Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Trends for 2018

January 15, 2018

2017 is almost over and digital marketers are already anticipating what’s going to happen in 2018. Well, 2017 was a year when digital marketing saw several changes happen. While it was a year in which foundation for advancements was laid, 2017 also brought many vulnerabilities of the industry to the surface. Since digital platforms were plagued by extremist content and fake news in 2017, brand safety assumed a significant position, becoming a new urgency for marketers.

The changes that took place in the digital marketing scenario in 2017 are likely to exert their influence on the industry even in 2018. Changing regulatory dynamics and emerging capabilities will determine how brand marketers reach and engage with prospects and consumers next year. If you are amongst the many anxious digital marketers, then you should check out the following trends for 2018:

Data will drive marketing

Like always, the focus will be on data. A marketing environment driven by data is what is likely to come about in 2018. Marketers will have to gain a thorough understanding of the customer journey by leveraging data. They have to analyze how marketing data translates into a consumer’s journey. Marketers have to know where their consumers will be at every step of their conversion funnel. It’s very important for them to know what appeals to them and plan their marketing efforts accordingly. This is only possible when marketers will use the power of data to gain meaningful insights about consumers.

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Augmented reality (AR) will become all the more prominent

Salesforce conducted a research that showed that the use of artificial intelligence by brand marketers is likely to increase more than 50 percent in the next two years. Artificial intelligence is expected to become the key to personalization in 2018, making it easier for marketers to know the likes and dislikes of consumers, determine the kind of content they should be served, and track their overall purchasing journey.

Artificial intelligence is likely to be integrated with social media more deeply and powerfully in 2018. Brands are looking to leverage artificial intelligence to engage more deeply with consumers. For example, a brand may use a consumer’s location to serve them with AR content that can be accessed at the location, at that particular time. As such, artificial intelligence is likely to gain more prominence in the digital marketing space in 2018.

User interfaces will become more conversational

Interactions in the digital space have already become very conversational, especially with applications like Google’s Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, chatbots and many others. These conversational interactions will continue to exert their influence in the digital marketing space even in 2018. Consumers are likely to make such user interfaces a part of their daily digital activity.

Conversational user interfaces are a great way for brands to establish meaningful relationships with customers. It also provides a good amount of data to help marketers understand consumers better. Not only are these interfaces expected to become more interactive, but also very entertaining in the coming year.

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Targeted ads will have a specific purpose

It has always been a challenge for marketers to appeal to consumers because of their low attention span. Consumers are already barraged with a slew of advertisements every day, making it all the more difficult for marketers to promote a brand. Targeted ads have always been there. But these ads are likely to be driven by a specific objective in 2018. Whether it’s mobile or desktop, targeted ads will become more purposed in the coming year so that brands continue to reach a relevant pool of audience. No matter what, the growth of mobile ad platforms will surely change targeting strategies of brands in 2018.

Contextual targeting strategies will replace old strategies

Talking about targeting strategies of brands, 2018 is likely to transform them to a great extent. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) can complicate cookies-based user behavior tracking for ad tech vendors. But that’s not all. Contextual targeting strategies are likely to replace audience targeting strategies. This kind of targeting ensure that consumers are targeted with ads that is similar to the content on the page they are browsing. As such, this is going to make it mandatory for marketers to know what the context of each page is so that targeting becomes more accurate and safety of the brand is maintained.

There will be greater integration between digital and offline experiences

Digital has been used to supplement other channels for some time now. But 2018 will perhaps integrate digital into consumer’s offline experiences. Digital marketing will no longer be alone in the game but will become a part of consumer’s real-life experiences. Esports, for example, is likely to become really big in 2018, and brands are jumping on the bandwagon to leverage them as marketing channels. Such an integration is expected to help marketers reach consumers between 16 to 25 years of age. It’s also likely to give brands great sponsorship opportunities owing to its reach.

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Live video is expected to stay

No video is not moving out of the game anytime soon. It will continue to remain an important part of marketing strategies. But there will a difference—professional live videos will replace shaky, hand-shot videos. Today’s social media platforms are plunging into live video owing to a number of reasons. These platforms are continuously adding new features and stepping up brand-consumer interactions. Live videos are a great way for brands to connect with consumers. But the focus will be mostly on the quality of the video so that the brand’s communication remains impeccable in 2018.

Personalization will gain more importance

Last but certainly not the least, 2018 is going to make it important for marketers to personalize their ad messages. Impersonalized ads and emails are slowly losing relevance, and brands are resorting to highly personalized and hyper-targeted interactions with consumers. 2018 is expected to make personalization important at every stage of a consumer’s journey so that challenges like low attention span of consumers can be tackled easily. As such, personalization will hold the key to digital marketing success in 2018.

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