Last year we looked at our predicted ecommerce trends for 2017 and with the year coming to a close, we’re glad to see that most of them were spot on.

s our team of marketing specialists has been working on strategies for the New Year, here’s our top 7 digital marketing trends for 2018.

  1. Video

With Cisco predicting that video traffic will account for over 80% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021 at a global level, if there is one area where you should invest more marketing budget next year – it’s video. Although it can be one of the most resource-intensive types of content, when done right and supported by a solid distribution strategy across multiple channels, video content can pay back tenfold.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on all the forms of video which have been taking the online world by storm recently such as live video, 360, VR and vertical videos tailored specifically for mobile consumption and constantly be on the lookout for new and emerging video types.

  1. Social Media

And especially paid social, as maintaining high levels of exposure organically becomes increasingly challenging. With Facebook currently testing the removal of organic publisher posts from the users’ News Feeds, it seems like 2018 will be the year for many companies to start using paid social more if they want to capitalise on this important channel.

Are you ready to monetise your social channels?

  1. Chatbots

Speaking of social media, another popular trend that only seems to become more prevalent next year is the rise of chatbots. These clever tools take advantage of AI capabilities and deep learning to provide businesses with an efficient way of improving their customer service game on social media and messaging apps and save consumers time in their online shopping journey.

With 71% of millennials saying they would consider trying a chatbot and big players such as eBay, Subway, Mastercard and more already implementing their own chatbots to drive more sales, this is certainly something worth considering as an addition to your marketing mix for next year.

  1. Augmented Reality (AR)

AI (artificial intelligence) may not be that mainstream yet, but AR is certainly seeing a rise in popularity. Originally the field of gaming companies (with Pokemon Go seeing massive success after its launch in 2016 and a recently announced Harry Potter AR game in the works), AR has started making its way in the ecommerce industry as well. Whilst there’s certainly more to learn about AR and how it can be used as part of a successful digital marketing strategy, we expect to see this trend continue its ascension in 2018.

  1. SEO

Whilst it may not be anything new, SEO is still a core component of any digital marketing strategy and in 2018 we expect to see some serious shifts in the way this channel is treated. With voice search on the rise, increasingly more personalised search results and an online mobile-first world the era of keywords-based SEO seems to come to an end. Not to mention, that Google might also launch their mobile-first indexing next year, which makes now the perfect time to rethink your SEO agenda and update your approach to take into account all these changes.

  1. Data-driven content marketing

Content marketing remains another strong channel which can help you support overall online growth, but in 2018 quality will beat quantity. Make sure you put the time and effort into the research needed to back your content marketing campaigns and create data-driven content which will be more relevant and better targeted towards your key audience.

  1. Marketing automation and dynamic content

If you haven’t already implemented this, next year you should definitely look at ways of working smarter with the help of various marketing automation tools. From setting up automated email marketing campaigns that are divided by certain segments, to creating dynamic Facebook ads, implementing chatbots or using third-party providers such as Nosto and Clerk to serve personalised content on your website, there’s plenty of tools out there that can help you automate certain parts of your marketing activities, so you can focus more resources on other areas such as video (see point number 1).

These are just some of the digital marketing trends we expect to see more of in 2018. Let us know if you’d add anything else to this list on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Need some help with your digital marketing strategy in 2018? Get in touch with Williams Commerce Marketing on 0116 326 1116, extension 4. Did you know that we’re also a Google Premier Partner?