Now that we’re settled in to 2018, it’s time to look at what we can expect from digital marketing this year.
Social media – paid advertising
In 2017 we saw so many changes in social media algorithms and as a result it’s becoming increasingly difficult to view content from pages you follow. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all provide content based on an individual user’s preferences, rather than showing content in time order, it is therefore becoming harder for brands to appear on feeds without using paid advertising. Going forward brands should be looking at using targeted paid advertising to ensure their content is reaching target audiences effectively, rather than assuming their messages are pushing through the noise.
Social media - Short-lived video content
Last year saw a significant increase in people using Instagram stories and brands can’t ignore the growth in the popularity of disappearing content. Although it may seem counterproductive to spend time on short-lived content, it is often perceived by the audience as being more authentic, and can provide greater levels of engagement. Instagram stories provide an opportunity to always be at the top of a user’s feed, and Instagram have recently introduced a feature where stories can be saved as highlights on your profile. This means that although the story disappears from feeds, it can still appear on your page and be viewed again.
2017 was the year of the video, so although this isn’t a new trend, it is predicted that video will be the favoured form of content for businesses in 2018. Video provides information instantly, and with attention spans becoming shorter and shorter, video is a great way to catch attention, quickly. If done right, it can have a very positive impact on your business boosting search engine rankings, increasing engagement and website traffic.
Professional Live Video
It is without doubt that video will continue to be a trend in 2018 but not just video, professional live video. Every social media platform is jumping into live video and adding new features regularly to their platforms. Live video is a great way to connect with your audience, and the amateur phone quality live video will no longer be acceptable. The live content can then be saved and repurposed for future marketing content.
The number of consumers who use smart phones and tablets as their first device has grown exceptionally and 2018 will be all about catering to this growth. We already know mobile marketing is important, but it is now vital to understand how your audiences behave on mobile devices. This will mean indexing the site for mobile, looking at mobile speed, considering user experience, and creating content geared towards mobile, including live video.
Augmented reality is becoming increasingly popular, and after the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X were released with augmented reality experiences, it cannot be overlooked. With the popularity of Snapchat and Instagram filters, it is looking increasingly likely that its presence on social media will only increase, with brands using AR to provide an immersive experience for customers.
GDPR preparation and compliance
In May 2018 the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force. It will apply to anyone that holds data on EU citizens and will affect many UK businesses. GDPR will take careful planning and businesses need to start preparing now as the consequences of non-compliance will be severe. However, it’s not all bad news, GDPR presents an opportunity to transform your relationship with customers. It requires a new approach and a new way of thinking, re-establishing trust, gaining consent and being completely transparent. If you can demonstrate that data is being treated with respect, held securely, and you can show you have the customers interests at heart, then the relationship and engagement with the customer should be strengthened.
We’ll be keeping an eye on these trends, and reporting on any developments over the year.