The complexity of marketing and digital marketing, together with the rate of innovation and advancement, is potentially leaving many businesses trailing in the clamour for customers. While some emerging marketing trends are quite niche at present and aimed at early-adopters, others are definitely worth a place in your 2018 marketing strategy.
Similar to our top four social media trends for 2017 blog, here we’ve identified four marketing trends to note in the coming year.
- Diverse content at all customer touch points
In the always-on digital world customer service and marketing colleagues need, more than ever, to work closely to produce and disseminate consistent messages in real time. They need to be agile in anticipating customer needs and reaching them at every stage of their journey with your company or brand.
The plethora of communication channels also means multimedia content and a media publishing approach, and skillset, is a must to stay ahead of the game. This is all the more significant as social media has shifted from a sharing platform to a publishing outlet.
Content such as whitepapers, research, analysis and ebooks can help with awareness. As customers reach the consideration stage webcast, expert guides, instant messaging, video and live interactions may be part of the marketing engagement toolkit. Finally, at decision stage product comparison, live demos, case studies and product literature will help the buying process.
- Blending of paid, owned and earned media
Gone are the days when there was a clear distinction between paid transactional advertising, corporate content and press coverage. There is an overlap and convergence of these, which blurs the lines of different media. For example, promoted brand content falls between paid and owned, sponsored content swings earned media into the paid arena, and requested shares of owned messages conjoin earned and owned into a new realm.
Having a handle on how your company can harness and exploit these betwixt categories will mean you are not missing a trick that your competitors are already mastering.
- Live video
You may only just be starting to embrace video as a medium, and struggle with the concept of creating live versions, but engagement statistics are very compelling. Live video feeds into the instant connection that we are all getting very used to receiving. Ignore it at your peril.
Facebook video can account for around 135% more organic reach than images and by 2018 people will spend about 36 minutes a day watching videos on their mobile devices. For live video it’s also very positive: Facebook users spent 3 times more time watching live videos than a video that’s no longer live. They also comment over 10 times more during live videos.
In a Livestream and New York Magazine Survey in 2016, 80% of respondents said they would rather tune into a live video than read a blog post and 82% of respondents were more interested in watching live video from a brand than reading social media posts. What does your company do that would make captivating live viewing?
- Screen off, interactive audio on
Just when you thought on-screen was the premier place for your presence – traditional print publishing having taken a nosedive in so many areas – there’s a new (digital) kid on the block. While at the moment the average user looks at their phone 150 times a day, The Internet of Things has come of age with relevant content via the artificial intelligence of the likes of smart assistants such as Alexa and Siri and Cortana.
These dialogue-based platforms allow for audio content that creates and enhances relationships, connecting with fans and customers. Podcasts have long been a marketing strand, but voice search is an interactive hands- and eyes-free medium which creates a new dimension that has great potential as the backlash against excessive screen time gains traction. Google reported 20% of mobile queries were voice searches as long ago as May 2016 and Gartner predicted about 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020.
Examples of existing content include the Zyrtec’s daily allergy cast, Purina dog breed insights and Google web analytics reporting. Consider what benefit or value you can provide to your core audience and adapt it to this emerging technology.
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