Marketing strategy is an integral part of any business. In the age of technological progress, digital marketing is becoming a highly demanded tool. Digital marketing is the promotion of products and services using digital media such as the Internet, smartphones, mobile devices, display advertising and more.
With popular social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, marketers can keep up-to-date with the latest digital marketing trends, attract more customers and gain higher revenue.
The social media landscape is changing very quickly, and it’s important to stay tuned to current news regarding the industry in order not to lag behind your competitors. Learn about the top digital marketing trends 2018 and be prepared to transform your company.
Top Trends In Digital Marketing 2018
Currently, there are more than 2.5 billion social media users globally, or about one-third of the world population. The number is expected to surpass three billion in 2021.
Number of social network users worldwide from 2010 to 2021 (in billions)
Due to the popularity of social networks, many businesses are regularly publishing posts on various social media channels to keep their consumers informed and engaged.
To succeed in the field of digital communication with your clients, keep an eye on the current trends in digital media.
1. “Mobile-ization” of Social Networks
The undeniable fact is that many people are becoming addicted to their smartphones. Together with the people, the social networks are also going mobile. Actually, the majority of users access social networks via mobile devices and spend 78% of their social media time there.
Instagram can be considered as a trendsetter, since it’s a mobile-first app. Ninety-four percent of Facebook active users and 82% of Twitter adherents also opt for mobile apps.
The influence of this trend increases the importance of developing mobile-friendly websites and mobile-first content. Here are some tips for marketing specialists and developers:
- Implement a mobile strategy to better connect with your prospects and customers
- Test the look-and-feel of your website on a mobile device
- Think about creating a mobile version of your site or a mobile app, depending on your business needs
- Add images with recommended size (Apple recommends 44×44 pixels, Microsoft recommends 48×48 pixels)
- Create square or vertical videos
- Design large and simple icons
- Exclude the possibility of “fat finger” errors for buttons and links
2. Social Messaging Is the Preferred Means of Communication
Various messengers have become a useful part of social media, and their usage is growing exponentially. The number of people using the top social messaging apps (WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat, Viber) has surpassed the number of users of the most popular social media apps (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn).
We can see constant shifts in the consumer-business communications. Initially, consumers used to interact with businesses and do orders via the phone, then by emails, and later they switched to social media. Currently, social messaging is becoming the preferred way of communicating.
Messengers show great benefits for businesses because consumers can ask questions, make appointments, purchase goods, and provide feedback at ease and without additional stress via the messaging apps. Statistics demonstrate that more than 50% of clients would rather message than call a business to get the needed information. Make sure that your business is ready to receive your customers’ messages.
3. Talking to Chatbots Is the New Normal
The customer service industry is actively implementing chatbots into its processes. A chatbot is a very useful tool that automates manual tasks, improves service quality and helps reduce expenses. It is predicted that businesses may save up to $8 billion every year with the help of chatbots. Moreover, this is a unique channel that helps create an engaged audience and increase open rates greatly in comparison with email campaigns.
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Virtual assistants, if set up correctly, can respond to customer questions and comments on par with a human operator, so that it may be hard to determine whether you are talking to a person or a bot. The majority of people who contact chatbots feel positively about their experience.
The number of bots in the most popular messengers may reach hundreds (e.g. Facebook Messenger has more than 100,000 bots). Does your company already have one?
4. Video Is the Most Eye-Catching Content
Among the digital marketing trends, video content is at the forefront. Posts containing videos are highly shareable and have on average twice the level of engagement when compared with other post types.
The following facts benefit video marketing:
- After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to purchase a product
- If a landing page contains a video, conversions may reach 80%
- Visitors spend 88% more time on a website that includes video
The latest social media marketing trends concern introducing new video features, e.g. Live videos and Stories by Facebook and Instagram, or native LinkedIn videos.
If you want to create fascinating content for your website, get started by adding video files at least four times per month. Take your camera and shoot!
5. Social Advertising Promises Prosperity to Businesses
Digital marketing industry trends can’t do without advertising. The number of advertisers on each social platform is growing. Currently, there are more than six million advertisers on Facebook and two million on Instagram. These figures indicate the effectiveness and a high potential of social media ads for businesses.
Online advertising budgets are on the rise as well. It’s estimated that social media ad spending may surpass newspaper ads by 2020. Video ads on YouTube and Facebook are becoming especially popular. Familiarize yourself with social media advertising this year.
6. User-Generated Content Runs the Show of Digital Media Trends
Customers are more likely to trust one another’s opinion than that of brand-generated ads. That’s why user-generated content (UGC) is a great power that helps reach the audience and drive its engagement. What is it all about? UGC stands for everything that is created by ordinary customers on the Internet concerning some goods or services:
- Forum discussions
Actually, this is the easiest way of promotion because companies don’t need to produce their own content constantly. Instead, they can use the power of their loyal audience and repost the content it generates.
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This year, user-generated content should definitely be included into your overall content strategy. Encourage your customers to post about your company on social media, and this way you may increase your brand reach.
The Future of Digital Media and Marketing
As time goes by, marketing methods and techniques are changing. But the ultimate goals stay the same: to identify your ideal audience, understand their needs and reach them effectively.
Social media marketing trends 2018 are not finite. The main tendency of digital media and marketing is to develop and transform at a high pace for the next years. Here are some general predictions for the future of the digital media industry.
- Overwhelming information. Now, information is everywhere. There are almost no barriers to distributing or receiving data. This may cause some problems because informational volumes are often unstructured and are too much for the human brain capability to process. The volume of information will continue to grow, and Big Data technologies will struggle with this.
- Creation of quality content. All businesses will try to shift from loads of information that scares clients to fine-tuned content. The business-oriented and customer-centric approach will become the leading method of generating and processing content, as it is of huge importance to understand customer needs and quickly transform working processes under the evolving demands.
- Personalization. Currently, we are seeing the formation of 1-to-1 marketing, which means precise personalization, customization and individual interaction with every client. Users don’t want to be overloaded with tons of available data. They want to get relevant information and offerings without wasting their time. This means that the quality of the content alone won’t benefit businesses. Instead, smart personalization using artificial intelligence techniques will provide a competitive edge.
- Consolidation. Different organizations will tend to cooperate with each other in order to provide a seamless customer experience through single platforms. Thus, they will find new ways of connecting with broader audiences.
It’s crucial to follow the new trends in digital media to stay ahead of the curve and succeed on social platforms. The industry has come so far in a short period of time, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. We are going to see the moment when digital engagement will become a common part of our real-life experience.
Are you ready for the digital transformation? If not, get ready together with SaM Solutions. We offer an extensive set of services in various technological industries, including digital media, and our experienced specialists can transform your most challenging ideas into reality.