With 2018 just a few days away, many businesses might already be thinking about their digital marketing strategy next year. If you are, then here are 10 digital marketing trends for 2018 you might want to consider.
1. AI Adoption Will Continue To Grow
In 2018, there will be less hype and more action in the world of artificial intelligence. Companies will start including an AI strategy into their digital marketing strategies. Which would include everything from managing data to automating processes. This will become necessary as more and more companies see the value in intelligence-driven marketing and the role of AI in obtaining and organizing vital customer data.
2. Move Over videos! Hello VR, AR and 360-Degree Videos
For so long videos have dominated the online space. Marketers have always seen the benefit of creating video content to engage their audiences. In 2017, we saw the biggest rise in VR adoption. More than 12 million VR headsets were sold in 2017 alone (omnivirt, 2017). In 2018 we expect more businesses to use this tech to showcase new products, services or even unique behind the scenes footage of events.
3. Voice-Driven Marketing
While voice command and search has been around for a long time. This year we saw a higher level of sophistication in voice-driven apps. Google has even claimed that 20% of their searches are done through voice. In 2018, we expect to see companies like Google and Amazon improve their technology further. This could open up more possibilities for businesses. For example, Domino’s Pizza already allows users to order pizza through voice command using Alexa. Just imagine the possibilities.
4. Bots Become Mainstream
Businesses have already started adopting bots to automate some of their activities, such as managing customer service and data management. Facebook has led this change by improving their messenger API. And there are even many chatbot plugins available on the market to further automate your marketing activities. However, in a recent survey, Chatbot magazine (2017), found that only 10% of consumers have interacted with a chatbot. In 2018, we expect a much higher chatbot adoption rate by businesses, as chatbot become more accessible.
5. A More “Real” Influencer Marketing
2017 was the year of micro-influencers. That’s everyday people with a significant social media presence. More businesses than ever have been working with influencers to engage their audiences. However, as demand for influencers rises, this gives an opportunity for more fake influencers to join in (those with fake social media following). With consumers growing ever more savvy at identifying real profiles from fake ones, brands will have to start building a long-term relationship with influencers. So the consumer truly believes that the influencer supports the brand or company they’re endorsing. Expect a real movement towards influencer marketing in 2018!
6. More Sophisticated Account-Based Marketing
Account-based marketing is all about targeting specific consumers or companies in your marketing, instead of using the traditional widespread approach to target as many customers as you can. While this is not a new concept, we expect it to develop significantly in 2018. With the continuing rise of marketing automation, we will see more and more companies personalising their messages and content to target the specific pains and needs of a consumer group. This will make the sales funnel even more narrow, one where the majority of leads from the top of the funnel are relevant and near ready to buy.
7. Cyber-Security Grows Stronger
It was a bad year for security, the year was filled with news of companies failing to protect customer data and privacy issues. And with Google making SSL certificates a necessary requirement on all sites. 2017 was a really a game changer in the world of cyber-security. You might have even noticed companies winning back consumer trust by implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) or risk-based authentication. This is where the user can use their phone or email address to sign-in, as well as their usual password. We expect more businesses adopting this level of security on their sites in 2018 to prevent hacking and loss of valuable data.
8. Rise of Machine Learning
Similar to our first point, as AI continues to develop we will see smarter software. Software that could even support the most time-consuming marketing task of them all…content creation! As machines or software continue to learn from humans, they might even be able to write blog posts, website copy and give you ideas for relevant content for your brand. Allowing your company to focus on driving sales. This may be a long shot now, but we expect more focus in this area in 2018!
9. LinkedIn Grows, As Twitter Falls
Twitter’s attempt to win users by increasing their character limit to 280 characters hasn’t gone well, with user’s continuing to drop. In fact, this new change as even enraged current users, as Twitter’s uniqueness of posting short tweets has been lost! Meanwhile, Linkedin has been making some valuable changes to its advertising platform, providing both B2B and B2C businesses with more opportunities. This linked with marketing automation has made LinkedIn a valuable tool for businesses in 2017. As this technology sets to improve, LinkedIn usage will continue to grow in 2018.
10. New Advertising Formats To Combat Ad-Blocking Technology
These days consumers are highly tech-savvy, everyday shoppers are discovering ad-blocker software to block ads appearing on sites and in videos. In fact, the Business Insider found a rise of 30% in ad blocker software this year. This is good for the consumers, but costing businesses millions each year. To combat this problem, advertisers will focus on an AI-driven solution. Where instead of adverts appearing on the site, the focus will be on product placements. For example, if someone is researching an iPhone 8 and then decide to take a break by going onto Youtube. That same phone could appear in the background of the video or in someone’s hand. We expect to hear more about this technology in 2018!
What Do You Think The Digital Marketing Trends For 2018 Will Be?
We expect big things in 2018, especially in the world of AI and machine learning. Do you agree with our predictions or do you have some more digital marketing trends for 2018? Let us know in the comments below!