The digital world doesn’t stand still for long – algorithms are constantly updated, security concerns change and content delivery evolves. Two months in to 2018, what are the factors that are most likely to influence how you shape your digital marketing strategy this year?

1. Stories

The art of storytelling has been at the heart of marketing and advertising since it first began. Today, authentic storytelling is much more of a powerful tool than patronising big budget marketing campaigns or artificial stories – and it’s much more accessible to all. Social media, in particular, has given storytelling new value – and this is reflected in the ‘stories’ features that are being introduced across the board, from Instagram to Facebook. Authentic bite sized snippets of the best bits of the day that vanish after time generate interest, urgency and connection, both for individuals and for brands.

2. Video stars

Video has already begun to dominate marketing because there is so much demand for it – Facebook users consume over 8 billion videos every day, for example. So, if there is one change to integrate into your marketing strategy in 2018, it has to be an increased use of video in your marketing efforts. This could take many forms, from live video to explainer videos – you just need to make sure that whatever you use is mobile friendly.

3. The right relationships

Whether we like it or not, influencers are here to stay – and brands are increasingly finding it lucrative and beneficial to establish relationships with influencers who can help them find their audience. Identifying the right influencer(s) is the key to getting a return from this investment. Brand and influencer partnerships that look and feel artificial are no longer effective as consumers are quick to spot the #ad as opposed to a genuine relationship. So, for brands, it’s not just about competing for the influencer with the most reach but also the one that is best suited to what you do and what your brand values are.

4. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is coming to marketing in a big way but we have yet to see the full extent of how it can be used. Chatbots are the first wave of AI in marketing and are already having a huge impact, particularly when it comes to customer service. 70% of Millennials have a positive attitude towards their experience of using chatbots – which might be why research and advisory firm Gartner has estimated that 85% of customer interactions will be managed by chatbots by 2020.

5. The GDPR

In May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in the UK bringing with it a swathe of new protections for individual data. This has to be a consideration for every brand and marketer as the penalties – financially and reputationally – for a lack of compliance could be severe. There are many parts of the GDPR that impact on marketing strategy, from the way consent to communicate is obtained to the way marketing data is stored.

Contact our team to find out more about how to update your digital marketing strategy and achieve more ROI this year.

Author: Steve Pailthorpe – Follow us on Google+