Thankful for Digital: Our Favorite Digital Trends of 2017

It’s hard to believe summer is long gone and Thanksgiving is almost upon us! The Blue Compass team has fully embraced the holiday spirit, and we’re getting in the Thanksgiving mood by taking some time to give thanks. This year, we’ve chosen to focus on our favorite digital marketing trends. It’s been a wild year for digital marketing, but we were able to narrow it down to our top five trends (in no particular order)!

Digital Trend #1: Video

Video is huge in digital right now, and it’s not going anywhere. Why has video become so popular? For one, the video is incredibly engaging and adds another layer of interactivity to websites and social media platforms. It makes content easier and quicker to consume. On top of that, marketers love video because it generates 1200% more shares than traditional online content and increases conversions by 80%.

Unless you’ve been under a rock the past year, you’ve undoubtedly seen video blow up on social media. Thanks to Facebook Live and social video sharing, we are now spending more time consuming huge amounts of content through video - one third of our online time, to be exact. Video content is not all puppies and recipes, though. It has played an integral role in providing news coverage on our politics, entertainment and foreign affairs in 2017.

Aside from social platforms, we have plenty of reasons to love video content on all types of websites. In 2017, text-only pages just don’t cut it. Website visitors want multimedia, and marketers love that because multimedia, video especially, often improves behavior metrics like time on page and bounce rate.

Digital Trend #2: Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is one of our go-to tools at Blue Compass. Google unveiled this tool in 2016, but it has become significantly more robust in 2017, so we feel it deserves a spot on this year’s list. In February, Google announced unlimited free Data Studio reports, and as digital marketers, that was music to our ears.

A Little Data Studio Background

Google Data Studio is a free reporting tool that makes automating reports simple. It integrates with some of our other frequently used tools, such as Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Google Search Console, and many more. With Google Data Studio, we’re able to turn a long, tedious reporting process into a streamlined (and pretty) end product.

Why We Love It

Big data could probably be a trend of its own, but the fact is, as marketers we are data-driven. We make strategic decisions based on what the numbers tell us. And trust me, we’d rather look at the numbers in an organized fashion. With tools like Google Data Studio, we spend less time compiling reports and spend more time analyzing them. That’s good for our clients and us.

Digital Trend #3: Mobile, Mobile, Mobile!

The growth of mobile usage is not a new trend, but it is still important this year (and will be for years to come). In 2017, more than half the world’s web traffic now comes from mobile devices. This trend has a significant impact on our jobs - it touches every aspect of what we do each day.

Mobile & Digital Marketing

When it comes to digital marketing, we’re always thinking about how our decisions will play out on mobile. In the past, digital marketing companies often thought about projects from a desktop-first mentality, but today, that’s not enough.

Because mobile screens are much smaller, we’ve had to adjust accordingly. We find ourselves adapting to say things more succinctly, checking our images sizes, adding mobile-only features to SEM campaigns and optimizing email templates, so mobile users are satisfied. And we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Mobile & Web Design

In the digital space, we’re always listening for direction and insight from Google. When it comes to mobile, Google has spoken! Back in 2015, Google first reported they were experimenting with a mobile-first index. Fast forward to 2017, and this is now a reality. Just last month, Google announced that they have started rolling out the mobile-first index on a select number of sites. While they did not provide a timeframe for when it will be fully implemented, the end game is for all sites to be indexed based on their mobile version. Sooner or later, it will be here.

That being said, we consider mobile experience in every part of our design, development, and UX process. More than any other digital trend, this one has and will continue to shape Blue Compass.

Digital Trend #4: Voice Search

In 2017, we are no longer limited to “traditional” search paths. Instead, search has shifted heavily towards voice search. We’re using voice search to find the results of sporting events, know the weather before we go outside and look up tidbits of information. We use it because we’re looking for answers instantly.

With Siri, Amazon Alexa, Cortana, OK Google and many other voice-activated technologies; searching is conversational. It allows content to be accessible anytime, anywhere. Yes, this certainly poses some new challenges for digital marketing and SEO companies, but it’s a big win for customer preference, and we’re excited to see how it continues to evolve in 2018.

Digital Trend #5: Expiring Content

It’s no secret that deadlines motivate people to action. Just like when a big project is due at work, and you kick into overdrive, people will move mountains to see your content or buy your product before it’s too late. Thankfully, 2017 has seen the growth of expiring content on various platforms.

Snapchat and Instagram are the two main competitors when it comes to stories - content that only lasts for 24 hours before disappearing. Instagram Stories have come out with various features that have made it a favorite among many consumers and brands. No matter your preference, the idea remains the same: consumers like exclusivity, and they do not like missing out. Sometimes, consumers are so afraid of missing out, they’ll take actions they wouldn’t normally consider. And marketers are paying attention.

What Does 2018 Hold For Digital Marketing?

We have our predictions, but with the rapid growth of technology, 2018 has the potential to take digital marketing to new levels. Keeping up with digital trends can be tricky, but we eat, sleep and breathe digital, so we can help! If you’re ready to revamp your digital strategy, contact our digital marketing team at Blue Compass today.

Lisa Sinnwell headshot.
Lisa Sinnwell

Lisa enjoys developing data-driven digital marketing campaigns for her clients. Passionate about SEO, she thrives on challenging projects which require creative thinking to implement advanced SEO tactics. Lisa comes to Blue Compass with a degree in Marketing from Drake University and previous agency experience.