2017 was the year that saw Facebook hit 2 billion users, the proliferation of real-time video across social platforms and the continuing renaissance of email marketing.
With 2018 coming up fast, what better time to reflect on the past year and predict the digital marketing trends for 2018.
Google continues to emphasize the importance of mobile devices so expect to see function taking precedence over form with a focus on usability of sites and a minimalist design.
Will small businesses finally catch up in 2018?
50% of small businesses still don’t have a dedicated website!
It is interesting that social media adoption for small business is much higher (90%) than website adoption. This is likely to be due to the low barrier to market entry and low cost implications.
It is important to note however that you don’t actually own your Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook pages – the social media companies own them, and if they switch direction or go out of business, you are in trouble! A website belongs to YOUR business and should be the nucleus of all your social media activity.
Artificial Intelligence is going to be everywhere in 2018 as technical enhancements make Chatbots better at answering questions and simulating conversations with website visitors. How this affects small businesses waits to be seen but is certainly worth monitoring and keeping up to date with new technologies available.
We are looking at a shift in 2018 to focus more on Semantic Search (buyer intent and topics, rather than specific keywords). SEOs will focus more on having their site show up at the right time when people are actually considering a purchase, rather than having the site show up to attract particular personas.
Get set to watch videos embedded directly into email campaigns. Technological enhancements will continue to lead to more and more email apps that support embedded video.
In 2018 we will likely see the increased adoption of short-lived content (Ephemeral Content) – content that’s only available for a short period of time before it disappears – like Instagram stories and Snapchat.
Marketers must start developing strategies to maximize the reach and impact of ephemeral content as well as considering tactics to get this content noticed. If used properly, it provides a great way to preview upcoming projects, showcase behind the scene content, offer promotions and other content that are supposed to be short-lived.
In summary, 2018 is set to be an interesting year where technological advancements will continue to speed up. But still, more than 1 in 5 small businesses report that their greatest challenge is always finding the time to properly market their businesses.
That is where small business marketing advisers can help – email us on [email protected] to find out how we can help your business to grow in 2018.