If you are looking ahead, as you should be, here are seven things to consider when thinking about marketing in 2017.
Mobile First. We’ve been talking about optimizing for mobile for years. Now, we are talking more more about designing for mobile in the first place. What does mobile first mean for you? Most often it means simplifying the design, making sure content is broken up into quick-read segments, and making sure your website is as error-free and fast as possible.
Page Speed. Mentioned above, but this is worth repeating. We’ve been doing our best to improve page speed on websites for a few years, but now it is imperative. How fast your site loads will impact mobile friendliness, search engine optimization, and user experience. Make sure your photos are optimized, and your code is good.
Scannable Content. We want as much information as fast as we can. How do we do that? More headlines, bulleted lists, bold text, and quote pull-outs. Give readers the point as clear and as quickly as possible.
- Automation. Decide what communication you want to send, write and schedule it based on actions taken by your audience. It automatically goes out without you having to touch it. Why haven’t we been doing this for years?
- Video. More formal background videos on websites and more casual videos on social media. We’re expecting a whole lot more of video in 2017. This also includes live streaming. Do it.
- Voice Search. Think Siri, Alexa, Google Home, Echo, you get the idea. We are asking our technology to answer questions for us more and more. What does that mean for you? Your content needs to include words like how, what, where, and why, and it needs to answer common questions about your business.
- Review Management. We’ve been preaching this for a while, but everyone is catching on. A bad review on Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc. is pretty much impossible to get rid of, and businesses need those fancy stars to stand out on Google. It’s past time to have a system for responding and encouraging online reviews.
And one to grow on…
- Local Search. Think about it. Potential customer asks Siri (see #6) to locate the closest dry cleaners, liquor store, milkshake joint, landscaper, etc. Then potential customer views the results on their mobile device (see #1). Is you business showing up? Do you like what you see? Showing up in the search - and showing up well - includes addressing things like location-optimized metadata, schema code, review management (see #7), your Google business page, and maybe some online advertising if you have a long way to go.
There are lots of trend articles out there, but these are the marketing trends we are seeing, hearing, and recommending the most when it comes to our Nashville-area clients. If you would like us to take a look at your marketing efforts, contact us and we’ll provide you a free marketing audit detailing what is going right and a few things you could tackle in 2017.