Marketing

3 Digital Marketing Trends Coming in 2018


2018 promises to be another fast-paced, challenging year for marketers new and old. Even the most experienced marketers in the business can’t accurately predict every trend and how emerging technology may impact the way that the marketing world unfolds over the next 12 months.

Over recent years we have seen huge advances in mobile phone technology and the impact that has had on marketing. We have seen the power of data driven marketing, where analytics have shaped new marketing trends. There are so many huge historical technological influences we can relate back to but let’s not dwell on the past, let’s look at the significant digital marketing trends 2018 will bring:

1. Even bigger data and greater optimisation of data

So for some years now we have been talking about big data and the great benefits that it brings. Analysing user behaviour has never been more critical to digital marketing experts and 2018 will see even more exciting and innovative ways to capture and use data. Machine learning and AI are developing at great speed and with this, the scope of big data grows even further.

According to a recent article published by Forbes, 70% of enterprises expect to implement AI over the next 12 months (up from 51% in 2017). Predictions in this space include that AI will suggest what to offer customers and instruct employees on what to say and do in real time. As you can imagine, this will transform the working processes in many customer service based businesses.

It is also predicted that businesses will be increasingly adopting the cloud-first approach for big data, as they start to see the many benefits of this.

2. Smart content and native advertising

Having better access to analytical information means that content can be smarter. What we mean by smarter is that it can be personalised to your audience. By identifying the stage in the process that a website visitor is at, you can provide them with a more relevant type of content. So if it is their first visit, you can provide content that tells them everything that you want them to know about your company and what you can offer them. As you collate more data about the user, your content can become more personalised, tapping into their behaviours and interests through cookies.

Native advertising (ads that are relevant to the website that they are displayed on) will grow in usage. Irrelevant ads are annoying for users and from a marketing perspective, they just don’t attract the click through rates that native ads can. According to Business Insider, a staggering 74% of all ad revenue will be through native ads by 2021. This is up from 56% in 2016, so expect to see a surge in the use of native ads this year as it steadily reaches that predicted percentage.

3. Voice optimised content

With Echo, Alexa and other intelligent personal assistants becoming more popular, content will be optimised for voice commands. These helpful digital friends have progressed from being a new toy for the techies, to being a regular household item used by all of the family. When Apple first brought us Siri, it is probably fair to say that it didn’t impress everybody. With problems such as wrongly interpreting commands or bringing up results that are not relevant enough, a lot of people gave up on it. A lot of work has been done to try and fix the teething problems and it would seem increasing efforts will be dedicated to developing the capabilities of the broad range of personal assistants in 2018.

A recent article highlighted the increased usage of voice search and the various technologies that have influenced this trend. With the launch in 2017 of Home, which is Google’s smart speaker and voice assistant offering and Alexa featuring high on people’s gift wish lists, it is clear that the demand for assistants is growing. The stats published in the article included that Cortana now has 133 million monthly users. It also indicated that 25% of 16-24 year olds use voice search on mobile. Also, 41% of people using voice search started in the last six months, so you can see the momentum that is growing with this type of product.

Marketers will be taking these figures into account and ensuring that they are producing content that is fully optimised for voice commands, using longer keywords for example and various other methods.


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