Five Predictions for Social media and Content Marketing in 2017

02/Jan/2017 · 2 MINS READ

2016 paved the way for some exciting new marketing trends.

With the new year in full swing, we’ve put together a few predictions for the future of content marketing and social media this year.

1. Virtual and augmented reality will continue to expand

It’s fair to say that 2016 saw the rise of Virtual Reality. Between Google, Sony, and Facebook’s Oculus, there weren’t any shortage of devices to experience new virtual realities on. The only thing that prohibited their growth was the bulky size of the viewing apparatus, as well as their often exorbitant cost.

But that didn’t stop brands like Qantas from creating content for VR devices (as well as 360 degree video and photos on Facebook), and as those devices become more affordable in the year to come, we can only expect that more and more brands will hop onto the bandwagon. If 2016 introduced us to new realities, 2017 might well be the year they become a part of our everyday lives.

2. Live video will continue to grow

People want to watch content live. It creates a greater degree of interconnectivity from one side of the world to the other. Whether it’s sports, concerts or current affairs, global audiences feel like they need to tune into something as it’s happening, and most social networks have started catering to that search for shared live experiences.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all introduced and expanded live video features in 2016, with Twitter making claim to Thursday night NFL matches and YouTube becoming a key hub for the US Presidential Election’s debates. These features have slowly been rolled out from major partners and broadcasters to everyday users, and it’s safe to say that we’re bound to see a boom in live content on social platforms in 2017.

3. No more texting

Five years ago, no one could have predicted how big a phenomenon Snapchat would become.

But with Snapchat’s continued success, Instagram’s addition of Snapchat-like Stories and Facebook’s Messenger app recently shifting the focus to the camera rather than text, it’s safe to say 2017 might mark the beginning of the end for text messaging (at least in the way we know it now). And this, of course, will present new opportunities for brands and influencers to directly interact with their audiences.

4. Pay to play on social

Market researcher company BIA/Kelsey has predicted that social advertising spend in the US will rise to over $11 billion dollars in 2017. That’s almost double the $6.1 billion figure in 2016, and it’s fair to say we can expect a similar upwards trend in Australia.

And with companies like Facebook clearing out “inauthentic” communication from newsfeeds, brands will be able to rely less and less on organic reach from their social pages. So as 2017 rolls onwards, brands will have to pay to even appear on their own audience’s newsfeeds.

For advertisers, social networks will effectively continue to become more and more like the traditional media networks they’re replacing.

5. Mobile browsers will disappear

In the past, you needed to have a web-browsing app to surf the web on your phone, but those days are almost over. Most social media apps now see themselves as the hub for mobile users’ web content, and have included in-app browsing within their own platforms.

More than just that, Instant Articles are now a staple of browsing on Facebook, and Twitter has recently begun making use of a breaking news push notification system. They’re making the connection between reading web content and sharing on social media as seamless as possible, and in doing so are cutting out the middle man of Safari or Chrome. What’s more, your content can be personalised- so that (in a perfect world), you’ll only see the news you want to see.

And, once again, that means many brands will have to reconsider how they go about advertising their products when it comes to mobile devices.

Those are just a few predictions for how social media and content marketing will change in 2017. But what do you think will happen? Let us know down in the comments!