In this article, we’ll tell you what trends of Digital Marketing 2018 you should know if you want to succeed next year. We have searched among the best sources to offer you all the predictions of Social Media, Content Marketing, SEO and Web Design. There they go!

SOCIAL MEDIA

The Smart Insights website believes that brands are trying to connect with their audiences through a variety of platforms. It is increasingly difficult for them to get our attention.

These are the 4 trends that Smart Insights consider for 2018:

  • Chatbots. With the passage of time the chatbots have stopped being clumsy to become great allies. They are key to making customer service faster and faster. They can provide an instant connection to customers around the world: they solve problems and can even order pizza (!). 20% of business content could be generated by machines in the next 2018. Of course, the fastest people who have adapted to chatbots are millennials: 60% of users.
  • The ephemeral content will generate even more engagement.  The stories of Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook are the kings of ephemeral content. Most brands are taking advantage of this success and have strategies defined in ephemeral content. This must be a must! National Geographic is an excellent example of how to involve 350 million followers in networks. Having stories that appear on the top of your followers’ feed helps keep your brand in their minds. There are 250 million daily stories. Therefore, you need to work on how to make yours decisive.
  • Augmented reality. Augmented reality on mobile devices offers a niche and an attractive way for Marketing professionals to reach their target audience: it is fast, easy and very interactive. iPhone 8 and iPhone X already offer their users experiences in augmented reality. It is expected that in 2018 more and more channels will introduce new ways to integrate RA into their platforms. In this sense,  Snapchat and IKEA are doing great.
  • Video. On mobile devices, video is king. In 2017, it was 90% of all content shared by users on social networks. The video is not only the number one advertising format, it is also the one that grows the most in the whole world: it has doubled year after year. By 2020, the video will represent 80% of all Internet traffic.

Talkwalker has brought together a group of wise men and asked them about trends in Social Media for 2018. This is what Matt Navarra, Michael Stelzner, Sarah Hall and Gini Dietrich answered.

  • Voice searches. Virtual assistants like Alex, Siri, Cortana or Google receive more and more voice searches, which will increase in 2018. This means that the PPC will be mandatory for anyone who does Content Marketing. The first three positions in the search results will be more valued than ever. It was already, but now even more: this will be the goal of all brands. Let the battle begin.
  • Social video. The video has become the “go-to content” perfect for social networks and brands. In 2018 the videos created by influencers will see a big change in the distribution. Instead of brands using their channels, they will use influencers as creators of content, thus becoming producers. This means moving from being influencers with a broad reach to influencers with high-quality content.
  • Is the organic reach dead?  The era of free exposure in Social Media could be coming to an end. With millions of posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram every minute, every day, social networks want you to pay for your content to be seen. In 2018, the erosion of organic reach on Facebook pages will continue. However, brands and publishers will eventually come to the conclusion that the best thing is content optimization supported by an intelligent paid social strategy. This change has taken a long time but finally, after the “changes” that Facebook has made, the administrators of the pages have entered into action.
  • Protection of brands in Social Media.  Fake news and copyright infringements are becoming more frequent in Social Media. Both brands and networks are looking for ways to fight against this. Sarah Hall believes that in 2018 we will see more pressure on the main actors monitoring the content by relevance and suitability. Public relations should take into account the possible negative impact on the reputation of the brand. Ensuring that values are the basis of all Marketing activity will be crucial to mitigate any problem and thus maintain legitimacy in society.
  • Shoppable Media.  The increase in formats such as video and augmented reality will allow for deeper shopping experiences. For brands to come out in 2018 Adel de Mayer proposes the following: closing the gap between commitment and purchase; turn the web and channels into a great digital experience that captures the consumer from minute 1; Get away from the boring and old-fashioned e-commerce environment.

CONTENT MARKETING

There are many experts who consider content marketing the only type of marketing strategy that matters. But their ever-changing tactics have left many wondering: what will be the next big trends for 2018? Relevance advances you some:

