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Year in Review: Digital Marketing Trends of 2018

Digital marketing is one of the most popular industries today with the advent of the internet, social media, and smartphone technology. Knowing how to properly and effectively market to a target audience is essential for companies looking to stand out and expand rapidly today. Understanding some of the top digital trends in marketing for 2018 is a great way to craft and execute a working strategy for 2019. 

The Importance of SEO 
SEO, also known as search engine optimization, is an integral part of growing any online business and presence. Using both local SEO and expansive search engine optimization is a way to maximize your online reach while providing you with ample opportunities to attract new visitors and prospective customers to your website. 

Search engine marketing is one of the biggest trends used to promote websites for any reason (even if they are not for businesses or profit). With effective search engine marketing, boost your website’s ranking in top search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo, and Bing, even if you are working in a highly competitive market. Search engine marketing not only provides you with the opportunity to outperform your competition with the right advertisement, but it also delivers comprehensive analytics and data relevant to your users and those who visit your website. 

Use local SEO to reach those in your local community who may be searching for the services or products you offer. Local SEO optimization allows you to hone in on specific groups of individuals based on income, interests, age, and gender. With the right optimization, boost your website’s rankings in local search engine results near you. 

The Increasing Role of AI 
AI, or artificial intelligence, is getting smarter each year. New developments now allow software to learn from users while becoming self-aware and making adjustments to the system on its own to better suit potential customers. In the near future, it is likely that AI will continue to grow and become more useful in data mining, communication, and even customer service. 

Expansion of Online Shopping 
Launching an online store is another way to maximize the revenue you are able to generate while promoting your company and the products or services you represent. One of the biggest digital marketing trends includes creating an online store that is easily accessible to users from anywhere in the world. Use an online shop to build brand credibility while establishing your business as an authoritative source in the market or industry you work in and represent. Online shopping has become commonplace with the advent of Amazon, eBay, and even social networks such as Facebook and Instagram, where it is now easier than ever to find local products on a whim. Using an online store is a great way to bolster a business or brand that you have just launched or that you want to grow. 

Video Engagement 
While text ads and traditional link campaigns are effective when done right, video media is one of the most popular methods of reaching an audience, regardless of age, location, or interests. Videos stop users in their tracks while scrolling through social media and preferred websites. With thousands of sponsored ads and text posts appearing in news feeds each day, standing out is essential to prevent getting lost in the crowd. Use professional video campaigns, animations, and graphics within video ads to captivate your audience while drawing more attention to the message you want to convey. Video ads are notorious for providing better results than traditional ads, allowing you to maximize your ad budget without overspending or wasting money. 

Live Streaming 
Live streaming has generated plenty of buzz in 2018. With platforms such as Periscope, Facebook, Snapchat, and even Instagram, choose to stream live to attract new viewers, followers, and prospective customers. Live streaming is a way to showcase your products, services, and even the company you represent to create a sense of community among your followers and fans. With live streaming, appear more authentic and less corporate, appealing to a wider audience without alienating those who are simply seeking companies they can trust and rely on. 

The Steady Climb of Social Media 
Social media marketing is still on the rise for advertisers and those developing creative and unique campaigns for businesses and brands alike. Using social media is a great way to boost your online visibility while building a positive online reputation. Platforms such as Facebook offer extensive options for those who want to launch online campaigns, allowing you to hone in on your target demographic while gaining valuable insight into your users’ wants and needs. Use social platforms such as Facebook to launch A/B tests with each ad campaign you launch to learn which method of advertising is most effective and which style resonates most with those you want to reach. 

Using Facebook has become a key element of success for many businesses, both large and small. Whether you are launching a startup or expanding an existing company, Facebook offers tools that are useful and effective when it comes to creating campaigns that deliver the results you desire. Use social media to gauge the satisfaction of your followers and their interest regarding the types of products and services you promote. A/B testing is a way to peer into what your users truly desire and how they use the internet for even more effective campaigns in the future. 

Voice Search Optimization 
Voice search has become increasingly popular with the expansion of the smartphone market and mobile technology. Using voice search provides users with the ability to quickly seek out information within seconds without the use of traditional typing and keyboards. Voice search optimization is important to keep in mind as it shifts the way users may be locating your website. An individual may use different language when searching for content or information with a voice tool as opposed to typing in their desktop browser or utilizing their mobile phone’s keyboard. 

Mobile Search Optimization 
The rise of mobile browsing has shifted the way that advertisers create strategies for campaigns and promotions. Mobile search optimization is extremely important for advertisers and web developers alike. 

The Growth of Micro-Moments in 2019 
Micro-moments are a newer development in the advertising industry that has recently been introduced in 2018. A micro-moment allows you the ability to target users based on specific searches, locations (including near me searches), or even similar product keywords they are searching for with the use of top search engines. Near me searches offer users with links to your website or with more information regarding your business even if they did not originally search for you. Sharing relevant links that resonate to users who are browsing for another item or information on a different subject provides you with more opportunity to expand your reach, even if you are not reaching users with your exact keywords and phrases. It is likely that we will continue to see more micro-development strategy solutions for advertisers in 2019 as software becomes more knowledgeable of users, their interests, and their desires.

While digital marketing trends and artificial intelligence are ever-evolving, it is important to keep up with the demands of users while putting the data collected to use in the best way possible. In 2019, marketing trends are likely to skew towards even more artificial intelligence, voice search optimization, and micro-moments that impact the daily lives of prospective consumers. Staying ahead with the latest digital marketing fads and trends is a way to outperform the competition while taking advantage of even more opportunities for future growth and expansion.

About Burke Dorman

Social Media Manager and Staff Writer at Elite Digital

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