A few months in and we are starting to get an idea of what 2018 will bring. There is no doubt that 2017 was a huge year of progression in digital marketing and has certainly opened up some new doors.
Increases in automation and digital necessity – things like social media and constant opinions or blogs – meant that everyone had their say on Donald Trump and his aggressive policies whilst mobile also saw a big rise. The rise in mobile use has been so great that Google introduced a ‘mobile-first index’ for their algorithm that now favors websites that are more mobile friendly.
One of the bigger changes in 2017 was live streams. More and more businesses began to use them as ways of promoting products and engaging consumers in 2017 and you can only expect it to continue with social media sites becoming more video orientated.
With all these incredible advancements in 2017, we must turn our focus to 2018 in order to stay ahead of competitors and continue to innovate and develop from a business perspective. Digital marketing is one of, if not, the fastest growing industries in business. As a result, it is important to stay on top of the latest trends and developments.
Influencer’s and content marketing will continue to rise in 2018 but there are a few more, less obvious trends that are likely to change-up the digital marketing space in 2018.
- Programmatic Marketing
By now, it is assumed that the majority of marketers will have heard of programmatic marketing but many do not know how to use it. This is expected to change by the end of 2018 and will be huge for B2B organizations.
Exchanges between businesses are now on the rise with many companies now offering more ways to target audiences. As always, it is challenging for the smaller organization to match it with the large ones but with improved options, tools and capabilities they will now be more competitive.
The advances and new tools available will ensure that advertisements will be more easily automated and the automating capabilities will be greater allowing for artificial intelligence to make small adjustments along the way.
Some reports are suggesting that programmatic marketing could potentially account for as much as 80% of all advertising by 2019. This means that Facebook, Google and even your Televisions will have advertisements regularly adjusting themselves based on what does and doesn’t work.
- Growth Hacking
Growth hacking is about reaching out to everyone you know for ideas, innovation and knowledge. Working with people in your own office is great but by diversifying reach, marketers are able to find the most efficient ways to grow. Designers, developers and other areas are all helpful in growth efficiency.
Large tech companies are able to do this easily through sharing and other offers that encourage users to invite friends. A great example of this is Dropbox who simply offer more space for every friend that you get to join. This allows you more flexibility and Dropbox gains a new user for more information and growth.
With people now having more access to digital platforms and communication via social media so prominent, smaller business will start to jump on this bandwagon as growth hacking becomes more affordable.
- Voice Control
Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod are all set to drastically change the way people search and live their lives. The major obstacle in this instance is people being comfortable with having a microphone constantly on in their home.
However, there is no doubt that this will eventually take-off and 2018 should be the year. With people regularly engaging with the internet for everyday tasks, marketers will have a whole new range of data with which to work with and use to target their audiences.
Marketers will be able to leverage peoples questions and daily routine to best advertise a given product based on location, time of day and the activity that they are about to engage in.
There may also be challenges faced though with the first response in a voice search likely to be a paid ranking or ad in the Google search as opposed to an organic one. this will mean that those companies who pay up to have their name at the top will get a big increase in business – much like the chocolate bars at the check-out of the supermarket.
- Real-World Facebook Tools
Digital marketing is, obviously, all online and social media plays one of the biggest parts in this. Facebook has developed tools that allow physical retail stores to attribute sales to their online ad spend.
The tool allows businesses to market their physical stores to people in the area when they go online so that people are more encouraged to visit a specific store. This tool helps to push people in-store to try out the product and therefore they are more inclined to purchase it right there and then.
The offline conversion tool is probably the most impressive as it allows stores to identify the physical in-store transactions that originated from a Facebook ad. This allows businesses to better calculate their ROI and ultimately budget their advertising better as well as understand what does and doesn’t work.
Google is also doing a similar thing with AdWords that will allow stores to attribute AdWords spend to actual in-store conversions as well.
There is no doubt that there will be other trends impacting the digital marketing world in 2018 and many of the above mentioned may take a little longer to really accelerate and have an impact. However, what can be certain is that they will all at some point be crucial to marketing success.