Are you looking for the best marketing trends to boost your ecommerce business in 2018? If so, then you’re in luck. Artificial intelligence and augmented reality are not just terms for science fiction buffs and gaming fans. The following marketing trends for 2018 should open the door to reaching new customers and personalizing their customer journey.
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1. Voice Search – Marketing Trends 2018
Usage of Alexa (Amazon), Siri (iOS), Ok Google (Android), and Cortana (Windows) has led to the creation of a new area of search optimization – voice search. As you likely know from your own usage of voice-activated technology, the terms and phrases you use when searching by voice vary from what you would use when typing into a search box in a web browser. Spoken search queries tend to be longer than typed ones, and they also tend to include more conversational words along with keywords.
To capitalize on this marketing trend for 2018, you will need to focus on how people talk about your business. What keywords are people more likely to say than they are to type? What questions are they likely to ask? To optimize for voice search, you’ll need to listen to your customers talk about your products. Then, you’ll need to implement these insights into your business’s organic and paid search terms.
2. Private Messaging – Marketing Trends 2018
Another marketing trend that’s continuously growing is marketing through private messaging. All of the top social networks – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest – allow private messaging. They’ve added new features to their private messaging to get more users interested in sharing content and having conversations directly.
If your business has a profile on one of the above-mentioned social networks, it’s crucial to regularly monitor the private messaging inbox of each. Also keep an eye out for private messages that end up in filtered folders such as spam or contact requests. As your customers continue to use private messaging to connect with brands, they’ll expect a real-time response from businesses they purchase from throughout the customer journey such as receiving better and faster customer support post-purchase.
3. Messenger Bots – Marketing Trends 2018
When it comes to marketing trends artificial intelligence is going to continue playing a role through messenger bots. Businesses can now create automations (bots) for platforms like Facebook Messenger and Twitter Direct Messaging that can assist customers in a variety of ways. The main goal of many messenger bots is to take customers through a process, such as subscribe for an email list, find the right product, get customer service for a product, or direct the customer to the right page on your store.
To add messenger bots to your marketing strategy, you can review developer documentation from each platform (like Facebook Messenger and Twitter). You can also hire developers who specialize in developing messenger bots on specific platforms for different types of businesses. To get inspired by the vast number of ways to use messenger bots, be sure to browse the BotList, which includes bots for Facebook Messenger, Twitter Direct Messages, Skype, Kik, WeChat, and additional platforms.
4. Live Chat – Marketing Trends 2018
Adding live chat to your website is like placing your best salesperson on your online store’s virtual floor. It allows you to go live with a potential customer by answering any questions they have about your products to help them make a purchasing decision. Platforms like Intercom have gone further by creating a live chat operator bot to assist your customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
It’s just another way artificial intelligence is helping businesses automate basic marketing and sales tasks, and it is set to grow in 2018. To get on board, Shopify users can start by browsing live chat bots in the Shopify extensions library.
Keep in mind that live chat works best on stores with conversion rates under 2%.
5. Marketing Automation – Marketing Trends 2018
With the advancement in artificial intelligence available to businesses of any size through the use of technology like automated live chat and messenger bots, businesses are now able to create more sophisticated marketing and ecommerce automation sequences. By adding in the feel of a live person helping the customer throughout their journey through your sales funnel, you’ll ensure that new customers convert at higher rates. For example, Kit, a Shopify app, automates marketing such as Facebook ads.
For most businesses, marketing automation involves a series of content aimed at selling the customer on one or more products. An example of marketing automation would be to set up a sales funnel where:
- Visitors land upon a specific blog post about upcoming spring fashion trends.
- Visitors are encouraged to enter their email address to receive a free spring fashion lookbook.
- The new subscriber receives a series of welcome emails, explaining the different styles for this spring. Each email includes an item that the subscriber can purchase at your online store.
- If the subscriber goes to your product page from the link in the email, adds the item to their shopping cart, but stalls, a live chat bot will ask them if they need assistance.
- If the subscriber goes to your product page from the link in the email, adds the item to their shopping cart, and doesn’t make the purchase, they will receive another email to get 10% off of one item.
