As December 2017 comes to an end, digital marketers are already speculating which trends will become most prevalent in 2018. From AI to live streams, 2017 saw the birth and growth of search marketing trends worth analyzing. Here are a few that we believe will go on to continue expanding in the coming year.
Expect Instagram to become more important, and Twitter to fizzle out.
Social Media isn’t a new or innovative strategy at this point, but the networks people choose to promote on are slowly shifting. While Twitter may have been a popular hub in its heyday, in recent years the network has struggled to find and maintain its audience amidst spam, harassment, and bot issues.
In its place, Instagram has become more popular than Facebook among millennials, growing to 500 million daily active users. This highlights a new opportunity to reach out to younger customers through a channel they actually use.
Live Streaming will continue to become an important content delivery method
Videos have been growing as the new medium to develop content for, but live videos have taken over in 2017. Facebook claims that daily watch time for live videos has grown 4x since they were introduced just a year ago. Facebook has also pumped $50 million to media companies, publishers, and celebrities to develop more content.
That’s just Facebook. There’s also Twitter, Instagram, and a myriad of other live streaming apps that have joined the new wave. Marketers would benefit greatly from finding a way to tailor their content to this medium.
Local SEO and Tailored Feeds
Tailored content is nothing new, just something else that will become central in helping consumers filter the noise in the coming years. Personalization refers to delivering content and ads specially chosen for the consumer based on their age, gender, geographic location, income, education, and interests.
Google already serves up results based on your location, so local SEO will continue to become a dominating factor. The same goes for social media, where Instagram announced that it would be delivering a personalized feed (similar to Facebook) based on the accounts that you follow. Snapchat has also followed suit, but basing its algorithm on content you viewed in the past, instead of who you follow.
Create special content and landing pages for specific segments of your audience. While you may not see high traffic, you’ll likely notice greater engagement and conversion rates.
VR and AR
Virtual Reality: An immersive 360 experience
Virtual Reality refers to a simulation that replaces the physical world with a constructed, 3D rendering. VR can take the form of the top of a mountain, the bottom of the ocean, deep in the jungle or in the city of Chicago. Recording equipment, such as Insta360, has become popular and affordable on a consumer level, allowing anyone to create content for VR.
UNICEF developed a VR story on the Syrian Refugee Crisis leading up to the Third International Humanitarian Appeal for Syria in Kuwait. It eventually generated $3.8 billion in donations. UNICEF described using VR to “generate greater empathy and new perspectives on people living in conditions of great vulnerability.”
Augmented Reality: A digital layer over reality
VR’s cousin, Augmented Reality or (AR) is a direct or indirect view of the physical world, overlayed with computer-generated elements. Popular examples include IKEA Place which lets you prop virtual furniture in your living room, to Pokemon Go which lets you capture virtual monsters in the real world.
With Apple’s ARkit and Android’s ARCore, developers can create augmented reality experiences for their brands. Do you sell physical products for your business? Consider marketing them with an AR experience to show them off in 3D.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Content on unconventional devices
These days it’s not just our phones and laptops that are connected, but everything from fridges and televisions to light bulbs and thermostats. We even have vase-like devices that will listen to your voice command and control all of these devices from one sitting. Consider the various places people may find your content besides mobile and desktop. Soon, people won’t need to Google the random questions that pop into their head, they’ll simply ask Alexa, Siri or Google Home.
Start thinking about how you can design for Alexa or Google Home. If someone asks a question, such as, “where can I find a bookstore near me?”, you could position yourself as the number one answer just by designing for voice and IoT devices.
Search in 2018
We’ve learned a lot from 2017, and we’ll continue to analyze and better understand the industry for 2018. The world of digital marketing is not set in stone, it shifts and adapts just as technology continues to innovate and disrupt.
Check out our 4 digital marketing trends in 2017. Now that the year is over, did you think we nailed the trends down?