If there’s one thing to include in your New Year’s Resolution, it should be a strong marketing campaign. The sooner you can get it all planned out the better. 2016 has been a big year for brands reaping the rewards of latching onto digital trends, and that’s only set to get bigger as everybody fights for their place in the online market.

From exciting new Instagram features to virtual reality and video, here are some things you might want to consider in your marketing campaign.

Content is (still) king

king's crown

In 1996 Bill Gates famously declared ‘Content is King’. 20 years on, that still rings true, even if the kingdom looks remarkably different.

To stay in the game, you need to keep the content machine rolling and keep your customers happy. The way people are consuming their digital content is ever changing, and it’s vital to filter the news trends into your marketing strategy.

One thing we’re witnessing a steep rise in is temporary or ephemeral content. In a digital world where everything lasts forever, many brands have found success in snatching it away – appealing to millennial’s FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

Take Snapchat as a prime case study. Snaps last as long as you want them to, while Snapchat ‘stories’ are deleted after 24 hours. Earlier this year, Instagram launched their own version – Instagram Stories. Which brings us onto our next point…

If you’re not using Instagram yet, you need to be

2017 will be the year Instagram elevates from the Facebook alternative where you post your arty photos to a genuine powerhouse for publishers and brands.

Lifestyle companies have been giving financial credibility to the term ‘Instafamous’ for a while now, paying those with thousands of followers to promote their products. Known as influencer marketing, having a celebrity on board to persuade customers to use your brand has never been easier. The changing face of celebrity has led to the growth of bloggers with a large following, which means this is only going to get bigger next year.

Influencer marketing is fantastic for brand awareness, but isn’t likely to result in cold hard clicks to your site right away.

Here’s the 2017 game changer: Instagram recently allowed verified accounts to post links outs on their stories. Forget posting ‘link in bio’ – now you can direct users directly to your site from the app. Just remember you have to be verified to use this feature.

Early tests suggest the average click through rate (CTR) on posts is higher than that of Facebook – somewhere between 5% and 12% – which is great news for your company’s account.

Social video is really important

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Video certainly isn’t anything new, and nor is social media. But 2016 has undisputedly been the year of social video, but it’s going to continue to dominate 2017 too.

Worldwide IT giants Cisco think traffic from online videos will make up 80% of consumer Internet traffic by 2020, which means you don’t want to get left behind when incorporating this into next year’s strategy.

You should have multiple platforms in mind, with YouTube, Twitter and of course Instagram all being important. But Facebook is where you should be focusing the majority of your video efforts next year.

A great deal has already been written about Facebook video, but all you need to know is that they are great for the reach of your page and easier to distribute than a YouTube link because they appear right in your audience’s newsfeed.

Whether you shoot it with a professional production company or just on your iPhone, video in 2017 is a must.

Go niche wherever possible

This means really understanding your target audience and giving them want they want time and time again.

If you haven’t already, make sure you’ve identified your ideal customer profiles – the kind of people who buy your product or use your services. Understanding what makes them tick is imperative to the success of your future marketing expeditions.

Finding a way to tick all of their boxes is always going to drive more sales than a one-size-fits-all approach. Once you’ve discovered what works, incorporate it into your campaign for 2017.

Virtual Reality and AI

This doesn’t necessarily have to mean strapping on expensive goggles and entering another dimension, but simply fusing together the real and the virtual.

The most prominent example from this year has been Pokemon Go, which managed more than 100 million downloads. That certainly suggests there’s a consumer appetite for a real life meets imaginary model.

We’re still in the very early stages of virtual reality, so it’s unrealistic to have a solid framework in place for next year’s marketing strategy. With that in mind, anything you can use to get ahead of the competition would give you a serious advantage.