As a marketer, I sometimes feel that we ride a six-month wave of trends, fashions so to speak, that flare up and then pass away. And like fashions, being on the wrong side of a trend is being out of the loop. As marketers, we can’t ignore trends, no matter how passing they might be.
We have to pay attention to everything. Why? Trends can evolve and shape our marketing culture before we know it.
That said, here’s the 21 best marketing articles to read for 2017. I’ve pulled these blog posts from my personal marketing library to ensure that you don’t end up on the ugly (unknowing) side of marketing trends in the coming year.
#1 – Digital Marketing Trends 2016 – 2017
I’ll start us off by looking to the future. This lengthy SmartInsights post takes an in-depth look at the big-time digital marketing trends of 2017. Expect heaps of relevant data and well-reasoned predictions. This is a meaty, valuable way to start planning for next years trends.
#2 – 7 Big Brand Social Media Strategies for Small Businesses
Dara Fontein from Hootsuite uses seven prime examples to show readers exactly how to excel in the modern social media landscape. Covering all the relevant platforms, this read is a great resource for specific tactics and strategies for your business – of any size or shape.
#3 – The 23 Things to Consider When Creating Video Content
For storytelling in 2017 we turn to video. For emotional pull and engagement, nothing beats a moving picture, but video isn’t without challenges. Author Jodi Harris looks at the best practices around the video boom and how to maximize your campaign ROI.
#4 – How to Dominate Content Marketing with Machine Learning Tools
Amanda Chiu from JeffBullas.com breaks readers into one of the biggest marketing trends of 2017 – machine learning. The author introduces new technologies and how to use them as part of a extra-effective content marketing strategy. If you’ve not considered the ramifications of robots doing some of your work for you, this is a good place to start.
#5 – 28 of the Best Marketing Campaigns and Experiments of 2016 (and the People Behind Them)
Why not learn from the best, asks Courtney Seiter of Buffer. This listicle is a swipe file of aspiration marketing tactics, from clever social media plays to new trends in content marketing to why you need authentic live-video. This piece will give you lots of ideas, people to follow, and inspiration for your own campaigns.
#6 – 10 Free Online Marketing Tools Every Small Business Owner Needs
If you’re looking to improve your SEO in 2017 – for the price of on the house – look no further. Keyword research, content analysis, crawl tools, topic ideas, and other SEO handiness are available in this post. At the cost of a hand-out, this is awesome for small businesses on a shoestring looking to lace up for the big time.
#7 – Wake Up, SEOs – The New, New Google is Here
Using a fun Star Wars analogy throughout, Gianluca Fiorelli from MOZ provides an important exposé on the current state of the SEO galaxy. Proving a dose of history with a heap of useful analysis, the author takes the padawan SEO learner and even SEO Jedi Knights through an exhaustive and informative tour de force of the SEO skillset. Don’t miss this uncommonly valuable and easily-enjoyed read on a technical topic.
#8 – 50 Top Content Marketing Influencers to Follow
Content marketing won’t be going anywhere in 2017. That is, it won’t going anywhere but up. This TopRankBlog post provides a healthy serving of industry leaders to follow into the future of content marketing. Content marketing is predicted to get more visual in the coming year – but that shouldn’t stop you from reading this article and being well read in the coming year.
#9 – 9 Social Media Marketing Trends That Could Make or Break Your Business in 2017
Lee Odden starts by reminding us, “The most important thing about social media marketing isn’t always the tech. It’s the people.” He then proceeds to delve into how consumer usage will evolve and join with emergent tech trends in the coming year. Covering ideas such as social chat bots to dark social, Odden paints a vivid picture through how brands, users, and social platforms will interact best in 2017.
#10 – Creating the Right Marketing Mix
Moz mastermind Rand Fishkin wades through funnel challenges with readers (and viewers) during this Whiteboard Friday post. Fishkin presents tough questions about resources allocation and ROI, answering that data is most often the answer. Read this article and audit your marketing budget for 2017.
