We’re well and truly into 2018 and with the biggest digital news of the year to date undoubtedly being the major Facebook change, we’re seeing more and more trends that we think will dominate 2018 with a force. Let’s delve into them.

 

 

 

High quality content is more important than ever. You’ve heard it before – content is king – and we’re saying it again. With the ever-changing Facebook algorithm, marketers will need to be smart about how they distribute content. It is essential now more than ever before that high-quality, engaging content that readers can connect with become priority for all companies.

Facebook and Instagram Creative Strategist Kat Hahn claims that we scroll through 300 feet of content every day. Here’s how she believes brands should craft their communications to stand out from the crowd:

70% “on-the-go” Short and snappy content that consumers will view and like immediately, but not be too invested in.

20% “lean forward” Interactive content that catches the attention of consumers looking for something to watch.

10% “lean back” Immersive content that goes into more detail for consumers willing to watch something for a sustained period of time.

 

 

 

Though it may be understood by few marketers, chatbots are the top of every digital marketers wishlist.

The stats are stunning – 1.3 billion users are now active on Facebook Messenger, and they’re exchanging more than 2 billion messages per month with businesses. Neil Patel recently published an article in which he detailed how one of his Facebook Messenger campaigns saw 88% open rates, and a 56% CTR. Hubspot and its partners shared similar staggering statistics about the reach of their Messenger campaigns.

Even if you don’t know what a chatbot is, you’ve probably interacted with one at least once. The most common type is that used for Facebook Messenger – you’ve left a message and the bot automatically responds with a greeting (e.g., “Thanks for getting in touch! We’ll get back to you shortly.”). Other chatbots are more complex – even prompting the user to make a booking.

Why should you use a chatbot?

  1. More efficient and timely at answering questions
  2. Offer products suggestions and recommendations
  3. Directs users to relevant content on your website
  4. Allows clients to book appointments with you
  5. Better customer service experience
  6. Free up your time to focus on more urgent tasks
  7. Provides questions to commonly asked questions
  8. Build your database

 

 

 

After a handful of highly successful AR apps (Pokémon Go, IKEA Place, TapMeasure, WallaMe, Google Translate and of course the highly popular Snapchat), rising sales of VR headsets, and greater technological sophistication (faster internet speeds and better visual rendering), 2018 could finally be the year that AR takes off.

Virtual reality can best be described as a computer-generated scenario that simulates a realistic experience. The immersive environment can be similar to the real world in order to create a lifelike experience grounded in reality or sci-fi. Augmented reality systems are considered a form of VR that layers virtual information over a live camera feed into a headset, or through a smartphone or tablet device.

VR and AR brings about a new set of innovative opportunities in the digital world. Want to stand out from the crowd? Virtual reality may be the way to do it! It’s projected to grow by 53% in the next couple of years.

 

 

 

Dare we say it? Live streaming is the future of social media. James Gaubert writes on his blog that about 80%  of consumers would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% would prefer live video to written social media updates. This could lie in the fact that live streaming is a great way to build trust in your audience. It is transparent and hearing a live voice rings truer than merely reading words in a blog post. If you’re looking for a compelling way to build trust with your audience, a live video is a great place to start.

Live streaming is also an excellent way to reach an online audience. It has massive appeal for viewers, drawing them in far more than traditional online videos. Videos on Facebook Live get viewed for three times as long as a pre-recorded video.

This lends a very strong argument that live video streaming is no longer a cool way to interact with your audience, it’s an expected way. To stay current and relevant in 2018 brands will need to adopt live streaming as part of their digital strategy.

 

 

 

We’re just going to delve into a bunch of statistics for this one and let the numbers speak for themselves.

“40% of adults now use voice search once per day” according to Location World.

By 2020, 50% percent of all searches will likely be voice searches.

“About 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020.” via Mediapos.

Brands must think about how their user experience will convert into voice search, writes Google UK’s director of agencies.

We are beginning to see voice search make a gradual shift to regular and accepted behaviour. What started off as an occasional experiment for amusement or just to test a voice assistant feature is beginning to become habitual with more recent adopters. Voice search is fast; people speak much more rapidly than they type.

Voice search changes the way we search, and we need to examine the way in which we deliver content. Voice search looks set to stay and content-driven sites need to be able to answer questions that voice-searchers are looking for.

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Is your social and digital strategy up to scratch and are you cutting through your competition? Need help in honing your social media strategy, keeping competitive and staying on trend? Get in touch – info@geventm.com. We have a full team available to meet the ever-changing needs of the digital marketing landscape.

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