By Anaïs Joseph-Gabriel, IMS Marketing Consultant
Trend 1 – 100% Mobile State-of-Mind
Over 1/3rd consumers worldwide admit to checking their phones within five minutes of waking up in the morning, and 20% consumers check their phone more than 50 times a day (source: Deloitte). The growing importance of mobile as a critical component of business strategy is nothing new, yet the number of businesses that neglect this trend is still too high. A mobile-responsive approach consists of ensuring that website content is adapted to smaller screens. The aim of a mobile-first approach is to shift focus to building great on-the-go experiences. Because mobile screens have the most limitations, content must be prioritized.
In a nut-shell, a mobile-responsive strategy will not only allow you to create a device-specific experience, but it will also enable you to be content-focused.
Trend 2 – Integrating Meaningful Personalization into User Journeys
Now more than ever, companies are collecting a great amount of data but very few are using it to its full potential. While many marketers employ segmentation tactics, these approaches are not consistently linked to personalisation. This is a gravely missed opportunity: companies that have understood the benefits of personalization in customer experience are getting double digit returns, according to a Forbes research study.
The key is to conduct A/B testing to understand your customers preferences, break your audience into different segments and to deliver an individualized experience. The more finetuned your segmentation is, the more personalised 1-to-1 interactions will become.
Trend 3 – Smart Video Analytics and Interactive Content
An increasing number of B2B and B2C businesses are generating leads and increasing conversion rates through tools that enable them to optimise content through analytics and personalisation. A recent study showed that YouTube is the most-used Google service, ahead of its search engine. As we detailed in a previous article, video content has become more important than ever. Indeed, adding the word ‘video’ in a subject line boosts click-through rates by up to 300%, while conversion rates see an 80% increase for landing pages that include video.
Over 30% of people’s time spent online is dedicated to watching videos. Smart marketing strategies will seize these opportunities across all customer touchpoints to deliver meaningful (and personalised) interactions.
Trend 4 – Content Dedicated Media Properties and Purposeful Storytelling
Irrespective of the type of business you are in, seeing yourself as a media outlet is crucial for online customer acquisition growth. The best way to control what is said about you is to be a step ahead of your customers by delivering appealing and quality content. It is not enough to create good platforms dedicated to the product or service you are willing to sell, businesses must also allocate sufficient resources to creating content-dedicated media channels that deliver unique, authentic, creative and helpful content that will eventually drive traffic to your products and/or services. Content can include podcasts, videos, films – and should not only be limited to creating a blog on your website. The more well-thought out and genuine your content creation is, the more your business will come out on top. If you are already focusing on content but are struggling to achieve results, why not check out our guide to an effective content marketing strategy?
Trend 5 – Chatbots
If you are not familiar with chatbots yet, a bot is any kind of software that performs an automated task. Chatbots are bots specialised in live chat. They are used for engagement, dealing with customer services issues swiftly or answering general questions, and if the bot is correctly set up, it is tough for audiences to see if they are talking to a human or not! In our experience, open rates for chatbots consistently exceed 80%, a much higher rate than industry-averages for email open rates.
Trend 6 – Focusing on User-Generated-Content
Is your marketing team acting on the fact that earned media is the most trusted and credible information that comes from your company. Ever wondered why? Because earned media comes from a third-party source, i.e. your customers.
Earned media could be in the form of reviews, comments, recommendations, tags, pictures or stories about consumer experiences. Unlike earned media, paid or owned media is fairly easy to generate, because you are 100% in control of the content. The tricky part of user generated content is that you must first find a way to attract the interest of people, influencers, medias, etc., who will try out your product or service before they can become potential brand advocates. To attract potential brand advocates, businesses must deliver genuine, appealing, and creative content, and deliver this content at the most optimal times in the buyer journey before they can spread the word. We’ve come full circle. In one-word: content is key in 2018.
Trend 7 – The Importance of Location-Based Advertising in Asia
In 2018, almost 68% of the population will own a smartphone, about 10% more than in 2017. In China alone, the number of mobile users reached 735 million in 2017. The reign of mobiles phones in Asia (and especially in China) allow marketers to fully take advantage of this trend. The strength of location-based ads is that they are timely, providing a real opportunity for brands to offer greater personalization in their ads. Applications that trigger offers or messages based on mobile user behaviour or geographic positioning are incredibly successful techniques for marketers to deliver the right message, at the right time.