04 Jan 2017 16:35 IST

Digital marketing trends in 2017

Pic credit: Peshkova/ Shutterstock

Yea for regional language content, mobile UX, video; nay for VR, which may not become mainstream

One more year has passed us by and digital marketing is just getting stronger by the day. It is imperative for a company to have an online presence — otherwise they’re as good as non-existent. So what can we expect from this platform this New Year? Here are seven trends that may rule 2017.

Less is more

Brands usually believe that the more the content, the better it is. But with millions of pieces going out everyday, it is far from the truth. The year 2017 will see a trend that has brands focussing on high value content , which is personalised and engaging.

With voice search growing in scale (currently at 20 per cent of total mobile searches in the US), many of our digital activities will become conversational. All the more reason why content needs to be unique and stand out from the competition , as only the best content will get focus. Influencer marketing too will grow for the same reason, in order to create quality content.

Mobile UX

With 90 per cent people using Facebook via mobile, and more than half of the searches globally taking place on phones, mobile user experience is already a focus area.

We will see brands investing a lot more in this area, especially when it comes to speed — an important factor for search engine optimisation . Google has already launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Facebook is expanding its ‘instant articles’ feature, both of which will expand their reach in 2017.

Google is also pushing the Progressive Web Apps (PWA) framework to enable websites to give theirs users an app like experience via the browser. Even social media engagement will change, with brands trying to get more engagement on mobile devices .

Regional language content

The last time Google reported data on this, it showed that Hindi content was growing faster than English! And this is likely to grow even further in 2017. With Netflix, Amazon Prime and others spearheading the video content in multiple languages, there will be a spurt in written and visual content in regional languages, especially Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and Bengali. Facebook has also launched an auto-translate feature for all Brand Pages. Though it is nascent, it is bound to improve this year.

Leveraging video medium

Building the brand is key and what better way to do it than by creating videos? It has never been easier to create animations with the help of free and low cost tools .

As per Facebook statistics, users watch an average of 100 million hours of video every day — and most of these are on their mobile devices. The social networking giant has made it even easier with its ‘live’ feature, which is a very engaging tool, especially for the entertainment, fashion and hospitality industries.

YouTube , Facebook and Instagram will be key channels to leverage for video.


Especially for online/offline, attribution — that is, business results due to digital medium — will continue to be a grey area. While there have been many initiatives launched and many are in the pipeline, most restaurants, retailers and offline stores find it difficult to attribute walk-ins and business results to the digital medium.

Facebook and Google Maps have been improving their proximity data to understand if users are at a specific location, and encourage them to review the same. Google is also in early stage testing of beacons to allow for better attribution, but it’s still almost two years away from mass adoption.

Consolidation of social media networks

Brands have always found it difficult to be active on multiple social media networks, and some consolidation can be expected. Twitter has been in talks of selling out and even Snapchat has not grown exponentially. As platforms evolve and mature, we will see brands focussing on select platforms that make sense — usually two to three platforms.

Virtual Reality

There has been a lot of talk around virtual reality devices, including the launch of the DayDream by Google. While the experience it provides is phenomenal, it will not become mainstream just yet. While the cost of devices is getting lower, the adoption of these rather bulky devices is still limited to a select few tech savvy individuals — at least in India.