It's that time of year again – time to take a close look at digital marketing trends for 2018, and just what you should be prepared for. Check and see if your strategy is ready!
Finding Out Exactly How Often Your Audience Wants Contact
Due to all the platforms and methods to communicate with your audience, brands are currently struggling with just how often they should be reaching out. How many emails should they send? How many messages? How often do clients like to be called – or like to see Instagram posts? There's a lot of varying and confusing advice about timing here, and one of the trends we expect in 2018 is for more clarity.
Specifically, brands will start discovering the rules on how often to contact clients through specific mediums. We will finally get some industry rules regarding this part of the marketing business, and as it is codified, pushing out content too frequently will start to become a more serious problem for some companies.
More Content Diversification for Audiences
A "one content fits all" strategy is starting to lose its appeal these days. In 2018, expect digital marketing to embrace a lot more content diversification. In other words, some content will be developed for this particular part of your audience, while other content will target this part, and so on. It will all be released more or less simultaneously, but will be aimed at different people.
Along with this, your target audience probably won't stay as unified. It will become more useful to break that audience down into different sections that respond in different ways...something you may already want to be working on.
Pull Along the Funnel
These days, the sales funnel has a bit of a problem. Too much time and content tend to be focused at the very beginning of the funnel, at getting those precious lead numbers. For much of the middle and end of the funnel, the best strategy is a general cry to "please buy our stuff." Many brands may not even know what the middle of their funnel looks like. Next year, expect a greater focus on defining the other sections of the funnel and a concerted effort to find new methods of "pull" to get customers to progress down that funnel.
The popularity of mobile devices has led to one particularly interesting trends, which is the growth of geo services in marketing. We're not talking about basic "find a restaurant within 10 miles that serves sushi" but rather complex marketing campaigns based on location. Imagine running a campaign that offers a discount – but only to customers within five miles. Or geo-fencing an event so that everyone who comes inside gets an automatic coupon. You don't necessarily have to use these strategies, but it's important to know that they exist and are growing in number.
The Rise of Video Turns Into Video Dominance
This one is an interesting trend that we are curious to see play out. Video is already immensely popular, and it seems likely that in 2018, it will become the dominant form of content for many different mediums. The problem is that there are just some things that video can't do very well, and some subjects that it finds difficult to advertise (just think of the things you still prefer to see written down). So will 2018 see a push back against video that will help it specialize, or will it still be seen everywhere? Wait to find out!
Big Data Learns How to Hide
2017 was officially the year that brands fell out of love with "big data," which has been found too confusing and overwhelming. The over-abundance of metrics only causes frustration among marketing teams, so it's on the way out. On the way in: Hidden big data that streamlines everything down into basic reports and findings that are, well, actionable.
Spending More Money
Yep, this keeps on being a big trend. Expect companies (perhaps even your competitors) to be spending more money on content marketing than last year, increasing the budget to allow for more talent and technology. Remember, quality will be king!