Updated: Jul 17, 2018
It’s hard to believe that 2017 is almost over! It’s been a year of changes and advances, especially as it relates to the digital marketing landscape. So what’s ahead for 2018? What should businesses be ready for? While it’s impossible to predict all the advances that will affect the #marketing world, there are some trends that we can definitely see gaining more momentum in 2018.
We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in. ~ Craig Davis
If you haven’t already started planning for next year, here’s a quick look at some of the trends and shifts in digital marketing that you will need to plan for and adapt to in 2018 and beyond.
Take Advantage of Dark Social.
What’s this? These are less monitored social channels and are driven primarily by mobile and messaging. It includes channels like WhatsApp, email, Facebook messenger, native mobile apps and secure browsing. With dark social sharing accounting for 84% of content shared on the web, it’s definitely not something businesses can afford to ignore. It will be necessary to get creative and adopt tactics to take advantage of these channels.
Adopt New Technology: Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
This is technology which uses data to offer predictive knowledge that allows businesses to respond quickly and accurately to shifts in customer behaviour e.g Gmail uses it to sort your inbox; Waze uses it to give accurate driving directions and map the best route to your destination. It is expected that this new technology will play an important role in automatic data visualization as well as content management and analysis.
More New Technology: Chatbots.
These are growing in popularity as more businesses look to adopt use of the technology. A chatbot is essentially a computer program that conducts conversations with consumers via text or audio (similar to iPhone’s Siri). Businesses have already begun using the technology to reach and interact with customers where they want to be reached. Although it’s still relatively new technology it’s expected that once it’s fully integrated with AI, it will become another powerful digital marketing channel for businesses.
Take Advantage of Video advertising.
The demand for video continues to grow at a rapid rate, and as a result video advertising will prove lucrative for brands. To succeed at it however brands will need to learn effective targeting and, how to engage viewers through storytelling and across multiple channels. Add to that Google, Facebook & Youtube’s experiments with 6 second video ads, as well as Facebook’s midroll ads (video ads that show in the middle of video content) brands will also need to tell a story in less time.
Prepare for Micro-moments.
This trend has been growing in the past few years and according to Google, “micro-moments are only multiplying”, they're ”as important as ever”. What are they? Moments in which consumers seek instant information as the need arises to know, go, do or buy something. Studies show that 96% of consumers reach for their smartphones to conduct research on the spot. Businesses will need to have mobile-first websites and a solid content strategy that provides consumers with relevant, instant information on demand.
Today’s consumer wants to feel seen and heard, and 66% of them are willing to switch brands to get it. Businesses will need to focus more on the customer experience and implement strategies that deliver timely messages and personalized experiences to people based on criteria such as actions taken, demographics and interests.
Digital marketing is an exciting and very powerful tool for businesses. It is here to stay and will only get better and better. It is therefore, essential that businesses implement well thought out digital strategies that can evolve as technology evolves. The best way for businesses to do this is to always keep the customer experience as one of their top objectives.