2017 the digital marketing industry saw many exciting advancements, with the focus again being based on content marketing. In 2018, what should you be doing when it comes to digital marketing, with the likes of voice search, social media, influencer marketing beginning to change the face of digital?
Voice search technology has been around for years, with Siri being released in 2011, but only recently has it developed to become more than just a fad, and part of our daily lives. Featuring on mobile, tablet and smart home devices to name just a few, voice search technology can search the web for information, play a song, check the weather, give business opening times...the list goes on.
Voice search is quick, easy to use and allows you to search on the go, and as the technology behind voice search continues to advance it's having more and more of an effect on SEO.
Many of us don't type the way we talk, when typing we tend to use shorter words/phrases to save time, but when talking we use full sentences. This is similar within keywords, on traditional search we use shorter keywords and search terms but voice search allows us to use longer keywords and search terms that are conversational and reflect what searchers are looking for. Because of this it's vital that content is focused on natural speech - answering questions real people will ask, and short tail keywords.
Within social media, a big trend for 2018 will be the push of video content. Video will feature across all major networks to work as both a platform to drive engagement and allow for more premium advertising.
Linkedin - the business and employment oriented social network was one of the latest adopters of native video, however this signals a change in how B2B business will create and distribute content. The idea behind this feature is to allow users to showcase their professional work, projects, product demos and any other work-related content that highlights what users do.
Live streaming is growing fast, in the past year 64% of people have watched a live video online. Live streams are projected to more than double in growth by 2021. Live streaming gives users and business the chance to connect with their live audience, creating active engagement that keeps viewers informed about new products and promotions.
A lot of us may think that influencer marketing is solely for B2C, due to the title. But influencer marketing is simply the process of promoting and selling products or services people (influencers) and on bigger scale - referrals.
Influencer marketing has had a huge effect on social media with users looking for opinions, reviews and guidance both when buying products and when wanting to find out more about a company. Both big and small businesses are now making influencer marketing part of their business strategies by setting aside budgets to fund influencer marketing programs. However for more traditional businesses who may not easily find an audience on YouTube, influencer marketing can work in the same way that current testimonials and referrals do. By creating content that reassures visitors of your quality, levels of service, and USP’s - you’re gaining a third party endorsement, which is becoming increasingly necessary in the social climate we live in.
Distribution is one of biggest challenges that companies are facing. With social media networks such as Instagram introducing algorithms and Facebook clamping down on organic reach, it's becoming increasingly difficult to get content out there and in front it's target audience. It also doesn’t help that both the web and social media networks are flooded with content.
These challenges mean that people and businesses are having to invest both in creating unique, relevant content and the time to effectively target people who will find the content relevant and interesting.
In reaction to this challenge, PR and content are merging. PR, or a more strategic distribution plan, is needed to give content a much needed push that effectively reaches key industry figures, sites and publications. Not only will PR help content reach it's target market, it will also help get the content to a new broader audience.
Whilst there are a lot of factors to consider heading into 2018, these are some that many businesses can’t ignore. If you’d like some advice on how to improve your marketing heading into the new year, why not speak to the experts here at Applied Digital?
Heading into our 19th year in business, we’ve seen trends come and go - some now adopted into mainstream marketing, some not… Speak to our MD, Steve Sykes for advice or give us a call on 01484 30 20 10