4 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018
If the past is prelude to what lies ahead, then there’s every reason to believe that 2018 will be another exciting year for digital marketing. Technology companies and big data providers are innovating at lightning speed and disrupting old consumer engagement tactics along the way.
Expect the lion’s share of digital dollars to be spent on connecting with consumers on mobile throughout the day, with engagement that accommodates short consumer attention spans and focuses on hassle-free buying experiences. Video and voice-interactive content, hyper-targeted location-based advertising, augmented consumer engagement through machine learning technologies, and more frequent and targeted mobile and social media ad displays are sure to top the list.
Here are the top trends on our radar for 2018:
1. Demand for Content Marketing That Actually Clicks
The prevailing wisdom of the past few years has been that interesting, search-friendly content attracts and engages a defined audience and delivers a good return on investment. Truth be told, the proliferation of content in the form of listicles, blog posts and newsletters is already old-school. Competition for page- one search results demands creative, new content marketing strategies with more sophisticated knowledge of how the technology can work in your favor.
For example, working closely with our clients, we develop original and provocative news stories that are supported by unique data sets, such as detailed survey results. The content is then presented to top-tier media publishers (e.g., FOX, CNN, Buzzfeed, Rolling Stone, Newsweek) with the goal of “going viral.” Not only do media placements with these publishers generate huge exposure for a brand, but they are also shared on the media outlets’ social media networks with 10+ million followers. The social traffic around the content then produces traffic to the brand’s website and boosts search rankings by growing link portfolios.
Also on the horizon for 2018, look for increased use of live video on Facebook and Instagram, as well as voice search capabilities for more interactive spoken content.
2. Hyper-targeted Personalization
Personalization continues to replace generic and blanket advertisements as data collection techniques provide demographics, specific niche interests, buying intent and historical behavior. In order to engage each “needle in the haystack,” brands increasingly turn to specialized digital marketing companies which offer proprietary, opt-in databases to reach the audiences that most closely identify with the brand.
Geographic location targeting, also known as geo-fencing, plays an ever-growing role in successful marketing. Its potential applications for serving targeted consumers what they want and when they want it has many brilliant techies trying to create the next amazing GPS-based concept.
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The AI train has left the station and will continue to pick up steam in 2018 and beyond. The advertising industry has embraced artificial intelligence as an exciting frontier for communication with consumers. Around the world, its applications are being tested by many leading brands.
From sophisticated chat bots, natural language processing, real-time consumer data analysis and so much more, the sky is the limit when it comes to AI.
4. Increased Mobile and Social Media Display Advertising
With 60 percent of mobile ads reaching their intended audience, we can expect to see advertisers and marketers spending more money on these platforms in the year ahead. With the expanded use of location-based technology, as well as highly-targeted data-sets provided by companies like Take 5 Media Group, brands will deliver personalized ads in the context of social media feeds. Media and the advertisers they sell to will continue seeking new ways to engage consumers, and companies such as Facebook — and whatever the disruptor/successor to Facebook will be — try to hold their own with new options such as the Facebook’s “Watch” video platform.
Overall, 2017 saw energy, innovation and fresh thinking in the world of emerging digital-marketing solutions. If the economy remains strong, 2018 promises to see many of these advancements applied on a broader scale and new ideas simultaneously come to the fore.
Alex Radetich is one of two managing partners and founders of Take 5 Media Group, a leader in e-mail and omnichannel marketing and a nationally recognized compiler of double opt-in consumer participation. Radetich is responsible for managing the company’s day-to-day operations across South Florida, New York and Atlanta and for growing Take 5’s strategic expansion into new data products and services. Radetich brings more than 25 years of experience in direct marketing, database management and audience segmentation to Take 5 Media Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.