January always sees a lot of articles predicting trends for the coming year.

This article at forbes.com is one of the most comprehensive round-ups we’ve found of 2017 trends. Here we look at the top 5 of these predictions and see how applicable they are to marketers in regulated businesses.

  1. INTERACTIVE CONTENT

Content you can interact with, rather than just read, tends to be more successful. The Forbes article suggests that you ‘Think of ways to get readers to actively participate instead of passively consume’.

While this may seem to fit better with consumer content, there are ways you can harness this trend. Polls, short surveys, infographics where readers can click for more detail on a topic – all of these work well in a B2B environment. Just remember to stay compliant – even Twitter polls need sign off from your Compliance team if you want to stay within FCA guidelines.

  1. INFLUENCER MARKETING

The article rightly claims that this approach ‘is on the rise, because people tend to trust recommendations from people they see as thought leaders’. This is definitely something that you can make use of.

Read these blogs on What is influencer marketing and can financial services marketers use it and 7 ways regulated firms can benefit from influencer marketing for more on how you can adopt this strategy while remaining compliant.

  1. MOBILE VIDEO

This is the number three trend in the article, and may be one that seems less applicable to B2B. But mobile web use continues to grow exponentially, and the article states that mobile video views grew six times faster than desktop views in 2015.

Something worth exploring then. And there are plenty of ways regulated businesses can use video – think about interviewing your consultants or fee-earners about newsworthy topics. Or present the findings of client research as an animation. How about an infographic run-through of your latest intellectual capital?

As for the mobile aspect, ensuring your videos (and your whole website) are mobile-compatible is a no-brainer. How mobile-friendly is your website? has lots of tips to help. And because Google ranks mobile-friendly sites higher, you’re not just doing your site visitors a favour, you’re helping your SEO too.

  1. LIVESTREAMING

Livestreaming is the fourth trend identified in the Forbes piece. Instagram now has a livestream option, and this is an area that’s predicted to grow.

As with video, the applicability to B2B or financial services may seem less clear – but there are ways you can opt into this trend. How about up-to-the-minute commentary on news items – like the Budget?

Just don’t forget that social media is seen as a ‘non-real time’ financial promotion by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means it needs exactly the same compliance rigour as any material you print or publish. Remind yourself of the FCA’s social media requirements by reading 10 dos and don’ts for FCA-compliant Twitter.

  1. CHATBOTS

Again, you may read this and think ‘not for us!’, but the increase in – and increasing sophistication of – chatbots (automated responses and content posters) is the fifth big trend noted in the article.

And never say never. The regulator has nailed its colours to the mast in support of innovation, with its new Advice Unit for firms investing in automation and events like this one exploring robo-advice.

Bear in mind the rules on financial promotions compliance, as with livestreaming. With the FCA’s recent announcement that it plans to make advisers record phone calls it doesn’t sound as if they will be easing off on real time promotions regulation any time soon.

At first glance, some of these innovations may seem a million miles away from the activity you’re currently doing. But think back a few years – regulated corporates with social media accounts might have seemed unlikely. The world moves fast, and nowhere more than in marketing. Keeping on top of the latest trends – in a fully compliant way, of course! – will keep you a step ahead of the crowd.

Whatever approach you take to marketing in 2017, staying on the right side of the FCA is essential to avoid fines, unwanted publicity and worse.

Source: Perivan Technology

If you are unsure how your activities fit within the rules, please take advantage of our financial promotion Bespoke Advert Review service.

Contact us, and find out how we can help.

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