Marketing, particularly in the digital era, is not a static environment. Change is constant as consumer behaviors and interactions drive the decision-making process for brands and marketing departments. With each new year, there are new marketing trends that take hold and force companies to adapt to survive. Marketing trends in 2018 are no different, so what are some of the top marketing trends to be aware of for the year?
Artificial Intelligence and the Rise of the Bots
Many companies have already embraced Artificial Intelligence in the past several years, but 2018 appears to be the year in which it will gain widespread adoption. Or at least, it should gain widespread adoption. AI has gone from a marketing trend to a borderline staple of any marketing campaign. In particular, chatbots have been gaining popularity among brands big and small. AI and chatbots offer an exciting new manner in which brands and consumers can communicate.
AI isn't just limited to chatbots and smoother communication with consumers though. This marketing trend extends beyond bots to natural language processing (see next) and real-time consumer data analysis.
Voice Marketing and Internet of Things
OK, speaking of natural language processing. Voice search is a rising phenomenon in marketing right now, and that is the result of the increased adoption of Internet of Things devices. IoT refers to smartwatches, Google Home, and Amazon Alexa-powered devices. Rather than typing in whole sentences or keyword phrases, consumers are now searching using their voices instead. Whether it's a search for local grocery delivery services from a Google Home device or a simple voice search on a smartphone, voice marketing and the growth of the Internet of Things is raising the stakes on optimization. Websites and marketing content now have to be optimized for natural language to connect with consumers using IoT devices to speak their thoughts aloud.
Read More: How to Optimize for Voice Search in 2018
Video, like voice marketing and AI, has been simmering under the surface for years waiting to break out. Right now, video marketing appears poised to make that break out due in large part to an already wide array of uses for video. Facebook Live allows brands to speak right to consumers with clear, concise messages. Additionally, web TV use is on the rise as more consumers cut the cord.
For businesses, this means a need to adapt to video's use and figure out how to make it work for the brand. Good video marketing tells a compelling story, gets the point across faster, and helps improve sales. Best of all, video marketing is viable through various mediums, ranging from a video on a landing page to YouTube videos on the brand account.
Importance of Reviews
Last, but certainly not least, a unique marketing trend centers on the rising value of reviews to brands. Though this isn't something that can be controlled by the company like other messaging, it is something that is vital to manage. Reviews are a great source of organic traffic for the brand and when managed correctly can send out a positive message. The best thing is, even a bad review offers an opportunity to positively market the brand.
Positive reviews are great for the brand because they are used in Google rankings, so every time a consumer leaves a good review, the fact that a review exists helps to bump the brand up in rankings. Of course, a good review is just that, good for business. However, even a bad review handled correctly can mean good business. By connecting with consumers that had negative experiences and working hard to correct that issue, other readers will see the review and its outcome and understand the company has a heart and soul, and that it really cares for consumers.