Digital Marketing changes we can expect in 2018

Philip Piletic · December 8, 2017 · Short URL:

We all know that 2016 was a year of mobile and that 2017 was a year of video, but what's next?

Digital marketing has seen constant growth since 2010, and customers have had seven full years to outgrow ads and boring content. They're used to being fished and spammed by so many ads all over the web. The expansion of digital industries maximized friction toward brand ads, and 2018 is about to change it all.

As customer's attention spans become shorter, marketers need to constantly find new ways of keeping them interested. Users often feel under attack from ads and are massively using ad blockers in order to avoid sales messages. They are more likely to buy something from a website that provides them value than to engage with a CTA, however compelling. We all know that 2016 was a year of mobile and that 2017 was a year of video, but what can we expect in 2018?

Voice search

Since the introduction of Siri with Apple’s IPhone 4, virtual assistants have started to take over the search game. This started a revolution in search marketing to be felt in years to come. In 2017 we saw a huge growth of voice search versus text search, which resulted in less traffic for all those keyword stuffed websites.

What can be done here? Instead of stuffing your website with keywords and short terms, try to predict whole sentences and give answers to it. People are “speaking” to their Virtual Assistants, asking full questions. Words like “how”, “where”, “who” and “when” are mostly used at the beginning of a sentence. Just an example: if you are running a top rated online car cover website, you shouldn't stuff your website with keywords like covers for cars, cheap car covers etc, but try with “where to find car covers online”, for instance.

Social media and chat channels

Social media has been present in digital marketing for years now, but what has changed? Although customers can be engaged with content, marketers have moved towards video and engaging ads. Twitter use is slowly dying down due to a focus on perfecting ad platforms rather than improving user experience. When it comes to Instagram, an educated guess is that it will become a more powerful platform than Facebook itself, when it comes to sales and lead generation.

Let us not forget Quora and its new ad platform, which will be used more in 2018. Reddit is known for its simple and unassuming interface and due to people feeling safe here. It looks organic and people feel like they can trust this platform. Youtube is a popular video channel that is increasingly being used as a social media platform, as is Twitch for gamers. Let us not forget Slack and Telegram as legitimate channels for brands to communicate with their customers.

Rise of influencers

As previously mentioned, 2018 is all about providing value to your potential customers and making them feel safe and not harassed by ads. This is why Influencer marketing will be in focus even more in 2018. People do not believe ads, but they do believe influencers. For example, if you are running a beauty line you would definitely want to hire an influencer that will promote your product and wear it, instead of wasting tons of money on display advertising.

Artificial intelligence

We have been witness to a rise of AI through automation in 2016 and 2017, with Intercom as a shining example. It would be wise to pay more attention to these kinds of tools in 2018.

Intercom is successful in large part thanks to its AI powered automated messaging. According to Paul Adams, vice president of product at Intercom “bots are still rude” and this is about to change. This bot powered messaging company is trying to make their bots politer by not interrupting when a human is typing, not spamming potential customers with messages without initial engagement and withdrawing from conversations after a human employee gets involved. This will have a mass impact on customer retention and a huge impact on sales in 2018.

In conclusion, 2018 will be the year of the Customer; it is all going to be about making each customer journey simplified and rich in value, without direct sales messages and spammy activity. Customers are sick of superfluous commercials, and are more aware of the importance of their time and privacy. In 2018, marketers should be well aware of this too.

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Philip Piletic

My primary focus is a fusion of technology, small business, & marketing. I’m an editor, writer, marketing consultant and guest author at several authority sites. In love with startups, latest tech trends and helping others get their ideas realized.

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