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Essential Elements of Your Digital Marketing Strategy for 2018

With the explosion of new technologies, digital marketing has become both a marketer’s dream and their nightmare. From the creation of a connected digital world with desktop access to a mobile-heavy, device-responsive, persona-driven, data-collecting world, marketers today have to keep up with all the technologies to have the most effective marketing strategy.

And now that technology and the internet are so easily accessible, digital marketing is among the most reliable methods. With so many options out there, what is the best way to engage your audience? I will be taking a look at what digital marketing trends are dominating 2018.

Mobile Marketing

Today people are attached to their mobile device 24/7, so of course mobile marketing will continue to grow and gain importance for modern companies. Mobile has become a critical part of every marketing strategy, and the strategy behind it has been evolving dramatically in the past few years, with that momentum continuing into 2019.

Stats to Consider about Mobile Marketing:

  • In 2018, 52.2% of all worldwide online traffic was generated through mobile phones, up from 50.3% the previous year (Statista, 2018).

  • A recent AdWeek survey found 88% growth year over year in time spent watching videos on a smartphone and that consumers spend more than five hours a day on their smartphones

  • 89% of people are likely to recommend a brand after a positive brand experience on Mobile (Google, 2017).

From mobile-friendly pages to personalized mobile ads, creating dedicated mobile marketing might require a lot of time and resources. Up to this point, mobile web usage surpassed that of desktop computers/laptop worldwide, while the sales from the mobile devices outperformed PC and tablets. This shows that the use of mobile devices is a trend that will continue to grow. 

Email Marketing

With online communications diversifying, consumer behavior has shifted.  Although email has constantly been the channel of choice, it’s inbox usage has lessened due to the use of social media and text messaging. Email communication is still the preferred method for businesses to interact with their customers. Based on statistics, email has always been a significantly more effective way to acquire and retain customers than any other digital medium and survey data has shown a 40 per cent better customer acquisition rate than social media.

Stats to Consider about Email Marketing:

It is predicted that email is bound to continue growing and maturing. Data-driven inbox interactions will become a universal practice; content will update in real-time within the inbox, the mobile dominated markets will interact more with video-in-email marketing, and the email traditions of the early 2000s will become automated persona-driven programs.

Video and Live Streaming

Video continues to become increasingly accepted among audiences and is a great method of delivering your brand and message. The use of live streaming is one of the growing social media marketing trends. Google has even increased the appeal of video by allowing them into search results pages. Through the use of social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, the possibilities for your businesses are endless, and for this reason it’s worth incorporating live streaming in your business and marketing plans.

Stats to Consider about Video:

Video currently accounts for half of all Internet traffic, so it is understandable why businesses would want to be part of it. Live streaming video is simply a more interactive form of video marketing, and video marketing has been proven to be a very effective form of building relationships. Videos are accessible and affordable, and their ROI has been tested and proven again and again. Its success is expected to continue into the next few years.

Social Media – Story Telling

Social media dominates the world, and marketers and businesses are taking full advantage of it. However, this means that there is a constant change in the trends and the way brands should best communicate with their customers. It’s important that brands keep up with the latest trends in order to achieve their goals, whether that is to increase conversions or improve ROI.
 
Stats to Consider about Social Media

The popularity of social media continues to rise, and 2018 is no exception. Even with the  scandals Facebook experienced, it still stood out as the go-to social media channel reaching 2.20 billion monthly active users in the first quarter of 2018. This is followed by YouTube, which has 1.5 billion users. It is quite clear that social media is here to stay, and businesses need to capitalize on it and use the various platforms to their advantage.

Influencer Marketing

Using influencers as a marketing strategy, definitely has been growing in popularity for the past few years, but new and different types of brands are now starting to take notice. According to Inc.com, 84 per cent of marketers planned on executing at least one influencer marketing campaign during 2017, and businesses generate $6.50 for every $1 invested in influencer marketing.  

The young consumers of today prefer content that feels less “staged” and more natural. Subtle sponsored content that feels and looks organic promoted by influencers is extremely effective. In a report by Linqia they stated that nearly 95 per cent of marketers who currently use an influencer marketing strategy believe it is effective, and we only expect the number of marketers (and their respective brands) to increase next year.

Stats to Consider about Influencers

  • 30% consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger. (Linqia)

  • 59% of marketers intend to increase their influencer marketing budget in the next year. (Influencer Marketing Hub)

  • 67% of marketing and communications professionals engage with influencers for content promotion. (emarketer)

Once misunderstood and underestimated, influencer marketing has become of one the most intriguing marketing strategies, taking a big bite of many brand’s digital marketing budgets today.

Chatbots

Chatbots are all the rage and there is no slowing them down, they are just going to become smarter and smarter over time. This AI-based technology uses an instant messaging format to chat in real-time, day or night. They have the ability to meet the growing demands of customers answering questions, providing complete information about your products and services, and are able to ask for email addresses to send details without any human involvement.

Stats to Consider about Chatbots

  • 57% of consumers are interested in chatbots for their instantaneity. (HubSpot)

  • By 2020, over 80% of businesses are expected to have some sort of chatbot automation implemented. (BI)

  • Chatbots will power 85% of all customer service interactions by the year 2020. (Gartner)

Many customers prefer interacting with chatbots as they are responsive and give answers promptly and accurately and never lose patience. These virtual assistants offer outstanding customer service, meeting customers’ expectations and automating repetitive tasks that let organizations focus on more important work. Chatbots will become the predominant way we interact with companies.

Ending Notes

All these trends will shape the landscape of digital marketing in 2018. To keep your brand ahead of the curve, you’ll need to update your content and strategy to reflect changing consumer desires. So, before you update your digital strategy, it’s a good idea to review your existing goals and decide how to best achieve them. Whether you’re introducing chatbots for customer service or starting a livestream to promote your brand, you’ll want to keep a close eye on these developments as the year progresses.
 

Natalie Evans

Natalie Evans

Natalie Evans has over 16-years in the tech industry and currently works as the event coordinator and tech reporter for CMS-Connected, keeping up-to-date on what's happening in and around the Content Management industry.