Live video, dark social, AR - Udit Bhambri’s key digital trends in 2017

Udit Bhambri, Head of VML India, lists the key trends that will be pursued by digital marketers in 2017 and how they are expected to impact the Digital and Social Media landscape in India in the year ahead. 

Following the 2016 path, 2017 will be highly Digital and Social Media driven. This gives us a whole set of great opportunities to work on in the digital marketing industry. Digital consumers being more and more visual driven and seeking for lively and immersive experiences, we can expect digital marketers to pursue the following trends in 2017. 

Growth of social video

The signs are that marketers plan to increase the amount they spend on social video advertising. Mobile is the major driver of investment as use of video in social media grows. A recent study found that two-thirds of US marketers regard social media platforms as the most important partners in any digital video campaign. 

Brands are increasingly taking a ‘broadcast’ approach to social media. They’re now more likely to choose a specific platform for their specific audience rather than attempting to entice shares and engagement across all social channels. 

Live video 

In 2016, we had witnessed a wide range of brands experimenting with live video. It has been proven that sharing and comment rates on live video are higher than for a standard video. To provide more immersive experiences to the users, we are expecting to see 360 live videos take off in 2017 as Facebook is enabling these options for all brands this year. 

The rise of Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality in creating branded experiences 

Virtual Reality (VR) is becoming a viable mainstream marketing tool, with global communications brands such as Facebook, Google and Samsung investing in VR platforms and headsets. The focus of VR activity is on creating experiences and emotional engagement. 

In the meanwhile, Augmented Reality (AR) is not a new technology, but as Pokémon Go took off in 2016, it has shown that users are ready for AR. There are a number of emerging opportunities in AR and some of the best examples of this have been around product trial and utility. 

Dark Social 

While web analytics programs provide great tools for marketers to measure their impact, 84 per cent of social sharing happens via dark social platforms such as email, copy-and-paste links in instant messaging apps and texting. 

However, 90 per cent of social marketing investment is on public platforms. This mismatch highlights an area of opportunity for marketers. 

Brands are still experimenting with ‘dark social’ platform as marketing channels – for example, Axe in Ecuador has used the conversational aspect of WhatsApp to good effect. Meanwhile, MTV India has sought to use ‘dark social’ as a research tool.


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