Wondering What’s Ahead? Don’t Miss These Nine Digital Marketing Trends of 2018
As 2016 comes to a close and we in the marketing world look toward a new year, there are old trends in digital marketing celebrate and brand new ones to keep our eye on.
What 2016 taught us in that with the online presence of small-to-medium-sized businesses increasing at a rapid pace, digital marketers needed to invest in responsive marketing and make a new commitment to developing creative, viral marketing campaigns.
That same philosophy — alone with an online real estate that is wide open — is critical in 2018. As a digital marketer in 2018, you should expect some of the predictable trends to continue — such as in the multimedia space — as well as some new, inventive twists to digital marketing campaigns. If we know anything about digital marketing, it’s that it is constantly evolving into something bigger and better — and what is required to stay ahead in this ever-changing game is an open mind and a willingness to think outside of the box.
If you work in the digital marketing sphere and you want to know what you can expect to see in the new year, the read on to learn our top nine digital marketing trends of 2018 that are going to dominate the market.
Get an edge on your competition by thinking through how these nine digital marketing trends might make a home in your marketing campaigns. If you’re committed to learning them and incorporating them now, you’re going to make it in the new year — and feel empowered and confident along the way. Be an industry trendsetter! Are you ready to get started? It’s time to get trendy:
Trend #1: Hello Mobile; Goodbye Desktop!
With Google’s recent decision to begin punishing the search engine ranking of websites that are not optimized for mobile, in 2018, we’re going to see mobile-friendly designs continue rising to royalty.
Increasingly consumers are using their mobile devices and smart tablets to make most of their online purchases, so if you’re a company without a mobile-friendly design, you’re not only risking losing your potential buyers — but they may not even see you come up in the search engine results. Why work so hard never to have your content see the light of day? That’s lose-lose for you.
The bottom line here is that you need to optimize, optimize, optimize — for mobile. Leave that desktop behind and think mobile first in 2018!
Trend #2: Video Ads are Queen
In 2016, multimedia content — including video ads led the way in digital marketing. It seems these days everything we see online has some video element. And by now, consumers are used to seeing video ads for products — whether they particularly care for them or not. This trend has been further bolstered by social media, which has led the way with Facebook and YouTube peppering their content with video ads and filling user’s streams with videos they think they’re likely to click on and interact with at the moment.
But in 2018, Google is entering that space with a ferocity not seen before, and so you should only expect video advertising to increase. If you want to get your message in front of your target audience, you’ll need to capture their attention with a creative, cerebral, humorous or at the very least — interesting — video ad.
Let multimedia guide you in 2018 to success.
Trend #3: Social Media is No Longer Just Social
That’s right. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are not just for posting silly selfies and stalking high school friends.
With the increase in brands using social media to develop their online presence and to communicate with target audiences, social media is increasingly becoming an online community that is generating referrals for businesses. So expect this trend to take off in 2018, with more brands leveraging social media to push consumers to their websites and to drive sales.
Trend #4: SERP Warning
Search engine algorithms are constantly changing — not just for search engines like Google but social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Companies often keep their distinct algorithms a mystery — but there are some things we know.
Your website is likely to get a higher ranking if it is optimized for mobile, if it follows the rules for video ads (such as not taking up the entire screen) and if it has SEO content. For social platforms, brands need to be posting relevant news and multimedia content while staying away from direct asks or sales copy.
With those basic insights in mind, expect digital marketers to be paying keen attention to how websites are ranked in new Search Engine Report Pages (SERPs) and to be constantly researching changes in algorithms. They’re likely to change more than once before 2018 is up, and as a digital marketer, you’ll need to be nimble enough to change with the Internet tide!
Trend #5: Interactive, High-Quality Content is on the Horizon
There are thousands of talented copyrighters, videographers and graphic animation artists out there who are not only creative and committed to the highest-quality work, but they also are looking for a job as freelancers. The digital marketing world has been flooded with these talented professionals, and in 2018, they’ll be churning out top, high-quality, multimedia content that will make the sales and marketing world even more competitive than it is right now.
How can you get ahead knowing the industry will see an all-time high in competitive, interactive content? The bottom line is that you’ll have to make sure you are hiring the best people you can who can quickly produce creative, interactive content that has the potential to go viral on the web.
