Happy new year!
With 2018 being as new as it gets, today I will share some of the new marketing trends that will emerge this year.
All successful marketers have one thing in common: always preparing for the future trends. So, it can never be too early to discuss the upcoming trends, so we can prepare our strategy earlier than our competition.
Without further ado, let us begin with the first one.
1. Content Marketing
Yes, in 2018, content will still be king.
I’m sure many of you already focused your efforts on content marketing throughout 2017. If it’s working, you will simply need to refine your content strategies instead of trying new approaches.
If there’s anything you’ll need to change throughout our journey in 2018, it is to always be on the lookout for new channels to distribute your content, or even new forms of content altogether.
Throughout this list, you might see new things you are tempted to try. So, here is our advice: even when you are trying new methods or strategies, don’t neglect your content marketing.
2. Artificial Intelligence
Throughout 2017, I’m sure you’ve heard at least a thing or two about artificial intelligence that’s not on a sci-fi movie.Expect this buzzword to continue rising in 2018.
But, Is there any correlation between Al and digital marketing? More than you know. If you are an SEO practitioner, surely you’ve heard of RankBrain, Google’s AI algorithm that is now one of the highest ranking indicator.
Chatbot is also an example of Al application in digital marketing. More and more businesses are investing in AI-based chatbot, and thanks to tools like Drift and Intercom, it is more affordable than ever.
Also, advancements in AI will also translate to breakthroughs in behavioral marketing. Us marketers might have more tools to understand customers, and thus allow us to engage them better. Will this also mean a breakthrough, or even a new form of remarketing and retargeting? Quite possibly.
3. Influencer Marketing, And Micro-Influencer
I’m sure many of us have adopted influencer marketing in one form or another, mainly by paying people with a lot of social media followers to promote our products. We call them ‘social influencers’ or sometimes, ‘brand ambassadors’. Another common method is to ask our existing customers to share our product or service.
Influencer marketing has been really popular in the recent years, and we can expect it to continue rising in 2018. While previously using brand ambassadors is only prominent in certain niches like beauty and fashion, we can expect it to spread to other industries.
Throughout 2017, we have seen the increase of micro-influencers endorsement. Well, let me back up a bit: we can generally categorize social influencers into four groups: there is the celebrity with over 1 million followers, there are people with 500k to 1 million followers which we dub the ’macro influencers’, there are the middle influencers with 100k to 500k followers, and finally there are the micro influencers with between 1k and 100k followers.
Customers, especially younger ones are now getting smarter. They know when major celebrities and macro influencers are promoting products, and are less interested. However, micro influencers can pass the message more subtly, and can relate to their followers better.
If you are currently planning for your influencer marketing strategy, consider reaching out to micro influencers in your respective and niche.
4. The Time for Post-Millennials
We are reaching the end of an era.
For the past decade or so, the generation Y, or what we call ‘millennials’ dictate the market. There’s nothing wrong if you are still planning to continue emphasizing on them, they are still a huge and flourishing market, after all.
However, it is always important to target customers when they are going, so we can have better lifetime value(LTV). Therefore, it’s time to also put our focus on the post-millennial generation,the gen Z.
As previous generations have shown, different generations have different buying habits. The oldest people belonging to this generation are now in their early 20s, meaning they are just entering the workforce and have more buying power.
Are their behavior different compared to gen Y? Definitely. This article might help you.
Again, this shouldn’t mean you should neglect millenials as your primary prospects. They still are. However, acknowledge the fact that there is a huge, fresh market you should tap into.
The Gen Y market will be the primary prospects for the next 15 to 20 years. So, the earlier you start, the better.
5. Live Streaming
We have seen a major increase in live video streaming in the past few years. As with others on this list, we can expect live streaming to grow even bigger in 2018.
Not only it is a popular medium among marketers nowadays, it is also popular with customers, with 80% customers nowadays preferring a live video instead of reading a blog.
So, if live streaming hasn’t been a part of your 2017 marketing strategy, you should definitely put it into consideration in this upcoming year.
Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- People love behind-the-scenes approach in live video, you can, for example, introduce your team to your followers through a live-feed
- Give special offers and promotions for those who watch the video. However, avoid live streaming just for the sake of giving offers, content is still king.
- If you have offline events, live stream it.
Remember that live streaming is essentially a part of content marketing. So, the key is always to have interesting and engaging contents that your audience can relate to.
6. Transparency, Yet Privacy
I put these two together because in my opinion, they are two sides of the same coin.
First, transparency and customer trust will be even bigger in 2018. People will read your reviews and dig up as much information as they can before finally converting to your business.
So, put more efforts on getting good reviews. How do you want people to perceive your business? Think of how to show them just that. It helps if your business has a social media persona. It can be your CEO or a dedicated social media manager, but show your customers that there are humans behind your business.
On the other hand, people are now more worried about their privacy than ever. Show them(and proof them if possible), that you will protect their privacy at all costs. Customers will simply put more considerations into businesses that will protect their information.
7. Voice Search
Especially with the advent of smart home hubs and assistants, everyone is doing voice search nowadays. This trend is also expected to grow in 2018, and will continue to grow to be the prefered search method.
So, what will it mean for us marketers? Obviously, we should now optimize for voice searches. To begin, focus on keywords that are more conversational. When choosing your long-tail keywords, think about the possibility of saying it out loud.
Also, voice searches are often tied to locations, because your device will tell the search
engine where you are currently located. So, many of local SEO tactics can work.
A good approach is to combine voice SEO with your content marketing, because it is easier to incorporate conversations in your blog.
Stay tuned for our next guide for voice search optimization in the near future.
8. Local Marketing
It is now easier than ever for local businesses to get in touch with their customers. Recently, Google rolled out Google Posts for every business out there. Facebook Local is now also a big thing, giving customers a more localized space to socialize.
Yes, not all of us are brick-and-mortar businesses, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect local marketing. In fact, with all the advancements in local channels, there is a huge probability that even big multinational brands will put more focus in local marketing.
So, if you haven’t already, it’s time to think about how to integrate your marketing strategy with the local channels. Our previous guide on local SEO is a good place to start.
2018 will be an interesting, yet challenging year for marketers. Essentially, we won’t need to change what we’ve done in 2017 too much, but we’ll need to be on the lookout for shifts in trends, as well as new channels and technologies.
Marketing is not a static field, and keeping up with the trends is always one of the keys to success.
The changes we will see in 2018 are not limited to what we have shared above, but it is a good place to start.