6 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018
As 2018 moves past its middle point and dutifully heads toward 2019, we take a look at the latest digital marketing trends. At first glance, today’s digital marketing trends appear to be more of the same. However, each year brings additional improvements and new ways to better reach your audience.
Waiting in line, held up for a bus, lingering for a friend, and any type of boredom really, what is your go-to time filler? Of course, your smartphone! Mobile devices are so popular they have become a nuisance, with pedestrians bumping into each other walking with their heads down looking at a screen, and drivers now ticketed (as they should be) for distracted driving, a term coined solely for mobile use while behind the wheel. As marketers, what do we see? Not Irritation, but an opportunity!
The exponential growth of smartphone usage has given birth to M-Commerce, or Mobile Commerce. Here are a few ways to jump on the M-Commerce train.
Be sure your social media posts and ads are formatted to fit mobile devices of all sizes, from Android to iOS to tablets. Look into Short Message Service (SMS) and reach your potential consumers directly (but be careful with this one—your business can go from helpful to annoying quick). Check out traditional display marketing on sites related to your business (costs for impressions will vary depending on popularity). And finally, be sure your website is optimized for mobile (if your site is not easily navigated with a thumb, you might want to look at changing it up ASAP).
2. Going Programmatic
Programmatic advertising uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate ad purchasing and audience targeting. Using a programmatic method can help your business lock in the best bids without having to man your computer all the time.
Just how popular is programmatic advertising? In 2017, programmatic display advertising spending was estimated to be four of every five budgeted dollars, totaling $32.56 billion. (Check out the afore mentioned stat and fourteen more on CMO). In fact, programmatic spending beat out TV last year: digital ad spend was $209 billion and TV was only $178 billion worldwide.
3. Rise of the Chatbots
What do Chatbots do? First off, they save you time and money. Second, they help your site visitors find what they need fast, or have their questions answered immediately. Chatbots are an automated tool on your site used for customer service, questions, engagement, and, at times, sales finalization.
Here are a few ways to use a Chatbot: (a) Engage your visitors with a message that fits your site–make it welcoming at first and not sales focused. (b) Let the user decide if they would like to engage with the bot. Heck, they might not even know it’s a bot.
Chatbot tools will have an option for a human user to take over if your visitor’s questions are unique or become too complicated for the bot. Chatbots are a great way for you to drive data. If 100 visitors see the initial message upon landing on your homepage, there is a good chance at least half will respond with valuable data insights in the form of replies.
4. Tried and True Reviews
Facebook, Google, Yelp, and industry-specific reviews are one of the best organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies you can use. Not only will these reviews help your site be found in a search, but they will also provide real social proof for new customers from real, satisfied customers. Or, if your customers are not happy, these low-star reviews will allow you to adjust to your customers’ demands.
Have a system in place to request reviews and send links to your customers so they can get to a review page with one click. Do not bait them into giving reviews.
5. AI Video Marketing
Video marketing is nothing new, but AI animated video from text transcript is! I love this and have been checking out Raw Shorts. Raw Shorts transforms your text into an animated video that you can edit and adjust to your liking. These animated videos convert humdrum text documents into easily digested information in the form of smooth flowing videos.
6. It’s All About Branding
Branding hasn’t changed. It’s still about how people feel about your business. However, the way we deliver this feeling has changed dramatically with automated delivery solutions such as HootSuite, HubSpot, and Buffer.
By automating your brand, not only will you reach your desired audience, but, you will keep on top of what they want and be there when they want it. Most of the platforms listed above not only automate but deliver additional SEO, SMM, and SEM strategies as well.