Digital and online marketing see an abundance of change every year as technology evolves. Between now and the year 2020, online marketing trends will be heavily impacted by mobile phones and digital personal assistants. Both have begun to change not only the method by which we will market but how we need to write our content as well.
Over the next few years, the top marketers will shift their focus from Millennials to Generation Z. Two years from now, Gen Z will account for 40% of all consumers. This group put their priorities on education, careers, and savings. They watch significantly more YouTube videos than they do TV, and are more realistic than their predecessors. Gen Z never knew life before smartphones, internet, and social media, so they have developed what some professionals call the ‘8-second filter.’ This is an evolved method that Gen Z-ers use to get to the content they care about rather than wasting any time. Fast Company, a leading business media brand, recommends that you provide them with engaging and immediately beneficial experiences to keep their attention. Keep in mind that this generation has begun the need for mobile-first everything so if you’re not compatible, you will not be successful.
Viral-worthy content that is witty and relatable is going to be the heart and soul of your marketing effort this year. There will also be a major shift to video marketing. According to Ofcom Communications Market research, YouTube actually ranks higher than Google Search in unique audiences on mobile Google apps by 2 million! Remember that 8-second filter? A video is a great way to engage your Gen Z population. Falcon.io reports, “By 2019, video will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic” and the majority will be on mobile devices. Because of this, it’s important to increase mobile video budgets in the coming years.
When planning your video content in the next year, keep in mind, users watch Facebook Live videos significantly longer than pre-recorded ones and tend to get more comments. Be sure to read up on regulations, as there will be stricter codes of conduct on many platforms to reduce the risk of the ever-popular ‘fake news’ complaint. Due to the controversy during the 2016 presidential election, Facebook and other platforms will be increasing regulations. Google has also announced an addition of ad-blockers for those using Chrome. Do not to get your content excluded from search due to pop up ads or unapproved content.
The future of e-marketing and e-commerce has been significantly affected by those on Pinterest. Pinterest uses visual influence to market products and ideas. 93% of the people on Pinterest say they use the platform to plan or make purchases. Therefore, the ability for consumers to purchase directly from your Pinterest boards may prove useful in the next few years. To help you decide what to post, consider scrolling through the ‘explore page’ or view these trend predictions for 2018. Check out the stats of what is trending often as it can change from day to day.
Snapchat’s story feature was added in late 2013 and boomed for quite a while. However, it’s time to say, step aside! Instagram and WhatsApp stories have come into play and dominated. In fact, 50 million more people post Instagram stories than Snapchat every month and predictions say the switch will be double that by the end of 2018. Posting to your business pages’ story can be a great way to influence your consumers in the future and get them more familiar with your brand.
Customer Service and Artificial Intelligence(AI)
In addition to e-commerce, customer service seems like it will be taking a shift to social as well. The AI-powered chatbots within different messaging apps or websites offer a way to solve consumer issues without the need for an employee on the other end. Social media users prefer to engage with brands via messaging apps because it provides fast response times and doesn’t illicit full attention the way a phone call does. Falcon.io says 85% of all consumer interaction will happen with chatbots by the year 2020, so you better hop on that bandwagon soon.
Another form of AI includes the growing use of Personal Assistants(PAs) such as Amazon Echo or Google Home. Because they read pages out loud, there are fewer results they can use. Rather than focusing your content to just rank, it needs to be able to talk too. You now need to focus on Personal Assistant Search Optimization (PASO) in addition to SEO. Wordlift describes PASO as using SEO techniques to make your content the answer of questions asked of PAs. Because PAs only give one result, the competition is stiff. Ways you can boost your PASO include:
- Knowing where the Personal Assistants are getting their information
- Transcribing video information to text
- Making sure your pages can be read out loud
- Continue to use keywords
- Keep your introductory paragraph fairly short, around 45 words
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
You may have seen a few 360 photos pop up on your Facebook feed lately, but get ready for a whole lot more; 2018 is the year or virtual and augmented reality. VR technology became a more common household item in 2017 with many phone packages including attachable headsets. So far, it’s been most popular in gaming, but it looks like social hangouts will be the new thing.
Houseparty is an app that has recently exploded with popularity among Gen Z. It is essentially a multi-player version of FaceTime, or group video chat. Facebook is taking this to a new level with Facebook Spaces. Using the Oculus Rift or HTC VIVE, players can use their photos to customize an avatar’s appearance. When you enter Spaces, you become your avatar in the VR world and can interact with your friends, play games, and go on adventures.
The future of online marketing is evolving quickly. When making decisions about your online marketing strategy, it can be hard to decide where to start. At Web Solutions of America, we specialize in making your brand stand out. We’ll work with you to analyze your goals, optimize your content, and give your brand a positive online presence. Contact us at 407-636-4233 or contact us online for more information about partnering with us.