Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends for 2018

Predictions, predictions, predictions. Seems that’s the going trend this time of year with blogs. So, I thought I would dive in and share my predictions for digital marketing. And it’s all around storytelling. The STORY is everything but how you tell that story is just as important. Here are my Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends for 2018:

  1. Community: This is the year digital marketing will evolve with brands building communities. And I’m not talking about obtaining a million followers on Twitter. That’s not true community. It’s about building a platform where your audience can connect, engage and share their STORY about using your products. Sephora has done an amazing job with their community. Customers give opinions about products which in turn influences buying habits of prospects. People want to relate to others who are using your products. So, give them an environment to foster engagement. We built a community called the Growth Matters Network. We want small and midmarket businesses to share their experiences in growing a company. The community is in its infancy but we have big plans for 2018. Stay tuned.
  2. VideoOver 500 million people are watching videos on Facebook every day. If you didn’t know, video is becoming more important for digital marketers than ever. But consumers want “snackable” videos that are easy to digest. Can you tell a STORY in 15 seconds? 3 minutes? If not, you’ll need to hire a video editor. You can work with an agency, or bring a video editor in-house. Create video content on the fly based on what’s trending that relates to your audience and brand. And promote that asset using whichever vehicle (social media, website, email campaign, etc). The key with video is being able to tell a concise story from beginning to end.
  3. Live Video: I could lump this in under video, but it deserves its own category. I’ve been doing live video since 2015. And I’ve weathered the raw, authentic, and sometimes god-awful quality. But times have changed. Live video needs to look professional. You can’t hold your iPhone in your shaky hand and produce good quality. You need to hire experts or invest in professional equipment (which surprisingly, won’t cost an arm and a leg). And most important, you need to tell a good STORY. What is the point of the live-stream? Interview a thought leader, expert, analyst? Broadcast a keynote at an event? The story has to be compelling, interesting, and entertaining. People will tune in because of what you have to say. But they’ll stay and share your content if the quality is good.
  4. Influencer Marketing: There’s talk about the longevity of social media influencers in 2018. I’ve been working with influencers since 2014 and have had great success. But it comes down to picking the right influencers. People who can tell your STORY on social media, video, live video, blogs, podcasts or community. Don’t just work with someone because they have 100K Twitter followers. Make sure this person knows the audience you want to reach. And that they are not only respected in their field of expertise but people trust their opinions. I have several influencer programs I’m working on in 2018. And I’ll be talking about this topic in February at Social Media Marketing World. If you attend this conference, please find me and say, “Hi!”
  5. Virtual Reality: Virtual experiences are going to be a game changer in how brands tell their STORY. Imagine prospects being able to “test drive” your products virtually before they buy. If you’re not incorporating VR into your digital marketing strategy, you’re already behind. VR will truly change how businesses interact with prospects to tell their story. I’ll be working on a VR project that will blow your mind. Stay tuned for more information about my program.

So, there you have it. Short and sweet. My Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends for 2018. And it all revolves around telling that STORY. What do you think? Agree or disagree, you have to admit, it’s an exciting time to be a digital marketer.