Welcome 2018! Marketing strategies, enablement, and technologies continue to change rapidly, and 2018 is predicted to be no different. To help you start off 2018 strong, we have selected our top five marketing trends to look out for in 2018.
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing has been on the up-and-up for multiple years now, and it’s now see measurable results. According to the 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 89% of business-to-business marketers reported using content marketing in 2017 and 63% are very committed to content marketing. In addition, 60% reported that their content marketing strategies are more effective than one year before.
There are very few digital marketing campaigns that result in effective results without content. A more educated buyer is a happier buyer and content is the fuel behind this. If you haven’t yet, 2018 is the year to hone in on developing a content marketing strategy, developing quality content, aiming compelling messages and subject lines, and targeting content distribution.
2. Live Video Streaming
Video has long been a viable marketing asset. Now, live video is further increasing the value of video. According to Livestream, 80% of people would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts.
Live video allows organizations and individuals to broadcast and share a video live, and they can stream events, concerts, talks, product releases etc. Individuals are now able to live stream themselves to a private or public audience on multiple social media platforms, such as Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Periscope.
Live video provides the opportunity to instantly engage with your audience, which can have an immeasurably positive effect. It allows businesses to build a digital personality, connect and share with their audiences immediately. Better yet, live videos can be archived and repurposed for future campaigns and as reusable content.
3. Customer Experience
According to Clarabridge, people are desperate for a great customer experience. 45% of customers are willing to pay more for better customer service, 42% of consumers have purchased more after a good customer service experience, and 52% stopped buying after a bad customer service interaction.
Customer experience improvements in 2018 will include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Optimizing web design for a targeting customer experience
- Increasing employee training to increase customer satisfaction
- Asking for feedback to track customer satisfaction
- Gathering customers’ testimonials and reviews
- Introducing chatbots for quicker response time
- Engaging quickly on social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, etc.)
The customer journey will continue to become an area of focus for businesses of all kinds in 2018. As software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies move the economy toward more of a self-service model, the customer experience becomes an opportunity to separate themselves from the pack.
4. Artificial Intelligence
Absolutely everyone is talking about artificial intelligence (AI) as we kick off 2018. There is not one business role that won’t eventually be affected by AI, if it isn’t already. In the marketing world, AI is predicted to have the largest impact on digital marketing.
In 2018, AI is expected to arm marketers with the ability to personalize marketing content for each user through predictive marketing. AI-enabled algorithms will take data from internet browsers to reveal crucial data about prospective customers. This data will empower marketers to optimize their digital marketing programs based on the habits and interests of their target markets.
AI-based live chat tools, such as Intercom and Drift, will also arm marketers with the information they need to properly address customer needs and analyze the customer journey. Chatbots help companies support a larger audience at a faster pace, while also providing their marketing departments with the data they need to gauge customer satisfaction and purchase process.
5. Influencer Marketing
People want to buy from people. According to Leverage Marketing, 49% of people rely on influencer recommendations. Consumers are more willing to purchase a product if someone that they relate to, trust, and admire, is an advocate of the product. This has proven to be successful over the past several years, as social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat have jumped on the opportunity to expand the reach of marketing influencers.
In 2018, influencer marketer budgets are expected to be introduced where they don’t currently exist and increase where they have already been implemented. Naturally, with increased budgets, will come an enhanced focus on tracking and campaign measurement. Marketers will be expected to evolve their influencer marketing strategies and track the results more consistently.
Any questions or need help? Give us a shout and we will help you set up your marketing strategies for 2018!