Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the greatest of them all?

We all have come a long way since Snow white, and unfortunately, the mirror has stopped answering difficult questions. What we do know is that digital marketing is omnipresent and all-pervasive thanks to the penetration of the information superhighway or the Internet. Let’s look at the top digital marketing trends of 2018 and figure out, who will be the greatest of them after all!

1. VIDEOS. VIDEOS AND MORE VIDEOS

Live streaming videos are the hottest selling cakes that need to be a part of your digital marketing strategy. It accounts for a massive three-fourth of the all internet traffic in 2017 and is expected to reach 82% by 2020. Video marketing ensures a higher engagement level with the brands.

Another reason for the ever-growing popularity is that the spontaneous and un-editable nature of the medium improves transparency and authenticity. Live videos are also perceived as more personal and authentic as compared to a well-planned event or post.

2. CHATBOTS

2018 is the year when brands will use chatbots more than ever for delighting customers. In 2017, Facebook Messenger rolled out ‘M’-the bot for its US customers. It was so well integrated that users hardly noticed it. ‘M’ suggests users to share their location, send and request money, hail a cab, and also relevant emojis during the conversation. Starbucks’ chatbot (available on the app) makes ordering a coffee easier than ever. Order your favorite food or drink and you will be informed of the total cost and time of order delivery.

It is estimated that by 2020, more than 80% of customer service interactions will be handled by bots. The interesting trend is that a large chunk of people are unable to figure out whether they spoke to a person or a chatbot in their last customer service interaction. Last but not the least, the virtual assistance will bring in large cost savings( in billion USD) to companies by 2022.

3. INFLUENCER MARKETING

2017 was a ‘yahoo year’ for influencer marketing and it will continue to dominate 2018 also. Most companies and brands rode on ‘its’ success story to grow audience and improve topline numbers substantially through social media. While last year, the influencers and brands were hush-hush about their association, this year companies will need to stick to the FTC guidelines and disclose the association with the influencer including the compensation, when promoting them on social media.

Bottomline: Influencer marketing will be more regulated this year and so it makes sense to use it with caution. Be transparent about your relationship with the influencer and don’t fool the consumer.

4. STORIES FORMAT

What’s common between Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Google?

It’s the “Story Format” they all love to have in every product/service. Snapchat was the ‘Story format’ pioneer, capturing the best moments from a random day, which vanish after a pre-decided temporary period of time. Who doesn’t love a good story telling? A compelling story intelligently woven into the digital marketing strategy will result in maximum user engagement. The growing popularity of social media makes it impossible for any social marketer to ignore it in 2018.

5. USER-GENERATED CONTENT

User Generated Content (UGC) is any type of content that has been created by end-users for the benefit of the community as a whole. It includes pictures, videos, testimonials, tweets, blog posts, and everything in which users share their experience with a brand and promote it. A user will give higher importance to another user’s view/opinion as compared to ads or celebrity endorsements. Brands and marketers are increasingly working to harness the power of ‘User-generated Content’ to boost topline growth. Now is the time for all businesses to leverage by encouraging genuine user reviews to their website/ mobile app.

All the above trends will re-shape the social and digital marketing landscape in 2018. Time to rethink and re-shape your digital strategy too and steer ahead!

I'm Vice President at ResultFirst, a Full-Service Digital Agency Famous for Pay for Performance SEO. I Help Businesses Make The Most of Their Online Marketing Budget. You Can Get in Touch With Me:

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