There are a number of changes that are currently taking place in the world of digital marketing. These are the trends that you should be paying attention to in 2018.
We’ve come a long way since 2008 when words such as search engine optimization and social media marketing were new concepts to a lot of brands. A few years ago, most brands only had a basic page on Facebook, tweets were still limited to 140 characters, and Instagram wasn’t even a consideration for most businesses. Today, Facebook is looking to spend up to $1 billion to become the next big video hub, Twitter has now expanded tweets to 280 characters, and brands can now use Instagram Highlights to create long-term content for their audiences.
Technology itself has also been taken to a whole new level. Devices like the iPhone X now have an A11 Bionic chip that makes them more powerful than a 2017 MacBook Pro. The Internet of Things (IoT) makes it possible for physical items with sensors and software to connect and exchange information while augmented and virtual reality technology has opened up an entirely new box of possibilities to marketers everywhere.
Digital and technological advancements are moving at such a rapid pace that brands can no longer afford to keep doing what they’ve always done and still expect to keep their audiences engaged.
2018’s Most Important Digital Marketing Trends
In order to survive and thrive in an ever-changing world, brands need to know how to keep up with their competitors, accurately measure ROI, and gain a better understanding of the platforms that work best for their specific target audience, allowing them to focus on their strengths and only spend time on the most viable digital marketing opportunities.
Below are 5 trends that all brands should be paying attention to this year.
1 – Interactive VR/AR Content
This powerful marketing tool gives brands the opportunity to connect customers with digital versions of their products, providing them with a more engaging and interactive brand experience. Mobile has become the most effective way to deliver these types of visuals and content, with many brands developing apps that will offer their customers this immersive experience.
A study by Digi-Capital has found that augmented reality (AR) is likely to have an install-base of around 3.5 billion, generating revenue of up to $90 billion by 2022.
Some examples of brands who are using virtual and augmented reality to engage with their customers in a whole new way include Estee Lauder and Ikea. Estee Lauder’s app allows consumers to try on virtual lipsticks before they purchase them, while Ikea’s app allows customers to place furniture and other decor items in their homes to see what they would look like before they buy them.
2 – Live Video Content
Video content is no longer an option for brands. According to Cisco, it was predicted that video would account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic in 2017, which means that video traffic will make up at least 80% of internet traffic by 2019.
With consumers spending one-third of their time watching videos online, countless brands are embracing the live video trend. Live video immerses people in a moment as it happens and allow them to give instant feedback. Video content doesn’t have to be lengthy and detailed either. Short, impactful videos are just as effective as longer video content.
3 – AI Automation
Today’s consumer has come to expect a more personalized online experience and this includes their interactions with brands and businesses. Big data has made it much easier for us to understand our customers and with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and the many technologies associated with it, marketers can develop even stronger connections with their customers.
[Tweet “AI makes it possible for brands to customize campaigns based on the buying behavior and interests of searchers and online users.”]
AI collects data on a user’s behaviors, and even their future behaviors, based on how they browse online. This data can then be used to create targeted campaigns.
Chatbots make it easier for your customers to get 24/7 assistance while helping you collect valuable data on them, which can also be used during campaign development and optimization. AI software is even able to use image recognition to compare a user’s social media images to a larger image library in order to draw certain conclusions about them. Simply put, data is changing the way we do business.
4 – Influencer Marketing
With so much content and information available out there, influencer marketing continues to be one of the most powerful ways to boost conversions and generate more sales. A large number of brands who weren’t previously using influencer marketing are now adding it to their digital marketing strategies, and this increase in demand has changed the way that marketing agencies do business. New technology and methods for refining the influencer identification, recruitment and reporting process has taken influencer marketing to a whole new level. Influencer campaigns can now be created in a matter of minutes.
Click here to take a closer look at how Upfluence goes about creating influencer campaigns that align with brand marketing goals.
5 – Mobile-first indexing
Mobile-first indexing is officially here. What this means is that the mobile version of your website is Google’s starting point for what it will include in search results. This doesn’t mean that the desktop version of your site is null and void, it simply means that mobile is more important than ever in 2018.
Going forward, brands need to start centering all of their digital marketing activities and efforts around mobile. What your customers see on the mobile version of your site should be more important than anything else. This means that you need to keep mobile top of mind when developing content and creating ad campaigns in 2018 and beyond. In fact, by 2019, mobile advertising is expected to represent 72% of all U.S. digital ad spending and at the moment, users spend on average 69% of their media time on smartphones. Mobile is our present and our future.
Influenced by technology, content marketing will continue to develop faster than ever before. That’s why businesses need to innovate and think outside the box when it comes to their content and digital marketing campaigns if they want to engage their audiences and differentiate themselves from their competitors.