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As the new year is on the horizon, many digital marketers will be evaluating the year that has gone by. They will be gauging the performance of their various campaigns and drilling down on what has worked for them this past year and which strategies have been complete failures. Although, every campaign is different because every product or service along with the target audience is different, there are some common plans that every SEO or PPC team follows. But now it is time to look ahead towards 2018 to see which digital marketing trends will emerge while which will no longer be continued.

What Will Work?

  • Voice Search

Voice search is something that even Google themselves are immensely excited about. It is supposed to be the next big thing for search engines and it will have a deep impact on search engine optimization as well. SEO experts will now not only have to optimize their websites for desktop and mobile search but also for voice search. How will voice search be different you ask? The algorithm complexities are still being worked out however one thing that will be different is the keyword strategy to be followed.

In voice search, more conversational long tail keywords will be given a priority. The reason for this is that when people speak, they tend to be more specific or detail oriented. So, where you may earlier be using keywords like “Shopify Designers”, you may now have to optimize your pages for keywords like “Shopify web designers” or “Find a Shopify web designer”.

  • Instagram Taking Center Stage

In terms of B2C marketing, Facebook has been considered as a primary channel for social media marketing. However, Instagram has not been that far behind, in fact, many social media marketers had more positive results from their Instagram campaigns and posts than Facebook activities. According to Instagram, in 2017 around 800 million + users were active on their platform every month. That is a huge market and it is expected to grow even larger in 2018.

The reason for this is that Instagram is a platform that is more about images and videos and can engage audiences better. It lets brands integrate their video marketing strategies better with the platform and has an appeal to younger audiences. In 2018, it is expected to overtake Facebook to become the number one B2C marketing platform.

  • LinkedIn Gets Its Second Wind

LinkedIn has been the most appropriate social media platform for B2B marketing. It gives marketers a great segregation of industries and companies. If we talk about their paid platform for advertising, it lets you target your audience in a very specific manner. You can choose sectors, companies and even designations of the people you want to target. Similarly, using the LinkedIn groups, you can reach out to various target segments organically by sharing your LinkedIn page’s posts.

With all this functionality and wonderful targeting features, LinkedIn still was not able to engage too many digital marketers to use this platform as their primary platform for social media marketing. But, this year we saw LinkedIn revamping their website to make it more attractive, young and appealing to the audience. It added many improved features as well. These changes will ensure that in 2018, LinkedIn will be part of all our B2B marketing strategies.

  • More Utilization Of Video Marketing

Every mainstream brand already uses videos as an integral part of their online marketing. Whether it is embedding videos on their own website or making use of platforms like YouTube and Metacafe to promote their brands using channels, these brands have it all covered. But many smaller organizations that earlier did not find any use for videos in their promotional strategy are now waking up to its advantages.

Creating a YouTube channel is a basic part of any company’s video marketing strategy. Also, in 2018, YouTube ads are going to be used by many small and medium businesses and gain a wider reach with their audiences.

What Won’t Work?

  • Text Based SEO

If you take a look at your SEO strategy or even content marketing strategy, how much of it is dependent on text-based content? My guess is more than 90%. This strategy will not work in 2018 as more emphasis will be put on images, infographics, videos (as mentioned above) and other non-text based content. The diversification of various forms of content will lead to a greater response by audiences and more engagement with your content marketing.

  • Twitter For Marketing

For years Twitter has been trying to get users to utilize this platform for the sake of online marketing and user engagement. From hashtag marketing to promoted tweets, it tried to give users an advantage through its various features. Sadly for them, it has not really worked. In 2017 they failed to grow users and their ad platform is unable to compete with its many social media competitors. In 2018, this platform is not really going to be considered as an option for marketers.

  • Standardised E-Mail Campaigns

E-mail campaigns have been a good way for brands to nurture their leads and get them down in the sales funnel. However, these campaigns are no longer as effective as they used to be. Many e-mails now just land up in the spam folder and as for others, they are just viewed as standard automated e-mails that do not engage visitors. In 2018, e-mail marketing will have to take a personalized approach where each e-mail has to be personally addressed to the user to grab their attention.

Conclusion:

 The upcoming year will see many vital changes in the core ways that digital marketers approach SEO and paid marketing. You can expect to see various platforms gain relevance and others lose users. You will also see new technologies being implemented to optimized websites for voice search. We will all have to keep our eyes open to notice these changes in the online marketing world in 2018.

Paul Henry is an experienced professional in the field of Internet Marketing. His years of experience in the field of SEO, Pay per Click and Social Media Marketing have made him an authority on all things digital. He is an experienced writer having written and published several articles on the subject of Internet Marketing.

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