The digital age in which we live is constantly delivering us new developments, while also bearing witness to the sometimes surprising demise of cutting-edge as well as tried-and-true technologies and marketing methods. The year ahead is proving to be no different, with 2018 offering yet more opportunities for brands to broaden their understanding of what their consumers want, how consumers are thinking, and how they are interacting with one another.
Have you been wondering which marketing trends are poised to come and go? Here is my quick list of the 7 digital marketing trends that are sure to have the most significant impact on your marketing strategy.
Social Media Trends
1. The Rise and Rise of Instagram
Let’s make no mistake: Facebook will still be number one when it comes to social media in 2018. But there is no question that Instagram is the place brands need to be if they want to increase engagement and make a greater impact online this year.
Last year Instagram announced that nearly 800 million people are using their platform each and every month. If that isn’t reason enough to start using Instagram, consider the fact that Instagram sees greater engagement than any other social media platform, and it offers an intuitive suite of advertising controls that are designed for even the least experienced of marketers to use.
2. The Fall of Twitter
Twitter has fallen on hard times, and insiders are not expecting the social media platform to pick up its pace any time soon. Its ad format continues to stagnate in areas in which other social media networks are excelling, and it has been unable to expand its user base over the past year (apart from perhaps Trump followers).
Content Marketing Trends
3. Voice Optimised Content and Non-Visual Experiences
The smart speaker industry skyrocketed in 2017, with Google alone announcing that it has sold a Home speaker every second since it released its Google Home Mini in October 2017. One report from Juniper Research even stated that these smart devices will be present in 55 percent of American homes by the year 2022!
This is only one reason why voice optimised content is going to become critical for brands. With an increasing number of consumers using voice activation features on mobile devices – and mobile providers enhancing this feature to meet this demand – it is clear that content designed for voice commands and verbal searches is going to be a key element for content this year – and in the years to come.
4. “Smart” Content and Behavioural Marketing Advancements
Big data is expected to become widely available this year, giving small to mid-sized businesses a greater opportunity to be competitive in today’s dynamic marketing landscape. With information like browsing patterns, site usage, content preference and search history locked and loaded in modern marketing platforms, machines will be able to make smart strategic decisions and deliver unique user preferred content to consumers.
Some of the most notable advances expected from AI this year include:
- Building intuitive market segments based on data
- Employing AI chatbots and messaging for personal communications
- Initiating and ending campaigns across multiple channels based on consumer and market behaviour
- Creating custom targeted copy for individual users
Digital Advertising Trends
5. New Advertising Format Opportunities
Ad blockers present a real challenge for brands with even the most popular browsers like Google Chrome constantly developing new technologies to censor and remove online advertisements from websites.
2018 will be about discovering new ad formats that will not waste a brand’s display advertising revenue. There are some tried and true methods which will continue to dominate this space like digital ads on Facebook, YouTube and Hulu. But new opportunities like product placement, in-car ads, and enhanced native ads are sure to get more traction this year.
6. Influencer Marketing
One report form Linqia found that 94 percent of marketers believed that influencer marketing was an effective strategy in 2016. This makes sense: top quality brand influencers already have the audience and the reputation to sell products. Now all they need is to have your product in hand to sell, sell, sell!
Before investing in a brand influencer, however, keep in mind that your consumers hate ‘staged’ and obviously promoted products. Subtle sponsorships that feel more organic and natural will be far more effective than blatant product pushing.
7. Live Events
Video marketing will continue to be an important piece of any marketing campaign. But expect to see an increase in brands investing in live events hosted in 2018.
Live events have proven to be one of the most effective online marketing channels available, and they can be done for the fraction of the cost of standard video marketing clips. Throw in a free give-away or hold a contest while also offering valuable insider knowledge, and you’re sure to see an increase in user engagement.
Written Content – The One Constant
Whatever direction your marketing strategies take in 2018, the one constant in every marketing plan is the creation and distribution of quality, original, relevant written content. Regularly adding content to your website or social media platforms will not only keep your followers/readers engaged, but it will also keep Google happy. The search engine is constantly assessing websites to determine the value they offer to readers, and the Google Fred Update of 2017 had just this in mind.
If adding such updates – blog posts, services pages, white papers etc to your site is something that challenges you, I have some advice. Get someone else to do it – while you focus on your core business. Regardless of whether you are a lawyer or a plumber, your occupation is where your talents lie, and it is on these strengths that you should direct your efforts rather than agonising over writing content.
I invite you to contact me directly or complete my quick quote brief to learn more about how I can help you create content that will be in synch with 2018 marketing trends, as well as be informative to your ideal clients.