Capturing new and existing customers, or users, to your business is by far one of the most important things you can do. Sure you can have a rockstar sales team and your roadmap looks incredibly solid for 2017. However, if you pay low attention to marketing in your efforts of growing your business, then you might want to enjoy the last few good years you may have as a business.

From product or experience reviews, email newsletters, live content, and influencers, customers are now finding what they want before they even walk in the door. EVEN as a vape shop owner, dispensary, smoke shop, product manufacturer… and the list goes on – you have an opportunity right now to capture over 24 hours a week of user engagement from their online activity. That was never possible before, especially in any niche specific industry.

Here is what I believe the year will produce, as well as what should be stripped away to increase success in 2017 marketing efforts for your business.

5 Digital Skills That Will Crush in 2017

SEO
Three words – Organic Search Results. Did you know that close to half of the customers will find your company through online search alone? If you can land yourself on page 1, you are in the power seat.

SEO will shift constantly and if you are going to jump into the digital marketing ring, having an expert in the field will come in handy!

Video/Live Content
As sad as it has me to admit, many are saying there will be a change in what once was a teaming up for a partnership (or “collab”) to be more of a straight transaction, and I kind of agree.

Ask anyone what is killing it right now and the response will be video. Whether it is real-time streaming, which by the way – so powerful if done correctly, to creative video content which is trending to be very successful content right now. It started with platforms like Periscope, UStream, and Snapchat to where now Instagram and Facebook Live are charging full speed ahead.

My advice, make 2017 about engaging customers through live or curated video content.

Optimize for Mobile
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the future is mobile.

There’s an increasing amount of internet traffic that drives from mobile devices, tablets, and laptops over desktops. It’s just getting smaller and smaller folks! 2017 will show us a shift in advertising, where content and overall online experience should be tailored to the mobile user. Audit your digital footprint now and do NOT miss out on this opportunity.

Just be sure when you are “optimizing” mobile, that you remember this is also about the user that’s on-the-go, so throw some lifestyle into it too.

Influencer Marketing
This year, teaming up with the right influencers with the perfect social media event will increase credibility. Bottom line, when influencers work with brands, it should be because they genuinely believe in them, and are authentic when promoting it to their audience.

There will be large upside in the value of a likable public personality where they promote your product or service because they themselves are a fan.

It’s on the rise, put it on your 2017 radar and start reaching out.

Social Media
I am not talking about social media advertising. That’s already a thing. When I speak to social, I am talking engagement. The amount of authority yielded from sharing on social media should dictate more strategic thought in every piece of content you publish.

Algorithms are adopting new approaches to the user experience. That means the discussion around engagement should be at an all-time high right now within your enterprise. Tailor your strategy and budget in content creation to have shareability in mind and you’ll be two steps ahead of your competition.

Now then…

Rewind the clock to over 50 years ago when brick and mortar or ground-up family businesses succeeded mostly by word-of-mouth from the quality products or services they produced. Truth is, this is still how you succeed. There’s really only been a huge shift in the last 10 years that really has set the pace for the current state of business and brand awareness.

It is really important to have information and knowledge about your brand or company readily available, and quite literally, in customer’s faces any chance it can be. As a matter of fact, while algorithms change quite often, you can expect at the current rate, new systems, or process, every 6 months.

What does that mean?

It means, just like there are areas of focus to push up 2017, there are areas you should un-focus on. Some of the ones I consider on their way out are;

3 Efforts to Decrease or Get Rid of in 2017

Banner Ads
This excludes social media ads. When speaking to banner ads, it’s that leaderboard, header images and side-column runners that just need to go!

Why? Well, because unless they are behavioral, they are not targeted well, and if they are not targeted well, they just will not land where you want them to in terms of ROI. There’s an emergent market out there for brands that have engagement built into their media kits that offer more relevant and targeted activity spread over their entire website or mobile app. My take on it is, the days of the “homepage” are fading steadily.

Stock Imagery
There really is no shortage of decent photo and video equipment out there that produce great quality content. All you have to do is look.

Promote your company well by personalizing image and video content and improve the result by increasings engagement and conversion rates. Lose the stock photos because they are disingenuous and really do not allow customers to share a commonality with your brand.

“Cover ALL Bases” Mentality
Make 2017 the year that you stop creating social media and blog accounts for every single app or website, or both, out there. Oh and if you already have done this, delete the ones that aren’t useful.

Identify the personas that you are marketing to and engage where the most impact and value will be delivered to your consumer base. It’s really that simple. Sure you can find some way to generate content on every platform, but isn’t it a waste of money if your campaigns turnover poor engagement?

Alright, let’s wrap up…

In this world, engagement is king and the ability to curate organic content puts you in the front running for influence, impact and overall visibility. Otherwise, you fall out of the race for “influence”. The influence to motivate the customer to buy your product without them ever even stepping foot onto the property.

Doesn’t that sound nice? A customer that knows what they want when they come in the door or maybe visit your website? This idea isn’t as crazy as it sounds and the way to go about it, the consumer landscape, has truly evolved.

People are not turning to print media for their news with a sprinkle of advertising anymore, or glued to the television for two or more hours to what used to be considered “prime time”. These days, you’d be lucky if they looked up from their mobile device when walking down the street or look around while waiting at a bus stop. Your customers are mobile, technologically savvy and want the fastest route to obtaining what they want. So how do you capture their eyeballs, and how do you do it in 2017?

By making moves toward the future and trying a few risky ideas every now and then. Compared to 10 years ago, people are twice as much exposed to digital media through their online interactions. Time to capitalize on that. SVBS

John Bailey is the Content Marketing Manager for Davinci Vaporizer.  John  brings a wealth of knowledge in many facets of marketing and branding experience to the industry. John loves health and fitness, Doctor Who, dark scotch, hiking, and photography.  Contact him at (512) 954-4630 or email [email protected] or visit www.davincivaporizer.com/affiliate.