Digital marketing is ever evolving, and it’s important to stay up to date with the latest marketing trends and statistics. As we enter the New Year, here’s a look at some of the key trends and technologies likely to dominate the marketing landscape in 2018.
Video has been one of the top digital marketing trends for several years now and this isn’t going to change in 2018. Did you know that 63% of businesses are using video in their marketing strategy? It’s a trend that plenty of businesses are quickly adopting and rightfully so – the combination of images and words makes for the perfect communication vehicle.
A staggering 43% of consumers want to see more video content from businesses. Not only are they far more likely to ‘like’ and engage with videos when it comes to social media content, videos get shared 1200% more times than statuses containing text and links combined. They’re also a great way of depicting your brand story by giving your business a face and therefore making you much more relatable to your customers.
TIPS TO LEVERAGE VIDEO MARKETING
- You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Find inspiration from content that you’ve previously created and shared. Turn blogs into vlogs and give your audience educational videos that provide tangible value to them.
- Consumers generally like short explainer videos that briefly outline your offering. They also like live streaming, which they generally watch for 3x longer than traditional videos.
- Add captions to your videos. The majority of digital consumers watch videos on their mobiles on mute, so it’s important that you communicate the content via easy-to-read captions and subtitles.
2. Personalised content
A large part of consumer communication happens from behind a screen which is why it’s safe to say that consumers are definitely looking for something a little bit more personalised and intimate in 2018. Did you know that 66% of consumers said they were willing to switch brands if they were made to feel like a person and not a number? And 56% of those said they would switch brands if a business didn’t make an effort to personalise their communication with them!
The content you offer your consumers is incredibly important. Content marketing remains the centre of all effective marketing campaigns with recent stats indicating that 75% of businesses increased their investment in content marketing in 2017. While we understand that content is important, we need to use and distribute content in a way which makes consumers feel like it was created just for them. This is confirmed by HubSpot who reported that personalised content performs 42% better than non-personalised content.
TIPS TO LEVERAGE PERSONALISED CONTENT
- Start simple. Incorporate names, emails and words from your client database.
- Using client information stored in your database, kick off a series of lead nurturing campaigns that offer access to insightful content in exchange for more information. For instance, offer them a free downloadable e-book, which they will receive by filling out an online form.
- Start incorporating targeted calls-to-action (CTAs) on your website which are personalised to where your visitor is currently sitting along the buyer lifecycle stage.
3. CHATBOTS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Chatbots saw a rapid rise in 2017 as various social media platforms opened up the space for developers to build smart experiences for their brands and consumers. In 2018, it’s predicted that we’ll continue to see a rise in businesses using chatbots to handle enquiries and customer interactions. They will also be a more common solution for businesses wishing to provide superior customer service in a smarter more cost effective way.
As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to become easier to integrate with various platforms and further evolve, it’s more likely that businesses will embrace AI live chat to better service their website visitors in a personalised way.
64% of businesses who are currently using AI say that is has increased their marketing efficiency.
ADVANTAGES OF UTILISING CHATBOTS
- Chatbots are mobile responsive/friendly so they’re already streamlined according to a mobile audience.
- They are easy and quick to develop.
- You’ll have access to real-time marketing insights and data, so you’ll be able to run personalised campaigns.
4. VOICE SEARCH
Voice search has become increasingly popular and thanks to ever-improving voice recognition technology, incredibly easy to use. Voice searches are most commonly used by people in the 18–49 age bracket, particularly through mobile devices. In fact, Google claims that 20% of mobile search queries submitted via its app are done using voice.
This year voice search will transform the way information and communication is processed. It will be necessary for businesses adapt to new voice search queries and to create specialised content to provide instant, easy to understand answers for consumers. For example, when typing people generally enter queries such as ‘weather’ but in voice they may ask ‘will it rain today?’ Understanding these nuances will give businesses more opportunities to show up in relevant content.
TIPS TO LEVERAGE VOICE SEARCH
- When determining target keywords and content, keep in mind the conversational nature of voice searches.
- Think of questions that consumers may ask and make sure you have content that answers those questions. This could include adding a Q&A section to your website.
- Optimise local sources as mobile voice searches often involve ‘near me’ queries.
5. AUGMENTED REALITY
The rise of virtual reality platforms has made augmented reality (AR) as a digital marketing tool a viable possibility. Most people would still have only properly engaged with AR through games like Pokémon Go or dancing hot dogs on Snapchat, but this year it’s about to become a lot more common and varied in its uses.
The number of ways AR could be used in marketing is staggering. Consumers could place virtual furniture in their homes before they purchase the piece to see if it fits within the actual space (a concept which IKEA is currently utilising), or augmented glasses could highlight and provide information on foods that suit a consumer’s diet to help save time, which could provide an effective method of sales conversion.
Even our mobile devices and social media apps are fast becoming integrated with AR. For instance, by tracking a consumer’s location businesses can trigger sponsored AR content that can be accessed by only them in that specific region. With these advances, AR is predicted to become more affordable, acceptable and adaptable over the coming years.
It’s estimated that the AR and VR market will be worth $692 billion by 2025.
ADVANTAGES OF USING AR
- The technology and hardware is already available and ready to go on smartphones and tablets.
- AR is unique – there is more chance to surprise your customers by offering something unique that your competitors don’t have yet. You’ll also generate more word of mouth and increase your social sharing.
- By using AR your consumers are interacting with your product time and time again. You’ll also have the opportunity to create something completely personalised and individual to them.
What a year! Keeping up with changing marketing trends and technologies can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have a large marketing team to support you. If you’re worried about falling behind, we can help.
SEE Business Solutions offers a range of marketing services including strategic marketing, social media management, content creation, brand development and creative design services. Contact us today to discuss your marketing needs!