The online world never stays still. As marketers, it is our challenge to keep on top of the latest trends — constantly researching new techniques and finding ways to stand out from the crowd.
2018 looks to bring us more groundbreaking developments than ever before. Here are our predictions for what the year has in store:
More brands than ever before will invest in influencer marketing
Once confined to major celebrities and high-profile YouTube stars, Influencer marketing will reach its peak in 2018, with a wider range of brands and influencers taking advantage of a model with proven success.
Anyone with a smartphone and some determination can create and sustain a healthy social media following, leaving brands with plenty of options on the table.
With fan-influencer relationships often based on admiration and trust, positive reviews of your product or service stand a great chance of being converted into purchases, meaning everyone from those with more modest followings to the biggest online names all carry the potential to be extremely lucrative for your business.
Voice search will continue to grow, leading to large scale tweaks of SEO strategy
Photo credit: Next Day Blinds
Voice assistants such as Siri and Cortana have been established for a few years, but with sales of smart speakers growing by over 300% in 2017 (source: voicebot.ai), millions of businesses could be missing out by failing to optimise their websites for voice search.
In fact, Entrepreneur estimates that 50% of all online searches by 2020 will be conducted using voice recognition technology, meaning websites will have to be optimised for both traditional and voice-based search keywords, with the latter including more longtail and conversational phrases.
Personalised marketing will offer a unique experience
Pictured above: a famous example of personalised marketing from Coca Cola in 2013.
Personalised content will truly take off in 2018, with everything from specific landing pages for each social media campaign, to personalised e-mail newsletters and strategically tailored content leading the way.
Brands will also become eager to offer existing and prospective customers a more personal service too, including more human, individual responses to queries.
A personal touch can go a long way.
Video content will rule
Every brand in a relevant industry will be mad not to start creating video content in 2018. Not only can the use of video convey messages to an audience in flexible and engaging ways, but posts containing video also reach far more people on social media. Particularly on Facebook, whose algorithm changes have left organic reach flagging.
Live video will also continue to prove popular in 2018, giving some brands the ability to evolve into mobile broadcasters and create social programming which encourages audience participation.
GDPR will shake up data protection
May 2018 will mark the introduction of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR.
Stricter rules on obtaining and storing data, combined with recent high-profile hacking scandals will force marketers to introduce new, careful processes.
A failure to comply with GDPR guidelines could land your business with a hefty fine, so we recommend making preparations for the new law as soon as possible!
Looking to drive your business into 2018? Get in touch!