Digital Marketing Trends Forecast For 2018 – Getting Ahead Of The Pack

It’s all about fresh starts – a clean slate and that’s exactly what makes digital marketing in 2018 exciting. It’s a new year and it’s high time to write your resolutions or goals for the year ahead. As a digital marketer, what are you eyeing this year? It could be More revenue? Better branding? There are tons of things to look out for or anticipate about this year and we have to start on something solid.

The digital marketing arena is undergoing radical shifts. Predicting future trends is an entrepreneurial strategy that helps businesses thrive and stay competitive in a robustly changing market. It’s not enough to just follow the trends – you have to act on it.
The trends for 2018 are not really new so it’s not really dubbed as an innovation per se like content marketing, big data, email marketing, and others.
Below are the top digital marketing trends that digital entrepreneurs should be prepared for this 2018:

Content Marketing. Content still reigns so it’s not really much of a surprise as to why this is still the “cream of the crop” in digital marketing trends. This is the core of every business which is the main source of engagement for your brand. This powers up the steering wheel from search, email marketing, social media, and to creating spectacular user experience. The key here is how to intuitively map out your content so it becomes relevant to different personas in your target audience.

Big Data. Big has become Bigger for 2018. The so-called “actionable insight” helps you create the best user experience that is customized for your customers. No guessing games. No hit or miss this time around. This combines the power of insight and predictive analytics which shows how powerful digital marketing is with the emergence of Big Data.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. AI applications or solutions will continue to wow the world for 2018. Technology has always been on a fast lane and this shows with the popularity and extensive usage of Artificial Intelligence. These AI solutions have become useful tools for many consumers who would want to keep things less complicated and convenient. AI will still be using analytics as a learning curve for knowing more about their target consumers through noting consumer behavior and predicting customer needs.

Speedier communication channels. Messaging has become a vital component of daily life. This goes both ways – personal and business usage. Customers expect messaging or communications to be fast – so speed is now consumed like a rare commodity. Investing on speedier ways to communicate will maximize its brand reach. Customers love instant or quick communication channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype, and Snapchat. Many brands will have to adapt to this speed or else be left behind.

Indirect advertising. This generation detests intrusive or aggressive advertising strategies. So, if you are still using large banner ads or pop-ups which interrupt social media news feeds and browsing, then you have to change route and be more considerate to your consumers. Businesses should be gearing towards increasing brand awareness or in promoting products with sounding or appearing too salesy. People would most likely buy from a brand they trust or who has positive word-of-mouth advertising than businesses that interrupt or bombard their browsing sessions with too many advertisements.

Niche Sites. Niche content or sites will perform very well this year. Modern consumers would most likely perform search or Google up keywords before they decide to buy products and services. There are different niche areas that are great to work on depending on your target market. You can easily curate content which you can use to grow your brand authority and to establish yourself as a niche expert. Specialization is now the key to gaining authority or deepening influence in your target industry.

Customer or User Experience. User experience is all about how your customers feel when interacting with your business as a whole. It could be in a digital sphere or in a brick-and-mortar store. Your customers should be in the frontline of your business. No matter what business trends are on the top of the charts , your customers should always fit into the scheme of things. In this case, you should look into the bull’s eye each time – or the center- which is your customers. Know your customers because this is the only way that you will be able to respond best to their needs.

Lifecycle Marketing. Digital marketing has been more complex now than ever with different marketing jargons popping up which contribute to the transformation projects of businesses. Different businesses have different customer lifecycles. This refers to the varied touchpoints in relation to the experiences as well as communications that happens when a customer interacts with your brand. This also places importance of the path-to-purchase which utilizes different marketing techniques like re-targeting and using personalized messaging.

Smart Content. This refers to content that is personalized or tailor-fit to your target customers’ needs. There is really no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy as there are plethora of digital marketing options to choose from. However, banking on smart content helps you manage different buyer personas and respond to each one in a personalized manner that will prompt them to respond the way you would want them to be. Smart content is all about creating a communications route that fits every individual consumers that you have in your target demographics. One example is with call-to-actions.

Customized call-to-actions perform way better in terms of click-throughs or conversions than generic ones. Sending personalized messages then is beneficial to both consumers and brands because it attracts lead conversions, brand awareness, and for customers to get exactly what they need from a brand.

Amazingly, in a world full of rules -there are now zero boundaries that separate brands from their target customers. This is what digital marketing has created for many internet marketers or entrepreneurs today. It has created opportunities and interactions that seemed to be impossible decades ago. In order to gain a competitive edge or hedge in the digital landscape, the best time to take action or to take the lead is NOW. Eat or be eaten – you decide.

Until Next Time

Ian Leishman

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