5 Digital Marketing Trends You Can Profit From in 2018

5 digital marketing trends in 2018 cover

Digital marketing continues to evolve as data, social media, video, and mobile technologies converge. Following SMARTT’s principle of providing the right solutions with the right timing, here are five current digital marketing trends that will impact the bottom line of your 2018 digital strategy.

Trend #1: Even More Touchpoints and Multi-Touch Attribution

multi touch attribution in marketing

Companies and platforms are moving away from traditional “last-click” attribution models as customers interact with more touchpoints from more channels and devices.

Why It Is Happening:

  • Customers are researching offers from multiple sources and devices before reaching a buying decision.
  • As the number of customer touchpoints and devices continue to increase, companies are finding it necessary to go from a last-click attribution model to a multi-touch attribution model.
  • Smart companies are focusing on creating value throughout the customer journey, even if it means starting with a loss leader and outspending their competitors at certain touchpoints – because they know they will have a higher profit margin in the end.

What It Means to You:

  • Standard “Last-click” attribution may not be showing you the whole marketing picture.
  • You are missing out on certain touchpoints across your customers buying journey.
  • Capturing customers on those touchpoints before your competitors do will help you acquire new customers.

Practical Tips:

  • Think in touchpoints and buying stages instead of a traditional sales funnel.
  • Map out sample customer journeys with multiple touchpoints.
  • Integrate your various channels and assign a 360 attribution model.

Trend #2: Increasing Paid Media Costs and Smarter Targeting

paid advertising targeting

Increased touchpoint complexity and competition have led to spiraling media costs; marketers are becoming careful with where they spend their money.

Why It Is Happening:

  • Increased touchpoint complexity and competition have led to spiraling media costs.
  • Social and local algorithm changes have forced marketers to rely on paid media instead of organic traffic.
  • Since 2015, the average cost per click in paid search has increased by 65%. Facebook ads have seen a similar increase.

What It Means to You:

  • You can expect CPC cost increases to continue. Optimize or lose your margin.
  • Organic social reach will also continue to decrease as social platforms monetize their business models.
  • Focusing on the lifetime value of your business will be important once again.

Practical Tips:

  • Segment, segment, segment.
  • Look for creative “niche opportunities” in your targeting that your competitors are not utilizing yet.
  • Be more targeted so that despite raising PPC costs, your final cost per conversion is still similar or lower.

Trend #3: Video Content Still on the Rise

Video spending grew by 130% in 2017, and is expected to keep growing in 2018.

Why It Is Happening:

  • Lower bandwidth costs and better streaming technologies (who would have thought watching a whole football game on Twitter would have been possible a few years ago?).
  • Better quality videos can now be produced with phones and digital cameras.
  • Marketers are getting a higher reach, more sharing, and more sales conversions from videos.

What It Means to You:

  • Using videos will mean getting closer to your audience than ever before.
  • If a picture can say a thousand words, then a video has the added benefit of bringing authenticity to your brand.
  • Not using videos may mean losing both traffic and conversions to your competitors.

Practical Tips:

  • Produce video content in addition to regular articles.
  • Try the Lumen5 online video editor if you are on a tight budget.
  • Try live streaming events.

Trend #4: AI and Personalization

artificial intelligence chatbot in marketing

As artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms continue to improve, marketers are discovering new opportunities to deliver relevant and personalized messages.

Why It Is Happening:

  • Siri, Alexa Echo, and Google Home have brought AI assistants to the limelight.
  • There’s so much content out there unless something is personalized, your audience may just ignore it.
  • Marketers are finding higher engagement rates with bots.

What It Means to You:

  • Not only can you reach the right audience; you can reach them at the right time.
  • You can use AI and bots to lower your sales and marketing costs.
  • Providing 24/7 service may become a reality and norm in your industry in the not so far future.

Practical Tips:

  • Check out Facebook Messenger, Drift and Intercom.
  • Start by targeting the “low-hanging fruits” in your client data such as names and emails.
  • Run lead nurturing campaigns to offer your audiences access to more great content, products, and services.

Trend #5: Ungated Content Hubs

ungated content for digital marketing

Many well known B2B brands such as Hubspot are un-gating their content to improve their organic search presence in an increasingly crowded content landscape.

Why It Is Happening:

  • The content landscape has become crowded in the past few years, and many B2B audiences are becoming tired of giving out their contact information in exchange for content.
  • The SEO game is becoming more competitive, and companies want to see their best content indexed instead of locked behind a gate.
  • Ebooks are slowly losing their value because so much traffic is coming from mobile.

What It Means to You:

  • Expect a higher percentage of your audience to bounce or give our fake contact information if they think they can get similar content elsewhere.
  • Unlocking your content may improve your search rankings and earn trust, especially if you promote them well.
  • Keep the content on your site; the SEO impact may affect your business for years to come.

Practical Tips:

  • Only gate content when it is “special enough”.
  • Have VERY good ungated content that will raise the perceived value of your gated content.
  • Include OPTIONAL lead forms.

Trend #6: Get Help When You Need It

digital marketing in vancouver

We agree, keeping up with the latest trends is quite difficult. This is exactly why have we created this guide - to set you in the right direction. If you would like to learn more, don't hesitate to contact us today and set up a confidential and no-obligation discussion on your 2018 strategy. We look forward to working with you.

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