Getting inside the mind of the average customer today is a complex process.
What will hold their attention? What will create a lasting impression? Why should he choose your product above the rest?
These are some questions that come in mind of every business owner.
The consumer behavior of Millennials is in a constant state of flux. This makes it difficult to put your finger on what will appeal to them and make them come back for more.
You need to stay current when aiming to grow your business. So take a look at the following digital marketing trends 2018 report:
Concentrate on Content
Whatever the consumer is looking for, there is a lot of information out there. The key to being heard lies in how you represent yourself. You have to sell experiences, and you have to do it with honesty.
Still not convinced?
Tech leader, Apple, is going to invest $1 billion USD on content this year. Google and Facebook are also following suit. If these big players think content is important, it is with very good reason.
Hiring a team with diverse experience in graphic design, editing, audio and video production as well as in branding and communication will serve you well.
Make no mistake; transparent, authentic, well-made and relatable content will make your product fly off the shelf.
Be Creative with Social Media
Do you know anyone who doesn’t have at least one social media account? They are becoming a rare species nowadays.
Smart businesses know this fact and are using social media to increase their consumer base.
Snapchat is a great space to create exciting sneak peeks into a particular business, with ‘ephemeral content’ that disappears in a limited time.
GrubHub, a food delivery company, uses it for promotions, giveaways and featured user ‘stories’. This has earned them the highest SnapChat score of any brand world-wide.
BoxedWater, a start-up that sells eco-friendly alternative to plastic bottles, uses Instagram to build its business.
In a ‘cause marketing’ strategy, they plant two trees for every Instagram post featuring the hashtag #ReTree and BoxedWater.
BoxedWater has also taken help from famous Instagram personalities to encourage others to take part in this initiative. This is a great example of ‘influencer marketing’ on social media.
Play with Videos
A video is four times more likely to be viewed than an article on a website. With mobile usership increasing at lightning pace, there is a greater demand for audiovisual media to drive sales.
If you want a buy a car, do you go straight to the dealership, talk to the salesman and drive off in it in a few hours?
No. Most prospective buyers will pore over shortlisted cars for days, maybe months, weighing pros and cons. Videos of test drives, car features and walkthroughs would be the ultimate go-to for automobile sales.
If videos are big, then live videos are bigger. Facebook live videos are watched 3 times more than static videos. 80% people prefer to watch a live video from a brand than read a blog post by them.
The top tips for video marketing for your business is to keep it short (3 minutes or less), weave in an interesting story and optimise for viewing on mobile phones.
Get Assistance from Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence isn’t just for Sci-fi flicks. It is the new frontier of digital marketing.
Chatbots are being used extensively by brands to interact with customers, answer questions and gather data. This data has everything you need to know about your consumer.
With its speed and proficiency, AI may eliminate the need for digital marketing tools like SEO in the coming days.
Speech recognition AI software like Amazon Echo and Baidu’s Duer, have made it possible to make purchases simply by saying the words.
Companies like CamFind are already experimenting with image recognition as well.
This means you could potentially purchase something just by taking a photo or with a Google image search. The possibilities of AI are endless.
Tune into Virtual Reality
In keeping with the trend of using videos for digital marketing, virtual reality takes the whole game one step further.
Travel Company, Thomas Cook, has partnered with Visualise to allow customers to “visit” beautiful foreign locations using Samsung’s Gear VR headset.
Another award-winning idea by Thomas Cook is their “Travel Compass” which gives a 360 degree view of a location when placed outside.
Lufthansa Airlines has made VR and 360 degree videos an integral part of their marketing. Alton Towers Resort has even created a VR rollercoaster!
The only drawback of using VR in your digital marketing strategy is that it can be a bit expensive. However, if you invest wisely, the returns will speak for themselves.
The Smart Phone Revolution
95% of searches on Google are performed using mobile phones. Google has decided that sometime in 2018, they will be sorting websites based on a mobile-first algorithm.
Thus, it has become absolutely essential to make your web page mobile-friendly. Moreover, mobile apps will help to improve the visibility of your business.
There is also an increase in voice searches which again, points to a rising need to go mobile-first if you haven’t already done so.
Digital Marketing Trends 2018: Predict Micro Moments
In keeping with the smartphone revolution, another trend you should not miss is the anticipation of “micro moments”.
A micro moment is created when a person picks up their phone impulsively. This may be to satisfy their curiosity, watch a video or purchase something.
Your prerogative as a competitive business is to be in the right place at the right time to deliver what the customer is looking for.
Not convinced? 82% of smartphone users research items on their mobile device while they are at a store. 69% look for ideas for travel destinations just on a whim when they are waiting in line at a queue or bus station.
If you have the right marketing strategy in place, you will be able to meet your consumer’s immediate requirements in these “micro moments”, and that spells profit.
Change the Way You Advertise
Do you love pop-up ads that fill up your screen every time you try to browse? Most people find them a nuisance and so they are making their way out of digital marketing.
Email newsletters with click-worthy and personalised subject lines are the way to go in 2018. Targeting your subscribers and letting them know about new products or updates is the best first step.
Customers are becoming increasingly wary of sales pitches and generic catchphrases. Aim for organic advertisements that connect with the consumer without them even knowing it.
This will get you the best results.
For example, Netflix recently received a lot of flak for blatant product placements on their shows; but if done in a natural way, it is not a bad idea at all.
According to Cory Firth, a famous blog marketer:
“Digital Marketing is the all-mighty gateway between electronic technology and marketing psychology. Knowing how to master and manage the information going out and into this gateway can be the difference between making or breaking your business”
Digital marketing is no longer a fancy thing the cool kids are doing. If you want your business to survive the internet rat race, you have to get on board or risk being pushed into oblivion.
Take heed of this digital marketing trends 2018 report and update your business marketing strategy for future success.