In 2020, the total spending on digital advertising in the US is all set to hit 113.18 billion dollars; this is double the amount from last 2 years (Source). Amazing isn’t it? Well, we are through Q2 and by now most of the businesses initiate planning their budget and marketing strategy for the coming year, i.e. 2018.
With several technologies and platforms emerging every second, brands are surely having an exciting time leveraging the number of opportunities created by them to connect with existing and future consumers. However, in the digital marketing landscape, the key to succeed is by recognizing the platforms and technologies which present maximum opportunities for the business.
While most of us are aware of the dramatic shift of the traditional media advertising to digital advertising, there are many who do not realize that even the digital marketing landscape is undergoing some drastic shifts. One needs to understand that marketing is all about dealing with the changes effectively.
So what do successful marketers do? They simply keep up with trends and know exactly when to tweak their strategy. This blog post aims to put forward the trends which are expected to totally transform the digital marketing landscape in 2018. Well, these trends are impossible to fully predict but the ones listed below appear to be safe bets, so read on to know where digital marketing is heading over in 2018.
10 Trends That Are Set To Transform the Digital Marketing Landscape In 2018
1. Customer-Centric Experience
Marketers understand one fact very well, i.e. consumers are always interested to get the answer to one question – “What’s in it for me”? Hence the need of creating a customer-centric experience and personalization increases. Customer’s increasing demand to receive best-in-class experience and personal appreciation will keep on increasing and this can be achieved through the effective use of big data. So in 2018, businesses need to focus on creating personalized experiences which totally delights people.
2. Video Marketing
No, text advertising is not going to be an outdated trend, it will still be valuable but internet videos are going to be a huge differentiator. The growth of video marketing has been totally astounding; according to Wall Street Journal report, online video consumption increased by a factor of 10 between 2011- 2016. And guess what, this explosive growth is expected to continue. According to Digital marketing expert James McQuivey, a one single minute of a video content is the equal to 1.8 million words. This makes clear one fact, i.e. the future of video marketing is surely not moving to a tipping point but way ahead.
Undoubtedly, Chatbots are going to be one of the key ingredients to grab digital marketing success in 2018. Chatbots are instinctual and well equipped; they also possess the ability to improve from continual learning algorithms and actively serve to meet the high demands of the fast-paced digital world. While Chatbots will continue to play their role in customer service, we can also expect to see those managing FAQs or providing 24/7 service in the near future.
4. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a low cost and high ROI platform and in 2018 marketing leaders are expected to spend more time right here. According to a study from TEKsystems 2017, social media budgets will expand even further. To keep up with this trend promote stories on Facebook’s News Feed and concentrate more on creating videos and quality content that engages users.
5. Machine Learning
Gone are the days when customers were selected based on only the existing data and then automatically approached with static dialogues. As consumers become more demanding and tech-savvy, the businesses need to ensure that they respond to them quickly, because if they fail consumers might shift to their competitors. A shift from traditional marketing to real-time automation is highly needed, and this can be achieved through machine learning. This trend has already created a lot of buzz in several industries and is set to transform others too. Clever marketers who would work in collaboration with machine learning-based automation are bound to succeed in the coming year.
6. Smartwatches, Wearables & IoT
Linking to smart products is definitely the next big revolution in the digital marketing landscape. This revolution has the potential to significantly influence traditional digital marketing processes. The Internet of Things will open up new potentials for the direct digital marketing. Smart consumer products like fitness trackers and smart homes are expected to generate silos of valuable data which can be effectively used to enhance customer understanding. Hence to stay competitive in 2018, marketers need to leverage the power of such information for marketing and service communications.
7. Mobile Marketing
Mobile is increasingly subsuming the complete digital marketing landscape hence it has been the medium of focus for the marketers. The term mobile-first has been floating around for quite some time now, and guess what the buzz will continue to grow. Note, Google very recently announced their mobile-first algorithm which will launch in early 2018. Once this change is instigated, Google will start indexing mobile content and also use it to determine ranks in its results (irrespective of whether you are present on desktop/mobile). Hence make sure you initiate all the adjustments to get “mobile-friendly”.
8. Search Marketing
The dawn of artificial intelligence (AI) and voice searches will make search marketing even more challenging in 2018. As noted, Google’s mobile-first index is due to launch in 2018, marketers can expect many surprises and changes which they will have to carefully handle.
9. Micro Moments
Around 96% of users use their smartphones to conduct on the spot research. The most efficacious brands will be those who would have the skill to correctly anticipate and address such impetuous micro-moments. To be successful marketers will need to study insights and spot the micro-moments of their target group. And then play around with it through contextual marketing. This essentially means providing targeted advertising to the consumers based upon user-generated information. Like the search terms used or recent web-browsing activities.
10. Social Messaging Apps
Dark Social – This is when people share content on private social media platforms like Wechat, Facebook Messenger, and Whatsapp. Stats reveal dark social is responsible for 84% of the outbound sharing; you cannot ignore this area surely in 2018. Private social messaging apps offer a sea of opportunity for the businesses. Hence in 2018 marketers should consider investing time and money in it as it can surely help in expanding their market reach significantly.
All This Would Add Up To Total Digital Transformation
The face of digital marketing is rapidly changing and as intimidating as it may be; the year 2018 will surely present loads of new opportunities which businesses can take advantage of. Staying above the trends can help marketers/agencies to find better ways to reach out to customers, convert leads, and retain their current consumers. Well, these trends would not last forever; hence make sure you make most of it when they are actually there.