Home Business Intelligence Q1 2017 Content Marketing and Advertising Trends

Q1 2017 Content Marketing and Advertising Trends


Our Photonic Public Relations team has carefully been analyzing trends in Strategic Marketing, Business Consulting, Video Marketing and Social Media Marketing over the course of 2017 in order to identify the best tactics to help businesses utilize emerging mediums, trends and platforms.

After a lookback, the prevalent themes from the first quarter are centred around world events and crisis management. From American President Donald Trump to Super Bowl advertisements, we’ve broken down the most impactful stories from the first quarter that affect us as marketing and public relations professionals.

Q1 2017 Content Marketing and Advertising Trends:

February 3

Effective Sponsorship in the World of Esports

Cineplex’s Partners with Esports Tournaments

Major Soccer Brands get Involved with Esports Teams

February 6

As previously mentioned, it was a big night for brands. Here is one of our favourite advertisements from the Super Bowl:


It was also a big night for Lady Gaga who performed in the Super Bowl halftime show. The show went off exactly as planned with no malfunctions as seen in some previous performances. She was the sole star of her performance, with no cameos or co-stars as is typical with many halftime shows.

Unlike many brand advertisements during the game, Gaga’s performance was uncontroversial with no political statements being made at all. Though not explicitly stated by the NFL, it is assumed that event organizers asked Gaga to keep the performance light with political messaging.  Instead she opened with her rendition of “This Land is Our Land” and transitioned into a medley of her greatest hits with the undertone of freedom and acceptance in all forms. While the exact production value is unknown, it is safe to assume this glitter filled performance had a high budget.

February 14

Edelman recently released a Canadian version of the 2017 trust barometer, a must-read for marketers and public affairs pros:

The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, What It Means for Communicators and Marketers

Valentine’s Day 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day! Love is definitely in the air. Here is some of our favourite Valentine’s themed content from around the Internet:

W.E. Can Lead’s Campaign: Win a Date with Idris Elba

Burger King (France): Valentine’s Day Cup

Snickers Interactive “Forgetful” Campaign Shown In London’s Waterloo

How to Find Love in Victoria, BC

will you be my valentine? ❤⚘

A post shared by DOGS (@dogs.lovers) on

February 20

Following the success of 2016’s Discover Tectoria event, organizers have made the decision to host this event every year in February. Discover Tectoria is a one day exposition, that provides an opportunity for more than 70 Victoria tech firms, to connect with the public.

The exposition features tradeshows, video game lounges where companies can show off their innovation, featured speakers, as well as “Startup Alley”, a showcase of what Victoria’s tech future may look like.


Discover Tectoria takes place just weeks after the Victoria Airport’s new “Tectoria Innovation Station” was announced.

February 24

Facebook starts adding Jobs competing with LinkedIn

Facebook is starting a new offer to compete with LinkedIn’s value offering: jobs. It’s very new, however with the Facebook for Work platform, and over 60 Million Business Pages the potential is difficult to ignore.   

Google provides a new tools to fight online trolls

Google has released a new API, designed to automatically detect harassment, insults and abusive speech online. Providing open access to all developers to this new code, 2017 may see better protection for web users on multiple platforms against trolls and hate speech.

The Edelman Trust Barometer shows Canadians have the lowest trust in years.  

Edelman has released their annual trust barometer, showcasing a dramatic fall in the Canadian population’s trust towards four main institutions. With the BC Election just starting up, it will be important to keep this in mind over the coming months.

March 3

Emotional Intelligence in Marketing

At Photonic PR, we are experts at connecting research and actionable marketing. Right now, businesses in every market segment and vertical are facing challenges due to increased competition.

The main reason many businesses fall behind is because they don’t understand their customers — what can be referred to as emotional intelligence in marketing. In fact, only one in three consumers believe their favourite brands truly understands them and only 35% think the emails or messages they receive are providing relevant and useful content.

25 Ways To Increase Sales Online

Many B2C companies are focusing their marketing efforts on e-commerce due to the rising popularity of online sales — an increase of 15% last year. As consumers’ expectations change, so should your methods to advertise to them. One example is Facebook advertisements, which are a strategic way to find new customers with Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences.

Social Brand Identity: What You Need to Know in 2017

Why is it that despite companies’ unprecedented access to potential customers, many brands are failing to connect with their audience? The answer is that marketers and companies alike are failing to understand the concept of social branding. Businesses run ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Reddit without having an understanding of who is their ideal customer and how to establish trust with them. Here’s our tips on how to create a successful social brand identity in 2017.

March 6

Photonic will be attending the annual BC Tech Summit taking place next week on March 14 – 16. The Summit is an event which offers an opportunity for British Columbia tech companies to showcase their product or service, as well as to connect with other like minded individuals.

The BC Tech Summit will also feature many Seattle based technology companies, largely in part to the proposed tech corridor between Seattle and Vancouver. This corridor has received support from both the province and the state of Washington, as well as individuals such as Bill Gates. The proposed corridor would allow for increased innovation and lead to free flowing innovation.

With technology startups in Victoria being valued at more than $4 Billion, local companies will also make a strong showing at the BC Tech Summit. With more than 900 companies employing 22,000 people, Victoria is definitely a rising tech city. While not a central component of the proposed “Cascadia Corridor”, Victoria’s need for talent will certainly benefit from increased partnership in the Pacific Northwest innovation economy.

Photonic PR has a history of partnering with tech startups including Victoria based company, Craftt, to achieve their marketing goals.

