The 8 Hottest Digital Marketing Trends of 2018
The world of digital marketing is constantly changing, and businesses need to change with it. If you don’t want to be left behind, you’ll need to stay ahead of trends and see what is new on a regular basis.
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As algorithms change for search engines and new social media tactics appear, make sure your business is firmly in the moment. Here are eight of the hottest digital marketing trends of 2018, all of which have the potential to improve your online marketing strategy.
1. Increasing Use of Social Media Influencers
Social media influencers are not a new idea, but in 2018, an increasing number of businesses are funneling money to a handful of very influential people. It has become clear that while people on Facebook or Instagram might not respond well to an advertisement directly from a company, they are more receptive when the message comes from a social media personality. For that reason, businesses are gravitating toward high-profile influencers.
2. More Video Content
Content is king, and likely always will be. However, the type of content that reigns can change over time. In 2018, it is clear that video content is growing in popularity. As internet speeds increase, more and more people are turning to videos. Most popular is short video content. Businesses need to figure out how to tell their brand’s story in a matter of seconds to accommodate a shortened attention span.
3. Social Media Stories
Also on the rise in 2018 is the use of stories. First pioneered through Snapchat, stories are now widely used on Instagram and Facebook. They offer an alternative to curated content, and they are meant to be more casual and more relatable to users. For businesses, it is a new realm of social media to explore. As many as half of all Instagram users spend more time looking at stories than profile posts, so they are a clearly critical area to focus on. Businesses can combine stories with influencers by having key people host takeovers and exhibit how a product or brand is used in their daily life.
4. Text Messages for Consumers
There are many different ways that businesses can communicate with prospective and current customers. Nearly gone are the days of flyers in the mailbox, but email marketing is still going strong. In addition, businesses are beginning to utilize text messaging as a way to communicate with their audience. Many people in 2018 are comfortable sharing their phone number with companies, and those companies can text customers short messages about sales, new products or special discounts. Since most Americans are within arm’s reach of their phones at any moment, this is an effective way to make an impression quickly and relatively inexpensively.
5. Consistent Use of Chatbots
A growing trend in the past few years has been the use of customer service chat options. This is a common alternative to phone calls or email correspondence with customers. In 2018, be prepared to see growth in the area of chatbots. These are robotic responses that pop up in chat windows, offering automatic responses to common questions that customers might have. This can be an alternative to person-to-person contact, and it can eliminate the costs of customer service dramatically. Expect some hiccups as companies learn the right balance between chatbots and the availability of human interaction.
6. Verified Reviews
Most individuals looking for services or products online pay close attention to online reviews. In response, many companies encourage reviews, but not all reviews you find online are accurate. That’s why one of the biggest digital marketing trends of the year is verified reviews. These are reviews that guarantee that the reviewer has indeed used the product or service. As consumers lose confidence in online reviews, verified reviews are the antidote. Businesses may also pay to promote positive reviews, especially if they include pictures or come from influencers.
7. Passion-Driven Content
For a number of people who use the internet regularly, ads are nothing more than a nuisance. Ad blocker software is widely used, and many people are simply immune to pop-up ads. People can spot an advertisement a mile away, so companies are changing their tactics. While content marketing isn’t new, some businesses are creating content that has seemingly no direct connection to their products or brand. This is passion-driven content, and it is meant to connect with an audience on a deeper, more meaningful level. Of course, when individuals foster a relationship with a brand for any reason, they are also more likely to use that brand’s products or services in the future.
8. Augmented Reality Content
Pokémon GO took the world by storm in 2016, and in 2018 you can expect a number of other companies to jump onto the trend of AR, or augmented reality, content. This is content that you can only see when you’re in a specific location. You might be able to unlock a discount code when you’re within 200 feet of a store, for example. This approach allows businesses to make contact with their audience when they are in the right location and encourage them to take action or make a purchase.
To be competitive in virtually any industry, you need to be well-versed on the hottest digital marketing trends. Incorporating one or more of these trends into your marketing strategy can potentially boost sales, traffic and profits.
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