2018 Digital Marketing Trends

In today’s society of ever evolving technology, companies have had to step up their game. It’s all about keeping the consumer engaged. A successful company keeps shoppers coming back for more. The majority of people are attached to their phones and do a lot of their product research online before purchasing. This makes it the marketer’s job to entice those consumers right from their most used devices. Due to increased mobile use, companies need to stand out as much as possible. With so many companies are vying for the consumer’s attention, it has never been more important to be ahead of the up and coming trends.

Consumer Experience

In the past, focusing on customer experience has always been secondary to the more important aspects of social media marketing. The majority of company executives agree that paying attention to the consumer is necessary for success. The only “problem” is a customer focused business strategy takes time. It often does not generate profit quickly. However, companies are finding it necessary to make a real commitment to the consumer due to a demand for personalization. That’s because they are being over-saturated with content, and therefore want to be treated as an individual. This is where data analytics and data management come into play.

Artificial intelligence has become one of the most important parts of data dissemination.

According to reports, most data in the virtual sphere has gone untouched.

The amount of data that is created is simply too much for people to filter. A.I’s, are better at this than their human counterparts. Marketers can gain information on customer behavior, personalize content to individuals, and communicate directly with the right person on the correct channels. Not only can A.Is be used for data allocation, but chat bots are also advancing, which will allow customer self service and assistance, unless a live person is needed.

Companies will be looking to connect different sectors of their business. Employees will take on all roles. Instead of consumers being switched between departments, employees will be able to provide all services in that same moment.

Branding

Creating or continuing the success of a brand requires creating new and innovative experiences that offer an emotional impact and relate to the individual. For instance, advertisements are seeking to shift away from gender stereotypes. This particular marketing plan calls for inclusive and progressive thinking, which will better impact the company’s overall brand. After all, consumers are far more connected to a brand or company that supports a cause. In supporting a cause, it becomes even easier to create a marketing strategy with storytelling techniques.

Though not a new technique, the way companies portray or think of them is changing. Storytelling ranges as short as a sentence or longer and can incorporate social media such as Snapchat and Youtube to make short videos. They serve to enhance the customer experience. Creating an emotional connection makes brands memorable. Companies have to differentiate themselves. They must have a voice and a message that is unique to them. That is what will draw customers, or what will keep them coming back, so long as companies focus on the correct media output.

Media

There are many different social media platforms. From Facebook to Youtube, there’s an array of different ways for companies to market their product. Consumer time is mostly being dominated by Facebook, considering it is the largest social media site. It is versatile and can be used for company updates, advertising, and live streaming. Facebook has already shown success in advertising, particularly with pay-per-click. It’s impossible to ignore its dominance in the social media sphere. But with the platform’s success, should any others be used?

In terms of percentages, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn serve as the most used platforms. Each of them have their own pros and cons, but with their large consumer base, they are hard to dismiss. These platforms each have their own uses and can target multiple audiences. With the right strategy, using them all in conjunction could propel a company’s brand even further.

Influencers

Partnering with an influencer can be beneficial to the marketing of a brand. While celebrities were once the main spokesperson for most companies, it has now fallen to more ‘authentic’ Youtubers and major Instagram users. A large majority of marketers see influencers as a major part of their social media marketing campaigns. They speak to a specific audience and can really bring attention to a brand. Aligning a brand with an influencer doesn’t come without risks, but considering their success, the risk can be worth it.

Integrating Augmented Reality

The future of augmented and virtual reality looks promising. A new avenue for marketing, it has untapped potential. This makes it perfect for advertising which, with current strategies, is seeing a decline in success. But with the rise of interactive video content, marketers may be able to change the game. Since it’s still new, VR is an expensive strategy, but the projected outlook makes it hard to ignore for future endeavors. It allows customers to interact with products before buying, such as customizing options for cars. AR is only going to add to the consumer experience provided by companies already, and with the statistics showing future growth, it is a worthwhile venture.

The world of marketing is fast changing. Consumers are looking more and more for experiences. They want to be connected emotionally and require a personalized touch to their shopping experience. Companies need to build trust, and there’s no better way than tapping into influencer audiences. With new technology, comes new strategies to better promote brands. Companies must stay ahead of all these new trends in order to be successful with their online marketing plan. The digital world is changing to meet that need, and so marketing strategies must rise to meet the challenge.


Sharon Shichor is the CEO of Eighteen Knowledge Group LLC, your solution and knowledge base for brand building and getting your products and services in the hands of consumers.

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