‘The future is digital’ – words we have unanimously heard since donkey’s years, right? But, really, look how far we’ve come since at least a decade! Technological developments are happening left, right, and center and working in the same space, these developments impact digital marketers too.
The digital era is moving at a lightning fast speed and 2018 is going to be no different in terms of big digital changes. From new standards to changes in the algorithms of the giants, 2018 is sure to keep us marketers on our toes. Let’s have a look at what to expect in the coming year.
Yes, attention spans have been getting shorter and marketers have been responding well to this by saying less (yet selling more) or creating compelling content that resonates well with their audiences. And although the overall result has been satisfying and interesting to watch, this will soon change as video increases in popularity as an effective marketing medium.
Series such as GOT and TVF Pitchers have shown marketers how much people love episodic content and binge-watching them. Therefore, video marketing content produced in long-form format will triumph over 30-second clips in 2018.Facebook Watch will be at the forefront of this, thanks to the shareable quality of the platform.
Facebook Watch is an on-demand video service operated by Facebook that offers personalized recommendations for videos to watch, as well as categorized content bundles depending on factors such as popularity and social media engagement. The platform has both short-form and long-form entertainment.It is said that Facebook Watch will reward content creators who produce great series.
Content can be live or pre-recorded, giving creators a lot of scope for production. Marketers are also excited about Watch as brands would be able to build huge communities of fans via the platform. Watch will also likely start competing with Netflix and Amazon in terms of broadcasting original TV shows and film content. Expect Watch to be rolled out before March 2018 in India.
- How to compete – If you don’t have the monies to start a full-blown video series, you can consider partnering with existing video creators or start small by producing short, but effective videos with freelance videographers.
Instagram’s constant slew of updates and features keep things fun and interesting and continually make users play ‘catch up’ with them. However, come 2018, the bar will be raised even higher as Instagram will see more 360o video and VR content on its feed. With Facebook likely to raise the bar with its use of video, it’s certain that Instagram will see its effect too.
Snapchat’s doors to advertising in India have finally opened and it’s clearly going to be an exciting change of events for marketers. Although currently only Snap Ads are open to the Indian marketers, we will soon see advertising through filters and lenses too.
The company also plans to allow users to make money off their stories in 2018. By building more distribution and monetization opportunities, Snapchat will reward creators and empower them to share more of their creative sides on the platform and build businesses with their creativity.
Google: Mobile Browsing
Google has always prioritized improving search results for users and has therefore continually transformed the domain of search engine optimization. However, it has long been keeping an eye on optimizing web pages and results for mobile browsing vis-à-vis desktop browsing.In 2018, Google’s AMP project will witness significant importance and see some drastic changes.
For those of you who don’t know, AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, a Google-backed project designed for any publisher to have pages load quickly on mobile devices. Currently, site owners are publishing two versions of a web-page: an AMP specific web page (that loads faster, has fewer ads, fewer links and a higher bounce rate) and a standard web-page (that loads slower, has more ads, more links and a lower bounce rate) in order to get the best of both mobile and desktop views.
However, come 2018, AMP pages will require to be nearly identical to the standard pages they’re replicating in order to be shown in Google Search as AMP’s. It will also be wise to make your sites mobile friendly as those who optimize the mobile versions of their websites, will not only rank higher on phones, but also on desktops! Hence, 2018 will see mobile browsing come on par with web browsing to keep up with the increasingly mobile-centric world.
SEO specialists have dedicated their lives to optimizing content for web and mobile; but that is soon going to change. With smart speakers becoming more and more popular, the time has come to optimize content for voice search as well.
People are getting accustomed to asking Siri / Cortana / Alexa / Google Assistant their queries by simply voicing them out rather than typing. This means that the new search engine is now picking up “full sentences” rather than “key words on the search bar”.
Smart speaker sales, like those for Amazon Echo and Google Home, surged in 2017, and sales will probably grow further in 2018 as newer models start to roll out.How to compete – It’s worth strategizing on how your content will be picked up by these voiced search engines and putting the right content in place.
Influencer marketing is set to become even more expensive and relevant to audiences as technology continues to drop in price. Influencers now have access to equipment and resources that were once only available to professionals. Therefore, influencers will raise their bars and begin to generate content with high production values for their growing markets and audiences.
AR/VR in Advertising:
The augmented reality and virtual reality space has given digital marketers huge opportunities to stand out from their competition. Just imagine the rate of getting leads, conversions and brand loyalty if you can bring your audience to experience your product right in their living rooms!
The use of Augmented Reality on mobile devices has provided a niche and engaging way for marketers to reach their target audience as it’s quick, easy and very interactive. Ikea is doing exactly that. ‘Place’, an iOS app, allows users to preview Ikea furniture in their home before buying.The integration of AR with ecommerce is ingenious as it allows customers to view products in the surroundings of their own home before buying. Expect more brands to cook up novel ideas to introduce AR and VR experiences to their audiences.
- How to compete – think of a creative way you can (directly or indirectly) promote your business to your target market. If you do this quickly enough, be assured of getting a lot of attention and interest from your potential customers. However, this type of technology is not cheap.
2018 is going to be a fun year for digital marketing and the changes in platforms and technology will continue to keep us on our toes! Do you wish something, in particular, to change in the digital landscape? Let us know in the comments below!