Christmas is over and the New Year’s festivities have finished but 2018 is only just beginning! We all know that marketing has changed dramatically over the past few years. In fact, it’s changed so much that we’ve come to expect drastic disruption every year!
That doesn’t mean that we can’t make some predictions for how marketing will change in 2018. We’ll cover our top 5 predictions in this blog. They range from the way we work day-to-day as marketing professionals to how the industry might change at a fundamental level in the not-too-distant future.
This list is by no means exhaustive, so let us know if there’s any trends you think may pop up this year, or any changes you are excited about – tweet at us (@weareredpepper) and join the conversation.
- Live video
Live video has come forward leaps and bounds in the past few years. This year, more and more businesses are going to adopt it as a way to speak directly to their customers.
The uses for live video are numerous and it can be used within many industries in a positive and profitable manner. It’s a way to announce something when and how you want, as well as answer questions and converse with consumers.
Another great use for live video is producing content that would be useful for your customers. For example, a restaurant might use live video to show their customers how to make certain foods. This would add value to the viewer, demonstrate their chef’s prowess in the kitchen, and show that the restaurant cares about its community.
Why not take a look at how you could utilise live video this year?
- Personalised Communications
Brands are increasingly placing more emphasis on talking to customers individually. Consumers are demanding this personal approach that speaks to them in a specific and direct manner. A recent report published by YesLifestyleMarketing found that in email campaigns, personalised subject lines (like those including a recipient’s name or purchased/browsed items) generated 50% higher open rates.
It’s not always achievable, especially if your brand has a really large customer base. That being said, there are ways around it. Large brands are using Chatbots to simulate this effect but if your brand is a bit smaller, a 1-to-1 approach is achievable.
This way of talking to customers is great for creating brand ambassadors within social communities. Resolving problems and chatting with customers creates a relationship that can often last a long time!
- Slowdown in Influencer Marketing
The popularity of influencer marketing could slow down in 2018. As more and more data is released that compares the popular marketing technique to other practices, brands are becoming warier.
Influencer marketing is great for awareness, and probably will be for a long time. It definitely lacks on the ROI front, though, as it can be difficult to gauge interest in a product or service from an influencer’s audience before you engage with them.
If you’re still looking at using influencer marketing this year, a focus on smaller but better matching influencers would be advisable.
- More emphasis on a great customer journey
Companies and brands are getting better at guiding their customers through the buying process. Due to that, customers are becoming better at noticing a poor customer journey and avoiding it.
We’ve begun focussing a lot more on the customer journey with our clients, and you should be thinking about it as well. When a customer wants to buy something, they want it to be as quick and easy as possible. (Think Amazon’s “1-click ordering” system!)
This year, take a good, long look at the entire purchasing path that your customers follow. Identify areas that, if you were a consumer, would confuse or irritate you. Focus on fixing these areas and monitoring the results.
- Further evolution of content marketing
As more and more interesting digital marketing platforms evolve, content marketing will have to adapt to service these platforms.
For example, there’s been a large rise in the use of voice searches on mobile (Google say that around 20% of their mobile searches are voice searches). Therefore, content marketers are going to have to start thinking about how the content they create sounds when people are making these searches.
For example, if someone is baking a cake and asks their phone or home assistant to tell them how to make chocolate icing, the best content will be read to them aloud. If the content doesn’t sound good when it’s being spoken by these systems, that person will simply look elsewhere.
This trend in voice search is indicative of a number of new platforms that are arising. As content marketers, we have to be aware of how they can change what we do!