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In 2016 digital marketing trends, we saw increased attention to online reputation platforms such as Google Reviews and Yelp; a rise in the importance of content marketing, and the introduction of live streaming across multiple social media networks.  On the ever changing scene of digital marketing, there are several changes taking place that will impact the way small businesses relate to their markets. We are in a fast-paced environment and those who rely on digital marketing techniques to grow and scale their business should always research the latest trends and upcoming changes affecting the industry. This digital marketing by the ‘edge of your seat’ principle is how companies stay in the know and enjoy trailblazing growth from the cusp of the next new thing.  As we approach 2017, here are a few interesting digital marketing trends to keep an eye on.

Augmented Reality becomes a Reality

Augmented reality is the overlaying of fictional items onto a real landscape which allows users to see both reality and fiction together through some sort of lense.  The creators of Pokemon Go made a huge splash this year using augmented reality concepts to portray cartoon characters in the streets from users’ mobile devices.  Pokemon Go flooded our psyches and the idea of augmented reality became, well a reality. This popular gaming app has shown that mobile users are ready and waiting to experience this unique viewpoint.  The potential to generate revenue from games and ads in the augmented reality industry has skyrocketed.  For example, Niantic, the creators of Pokemon Go will soon be launching new sponsored retail locations that encourages its users to visit local businesses giving small business owners the opportunity to convert this new foot traffic into sales.  

Live Streaming

Now that the internet is much faster and mobile users are more prevalent, we are starting to see more and more live streaming videos on social media, YouTube, and websites. As we head into 2017 we can only expect to see these videos at increasing rates.  Live feeds appeal to the nature of today’s society to get something immediately.  With a live feed you can take advantage of the casting live footage for your followers giving them the opportunity to consume your content ‘here and now.’ There are many applications for live streaming such as launching new product lines, unveiling promotions, or simply showcasing how-to/demonstration videos direct from your location.  The possibilities are endless.

Purchasing software coming to social media

Commerce is making it’s way to social media.  Social Media platforms are making steps to infuse the ability for users to buy directly from businesses’ social media pages.  Instead of buying from websites or online marketplaces, users can do it right from their social media pages without having to leave or switch websites. This makes social media campaign management all the more important. Since it has been proven that people buy from brands they trust, small businesses will have to depend on the reputations they have cultivated through social networking in order to take advantage of this important trend in 2017.  As we observe more activity online and more social networks popping up, statistics have shown that users are now spending most of their time on social media.  This further illustrates the importance of not only a social media presence, but a history of one-on-one engagement between brands and their followers.  

Keeping track of and utilizing new digital marketing trends can be difficult especially if you don’t have a handle on current trends.  However, consistently being on the cutting edge of digital marketing tactics will result in exponential growth for your small business. The trick is finding what works and what doesn’t on this constantly revolving digital scene. What are your predictions for digital marketing in 2017?