2016 was a remarkable year for digital marketing. But that certainly doesn’t mean things will be winding down in 2017.  

Now is the time to start thinking about how the industry’s going to change in the coming year—and everything you’ll need to do to prepare accordingly.

Marketing is a field dominated by having the ability to plan ahead and jump on trends before your competitors do. With that, here are what we at HeadsUp believe to be some of the biggest changes coming to the industry.

One thing is for sure: Content creation and promotion (outside the content for your products and services) have become both more vital and more integrated over the past year.

1. Rise of ‘Immersive Experience’ Content Marketing

Users are craving more immersive experiences.

They want to feel that they’re doing more than staring at a phone or laptop screen. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are two technologies driving this mentality forward. You can also offer 360 videos to make your users feel like they’re engaged in a moment, or host live webinars and workshops to increase engagement.

The key is to provide some level of interaction in a way that makes people feel like they’re a part of something bigger.

2. Brands Will Increasingly Target Niche Markets

The more crowded the digital space becomes with brands (while staying relatively the same regarding consumers) means more and more brands will be forced to target niche audience for their desired results.

By appealing to a narrower range of demographics with a more specific topic, we’re bound to see more companies opting for more targeted, almost personal-level content and campaigns to stand out from the crowd.

3. Data Visualization Tools Will Greatly Expand

Marketers depend on data. That’s why we need quantitative information to tell us who’s buying what, when, why. But it doesn’t stop there. We need to know what messaging is most effective for them.

Now, technology is finally catching up to the “visualization” part of data analysis. And in 2017, every business is going to want to start using data visualization tools. The ones who fail to adapt will be left at a significant disadvantage for the year to come.

2017 Marketing Trends Conclusion

Attention spans have fallen to squirrel-like levels, and that’s a trend that will likely continue in the coming year.

The potentially infinite streams of content from almost every brand have forced us to filter out the majority of messages. We skim. We skip. We only read the headlines.

In response, more marketers are learning that dense, interactive content is key to breaking through the noise.

And when it comes to content that connects, there are no shortcuts. You either put in the work to attain the needed level of quality, or you miss out on the results.