What do most people do at the end of the year? Well, they think about the next one, create plans and make new resolutions. Entrepreneurs and marketers are already looking for new ways to get their digital marketing strategy ready for the upcoming year. This is the reason why we’re here – to talk about kicking it off with marketing trends that are going to dominate in 2018.
In 2017, you may have mastered the current marketing trends, increased your brand visibility, as well as your revenue. However, the best marketers are those that innovate, because you can’t expect to use the same marketing channels and pitch for an extended period of time without suffering a decline in your reach. It’s time to start thinking beyond current best practices and create your own unique marketing strategies. Let’s see which marketing trends you should focus on in 2018.
1. AI and behavioral marketing
Marketing platforms have gathered and stored information, such as browsing patterns, site usage, content preferences, and search history to create customer profiles. This allowed marketers to create behavior marketing strategies in order to create unique messages to address them. However, really exciting things are yet to come. Namely, Adobe predicts that AI will start making strategic marketing decisions – the software will analyze data, build segments, start/stop campaigns across different channels, and tailor custom messages according to the target audience’s behavior. Also, marketers can use AI-powered live-chat bots to communicate with customers and prospects and engage with them more effectively.
2. Mobile consumption will continue to grow
If your marketing strategy and website aren’t optimized for mobile, the time to do it is – right now! Otherwise, websites that aren’t mobile friendly will be penalized by search engines. The majority of people today browse the Internet on their phones, which is why mobile video consumption is expected to grow by 25% in 2018 (but decline on desktop computers and laptops for the first time). Don’t get behind, but plan a solid mobile video strategy to remain competitive in your industry. If you’re a DIY type of business owner, live video is a suitable place to begin.
3. Continuous growth in live video usage
Live video is nothing new, but more and more people want a piece of it, which makes it grow exponentially. According to research, 80% of users would rather watch a live video than read a lengthy blog post. The live video gets three times more views, according to Facebook. You can use live video to show off holiday sales and displays, at events to give your viewers a behind-the-scenes look, and advertise an exclusive promotion or sale to those who are watching. Since you can’t edit live video, it might be a better idea to film it during off hours. If you decide to film it live, make sure that everyone around is aware that you’re filming, to avoid any mishaps.
4. Social media marketing is still relevant
B2B marketers are expected to spend most of their time on social media. In 2018, budgets for social media marketing will expand as consumers want intuitive interactions and consistent brand messaging whenever they’re considering making a purchase. Facebook will continue to dominate social media use, while social marketing is turning to storytelling and emotionally engaging content because it increases the “spreadability” of their content. Those who don’t know how to start an effective social media marketing campaign can consider hiring an advertising agency to help them out.
5. Increase in customer experience marketing
Customer experience marketing is, as its name suggests, all about making sure that the customer has a positive experience whenever you market to them. The role of customer experience is of huge importance because your customers perceive your brand or business as the sum their experiences with you. This could be anything from seeing one of your ads on Facebook to in-store customer service.
6. Pertinence of influencer marketing
Over the past few years, influencer marketing as a strategy has grown in popularity. However, new types of brands are now beginning to take notice. As Inc.com reports, 84% of digital marketers planned to execute at least one influencer marketing campaign in 2017, and for every $1 invested in influencer marketing, businesses generate about $6.50. For example, beauty and clothing brands have been successful with using major celebrities and micro influencers for a while, but brands like Amazon are not getting in on the influencer action. Also, brands give their existing customers a chance to recommend their products, creating user-generated content that allows brands to include consumers in their buyer experience and brand story.
Today’s marketing realm tells us that the followers will struggle, while innovators will prosper. Innovating, in our case, means leveraging the power of marketing trends, conducting your research, gathering information (get feedback on social media, provide surveys, and talk to your customers at networking events), all with the aim to create a unique marketing strategy and maximize your reach. Pay attention to customer experience marketing, employ influencers to suggest your brand, optimize for mobile, utilize live video features, and don’t take your eyes off social media. It’s already December, so yourself prepared to dominate in 2018.
Author Bio: Oscar Waterworth – a digital nomad, writer and senior editor at BizzmarkBlog. By working with product development teams for nearly a decade now, he has gained a great deal of insight on remote team management and project operations in the startup sphere.