It is 2018 – the perfect time to look ahead and decide on that new thing you will do to set yourself apart from competition and increase your brands notoriety amongst your target markets. Before your marketing strategy for this year gets that the approved stamp and you start rocking and rolling, take into consideration these 6 main trends in the industry.
1. The new era of social media
With every passing year, Generation Z is becoming the main target for most businesses. Although there is an increasing gossip-trend about millennials playing it hard-to- get when it comes to adverts, the truth is that all digital marketers have an ace up their sleeve: generation Z love all things digital, especially social media. However, in 2018 Instagram and Snapchat are gaining the big points while Facebook and Twitter are slowly losing the lead. Focusing on interactive, lively social media campaigns will get your business going this year. Better engagement, less control over advertising and over 800 million users generating content everyday – let the good times roll!
2. AI chatbots and more Artificial intelligence
(AI) has been used by businesses for quite a while now, and the trend is getting bigger in 2018. One of the main areas is customer service, where AI live-chat will make the difference in approaching and responding to your customers’s needs. Starbucks is one of the brands with an early adoption of chatbots and their success is world renowned. Facebook Messenger and Slack offer businesses AI-powered tools, and making use of such facilities for that spotless, just-in-time customer service will become the norm in 2018.
3. Video marketing taken to the next level
2017 has been the year of video marketing, with a large number of businesses adopting this trend. Watching a video is faster and more entertaining than reading long articles, so everyone seems to love it. Why should you? Two main reasons: on one hand, videos make potential customers spend more time with your brand and, on the other hand, video marketing will increase your SEO ranks and help you reach even more people. In 2018, focus on live videos for real-time engagement. Facebook and Instagram live streaming will make it easy and fast to be where your customers are.
4. Marketing automation for better and faster results
Personalized content is the dream, and marketing automation is the right ladder to it. Useful content that nurtures prospects and turns potential customers into loyal clients is getting easier to create and deliver by using automation software. Over 50% of B2B Fortune 500 companies have been successfully using marketing automation, and the trend will become more popular in 2018 with businesses of all sizes. Although technology is still relatively far from automatically delivering a full marketing campaign, there are parts of the marketing campaign that can be done quicker by engaging automation software. From posting on social media to sending personalized newsletters, there is a way to do it better and faster.
5. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality pave the path to success
Mobile devices have been the absolute leader in accessing online content in the last couple of years, which pushing marketers to take advantage of this trend and incrementally use it in their marketing strategies. The love story between marketing and virtual/augmented reality started in 2016 with PokemonGo and 2018 will convince more businesses to use augmented reality in addressing their customers’ needs. For example, by accessing their location, the ads will be personalized and visible only to certain clients, for the amount of time they are in a certain location. Another interesting way to use VR/AR for marketing is by creating apps that allow customers to ‘test’ products before buying them – from positioning a ‘planning-to-buy’ sofa in your current home to testing a new pair of glasses or make-up. The possibilities are growing exponentially!
6. Interactive content marketing that goes viral
The face of content marketing is slightly changing in 2018. While customers are still interested in high quality content that enriches both their lives and brand experiences, they want to have a say in the process of content creation as well. It is called interactive marketing and involves the customers in both creating and delivering a marketing campaign. Siyaram’s campaign #10DaysofGoodwill with a 10-day contest where participants had a challenge a day, such as thanking someone, is a good example of interactive marketing. By tagging the people they addressed in the content they created, the audience helped the brand reach over 32K organic impressions on Twitter. Knorr (What Does Your Favourite Flavour Say about You?) and Deloitte (Headhunts) are other brands who successfully used interactive marketing with millennials, a target market famous for their love for the unconventional. It is expected that more brands will involve their audiences in content creation for a higher organic reach and a perfectly-tailored marketing experience in 2018. Will you be one of them?
Possibilities are endless. The questions that remain are: Will your brand be a pioneer in any of the discussed trends? and will you make a mark for 2019?