Top 5 Digital Strategy Predictions for 2018

Welcome to 2018 and the first quarter of the New Year! As you sit down to develop your 2018 digital strategy, it’s important to think about what is currently working and what may need to be changed in the upcoming year. Not everything that works in 2017 will work in 2018 - so we are here to discuss the top strategies for 2018 you should consider.

So, what are the top 5 digital strategy predictions for 2018? 

1. Visual and Voice Search

As you work on your digital strategy for the new year, the first thing you should be thinking about is how, and if, your website supports visual and voice search. An article by Gartner states “by 2021, early adopter brands that redesign their websites to support visual and voice search will increase digital commerce revenue by 30%.”

Visual and voice search is rapidly increasing in popularity thanks to the development of Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa and is now on the way to being one of the more dominant mobile search modes, meaning enterprises should experiment and identify the best ways to capitalize on this consumer search shift. Gavin Gorazdowksi says, “It already goes without saying that brands must focus on providing the best possible experience on mobile devices, but there are various predictions about how prolific voice interactions will be in 2018. I think 2018 will be more about integrated, cross device digital customer experiences.”  By acting early on this new trend and becoming more visual and voice search friendly, marketers will be able to see an increase in conversion rates, revenue, and customer satisfaction.

2. Combating Increased Fake News

You’ve probably heard the term ‘fake news’ a lot lately. Unfortunately, this year will be no different. If anything, it is going to be more important for companies to monitor what is being said about them and make sure that their brand accurately portrays their values. In Gartner’s discussion on top strategic predictions for 2018, they had the following statistic to share regarding fake news: “By 2022, the majority of individuals in mature economies will consume more false information than true information.”

This statistics show that fake news has the ability to tarnish the reputation of your brand or company. It’s going to be important for companies in 2018 and beyond to make sure that what their brand is associated with reflects positively on them and makes it hard to undermine. Focus on brand development to make sure your brand is seen as credible and trustworthy by consumers. Make sure to plan for the long term by pairing the brand with well-regarded channels and platforms, and have a developed media inventory.

3. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing was a popular prediction last year and is once again for 2018 as it continues to gain momentum. If you do not know what influencer marketing is, it is “a form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people rather than the target market as a whole.” This is usually done on Instagram and similar social media platforms. According to a study by Collective Bias, 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions, and 30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger. By developing a well thought-out influencer marketing strategy, businesses can substantially increase their
sales as well as how their brand is viewed by consumers.

4. Online Communities

Building your brand’s community is going to be an essential strategy for 2018 as consumers want more personalized interactions. Online communities can take the shape of broad Facebook groups or forums.  Communities will serve as a way for brands to gain ideas for future products, identify needs that should be fulfilled, and improve customer satisfaction by allowing them to sell in a more personal way to their customers. Make sure you develop a proper strategy when creating your brand’s online community by setting it apart with something unique. This could be in the form of an exclusive, company-only web forum or community based on a paid membership that provides a unique interaction between your customers and your brand.

5. Mobile will Continue to Play a Big Role

 Mobile is becoming a leader in the consumer experience. According to a survey       done by Forrester, 29% of firms have experimented with skills on Amazon Alexa and other voice-enabled assistants, and 51% have started using or tested interactions on third party platforms like Facebook Messenger. Companies should be investing in their mobile technology and marketers should be working on improving their mobile strategies, making sure that their apps and mobile websites offer everything their consumer wants.  Marketers will also need to think of other creative ways to utilize this platform – like mobile advertising with engaging videos or catchy, personalized ads.

If you have any questions or need to discuss your digital strategy, we’ll be happy to help!

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About Author

Tim has been building, designing, and executing websites since 1999, and joined in 2009. His specialties include online e-commerce consulting, web and business marketing, and project management. With technical and creative savvy, Tim is a born entrepreneur & problem-solver. When not staring soulfully at Google Analytics, Tim enjoys roughing it Apple-free in the great outdoors.

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