Digital Marketing News and Trends 201824 Apr 2018
Digital Marketing Summary Q1 – Whats has happened and what are the trends so far for 2018
So, we are already now 4 months in to 2018, where has the time gone? A lot of predictiions were made at the start of they year as to how Digital Marketing would change this year.
In this post we will summarise some of the bigger changes that have happened and some trends that look like they are staying for 2018
Mobile First Indexing – The big thing that everyone has been talking about in the SEO industry for what seems like a long time is now being gradually rolled out, Mobile First Indexing by Google. Traditionally Google would crawl, index & rank pages based on a websites desktop version, with roll out of of Mobile First Index, this is getting flipped on its head. Websites will now be crawled, indexed and ranked based on the mobile versions of the website.
HTTPS – Another hot topic in SEO that has been simmering for a while is the increased security of websites and Google’s (other companies as well) push to a secure internet. Back in 2016 Google introduced a “slight ranking boost” for sites that were on HTTPS and now this year, as July, Chrome will start highlighting non-secure sites. If your site is not secure you need to consider how a Red Not Secure flag next to your domain will impact visitors.
The General Data Protection act is looming with 25th May the date it is coming into force. With the many businesses still trying the fully understand it and implement the protocols necessary.
GDPR aims to tighten up how business collect, handle and use personal data. It aims to stop, or at least reduce, the amount of Spam people receive and also puts more pressure on business to be transparent in how they use a customers data. It will also force organisations to take responsibility in the wake of a breach.
So expect to get an increasing number of emails asking you re-confirm your consent over the next month.
Also change your privacy notices and website terms to reflect the changes you are making to your collection, storage, processing and general use of personal data.
Which lead us nicely on to
Email Marketing is set to become more stringent, as recipients now need to give strict consent to receive emails from businesses, so no more third party 'soft opt in' lists can be used by businesses. But this in turn means that the users who DO give consent are actively interested in hearing from you.
Highly personalised and focussed emails – Personalisation and audience segmentation within email marketing has been around for a while, but as a knock on effect of the GDPR regulations and businesses wanting recipients to reconfirm and not to unsubscribe, expect emails to get a lot more targeted.
Plain Text Emails – A growing trend is sending “plain text” emails, these are emails without all the images, background colours and big buttons associated with marketing emails and instead look like an email you may get from a colleague. Numerous sources state that plain text emails have a higher open rate and click through rate than traditional HTML emails, this maybe because recipients aren’t expecting such a striped down email to be marketing and they usually have only one call to action with a simple blue hyperlink. These sort of emails are also better at getting through email client filtration systems, making it into recipients inboxes rather than being put in the promotions folder. So keep an eye out for these & it is maybe one to try.
At the opposite end of the scale to the point above, is interactive emails. Emails that allows users to do more, complete tasks etc within an email in the inbox rather than being taken to a browser, take Googles AMP Email project that it is rolling out for example. But also making emails that standout from the crowd, including GIFs (and I don’t mean dancing cats) that usefully display information or process make emails standout.
The past few weeks and months have been domination by news surrounding Facebook, from a marketing POV and also in the mainstream media.
It all started with Facebook changing the rules for pages and how it wanted to “clean up” users news feeds prioritising posts from friends over businesses. This meant posts from business pages weren’t getting the reach they once did, effectively forcing business page users to “boosting” posts.
Then there was the Facebook Cambridge Anaytica data scandal, Cambridge Analytica tool collected millions upon millions of users data unknowingly through a quiz app, this then led to Facebook tightening up its rules around how a users data is used by companies when using their API.
Following on from that Facebook then put into place a ban on new messenger chat bots and is reviewing its policies surrounding them. *Update* As of 1st May Facebook has lifted the ban on messenger chatbots.
Chatbots – Chatbots have been around for a long time now, it is likely that you have interacted with one if you have used an Online chat on a website. But there has been an increasing amount of talk (or should that be chat) around these bots over the past month or so.
Improvement in AI and technology means there are a host of chatbot companies who can design and create a bot for you but there is also a whole host of websties that will allow you to build a basic chat bot for free. And these bots are now able to closely replicate conversational interactions so the users don’t even realise they are talking to a bot, which allows you to have a constant presecence 24 hours a day on your website, just in case a customer needs to ask a vital question at 3am.
Continued Rise of Video
Of course video content has been around a long time, but it is still the fastest growing ad format with many business not yet utilising video as an advertising method. In a mobile and social media world users are consuming more and more video content, and with platforms like Snapchat and features like Instagram stories, ephemeral video is also taking off. In fact, Kat Hahn Creative Strategist for Facebook was quoted saying 'Not doing short video is not an option'.
These are just some off the highlights within Digital Marketing news so far this year and looking forward to what the rest of 2018 will hold.
Are there any trends we have missed off? What do you think will be big in 2018