The beginning of the year is often the time we begin to revamp our marketing strategies to increase our ROI. Before you dive into that process, take a moment to review the following trends that have either started the year off with lots of momentum or have promising potential. Here's what you need to know before you start implementing changes to your marketing strategy in 2018:
1. What happens with influencer marketing?
Influencers are all over social media. According to this study, 86% of marketers used influencer marketing in 2016 and 94% of them found it to be effective.
The question is where influencer marketing goes from here. The numbers are still pending, but it'll be interesting to see if brands over invested and whether B2B campaigns embrace the practice.
2. AR content
Despite all the talk about VR in recent years, it looks like brands are switching their focus to augmented reality. In 2018, look for marketing campaigns to roll out branded content in AR environments.
3. Instagram surpasses Facebook
It didn't take long for Instagram Stories to surpass Snapchat. With younger audiences migrating away from Facebook, look for brands to start prioritizing Instagram more in their campaigns. There are already 500 million daily active users on the platform, so it's not like brands will have to work with smaller audiences.
4. Smart content
In order to share relevant content with leads based on their given life cycle stage, brands are investing in smart content. Here's how it works, according to HubSpot:
"By creating Smart Lists that recognize your different life cycle stages, you can customize the content that people in each life cycle stage will see. When a visitor comes to your website, they bring some context with them for that session, including any cookie that was attached to them from a previous session on your website."
You don't want to share the same content with both new leads and loyal customers. Smart content lets you segment these users based on their Internet histories.
5. More live events
We don't expect live streaming to go anywhere in 2018. If anything, expect more businesses to give it a try.
6. Native advertising
Businesses are investing in ads that don't distract the user from the content. This is known as native advertising. Here's how Marketing Land defines it:
"Native Advertising is a type of paid placement that is designed to fit seamlessly into the content that surrounds it. In its design, content and writing style, the native ad mirrors the non-paid content around it, giving the user the impression that it really belongs."
Users will skip ads that stick out. Native ads should complement the content and get a user's attention without distracting them.
7. Twitter declines in relevancy
Twitter has struggled to find new ways to engage users. As a result, users are moving on to platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. We'll see how marketers respond with their budgets.
8. LinkedIn attracts a wave of B2B marketers
LinkedIn's new UI makes it a more attractive marketing platform, especially for B2B. Look for it to attract a new wave of users this year.
9. Brands struggle to meet consumer expectations
Consumer expectations are constantly rising thanks to brands like Amazon. Now, your average business is expected to offer excellent customer service and free shipping. Not all brands will make the jump.
10. Voice marketing
Products like the Amazon Echo are creating a new niche in digital marketing. Businesses are already experimenting with voice marketing and we should see new campaigns roll out soon.
11. More mobile advertising
There's plenty of opportunity for businesses to invest in advertising on Android and iOS apps. By finding the right app, businesses can target their market segments.
12. One-on-one interactions
To generate leads, marketers are sending personal messages on social platforms. As of now, this feature is unrestricted on Instagram, but we'll have to see if this stays the same in 2018.
13. Social messenger chatbots
Brands like Pizza Express have started rolling out social messenger chatbots. These make them more accessible to customers who want to place an order right from an app. This is particularly attractive for restaurants who do a lot of take-out business.
Bonus: More focus on the customer journey
Finally, we expect more businesses to take a holistic approach with their marketing campaigns. Marketers will try to create customer journeys that start with generic searches and continue after the first sale.
Check out this free e-book for more information on digital marketing and understanding the customer journey.
Contact us today to build a great marketing strategy and boost bottom line results in 2018.