8 Trends That Will Drive Digital Marketing in 2018

By Melissa Duko, January 10, 2018

Welcome to a new year and a fresh first quarter. For digital marketers, there’s no better time to pivot your digital marketing strategy than now.

Knowing what trends will be driving digital marketing this year will give you a leg up on the competition. Here are eight trends anticipated to have an impact on your marketing strategy.

1. Marketers Will Focus on Gen Z

In 2018, the next generation of consumers will take center stage: Generation Z. With a buying power of $44 billion, marketers will be turning their focus on Gen Z and away from Millennials. Sorry Millennials, but you’re old news.

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Source: My Commerce

However, marketers will have to approach Gen Z differently than previous generations. To capture Gen Z’s attention, marketers will need to optimize for mobile, focus on experiences, and provide personalized content. And oh yeah, don’t forget Gen Z is frugal, too!

Related Post: From Y to Z: How to Pivot Your Marketing Strategy for Gen Z

The focus on Gen Z will also sent the precedence for the rest of the 2018 trends set to drive marketers’ digital marketing strategies.

2. Mobile In-Store Marketing

Since Gen Z is all about mobile, mobile in-store marketing will be the “It Girl” of mobile marketing for the coming year.

Let’s say you walk through a brick-and-mortar store. Retailers that have opted to do mobile in-store marketing will send notifications to your smartphone, alerting you to items that are on sale.

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Source: Biz Report

To make this work for your brand, it’ll require a combination of brick-and-mortar promotions, analytics, mobile, location technology, and good old classic marketing.

3. Ephemeral Content

Ephemeral content is so in. For those unfamiliar with the term, it’s content that is short-lived.

Think Snapchat, which only lasts a few hours and then the content disappears forever.

Short-lived content provides the best engagement rate because it resonates with Millennials and Gen Z. They view short-lived content as more authentic than sponsored ads.

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Source: Tubular Insights

Plus, ephemeral content amplifies FOMO. In turn, this pushes consumers into making purchases quicker.

4. Mobile and ‘The Internet of Things’

Since mobile is dominating search, it makes sense that the next step would be to loop in ‘The Internet of Things.’ If you’re unfamiliar with ‘The Internet of Things,’ it’s the term coined for machines transmitting data without human input. The internet acts as a conduit and the machines talk to each other (e.g. sending and analyzing data).

Related Post: The New Ad Fraud Threat in the Internet of Things

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Source: Forbes

Marketers can harness this technology by using it as a way to deliver their content to consumers through mobile devices. For instance, you ask Siri a question, and she responds with an answer through your mobile device.

5. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence 

To keep up with the demand for content, A.I. tools will be used to enhance, and even create content. In fact, the Associated Press (AP) already uses machine-generated content to increase the volume and speed at which they release information.

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Source: 256 Media

Machine learning and artificial intelligence’s ability to parse through the data, will also ensure the right kind of kind of content and images are being delivered to consumers.

6. Messaging Channel Engagement

Over 2.5 billion people are using messaging platforms globally. Brands who want to stay ahead of the curve will invest more time and money connecting with consumers on messaging platforms.

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Source: TechCrunch

By incorporating website chat, brands can offer personalized shopping experiences on messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Kik to their customers.

7. Augmented Reality and Social Media 

Since the Pokemon Go phenomenon, marketers have seen the value in augmented reality (AR). However, it isn’t easy to incorporate AR into a marketing strategy. But it looks like they’ve found the answer: incorporate AR into their social platforms.

Related Post: What You Need to Know About Augmented Reality

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Source: Digital Trends

Through a platform like Snapchat, marketers can use Sponsored World Lenses to turn 3D graphics into ads. Brands like Starbucks and Taco Bell are already using them with positive results.  

8. Cutting the Cord

Again thanks to the influence of Gen Z (and Millennials), cord cutting doesn’t seem to be slowing down (or reaching its peak). In 2017, an estimated 22.2 million U.S. adults cut the cord and that number is expected to grow in 2018.  

Related Post: 5 Things You Need to Know Before Cutting the Cable Cord

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Source: AdAge

This year we’ll see Disney focusing on their own streaming platform BAMTech and the ripple effect it will have on other streaming brands, particularly Netflix who will lose access to Disney’s wealth of programming.  

Conclusion

Knowing the trends that are affecting your industry and consumers is valuable information. While it may be tempting to get on the bandwagon for all of these trends, remember to only incorporate the ones that make the most sense for your target audience.

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Melissa Duko

Melissa Duko

Melissa Duko is the Senior Editor and Digital Specialist for eZanga and its ad fraud management platform, Anura. She brings to her role more than a decade of journalism and editing experience. A graduate of the University of Delaware, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, concentration business and technical writing, minor Art History. She also has a Master of Science in professional writing for the public and private sector from Towson University. She isn’t afraid to admit that her love for Starbucks is at gold member status. (Since 2011!) More Articles by Melissa Duko