The world is changing, and technology is taking the lead. Today, everything is going digital — entertainment, health, real estate, banking and even currencies. This is, however, understandable. In North America alone, 89% of the population is online (subscription required).
With everything turning to digital, it means companies are also jumping online to market their businesses. And to survive the challenges of digital marketing, brands need to keep up with the latest trends. Successfully reaching one’s target audience is no longer just putting out TV and print ads. These days, social media is the new arena of digital marketers, as 3.3 billion people are active social media users.
Notably, according to January 2018 data (subscription required), 24% of the 5,700 global marketers who were surveyed revealed that social media has been an important part of their marketing for the past five years.
To keep up with the ever-changing scene, digital marketing experts need to stay in step with the evolving tech trends. Social media marketing companies like ours work tirelessly to research consumers and what makes them engage with brands. We try to find the best online solutions that will cater to our clients’ end-users’ queries in the easiest and most cost-efficient way possible — be it by developing new technology or adapting to trends.
After much research, here are the leading digital marketing trends that are paving the way in 2018.
1. Interactive Chatbots
Chatbots have been around for some time now. The technology, which combines the use of text, voice and messaging to converse directly with consumers, has been used longer than virtual reality. But this year, it’s taking the spotlight.
According to a 2017 report by Grand View Research, the global chatbot market is estimated to see a compound annual growth rate of 24.3% and is projected to reach $1.25 billion by 2025. In 2017, LivePerson conducted a survey of 5,000 consumers based in six countries and found that 67% of those surveyed are using chatbots for customer support. Furthermore, 38% had positive feedback, and only 11% registered negative reactions to the technology.
2. Voice Search
As more and more people are on the go, the use of voice search and voice commands is increasing. Voice assistants are empowering mobile users to access information online and do certain tasks like never before. In the U.S. alone, the use of voice assistants is expected to grow by 128.9% in 2018, compared to 2017. That’s a total of 35.6 million Americans using the service at least once a month.
While the growth is positive, it is a big challenge for businesses as well. Unlike the usual online searches with pages upon pages of results, voice searches will only give the top, most related answer to a query. Businesses want to be that one result that matches a user’s voice query.
3. Integrating AI And Blockchain Technologies
Blockchain technology is already disrupting the way the world views finance and financial systems. Its power is not limited to these sectors, however. In recent years, it has already expanded to digital marketing.
Technology has allowed marketers to track where their ads are placed and ensure that real consumers, rather than automated bots, are clicking on their ads. This makes customer engagement data more reliable and makes sure brands’ marketing assets are not being put to waste.
Consumers can also benefit from the transparent nature of blockchain technology, as it gives them more control over how their personal data should be used by advertisers. When consumer trust increases, the likelihood of them sharing personal information also surges. This helps marketers and companies to know them better.
4. Influencer Marketing
In today’s world, where social media is ubiquitous, people tend to gravitate toward experiences that are authentic and real. And potential customers are more likely to believe a real person over an advertisement about how good a certain product or brand is. This is where influencers come in.
While influencer marketing can be very effective, it may also be costly. To get the most out of a business’s marketing budget, marketers should choose their influencers carefully and make sure the ambassadors they use cater to and reach the right consumers. Using an effective hashtag that people can easily remember and adopt will further help the campaign.