- If the subscriber goes to your product page from the link in the email, adds the item to their shopping cart, and doesn’t make the purchase, they will see display ads on Facebook and the Google Display Network of the product they added to their cart.
As you can see, the goal of marketing automation is to take new customers from just getting to know you to reminding them of the products they’re most interested in via email and retargeting ads. Based on what you sell, there are lots of different ways to use content to guide new customers to their first purchase.
6. Augmented Reality – Marketing Trends 2018
Augmented reality and virtual reality are another marketing trend for 2018 that’s growing at an unsurprising rate. Thanks to updates from Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and other platforms, businesses can use augmented reality for advanced word-of-mouth marketing and branding by promoting designs that people can overlay on their private photo and video stories. As augmented technology becomes more accessible, more businesses will be able to expand their marketing strategy to reach new customers and to provide better shopping experiences with AR and VR.
Can you think of fun ways to incorporate your business brand and products into a graphic design that would be fun to use in private photo and video messaging? Do you want to invest in apps that allow your customers to see your product in their home or on a virtual showroom floor? If so, then augmented reality should be a focus in your 2018 digital marketing strategy.
7. Big Data – Marketing Trends 2018
The next marketing trend for 2018 is big data. The top names on the internet – Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and many others – have all made advances in presenting analytics data to business owners. Google, for example, has turned Google Analytics into a suite of products to help businesses track data across multiple channels, including TV, in-store, and online. Facebook updated their Analytics platform to include deeper insights into a business’s website traffic, Facebook fans, app users, and event attendees. LinkedIn launched website demographics so that businesses could learn from overviews of the professional profiles of their website visitors.
This will allow businesses to learn even more about the people who engage on their social media channels, visit their website, subscribe to their email lists, and make purchases. This data can be use to help you create marketing messages that address common pain points shared by your customers – ones that your products can solve. It can also help you target the right audience in your paid advertising so that you spend your advertising dollars on the audience most likely to make a purchase.
To utilize more big data in your business, start by making sure that you have installed Google Analytics, Facebook, and LinkedIn website tags to track your visitors in each respective analytics platform. In addition, employ conversion tracking options in each of these platform’s analytics to learn about the most important visitors on your website – the ones that ultimately make a purchase. Using these three analytics tools alone will give you a better idea of where your visitors are located, how they found your website, how long it took them to make a purchase, and many other insights into the demographics and behaviors of your customers.
8. Influencer Marketing – Marketing Trends 2018
Influencer marketing continues to grow throughout the years making it one of the best marketing trends. For 2018, businesses will want to focus on finding right influencers on specific marketing platforms to spread their message. The right influencer isn’t someone who has a large audience as a whole, but rather has a highly-engaged audience on a specific platform. The right influencer may not have a YouTube channel, for example, but may have a huge following on Instagram, making them perfect for a viral Instagram marketing campaign.
To find the right influencer for your influencer marketing campaign, you’ll need to consider three things.
- Does the influencer promote products similar to yours? If you visit the influencer’s social profile or blog, you should be able to see past promotions they have done and the response those promotions received with their audience.
- What platform (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, blog posts, etc.) converts the most referral traffic into purchases on your website? You will want to find the influencer that has the most engaged audience on that platform.
- How do you want the influencer to promote your products? You will want to make sure the influencer you choose can create the right type of content (video, audio, text, image, etc.) and promote it.
Once you find an influencer that fits your criteria, connect with them and help them get to know the product you want them to ultimately promote. Be available to help them throughout the campaign, from getting to know your product to monitoring comments and questions from their audience after the promotion has gone live.
Marketing trends are a great addition to the content, email, search, and social media marketing strategies you’re already using to promote your products. Be sure to research each trend carefully, see if your competitors are using it yet (for inspiration), and decide whether your business will be able to reach new customers or convert visitors into customers utilizing new technology, tactics, and marketing trends.
Want to learn more?
- 50 Ways to Get Sales with Dropshipping
- 10 Affordable Ecommerce Automation Tools You Need Right Now
- How to Make Money with Influencer Marketing in 2018
- 11 Unique Dropshipping Products to Sell in 2018
What marketing trends do you plan on trying out in 2018? Share with us in the comments below!