Three Important Digital Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2018
Nick Rojas, Business Consultant and Writer
As the internet changes, so do the ways we use it, and marketers have to constantly adjust their thinking to take advantage of each new opportunity. As 2018 is set to bring more changes to digital marketing than we’ve previously seen, here’s a look at three important trends to watch out for when planning your digital marketing this year.
1. Drive target customers to your business through video marketing. In 2005, we saw the birth of the highly popular video-sharing site, YouTube, and the site has continued to explode throughout the years. Many rising stars have achieved great fame from building communities around their videos, and advertisers have made big gains from capitalizing on tremendous viewer numbers.
Businesses—big and small—can profit from investing time in creating their own video channels as well. According to Hubspot, the average business uploads 18 videos per month as outreach from their brand. As methods continue to advance with techniques like Facebook Live, virtual reality, and 360-degree video feeds, there’s no telling just how far video will continue to grow in in 2018 and beyond.
2. Artificial intelligence drives conversion rates. It wasn’t all that long ago that AI in the marketplace was a science fiction pipedream. In 2017, it arrived, and in 2018, it will become a difference maker.
As of now, chatbots are reaching out to potential customers during the purchase process to ensure their needs are met. eConsultancy detailed that 83 percent of shoppers felt that they needed assistance to pull the trigger during checkout online. Chatbots can bridge the gap between the millions of abandoned shopping carts and your already busy support staff.
Many chatbot services integrate into existing websites, and some integrate with Facebook Messenger to create a close, non-invasive communication experience. From there, having a conversation is faster and more direct than any email opt-in campaign and can drive direct conversions to products your consumer needs based on what they’ve indicated they’re interested in.
3. Mobile marketing in store levels the playing field. Retail has had a brick and mortar-versus-online vibe since Amazon rose to power, and that isn’t going away anytime soon. However, by creating unique in-store experiences for customers, retail stores are fighting against the convenience of online shopping.
Digital marketing through mobile loyalty programs is even more effective when used in-store. Reaching your customers while they’re already primed to make a purchase is far more effective than at any other time.
Retail chain Crate & Barrel used tablets and mobile marketing to create a highly unique shopper experience. Using geolocation and other mobile techniques is one way that traditional stores are using digital marketing techniques to succeed in an online world.
With these trends and more affecting the future of digital marketing, it’s now more important than ever to keep new best practices in mind. Many changes are coming to business practices in both retail and e-commerce. Keeping apprised of these changes will help your business in the years to come.
Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles. He has consulted for small and medium-size enterprises for more than 20 years. He has also contributed articles to Visual.ly, Entrepreneur, and TechCrunch. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas, or you can reach him at NickAndrewRojas@gmail.com.