Video content saw a big surge in 2016, however most brands are still depending on the viral video phenomenon for their content boost. 2017 will likely bring the development of video based content strategies as well as the integration of immersive video (i.e. 360° video on Facebook, live streaming, etc.). Early adopters of this strategy, such as real estate agents, have seen a good return. Mass adoption of immersive video will depend on technology developments in 2017; the number of platforms where immersive video content is shared is limited.
- VR and AR
The success of PokemonGo will likely spur many brands to delve deeper into the world of augmented and virtual reality as a marketing channel. The app's success made it clear to brands that users are ready to engage with them in this channel. While this many not become main stream in 2017, next year will likely see the development of many resources that will be key factors in bringing this technology to the masses.
- Chat Bots/Messaging Apps
Though it seems hard to believe, chatbots have been around for decades, but in 2016 they burst onto the seen as a tool for businesses to interact with their consumers. In 2016 Facebook invested heavily in the chatbot(bot) industry, rolling out resources and tools for businesses and developers to build bots on its messaging platform. In 2016, the number of bots housed in the app reached 30,000 and provided end users everything from news updates, to ways to send flowers, to real time customer service responses.
Even with rapid development in 2016, chatbots are still imperfect, at best. They are struggling with speed, ability to understand questions, and interacting in a conversational manner. In tandem with the VR/AR developments, 2017 is sure to bring a significant improvement in the existing usability of bots as well as new ways to engage them.
- Ephemeral Content
2016 was the year that Snapchat taught us that content can be engaging even if it only lasts for 10 seconds and memorable even if it only lasts for 24 hours. Brands were initially apprehensive about ephemeral marketing and how it could be integrated into their existing strategies. However, the success of Snapchat made apparent the opportunity to tap into consumer’s short attention spans and “FOMO” (fear of missing out).
In summary, as proven over the last decade, the integration of digital into the marketing world is fast and strong. Technology continues to surpass our expectations, it shows no sign of slowing down.