Digital Marketing Trends for 2018

In this world of uncertainties, one thing that is certain; is that time will not stop for anyone. Along with time, the advancements in the field of technology will also not slow down. Back in the year 1927, when the television was invented, no one had the slightest idea that 90 years later there would be models of it slimmer than pencils, accompanied with 3D effects and what not.

However, it is the reality today. These innovations and the new ideas, which come up everyday, are a clear indicator of man’s changing needs and consumption pattern. Those items, which were once considered luxuries, are now a necessity for everyone; the standard of living is going up. To sum it up, the world is changing; the trends are changing.

Change: The Only Constant

We are currently in the 21st century and compared to the yesteryears the consumer is becoming much more educated and aware of what his rights are and what goods/services he/she requires. Moreover, the options from which one can choose are also increasing day by day. Considering just India, as of January 2016, the number of active companies as per the PDF list published on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs website, was 10, 00,000.

The focus of companies has shifted from earning profits to a wider sense, being able to communicate with their customers in order to build a stronger foundation for the long term. This shift in focus has led to a change in the way in which they operate, majorly in their marketing activities. The methodologies of marketing have changed drastically over the years. The introduction of the internet has been its biggest boost. Being able to connect with people all around the world, companies now majorly rely on digital marketing to generate sales, connect with their audience and for research and analysis.

The Trends for 2018:

However, as we all know, marketing is a very dynamic concept and it needs to keep upgrading in order to provide better results.

Certain trends and certain practices need to change every now and then in order to keep up with the pace. Here are some trends, which will change the way digital marketing will function in 2018:

1) Good Video Content:

Whatever platform it is that a company uses, nothing beats the impact of agood video content. We have been taught since childhood, that a picture says a thousand words. Here we are talking about motion pictures! The reasons as to why companies should focus more on good video content, is:
a) each day, over a billion hours of YouTube videos are watched,
b) 82% of Twitter’s audience views videos on the platform, of which 90% are from mobile devices.

2) Augmented Reality:

New ranges of smart phones are being developed each day. Each model ismore powerful than the other and with the help of this, brands can use augmented reality for better engagement with their customers. For example, brands can trigger sponsored AR content using our mobiles location. The game ‘Pokémon Go’ was a pioneer in this idea.

3) Integrating Marketing Activities into Techniques:

With so much of data being generated daily, it becomes difficult to segregate the useful and non-useful data. Until and unless data is processed, it is just a raw fact. How companies turn this data into information is what marks their success. Integrating marketing activities into techniques such as customer journey mapping will be a new trend in 2018. Not only is it relevant but also very important in order to keep a customer engaged. It will help to think from the customers point of view.

This survey shows the different tools companies use for journey mapping of a customer.

4) Social Media Bots:

2018 will be marked as the year when companies start to think more seriously about social media bots. Brands have already started working towards using chat bots for better customer service. Some recent breakthroughs in AI have led to the success of this. It is estimated that by 2020, chat bots will manage 85% of customer interactions. Even today people are highly satisfied with this service, as suggested by this pie-chart.

5)Smart Content vs Native Advertising:

2018 will also mark as the year, which will see a rise in ‘smart content’ in relation to native advertising. Native advertising ensures more exposure and better engagement with customers due to its natural placement and formatting. It is estimated that by 2021, native advertising will drive more than 74% of all ad revenue. It also helps in the in-depth understanding of the target audience.

6)Better Long-Term Relationshipswith Influencers:

Brands spend millions of dollars on influencers for better promotion; however, the market will fall as they plan to zero in on a few select individuals who drive results. In order to avoid the pressure of competing with rival brands, marketers will look forward to develop better long-term relationships with key social media influencers in 2018. Consumers can quite easily detect collaborations which seem forced, hence the focus will be on building organic grass root relationships for a better return on investment.

The Future:

The digital economy is growing 10 times faster than the traditional economy and as an industry it is already at its peak being currently valued at $68 billion. Speaking of the future, digital marketing is the future all thanks to the dependency of the people on their phones and the internet. As per a report, the number of mobile phone users in the world will increase up to 5.07 billion by 2019, so the lead is going nowhere else but up. With the numerous advantages Digital Marketing has to offer and the trends for the ongoing year, more and more companies are opting for it.

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