5 Digital Marketing Trends Critical to SMB Success in 2017

5 Digital Marketing Trends Critical to SMB Success in 2017

When most online marketers think of digital advertising media, the word “mobile” is front and center in the minds of many. For good reason too, it seems like no matter how a lot of old dogs out there try to fight it, people would rather be trapped in the world that exists inside their smartphones than walk around aimlessly trying to find a landmark without the use of Google Maps.

Now, I’m not saying there’s any one media platform that’s more important. As a writer/marketer, I’m still largely a desktop user through most of my day. I’ll continue this practise too. It’s really hard to justify watching a great movie or binge watch some Netflix on a dinky little 5 or 6-inch screen.

However, mobile usage did just recently tip the scales in its favor, surpassing desktop usage by a couple percent. These numbers will only continue to rise as the “death of the desktop” continues to loom large on the horizon.

Here are digital advertising media trends you need to be aware of moving forward:

1. Must Offer Apps.

I honestly can’t stand using apps to browse content or do product research. Guess I’m just too old school and love the functionality offered by a browser.

However, apps account for nearly 90% of consumer’s mobile media time (with the rest of that time spent browsing websites).

People prefer apps and so marketers need to create highly functional apps to satisfy this need.

digital marketing trends for 2017

2. Engaging (Interactive) Content.

“What’s your favorite color?”

“Tell us more about why you like X.”

“If you could be trapped on a deserted island with any celeb, who would you choose?”

It’s never been more important to get your visitors interacting on your mobile platforms including apps, social, and your business site. Finish all blogposts and vlogposts with a pressing question you want visitors to answer in the comments.

Offer quizzes, polls, draws and the like. Give them incentives by offering free products or consultations to contest winners.

There’s simply too much content out there that marketers need to fight through to get a consumer’s attention — you need to stand out and make people feel like they’re doing more than just consuming content.

3. Get Influencers On-Board.

This can take a lot of work, but it’s really worth it. There are so many platforms to find trusted influencers with a loyal following of their own to help tout your products for you. If you sell beauty products, you’d better have influencers on board.

There are thousands of vloggers, bloggers, and social personalities with multiple millions of followers — many of which will buy whatever that person recommends. Hit them up on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. This goes for all industries.

Send them a tester, or box of testers and ask for an honest review — without encouraging them to lie (any influencer worth having on-board won’t comply if you do).

4. Onsite Chat Now Mandatory

Some marketers would tell you that a human chat experience with a real employee is best here. But, that can get expensive, especially if you’re just firing up a brand and sales haven’t started to flow. Chatbots are quickly replacing most of what once needed to be human interaction on landing pages and ecommerce platforms.

While I’m not recommending an single software or plugin, but head over to the Cleverbot page and strike up a conversation with the bot. It’s truly amazing how intuitive this technology has become and they’re certainly competent enough to program with basic FAQs to engage and educate the prospects coming to your site.

Best, they offer 24/7 support so marketers can work on other things, including turning off their devices and getting some sleep at night!

digital marketing trends for 2017

5. Live Video Surpassing Pre-Recorded Media

Video in general is the preferred media for most consumers under 49 years of age, but live video is definitely trending right now.

Have you noticed how many outlets are offering live video chats and AMA (Ask Me Anything) broadcasts? Facebook says their users watch live video for 3 times longer than the prerecorded stuff. The longer you can engage users, the more they’ll like you, and the more time you’jj have to turn them into a customer.

Most people are tiring of scripted reality and network television, and it seems the movement is shifting that way with online video, too. Stupid simple, right? Live video is more impulsive, more heart-on-the-sleeve. When people know you’re there in real-time, it’s like having a face-to-face conversation with them. The benefits are obvious.


Keeping on top of the trends and constantly pivoting to meet consumer’s needs is essential to growing your business online and offline. Trends are called trends because they’re constantly changing. Keep your ears to the ground and your nose to the grindstone to ensure success this year and all those that follow!



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