December is the time of year when every strategist should be taking a step away from the day-to-day and giving a good hard look at the past year’s performance. After all, if you’re not paying attention to what has worked (or hasn’t worked) over the past 12 months, how are you going to know what to adjust in the months to come?

For 2017, here are 17 trends you should be paying attention to:

1. Interactive Content
There’s content you can read, and then there’s content you can interact with. The second variety tends to be more popular. For example, BuzzFeed’stbvxwqvqdqrqdrafwyrvtdqcrzqtbbcdf “Which City Should You Live In?” quiz has been one of their home-run pieces. Think of ways to get readers to actively participate instead of passively consume. Interactive content can include assessments (such as the classic Cosmo Quiz setup), polls, surveys, infographics, brackets and contests.

2. Influencer Marketing
What’s more effective than an ad in selling your product? A lovable social media personality speaking highly about your product to his or her fans and followers. Influencer marketing is on the rise, because people tend to trust recommendations from people they see as thought leaders. The right influencers establish credibility through each social media post or advertisement. When they work with brands, it’s because they genuinely believe in them, and that trust is passed on to consumers.

3. Mobile Video
Have you looked at your Facebook feed recently? Chances are that 95% of it is video. And here’s a fun stat: mobile video views grew six times faster than desktop views in 2015. In fact, in Q4 of 2015, mobile video views exceeded desktop views for the first time ever. We now live in an age of mobile video, and it’s time we embraced it.

4. Livestreaming
Although we’re still working out the kinks of this technology, it’s clear that livestreaming will continue to push the boundaries. A big step in this direction was Instagram’s integration of a livestream option into its Stories feature. We’re going to see a lot more live broadcasts in 2017.

5. Chatbots
“When you think of chatbots, you probably think of an annoying popup on a website that looks like it was built in the mid ’90s,” says Adam Toren, founder of Young Entrepreneur and BizWarriors, a forum for entrepreneurs. He explains that chatbot technology has become much more sophisticated. A great example is the behemoth Facebook, which invests a significant amount of resources into bot programs that provide users with news updates, personalized responses and more. Are you talking to a human or a bot? If you can’t tell, then the bot is working as intended.

6. Virtual and augmented reality
One of 2016’s biggest highlights was watching a screen-afflicted population carry their mobile devices out into the world to catch, yes, Pokemon. The biggest takeaway from this phenomenon was augmented reality’s ability to drive real business results. This has become a seriously viable option for marketers looking to bring the online into the real world.

7. Short-lived content
What gives Snapchat its appeal? The fact that the content disappears. Snapchat’s rampant rise in popularity did a lot more for the world of social media than just give users another platform to choose from. It showed the value of disappearing or short-lived content. This is a key attraction for Generation Z, the cohort famous for having an eight-second attention span, and is why you should be integrating short-lived content into your content strategy.

8. Mobile First Strategy
The future is mobile. Internet traffic is now coming more from mobile devices than desktops. If you’re not catering your content, ads and online experience to a mobile user, then you are missing a massive opportunity. And remember: It’s not just about “optimizing” for mobile; it’s also about making sure that piece of content gets integrated with a user’s lifestyle on the go. ...

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