14 Jan 10 trends to watch out for in 2018
2017 was another year of dizzying trends in the world of digital marketing. And just like last January, experts are hoping to predict what 2018 will bring and tools will make the greatest impact by analysing trends and emerging technologies. Whilst no one has a crystal ball, for better or worse, here are some 2018 marketing trends you will want to watch out for.
1. Live video streaming
Most people prefer to watch a live video than read a blog – because let’s face it, it requires less brain-power. Currently, almost 70% of internet traffic consists of streaming videos, and it looks like that number will continue to skyrocket. Unfortunately, expectations are also on the rise, and clients are coming to expect high quality, professional footage… presenting a real challenge for small businesses without huge capital to invest in keeping up with marketing trends.
2. Artificial customer service
The use of artificial intelligence is growing, and it can now be seen playing an increasingly important role in customer service. Over half of all sites are accessed by a mobile phone, and programs like chatbox allow companies to interact with their clients in real time through text messaging. If you don’t know anything about AI and how it can be used to provide efficient customer service, it’s time to learn.
3. Use of augmented reality
Pokémon GO did more than cause people to walk into lakes and over cliffs – it revealed a new opportunity. Various social media platforms are looking at ways to integrate AR so that brands can have marketing material show up only in certain areas, at specific times, by accessing the user’s location.
4. The demise of the influencer
Over the past several years, companies have used influencers to review or recommend their products. Millions have been spent on promoting goods and services through popular blogs, but some are questioning whether that money could have been better spent elsewhere. Many influencers are expecting more and more in exchange for their services and it looks like we could see a sharp decrease in the popularity of influencer marketing this year.
5. The rise of voice search
Users are become more comfortable with voice searches, and about 20% of all mobile searches are conducted using Siri, Google voice search, or a similar service. This is having a major impact on content creation, and requires the use of more detailed descriptors that capture the way people speak rather than how they write. As if SEO optimisation wasn’t already a minefield…
6. Native content and localisation
Simply translating your content for the global marketplace is becoming a thing of the past. Content that’s written in a native language and takes proper account of local idioms and cultural norms is now not only advisable – but expected.
Targeting your message to a potential client’s personal interests and preferences is becoming easier with the proliferation of new technologies. Just as Netflix can make suggestions based on what a user previously watched, you too can personalise the content your client receives. Forget about ads with “universal appeal”, and focus on learning how to make the most of platforms like Optimizer. You can read more about the importance of context here.
8. Cross-channel marketing
More than half of all purchase-ready consumers start with Amazon, not Google. Instagram has now outstripped all other social media platforms when it comes to customer engagement. Twitter is in its advertising death throes as LinkedIn attracts new users. The bottom line is that you will need to consider a diverse range of marketing channels, and be prepared to switch from the old standbys. Oh, and self-driving cars hold the potential for in-car advertising (nope, we’re not kidding).
9. Privacy protection
The best marketing feature of your product or service may be the ability to protect your clients’ privacy. Given the number of high-profile data breaches in recent years, many customers are choosing suppliers based on their security promises. People are actually taking the time to read those Terms and Conditions when they click “Subscribe”. Most companies are beefing up their cyber security, either voluntarily or because of the new GDP Regulations.
10. Content marketing
One thing that won’t be changing anytime soon is the importance of content marketing. Creating relevant, useful and original content will continue to increase sales, build customer loyalty, and enhance brand recognition. Quality content drives all marketing strategies, regardless of platform, medium or intended audience. If there’s one thing the experts can all agree on, it’s the need to provide users with something more than a product description, a hard sell, and a pretty picture.
Whilst these predictions are really just informed guesswork, it’s worth considering these 10 things when you’re mapping out your marketing strategy for 2018.