As a business owner, you have to wear many hats. One of these hats is being a semi marketing pro, especially since this is an ever-changing industry. <br /><br /> What works today may not work tomorrow. And new techniques you have yet to hear about may be the top method to use next week. <br /><br /> Staying abreast of the ever-evolving world of digital marketing is key to gaining and maintaining your competitive edge. <br /><br /> Let's take a look at what marketing trends 2018 has in store for us. <br /><br /><strong> Chatbots Enhancing Customer Service</strong> <br /><br /> Likely, you already see the transition of customer service shifting to the digital realm. For instance, you find more people using the internet to reach out to brands for help. <br /><br /> Two places you may witness this is on Facebook and Twitter. In fact, Facebook now has a chatbot option for brand pages, which allows an AI to talk to customers to answer common questions. <br /><br /> Now, this doesn't completely replace the need for human representatives, but it does cut back on hours spent answering the same ol' questions over and over. <br /><br /> The beauty of chatbots is that it eliminates the wait time for customers and prospects to get assistance. No sitting around waiting in line for the next available representative. <br /><br /> And what's even more notable about chatbots is that <a href="https://venturebeat.com/2017/07/31/chatbots-bring-new-income-stream-to-ecommerce/" target="_blank">35% of consumers</a> actually want them. Already, consumers are spending $600+ via chatbot systems. Hopefully, that gets your attention and entices you to consider adding chatbots to your 2018 marketing strategy. <br /><br /> <strong>Ephemeral Content Boosting User Engagement</strong> <br /><br /> Next on the list is ephemeral content, which you've likely seen a lot of in 2017. Well, expect this technique to make it to the marketing trends 2018 throws our way. <br /><br /> In a nutshell, ephemeral content is content that stays available for 24 hours then disappears. You'll commonly find this <a href="../blog-post.php?post=67">on Instagram</a>, Snapchat, and Facebook. <br /><br /> What makes this work is that consumers get to see brands in an authentic light. Brands are using ephemeral content to showcase high-quality content worth seeing. By putting a 24-hour timer on it, it creates a sense of urgency. <br /><br /> And with urgency comes more visibility for brands. It's a win-win scenario, as it connects consumers with brands and enables brands to boost their visibility in a way people don't mind. <br /><br /> <strong>Augmented Reality Bringing Digital to the Real World</strong> <br /><br /> Augmented Reality, or AR, is big business and will only continue to grow as marketers and businesses find more ways to put it to use. One way brands are using it is to showcase their products or services to prospects. <br /><br /> Even Snapchat now has a new AR feature that allows users to take images of themselves and prop it up in the real world using the camera. <br /><br /> It's a lot like Pokemon Go - you can take a photo of a chair from the internet, then use your smartphone camera to see the chair sitting in your living room. <br /><br /> This is definitely a clever way fashion and interior designers can win over their customers and boost sales. But surely, there are plenty of ways brands and marketers can use AR to their advantage in the coming years. <br /><br /> <strong>Influencer Marketing Makes it to the Marketing Trends 2018 List</strong> <br /><br /> Influencers continue to be a key tool for brands to boost their own visibility and traffic. The internet connects everyone together, making it easier to link up with the heavyweight champs of social media. <br /><br /> In doing so, you can increase your reach to your target audience and potentially boost conversions. But since this has become a major thing, you now have a lot of fakers. <br /><br /> This makes it harder to know who to trust, especially knowing anyone can gain a million followers overnight with the right budget. Paying for followers and Tweets isn't new, but it does require you to be more aware of who you collaborate with. <br /><br /> If your audience sees you collaborating with just anyone with thousands of followers, it will make you appear less genuine. Make sure you link with influencers in or related to your industry. <br /><br /> <strong>Video Taking Over the Internet</strong> <br /><br /> We may not see the written word disappear as of yet, but we are seeing a steady growth in video content consumption. As of 2017, users watched a whopping <a href="https://fortunelords.com/youtube-statistics/" target="_blank">1.3 billion hours</a> on YouTube each day. <br /><br /> Combining video with your social media marketing strategy is a clever way to gain more visibility for your brand. And if your videos are very engaging and informative, then there's the chance of them going viral. <br /><br /> It's already predicted that by 2020, 80% of all online traffic will come from video. That's only a few short years away. Adding video content to your strategy now will help shape the success of your campaign in 2018. <br /><br /> Some of the ways you can do this include creating videos like how-tos, tutorials, product demos and interviews with experts. Whatever you can do to educate your audience, do so within a short time frame. <br /><br /> If long-form blog posts are king, then short video content is the queen. <br /><br /> <strong>Live Video Feeds Entertaining & Educating the Masses</strong> <br /><br /> The only thing more popular than videos is live video content. Live streaming is big business, whether it's on Twitch, Facebook, or Snapchat. Users today are all about connecting virtually and nothing connects you like live video feeds. <br /><br /> Now, there are different ways you can add this to your marketing trends 2018 list of things to try. For one, you can host a live Q&A with your audience, have interviews with influencers and experts, or teach your users how to do something. <br /><br /> Live web events are very popular and if you build enough buzz around it before the launch, the better the outcome will be. This is an excellent opportunity to position yourself as an authority. <br /><br /> <strong>Implement the Right Marketing Trends into Your Strategy</strong> <br /><br /> What marketing trends in 2018 should you pay attention to? And which should you ignore? It's not always easy to tell, especially when you're not a digital marketing analyst. <br /><br /> One way around this is to enlist the help of a digital marketer. At eMagine, we have a team of professionals who can assist you with building a remarkable marketing strategy. <br /><br /> Our services include inbound marketing, video production, eCommerce, photography, social media, mobile development, custom programming and web design. We can even host your website to ensure maximum uptime and maintenance. <br /><br /> <a href="../contact-us.php">Contact us today</a> to see how we can help bring your digital marketing strategy to the next level in 2018!