March 10

Customer experience (CX) is defined as the product of interactions between a customer and a company throughout the duration of a relationship. CX is an essential business process currently, as many touch points in the omni-channel experience are incredibly valuable for marketers today.

If a customer has a positive experience when dealing with a company, they are much more likely to talk to others about this experience. The concept of a positively shared customer experience is even more important in terms of a digital CX today with the may options available on digital platforms to leave ratings and reviews for products and services. More importantly, today, a customer can condemn or evangelize a brand in seconds. It is worth remembering, a reputation can be built-up over many years, but it can be destroyed in a mere second. Thus, the value of developing a strategy for customer experience across all the touch points of your brand – from digital, to print, to radio and tv – a brand can ensure a consisently premiere brand reputation both online and off.

So, how can you develop a CX plan that will benefit your company?

The answer is simple. Brands need to implement CX into every aspect of their company from the top, all the way down. By making CX a priority company wide, it becomes ingrained into the corporate culture, ensuring that all employees focus on putting the customer first. By doing this, your reputation as a brand will increase and you will be sure to see the benefits.

March 13

Photonic Public Relations Inc. is excited to announce our attendance at the BC Tech Summit March 14-15 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The event is expected to attract over 5,000 attendees with its displays of excellence in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

This years Tech Summit is particularly notable following British Columbia and Washington State’s announcement of a planned “Cascadia Technology Corridor”, that will see increased cooperation between technology hubs in the Pacific Northwest. Not to be outdone by the larger cities, Victoria based startups  will also have a strong showing at BC Tech. With more than 900 companies employing 22,000 people, Victoria is definitely a rising tech city. While not a central component of the proposed “Cascadia Corridor”, Victoria’s need for talent will certainly benefit from increased partnership in the Pacific Northwest innovation economy.

We will be meeting with and live-tweeting major speakers at the Summit to note if they touch upon the subject of future Canadian investments or partnerships.

We look forward to the event to meet the people behind ambitious tech companies and startups and to share the stories about British Columbia’s indefatigable technology sector. To find out more about Photonic’s role at the BC Tech Conference, you can read our press release here.

March 17

This week’s BC Tech Summit featured several exciting announcements for the provinces growing tech industry. On Tuesday, Premier Christy Clark announced that BC will be revamping its current tech strategy, and better showcasing the province as a worldwide technology hub.

The plan is based upon four major pillars:

  • Talent – Increasing the number of BC Tech grads by 1000 per year by 2022 while expanding work related learning in existing programs (co-ops and internships)
  • Capital – Pursuing federal funding under recently announced clusters initiative, as well as expanding the Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (IDMTC) and Small Business Venture Capital Tax Credit
  • Markets – Selling to the federal and provincial government in addition to opening up new trade avenues with American companies
  • Data – Creating a Centre for Data-Driven Innovation (CDDI) in B.C.

BC will also become the first province or state in North America to require programming education in K – 12 schools. In addition, BC will also be expanding a tax credit for AR/VR Tech firms, to help fuel this growing industry beyond the entertainment market within the province.


Overall, the BC Tech Summit was a great success, and we look forward to seeing the continued growth of the tech summit in the province.

March 20

As search engine algorithms improve, they become increasingly focused on delivering users relevant content. Now, more than ever, it is important to understand User Intent and use it to increase the relevancy of your website and improve SEO.

User Intent is described as the goal that a user has when they type a query into a search engine. Typically, the search query is one of three things:

  • Transactional: A user is looking to buy
  • Navigational: A person seeks for a specific resource, page or site
  • Informational: A person wants additional information on a topic or answers to their questions
  • Understanding which intent your target audience is searching with will help you to develop messaging to appeal to your target user.

To determine where your content is meeting users’ needs and where it falls short you can use Google Analytics. By looking at your top performing keywords you can gain an understanding of your relevancy to user searches. If your content is fulfilling its intended purpose, yet not being seen by many people, the problem lies with your keyword optimization and you need to adjust.

Another way to optimize your content to better meet users needs, is to put yourself in their shoes. Visit a site with the intention that you believe your users have, and analyze to see whether or not it is fulfilling your needs.

By analyzing User Intent, you will better tailor your content to your target audience’s needs, and drive traffic.

March 24

This week we discussed the importance of strong negotiating techniques by looking at Getting To Yes, a book outlining the art of proportional negotiation.

The classic method of negotiation, and the most widely used, is called positional negotiation. It involves multiple groups of people, parties or organizations, first taking — and then somewhat quickly giving up — a sequence of their held positions.

For example, a business professional, negotiates with a client over a contract renewal. She and the client take their different positions, on positions based on cost, time and value. And, in an attempt to convince her client about the need to increase the contract cost, she balks at the value of what is a still a good deal for both her, a business owner, and her client when the client says she will go elsewhere. In effect the poor level of negotiation has lead to money being left on the table.

This technique can help business professionals refine their negotiation skills through emotional intelligence to put the values of their clients, employees or stakeholders at the forefront.

Q1 Summary

At the beginning of 2017, marketing and public relations conversations focused heavily on the power of mobile, and effective, targeted advertising. There is inherent value in these discussions, but it is more valuable to focus on targeted strategy and engaging content.

Thinking of ourselves as communications specialists, targeting your audience’s needs in order to persuade them of useful services or a product they haven’t even considered will help grow your company brand through nurturing and driving traffic.

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