Wondering what the most important Digital Marketing Trends For 2018 are? As a marketer, if you are looking for trends that will shape things to come in 2018, you are at the right place. This is a compilation of posts from multiple sources plus some of our own comments and observations. 2018 is going to be an awesome year for us digital marketers and these are some of the highlights.
Content Marketing will only get stronger
A study done by SmartInsights aimed to uncover – which marketing trend will be the most important for you and your business in 2018? A total of 850 marketers in different types of business voted to produce some insightful results.
There are a clear top three techniques, each over 10%, but with a long tail of many other techniques showing the potential for optimising different areas of digital marketing. Let’s take a look at the top three…
It’s no surprise to see content marketing ‘top of the pile’ since this has been in the top three for each of the years this poll was conducted. Content marketing is really the fuel that powers all digital communications from search to social to email marketing to creating wonderful website experiences that help conversions.
Big Data is in the second position. I guess this is because big data can provide ‘actionable insights’ and can significantly help marketing interactions. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is ranking third. It remains to be seen how marketers will use the technology effectively to map the entire customer lifecycle.
Content Marketing is getting bigger, and it’s no wonder – 70% of people said they’d rather learn about a business through an article than an ad. And, content marketing is cheaper than many other forms of marketing (plus it can produce more leads). Remember, content marketing can take many forms – from blog posts to videos and infographics. It’s difficult to do it all by yourself while running your own business, so if you don’t have the time, consider outsourcing your content creation to streamline your process.[irp]
The Rise of LinkedIn as an advertising platform
Google adwords has been very popular for years now and Facebook has made rapid strides in paid advertising over the last 2-3 years. During the same period, Twitter has been struggling a bit to grow its user base and it is not one of the popular ad platforms either. Meanwhile, LinkedIn has made a number of improvements to its advertising platform in 2017. LinkedIn presents a fresh user interface and offers several opportunities for both B2B as well as B2C brands.
Instagram, continues to grow at an rapid rate. In 2017, Instagram had announced that approximately 800 million people use their platform each month. Their latest tool, Instagram Stories, became more popular than Snapchat just one year after going live. Many B2C brands tend to see better engagement on Instagram than any other social platform.
Increased use of AI in marketing decisions
In 2017, a variety of marketing platforms collected and stored information such as site usage, campaign tagging, browsing patterns, search history and content preferences to create segmented customer profiles. By doing this, marketers were able to create custom targeted messages or define nurture workflows for these prospects. The next set of developments are even more exciting.
Adobe predicts that machines will start making strategic marketing decisions. In such a situation, the software will analyze data to build segments, start and stop campaigns across various channels, and create custom copy that will target specific personalities. Customers & prospects want to be served content based on their behaviour. These advances in AI in 2018 will allow marketers to more effectively engage with their prospects and customers.
Towards providing even more personalization in the customer journey
Even, with all the mass reach-out channels, focus of marketers will be towards providing a more personalized experience at every step in the customer lifecycle. Whether this is across email marketing automation, nurture workflows, re-targeting, all of it will try to personalize the experience for the user, based on his past behaviour. AI and analytics tools will play a significant role in delivering this seamless experience.
Integrated search marketing relying even more on content
With lesser focus on back-linking and buying paid links, most organizations are relying extensively on content to feature in organic search volumes. With all the updates to Panda and Penguin, this is becoming more and more obvious. The focus on on-page SEO is gaining significantly and so is the focus on creating more valuable content from an end-user perspective.
More tech in Google Adwords
Within AdWords, referencing Google’s list of new features shows more innovation. Much of it is around reporting compared to new ad features for mobile in previous years. There are some new options like with Enhanced CPC (ECPC) bidding and Smart Display campaigns. This is an example of Google deploying different types of machine learning and related technologies including Automated bidding Using Target CPA as a basis. Automated targeting will mean that your ads increasingly show where they’ll get you the most business and automated ads will be created from the building blocks you provide, like headlines, descriptions, logos and images.
The Arrival of Voice activation
But while the world continues to focus on a mobile-first ecosystem, the next wave of customer experiences are set to be voice-first and 2018 is definitely the start of this transformative trends.
It goes without saying that brands must focus on providing the best possible experience on mobile devices, but there are various predictions about how prolific voice interactions will be in 2018.
I would love to hear from you, with suggestions on what other Digital Marketing Trends can contribute to enhancing the Digital Marketing space during 2018. If you have questions, please do reach out to me in the comments section.
Atul is Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting. He has over 22 years of experience in marketing, across corporates as well as SME,start-ups. Over the last 5 years, he has gained significant expertise and has helped several companies drive growth leveraging digital marketing