Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018

Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018

As 2018 commences, there are a number of new marketing trends poised to make a significant impact on go-to-market strategy. Here are some of the most important trends to look for in the coming year.

Interactive content

Consumers are constantly looking to make deeper connections with the brands they love. Allowing your audience to interact with your content keeps them engaged and builds a two-way dialogue that will ultimately help you get to know your customers better. You can add interactive polls, quizzes and games into relevant stories online and on social media, hopefully making those stories more engaging in the process.

Chatbots

Ever been on a website and a window in the corner has popped up asking if you need any help? Chatbots are everywhere, from digital assistants to customer support to social media. By 2020, it’s predicted that more than 80% of businesses will have chatbot automation of some sort implemented, so this year you may want to start investigating the best uses for your business.

Mobile video

Total mobile video revenue will rise to $25 billion, with advertising revenue accounting for 2/3 of the total value by 2021, as viewer numbers and usage continues to expand and rise around the world, according to market research from Strategy Analytics. If you’re not using mobile video, this is the year to get started.

Livestreaming

In a bid to better connect with brands, consumers are craving a more personal relationship with real life humans, which is why livestreaming is set to be a big trend in 2018. There are more platforms for livestreaming than ever before. Facebook and YouTube dominate, but Instagram, Tumblr, and Snapchat are up and coming. For companies and brands, livestreaming can be a helpful way to give customer service, make product announcements, conduct Q&A sessions, and more. Live video is more appealing to brand audiences: according to Livestream 80% would rather watch live video than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts.

Influencer marketing

Contracting with influencers who have a large social media following has become de rigueur for brands in all categories. Platforms like Instagram and YouTube are the most popular for influencers who like to use videos and live streaming. However, some marketers are getting more bullish on Facebook influencer marketing as recently introduced changes to the News Feed algorithm are expected to considerably diminish the organic reach of brand content. A huge 71% of consumers are more likely to buy based on a social media reference.

UGC

Much like influencer marketing, User Generated Content (UGC) is often more trusted and relevant to consumers than ads and other branded content, which many see as an invasion of their social media space. According to research, 93% of consumers find UGC helpful when making a purchasing decision and smart brands can use it as an influential marketing tool.

Short-lived content

According to Microsoft, the average human attention span is now down to a mere eight seconds. Thus it stands to reason that flashy, short-lived content is becoming more popular. In fact, the Snapchat app was built with this in mind, where ten second videos and photos disappear after a matter of seconds. This trend is continuing on other social media platforms and has become popular with consumers, especially among a younger demographic.

Augmented reality

This trend gives marketers the opportunity to bring the online world into the real world to create deeper connections with their audiences. Augmented reality refers to the integration of virtual experiences with everyday objects and environments. This has been done mainly in gaming apps, but many brands have successfully created apps that work to showcase their products (virtually) in a photo provided by the customer. For example, apps such as WayfairView,  includes software that shows how furniture will look in a customer’s home.

Native advertising

Consumers have become more wary of traditional brand advertising. These days, a marketer has to be savvier about promoting a brand through more integrated content that doesn’t appear to be sales-driven. This is where native advertising can be useful, allowing marketers to promote their products or services with content that fits naturally with the media it appears in. In other words, if you removed the brand name, it would match the style of the editorial and design of the publication or website.

Purpose-driven marketing

Consumers are more likely to buy from brands that share the same passions and beliefs as them, so by partnering up with charities and nonprofits that make sense for the brand, businesses can make deeper connections with their audience and create content that really resonates with them.

Simply implementing all the digital marketing innovations discussed above will not automatically guarantee a smooth-sailing 2018 for your brand. The strategy should be to review your company’s business objectives and to align your digital marketing strategies with these goals. This holistic approach to running digital marketing campaigns can help propel your brand forward this year.

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