It’s that time of year again when we start to finish up 2017 and turn our attention to the coming year. The rate of change in digital marketing in 2018 will increase yet again, so to help get you ahead of the curve, here are five digital marketing trends to start thinking about.
The journey towards personalisation has been the stuff of dreams for most marketers: who wants to pay to talk to 100 people when there is only 1 person who you want to engage? But the trend has not been growing on just dreams. People’s exposure to advertising has been massive and this has had two impacts: people will only engage with different / sophisticated advertising and people are sick of advertising!
Personalisation could be a simple customised landing page (e.g. sending traffic from a Twitter campaign to a different page to traffic from a Facebook campaign) or it could be a fully personalised website experience, but if this is all new to you, 2018 should be the year you start to investigate.
This might not feel like a very insightful trend to identify as video has been an important part of digital marketing for a number of years, but video will evolve in 2018. It will develop not just a medium for content marketing, but also an advertising medium: YouTube attracts incredible amounts of traffic and engagement, but it does feel like advertising is still an opportunity for many industries. There will also be more emphasis on live streaming as Facebook seems to be prioritising live video content over video content, and video content over other types of content.
Rise of the Chatbots:
Chatbots have become part of the mainstream for at least some of the population. Ordering basic products from chatbots is relatively simple because there are only so many variables, or what-ifs, in the process. But 2018 will see chatbots move into more industries with more complex transactions. This type of instant response is fast becoming a consumer expectation, so it is well worth thinking how your organisation can utilise this software.
Unlocking ‘dark’ social:
It has long been a conspiracy that social networks are listening to your conversations and selling that information to advertisers. Let’s assume that this isn’t happening…..yet. The amount of information held on messaging apps and social networks protected by privacy is colossal. But it is protected by privacy settings and the rights and concerns of users. Social networks will need to address the balance between users and investors: how long can they resist the temptation to delve into this data?
Search evolves (yes, again):
Search is a very important traffic source for most websites. So, keeping an eye on how search is changing is probably in your interests. Voice search has been around for a couple of years now, but there are two interesting developments. Voice search through devices such as the Google app or assistants like Amazon Echo is tending to deliver longer-tail queries than text search and the number of voice searches is likely to increase in 2018. Secondly, Google revealed Google Lens in October where you can show your camera a, say, poster and Google will search for the text and images within that poster. If this gains traction, this will truly be a game-changer for search.