difficult as you would think.

Prep Your Business Now

While each of these 2017 digital marketing trends may hold significant promise for small business owners, implementing some of these strategies—such as developing an e-commerce website or creating your own mobile app—requires a certain amount of funding. If you’re ready to move with the times but you don’t want to drain your cash reserves, seeking out financing to get the capital your business needs may be the key to a happy new year.

Strategic Funding provides needed operating funds to small businesses. Strategic Funding has helped small businesses from hundreds of Industries.  These industries include: restaurants, personal services, construction, medical, manufacturing, agriculture, retail stores, automotive, and food stores.

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