10 Trends That Will Totally Transform The Digital Marketing Landscape In 2018

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The year 2017 is yet to say its goodbyes. But as it is every year, you, and I, and digital marketers everywhere have already begun planning digital marketing strategies for the next year.

As the industry predicted in 2016 end, the digital marketing landscape in 2017 built itself around video ads, mobile optimisation, big data, dedicated Apps, SEO audits, high-quality content, and smart machines. An eventful year, indeed!

Now, as 2018 approaches, we all have tried to get a hold of the changes which lie ahead. As a result of this effort, I present the trends which may impact the digital marketing landscape in the upcoming year.

1. AI May Take the Centre-Stage

I say AI, and you go ‘meh!’. Because Artificial Intelligence is already everywhere, right?
Well, think on a grander scale. Assistant, Siri, customer service chatbots- you encounter AI on a regular basis. But it’s the business, the backend, that has much yet to explore.

We’ll see more companies primarily use AI for trend analysis and consumer profiling. You’ll connect better with customers, targeting will be precise, and you’ll be able to shoot emails faster, offer an abundance of accurate and relevant options to the customer.

Plus, you could embed AI directly into your platform, something we’ve glimpsed with IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein already.

2. Video Marketing Will Keep Rising

A Visual Networking Index report predicts that video content will take over 80% of the entire internet traffic by 2019. With 63% of businesses that actively use videos for marketing motives, the trend isn’t going to peak or die anytime soon.

What may change is the nature and length of these videos. Despite this fluctuating nature of viewer inclination based on video length, style, and structure, the 92% of mobile video viewers who share them with others makes for a convincing argument in favour of video marketing.

3 & 4. Internet of Things and Analytics

In the last year, the IOT network expanded by more than 30%. And this network, as it grows, will bring in lots of data and churn it to reveal information.

Why I haven’t put down IOT and Analytics as two separate entities in this list is because it’s their collaboration that’s promising and which we’ll be seeing more of it in 2018.

As IOT works to generate information, the functionality of complex units, like manufacturing, healthcare, etc., will gain efficiency. In fact, from managing retail expenses to planning cities- IOT and analytics, when working together, can create business insights at levels we’ve never reached before. For more info on this topic, read our related article on the future of IoT and big data

5.Mobile Marketing Will Retain Its Crown

Mobile optimisation was the priority for digital marketers this year. Now, in 2018, it’s expected that Google will let loose the mobile-first algorithm.

What does it mean for you? Optimisation and being mobile-friendly won’t be enough anymore.
Google will primarily index the mobile version of your website and rank the results. Whether a viewer visits your website on a desktop or a handheld device, the structure and SEO quality of your mobile-layout would matter above all.

Now, add to that the $143 billion estimated expense in 2017 on mobile ads and the 69% digital media time which users spend on mobile, and you have your reasons to include mobile marketing in your strategy.

6. VR Is out, AR Is In – or So It Seems

This isn’t a good time to bet on either VR or AR. 2016 was expected to deliver $3.8 billion and $0.6 billion in VR/AR revenue. VR only brought around $2.7 billion and AR, credits to Pokemon GO, jumped to $1.2 billion.

2017 showed us how it looked like AR was going to grow at a faster pace than VR. In 2018, they both have good growth chances. The fight is for people’s attention.

Apple’s moving to develop AR. With its ARKit, virtual viewing could dramatically shift from VR to AR, despite the fact that right marketing and the upcoming FIFA World Cup can help VR adapt and outpass AR.

7. Content Marketing & Personalised Experiences

IOT, smart speakers, the need to engage – it all has lead to content being lifted off the screen. Not just through an apposite post, but you can also use interactions with chatbots and virtual assistants to define consumer experience.

Although, the fact that most marketing attempts grow on the soil of original, engaging, educational, and value-imparting content won’t change in 2018.

However, visual content is rising. And there are as many content formats as distribution channels, so prioritising one is hard to predict at present.

But, what you and I will agree over, I believe, is that personalised, targeted, and high-value content will remain key to content success in 2018. In fact, 94% senior-level executives consider content-personalisation critical for customer targeting, says a PWC’s Digital Services Group report. On a related note, read our article on how to improve your content marketing efforts

8. SEO Analysis

SEO and content, as per 97% of digital marketers surveyed by BrightEdge, are more integrated now. In fact, 52% marketers also agree that a fluent SEO strategy helps long-term market content.

What’s more, the Mobile-first Google Algorithm will introduce new parameters to the website audit checklist. The increasing use of digital assistants and voice search will lead to an enhanced focus on long-tail keywords and a frequent familiarity with the conversational language.

9. Dark Social- Not Ignorable Anymore

Many people share more URL-based articles/pictures/memes etc. using one-on-one mediums than they do on social media. And these dark social practices make up around 69% to 84% of outbound sharing, says a RadiumOne report.

In 2018, dark social offers you an excellent marketing opportunity. It reaches a demographic that often isn’t available or not entirely reachable via other social mediums. If you could get through to this audience, your social media ROI would benefit greatly.

10. BlockChain – More Than Just Cryptocurrencies

Blockchain tech secures economic transactions cryptographically. It’s aimed at improving efficiency. And as it advances and marketers try it out, it could play a significant role in digital advertising next year.

Think- publishers could create a list of safe, reliable advertising environments using blockchain. Influencers agreements could be fulfilled via automatic remuneration released as soon as said influencer reaches the agreed number of shares/likes.

But, if you plan to use blockchain tech, be sure you understand how it’d be useful in your specific case.

Keep an Eye out for More Trends

As is the ritual, the digital marketing landscape brandishes old trends while it presents new opportunities every other year.

Predicting digital marketing trends on the dot is pretty unlikely. Getting an idea of what’s ahead, not so much. So, stick around! You may spot a plan for the blueprint of your next digital marketing strategy.

Category: B2B News

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