Digital marketing trends in 2017 – Is your business on the right path?

Last week, our Managing Director Susie Horgan presented her insights into digital trends in 2017 at the Chartered Accountants Ireland (Cork Society) Tech Forum. Here are our top five tactics.

Content is still king

At Springboard, we believe that content creation is the most powerful way to connect with your audience in a meaningful way. Content should form part of a cohesive inbound marketing strategy which allows you to educate and advise your audience with relevant information, building your brand awareness and increasing leads and sales. Valuable pieces of content can be used across owned, earned and paid media. By giving your audience content they need, it encourages continued engagement, and can generate traffic to your website, opening new avenues for you to reach out and connect.

Thought Leadership & Influencer marketing

In the past year, we have seen the  rise of the influencer. Establishing yourself as an expert in your industry has numerous benefits: it raises the profile of the company; it increases the brand’s credibility; and it amplifies your own personal expertise. As a thought leader, there are several avenues through which you can share your opinions with your target audience such as, through blogs, guest articles for publications, guest speaking at events, or by becoming a spokesperson for your industry for the media. Alternatively, you can reach out to other thought leaders and digital influencers, particularly on social media, to encourage brand engagement and activate their online followers. The possibilities are plentiful. If you think you or someone in your company has the potential to be a thought leader, read our top tips on how to start your strategy here.

Social media

The social media sphere was once a way for people to create posts and share news with the world. We watched as it slowly built communities and environments where audiences could connect with each other. Social media is now looking to develop this and create, what we call, ‘inbound social communication’, where instead of publishing single posts to your profile and hoping to reach your audience, we now see brands developing interactive, cross-platform content. This is partly due to the development of new platforms that offer interactive and engaging experiences, as well as short-live expiring content, such as Snapchat and Instagram Stories. Facebook and Twitter have followed suit, looking to create a more immersive experience with Twitter Moments and Facebook Direct. With more new features down the line, many brands now need to adapt and utilise these new social experiences and incorporate expiring content into their strategy.

On a more professional level, if you do one thing this year, you should invest in your brand’s profile on LinkedIn. There are over one million LinkedIn users in Ireland so make sure that you are contributing to your brand’s presence with posts and content on LinkedIn publisher. Encourage your employees to reach out to those whom they met at conferences or networking events, and to write a post about the event on LinkedIn.

To get your LinkedIn profile in top shape, complete our checklist here. 

Video & live video

Three in every four Irish people own a smartphone, and video counts for 50% of all mobile content. As audiences have come to expect immersive interactive content, video is becoming a standard on social media. Whether it is Boomerangs, GIFs, 360 images or Facebook Live, brands need to discover which kind of video content works best for them. Video has gone beyond ‘going viral’. Brands don’t need a one-trick-pony, they need a strategy for delivering cohesive video content that ties into their goals, depicts their core values and conveys key messages.  With the likes of Snapchat now looking at incorporating VR headwear and ‘real world’ glasses, it’s only a matter of time before video becomes part of a much bigger picture in the Augmented Reality (AR) world. Now is the time for brands to figure out how best to position themselves on camera.

ROI & digital marketing metrics

With so much time and energy being invested in social media spheres by businesses, we strongly advise our clients to take a step back and calculate measurement and return on investment (ROI) for their online engagement.  Whilst social media platforms continue to engage audiences, not every platform is relevant to your business. For 2017, take the time to carefully analyse which platform has the most potential for you and your business. Look at how you can generate the most from engaging on that platform and really focus your energies into doing that one thing and doing it really well. Once you have analysed your metrics and set a solid baseline, you can then look at investing your time and energy into other platforms online.

Let us know what you think – tweet us using #TuesdayPRTip with your thoughts on digital trends for 2017.

Post by
Susie founded Springboard in 2011, and has developed the business into a leading, director-led communications agency. She has worked for over 20 years in senior marketing and public relations roles.

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