Digital marketing is now ubiquitous in all marketing strategies, and its goal remains the same; identify your ideal audience, reach them at scale, and connect with them in the most effective and cost-efficient manner. But with each new year comes innovations and changes in an ever-evolving digital landscape. We’re kicking off 2018 with a few digital marketing trends and shifts we expect to see in the coming year.
In order to be successful in delivering the right message, to the right person, at the right time – the key is a truly audience-first strategy. Content creation in 2018 will move away from targeting keywords, and instead target people. Artificial intelligence will also play a part here, personalising customer experiences across the entire content journey like never before.
Video has been a hot topic for a while now, however 2018 will be the year it prevails. Paid distribution will lean heavily toward video content as brands add YouTube and Facebook Video to their list of priority marketing channels. Google will continue to evolve YouTube, enabling more brands to easily curate and promote their own video content, while native content that can be promoted through social such as Snapchat and Instagram Stories will become even more significant.
Amazon will continue to expand into and potentially dominate new verticals. We’ve already seen the e-commerce giant overtake Google as the number one product search engine, as well as securing a fearsome position in the smart home marketplace with the popularity of Amazon Echo and its virtual assistant Alexa. Further to this, a continued push in 2018 on its added-value services (Amazon Prime, Amazon Now, Amazon Grocery, Amazon Lockers etc.) will only continue to grow customer loyalty.
Voice search will become more important this year, and with this, we will see advances in the functionality of digital assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Home. Considering in 2017 that 55% of teens and 40% of adults used voice search, the trend is expected to become more mainstream in 2018 and will have a major impact on the way marketers will target audiences – with many technologically advanced brands developing their own ‘skills’ and voice-driven apps.
The influencer marketing industry will continue to grow exponentially, but we will see a shift in the type of influencers that brands will be working with – from bloggers and YouTubers with large-scale followings to micro influencers with followings of 10,000 and less. With higher engagement rates, less talent agencies to deal with and more influencers to choose from, this seems like an obvious move for marketers in 2018.