2017 has been my favorite year as a Digital Marketer; with a huge increase in digital penetration and the entry of many brands into digital platforms to reach their consumers, it has helped in learning many new things and implementing new techniques.
With so much of curiosity about 2018, I am sharing some of the Predictions I have on Digital Marketing in 2018.
1. Mobile to continue to grow:
With more than 84% people in India (65% Globally) having accessed internet through mobile this year, mobile penetration is set to continue to grow in India.
Image source: quartz india
2. Influencer Marketing: We have all seen a huge increase in Influencer marketing with all major brands utilizing celebrities or their social followers to endorse their product or service for a short period. Even small and mid-range brands have come to utilize a celeb that suits the brand in order utilize their massive reach.
3. Use of Micro-Location Targeting: With the massive increase in mobile usage and browsers/apps asking users to give permission to access their location, there is going to be more location based, hyper-local targeting to users. This in turn will help the retailers to drive walk-ins to their stores. Data says 75%+ audience visit the store within 24 hours of their search.
4. Building Narrative is going be the New Content Marketing:
In the digital world, where there are thousands of brand films coming out every month, it is next to impossible for the consumer to connect with the brand by just watching that one video. Hence, to stand out from the clutter, content narratives are vital for a brand’s content strategy to succeed. Narratives will be big because they will stitch the whole brand story together, allow for greater creativity and come in a variety of forms, thus enabling the consumer to both experience and remember the content.
If one hasn’t started incorporating narratives into brand content, it’s high time to begin it now.
5. Brand safety to become Critical:
Brands have now started to move on from the standard comparison of CPM, CPC, CPV and other quantitative rates generally considered and have started focusing more on Quality Metrics relating to ad serving. They are willing to pay premium rates for quality inventory, and focus more on brand quality/perspective (position of ads, locations where the ad is being served, viewability, rooting out bot activity etc.,). The context has become more important in today’s day and age (eg: It would be disastrous if an ad of a luxury cruise travel package appeared on a site which talks about ship disasters)
6. OTT Era Begins:
There was an era during which Television was the master – it was the pinnacle of media. Now, we have OTT (Over the Top Content), which is priming itself to be the next Television. With subscriber numbers for platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar etc numbering into multiple millions, online viewership is the next big thing for the digital generation – especially due to easy accessibility on the go. OTT is primed to go from strength to strength in the upcoming year.
Image source: brand equity
7. Offline to Online Attribution:
Online to Offline attribution has always been difficult, and has been one of the principal bane of digital as a medium (eg: tracking store visits through digital, and attribution of the source). This is slowly changing with the advent of modern technology. With the help of Beacon technology, leading channels like Google and Facebook have started working closely with retail brands to find ways to attribute offline activities like store walk-ins and experiencing the results of the same (a famous case study for this would be that of Tanishq Jewelers.)
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8. Rise of Vernacular Content:
In the next five years, vernacular content consumers (language users) are expected to account for 75 per cent of India’s Internet user base. Vernacular content is going be the future of digital content consumption in India. According to a study by Google and KPMG India, native language users take faster to online shopping and are more willing to rely on digital media for entertainment than English users.
Image Source: Rediff
To gain their share of the wallet, brands will have to bring down the language barriers online.
9. Personalized Content:
The story of communicating to groups of people is long over. Personalized content, with one to one communication is here to stay, and is going to be critical in 2018. Messaging pertaining to audience’s specific needs can be utilized for creating relevant, personal content to retain and keep them interested. This can be used by brands for various marketing aspects to acquire an audience for a new product or creating recall for the brand. This has become fundamental for the online strategy of any brand.
Image Source: contently.com
10. AI and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the new buzzword that is doing rounds right now. Everyone from Apple to Google to Microsoft is investing heavily into AI, as they believe AI is the future. Most Digital Marketers know the term Artificial Intelligence from when Google rolled out RankBrain in 2015 which could return answers for the questions asked in search. But now, AI has come a long way and is opening new avenues with Machine Learning, Predictive Analysis and understanding user behavior with the help of data, while suggesting the most recommended strategies (like content, chat-bot, ad serving, etc) based on the goals defined by the brand.
Image source: eventbrite
These are my thoughts regarding Digital Marketing in 2018. Feel free to comment or message me if you feel that there is something important I missed here, I would love to edit and include it in the same.