Just when you feel like you’re catching up, you can get behind all over again. With marketing, that’s no different. Every year there’s a new ‘must-have’ feature that marketers and businesses alike have to make use of if they want to stay in league with their competition, but it doesn’t always work that way, and no one wants to take a gamble on something that some dodgy blog promises is true- like all the ones promising you that buying into subprime mortgage was the way to go in 2007. So why should you trust our blog post over all the others? You shouldn’t. You should trust that we are also affected by these changes in the market, and all these upcoming market predictions are just that: predictions. If you want a decent idea at what you may have to prepare for in the next year, then keep on reading.

 

#1: Instagram’s Instant Shopping

Over the past few years, social media has become one of the most important and relevant areas of digital marketing, with any company worth their salt running an account on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. A lot of businesses have invested time and resources in learning and developing their social engagement, and it’s proven successful for sales and integration, so why wouldn’t the social media platforms themselves develop new features to capitalise off of this?

Instagram, for one, has created a new feature for ‘shoppable’ posts that allow for users to quickly see what products are shown in the images and click an easy tagged link to purchase the item, which creates a more efficient conversion funnel for users and sellers alike. Undoubtedly a powerful new feature, you can be sure that businesses will be adopting this upon release, so keep an eye out for this as a potential way to create a more integrated sales and marketing strategy across your social media.

 

#2: Shifting the Reality of Marketing

An expected development within the world of business was always going to be augmented and virtual reality within the confines of marketing collateral and content. With both forms of interactive content having their desirable features, like the ease of creating AR content and the complex beauty of creating 3D experiences with virtual reality, it’s quite easy to see why marketers are excited to use these formats for daring and innovative collateral.

One way companies have been testing the wider use of these features is via their publications and print. Simply by creating AR characters and content that can be activated by specially printed codes on the publication and a mobile device allows for a whole new visual experience for the end-user and provides a great incentive for holding on to and sharing your material, which is a problem many industries currently face with their marketing material and outreach.

#3: Interactive Design and Content

Some marketing trends we predict aren’t necessarily new or strange, in fact, some are just incredibly obvious, which is why they’re so important for development. Creating a web page and content that has a more interactive design and feel is a major consideration for many users as to whether they’ll stay on a website or not. We all know that bad website design is a leading reason why people leave, so surely exceptional website design is a leading reason why your customers would choose to stay?

Through my own experience on travelling the old ‘world wide web’, I’ve discovered some of the best websites builds there are, and I’ve stayed on that website to look into what it’s all about, sometimes even when it has nothing to do with my initial search or query. Even having certain elements of your websites code that allows for a line to follow you as you scroll down the page can be a breath-taking enough quality for a user to stay, so you can imagine what investing in your web design can do for your business in the long run.

#4: Hands-Off Marketing with AI

It’s what people like George Orwell were most afraid of- AI. But instead of world domination and invasion of privacy, we fancy it for eCommerce and hands-off sales and customer service. Chatbots aren’t a new thing necessarily but are certainly underused. Most chatbots use a pre-set question and answer format and a lot of the time will redirect users to the relevant departments, but what if the chatbot didn’t have to redirect and could handle the queries themselves, as well as providing the sales and conversions needed?

A lot of smaller enterprises struggle to devote time and manpower to online developments as they continue with the traditional day-to-day workings; marketing often being an afterthought. Ai can be a massive help to save time and resources and efficiently replace a company’s web-based customer service. With the growth and application of AI and our understanding of it, could this be the future for small business as well as the wider industry?

#5: What’s better than being number 1?

For a long time, anyone who uses the internet knew that being number one on Google search rankings was the ultimate goal. We developed SEO practices, keyword bidding and loads of techniques (some fair, some questionable) to drive our traffic and become number one. But what if being number one means your stuck in second place? As search engines develop their own software to become more efficient and reliable for its users, new features appear and create new challenges and goals for businesses and marketing agencies alike.

One of these new features is the ‘position zero’ where a snippet of text will appear above the search results as a presumed direct answer to the query, with a link to the web page where the information was collected from. Try searching on Google ‘define *insert word here*’ and see what comes up, and I can strongly guess that it’ll be a snippet from dictionary.com. This will become an important consideration for businesses as phishing sites struggle to hold prominence and sites with well written cohesive copy grow in rankings. Writing for SEO is a whole new game, and we need to learn how to play.

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