The latest digital marketing trends

Digital marketing is constantly evolving. Last year’s hottest trend becomes this year’s dud and staying on top of SEO, social media, PPC, content, mobile and everything in-between is no easy task for digital marketers. But it’s certainly possible and the smartest marketers know how important it is.

The key is to be in the know about emerging trends and what audiences are up to. There’s lots going on in the digital marketing landscape right now, so here’s some of the latest stats and trends to look out for in 2018 and beyond:

 

AI chatbots

 

Marketing can’t escape the gravity of digital transformation. Driven by an increasingly informed consumer base, marketers are opting to engage with consumers more and more to create intelligent online experiences and AI is one way they are achieving this.

Artificial intelligence-based chatbots communicate with customers on behalf of an organisation. They’re smart, know semantics and provide a human-like experience. Natural language processing (NLP) and recognition is in a state of rapid advancementright now and will only get better. As it does, expect more marketers to deploy it.

 

Industry influencers

 

70% of millennial customers are influenced by recommendations by their peers, while 30% of consumers are likely to buy a product recommended by a blogger/Instagrammer.

Celebrities are now way down the pile as far as trust and engagement goes, with just 3% of consumers saying they are influenced by celebrity endorsements in their purchases.

 

Storytelling

 

Once upon a time, a digital marketer churned out robotic content to appease the almighty Google. Since then the ‘rules’ of SEO have changed significantly and thin content and low-quality landing pages stuffed with keywords are no longer good enough – instead they will be penalised. Quality is now king and it comes in many forms, but it’s stories that really get human attention. That’s why newspapers exist. Opinions, stories, editorials – these are all proven formats to generate traffic and engage with an audience. You can expect more marketers to opt for creative storytelling over static content in the future.

 

SEO has become unpopular

 

The least popular digital marketing function marketers invested in this year is SEO, according to a survey by digital marketing agency Clutch. Going back to the importance of storytelling, businesses value social media marketing, websites and email marketing above SEO as these are the most engaging channels when looking to tell a story about their brand. The biggest reason for the lack of SEO popularity is usually down to lack of awareness of how SEO actually functions and the fact there aren’t immediate results.

 

Programmatic advertising

 

Programmatic advertising is the use of automation in buying and selling adverts. The thought process behind it is you pass the reins onto a computer that crunches data for you to make informed, relevant purchase decisions. This has been going on for years, but recent advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning mean there’s a smarter system on the horizon – and it has the ability to outperform you.

Platforms that can decide which ads to buy and how much to pay for them are fast becoming top of the marketer’s wish list. LinkedIn Programmatic is a prime example of a tried and tested platform. Display advertising with this system takes over for you, reducing the need for human intervention in ad buying. The efficiency improvements alone are mind-boggling, so expect to see programmatic become a thing.

Author

Frances Slack

Consultant

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