If social media performance is any indication of where content is going in 2018, then look no further than what is known as the interactive video. Facebook is now prioritizing live videos in the feeds of social users — giving them an opportunity to not only squelch their fear of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) but interact with a live event via commenting, liking and sharing with their personal social circles.
That kind of multimedia content marketing will be in demand — so it’s critical that you develop your digital marketing team with the very best your freelance market has to offer. Even better if you can snag one of these professionals as a full-time employee for your organization or agency!
Trend #6: Hackers Unite
Growth hacking gained traction in 2016 — and it will only get more important in 2018. What should digital marketers be looking out for in the growth hacking sphere? The combination of organic ads, viral video marketing and interactive content on social media will be a fatal one for capturing the attention of new audiences.
But growth hacking strategies are going to be especially important as digital marketers explore not only how to grab the attention of a consumer — but how to retain it. That retention can’t be done in one space, and that’s why it’s important to diversify and to use several platforms to communicate with consumers and to create an environment in which they not only recognize your client’s brand, but they are excited when they see your ad pop up in their feed or their web browser.
Trend #7: It’s Still a Pay-to-Play World
Some digital marketing experts believe that pay-per-click campaigns are going to find their end in the not-so-distant future. But in 2018, you can expect PPC campaigns to continue — and online advertising to skyrocket.
In part, that’s because more and more businesses are making their way into the Internet and digital marketing spheres. Companies like Facebook, Google and others are seeing their opportunity to reward clients that are willing to pay for advertising and to get an expanded reach that otherwise wouldn’t have come about.
This is a bit of a cat-and-mouse game, but the bottom line is very similar to gambling: You’ve got to be willing to put money behind advertising and your digital marketing campaign if you are going to be competitive truly. So set a budget — or at least expect to pay a lot more for advertising and boosting your posts. This isn’t something you can compromise on if you want to get ahead in 2018.
Trend #8: Local Marketing Becomes Crazy Specific
Why will targeted marketing in your particular community get so catered and personal to you in 2018? The rise of smartwatches and other wearable tech devices are making it easier than ever for brands to deliver customized messages to all of your devices — whether it’s your Apple watch, your smartphone, your tablet or something as futuristic as your pair of Google Glass.
With the rise of wearable technology comes the chance to personalize messaging and push calls-to-action and interactive campaigns to ever device a person may carry with him or her throughout the day. What you’ll need to do as a digital marketer is to make sure all of your branding and campaign messaging is optimized and looking beautiful for the range of those devices.
There are few things worse in the digital marketing world of a piece of content to fall flat because it’s not optimized and a consumer simply loses trust or interest in the product. In 2016, wearable technology will create a lot of energy and challenges for digital marketers all over the world as they try to figure out how to cover all of their bases with creative, interactive, optimized content.
Trend #9: Are Apps the Future of the Website?
We’re not ready to say phone apps are going to replace all websites just yet. But in 2018, expect to see more apps that are the twins of their websites. Google is just one site exploring indexing for apps. In 2018, there will be many companies that do not currently have apps that will decide to launch one — so expect your favorite businesses that haven’t gotten on the bandwagon to rise and app out.
This isn’t surprising considering the trend toward mobile over desktop. As more consumers use their mobile devices and smart tablets to conduct all of their online business and to socialize, it only makes sense that their favorite websites should have an app that will make interacting — and buy — even easier.
But regardless of how many companies go the app route — what you’ll need to know in 2018 is that this trend will take off like a wildfire, leaving you to consider if the brands you represent need to start developing their mobile-friendly communications through a dedicated app, too.
In conclusion, as for December approaches and we look toward 2018 — there are many digital marketing trends we can see on the rise. Some of them are expected — and we’ve had time to explore them. Others are only beginning and could take content marketing in a new direction. And that’s why it’s so important to start thinking about these trends now, doing your homework and making your digital marketing game plan.
By incorporating these nine digital marketing trends that will begin to grow in popularity in less than a month — you’ll be on your way to getting ahead of your business competition and impressing your clients.
Digital marketing in 2018 won’t disappoint — with it focuses on video ads and mobile campaigns designed to outsource desktops. With these six top trends, you’ll be pressed as a digital marketer to continue pushing the boundaries and thinking creatively about not only your clients’ core messages but how you are going to guarantee that consumers see the messaging and respond to it.
If you’re ready to take on that challenge, start deploying these 2018 trends in digital marketing right now!