The digital landscape is far from static; it is founded on technologies that evolve quickly and spur innovations, and it is critical to your business’ success that you keep up to speed with the trends and understand their far-reaching influences. Here are the 4 digital trends you need to know about for 2018.
- Niche Social
With Facebook and other social media platforms coming under serious fire for abusing its data, people who use social media are moving towards select niche social media platforms that promote trust and transparency. They are beginning to filter towards closed niche social networks and private groups that are more relevant to their experiences, interests and circumstances.
How you incorporate this shift into your marketing strategy requires much thought, but consider the industry-relevant marketplace that your brand is in, and how you can be selective to appeal to the more discerning social media user. For example, if your product is sport related, it may be wise to have a member only forum that will appeal to your target audience – people still want to share experiences, but they want to be protected.
Privacy and its regulations are hot topics for 2018. In Europe, the new GDPR legislation covers how businesses store and use personal data that has been harvested during business transactions. The legislation also applies to countries based outside of Europe if they have data about European consumers, but the fundamentals of GDPR tie in with what people want from their online experiences, i.e. consumers put first, privacy respected, companies to be honest, fair, transparent and accountable. You must ensure that data you have about your customers is secure, and you are responsible for it.
How you protect your customers’ data is vitally important and can be a great way to develop the trust that consumers have in your brand. Choose cutting-edge developments in technology such as a CASB to protect your data, your customers and your business.
- Voice Search
Unless you have been living on the moon, you will be familiar with who Alexa is. Google Home and Amazon Echo are the main players in voice search with their digital assistants, and this is just the beginning of a new wave of how we interact with technology. The influence that this will have on how you market your business must not be underestimated. You need to incorporate voice search into your SEO strategy – keywords are going to lose kudos and be replaced with longtail phrases that people use in everyday speech – you need to jump on this bandwagon before Google monetizes voice search and, just as importantly, before your competitors.
- Mobile Speed
This isn’t new for 2018 by any stretch of the imagination, but you must make sure that your website is fully optimized for mobile device users. You really are going to be left behind your competitors if you fail to make the necessary adjustments to your website – but this doesn’t just apply to the site’s aesthetics – it applies to the site’s load speed. According to Google, 53% of visitors will abandon a site if it fails to load within 3 seconds. That’s the expected benchmark, and you know that you will be penalized if you fail to adhere to Google’s guidelines – ignore them at your peril.
Keeping up with trends is more than gaining the competitive edge. It forces you to regularly review your business practices and procedures which drives efficiencies and profits margins. Using updated strategies to reach your business goals keeps your business fresh and fluid with movement that is as far from static as the digital landscape in which it exists.