In 2017, brands will strive to create online advertising that is immersive and multisensory. Looking at the work of the most creative agencies around the world, we can start discerning the dominant trends that will shape online marketing in 2017.
This article is separated into two parts: design guidance and technology innovation. For more design insides, please jump to PART ONE.
If there is one part of this article worth reading for your marketing efforts in 2017, this is it!
Let’s face it, video is everywhere. YouTube is a multimillion-dollar industry, and it’s no secret that video is becoming THE fastest-growing segment of digital advertising with the highest ROI online. Video content triggers emotions by combining elements like the tone of voice, facial expressions, body language, and music. It creates trust, ignites curiosity, and provides entertainment value.
Homepage background videos can tell fantastic stories about your product or your corporate culture within seconds. Product testimonials can influence your tribe and you can sell your products twice as fast if you ask the right influencer to talk about your brand. Tutorials, lectures, and VBlogs can help you boost your notoriety online and step in front of your competition.
Does it matter what kind of videos you create? Absolutely.
To get the point across, make your information as simple, flawless, and easy on the eye as possible. Storytelling and explainer videos are perfect for promoting products and services. Make them short and entertaining.
SPEED IS KING
As the amount of information grows and the attention span of people shrink, consumers want access to quality content fast, convenient, and cheap. In 2017, B2B and B2C websites need to load lightning quick and be syndicated to social feeds.
Platforms that allow content to be published once and load instantly across feeds (ex: Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages and Facebook’s Instant Articles) will be a critical tool for brands and publishers that compete for user attention.
Vector graphics will further allow your site to load faster and look sharp in any resolution. Being vector-based or mathematically described shapes, SVGs are scalable, resolution-independent, and retina-ready. Plus, you can animate them.
VR/AR WILL REVOLUTIONIZE BRAND/CONSUMER INTERACTIONS
While AR (augmented reality) enables a digital design to overlap into the physical reality (ex: Google Glass), VR (virtual reality) allows full immersion into a computer-generated experience replacing completely the physical surroundings. In 2017, expect to see both VR and AR marketing grow exponentially. Why?
We believe that VR is poised to become a mainstream platform used by the most innovative brands and publishers. VR will completely reinvent brand storytelling by creating immersive experiences beyond anything marketing strategists have seen before. With VR you can put customers into the heart of your story, leaving them with a unique brand perception and experience. There is huge marketing, creative, commercial, educational, social, and scientific potential.
Virtual reality will completely reinvent the way we connect, play, and collaborate. Imagine test driving your dream car, be on stage with your favorite rock band, look a homes for sale, attend a virtual classroom or the latest runway fashion show, or experience a dangerous mountain hike. Now you can. “We used to say seeing is believing. Now we have to say experiencing is believing”— Shuhei Yoshida, head of Sony Worldwide.
VR is an amazing engine for creating deeper connections between consumers, influencers, and brands than ever thought possible. There are endless possibilities waiting to be unlocked- from product demos to high emotion storytelling. Brands like Qantas, KLM, Netflix, Coca Cola, McDonald's, or Volvo are already experimenting with virtual reality as an add-on to their branding strategy. Even Michelle Obama recorded a VR speech promoting healthy eating.
The interconnectivity of people, smartphones, and sensors are converging our world into a new multi-sensory reality. Imagine what VR could do for your content marketing and the way your brand stories can be shared and experienced? VR delivers immersive content with no outside distractions from your message. It generates strong user emotions, which makes the experience memorable and fun. You need to start planning your first 360 videos and jump on the VR wave!
THE RISE OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES
2017 is bringing new exciting development in the Tech world, which will influence website design and online marketing.
Sound will replace Bluetooth
The Internet of things is ever-expanding to reach mundane objects in our life. Up until now most of those objects have been communicated with us and with each other using Bluetooth. However, Bluetooth is limited by its short-range, slow speed, poor data security, and drain of battery life.
In 2017, an alternative wireless data network will emerge- sound. Ultrasonic sound frequencies are able to deliver long-distance messages without using a WIFI connection or special hardware requirements. Sound has the potential to revolutionize IoT devices and change the way we share information or interact with the digital world. Think of the potential of assistants Siri, Alexa, or Viv when they move to sound connectivity.
Machine learning is another wild card next year. Many enterprises are incorporating artificial intelligence capabilities to find hidden big data insights, automating meeting schedules, prioritizing internal workflow, creating smart mobile apps, or internal corporate applications. AI will ultimately help cut costs, speed up product delivery, and completely change the landscape in the multi-trillion-dollar global e-commerce industry. The dramatic development in AI will allow businesses to operate more productively and efficiently.
Artificial intelligence also intersects with the Internet of things. IoT devices will become intelligent things delivering yet another untapped marketing power.
Cyber Security is a priority
2017 will mark the beginning of a greater consumer consciousness around how data is used, shared, and collected. So far, consumers have not been aware of just how exposed they are. With cyberpiracy reaching new heights, serious measures need to be taken to protect your business and private information.
Google announced that starting January 2017, HTTP websites will be flagged as non-secure. Chrome users will not be blocked from visiting an HTTP site but will be heavily warned against accessing non-secured information. Does your website have an HTTPS indicator yet? If not, now is the time to plan for it.
To summarize, in 2017 brands should focus on entertaining, growing their tribe, and creating value content. We will no longer be talking about online marketing but will practice digital storytelling.
Cookie-cutter websites are a thing of the past. You should shift away from the widespread web templates, and replace those with custom-made features and graphics. There will be more parallax, more animations, more videos, dynamic content, simplified designs, creative screen layouts (CSS Grid is about to come out!), and authentic photography.
The world’s best designers will aim to create rich brand experiences. They will use design thinking to build immersive multisensory stories your customers will want to be part of.
If you are still uncertain which trends fit your business best, NOT TO WORRY. As the old adage goes “the best way to predict the future is to create it”.
Let’s create a fantastic website design or digital campaign together! Reach out for a quote or a creative brief at firstname.lastname@example.org.