Top Digital Marketing Trends to Watch Out for in 2018

By Sunu Philip | Online Marketing

Feb 08

The only thing constant in this world is change. And one field where we can evidently see this concept is digital marketing. As new discoveries, inventions and thought processes come into being, we can see the world of digital marketing shifting and evolving too.

In this article, we outline the major digital marketing trends that you need to watch out for in 2018. We've also added our notes on how these trends will impact your business, and what you can do to prepare for it.

Internet and Device Usage

The massive penetration of Internet and mobile usage have made digital marketing a must-have strategy for businesses. While brands rely on a balance of digital and offline marketing, lesser capable businesses are leveraging the full might of online marketing to reach their target audience. Here are the numbers that indicate how mobile and Internet dominate today’s marketing efforts.

Internet Usage

  • Almost half of the world’s population (48% to be exact) enjoys Internet connectivity. According to Smart Insights, the global Internet user base pegs at a whopping 3.5 Billion.

Device Usage

  • Mobile is driving Internet adoption with 51% usage popularity followed by desktops/laptops (43%), tablet devices (4.9%) and other devices (0.13%).
  • Mobile Internet usage has grown steadily with a 25% year-on-year growth rate, while laptops & desktops (-19%) and tablet devices (-6%) are slowing down in popularity.
What it implies for businesses?

As consumers are migrating to a digital-centric lifestyle with mobile as the centerpiece, businesses can no longer turn a blind eye towards digital marketing. Digital Marketing is the New Marketing. It is the easiest and most wallet-friendly way to reach out to the audience and create a connection.

Content Marketing

Content has asserted its position as the fuel that runs the digital marketing machinery. The statistics for 2017 indicate a steady increase in content production spending and tactics.

B2B Content Marketing Tactic Usage

  • 88% of B2B companies are deploying content marketing strategies, 75% have earmarked budgets and 43% have expanded their digital marketing staffing
  • Social media (93%), case studies (82%) and blogs (81%) lead as the most popular forms of content
  • Video is gaining ground as a serious content marketing medium with 79% popularity compared to 76% of for illustrations or photos
  • Producing engaging content consistently and measuring its effectiveness form the top challenges of B2B content marketers
What it implies for businesses?

Businesses need to create, curate and publish tons of content to stay on top of their marketing efforts. Content marketing is the best way to distinguish yourself from competition, stay connected with customers and also for generating leads. Social media marketing and optimization is necessary to keep customers updated on the go. For a long-term association regular blog publishing, case studies and whitepapers are essential. Videos go a long way in creating a following that will help in lead nurturing.

Email Marketing

Email still remains a legit way to meet customers directly in their inboxes. Although spam filters and promotion labels have made email marketing difficult, it has remained a reliable way to gain leads. Open rates and Click-Through-Rates (CTR) remain the benchmark statistics to measure email engagement.

The latest email marketing statistics reiterate that the number of people checking their emails via mobile devices is on the rise.

Email Opens

  • More than 47% of emails are opened in mobile devices
  • The average open rate tipped at 24.79%
  • The average click-through rate is 4.19%
  • Click to open rate tipped at 11.88%
What it implies for businesses?

Email still remains a reliable source of lead generation and user engagement. Regular product updates, newsletters, webinar invites and much more can be communicated with the help of email marketing. The possibility if subscribers turning into paying customers is higher with email marketing campaigns.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing continues to grow in effectiveness as customers prefer obtaining social proof before making a buying decision. Global research shows that the list of top five social networks has not undergone any major change as such. Facebook is still ruling the roost, followed by WhatsApp, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Top Social Network Sites

  • Facebook to be the top contender with 1871 million users followed by WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, QQ, WeChat, etc.
  • Instagram is the runner up in terms of popularity with 32% active users
  • Twitter has been steadily gaining with its user base crossing 1600 Million

Facebook Growth

  • In terms of popularity, Facebook is still racing ahead, while image sharing apps Instagram and Pinterest follow closely with 32% and 32% market penetration.
What it implies for businesses?

Social media marketing has become a pivotal strategy in digital marketing. It creates an equal level field for all levels and scale of businesses to reach out and stay connected with their target audience. Social media marketing also offers a diverse range of paid marketing tools which helps scale the reach of successful posts that became viral organically.

Other Digital Marketing Trends

While traditional digital marketing trends continue to dominate the top positions, a range of new trends is also gaining momentum. The trends indicate that users are expecting a refined level of convenience and personalization that will take them closer to the products/services they want, faster.

One such trend that's on the rise is voice search.

Voice Search Queries

  • 20% of Google searches originating from mobile devices are voice searches
  • Google voice search queries have increased by >7x times since 2010

Hound App Usage

 

  • According to Hound, an assistant app developed by SoundHound, local information, fun & entertainment, personal assistance, general information are the most searched after queries
  • 87% of B2C marketers believe chatbots and virtual assistants will become mainstream by 2021

The latest research shows that more people seem to be preferring live video to other forms of content.

Live Video Statistics

  • 80% of users would rather watch a live video than read a blog
  • 67% of audiences who watched a live stream video purchased a ticket to a similar event
  • Youtube (70%), Facebook Live (66%) and Livestream (45%) are the leading live streaming platforms
What it implies for businesses?

Businesses and marketers should adapt to the changing digital landscape and integrate these new mediums into their inbound strategies. Leading marketing agencies like Jeffalytics have already kicked off sensational 90-day marketing challenges that ropes in all forms of new-age marketing mediums including live video. The growing presence of chatbots and voice assistants cannot be ignored either. Chatbots offer customers and marketers with machine memory and human logic that will drive better results.

Conclusion

The current state of digital marketing proves that B2B and B2C businesses can no longer shy away from digital marketing. Digital is disrupting industries and changing the fundamental way they used to work. Marketing is no exception to that. Marketing is no exception to it. Like we said before, Digital Marketing is the New Marketing.

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