Online Marketing Trends for 2018

It’s now possible to be online 24/7 accessing the world’s information. This has resulted in a vast increase in the amount of information that consumers have at their fingertips. The explosion of digital marketing has created a niche market for content curation, whereby users are presented with content curated from across the web.

This has driven the demand for content, as well as digital marketing tools that can help businesses and bloggers navigate this growing information landscape.

In 2018, the lines between traditional and digital marketing have blurred. Offline marketing consisted of physical activities, such as knocking on doors or handing out flyers. Online marketing, however, is entirely digital, and primarily focused on creating content that drives website traffic and converts this traffic into paying customers.

Personalized Content

In recent years, content personalization has taken off. Tailored content is designed to match the interests and attributes of a specific user. For example, a dating website might use interest-based content, such as a chatbot that presents content specifically geared toward the interests of the user.

This content might include a combination of these elements:

  • Personalized headline
  • Personalized thumbnail (small image displayed along with the content)
  • Lists of products that are relevant to the user’s interests

The importance of content personalization can’t be overstated, as studies show that 56% of users would leave a website if the content didn’t match their expectations.

Content Curation

In the past, a news publication might have compiled the news stories that were of interest to its audience, and passed on information about product sales and new product launches. Now, with the advent of content curation, the news publisher focuses on creating compelling content for its audience, while other companies provide it with news stories and launches.

As a result, content curation platforms have emerged, which can help businesses discover the content that is most relevant to their target audience. These platforms might include a combination of the following elements:

  • Medium
  • TikTok
  • Reddit
  • Livestream
  • Spotify

A content curation platform can help businesses reduce their marketing spend by promoting content that is already relevant and of interest to their target audience. It’s worth noting that this audience is typically highly engaged with the content that they consume, so it’s essential that this content is relevant and of high quality.

Video Content Is On The Rise

Video has always been an important part of digital marketing. It’s now possible to reach a massive audience with short form videos (known as “viral videos” due to their spread through online platforms like TikTok and Instagram), or long form videos (known as “evergreen content” due to their ability to retain an audience over time).

Additionally, since video content is relatively low cost to produce, entrepreneurs can experiment with shorter video content to determine what resonates with their target audience, and what elements they can use to engage with them further.

The Role Of Influencers And Instagrammers

Instagrammers and influencers have always been important in the world of digital marketing, but in the last few years, this role has shifted. Instead of influencers solely influencing consumers through social media, the influencer is now often credited with discovering a product or service, and featuring it in their content.

This shift began with the advent of social media, and the explosion of digital marketing tools and platforms that made it possible for everyday individuals to become savvy digital marketeers. Instagrammers and influencers are now often hired to drive product awareness and drive website traffic, and revenue for businesses.

The importance of influencers and Instagrammers in driving customer engagement and website traffic cannot be understated. According to HubSpot Blogs’ research, 45% of consumers have purchased a product after seeing it recommended by an influencer or celebrity, and 32% have left a website if the influencer or celebrity didn’t feature the product in their content.

Why Video Content Is So Popular On TikTok

Since its creation in early 2018, TikTok has exploded in popularity, due in part to its viral hit “Poker Face.” This music video, which was released in March 2018, has nearly 4.9 billion views on TikTok, making it the 15th highest watched video on the platform. In the video, Ariana Grande, who has 1.7 million Instagram followers, showcases her stunning dance moves as she lip-syncs to Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow.”

This was just one of the many viral hits that emerged from TikTok. The platform has since evolved, and today, it’s possible to find anything and everything online, including video content. The video content on TikTok is often informal and comedic, ranging from funny clips to music videos to celebrity news. These videos have propelled TikTok to become the world’s second largest social media platform, with over 500 million monthly active users as of September 2018.

One of the reasons why video content is so popular on TikTok is the app’s unique approach. Users can scroll through a feed of curated content, and click on any of the listed items to be redirected to a web page containing more detailed information about the topic.

Content From The Pros

One of the biggest criticisms of traditional media is that it’s often overly influenced by the powers that be. Power players might pump up the demand for an IPO, or support a political candidate, all while purposefully ignoring or omitting important information. In the age of the internet though, this problem doesn’t exist.

The good news is that with the exception of celebrity culture, which has always been heavily reliant on the media, the internet allows consumers to find the truth, regardless of whether or not the celebrity in question supports the same political views as they do.

This is why platforms like TikTok emerged, as they allow consumers to find the truth, from multiple perspectives, and give them a space to share their voice. A Pew Research Center study found that 40% of Americans get their news from a Twitter account, 28% from a Facebook account, and 12% from a YouTube channel.

As a result, digital marketing platforms that emerged from the ‘net-born tech giants, like TikTok, have a special place in our heart. It’s important to note that while many of these platforms are ad-supported, businesses can choose to pay to promote their content on these platforms. With the right targeting, keywords, and copy, ads can be an effective way to promote a business on these platforms.

Email Marketing Is Still A Must

While it’s important to experiment with new marketing platforms, it’s also important to keep in touch with those that you’ve established relationships with. Email marketing still has the highest opening rate of any type of marketing channel, with a recent HubSpot Blogs’ survey reporting an average of 45% openness to promotional emails. This means that, on average, 45% of the people you email will click on a promotional or non-promotional email in your inbox.

Additionally, emails that are well planned and executed can get up to seven times more engagement than those that are poorly done. Even if you’re just sending out a few emails a month, you should still be doing this, as HubSpot’s research shows that users who receive promotional emails are 2.5 times more likely to subscribe to your email list.

Despite the shift to digital marketing, some marketers are still hesitant to rely solely on digital platforms for marketing, or as a replacement for traditional methods of marketing. That being said, the role of digital marketing is constantly evolving, and tomorrow’s marketers will have to follow the trends set today, no matter what.