The internet has had an enormous impact on the world – how we consume news, how we shop, how we keep up with friends and even how we date. It has also had a huge impact on how companies do their marketing. Digital marketing is the most dynamic and exciting area of marketing and it is changing all the time. Here are the trends you should keep an eye on in 2018 and beyond.
Voice search is getting bigger
When voice search was first introduced by search engines, it was patchy at best. When you tried it out, it was impossible to know what it would end up searching for. However, the technology has improved substantially over the last couple of years. In fact, with Google reporting that its speech recognition for English has hit 95%, Google voice search has become 20% more accurate since 2013. This means that it is approaching human levels of accuracy and errors are being rapidly reduced.
The launch of digital assistants for the home, such as Alexa, means that tech companies are doubling down on voice search as the primary way of searching in the future. This is a future in which most searches are done just by instructing your device with your voice. This affects digital marketing because people’s searches differ between text and voice. For example, if you searched on Google for pizza delivery via text, you would probably type in something like “pizza delivery near me”. However, if you did it via voice search then you would probably be more inclined to use a full sentence like “Where can I get pizza delivered near me?” This means that companies will have to target different keywords when it comes to search engine marketing.
Mobile is king and it’s here to stay
In 2018, mobile truly is the king of the internet. Mobile phones accounted for 52.2% of all online traffic generated, up from 50.3% in 2017. People are using their mobile devices more and more for all aspects of the internet, including on social media – it was reported in 2017 that 95.1% of active Facebook users access the social media platform from their mobile devices, and 85% of the time spent on Twitter is spent by those using mobile devices. Additionally, 48% of buyers now start their online shopping with a search on their mobile device.
All of this means that digital marketers have to be focusing on mobile. You can’t just focus your website on desktop and laptop. Your site needs to look great and be very usable on all platforms and screen sizes. This means that responsiveness is an absolute must. If your site doesn’t have easy to read text, touch-friendly buttons or doesn’t adapt to how the user is holding their phone (either in portrait or landscape mode) then they are going to quickly leave.
AR is coming into its own
Remember Pokémon Go? How it had millions of people wandering outside looking for Pikachus, Blastoises and Charizards (or whatever the plural of those are)? It was a worldwide phenomenon for a few months. It was also a great example of augmented reality (AR) in action. AR is also having a huge impact on how companies market their products and services. AR allows companies to bring marketing into the world of consumers. For example, IKEA has come up with an excellent AR experience where customers can use their smartphones to browse the catalog and then insert any product they wish to into the room they are in, just using AR. It’s very cool, genuinely useful and generated hype around IKEA.
Video is the key to social media
Creating a shareable video for your brand’s social media channel can have a huge impact on your digital marketing efforts. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are actually changing the algorithms of users’ timelines to highlight videos over images and text. Over 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook every single day. Video should be the number-one focus for digital marketing, according to Valentino Vaschetto. Valentino Vaschetto works for Iconic Industries, a leading marketing agency based in San Diego and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
These are the trends that are currently dictating digital marketing, but who knows what could be round the corner that we don’t even know about yet. Make sure to keep an eye on these trends and change your digital marketing campaigns accordingly.