We have officially said farewell to the good, the bad and the ugly that was the year of 2016 and have well and truly taken a step forward into the unknown of 2017. Now that the new year has begun and we have recovered from the festive season, it’s time to start looking at what trends will be ruling the digital marketing world. The digital marketing industry proves every year that it is continuously shifting and changing, whether they be permanent changes or temporary ‘phases’ that quickly go out of style and are replaced by the next big thing. We have a lot to look forward to in the new year and companies will have to embrace new digital trends in order to stay relevant and shine in 2017. Here are just a few of the top digital marketing trends you should know. Instant communication becomes expected: The younger generation, more specifically generation Z, have grown up with social media as a vital aspect of their everyday life and have only ever known what it’s like to be constantly online. This constant connection to the digital world has created an expectation and a somewhat ‘addiction’ to receiving ‘real time’ or instant information. Now that platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram have embraced this idea of real time information, it is with no doubt that other platforms, as well as brands, will embrace this new trend and take it further than it has ever been before. Video content and Live streaming will explode: The expectation of ‘instant communication’ has led to the introduction of live streaming and video content. In 2016 Facebook launched a new way of posting content through live streaming. These live stream posts saw a significant rise in engagement with users, with Facebook reporting that people were commenting on live videos 10 times more than on regular content. Instagram followed suit shortly after. Due to the nature of live videos, viewers feel a sense of urgency in knowing that they will only be able to view the content in real time once. Live streaming and video content will continue to grow in 2017 and brands will see the value of ‘humanising’ their brand through its use.Brands embrace influencer marketing:In 2016, we saw influencer marketing become the industry's ‘go to’ digital marketing strategy and we will continue to see this grow in the new year. As influencer marketing is still very new, brands have often struggled to understand the best way to leverage and measure its success, but as the popularity of influencer marketing grows, brands will quickly figure out its value and influencers will become the defining voices in consumer marketing in 2017.This value was recently seen by high end fashion label Dolce and Gabbana. Earlier this month, the brand utilised influencer marketing and invited social media stars to ‘model’ their latest designs on the runway. The use of the chosen stars social media platforms to talk about their involvement in the show not only promoted the brand to millions, it acted as a way to make the high end label seem relatable and appeal more strongly to a variety of audiences. Facebook Automation Rules takes off:In 2016, Facebook released a new automation system to its ads API which was developed to make life easier for those who use third-party marketing tools such as Sharpspring. If you are someone who is running multiple ads at once, or have multiple clients running campaigns at the same time you can often become bogged down with the manual work involved in keeping on top of these ad campaigns and making sure they are all performing well. This is where the Facebook automated rules come in. Through the system, users will have to build a set of rules which will automatically update or notify you of changes to your campaigns or ads. When you create an automated rule, you choose the conditions that will start the rule i.e. daily spend, impressions or reach and you will then be alerted when changes are made. For example, a rule could be to turn off an ad that isn’t performing well or increase the budget of your campaign when more people are clicking on your ad. In 2017, we expect the use of these automated rules will take off with many people jumping on board the ease of the system. It is no secret that the digital world is forever changing and what is ‘on trend’ this year can be out the window the next. We live in a fast changing world, where companies have to keep reinventing themselves to stay relevant and in the forefront of customer’s minds. If you need to review your digital marketing strategy to start off 2017 right , contact the team at Bang Digital on 08 9328 7000 or email us here.