I am a real trend-watcher and this time of year I enjoy looking back as well as finding forecasts for the new year. One definite movement for 2017, one that will stay with us in 2018 and beyond, is visual marketing. Is it as simple as videos replacing blogs? How is visual marketing changing the game? What is driving this trend?
Trends are social commentary – human behaviour as a reaction to world events and developments. The online space is where much of human behaviour is happening and more than ever before, we can now measure people’s opinions and reactions. With technology developing at a rapid pace, the possibilities of what can be done online are constantly changing and improving. All brands have an online presence, but much more than having a website and promoting a few posts on Facebook, marketers have to keep their eye on the changing landscape if they don’t want to be left behind.
Visual marketing is putting the emphasis on, what was up till now, an often neglected dimension of online communication – context. Keeping the context in mind is nothing new and some of us might have used it instinctively, but in what has become a plethora of online content, today context is all important. Context is what is making the content relative. Where you are, what the weather is, what is happening on the calendar… this is just some of the context that should drive or shape the content. It seems so obvious, but if in the busy online space you are still pushing out content without making it relevant, you are missing out. Do read: “Content May Be King, But Context is Queen & She Holds the Purse Strings”
According to theexchangewire.com: “One of the biggest digital marketing trends for 2017 was predicted to be “the rise in brands trying to create content that connects with audiences in more personal, relevant ways”. Making it personal requires you to contextualise according to the individual. Technology enables us to track location via GPS and likes, dislikes and behaviour can easily be traced through the individual’s online footprint. Contextualising your content for the individual is not only doable but by adding this personal touch, you can be quite successful.
As context ensures content to be more relevant, there is also a quest for authenticity. The online space has become the home of brand communication and while it enables informed purchasing, in this ‘new reality’, people are yearning for originality and truth. Rather than well-curated posts or professional productions, video stories or mobile phone pictures tell a story that is real and believable. And in this also lies the trend for live feeds.
We are bombarded with online communication and a video or picture might spark your interest much quicker than first reading a post or article. Because of the size of the offering, content that is live or only available for a certain period, like Instagram stories, is becoming increasingly popular.
Technology has become more familiar. While voice recognition took some time to catch on, it has become a standard feature. At the same time, the online conversation has become a two-way stream. Digital is talking back – “from chatbots to robots”. (Read more) And then there is the game-changer that is augmented reality!
It might be a challenging environment to keep up with, but at least it is very exciting and in trying economic times, it can open the door to a host of possibilities that we didn’t even consider a year or two ago. Marketing has never been so dynamic – make sure to keep your eye on the trends!