18 January 2018 by Evie
2017 brought smart speakers to the forefront of home technology, a virtual reality splurge to the world of home gaming and the debut of several cutting-edge tablets and mobile devices. At Web Bureau, we’ve spent the last few weeks considering the tech and digital marketing trends that we expect will unfold and impact 2018.
Today, we want to talk about how these new technologies and trends can improve communication and connections with your audiences and customers.
So, with that in mind, let’s peek into 2018 and see the biggest digital trends are going to impact your business this year.
Trend #1 - Digital Centralisation
Over the past decade, we’ve seen the release of many different devices, including smartphones, tablets and “smart” TVs and appliances.
We’ve also come to rely quite heavily on lots of individual apps in our everyday lives, from those apps that we use for navigating from place to place, to the ones that even change the temperature of our house.
2018 will bring about Digital Centralisation – a hub for managing everything from the one place.
Trend #2 - Mobile Goes More Places
Smartphone usage continues to skyrocket.
The format, affordability, functionality and increasing availability of free WIFI (vital to those on a price conscious data plan) mean that these powerful pocket rockets are fuelling all kinds of business potential.
Source: Smart Insights Mobile Marketing Trends statistics compilation
“The concept of ‘mobile first’ is no longer exclusive to technology-focused businesses and consumers, but is the default position for a growing number of internet users, who now consider smartphones and tablets essential to their daily lives.”
Director, International Marketing Insights, comScore
Trend #3 - 5G
It’s on its way, driven by the hyper-connectivity expected by today’s always-connected users. It’s estimated that 5G will be available globally in 2020, with 24 million 5G subscribers by 2021.
A Qualcomm-led study suggests that by 2035, the industry could produce up to $12.3 trillion worth of goods and services enabled by 5G, with 5G itself potentially generating up to $3.5 trillion in revenue in 2035 and support 22 million jobs.
Trend #4 - UI overhauls
2018 is going to be a major year for User Interface design; it is going to be essential that we rethink how users interact with our apps and devices.
The onset of smart speakers and better voice search has made it so it’s no longer necessary to look at a screen to input data or search queries. We also need to take into account the fact that Desktop devices are becoming less and less used, as Mobile continues to take over!
New types of visuals and more audible clues will likely be included in next-generation UI. Consumers will adapt to them quickly, so we need to be sure we serve our consumers core needs.
Trend #5 – Personalisation
Good content marketing is at the heart of any marketing plan worth its salt and will remain so. Your key aim in 2018 should be to provide a personalised experience for each customer.
The technology and functionality are already there: you just have to make it work for you.
That means working out where each customer is in their buying journey and aiming to cater directly for their needs.
Once you’ve mapped your customer’s individual journey, it’s time to step away from static content and start to create content that is dynamically rich.
Deliver a tailored and unique customer experience that meets them where they are in the buying cycle with relevant content and messaging.
Personalisation has been used in email marketing and retargeting over the last few years, but in 2018 buyers will begin to expect it along all stages of their buying journey.
Personalised website content and content pieces should be integrated into your website, so a user sees a site that is predominantly tailored to them.
Trend #6 - Artificial Intelligence
AI is starting to make an appearance in almost every new platform, app, or device. That trend is only going to accelerate in 2018.
Artificial intelligence is used by marketers to cater to their audience’s specific needs and wants. Tools are emerging that help marketers and brands predict their wants and needs before they can - again, creating crucial personalised experiences.
There are affordable tools to help you and your business incorporate this too. Make smarter decisions, save time, and personalise content for your audience using AI tools such as Chatbots.
Trend #7 – Augmented Reality
Within this decade, augmented reality is going to change the way the always-connected consumer works, shops and plays.
Augmented Reality (AR) has been around in the gaming world for a while but over the next few years it will be creeping into social media life more and more.
AR’s popularity is rapidly growing because it brings elements of the virtual world, into our real world - enhancing the things we see, hear, and feel.
Businesses have already started to use Snapchat and Instagram in recent years and now they can go even further now with AR by implementing it into their current social media tactics. Creative filters, animations and interactions with everyday objects or products that correlate to your brand, can improve customer experiences.
Trend #8 - Rank Brain
Last year Google announced that their third most important ranking factor was RankBrain. As Google refines its algorithm, it’s going to become even more important in 2018.
RankBrain is a machine learning system that helps Google sort their search results. It simply measures how users interact with search results.
Trend #9 - Integrating Voice Search Trends with Your SEO
Direct Answers have brought about changes to search with the importance of voice searchers.
Voice search is more conversational and uses natural language. The artificial intelligence (AI) technology is evolving to understand user intent and context based on signals like previous search queries, past user behaviour & actions.
Trend #10 - The Power of Video is Still Growing
The demand for video has been growing and growing the past couple of years.
55% of people in the world watch videos online every single day. It’s estimated that 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store.
We automatically have more genuine interactions to visual information, rather than just text.
Now that it is becoming easier and easier to create video content, we will see more of it in 2018. If you haven’t already, it’s crucial to jump on the video bandwagon now!
Trend #11 - The Importance of Authentic Reviews
Reviews are quickly becoming one of the most important elements for your business.
Here are a few very tough-to-ignore statistics on reviews from Bright Local:
There’s no denying the quantity and quality of reviews is critical to businesses today, but the hottest topic on the web now is authenticity. “Fake news” has been the phrase of 2017, resulting in 84% of consumers who now say they worry about being fooled by a fake review online.
So, there you have it. A look into 2018 and the trends that will begin to affect your business. It’s time to get better connected to your audience by utilising the latest cutting-edge tech and digital marketing tactics.
Need help? Give us a call at Web Bureau on 028 90 731190, let’s have a chat about how we can grow your business in 2018.