By  ​Nadav Olmert

From print to digital, advertising has grown to be one of the most crucial aspects of every business industry. Over the past year many changes and additions to the digital marketing arena have happened. Throughout this article, you’ll find various key elements, with some of their best practices which will highlight new strategies and will give a practical meaning to the reader. Hang on tight and enjoy this quick 5 minute read on 6 trends in 2017 digital marketing.

1. Cognitive AI Marketing: What’s next is already here

Some big hit search phrases on the world’s largest search engines in 2016 were: “Artificial Intelligence”, “Predictive Analytics” and “Machine Learning”. AI Marketing uses machine learning algorithms in order to make better decisions based on big data. With IBM’s introduction of Watson Marketing, more marketers have started recognizing the potential for such systems – which could have a profoundly disruptive impact on digital marketing, the possibilities for which are endless. With Cognitive AI you’ll be able to set your marketing system to predict goal-orientated information automatically, and even set up business campaigns on multiple channels based on complex behavioural targeting.

2. Screenless SEO

During this past Black Friday mayhem, one of the most popular items sold were smart speakers by Amazon and Google – that’s about 5 million different devices providing a screenless voice interface (such as Amazon Echo’s Alexa, Facebook’s Jarvis, and Google Home’s “Ok Google”) with the largest search engines available, allowing the user to search and compare different products. Remotely controlled by voice, these devices are paving the way for a whole new SEO tactic that will be based purely on natural spoken language. Content marketers will have to re-think how they present content and aim for content in a conversational manner.

3. Personalization

How far could personalization really go and what difference would it make?

A/B testing has become a widely used method among professional marketers to evaluate changes done to a website’s visual interface and how they in turn affect the users’ conversion rate. Optimizely, a leading experimentation platform which enables organizations to deliver continual experimentation and personalization across websites and mobile apps, is an example of a Marketing tool. It enables its users to experiment with A/B testing; it also allows its customers to take the personalization of the user experience to a whole new level by allowing them to experiment with the different ways in which they can manipulate websites’ interfaces to fit each individual user’s personalized wants and needs.

Give your customers a tailored experience personalized to them, and grow revenue for your business!

4. Psychographic Segmentation

The ability to pinpoint and identify users based on geographics and demographics as well as the immediate availability of data has real potential to reshape the world of marketing. Today we can input set parameters and find our target audience, but is that really enough? I don’t think so.

Let’s take a step back and look at the buyer’s behavior process. We already know that consumers tend to look towards others like themselves to evaluate if a product is worth downloading, purchasing or sharing. By taking advantage of today’s ability to dissect and analyze data we can determine exactly what type of psychographic behaviour our audience displays.

The ability to tailor the right message to the right audience is absolutely crucial in order to attract a large customer base.

Before starting your next campaign, take a deep breath and think about your target audience. Vividly picture them in your mind and think about their common interests, goals, and the types of online journeys they may go through.

5. Facebook is KING

Mark Zuckerberg during his first Facebook Live broadcast. Photo credit: Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg during his first Facebook Live broadcast. Photo credit: Facebook

With over 2 billion users the Facebook network is currently the most popular social ecosystem on the planet. Here are a few features every digital marketer should know about:

In early December of 2016 Facebook has added a few new features to Facebook’s Power Editor, Facebook Ads and an upcoming new dislike button.

Facebook’s recent addition to its arsenal is a new lead generation form that will boost mobile conversions.

Facebook just introduced a new lead capturing feature that marketers can use on their Facebook ads called Lead Ads. Lead Ads are available for use through Facebook’s ad manager. You can create and customize ads, requesting that visitors submit different kinds of information, such as Email address, zip code, and phone number. Information entered into this system can be downloaded and processed to increase the reach of marketing campaigns.

Facebook Chatbot Analytics: A chatbot is a computer program that initiates conversation with users over a platform like Facebook Messenger. Facebook only recently announced its Messenger Bots and already there are over 35,000 different bots engaging with messenger users over different topics. As this trend continues more and more marketers are starting to identify how this tool could disrupt marketing on social networks. In order to analyze and understand the degree to which these bots are affecting conversion rates, Facebook has announced a new analytics feature that will assist marketers evaluate their efforts. Nonetheless, in the near future organizations will still need to put an emphasis on human to human interactions and allow for a natural conversation flow with their customers.

Live. Real time engagement:

Facebook Live, without a doubt a major player, which challenged even conventional news sources, was able to more accurately predict the outcome of these past presidential elections.

Facebook live definitely has done a better job at getting more people to engage with their news in real time.

As Eric Siu, Founder of Growth Everywhere mentioned: “Livestreaming is this year’s hottest trend to connect brands and customers. Conference organizers livestream as a way to share selected sessions, Google Hangouts provide a built-in audience for product demos, and Facebook Live has propelled everyday people to instant fame.”

Best Practice for Streaming Live: Be creative. Use Facebook live to engage your target audience and promote your products and services. Live streaming increases engagement by 175%.

6. WhatsApp for Businesses

Photo Illustration by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images Israel

The average consumer checks their phone 150 times per day, and checks for texts every 10 seconds.

“Messaging is one of the few things that people do more than social networking.” — Mark Zuckerberg, in a public Q&A in November 2014.

In fall 2017 WhatsApp is expected to launch a new update that will allow businesses to onboard the messaging platform and establish company profiles.

Similar to their Asian competitor WeChat, Whatsapp is aiming to bring a rich array of new features that will allow individuals to shop, chat, and stay updated, such as flight notifications, delivery tracking, and of course a smart marketing platform while using the most instinctive app on their smartphone.

7. Brand new (updated) tools by Google

Google has released a few major updates to their business suite, such as Google Analytics, an intuitive and an easy to use platform which provides full coverage of the marketers’ needs. Among the various improvements, Google has combined the dashboard, custom reports, and custom alerts into one tab, rather than having individual items on the left pane. In addition, Google has replaced its intelligence events with an Automated Assistant.

In March 2016 Google announced the release of Google Optimize 360 which will be offered free through a beta testing invite. Google Optimize is a landing page, A/B testing and optimization tool that integrates directly with Google Analytics.

Image Credit: Google

An announcement by VP of Analytics, Paul Muret, noted on Inside AdWords:

“Sophisticated marketers who use analytics platforms are 3X more likely to outperform their peers in achieving revenue goals. It’s no wonder enterprise-class marketers have been telling us they need more from their marketing analytics tools. Many toolsets can’t cope: They’re too hard to use, lack sufficient collaboration capabilities, are poorly integrated, and require hard to find expertise.”

Google Tag Manager and Tag Manager 360 users will be happy to see the addition of 20 new integrations with 3rd party data sources.