What if you could predict the future and gain access to the latest social media and marketing trends that will eventually make a huge difference in your business?

And what if you could take that knowledge and prioritize the channels and networks of tomorrow, today?

You’re in luck! The social media and marketing trends that once seemed like science fiction are quickly becoming a reality for marketers everywhere. Now, it’s just a matter of identifying which channels and trends to embrace in your overall marketing strategy that will have the greatest impact.

Noah Kagan, Chief Sumo at Sumo.com and AppSumo.com, and his team have been successfully experimenting with emerging marketing technologies and channels for the last several years – giving him unique insights into which ones are truly worth your time and effort.

In episode #55 of The Science of Social Media, we explore the top 5 social media and marketing trends that all marketers should consider in 2017 and examples of how you can get at started with each today.

Let’s dive in!

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5 Exciting Social Media and Marketing Trends to Know in 2017

5 Exciting Marketing Trends with Noah Kagan

“The bar has been raised across the industry. The only way to stand out is to put out higher quality content than the rest.”

– Noah Kagan

1. Optimizing outreach on multiple mediums

You might have heard of the saying, “owned vs. rented land” in marketing – referring to producing and sharing content on platforms that you do or do not own. For example, posting content directly through Facebook would be considered “rented” because you don’t necessarily control the outcome of that content, whereas, blogging regularly on your website would be considered “owned” because you have full control over that content.

Over the last several months, Noah has seen a 10% drop in email open rates from his newsletter at OkDork.com. And although 10% doesn’t seem like a lot, it’s resulted in a decrease of about 15,000 people reading his content.

In 2017, it’s important for marketers to develop multiple mediums through which your business can speak and connect with customers. That way, if a big change happens on any one medium, like a significant decline in organic reach on Facebook, you will still have other viable options at your disposal.

Multi-channel Marketing

Multiple marketing mediums might include:

In other words, you’re hedging your communication channels against any major market changes.

2.  Customizing one-to-one marketing communications

The perfect message, to the right person, at the perfect time. That’s what many savvy marketers hope to achieve through their one-to-one marketing efforts. But delivering the perfect message without seeming intrusive or sneaky is a fine line to walk in a time where consumer information is seemingly endless.

Tom Fishburne - marketoonist

Source: Tom Fishburne – marketoonist

When done right, however, one-to-one marketing can reduce marketing costs and increase the effectiveness of your campaigns. Harvard Business Review reports that personalization can deliver five to eight times the return on investment for marketing spend. Talk about important marketing trends!

For example, Facebook and Facebook advertising might help bring people to your restaurant, but imagine bringing someone to your restaurant and each person gets their own customized dished (based on profile information) that they’re in love with. That’s the power of one-to-one and marketing personalization.

Technology that will help you get to one-on-one communication:

The companies and marketers that can begin to utilize these technologies sooner will have a significant advantage in their marketing.

3.  Utilizing the power of marketing bots

One of the most exciting frontiers in marketing is the rise of marketing bots.

What is a “bot” exactly? According to Wikipedia“An Internet bot is a software application that runs automated tasks (or scripts) over the Internet. Typically, bots perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive, at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone.”

As a marketer, the thought of bots can be a bit intimidating on both the job perspective and implementation side. But there are tons of positives that come with automation. Eventually, sure, bots will be able to do a variety of tasks that humans currently do like write blog posts, create graphics, deliver tailored content to users, send emails, schedule social media posts, and respond to user questions. 

But just like the computer automated handwriting and Netflix automated the movie industry, we will adapt and evolve into the next stage of social media, technology, and marketing, just like we’ve done throughout history.

For now, you’ll be well-ahead of the game by experimenting with basic bot functions like communicating with website visitors, implementing a Facebook messenger, or Slack bot, or conducting research  just to help you get a feel for what they can do.

4. Tapping into customer network opportunities

One of the more uncommon marketing trends in 2017 and beyond for marketers to consider is the idea of untapped networks or channels.

“When thinking about untapped networks for rapid business growth,” Noah explains, “it’s important to identify where large amounts of your customers or audiences are hanging out and work backwards from there.” Your business might take advantage of communicating with people on Meetup.com or tap into the massive resource that is Reddit within specific locations or demographics.

The best part is there are untapped network opportunities in almost any marketing vertical. A good place to start might be within the top digital marketing trends of 2017.

Top Digital Marketing Trends in 2017

One specific example of this in recent history is the tactical use of Quora as a marketing channel for businesses. Once marketers discovered that people were using Quora to ask specific questions about products or challenges they were having, they quickly began providing answers. And when those answers were useful, it meant thousands of views every month.

Today, Quora has more than 400,000 topics and 100 million unique monthly visitors, giving marketers a unique opportunity to tap into a massive resource.

5. Setting a higher bar for quality content

Creating quality (content) over quantity is something that we talk a lot about here at Buffer. In the last few months alone, it seems like more and more brands are putting out incredible content across digital platforms. Everyone from small businesses to big enterprises is prioritizing and investing in quality content, and it’s paying off big time in awareness and sales.

But producing quality content isn’t necessarily a new trend to many marketers – quality is something built into everything they produce. What is a marketing trend, however, is creating quality content within emerging mediums such as video, podcasting, and social media advertising. 

Then, when you’ve created a quality piece of content, the next step is to stretch it as far as it can go. For example, if you’ve worked hard to create a quality 4,000-word blog post, that blog post deserves a little extra love when it comes to promotion. You might create an infographic, a podcast episode, a short video, send it to all of your newsletters subscribers, pitch it to major publications, post it to various communities, and lots more.

I find it helpful to remember the classic 80/20 rule in digital marketing:

Digital Marketing 80/20 Rule

With so much content being published every day online, it’s no longer enough to simply post and hope for the best. More effort is required than ever before.

Awesome Mentions in the Show

More Great Moments from the Show

Marketing and Social Media Trends 2017

  • “The point here is that you need to hedge your communication channels and mediums to be able to contact your customers and not be at the mercy of these other businesses.”
  • “For people considering personalization in marketing, figure out how you tailor each individual message to customers. Make it so customers feel like you’re talking directly to them.”
  • “In marketing, there’s always a sort of evolution. As technology evolves, people will go on and find bigger, more important things to do with their time. That’s the great thing about the industry.”
  • “You have to ask yourself: Where are there large networks of people and my customers that I can potentially tap into and work backwards from there.”
  • “The bar on the quality of content has been raised across the industry. Everyone has a funny title, interesting graphs, memes, and GIFs. The only way to differentiate is to put out even higher quality content than the rest.”
  • “Your content doesn’t have to be 60 pages. It can be one page. But that one page has to be really good.”

How to Say Hello to Us

We would all love to say hello to you on social media – especially Twitter!

Thanks for listening! Feel free to connect with our team at Buffer on Twitter, Buffer on Facebook, our Podcast Homepage, or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

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About the Show

The Science of Social Media is your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and inspiration. Every Monday (and sometimes more) we share the most cutting-edge social media marketing strategies from brands and influencers in every industry. If you’re a social media team of one, business owner, marketer, or someone simply interested in social media marketing, you’re sure to find something useful in each and every episode.  It’s our hope that you’ll join our 10,000+ weekly iTunes listeners and rock your social media channels as a result!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

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Written by Brian Peters

Humbled and grateful to be living the social media life at Buffer! California coast born and raised, but always on the go with my lovely wife Katelyn. Love reading, designing, writing, running and adventuring.