Marketing Trend Predictions for 2018

Each year we like to make predictions on what the coming year will bring in the way of marketing and technology. We polled around the Marketing Team and came up with these things that we think you’ll be seeing even more of in 2018.

2018 Marketing Trends

Video…Still Everywhere

Due to social media, the use and consumption of video is ever-increasing. This means video needs to be a part of your marketing strategy. We’re seeing the most use here:

  • Social Posts- Video stands out in a social media newsfeed and grabs the attention of followers, yielding higher engagement and clicks. Create and/or share relevant videos.
  • Search- Video increasing in popularity in customer search process (meaning people are using YouTube as a search engine). This means marketers need to keep YouTube in mind when thinking about ads. Whether it's the pre-roll ad or retargeting consumers with video ads, YouTube needs to be part of the mix.
  • Live Video for Events- Talking Facebook and Instagram Live here. It’s free, it’s easy, it works. Do it.
  • Overview and Website- Drone videos are a standard now for many videography companies. Take advantage of this technology to get high-quality, interesting video content.

Creating a Sense of Urgency

We plan to see a rise of ephemeral content marketing / storytelling. Customers take fast action because of the fear of deal/story going away in 24 hours (like short messages that only last 24 hours - for Instastories and Snapchat). Ephemeral stories are more authentic and consumers love being REAL. It also helps that stories are listed at the top of each social app, so you are top of the list and top of your consumer's mind. Key is to be real - showing what is really happening. The ability to link and use CTAs has now sealed the deal on how powerful using this method will be in 2018.

Use of AR

This opinion was found across the board: We’re going to see more augmented reality. Since mobile use is still rising, most apps are learning different ways to use augmented reality to engage with the consumer. It is also an engaging way for marketers to reach their target audience. Think: more sponsored filters on Snapchat/Instagram and new apps to virtually overlay their products in your real-time space. Especially now that the iPhone 8 and iPhone X provide augmented reality features, social apps will soon follow in this direction. Interaction will be key!

Social Influencers (Ugh)

The term itself is overused and tired, but influencer marketing is not going away - social influencers are on the rise and every brand wants to use them, but now brands will be more careful in who they pick to market their products. Believe it or not, they are now looking for those influencers that have less than 10,000 followers. Brands will really get to know their influencers so that they can be true experts of their product. It will be all about the relationships, not just the number of people that influencer can reach.

Conversation capabilities

We’re seeing a rising interest in integrating social messaging apps into communications. Many apps are adding messenger capabilities. Not just Facebook, but other apps like TeamApp and IKEA - how can marketers use this for good? Chatbots are also increasing and we only see it getting bigger. The key is to be as personable as possible.

Email Automation

We’re all big fans of email automation, and we’re seeing clients jumping on board. In 2017, Keystone worked on marketing automation campaigns in InfusionSoft, Hubspot, ActiveCampaign, MyEmma, and MailChimp. We’re betting email automation gets even more attention in 2018.

Mobile First

As predicted at the end of 2016, website design is going “mobile first” these days. With client traffic reaching between 60-80% mobile in some cases, designing for mobile first is no longer an option, it is imperative. This trend continues into 2018.

Social Advertising

If your business wants to be seen in social media, you’re going to have to pay. Organic placement is harder to come by with more and more people flooding social platforms. We include social advertising in most of our marketing packages, and we expect those budgets to increase. While this can seem like a nuisance, just like any other type of advertising, your business has a target audience in mind. And let’s face it, the tools are robust, it’s an efficient and fast way to get to the prospects you want, and can be tweaked faster than SEO. “It pays to advertise,” even today.

Paying for Social Media

Marketing Automation

It’s not a secret that you ARE being tracked and followed and marketed to, which isn’t always a bad thing for consumers. No company wants to waste money marketing to people who won’t buy their product! Marketing automation, done right, will help you find and interact with YOUR audiences in ways you never imagined…and done right, your prospects and customers will love you for it.

Local Search and Reviews

2017 was a big year for local search and the importance of reviews. While Google made it harder to rank, software made it easier to get reviews. Betting more changes come in 2018, and I recommend making sure you have the basics covered.

We’ll see how our predictions pan out, but we’re pretty confident that you’ll want to take advantage of implementing these tools into your marketing strategy. If you need help with that, we’re here for you.