Top 3 digital trends of summer 2017
Many associate the term ‘summer’ with vacations, beaches, time off work and in many parts of the world, a slower pace of business. But to those in the digital industry, the term merely describes a season, since the industry is always active and changing. New apps, new websites, even new methods to bring offline industries onto online platforms are constantly being developed and introduced as part of the digital trend.
Every season, there are new trends identified in the digital world that highlight the success of digital innovations. But, what factors lead to a trend?
A trend in itself usually signals a development into a certain direction that is adopted by an increasing user-base. In digital, we have seen many trends such as social media marketing and mobile-first, which are manifesting themselves. This means that they are initially declared as a trend as companies and individuals utilise them, and in most cases, becomes part of a consumer’s day-to-day operations. Take social media as an example, five years ago, it was a trend, now it is a critical component of a business marketing program.
In the digital space, we usually have a correlation between general availability, implementation cost and skill. This means the market needs to be ready to consume enough social media users. The cost for implementation needs to result in a return on investment and the skills and resources to implement the trends available.
Virtual reality and omnichannels reigned the digital trend list last summer. This year sees a shift towards bots, digital ads and content, specifically in the development of video content:
1. Personalisation with bots
With bot technologies becoming cheaper and easily accessible, the adoption of bots has become increasingly common. Chat bots in mobile messaging apps have been getting a lot of attention lately as the next innovation in customer engagement and personalisation. Bots such as Siri and the kind of automated text message exchanges are the new trends. The hype around Artificial Intelligence will also do its part to create more buzz around bots and messenger apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
2. Immersive content with videos
Creating instant impact, online videos have become the go-to for marketing pros in the digital world and has seen a dramatic increase in audience numbers ranging from 13-50. For small businesses, video is an inexpensive way to level the playing field with answering customer FAQs, demonstrating products in action and featuring video testimonials.
3. Influencer marketing with online ads and content generation
According to a recent study by Global Web Index, three out of four mobile users worldwide are blocking ads or are interested in doing so. This in itself has turned into a trend, indirectly leading to a higher investment in content marketing, another common trend in the digital world.
(By Alexander Rauser, CEO of Dubai-based digital agency Prototype.)