The welcoming of the new year is influencing about huge change in the world of digital marketing. In an industry that never sleeps, speed is the new currency of business! And the implications are simple: to stay ahead of the pack, you’ve got to embrace the change.
If you’re a step behind, you’re not even in the game. Keep in the know with Devote’s digital marketing predictions of the year, gathered from research into industry trends, global expert insights and our humble eyes.
1. Year of the Live Video
If we learned a single truth throughout 2017, it’s that live video is a force sweeping across all major social media platforms, and is here to stay. Live video on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter has boomed in growth by 14% since 2016, and with introductions of TV-style, social-only programming, it’s expected that social live videos will dominate TV.
Take That... Traditional Marketers!
Facebook alone invested $1B in the “watch tab” and live multi-broadcasting features throughout 2017; and you know how it goes: when Facebook is taking action, it’s going to become the norm.
2. Messenger App
The Facebook messenger might very well become the standardised form of text communication, taking the place of humble text messages. With 4 billions users worldwide and counting, they provide an “instant, scalable and cost-effective strategy
” for businesses to communicate with their targeted audiences and customers.
What implications does the growth of the Facebook Messenger bound to digital marketing in 2018?
- The embracing of Messenger bots (since there’s a 200% increase in bot usage year of year)
- Facebook “emails” a.k.a. Targeted, personalised ads straight to your remarketing audiences
- Consumer demand to provide a Facebook message option on website contact pages instead of a phone number or email
3. Voice Marketing
Currently, 20% of all mobile Google searches are voice searches; this number is expected to reach 50% by 2020, with the increasing popularisation of voice assistants, like Siri, Google Home, Alexa and smart furniture (yes, smart furniture). With this new trend, marketers need to prepare by capturing content relevant to conversational phrases (e.g. “what’s the best Italian Restaurant where I am” vs “Brisbane Finest Italian Restaurant”). Long-tail keywords and conversational phrases are crucial to a business’s success on this prediction.
Google Home: A Leader Among Many Other Voice Assistants.
4. Personalisation In the Consumer Purchasing Path
Personalised emails are dead; say hello to hyper-targeted, 1-to-1 multichannel campaigns (including landing pages, social media channels and display/paid search). Every touchpoint of the customer’s journey will soon be personalised, using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to deliver individualised experiences to the individual consumer. Heck, 57% of marketers already use AI, and this figure is predicted to grow by 53% in the next 3 years. Personalised communication will cut through the clutter in 2018, and your sales funnel should embrace this opportunity.
5. Middle-Tier Influencers Fall; Micro Communities/Influencers Take The Throne
With the constant decrease of consumer trust, brands took to costly, middle-tier influencers to affirm the trust of customers; nowadays, consumers are becoming smarter, and can see through influencer marketing. To add to that, while influencers boost awareness, brands are realising the lack of measurement and ROI.
Brands are instead endorsing customer communities, forums, micro influencers and ‘people like themselves’ to foster genuine consumer trust.
Facebook Micro Communities - Motorbike Groups.
6. Marketing Activities Being Integrated Into The Customer Lifecycle
Data-driven marketing campaigns focused on the consumer lifecycle are becoming commonplace within the digital landscape. Brands are realising the unworldly potential of backing campaigns with data-supported insights on all stages of their customers lifecycles:
- Target audience
- 1st Purchase
- Repeat customer
- Loyal customer
Marketing approaches are more and more becoming tailored to touch customers throughout all stages along their journey.
7. Social Media eCommerce
This one is not new, nor a “rabbit out of the hat” prediction. eCommerce on social media has been here for years now, and it’s here to stay. Major social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest all offer ways to purchase directly from their apps; with 56% of online consumers following brands on social media to browse products, you’ve got no choice but to dive in and innovate.
Preview Of Instagram Shopping
8. Video Growth
There’s nothing new about videos online; there are innovations in the way that videos are being used online, though. The combination of smartphones, social media, decreasing attention spans and binge-watching, it’s no reason that video made up a massive 21% of brand posts in Q1 2017
Implications of video growth in 2018 include:
- Ensuring social videos drive strategy, by linking video metrics to tangible business outcomes.
- Social videos (and social in general) need to be backed by paid budgets, with the separation of Facebook feeds (friends and pages), and unpredictable algorithms that favour pair advertising.
- Combining SEO with social media content, especially Facebook videos and Facebook live videos.
9. Demand for Transparency
Everyone knows that transparency is must online, especially if you’re playing in eCommerce. Customers rely on reviews, stalk you on social media and gather all of the fine details on your business before making the decision to convert. And with the rise of local area marketing (bigger brands targeting geotargeted segments of their audiences), consumers are going to continue to demand transparency.
How to foster this change? Ensure a the face of your brand is positive, and add human elements to your marketing so that customers can relate to your brand beyond a logo, piece of content, product, or service.
Privy's Live Chat, With Real Staff Names & Profile Pictures. Humanisation at its finest.
10. Cya Snapchat
With the sneaky introduction of Instagram and Facebook stories, Snapchat is on the way out. One year alone of Instagram stories accumulated more people using the feature than the entire user base of Snapchat. We predict that due to the integration of paid advertising and Instagram stories, that paid advertising will continue to favour Instagram/Facebook stories over Snapchat; this change will also bring improved targeting and analytics for story-based paid ads.