Digital Marketers: Precursor to 2018

2017 was a busy year for marketers. Amidst a flurry of launches and updates, it’s pretty human to miss out on a couple of important stories and insights. Well, who said a marketer’s life is easy? No one! Trust us, we know it and which is why we prepared the list #Before2017Ends – Precursor to 2018. All the important insights from 2017 at one place.

1. Advertisers spent more on digital than TV

It finally happened this year. Digital ad spending in 2017 hit $209 billion across the globe (41% of the market ) whereas ad spend on TV  stood at $178 billion.  

2.The rise and rise of voice searches & digital assistants 

  • Google says 20% of mobile queries are voice searches.
  • The Amazon Echo has been a success story in 2017. eMarketer predicted that 70% of Americans who use a smart speaker in 2017 will interact with an Echo. This was hammered home when Amazon’s Echo Dot home voice assistant became the company’s best-selling item across its entire product catalog during the Black Friday holiday shopping weekend.
  • Google and Walmart partnering as a result shoppers can shop at using voice commands via Google voice-enabled technology and Unilever to use Amazon’s Alexa platform – are two important news that show how voice search will impact ( big time!) marketers and consumers. 
  • Here’s an interesting read on the rise of digital assistants and what it means for users and marketers. 

3. The most retweeted tweet of all time isn’t celebrity owned

Instead it’s a cry from a highschooler asking from Wendy’s for a year’s supply of free nuggets. 

4. Simplicity pays for brands; Aldi tops the brand simplicity index 2017 

Read the full list of brands that made it to this year’s list here

5. The year of snackable & viral videos ( online & TV ) 

  • After the success of 6 seconds online ads ( launched by YouTube), Fox TV replicated the ad format during the NFL games. This was the first time for a TV network to air a 6 seconds TV ad.
  • Facebook will start running 6 seconds pre roll ads on its Watch video hub from 2018. 
  • The most viral posts on Facebook were videos. Only three of the top 20 posts were not videos. The most popular topics were:• Practical hacks (5 of the top 10 posts were practical tips)• Awesome and inspiring content• Food and recipes (5 of the top 25 posts were food posts)• Cute animals• Music videos
  • The most viral video on Facebook Watch is “Bae or Bail”: “Funeral Prank,” garnering 22.2 million views ( as per the data compiled on Sept 5) 

6. The glory of SEO still intact 

  • SEMrush had some interesting findings with relation to keywords. Read more on SEO Ranking Factors in 2017: What’s Important and What’s Not.

35 percent of domains ranking for high-volume keywords don’t have the keyword in the title. This suggests that Google’s algorithms are getting better at understanding context/synonyms, and/or that keywords in the page title are becoming a less important ranking factor.Very few links contain a keyword in the anchor text — in fact, even among Very High volume keywords, only 8 percent of link anchors included a keyword. This may suggest that keywords in anchor text are not a major ranking factor, but it also might be a reflection of SEOs adhering more strictly to link-building best practices that see anchor text links as spammy.

  • Local SEOs are all about the links these days. As per the 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, Google is still leaning heavily on links as a primary measure of a business’ authority and prominence, and the local search practitioners that invest time and resources to secure quality links for their clients are reaping the ranking rewards. You can read the full study here
  • Google’s mobile-first search index rolled out to a handful of sites.

7. Google and Facebook duopoly in the online ad space 

  • Google and Facebook, taken together, account for about 63% of US digital ad revenues this year, according to emarketer. Also, in the developing markets their control on the online ad landscape remains unchallenged. 
  • Many are of the opinion that Amazon can become the third player in the digital ad landscape. One of the reasons can be Amazon’s ever rising popularity as the primary shopping search engine for consumers (the April 2017 Forrester study found that 31% of US shoppers started their shopping research on Amazon).

8. Marketers talked a lot about brand safety & transparency 

  • In March this year 250 brands including HSBC, The Guardian, and P&G pulled out their YouTube campaigns after their ads ran next to questionable content on the video platform. Although most of the brands that stopped the campaigns from YouTube were back on the platform within a few months
  • P&G cut up to $140 mllion in digital ad spending over brand safety. Chase cut the number of sites it advertises on from 400,000 to 5,000. 
  • Basically who’s responsible for brand safety? Brands, agencies, vendors or publishers? A survey by Digiday+ found that brands think it’s their responsibility to ensure brand safety. 
  • How marketers are trying to tackle the issue?  
  • Facebook rolled out brand safety tools that let advertisers see where their ads are likely to appear prior to a campaign’s launch.
  • Here’s the timeline of Google’s ongoing efforts to address brand safety on YouTube.

9. Influencer Marketing: Celebrity Endorsements Or More? 

  • Users doubt celebrity accounts (with millions of followers) selling products and brands are slowly realising it. According to thisreport, 80% of the top 15 beauty brand collaborations were co-ventures with influencers and not celebrities. 
  • The sales for L’oreal ‘s Pure Clay Mask increased 51% after the cosmetics brand deployed everyday influencers on Snapchat to promote the product.  
  • This study found that posts shared by Tier 1 celebrities (who have more than 7 millions followers) generate a lot less organic engagement.
  • Another study found that micro influencers with 30,000 or fewer followers are 6.7X more efficient per engagement than celebrities with millions of followers.
  • Instagram’s influencer market is worth $1 billion. However, this researchshows how easy it’s to create fake accounts and buy followers and fetch paid brand deals. 
  • To bring in more transparency, Instagram shuts down third-party sites and apps that users deploy to generate fake comments and likes.
  • Amazon gets into the influencer marketing landscape. 
  • FTC issued notices to top celebrities like  Naomi Campbell, Heidi Klum, and Victoria Beckham over product posts on their Instagram accounts without clearly mentioning their relationships with brands. 

10. Mobile’s transition from a marketing channel to becoming a key part of our lives

  • According to James McDonald, Data Editor, WARC “Daily mobile time has more than doubled over the last five years – from 1hr 17mins in 2012 to 3hrs 2mins in 2017.
  • So, how are users spending their mobile time? In app. This report by emarketer predicted that app time will make up nearly 20% of total media time this year. The users spend their app time conducting activities that include listening to digital audio, social networking, gaming, video viewing and messaging.
  • It was also the year of fake apps. One of the most (un) popular stories to hit the headlines was that of a fake Android app disguised as an update to WhatsApp being downloaded over million times from the Google Play Store.