There are many articles about digital trends each year and we (usually) follow many of them to see how things roll out. What we have noticed is that the trends happen slower than experts estimate. For example, everyone is talking about AI (Artificial Intelligence) / AR (Augmented Reality) / VR (Virtual Reality) and voice search as big trends, but we are expecting their time to come only in the following years. The expertise in these fields is not that accessible and wide spread so that early majority of marketers can use these technologies. Anyway, it is good that digital experts are already talking about these changes because that’s how trends form and we look forward for new changes and challenges.
Our top 5 predictions for digital marketing trends in 2018 are:
- More video content.
- More Facebook chatbots and one on one communication.
- Cost per click and cost per acquisition will increase.
- More influencers marketing.
- More data protection.
At the beginning of the year, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will decrease the importance of the organic posts created by business and media pages in the newsfeed, and will offer high exposure only to video posts and to the ones that get many interactions from the fans. This change will drive marketers to work harder, post less often, produce more videos and invest more money to promote their important messages to their followers.
Another thing Facebook announced last year is that they are planning to make public all of the ads businesses are promoting on the platform. This means that everyone will see what their competitors are doing. This change will lead to more businesses investing in Facebook ads to counter-attack their competitor’s actions. Also, because the decreasing reach of the organic posts, we will see more sponsored stories. All of these will lead to higher competition in the Facebook ads marketplace, that will result in higher bidding for cost per click and cost per acquisition.
Newsletters open rates didn’t change dramatically in the last years, but one-on-one communication shifted from email to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and other messaging platforms. We have seen, in 2017, a rise of chatbots and direct communication in Facebook Messenger. Because of the increasing number of DIY chatbot solutions, we expect to see more marketers using this communication tool. One important fact is that messages in Facebook Messenger have an open rate of over 80%, comparing to less than 20% for newsletters.
People always trusted more their peers and experts recommendations than the ads. Marketers know this fact. As we see more and more competition for the ad spaces, businesses are considering collaborating with influencers to get their products and services seen. Now that there are more influencers and micro influencers than ever before, marketers have a wider range of brand ambassadors to work with. This also means lower fees and bigger exposure per campaigns.
This year GDPR will start to roll out. Business and agencies have to update their policies about data protection so that consumers will be more in control over their personal data. For businesses that had good relationships with their followers this update should not be a problem. For the ones that used some shady list building tactics in the past years, there will be a slight problem. In the end we believe it’s for everyone’s good.
We look forward to see how these trends will evolve in 2018. We expect more transparent communications, more quality content, bigger budgets spent with the same results as in 2017 and more influencers endorsing brands.
Are you prepared? What are your bets for 2018?
Senior Partner, Loopaa