  • The uninterrupted rise of the influencersMarketing with influencers has not stopped growing in recent years. By 2018, the focus will be on turning loyal customers into millions of influential people who will defend your brand for you. How this strategy will be the key, but all solutions will be based on the same issues: recognize the needs of your customers and connect with them to provide solutions.
  • The content will be more personalized (even if it fits). The user has a lot of content available on a daily basis, so it is more important than ever for Marketing professionals to reach their audience in a more personalized way and thus create a link. Dynamic and interactive websites, original content and advertising campaigns aimed at websites and social networks will be a trend in 2018.
  • More transparency  Customers are becoming more cautious with branded content. Instead of working to disguise this content, companies are having greater success by staying transparent and open about their strategies. Therefore, companies that disclose their strategies but also work to guarantee their audience that their message is sincere are more likely to win over their audiences and build a stronger trust. If you work with influencers, encourage them to be transparent about any sponsored content they provide to their audience.
  • Let’s be clear: the content strategy is essential.  There are not many companies with a content strategy. And that is proven that companies that develop content marketing strategies are more likely to achieve success. Most still choose to focus on their products, instead of focusing on creating content and lead-nurturing programs that give more value to products/services than Lifelong Direct Marketing. In 2018, keeping an eye on new emerging trends, anticipating and knowing how to take advantage of them and apply them in the Content Marketing strategy will be key to achieving success.

In Marketing Zen they ask themselves if we are in the golden age of Content Marketing. What they do know is that 2018 is going to be a wild and dizzying year for Content Marketing professionals. Here are some tips so you are aware of what is coming.

  • With a blog is not enough.  Until relatively recently, having an active and attractive blog was enough to get you all the attention, the algorithm of Google and your customers. When Content Marketing was something new, everyone focused on getting as much content as possible. Over time quality was imposed on quantity. In 2018 the focus will continue to be quality but in an expanded group of formats. Video, podcast, apps, and ads: to succeed in Content Marketing in 2018 will happen because brands identify and accept their strengths and then apply them in the different formats that exist.
  • Not everything is going to be screened. Technology away from the screens is something that is happening: Internet of Things (IoT). Google Home or Amazon Echo allows content marketers to think in completely new terms. For example, Sesame Street has an Alexa Skill that allows children to call Elmo and learn the alphabet and numbers. To be competitive, your brand must consider how to make use of them even if you are not yet ready to launch an Artificial Intelligence app. Since this technology will become more extensive and easier to access, planning how to integrate them into your content marketing is the key.
  • The art of creating content for micro-moments. We understand by “micromomentos” that impulse that 96% of us have experienced at least once a day. A question arises in our head and we automatically take the phone to know the answer. When customers have questions about a product/service, they may want comments about the latest shoe model, testimonials from your customers, expect that information to be easy to find, follow and understand. Your Content Marketing team should create content that anticipates the most common questions of your clients.

SALESFORCE

Rebecca Lieb of Altimeter Group (writer of “Content – the Atomic Particle of Marketing”) left some clues of what 2018 can be for Content Marketing in the Salesforce Marketing Cloudcast podcast:

  • Content Marketing jobs are changing. The jobs have changed a lot. “Before, journalists were hired to take care of blogs. That does not link the content strategically with other Marketing activities, nor does it address the changing content formats. ” By changing formats we understand that professionals must not only write a blog. “The video is on the rise, as are the graphics. Audio, like podcasts, is on the rise. Teams need people who have writing skills but also production, distribution and optimization, “says Rebecca. Companies need strategists that can link content teams with other functions of Marketing, advertising, analytics, social media, branding, communication, etc.
  • Convergence of paid, owned and earned media. Rebecca defines Content Marketing as owned media: the channels that, in large part, a Marketing professional can control (a web, blog, etc.). But the lines that separate the owned media with the paid or earned are blurring. A team focusing on owned (blog) and another that only cares about paid media? This is going to end, says Rebecca. In 2018, we have to work together to make the content strategy work.
  • The cornerstone content. “It is not possible to do Marketing without content,” says Rebecca Lieb. “Without content, nothing follows its course in the entire market-oriented landscape”. Social networks do not work without content and advertising does not work either. Once you start to see the content as the starting point for any Marketing action you can more appropriately apply what content in what stage of the buyer journey. Still not using Content Marketing in your strategy?

SEO

SEARCH ENGINE WATCH

The following SEO trends are already taking place according to Search Engine Watch but in the next 2018 will be stronger. These are some of them:

