What‘s hot and what’s not in digital marketing for 2018

Augmented reality

With the integration of augmented reality into smartphone devices, such as the new iPhone X, and even into emoji’s, it only makes sense that this will be heavily integrated into other digital platforms such as social media. Augmented reality is an engaging and innovative way of communicating with consumers. Mobile apps such as Pokemon Go pioneered with this and big brands such as Facebook, Google and Instagram will most certainly join this new year. It will be very interesting to see how these new features will be used for commercial matters by businesses. There have already been trials in recent years of augmented reality using Apps (such as Aurasma) and print where your phone will recognise an image and viewed through your phone will magically turn into a video. Big companies such as Ikea already have Apps to allow you to view their furniture in your home and new Apps are being developed all the time to utilise new technology – Surreal , Lumyer and filters in Facebook and Snapchat that work with your camera.

Targeted advertising

We have seen a great increase in video ads and this will largely grow in the year to come. Social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are bringing in new ways in which these ads are displayed and businesses will most certainly be benefited through investing in digital adverts, it will only be about who does it best and most creatively in this extremely competitive arena.

Free reach on social platforms

The old saying ‘nothing in life is free’ is becoming true of advertising for business on social platforms. It was inevitable that companies would use these platforms to advertise and while many are complaining about the charges, there isn’t anywhere you can advertise ‘for free’ generally. Although this will have a massive impact on small/home companies and their small groups of followers, it will be beneficial reasonably priced – if you run a business then you really should think about marketing yourself to your target audience to grow your business. Facebook is shifting to a fully paid platform for companies. The digital giant has already began to eliminate all company social media posts in some countries from the News Feed over to Explore, a secondary stream only for business updates. If your business wishes to reach their audience through the News Feed it will most certainly have some cost. However, Facebook continues to be a great platform to target the right audience at the right time with precision, so investing in social media costs will most certainly be money well spent.

Twitter versus LinkedIn

While almost all social media platforms showed steep steady growth in 2017, Twitter failed to follow. The social platform changed the character count from 140 to 280 with the hope of reviving the user base numbers but with no great success. Meanwhile though, LinkedIn brought great numbers of improvements to the platform, especially when it comes to how businesses advertise. In 2018, the professional platform will be welcoming new features mainly targeted to company sales teams with improvements in lead collection and InMail. Great things are expected of LinkedIn in the new year and we are very eager to find out more! Great news for business, but maybe a slight annoyance for those on LinkedIn who just want to network and not be bombarded with InMail!

Investment in professional videos

Live videos offer great benefits to businesses who are eager to improve communication with their customers. People no longer want to see shaky, selfie-like live streams, but professional live streams with good quality image and movements, this is why in 2018 businesses need to be open into investing into marketing professionals who understand how to achieve the best possible live video. Facebook Live, Facebook Stories and Periscope have been steadily allowing companies and individuals to ‘live broadcast’ – if done well, this can be extremely effective and informative.

Voice marketing

Voice search was king of innovation in 2017, with Google, Amazon and Apple releasing their own ‘voice search pods’. It was immediately obvious that voice marketing and conversational user interfaces arrived to stay long-term. According to Google, 20% of its mobile queries are searched through voice control and the use of chatbots have rapidly increased over the past few years. Forward thinking businesses will create content that will be easily searched via voice search and advertising will most certainly also move on to non-traditional places. This brings great opportunity for businesses to engage with customers as conversational interactions allow natural communication for customers that are looking for information or entertainment.

Automated marketing

Marketing automation is an easy way to manage they way and the extent in which businesses communicate with their customers, however, relying on it heavily makes a brand feel obviously inhuman. In order to be ahead of competitors in 2018 brands need to maintain and show a human factor, whether it’s in social media, email marketing or advertising, at least 50% of the time. Making your customers feel like the only one rather than one in a million is the way forward in 2018. Customers want to reach and talk to companies on platforms they already use in a friendly and open way.