The New Year is upon us. Most organizations are busy planning a digital marketing strategy for 2018. Looking at top marketing trends allows you to know what’s out there. This is the age of customer centricity. Each marketing strategy is created with the customer relationship in mind. The main aim is to provide a personalized engagement to the target market.
What does 2018 hold for digital marketing? There are several predictions on various digital marketing trends that will work this year. Here are the top trends which highlight the significance of technology and building consumer trust and authenticity.
Integration of AI and Behavioural Marketing
In the previous years, marketing platforms collected and stored relevant customer information. This was pertaining to browsing patterns, site usage, content preferences and search history. The information helped marketers all over to create custom messages targeted to specific people.
This year, things get more exciting. Machines may start making these strategic marketing decisions. Studies by Salesforce indicate that AI as a marketing trend will go by 50% in the next two years. Marketing software will be set up to analyze data, which will be used to build segments. Moreover, this data can start and stop campaigns and also create customized copy for a specific target group.
Customers are excited when they come across campaigns targeted directly at them. As such, marketers will now be able to engage more effectively with both clients and prospective customers.
Realizing Mobile’s Role in Next-Generation CX
Mobile has truly become vital in the digital marketing ecosystem. You can use your mobile devices for communication, purchasing and as a support and service mechanism.
Marketers have to understand how next-gen consumers interact with various brands via mobile devices. One of the most exciting prediction is the voice activation in mobile devices. Smartphones are now taking over as the central conductors for digital channels. Therefore, marketing agencies must invest heavily in this technology. This should be done with an emphasis on the architecture, process involved and the talent to deliver.
As the sales audience changes to the younger generation, marketers should use a different approach. A revaluation of mobile CX is very much needed. This will not only see an update to marketing methods, but also an understanding of potential markets and their buying habits.
2017 saw the introduction of video advertising through social media platforms. Over 90% of the content shared was in a video format. With most users viewing more video, this is a top branding trend that cannot be ignored. For instance, Facebook users view over 8 billion videos each day, with youtube viewers watching a billion hours’ worth of video every day.
Brands have to aim at building meaningful relationships and trust with their clients. For this to happen, marketers have to learn on how to leverage video-based advertising across different channels. Videos tend to grab the attention of a target audience, more than other advert suing formats.
It’s worth noting that most people view these videos on their mobile devices. Therefore, marketers are prepared to increase their budget in 2018, to cater for mobile ads.
Social Media Influencers
This is the year marketers will try working with top brand influencers. The use of social media influencers is a top digital marketing trend and with good reason. The influencers act as a bridge between a marketing agency and its target audience.
In 2018, marketers will be looking to build more meaningful and stronger relationships with key social influencers. The authenticity of the collaboration is also a major issue. Consumers can now detect forced influencer-brand collaborations. Therefore, marketers will now focus on working with influencers that mesh with their brand.
Chatbots Taking Over
This is another great example of marketing automation that will grow immensely in 2018. Chatbots have been around for years, but brands need to start thinking about how to fully utilize social media bots.
Marketers will now start using Chatbots for customer support, in a bid to create deeper relationships with their audience. Currently, over 61% of consumer-chatbot interactions are geared towards customer service. However, there is an estimated increase of over 85% use of chatbots for customer service by the year 2020.
There are many top brands already using chatbots for simple ordering processes. In 2018, we should see chatbots’ use in industries for more complex transactions.
Are you a website owner and you haven’t implemented an SSL certificate on your site? 2018 is the year we see a major crackdown on non-secure servers. Safety is a priority for most web users. Moreover, sites lacking an SSL certificate might rank lower on search engines. This ultimately affects the web traffic and sales.
In 2017, there were numerous data breaches that had consumers thinking about their online privacy and security. This year, consumers will prioritize firms that put security first. With increased attacks, marketers will be forced to use data security and privacy protection to add value to their brands.
The New Art That Is Storytelling
It will be hard to ignore social media ‘stories’ that seem to have taken over most platforms. From snapchat to Instagram and WhatsApp, marketers will have a hard time ignoring their influence as a branding trend. Youtube now has also introduced a similar format called ‘reels’.
With each platform, there are unique features offered for the stories. We all know that stories capture real life moments as they happen. Brands can capitalize on this as a way of connecting with their clients. Stories should be a crucial part of every smart firm’s social media marketing strategy.
Marketing has revolutionized over the years. We have talked about the top digital marketing trends that will surely shape the marketing landscape in 2018. Some of these key trends are already in use, but there is always room for improvement.
Digital marketing trends may not always work for all brands. However, with enhanced technology and platform evolutions, there is bound to be some level of success. 2017 saw digital marketing getting more broad and analytical. In 2018, we will see a major focus on enhanced AI capabilities, organic search and high investment on influencer campaigns.