As we approach the end of 2017 and the beginning of the New Year, it’s a great time to take a moment to reflect on your successes and plan for the future. A new year brings new opportunities, new motivation, and new tools and updates that will help you make your business, digital marketing agency, or social media marketing agency even better. In this post, I’ll be discussing everything you need to know to help you grow your business in 2018, from social media updates to changing trends and everything in between.
Updates to Marketing in 2018
Social Media Updates for 2018
Just as you and I are always looking to offer new and competitive services to our customers with our digital marketing agency or business, so too are our favorite social media apps. The big four apps, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, will be offering new technologies in 2018 that both regular users and businesses will be able to take advantage of, making way for many new trends in online sharing and interactions.
A big change we can expect to see in 2018 is an increased focus on artificial intelligence (AI) from our social media apps, particularly with Facebook. In fact, it’s been estimated that 20% of business content for social media in 2018 could be machine-generated. The most significant impact AI could have for your digital marketing agency or social media marketing agency could be in the use of chatbots via Facebook Messenger. There are currently 1.3 billion active users on Facebook Messenger and many marketers have found success with Facebook Messenger Campaigns (one marketer recently detailed how his campaigns had an 88% open rate with a 56% CTR). Facebook is even working on developing an e-commerce tool for US users that will likely see much advancement in 2018. This technology could have a significant impact on the way businesses use bots in Facebook and Instagram.
One of the biggest types of media consumed on social media in 2017 was video, with 90% of all content shared online being video. Across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, the video should continue to be a priority for your digital marketing agency in 2018. Ephemeral content will also continue to be big for engagement, with Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat’s stories functions providing a great way for brands and businesses to keep the attention of their customers.
Another technology social media platforms will be putting a lot of focus into in 2018 is augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Facebook has openly discussed their hopes for AR, and Snapchat is getting in on this technology too. Though VR still presents some limitations in terms of cost, Facebook has already made moves toward creating interactions in a VR environment.
Changes in Email Marketing for 2018
As I expect to see with social media, AI may have a big impact on email marketing as well, with new, smarter inbox technology that will prioritize emails based on the recipients’ behaviors. While this means you won’t need to focus as much on the perfect time to send marketing emails to your clients, it may mean that your email marketing strategy will need to move away from mass blast newsletters. As we’ve seen in the past, personalization and a focus on inbound email marketing should continue to be a part of your 2018 strategy for your digital marketing agency.
While consumers are increasingly coming to expect personalization in their inboxes, they’re also looking for a little extra to impress them. Interactive emails will make a big difference in 2018, so make sure your email marketing is creative and allows recipients the ability to click and interact with the message—think of your marketing emails as more of a mini-website than simply a message if you really want your recipients to take notice.
Changes in SEO for 2018
Technological advancements will also see a change in the way your digital marketing agency should think about SEO in2018. With 1 out of 5 searches on Google coming from voice queries thanks to digital assistants and other voice search technology, your keywords for SEO should take into consideration natural language and speech patterns and include more long-tail search keywords. Visual, image-based searches will also be on the rise, so your SEO strategy should include engaging visuals beyond just text.
We also have to take into consideration how people most often browse online, and that means putting more priority in mobile-first indexing and user experience, as more than 57% of web traffic now comes from mobile devices. Some experts are predicting that Google may launch its mobile-first index in 2018.
Changes in Website Design and Marketing for 2018
As we saw in 2017, consumers are increasingly browsing the internet from their phones. This will continue into 2018 and beyond, and therefore websites should be designed with this in mind. Minimalist designs that load quickly should be a priority and will see design becoming more creative in different ways. If you can’t use your layout to help you stand out, expressive typography and animated logos or scroll-triggered animation will be helpful tools to help grab the attention of website visitors.
Additionally, as AI continues to improve and become included in all aspects of the web, the website should look to incorporate chatbots and machine learning to make web interactions more immediate and seamless.
Many of the changes we can expect to see in 2018 rely on the changing way people consume their online content, and that should be reflected in all content you create. Consumers want relevant, visually rich, engaging content that they can interact with quickly, and user experience should continue to be a huge priority in your content strategies for 2018. Pay attention to what people are talking about, where they are talking about it, and how. Lucky for us, Facebook has done some of this work for us, as they’ve recently released The Annual Topics & Trends Report that predicts what consumers will be talking about in 2018 based on the activity of their 2 billion users in 2017.
There’s no doubt that the online landscape is changing, and it is becoming increasingly important to stay on top of technological changes and user behavior trends if you want to take your digital marketing agency to the next level.