We’re now halfway through the year and it’s time to check in on some of the top digital marketing trends that we’re seeing for the second half of 2018. The past two years have seen a near-universal transition to digital marketing strategies being implemented across every industry. A digital approach to marketing is now a given. It’s now more a question of which tactics and strategies companies are going to follow to get the best messages in front of the right audiences, how they will measure those programs, and how they will manage the results. With that in mind, here is what we are seeing in the market here at the half-way point.
- Analytics is Everything. There’s an old saying in marketing: If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. In previous eras, measuring wasn’t so easy, particularly with online outreach and strategies. Today, that’s no longer a viable excuse, and top marketing agencies (like Bluetext) will be held accountable for results through analytics. That’s good news because when done correctly, marketing analytics tell you at every step how the campaign is performing. That allows us to revise and optimize campaigns in real time – for example, abandoning creative that isn’t performing as well as other themes. If your agency isn’t proactively incorporating analytics into their programs, it’s time to find a new agency.
- Video is Now the Norm. A report by Cisco demonstrates that video marketing continues to increase as an essential component to digital marketing campaigns. Cisco predicts that by the end of 2019, more than 82 percent of online marketing campaigns will include video. There’s a reason for this: Video is compelling and engaging, exactly what brands want to attract new customers. We’re already seeing this across social media platforms. But here’s the catch – it needs to enhance the experience, not get in the way. Too heavy a load time will drive customers away.
- It’s All About the Mobile. As the march of demographics moves on, a larger percentage of the workforce will be relying on their mobile screens for their first interaction with a brand. At Bluetext, we create mobile screens right alongside our desktop versions so clients can see and approve the mobile versions. This is significant for search engine optimization, as Google will continue to evolve its algorithms to reward websites that are mobile-optimized – punish those that aren’t.
- What Happened to Virtual Reality? We love virtual reality as a key tool in digital marketing and have created a variety of very cool and effective VR experiences for our clients. But not everyone has seen the light on VR, and it simply hasn’t caught on with consumers the way many of us hoped it might. But there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel… with augmented reality. Apple’s ARKit for app developers is poised to make the delivery of augmented reality much more consumable for marketing.
- Blockchain Could be a Game-Changer. One of the hesitations we see with digital marketing revolves around the delivery of online ads, whether they are banner or social media. Part of the problem is measuring their delivering to the right target audiences at the right time. Even with the best analytics installed across a campaign, we can still only measure end results; it is difficult to verify which ads are delivered to which targets, and what they do when they see those ads. That is changing with blockchain technology. Blockchain can give us real verification on campaigns while protecting against over-serving ads and ensuring that bots aren’t pretending to be influencers.