The start of each year brings with it a host of new trends, ideas and technological advances to get your head around, and 2018 is no different.
Gone are the days where online marketers could simply pepper pages with keywords and where banner ads would get massive amounts of traffic – online users are now more sophisticated and privy to marketing tricks and so digital marketing trends need to keep up. In 2018, SEO techniques will be more complex and competitive. If you’re struggling to keep up, take a look at our top digital marketing trends for 2018 below!
1. Professional live videos are on the rise
It shouldn’t come as a major surprise that video marketing will continue to be huge in 2018. Facebook’s Live Video feature has secured its new position as a video giant, with over 8 billion average daily video views, while the sheer amount of engagement that Instagram and Snapchat have seen with their story features truly highlights this growing trend. With video traffic estimated to account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2019, this is definitely the year to embrace the visuals.
It’s no longer acceptable to upload jumpy or shaky videos – the need for a more professional looking video is now greater than ever, and with it comes a perfect way to connect with your audiences. If you keep in mind that 85% of Facebook users watch videos with the sound off, it seems that professional looking, quality videos are here to stay.
2. Transparency will help your brand to grow
When looking for local businesses, online trust is important in increasing conversions and customers to your brand or service – with 73% of consumers admitting that positive reviews make them trust a local business more, it shows that reviews are just as important as personal recommendations when it comes to trust in 2018. With both brands and consumers becoming increasingly concerned with their ROI, people are less likely to chance a purchase or business investment based on website or content alone. In 2018, as it becomes increasingly harder to rank in organic searches, we will likely see brands taking advantage of great reviews by sharing testimonials and stories of customer satisfaction to set their business apart.
3. Personalisation Gets Clever with AI
Howeever, while the idea of personalisation isn’t a new phenomenon in the world of marketing – during 2017, brands were able to tailor their campaigns and create customer profiles by monitoring browsing patterns, search history and content preferences -in 2018, marketers will need to fully utilise smart content, content that is intelligently personalised to individual needs, to make sure they’re keeping up.
In the coming year, many e-commerce sites will make the move towards AI-powered product recommendations, with new tools able to personalise search results, including their order, based on the previous browsing behaviour and habits of the individual. This marks a move forward for brands, as by improving the relevancy of search results will generally lead to higher conversion and click-through-rates.
4. Chatbots are the future
Businesses in 2018 need to recognise that messaging apps, such as Facebook and Whatsapp, are great ways to engage with consumers to increase satisfaction and seamlessly blend customer service with the purchasing process. The introduction of chatbots – virtual assistants animated by artificial intelligence – mean that customers can receive instant answers to their questions in real time, cutting out the annoyance of filling out a tedious online form and waiting days for a response. Similarly, brands can now communicate far more easily with their customers, relating product, delivery or services information in a much simpler and easy to read way.
5. Voice search changes the game
2018 will see a move towards more sympathetic and human chatbots – with the rise of intelligent ‘helpers’ such as Siri, Alexa and Cortana, marketers will need to alter their SEO techniques and practices to reflect this changes. As the language that consumers use to search becomes much more colloquial and natural, rather than a static typed query, those who are trying to optimise their sites and rank organically on Google will need to ensure that their keywords are evolving along with technological advances and practices.
While the pull of AI and chatbots seems too good to ignore, businesses will need to be wary of automating everything – it’s better to try and use automation to free up time so that extra human effort can go into creative processes in which we are still infinitely better than robots. Remember that AI isn’t always the answer, and there are still a large number of people who would prefer to simply talk to a human rather than a robot.
6. Master Micro-Moments
Moblie gadgets and tablets have completely changed the marketing game over the past few years – today’s battle for brand loyalty, sales, business and engagement is won or lost with micro-moments – small periods of time in which consumers turn to their devices to act on their needs, be it searching for answers, a service or a purchase.
Rather than spending a set chunk of their time online, today, the way people consume media is changing, and people are now accessing the internet in short fragmented interactions. These moments may occur hundreds of times per day, checking facebook, texting a friend or uploading an image. However, in terms of marketing, brands should be concerned with micro-moments – those moments where consumers want to know, go, do or buy. Micro-moments happen when consumers turn to a device – either a smartphone or tablet – to act impulsively on a desire: they know what they’re searching for, and are expecting quick simple and easily accessible answers.
To be truly successful with your marketing strategy in 2018, brands need to utilise search data and properly understand and meet consumers ever increasing needs during these micro-moments in order to beat the competition.
If you can’t quite get your head around these Digital Marketing Trends, are looking for some SEO advice, or fancy getting a helping hand from a team of Digital Marketing experts, why not contact SEO Yorkshire today – we can help you unravel the twists and turns that 2018 will inevitably trow at you!