  • Voice search and digital assistants in SEO. Both represent a great opportunity to change the way we communicate and process information. According to Google, 1 every 5 searches are already done by voice. This changes the search market and we expect to see an increase in this type of searches in 2018. When it comes to establishing an SEO strategy, the increase in voice search highlights the need to focus on long-tail keywords and a natural language thus matching the user’s conversational tone. As soon as the digital assistants go beyond the smartphone, there will be a great opportunity, both for SEO and for the content, taking advantage of a growing market that connects brands with the user a unique one, but in a still relevant and useful way.
  • All for the user. The user experience for SEO will be even more important next year. Google has made it clear that the * center * of everything is the user and that this should make more and more websites offer a usable experience to their visitors. A good UX increases the opportunities for people to interact with the pages they visit . Even search engines discover which pages are most useful to people, favoring them over those that do not. Since SEO is aimed at more relevant and personalized experiences, the user experience will be a key piece in maintaining search traffic by creating a committed audience. It is no longer worth only an increase in search traffic if you are not converting or generating the desired engagement to create a loyal audience.
  • The link building will not disappear. There will be link building in 2018, but it will be more important than ever to create a strategy that locates quality links. There is no need to target new links if they do not add value or help build an authority. A successful SEO strategy for 2018 will move towards building relationships, helping the brand develop strong contacts and links that will be beneficial in the long term. The challenge in 2018 will be to involve the guests as an integral part of a link building strategy without hurting the reputable brand.
  • Featured Snippets and Quick Answers The popularity of the snippets highlighted has increased the competition between companies trying to appear in “position 0” of the SERPs. Almost 30% of Google searches show outstanding snippets. Lists, tables or graphs are usually popular, it also works to create content in a “questions/answers” format. This makes it easier for Google to extract the exact content and then show it as a highlighted snippet. A similar way to reach the top of the SERPs is to create content that serves as Quick Answers. For this, there is the Google’s Answer Box: an improved type of snippet that helps answer questions in a more attractive way. It is verified that the results that show the Answer Box experience a CTR of 32.3 %.

BACKLINKO

Backlinko does not consider having made a publication about SEO “predictions” since these strategies are already working at this time. Of course, they will continue to be a trend next year.

  • RankBrain will gain more weight. RankBrain is currently the 3rd most important factor for the Google algorithm. Well, attention, in 2018 this will be even more important. But what is RankBrain? It is a machine-learning system that helps Google sort its search results. It simply measures how users interact with the results and thus ranks them. RankBrain focuses on two things:
    1.- How much time does someone spend on your page (Dwell time)?
    2.- The percentage of people who click on their result (CTR).
  • Become a CTR genius. If you want to be a Ph.D. in SEO in 2018, you will have to become an outsider with the CTR. Because of the RankBrain? Yes, but not only for that. According to a study, he found that organic CTR has dropped by 37% since 2015. It’s no mystery: Google is shifting organic search results with Answer Boxes, Ads, carousels, the “Other user questions” section and so on. Therefore, if you want to highlight your page you must shout “¡Clicme!”, Otherwise, it will be ignored.
  • Complete and in-depth content = win. Some time ago Google analyzed a website to see how many times a specific keyword was used. It focused 100% on the content of a page. The Google spider was visiting (and to be fair it still does): title, URL, ALT text of the images, description tag and H1. However, Google is now much smarter: it not only measures the content, but also the context. Google’s job is to show its user the best result. And this is not usually a content where the keyword is repeated 20 times. The best pages deal with a complete topic in depth, that’s where Google gets everything it needs in one place. In fact, these types of websites are better placed on Google.

WIX

For the web development platform, more and more SEO is more important in companies. Therefore, as more website owners become SEO experts, staying up to date is crucial so they can remain competitive. These are some of the interesting SEO trends that 2018 has reserved for us:

  • More and more webs of page nº1 of Google are HTTPS. HTTPS is the protocol that guarantees that your website will be seen through a secure connection. Google has made it clear that having HTTPS is very important and the SERPs show it. In June of this same year, 55% of the web pages on page 1 of Google were “safe”, according to Moz. It is expected that by the end of the year it will increase to 66%. Chrome has already started warning sites that are not HTTPS. The user experience will be negatively affected: people will not access in an HTTP.
  • The focus is on the intention of the search engine. Google, The Oracle of Delphi of the 21st century. We go to him to ask him anything: “why does the rainbow appear when it rains?” Or “suits for a wedding”. It is important to understand what the user’s intention is and what kind of response should be given. For last question, hardly the user wants the definition of “suits for a wedding”.
    A response with an ecommerce selection will be more appropriate. Surely RankBrain is involved when it comes to offering better results since it knows the behavior of the user (if there are more clicks on one result than on another, you will understand that this is the type of content that the user wants to see and that will show you more). It is still important to use keywords in your content. However, the SERPs will not be fixed in rankings but in the needs of the user.

