5. Get on board with Google’s AMP
In 2017 and beyond, more companies will take advantage of Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which, as the name suggests, loads mobile pages with lightning speed. Google likes to give users the best experience, so AMPs — because they deliver a positive user experience — are likely to be ranked more highly in search results, according to Nathan Barber, a digital analyst from marketing agency daWorks.
“AMPs are still in their infancy, without many companies getting on board yet with their mobile websites,” Barber explains. Right now, AMPs aren’t that flexible. Visitors are taken from mobile search results to a specific AMP from your website, without being able to explore other areas of your site. The content on an AMP is “currently stripped down to a simplistic manner, inhibiting conversions or revenue earning,” he says. “That’s going to change soon as AMP’s open source will enable developers to create ecommerce plugins that will increase conversions for websites that sell goods and services.”
Barber recommends “getting on board as quickly as possible” with AMPs, so that you can “reap more benefits than your competitors. Visitors will enjoy their experience on your website from their phone, which will send strong signals to Google that you should be ranking higher,” he adds.
“AMP is a must for mobile marketing of content in 2017,” adds Yulia Khansvyarova, head of digital marketing for SEMrush, which provides online tools for search marketers. Major media organizations have seen positive results from implementing AMP, with the Washington Post increasing returning user visits by 23 percent and Wired magazine increasing click-through rates by 25 percent, Khansvyarova says.
6. Adapt to augmented reality
Though virtual reality (VR) is a hot topic among marketers, it is a niche technology for “niche customers,” says Nicholas Kinports, executive vice president of strategy for NOTICE, a social content agency. A better bet, at least in the near future, is augmented reality (AR).
“Google didn't quite get it right with Glass,” Kinports explains. “But Snapchat, Apple, Microsoft, and many more are building an impressive portfolio of second-generation AR technologies aimed at disrupting the way we experience reality.”
Soon, we won’t need our smartphones to experience AR, Kinports believes. “We’ll also watch as flexible OLED and next-gen screens get plastered on everything. You won't need augmented reality contact lenses to find surfaces bursting with light and color. You can already find this tech popping up all over Asia, and it’s only a matter of time before we see it in the world's most lucrative advertising markets.”
What should digital marketers do to prepare? “Much like the shift from desktop design to mobile versioning to responsive design to mobile-only design, marketing professionals will need to quickly shift to understanding how creating for 3-D AR and screened devices like store windows and walls will impact the customer journey,” says Kinports.
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