This year has been very kind to digital marketers. If you went into 2017 with a clear marketing strategy, I am sure you have been able to enjoy success. However, another important prerequisite for success is your ability to spot and make use of current trends.
As far as 2017 is concerned, we have seen lots of talk about virtual and augmented reality and their role inside marketing campaigns, but they still have a long way to go before they become a more relevant factor. As a small business owner, you should know that keeping your team focused on these new trends is essential. Make sure they are receiving all the necessary information in order to help with your success further on!
Other trends, such as the use of streaming video, immersive marketing, as well as native advertising have had a much larger impact in 2017. As far as 2018 is concerned, some of the old trends are bound to carry over into the new year, while others are set to step into the spotlight. With that in mind, let’s see which digital marketing trends you should look out for in 2018.
According to ShareThrough, native advertising is a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed. Native advertising is set to continue its rise in 2018, according to research done by Business Insider. Native advertisements are all the rage because they are much less disruptive than most other forms of digital marketing. This basically means that they follow the same blueprint and format as the platform they are on. On blogs, they take on the shape on other blog articles, and on social media, they look just like your regular posts.
Apart from fitting in with the overall context and user experience, native ads are also much more effective than your traditional ads, which is evident by much better click rates, both on mobile and desktop devices. On top of that, the companies are also relying on sponsored content – which is basically the content in a publication which is very similar to the publication’s editorial material, but the costs are paid by an advertiser; the goal is to promote the advertiser’s product – to get their message across but expressed through words and style of outside authors. In 2017, advertisers have spent almost 22 billion dollars on native ads and will spend over 28 billion dollars next year.
High-quality content is at the heart of every successful marketing campaign. It needs to be helpful, attractive, as well as unique in order to truly captivate the attention of your target audience. This means the role of writers/content creators is more important than ever. Every company should invest into writers that are capable of creating captivating and informative content, but which are still versatile enough so they are able to handle projects which differ from one another.
A perfect example of this is what Toyota has been doing lately. They have reached out to content experts on YouTube, and asked them to create engaging content which is able to spark the audience’s interest, while incorporating the Toyota brand at the same time. The goal was to keep their existing customers and attract new ones, and they have been successful at that. Over 180 million impressions have contributed to higher revenue.
Remember when MTV appeared and all of a sudden, radio shows were less popular and music videos were all the rage? Well, sometimes similar is happening in the world of digital marketing, albeit not as drastic. Written content isn’t going away anytime soon, but video is slowly taking over. For instance, it’s a much more effective format when it comes to explaining complex concepts or procedures, and it produces much higher engagement.
Also, live video streaming has become more accessible than ever, especially for small businesses, which can use its power to provide backstage access, cover live events, host giveaways, promote new products and services, and make important announcements. Best of all, live streaming no longer requires complex infrastructure and large investments in equipment. And as far as interactive content goes, companies are using interactive infographics, videos, and podcasts to separate themselves from their competitors. Video and interactive are definitely something you need to keep your eyes on in 2018.
When was the last time you’ve seen someone without their smartphone? This means that mobile devices are the way to go in 2018. And we aren’t talking laptops here because some of the features mobile apps can provide you with aren’t available on PC or Mac, even if they are portable. For example, if you are accessing Instagram via the browser on your laptop, you will not be able to view live video. You will not receive important notifications either, which means you will have to use your phone.
This means you should make your campaign, as well as your content, more mobile-friendly because, for the time being, it is the most popular platform of them all. It is up to you to come up with an offer they won’t be able to resist, and to follow up on the notification they have received from you, even if they had no interest in your offer in the first place.
It goes without saying that all brilliant content is customer-focused at its core because it’s helpful and tailored to help the consumer with their problem. However, in 2018, things are going one step further. Every consumer will be provided with a custom user experience, based on his or her preferences. In reality, marketers would be able to provide a more personalized user experience by gathering information about the user’s preferences first.
The reader would go to a website, and they would be asked about the sort of content they prefer. Do they like shorter or more in-depth articles, videos or articles, slides or infographics, and so on? After that, they would be directed to the content that fits their criteria. On top of that, they would be able to receive the same experience if they decide to visit the website again, because their preferences would be saved.
Digital marketing is a field that is constantly changing, and while that is certainly exciting, it does require you to stay up to date with all the latest developments in the industry, and to implement them in the best way possible. With these tips under your belt, you are all set for 2018. Good luck!
About the author:
Justin is a teacher from Leicester, England, UK. When not teaching his little students and rooting for Leicester FC, he loves to share his thoughts and opinions about education, writing and blogging with other people on different blogs and forums. Currently, he is working as an editor at Essayontime. Follow Justin on Facebook and Twitter.