The 2016 year brought online businesses and marketers plenty of information to think over. Now, it is time to revise the trends we predicted for 2016 and come up with the new predictions.
In 2016, we noticed the growth in the number of advertisers and they had to spend more to make their ads work. The use of the carousel ad format has indeed increased the relevance of the ads and helped businesses reach the target audiences. The mobile trend is also clear: 56.6% of Facebook active users are mobile-only users. They look at promotional images, read posts, and watch video ads.
So, what are Promodo experts expecting in 2017? Let’s find out!
Trend #1: The Number of Advertisers Grows
Nowadays, ads on social networks bring better results than TV campaigns, so marketers use social media more often. Check the image below, which shows that Facebook is leading the pack of social media by a long shot:
Other platforms include forums, SlideShare, social bookmarking, Geo-location, Snapchat, and Vine.
Note: In some industries, social media advertising still works effectively only when combining with other channels, especially TV advertising. 81% of marketers integrated their social media with other marketing activities in 2016.
Trend #2: More Users Go Mobile
Image source: Venture Beat
Since mobile ads are 84% of Facebook advertising revenue for the third quarter of 2016, it seems that the Company will pay closer attention to the mobile advertising options. For instance, designed helpful carousels in Facebook Mobile Newsfeed.
Image source: The Motley Fool.
So, more users will become mobile in the upcoming year. However, the rate of growth will slow down as compared with the previous few years.
Trend #3: The Effectiveness of Marketing Campaings Raises
The study shows: 46% of marketers agree that their efforts on Facebook are working. However, almost a third of respondents indicated that they were uncertain about the statement: “My Facebook marketing is effective.”
Recently, Facebook announced an update on metrics and reporting to help millions of their partners grow their businesses. The marketers will get more tools to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns: descriptive names, clarified calculations, more consistent definitions, and better categorization.
The platform is continuing to gain the trust of small businesses and aiming to make the life of marketers easier and more effective.
Note: In October, the Company uncovered a bug in Page insights that affected organic reach. It will be fixed in the nearest future. Meanwhile, they want to make the organic reach count based on viewable impressions.
Image source: Facebook.
Trend #4: The Role of Live Video Increases
The users watched 4 billion videos per day (!) in 2016. So, it is logical that 73% of marketers plan on increasing their use of videos in the year to come. Facebook now sees 100 million hours of daily video watch time. After launching a live video option, Facebook is ready to meet the needs of marketers who are planning to increase their live video activities.
Almost 50% of marketers plan on using live video services, including Facebook Live. Another 50% want to learn more about this option. So, live video becomes mainstream.
Another thing that Promodo experts noticed is that event participants love streaming live. We, too, made a live streaming during the Promodo Partners 2016 conference. And it is a must for e-commerce to create video content for their current and potential customers in 2017.
Trend #5: Facebook Will Be Used as a Search Engine More Often
With 2 billion searches per day of 2.5 trillion posts, Facebook becomes a great source of information about goods and services. Meanwhile, 75% of brands on Facebook promote their posts, so more users will engage with brands regularly.
In June, Facebook announced Deep Text, which is basically an Artificial Intelligence engine based on neural networks able to understand the meaning behind all the text posted to the platform.
“We want Deep Text to be used in categorizing content within Facebook to facilitate searching for it and also surfacing the right content to users,” Hussein Mehanna, an engineering director at Facebook’s machine learning team, told Quartz.
There is an ever-growing amount of information that people want to search through, so Facebook will put efforts in building the capacity to track and index all the information put on the platform. At the moment, some chat bots on Messenger are able to understand the simple things, like if someone needs a taxi. This is where we come to the next vital Facebook trend for 2017.
Trend #6: Chatbots Learn to Solve More Tasks
Facebook Messenger chatbots are becoming more advanced and helpful: check out these great examples of eCommerce bots featured by Forbes. They can initiate orders and make purchases, while the others provide informational support.
Facebook also makes instant games available on Messenger and News Feed. People don’t need to install new apps, they can play leaderboards and score-based games on Messenger. It looks like this possibility will be widely used by advertisers who employ gamification.
Today, it is still hard to find bots because many of them do not show up in search and perform poorly. As Digital Trends reports, there are about 30,000 chatbots built since the program first started in April 2016 and there are more to come.
Image source: Pocket-Lint.
Trend #7: Local Sellers and Buyers Get More Opportunities
Facebook made it easier for SMEs and customers to connect with each other. The idea was quite simple – to create a place online where people could sell and buy with ease. So, they introduced Marketplace in the early October 2016.
While the payment or delivery of items in Marketplace is not facilitated, users can post items for sale in just a few steps. The platform is up and running in four countries, with more to come in 2017. It’s going to expand in the near future, as it becomes foolproof for users.
Trend #8: Testing on Facebook Becomes Easier and Increases Efficiency of Advertising Campaigns
Split Testing has been available since October 22, 2016. Now, you can check advertising hypotheses by splitting audiences on a control and testing group. This functionality is available through API. You can automate audience division and see what works and what doesn’t. Facebook offers you to test audience types, ad placements, different ad creative, delivery optimization techniques, budget, and more variables.
Image credit: Facebook for Developers.
The obvious benefits of the split testing API are:
- Less time and effort on audience segmentation – the process is automated.
- No overlap between segments – the system checks whether the created audiences overlap or not.
- A wide variety of variables to test – it’s possible to pay attention to the aspect that is most important to you.
- Easy to run your test campaigns independently – no hassle of setting everything manually.
In 2017, companies are to improve their advertising strategies and optimize budgets, so they’ll employ split testing to understand what strategy is doing better as compared to others. Before starting your experiment ensure that you studied the test restrictions, defined KPIs, and scaled the results so that both test groups are comparable.
If you haven’t started advertising on Facebook, we highly recommend you to consider this idea. According to the Alexa Ranking, Facebook is stated to be the third world’s most visited websites. It is also known as the largest social network with more than 1.7 billion monthly active users and more than 1.1 billion daily, as the Company reports.
Facebook stays the most important social network for marketers by a long shot with 55% of industry professionals choosing this social media channel and it is likely to remain the leader at the end of 2017.
When some digital tools get popular and lots of advertisers face competition, it’s dangerous to ignore the future trends. The ability to learn more, get ready to use available instruments in a sufficient moment and way – all these factors influence success in advertising and, therefore, sales. So, employ the best tools to help your company reach its goals in 2017.