5 of the biggest digital trends for 2018

18.12.2017

 

by Yoana Velikova, Digital Marketing Executive

In the digital world it’s often hard, if not impossible to forecast anything mainly due to the rate at which everything in it changes. Despite this insecurity, there are some innovations that took place in 2016 and 2017 that will continue to grow and develop in the new year too – and it’s crucial that companies understand them and align their marketing strategies with them.

1. AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) definitely was a buzzword for 2017 and it will surely continue to be one in 2018. The most popular form of AI is in the voice-led commands that you can find in products like Alexa, Siri and automated chatbots. But this is really only the tip of the iceberg. The tech giants are already developing even more complicated applications like SAP Leonardo and Salesforce’s Einstein.

Einstein is one of the latest developments by Salesforce and can be found in their Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud as well as most of their other solutions. What does Einstein do? It helps your business grow by conducting thorough data analysis and ‘learning’ for you. It then presents you with information about clients and sales as well as forecasts and trends for the future, all based on historic data. But Salesforce is actually taking things to the next level by introducing myEinstein – a place developers can make applications with their own AI. For the business world, AI means new opportunities for creativity but also new-found challenges on the quest to good and relevant marketing.


2. Marketing through various digital channels

This one might not seem like such a newbie, but let me explain. It’s going to get even bigger – and I mean, a lot bigger.  Forecasts say that digital spent for 2018 could be as much as 681 billion dollars, world-wide. But that’s not the point. It’s no longer enough just to throw some money at a TV commercial or an email and hope for the best. The game has changed as purchase behaviors have changed too. The Communications Era brought an 24/7 connectedness between everyone and people are online reading and watching stuff on demand.

In other words, they are in control. And what’s more, they have more information than ever at their fingertips – if before 15 years, a person needed 1 or two sources of information before they buy something, in recent years this has jumped to 20 times! Here is how to create amazing content.

This is scary but also opens up many new possibilities for communication with potential customers through smart and creative digital marketing campaigns. Multichannel marketing is a big thing so it’s important to pay attention to both the uniqueness of each channel and the whole marketing strategy that guides the whole business, so that the focus remains on the customer.

Keep in mind that multichannel marketing doesn’t mean bombarding people with the same content and the same message – the most you’ll achieve is to turn them off. You should take the time and curate, create and share different content that is targeted and relevant. Remember, you can always contact us if you need some advice on how to do this.


3. Dynamic content

According to Econsultancy, personalized emails with a relevant offer lead to 18 times more conversions compared to a generic email, sent to everyone. Dynamic content (also called smart content) uses your current bank of information about customers (potential and present) and creates very relevant and personalized marketing materials. And what’s more, they are useful! If someone bought a bag from your online store, why would you show them adverts with more bags? Show them a good wallet or a pair of shoes to go with the bag!

Dynamic content is also very useful in the business-to-business marketing. After identifying at what stage of the sales cycle a potential lead is -if they are still searching for information or ready to buy – you could prepare useful articles or other content to guide them to a sale.

4. The kingdom of Mobile

I doubt there was a device that saw such a huge increase in adoption as mobile phones did. 51% of all online searches in 2016 were done via mobile, and this has seen a 25% increase year-on-year. Mobile phones, on their own, aren’t particularly big news – they have been around for years now, but the way they are used now is what is newsworthy. Here are the biggest mobile trends for 2018.

The new ways to use your phone, the many apps that are available now, the more and more innovative devices that manufacturers introduce – all of this makes mobile phones hard to ignore. Plan your next campaign, strategy, even webpage keeping mobile devices in mind. How to do this? (button)

5. Social media and video content

Facebook reported a huge increase in watching and sharing video content – some bloggers even joke that Facebook is on its way to surpass YouTube. This isn’t very likely as YouTube is still the leader but there is definitely a lesson to be learned in this – most users prefer to watch than to read. In 2017, 69% of all online activity consisted of watching videos.

Video content also gives many opportunities for creativity – so now is the time for start investing more in order to impress with amazing videos.The biggest trend for 2018 remains the digital transformation that dominates not just the business world, but the whole planet. Even business with more traditional ways of doing business are turning digital simply to satisfy the growing demand for online services and products. Not to mention the many opportunities for spending less and real-time measurement that digital marketing brings 

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About the author: Yoana Velikova has solid knowledge and experience in SEO, SEM (including AdWords and Tag Manager), display advertising, statistics and data management, social media management and advertising, email marketing and Google Analytics. She is responsible for all digital elements and she is certified by Google. You can contact her on digital@next-consult.com.

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