The rise of influencer marketing has no doubt been exponential this year. So much that it has become pivotal to implement this inorder to achieve immediate social media growth.
Alongside this the focus has been on the content being enabled by artificial intelligence. From Voice SEO to augmented reality, the speed of digital marketing trends is not only thwarting but also exciting!
In no particular order, here are a few marketing trends you should be keeping a firm eye on.
1) The video playlist.
A study hosted by the Drum states that on YouTube one billion hours of video content is being watched and a massive 100 million hours are being consumed on Facebook every day. The rise of video content is powerful, especially for brands looking for higher engagement rates with consumers, as well as digital marketers.
This is because, when consumers are scrolling down their social media feeds and timelines, it is no longer the still images that are capturing their eyes, but the bright and musical videos being created today.
More business and brands are engaging with video as they see a high ROI when used alongside advertising management systems such as Facebook.
This is mainly due to Facebook’s advertising feature which allows video content to be played instantly when the selected video has finished. This especially true as often, we find ourselves stuck in a looping and an endless playlist of streaming video content targeted to our interests.
What does this mean? It means that right now brands and digital marketers using still images in their marketing strategies are seeing much less engagement than the brands using video content. A lot of brands now will now try and use still images incorporated into slideshows to enable their content to have a higher engagement rate.
2) Virtual Reality
What began as a strange yet fun feature to snapchat initially designed to capture the wild imaginations of Generation Z has now become a norm if not a sharp edge to marketing strategies this year. Snapchat’s curated virtual self along allows an individual to take on numerous personas using filters.
This has now become a staple in the customer focused digital world. The feauture has proved to be effective in capturing an audience as it is now implemented on to the Instagram app. Advertisements with snapchat however, is not often budget-friendly for small businesses. The price for one sponsored filter is not only expensive but is also very short lived.
Clever brands like Ikea and Mcdonals have taken the ideology behind the virtual reality and have successfully implemented snap chats snappy features into their marketing strategy and improved the customer experience as a whole.
Ikea’s virtual shopping application allows you to shop for objects in a store and see how an individual object would virtually look if it were placed in your home. Improving the customer experience is a key marketing trend that is cohesive with the rise of social media and AI.
3) Audio Keywords.
The introduction of gadgets such as Google home and the Amazon Alexa brings to the consumer the ease of search bought to their home. This ultimately means that when asking their electronic devises a question the answer would be delivered quickly and hassle free. However, this also means that the answer will be limited and their options restricted as the voice system filters out the results that aren’t necessary.
This calls for a different approach to SEO and ranking in search engines such as Google and using specific keywords in order to be found easily by the artificial intellegence system.
It is believed therefore that a voice search will change the SEO industry, a question raised by Forbes magazine that shows this change is, ‘how do you market to devices rather than humans?’ A question I feel will be trialed and tested throughout 2018 as AI devices and systems are prominent not only in gadgets but also our mobile phones.
It is suggested that the future version of the smartphone itself, might look very different from what we are used to today.
Mark Asher, director of corporate strategy at Adobe believes that the future version of the smart phone could be some new, improved version of smart glasses, or an atomised experience that breaks the mobile interface into various components worn more discreetly in different places of the body.
This is suggestive of a Zero UI future, a future, where smartphones will no longer be necessary as AI will be personalised as well as constantly accessible as the need for screens will be unnecessary.
4) Chatbox bots
Consumers are engaging more and more with brands online, especially on social networks. There is proven higher engagement rates on social media as 41% of millennials would involve a brand in a life milestone post, just to say thanks.
This also expands to the use of using personal messaging services such as Facebook messenger and private inboxes to contact brands directly.
Most websites offer the option to chat online, directly to a member or a team as you shop online, thus making the customer experience more engaging and building customer trust. This chat service is powered by artificially intelligent chat bots.
A study from the Drum predicts that by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed by chatbots.
Why is this important?
With 71% of millennials willing to try interact with artificial intelligence bots from a major brand, your marketing strategy will sky rocket if you implement these new trends.
Brands such as Pizza Hut have benefitted from utilising AI messenger chatbots by booking tables directly from messenger.
The data collected from AI systems offers personal data which if customised to customer groups offers insight into buyer personas which can lead to enhancing the customer experience! Something we should all be working towards when establishing ourselves as a brand.
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