Another year, another leap in digital marketing. Because of the nature of online communications and technology, digital marketing is a rapidly evolving industry, with newer and better techniques of reaching the target audience emerging every year. In this article, we’re going to take a look at what we can expect to see in 2018.
1. Keywords will play a smaller role in targeting
Keywords used to play a large role in online adverts and content. However, their role is being minimized every year, in favor of a more targeted and authentic system. In 2018, we are likely to see more emphasis on audience segmentation and overlay, especially when it comes to advertising strategies.
Effective ads will target customers with personalized messaging at various stages of their purchasing journey. Tools will become increasingly capable of identifying, overlaying, and segmenting the target audience, and they will have features that allow an advertising agency more control over an ad campaign.
AI has been in the news a lot lately. From Elon Musk’s doomsday prophecies, to self-driving cars’ leaps and bounds in effective driving, we’ve come to realize that AI will soon be a part of our lives. When it comes to internet marketing, AI will be used to increase conversions by analyzing the behavior of a lead. By building an accurate customer profile, AI will then be able to personalize the purchasing journey, and use tools such as SMS text messages, email marketing, push notifications and content recommendations, as the situation requires. This process will then be calibrated through mass-scale A/B testing, and an automatically self-updating algorithm.
Content is king, and video is one of the most effective forms of content. In a new variation of the format, livestreaming is making its way into some marketing circles. According to the New York Magazine and Livestream, 80% of survey participants expressed a preference for live video over reading a blog post. This trend will be facilitated by all social media platforms, and we’re likely to see many creative variations using the format. The big benefit of livestreaming over recorded video, is audience interaction, where customers can ask questions directly and have them answered in real time.
4. Voice Search
Voice search is a trend that will span many years, and in 2018, we’re starting to see it take root. In some estimations, it is expected to take over 50% of search-queries by 2020, as the algorithm for voice recognition improves. This means that digital marketing agencies will have to optimize their content for voice searches.
When using voice search, customers usually ask questions, which means that the search engine will return a featured snippet. In order to rank highly in this case, you want to optimize your content to return as many featured snippets as possible. With a proper strategy, a traffic increase of 677% is possible, according to Ben GoodSell.
In the realm of social media marketing, microinfluencers are set to make a big splash in 2018. A microinfluencer is a social media user with a relatively low follower count, who will engage in paid product/service promotion. These users have a much higher engagement rate than users with large followings. When properly harnessed, a team of microinfluencers can have as high as 8% engagement rate, compared to the 1% engagement rate of very prominent influencers.