We live in an amazing and fast-moving time in the information age. Many things we thought were far in the future are coming faster than we think; virtual reality is expanding its share of the home entertainment world, driverless cars are on the horizon, and our favorite social media apps release updates on a monthly basis that change the whole industry's landscape.
For marketers and digital advertisers, it's an exciting time to be in our industry. We have new ways to reach people than ever before, and these ways are proving to be effective and provide visibility on ROI that was hard to see with older methods. So what exactly does 2017 have in store for those of us in the digital advertising world?
1. Mobile Ad Popularity Will Skyrocket
Outside of work, my mobile phone becomes my primary computer. I use it to watch my favorite YouTubers' latest videos, scroll through my primary social networks, and communicate with others on messaging apps. On a rare occasion I will break out my laptop for a larger screen, but mostly all of my browsing is done on mobile.
Apparently, I am not alone in this preference. According to a Zenith media consumption report, 75% of internet consumption in 2017 will be mobile. The report predicts that the amount of time spent on the internet on a mobile device will grow 27%, and time spent on desktop internet will decrease by 16%. Mobile internet use, which was at 40% in 2012, in now projected to make up 79% of internet use by 2018.
More people spending more time on their mobile devices means more opportunity to advertise to them. Paid social media ads, search engine ads, and location based ads will continue to provide advertisers with a place to reach their highly targeted audiences on their mobile devices.
2. Video Will Continue to Dominate
According to a High Q study, more video is being uploaded to the internet in a month than 3 decades of TV has created. The study also predicts that video will account for 75% of all web traffic this year. Video is easily consumed and often more entertaining than any other type of medium. Since the rise of smartphones, video consumption has been mobile and your audience can watch it anywhere. With all the video available and the dedicated audiences that watch it, there are countless opportunities to reach viewers.
The ease of creating high-quality videos from a cell phone removes the barrier to entry. Anyone can have an audience, as long as you provide some sort of value to those watching. In advertising, smaller companies don't have to have a huge production team traveling around the world to create a video worth watching. With simpler projects, video production can be done on the spot and pushed out the door at a moment's notice to catch the latest trends as they are happening.
3. Reach Your Audience Through Chat Apps
Brands are already using chat apps to reach their customers and communicate quickly. I recently purchased a shirt on sale at Chubbies.com, a website geared towards millennials with trendy clothing and marketing. Upon checkout, I was able to receive live updates of my order through Facebook messenger. I was also encouraged to ask any questions about my order to their team, breaking down any barriers and providing a direct line of communication from me to them.
This direct line of communication goes both ways. They now have a way to immediately reach me if they want to advertise any sales or a product launch. Messenger apps do have a different level of privacy expected, so the software giants will have to play it safe and make sure not to breach any consumer trust. Similar to Snapchat, we can expect advertising to take form in sponsored filters and stickers, paired with the direct line of communication that a customer has opted into. You may have noticed that chat advertising is already in play; if you mention "Uber" in a Facebook Messenger message you are automatically given a link to the Uber app.
4. Facebook and Google Remain King
Facebook and Google are currently the big shots in digital advertising, and we don't expect that to change any time soon. The 3rd quarter of 2016 was the largest ever in total spending on digital advertising, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Around 65% of the spending is done on these two platforms, and projections are showing that they won't be slowing down. Keep in mind both of these companies own a whole digital network; Google owns YouTube and the most popular search engine in the world, and Facebook owns mobile apps Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and even Oculus Virtual Reality.
If you haven't already, now may be the time to get your Facebook Ads certification or invest your time in learning the advertising software for these two companies. We can expect their reach to continue to grow, whether you like it or not, digital advertising means working with Google and Facebook for years to come.
It's exciting to know we are in an industry that is expected to continue expanding, and even more exciting to see where technology will take us in the next couple of years. Whether you are an entry-level marketer or an advertising executive, taking the time to learn the advertising software now will set you up to grow alongside the industry. While working for an agency doing paid social media marketing in Denver, I've been able to research and write on the digital advertising industry. Subscribe to our blog to receive immediate notifications when I release a blog by clicking the button below.