Spring 2017: What’s New in Digital Marketing?

How has the digital marketing space changed so far in 2017? As spring comes to a close, we are looking back at the first half of the year to reflect on recent digital marketing trends and see what the next six months have in store.

  1. The Fight Over Video

Top social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat have all experimented with displaying video in innovative ways.

Facebook recently introduced a larger vertical video format to its mobile video platform. The company tested different video sizes and discovered that vertical video ads lead to an incremental increase in brand lift and ad recall. Users may have noticed that Facebook has also begun testing “mid-roll ads,” which begin playing after users have watched a portion of a video. However, Facebook is not alone in its quest for video dominance.

In March, Twitter opened up its API to allow publishers to stream live video directly to Twitter. Before the update, content publishers had to have a deal with Twitter to live stream events or post content through Periscope, Twitter’s live streaming app. The ease that a direct link to live streaming capabilities brings could increase the number of hours that users post live content to Twitter.

In 2017, Snapchat has taken a different approach to optimizing its video content. The photo-sharing app has launched more than a dozen mobile partnerships in an attempt to reach millennials who are cutting the cord. While Facebook and Twitter are exploring digital ads and live streaming, they have not been able to obtain the same sorts of exclusive video deals that Snapchat has been snapping up.

  1. Instagram Stories Propel Platform to New Heights

In April, Instagram announced that it had grown to more than 700 million monthly active users and had increased by 16 percent in just four months. This announcement came shortly after Instagram Stories, which was created to capture some of Snapchat’s users, surpassed Snapchat’s total audience in daily average users.

Instagram recently hopped on the analytics train and introduced Stories insights for business profiles. Users can now see reach, impressions, replies, and exits for the content they post to their stories. Businesses can also now run full-screen ads in Instagram Stories.

  1. Google Continues Digital Dominance

Although popular social media channels are making strides to entice advertisers to use their platforms, Google’s advertising platform continues to blow away all other digital ad outlets. According to eMarketer, Google controls around 40 percent of the U.S. digital ad market. That’s more than double Facebook’s 19.7 percent share.

The gap narrows significantly when looking at the mobile ad market. Google is predicted to account for 32.4 percent of all mobile spend, and Facebook will generate 24.6 percent of mobile dollars. In April, a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers found that mobile ad revenue had overtaken desktop spending for the first time ever in 2016. It was also the first year that digital advertising had passed TV ad spending altogether.

In the coming months of 2017, expect to see a greater emphasis on sponsored video content when scrolling through your news feeds, timelines, and stories. And, with Instagram’s impressive growth, don’t be surprised to get a follow request from your hip grandma.