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Five digital marketing trends that will shape your 2018
Five digital marketing trends that will shape your 2018


1) Video on demand, in demand
Nothing on social media is as eye-catching as good video content. There’s a huge variety of formats this video content can take, from 360-degree videos to live streams. This gives marketing teams a serious amount of flexibility when it comes to planning video campaigns. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that mobile comes first. After all, 90% of Twitter video views and 60% of YouTube views are now from users on mobile devices. The marketing community has seen the writing on the wall, 65% of marketers are preparing to increase their budgets for mobile ads to focus more on video within the next few months.

2) Social media influencers gaining more...influence
To avoid the pressure of competing with rival brands, marketers will be looking to develop more long-term relationships with key social media influencers in 2018. But why bother looking to partner up for the long haul? Just look at Louis Vuitton’s 2016 partnership with Selena Gomez. It ended abruptly when rival fashion brand Coach managed to sign a new deal with the celebrity influencer, leaving Louis Vuitton out in the cold. Another key advancement in influencer marketing strategy this year will be authenticity. Consumers can easily detect influencer-brand collaborations that seem forced and call them out, which is why savvy marketers will focus on building organic relationships with influencers that mesh with their brand in 2018.

3) The EU’s crackdown on data collection
In 2018, the European Union is getting serious about companies collecting consumer data. On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is going into effect. Will your company be prepared? Basically, the GDPR gives EU citizens more control over their personal data. Every time a company wants to collect information from a consumer, they’ll now need explicit consent from the individual. That data could be anything from their location to their name to their email address. On top of that, the company will need to tell the person what data they plan to collect and how they’ll use it. I know what you’re thinking---if my business isn’t in the EU, no problem, right? Well, the GDPR is applicable to any company that collects data on any EU citizen. And U.S.-based companies are actually more prepared for the GDPR than European ones; less than 75% of European companies will be GDPR compliant by May, compared to 84% of American companies. What happens if your business doesn’t comply? It’s not pretty: you’ll be faced with an EU fine of up to 4% of global annual turnover or 23 million USD whichever is greater.

4) Chatbots taking over the world
2018 will be the year that brands need to start thinking about social media bots. Chatbots have been around for years, but they’ve seen bigtime AI improvements recently. More and more brands are working on using chatbots for customer support and perfecting their chatbot marketing strategy. Right now, chatbots are mostly used for customer service 61% of consumer-chatbot interactions are centered around customer service-related questions. The future of bots is looking bright, too, with an estimated 85% of customer interactions managed by chatbots by 2020. But who exactly is using chatbots? It looks like Millennials are the main culprits. 58% of Millenials have used a chatbot before and 71% say they would try interacting with a chatbot from a major brand, according to a survey by Retale. With this coveted demographic on board, it’s only a matter of time before AI assistants become the new normal.

5) The new art of storytelling
With their growing popularity, social media “stories” will be impossible for marketers to ignore in the coming year. The “stories” format pioneered by Snapchat has now become a staple of the social media world. First Instagram created Instagram Stories, and now YouTube has released a stories format of their own called “Reels”. Each offers unique features and presentation, but they all follow the same concept. Stories capture the best moments from a day and most vanish after a set period of time. Their temporary nature creates a sense of FOMO for users who don’t check them out before they disappear. They’re also just a fun, bite-sized way to present video content. 2018 is sure to be a big year for stories, with even WhatsApp and Facebook joining the fray. It’s time to think about stories as a key part of your social marketing strategy.
 

10% Increase in Marketing Channel
10% Increase in Marketing Channel

The latest edition of the Adobe Digital Index (ADI) has revealed that the number of digital marketing channels has increased by 10 percent over the past two years in Europe. An analysis of more than 1.3 trillion page visits to more than 10,000 websites in Europe and North America shows that marketers are now making use of more touchpoints than ever before to reach customers. The business goal tends to dictate the channel used with search, display and social employed for increasing brand awareness, and email for customer conversion.  

Six Digital Marketing Trends To Watch In 2018
Six Digital Marketing Trends To Watch In 2018


1. 'Mobilfication'
We've heard about mobile for the last few years, but for some crazy reason, many businesses are still not taking action. Stand in line anywhere nowadays and watch what people are doing. I can assure you they have their face buried in their mobile device. Mobile will continue to be a top priority for marketers for years to come.

2. Media Properties
The best way to control the conversation in front of your prospects and customers is to get in front of them with quality content. Launch one media platform that's 100% focused on providing helpful, authentic content to your end customers. This could mean a podcast, a well-written and thought-out blog or even a livestream video that you film on a weekly basis. The business that produces the best (and most) content will come out on top.

3. Chatbots
Chatbots are all the rage as of late and for great reason. If you're not familiar, think of them as a tool on the other side of a computer that can respond to your customers' questions or comments. Chatbots are used for engagement, customer service issues, general questions and even closing business. I've been testing them out the last six months and the results have been off-the-charts. The crazy thing is, if you set up the bot correctly, it's very tough to tell if you're talking to an actual person or a bot.

4. Reviews
While your reviews are essential for search engine rankings, they can also make or break a sale for you. According to research, half of adults under the age of 50 regularly check online reviews before purchasing a new item. What will they find? I hope a substantial amount of positive reviews that makes the decision easy. Put together a solid plan for getting reviews for your business. Be careful not to incentivize people (as this is not allowed), but instead have a system for asking for reviews.

5. Video
Get started by committing to doing four videos per month. Whether you do a Facebook Live, YouTube video or a video for your website, it doesn’t matter. Get into the habit of producing quality video content for your prospects and customers.

6. Branding Versus Direct Response
Stop focusing all of your attention on the call to action and make sure you're delivering value first, telling your story and portraying your business in the best possible light.
 

Elements of an Irresistible Call to Action
Elements of an Irresistible Call to Action

Having the right sales piece is crucial to the success of your direct mail campaign. And one of the most critical aspects of any sales piece is the offer, or call to action. This is the part of the copy that lets readers know what you want them to do and what they’ll get for doing it. The call to action needs to be dynamic enough to get past readers’ natural inertia and inspire them to do something. It has to have the motivational power to convert readers into buyers.
 

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