Looking back at 2017, it is an undeniable fact that Digital Marketing has grown to new heights. Numerous new technologies and emerging social media platforms have contributed to the development of this sector.

With the advent of new and better automation driven technology, availability of more and more data for better analysis, and a further rise in social media platforms we would be looking towards a more customer-centric approach of marketing, in the near future. Here are some of the top trends to look out for in 2018, in the field of Digital Marketing.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning:

AI and ML  have made their presence felt across several domains, in the past year. Tech-savvy marketers can use AI to for predicting customer behaviour based on data collected from various social media sites, blogs and other platforms. Making better predictions regarding customer choice will allow you to target the consumer in a more personalized manner, and make your ads more effective.
It is essential for a digital marketer to learn about and master the various automation tools that are used in advertising. Automation is the future, and incorporating it into your marketing strategies will only yield positive results.

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Chatbots

Chatbots are artificial intelligence-based virtual assistants which have become largely popular in today’s digital era. They provide the customer with real-time answers to their queries regarding the product. Chatbots are evolving continuously, courtesy the various machine language and natural language processing (NLP) algorithms, which they are based on.  These are a fun way to boost consumer interaction. A chatbot engages, entertains as well as retains customers as well as improve social media presence.

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Micro-moments :

We rely heavily on our smartphones for instant information today. We tend to look up what to eat, what to buy, where to go, reflexively on our phones. These are called ‘micro-moments, in which decisions are made at the spur of the moment. It is definitely a field which digital marketers are looking forward to in 2018. Marketers are striving to provide location-specific, relevant user experiences by analysing these micro-moments in depth.

Dark Social

Many times, we share posts or articles privately, i.e not on social media. We copy a URL and send it via messenger apps, or email to others. This is known as Dark Social. These can’t be tracked easily, and are often clubbed together with ‘direct’ traffic by your web analytics team. It is a difficult area to identify and explore, but it holds immense potential. Around 84% of outbound sharing, is done through Dark Social. This is something which should definitely be on the radar of digital marketers in 2018.

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Video Marketing

Video content is known to provide the best ROI. Apart from video ads, live streaming has also gained momentum. With video formats becoming popular not only across sites like Facebook and YouTube but also across micro-video sharing websites like Instagram and Dubsmash, it has become a very effective means of targeting young audiences.
It is estimated that video content marketing will continue to grow throughout 2018. Social media marketers should lay special focus on live streaming as well.

Personalization

Today simple means of content marketing is not enough and customers want a more personalized approach. E-commerce sites like Amazon, Flipkart etc already use personalized recommendations for their customers. These are much more effective than generic emails sent out to all subscribers. With the increase in automation and predictive analysis, personalized content marketing will be on the rise in the coming year.