Where is digital marketing headed in 2017?

2017 has flown by and we’re finding it hard to believe that we’re almost halfway through the year already. It feels like it was only yesterday that we were popping champagne and toasting a brand new beginning. It was also an exciting time for digital marketing, with everyone placing their bets on what they thought would be the hottest trends of 2017.

Since we have recently released our Western Australian Marketing Report 2017, we thought it would be a great opportunity to find out if some of these predictions have in fact come true. In partnership with independent market research experts, Research Solutions, we surveyed a broad spread of businesses from a range of industries of all sizes. So stick around, read on and find out what they identified as the latest trends in digital marketing and see if you agree.

1. Social Media Marketing Stays on Top

The verdict is in: Digital and social media marketing is still a main priority for WA businesses. Topping the list again in 2017, 90% of WA businesses surveyed rated social media as an important part of their marketing and 55% rated it as critical.

Following closely behind was SEO and website analytics with 60% nominating SEO/SEM as critical and 53% nominating website analytics. Online brand reputation management and content marketing came in at fourth and fifth respectively, and email marketing dropped down from number 2 in 2016 to number 8 in 2017. Traditional offline methods (radio,TV, outdoor, telemarketing and telephone book listing) were increasingly not considered an important part of the marketing mix by WA businesses.

With the majority of WA businesses surveyed saying they’re expanding their digital presence, the use of multiple social media platforms in 2017 rose significantly. Facebook and LinkedIn remained consistent at 78.7% and 67.4% respectively, but the biggest jump came from Instagram, increasing from 23.8% in 2015 to 42.9% in 2017. Three quarters also reported to advertising on social media, particularly Facebook.

2. Content Marketing is on the Rise

One of the most insightful findings of the report was the increased interest from WA businesses in content marketing and in particular video content development. Over three quarters (77%) nominated content marketing and two thirds (65%) nominated video content development as the emerging digital marketing trend they planned to use in 2017.

The prevalence of content marketing in digital marketing strategies for 2017 shows the emphasis companies are placing on creating high quality content to achieve long-term engagement with their specific audiences. WA businesses are beginning to understand the need for continuous and creative content to target and connect with existing and potential customers, and are now concentrating their marketing efforts here.

3. Time is an Issue

While many benefits of digital marketing were identified in the report, there were also some challenges facing WA businesses in 2017, with the key ones being time-related. Digital media can be extremely time consuming. It takes a lot of effort and energy to make an impact online and finding the time to do so can be an issue in itself.

WA businesses reported three major concerns regarding finding the time they have to put into digital media to:

  1. Manage it
  2. Keep the content relevant and up-to-date
  3. Keep up-to-date with the constantly changing digital media landscape and current trends

Many of the comments indicated significant drawbacks for businesses who conducted their digital marketing in-house and how businesses were beginning to realise they needed help. To avoid this key challenge, many of the WA businesses surveyed said they planned to increase their digital marketing spend in 2017.

The majority of small (60%), medium (67%) and large (67%) businesses said they intended to increase both their marketing spend and digital marketing spend in 2017. The volume of money budgeted to be spent on digital marketing in 2017 also increased across all sectors by approximately 28% compared to 2016.

So, did any of your predictions come true? Were there any findings that surprised you? If your business wants to strengthen its digital marketing efforts in 2017 but are time-poor, get help from a dedicated digital marketing agency who have the time and technical requirements necessary to create consistent brand awareness and exposure for your business. Contact Bang today.