As we approach the close of Q1 2017, predicted trends are growing in popularity or falling to the wayside. The following outlines what will shape the communications industry for the remainder of 2017 and beyond.

Relationships > Transactions
Two words: relationships matter. Whether it’s client contacts, editors, producers, industry influencers or the unknown resource you’ll meet at your next networking function, individuals are expecting a relationship vs. transaction mode of communication. Take care of those who take care of you, personalize your pitches and humanize your content. The days of cookie-cutter responses and robot-like interaction are over.

Real-time video
On the heels of Facebook Live and Periscope, Instagram launched live video in Q4 2016. Brands will continue to leverage live video’s influence, which will add to the more than 2.2 billion people currently leveraging social media channels around the world. In addition, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and interactive video content will make huge strides as brands learn to capture its selling potential.

Source integrity
Traditional and new media are under fire as the hot topics of “fake news” and citizen journalism continue to gain momentum. The result: journalists will be more stringent about fact checking and providing transparent sources. The age of being the first to report will be met with heightened cynicism, challenging reputable sources to “be right” vs. “be first” when reporting.

Data & measurement
As the worlds of content creation, SEO and real-time analytics continue to crash into one another, big data will be focused on where people are interacting with brands and industries. How so? GPS-activated apps will continue to push analytics to a new level along with mobile search tracking.

Pay to play
Algorithm changes to social media advertising platforms will continue to keep pros on their toes. As shareholders of Facebook continue to ask for returns, advertisers and marketers are on the hook to continue to provide sound counsel in regards to how to spend dollars wisely to reach their desired audience and create meaningful engagement.

The “Not-Com” generation
As brands continue to tailor content and product offerings, get ready for an online twist intriguing many online marketers. Already, “Not-Com” domain names are surging. New endings including “dot-business” (.business), “dot-marketing” (.marketing) and “dot-media” (.media) will help customize brands’ identities on the Internet.

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