The Top 8 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Shape Your 2018

Everything in the digital sphere is constantly changing. From social media platforms to advertising options for search engines, you need to continue to develop and tweak your digital marketing strategy each year. With 2018 just getting underway, now is the time to meet with your team and discuss how you’ll adjust your plan and strategy to rise to the new challenges 2018 will present!

Video on Demand and In Demand.

Nothing will capture your audience’s attention on social media quite like well-shot video footage! It doesn’t matter which social media platform you’re marketing your business on (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat), video engagement is expected to grow across these channels in 2018!

Your video content can be presented in a variety of formats, including 360-degree videos to live streams, from short 10 second videos to longer 60 second clips. This allows your marketing team to get creative with your online content, incorporating a diversity of videos that will capture their attention. This year, adjust your focus and energy and prepare to incorporate more videos into your content marketing!

Social Media Influencers Will Only Gain More Influence & Power.

A social media influencer is anyone that has a following on their blogs and social networks that can help to build your brand with consumers you wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach. If you want to grow your business and brand this year, finding a strong social media influencer to partner with will help – but that may not be easy to do this year.

2018 will mark the year that you will need to strengthen your relationship with social media influencers if you want to compete with rival brands. You know that a relationship with your social media influencer could abruptly come to a halt (it’s happened to some of the biggest brands in the world), so this year you need to focus on being authentic. This authenticity will ensure that customers know what you have to offer while also ensuring your relationship with the influencer remains natural and organic.

Chatbots are Taking Over.

Chatbots have existed for many years, but many companies have shied away from using them extensively because they oftentimes sound like a bot that makes comments that need to be followed up by an actual staff member, effectively defeating the purpose. However, this year, Artificial Intelligence (AI) improvements are likely to make chatbots more useful when it comes to customer support.

You may be surprised to learn that many users have had positive experiences with chatbots in the last year, which has led to the belief that bots will manage approximately 85% of customer interactions online by 2020. The reason for this growth is millennials – they can get the information they’re looking for quickly and efficiently thanks to these AI assistants. While it may seem like your business is too small to utilise these chatbots, you may realize that you’ll save a lot of time responding to inquiries through this method of communication.

The New Art of Storytelling.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are constantly evolving and one of their most recent innovations are the social media “stories”. Each platform offers their own spin on the same “story” concept with unique features.

These stories allow you to capture the best moments from your day and vanish after a set period (oftentimes 24 hours). This allows you to present a large amount of video content without overwhelming your audience, while also incorporating your content in a bite-sized way that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. Figure out the best way to incorporate stories into your regular marketing strategy to regularly engage with your customers.

Automation Is More Accessible Than Ever.

Automation needs to be part of your marketing strategy in 2018. From your email marketing to social media and advertising, there are ways for you to incorporate automation to make your marketing smoother and easier on your staff. Some ways you can automate your marketing this year, include:
• Send an automatic tweet after creating a newsletter or blog post
• Create an automatic lead generation sequence of emails that are sent to customers when they subscribe to your newsletter on your website
• Use a social media management tool to automate and manage your social media posts

Time to Consider How to Incorporate Voice in Your Marketing.

Voice assistants aren’t new to the marketplace – with Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant influencing the market. The more advanced voice assistants can connect you with several local businesses based on services that they require. That’s huge news for local businesses because Google will connect customers to you based on your online content. That means that this year, you’ll want to research how your content is received by voice assistants to be sure you’ll appear in local searches.

Optimize Your Content for Mobile Devices.

Mobile devices haven’t become more popular this year – I don’t think that’s even possible – but now all your content needs to be mobile friendly. Consumers are getting their information and digesting content well over half the time on their mobile devices. That means that your content needs to be formatted in a way that is user friendly for your consumers – regardless of the device that they use to connect with your material.

Personalization Along All Stages of the Sales Funnel.

Impersonalized emails and ads are going the way of the fax machine. Becoming hyper-targeted with a focus on personalizing every interaction is becoming extremely important. Personalized landing pages should be connected to your advertising campaigns. Building a personalized relationship with your clients will help to make sales and retain these leads for years to come.

2018 is going to be a big year in the digital marketing industry, with many trends that will completely transform and influence your marketing. Keep these trends in mind as you meet with your team early this year to adapt your marketing strategy to meet the needs and expectations of your customers and clients.