The new year is upon us and it’s time to start preparing your marketing strategy for 2018. Digital marketing is going in a new direction, and we have an idea of where it’s headed.
Today, however, we’re going to reflect on the top marketing trends of 2017 and predict how those trends will affect marketing trends for 2018.
The Rise of Video
You can’t log into any social media platform without seeing some form of video content. It's everywhere and 90 percent of all content shared by users on social media in 2017 was video.
Last year it seemed like everyone wanted a piece of Facebook Live. Seventy-eight percent of online audiences were watching videos on Facebook Live and these videos were getting three times more views than other posts.
However, more businesses were starting to use live-videos in general because they proved to have a 27 percent engagement rate with consumers.
Another popular trend in video content was ephemeral content.
Originally, Snapchat Stories were the main way to create and view ephemeral content, but soon Instagram Stories became the new trend. In fact, as of a couple of months ago, there were at least 300 million active daily users on Instagram Stories.
Reviews Were Everything
No, really. If your business didn’t have a solid review marketing plan, the chances of people finding or purchasing from your business were slim.
In 2017 alone, 97 percent of consumers were looking at reviews for local businesses and 68 percent of consumers were more likely to choose a local business if they saw positive online reviews of that business.
If that doesn’t convince you to think about your review marketing strategy for 2018, I don’t know what will.
Influencer Marketing Replaced Traditional Advertising
Because of the growing distrust in traditional marketing for millennials, businesses were starting to rely more on influencer marketing to help promote and sell their products and services.
Just like reviews, consumers care what influencers think. In fact, 49 percent of people made purchases last year based on the opinions of influencers.
Augmented Reality (AR) Became More Mainstream
Businesses were starting to realize the true potential of augmented reality in connecting and engaging with customers.
For example, IKEA introduced IKEA Place to allow customers use an AR-app to preview furniture in their home before purchasing it.
Snapchat also revealed an AR feature for brands called World Lenses which allows brands to place their own 3D creations into real world scenes with the Snapchat camera.
Although it’s still relatively new, we can expect to see more brands use the feature in 2018.
Voice Assistant Usage Skyrocketed
It’s gotten to the point where nearly 75 percent of people use smart speakers as part of their everyday routine.
If you have a smartphone, chances are that you’ve used the voice command to look up directions on your GPS. Or if you have a smart speaker, you may have used it to play music or turn the lights on in your home.
But, smart speakers created a unique opportunity for businesses in 2017: finding businesses and purchasing from them.
Voice search was used often, with 40 percent of adults using it on a regular basis. And when they were using voice search, people started using their smart speakers for purchases. As of 2017, 57 percent bought something online using voice, and they were spending up to $199 on single purchases.
Final Thoughts on 2018 Digital Marketing Trends
So, how will these trends make a difference in digital marketing in 2018?
Here are some figures to consider:
- By the end of this year, video content should make up 80 percent of online traffic
- As we've stated, 97 percent of people read online reviews - that number is expected to increase significantly
- 75 percent of Generation Z aspire to be YouTube vloggers, so influencer marketing will continue to rise
- Augmented reality is expected to have 1 billion users by 2020
- Voice is expected to make up 50 percent of all searches by 2020
We'll continue to see these trends grow, so make sure your business is prepared with the right digital marketing strategy.