Looking Forward: Top 5 Marketing Trends for 2018

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As we bid 2017 farewell, we can reflect on the year’s marketing and begin to look forward to the future. Last year, we predicted the rise of video marketing, mobile-first strategies, Kardashian-inspired influencer marketing and more. In 2018, we’re looking to gen Z for inspiration on what’s to come and rounding up the top five up-and-coming trends to take into consideration.

1. A.I. and A.R.

Thanks to Silicon Valley tycoons like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerburg, artificial intelligence and augmented reality concepts are moving out of science fiction movies and into everyday life. Artificial intelligence allows marketers to fill gaps where humans might fall short by using chatbots, processing big data and more. Augmented reality raises engagement numbers by allowing consumers to interact with their surroundings while promoting a brand. Think Snapchat’s infamous dancing hot dog, but on a whole new level.

2. Cause Marketing

One lead characteristic of millennials and gen Z-ers alike is their admiration for cause marketing. Not only is it enough to have a quality product or service, the next generation’s buying power is going towards brands that are publicizing their philanthropic ties. Take Newman’s Own for example, a brand beloved by older generations with an enormous philanthropic reach, but due to poor marketing to recent generations, the dressing has completely dropped off Enso’s brand value index. Instead, brands like Starbucks, Patagonia and Toms are using their platform as a way to take a stance on issues.

3. Video

In 2017 we predicted a video takeover, but that was only the beginning. New statistics show that by 2021, video will account for a whopping 80 percent of all internet traffic. Use 2018 as a time to bulk up your video archive for future use.

4. Micro Influencers

Another trend carrying over from last year, but this year expect to see it on a different scale. While previous influencer marketing tactics relied on big names, this trend is geared towards niche markets. Instead of getting a big name celebrity to endorse a product, look to smaller endorsements from accounts with 1000-10,000 followers. These influencers are proven to have higher engagement levels and they seem more trustworthy when they are an expert in the area they are promoting.

5. Authentic Content

Consumers are becoming savvier and more selective. They’re sick of having ads shoved at them on every platform from Spotify to Amazon. Try to focus on an 80/20 rule in the new year. 80 percent of content should speak to your consumer, the other 20 can be promotional. This creates a more conversational relationship between the consumer and the business. If you’ve been putting off adding a blog section to your company web page, now would be the time to do it!

If you need help implementing any or all of these ideas into your marketing strategy, send an email our way. We would love to play a part in your brand story in 2018 and beyond.