WEB DESIGN

MEREHEAD

Web design is so dynamic that what is considered “fresh” and “modern” in a couple of years can be completely outdated. It is very important to know the latest trends and keep track of the changes that occur. These will be the trends in web design for 2018 according to Merehead:

  • Patterns, lines, circles and geometric shapes. This trend already appeared in 2016, gained popularity this year and will continue to develop in the next. It is possible to get great results by using mixed shapes and patterns on your page. Flat designs and materials combined with decorative elements and simple shapes. The 2D design will continue to exist.
  • Graphics and unique images.  Graphic design as part of web design narrows. It has significant potential that has not yet been fully discovered. Therefore, in 2018 we will see how the illustrations will gain more popularity. It would be good to become familiar with the sketches ( sketch art ) or line art icons.
  • File extensions  PNG, JPG and even GIF will soon be images of the past. In the future, quality and accessibility will be more important. SVG will be the most popular extension . It is easier to modify the scale and does not lose quality. In addition, the files will not be too heavy: it will be the best format for graphic elements. The sketches ( sketches ) move to photoshop: make them easier and faster to create the design of a website. They have outperformed photoshop in terms of functionality. In 2018 the differences will be very significant: Adobe will lose part of its users.

DIGITAL MARKETING INSTITUTE

With 2018 just around the corner, Digital Marketing Institute considers 11 trends in web design. These are some of them:

  • The mobile is the priority.  In 2016, 43.6% of web traffic was generated through mobile phones (in 2015 it was 35.1%). The optimized web design for mobile has increased in recent years, a trend that will not change in 2018. As we said above, Google will launch next year its new Mobile-First Index, so the web design optimized for mobile will be a must. On the other hand, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are increasingly important . It is an open source protocol (launched by Google) so that publishers can load their websites quickly on mobile devices. Traditional websites tend to be slow, quite the opposite of MPAs. It is something totally necessary for 2018.
  • Animations that are activated by scroll even more advanced. This type of animations make the user follow and continue scrolling on your website through the use of interactive elements that increase engagement. The best example is undoubtedly that of Apple. This is nothing new. However, now it is used in a new way: they are minimalist, educational and designed to increase conversions. In 2018 they are expected to be even more advanced.
  • Bold fonts Using different bold font designs helps your users focus on your content while blanks make it easier to read and browse. Usually, people only spend a few seconds (2 minutes at most) browsing your pages. You need to capture their attention with colors and designs that stand out. The objective will be to create an easy and pleasant experience to keep them on the site as long as possible (until they convert).

 

  • Shadows and depth. Although the use of shadows is not new, thanks to the progress of browsers now interesting variations are seen. With grids and parallax designs, web designers are playing with shadows more than ever in order to create depth and the illusion of a world beyond the screen. This is a direct reaction to the trend of flat designs that have been popular in recent years. This “shadow game” creates an effect of great versatility that increases the aesthetics of the web as well as helps the user experience by providing emphasis.
  • Designs of bright and saturated colors. 2018 will be the year of excessive colors. If in the past brands and designers were stuck in “web-safe” colors, now more and more courageous are skipping this “norm” to be delivered to color. To make this bet, technological advances in monitors and devices with perfectly designed screens to reproduce richer colors have helped. Colors that do not combine and bright colors can be useful for new brands in order to instantly draw attention to their visitors, but they are also perfect for brands that want to distinguish themselves from the “web-safe” and traditional brands.
  • Backgrounds with particles. These are lightweight javascript animations that allow you to create movements as a natural part of the background and all this without taking too much time to load. A background with particles immediately attracts the attention of the user. Thus brands can create a memorable impression of themselves in just a few seconds. In addition, motion graphics like these are becoming increasingly popular in social networks.
  • Custom artwork .  The illustrations are great and versatile means to create nice, friendly images that add fun to the web. This trend is perfect for fun and energetic businesses.  In addition, it can help make brands normally perceived as serious and gridded to be closer to their customers. Whatever the brand identity, there is an illustration style that matches it.
  • Asymmetry and broken grid designs. One of the major changes in 2017 was the introduction of asymmetric and unconventional “broken” designs, a web trend that will continue to hit hard in 2018. This design is unique, distinctive and, at times, experimental. Although large brands with a lot of content still use grid structures, an increase in the use of unconventional designs on the web is expected. In general, traditional companies do not feel interested in this aesthetic, but the biggest brands that can afford to take risks will wait for original ideas from their web designer.
  • Integrated animation .  With the advance of the browsers, more and more websites have left behind the static images and have given the movement. With small animations, you attract the visitor throughout their experience on the page. They can be used to entertain the user while loading a page or integrate it by moving the mouse.

Exciting, right? Curves are coming in this 2018, but after such an injection of motivation, we can only say … Let the march begin!

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