#11 – The 7 Essential Google Analytics Reports Every Marketer Must Know
Marketing is about trial, error, and knowing whether your efforts are translating into results. And we’re all keen to talk about how important data is, yet how many of us really know our ways around Google Analytics? Author Khalid Saleh makes sure marketers aren’t being data dilatantes with this revealing and important overview of crucial aspects of a sometimes challenging interface, even for the most experienced marketers. He covers content efficiencies, mobile reports, traffic reports, and more in this very digestible walk-through of Google Anayltics.
#12 – 12 Bad Habits That Are Making You Less Productive
I had to take some time about to talk about, well, you. Yes my dear reader, this post isn’t all about strategy and tactics for business. Referral SaaSquatch wants you to live a full, rewarding life that’s free of needless stress and wasted time. So dip your toes into this Hubspot article on how to be your best self – and work better for it.
#13 – Everything the Tech World Says About Marketing Is Wrong
The scathing Dan Lyons piece on startup culture is summarized by TC”s Samuel Scott in an incisive piece that fires a shot across the bow of the modern marketer. Keen to call out the buzzword fanaticism and debunk the phoniness that some marketers seem to thrive on. In a lucid, entertaining way the author rails against the ideas of content, inbound, and direct marketing as new and improving concepts we can scale and manipulate. His thoughts? Back to basics, a 2017 marketing trend to be sure.
#14 – How Facebook’s News Feed Works, As Explained By Facebook
Ever wonder what’s going on under that F-shaped digital hood ornament? Well, if you’re a true digital marketing mechanic you’ll appreciate knowing what’s driving the definitive social media engine of our age. Gather ye’ insights and profit!
#15 – 20 Social Media Tools & Tips From the Experts
Lisa Jenkins from Social Media Examiner collected a bundle of goodness for those eager to optimize all things social this year. Best practices for Facebook video, expanding your reach with Pinterest audience targeting, how to boost audio quality for podcast – this is just a taste of some fine-point advice for your digital marketing efforts in 2017.
#16 – Mobile Web vs Mobile Apps: Where Should You Invest Your Marketing
Mobile is a hot topic in the realm of digital marketing 2017. How to best effect a mobile strategy gets a going-over from Rand Fishkin of Moz as he covers where to shell out for mobile reach and optimization. He weighs customer retention and engagement against ROI and comes back with some valuable insights.
#17 – 4 Uncommon Ways to Nurture Leads with Personalization
Personalization will be increasingly relevant for digital marketers in 2017. Rohan Ayyar breaks down how your brand can take the initiative to provide user with a more enjoyable UX and repeatable brand experience.
#18 – How to Build Amazing Personalized Influencer Marketing Campaigns
How can you combine the powers of influencers with the powers of personalization? Well, start by reading this Search Engine Journal article by Anna Crowe. She looks at how your brand can effectively use customer-centric messaging across all channels to really amplify your influencer marketing strategies. Don’t miss this!
#19 – A Video Marketing Guide to Creating Epic Content on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and More
Video marketing is rockin’ in the social media world. Digital marketing in 2017 will see streaming video explode even more than last year, so Buffer takes a big picture look at how your brand can succeed in driving conversions, netting engagement, and boosting revenues through video this year.
#20 – 51 Referral Program Examples of 2016
When diving into referral marketing, it’s helpful to follow the leaders. This post showcases how leading brands exemplify the benefits of referral programs, providing readers with the key insights needed to drive referral revenues. Read here now for loads of proven strategies and winning tactics you can take home today.
#21 – How Google Analytics Ruined Marketing
Samuel Scott was on fire this year! The TechCrunch author brings us another marketing think piece that begs the question: where would we be with our numbers – and would it be better? Part indictment of digital culture, part history lesson, part call to action, this piece is for the marketer who wants to get back to marketing basics in 2017, in a creative way.
The Last Chapter
Whether or not you like English literature or follow fashion, overlooking marketing trends in 2017 could prove disastrous for your revenues. Fortunately, all you need to do is read to optimize your brand for conversions, engagement, and customer retention.
These 21 articles might have been a little too timely for Oscar Wilde, but they’ll serve us just fine. As we marketers look to the coming year, we expect to emphasize personalization, visual marketing, AI, and other recent trends while adding new chapters to the classic strategies.
Question is: will you use this information to create a brand worth reading into this year?