Top 5 Things to Expect in 2018
- Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence or AI for short has seen a major resurgence back into the forefront of technology in recent years. AI in itself is not a new concept and as early as 1966, the late Joseph Weizenbaum, an MIT professor at the time, was able to write a program that could pass the Turing test, which meant that the program was intelligent enough to fool some people into thinking that it could have been a human.
So what has sparked this newfound interest in AI?
Advancements in computing hardware have made it possible for machine learning to become mainstream. Machine learning has in turn fueled the growth of technologies like facial recognition, natural language processing and video analytics which form the basis for game changing technologies like autonomous vehicles, Virtual Personal Assistants and chatbot technology.
Chatbots in particular have gained a significant level of interest with its wide reach in almost all service industries such as tourism and sales.
- Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality has certainly come a long way since the initial Kickstarter campaign for the Oculus Rift in 2012. With immersive VR technology being readily available on platforms like YouTube and Facebook, what was once confined to a niche market has now made its way to mainstream audiences, giving brands new and innovative ways to engage their target audiences.
VR environments are especially suited for industries like tourism where the level of immersion can seal the deal for customers and to pay to experience the real deal. Such initiatives are already taking place in Wales where the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales were commissioned to create “Dolphin Dive” and “Flight of the Kingfisher” VR experiences in order to promote tourism in the country.
Tour companies can also look to engage influencers to produce 360 degrees VR experiences of tour highlights like safari adventures or a skydiving experience.
- Google Algorithm
In early 2017, Google Algorithm’s Fred update impacted many websites and caused a reduction in traffic for sites that prioritise monetisation over user experience. Other independent research also indicate that sites with poor quality backlinks were also affected.
This change affected backlinks to sites with poor domain authority, outdated or broken links, or downright “unnatural” links – so much so that some SEOs believe link quality to be the defining characteristic of the Fred update.
There are several steps that you can take to minimize the risk that your site will be hit by future algorithmic changes. If you’re worried about the potential impact of Google updates, in 2018, focus on quality of site, user experience, high quality backlinks, quality user-centric content update.
Move over Anna Cay and make way for [insert any influencer you want]!
When it comes to the influencers of the world, bigger doesn’t always mean better and marketing professionals are starting to notice. While top influencers have the advantage of reach, micro-influencers (with a following of a hundred thousand or less) can boast higher levels of engagement. Even if fewer people see their ads, they are more likely to take action.
What’s more, micro-influencers tend to place higher value on the opportunity to generate new content, form new partnerships and are less likely to demand large sponsorship payments. It takes a bit more effort to source for multiple micro-influencers but you will soon find that it is well worth the effort. [contact us to find out how we can help you get started with these micro-influencers]
- Virtual Personal Assistants
Mobile, in the present day, has undoubtedly become the core of a digital marketing ecosystem, enabling the use of social media, online purchasing, community engagements and location based services. While the world is still reeling from the dizzying speed that mobile has dominated the space, a new wave of transformation is starting to take place.
Enter the AI or Virtual Personal Assistants.
The technology may now only be in the early stages of adoption but pretty soon, systems like Amazon Alexa or Google Echo will be ubiquitous in every modern home, creating yet another touchpoint for marketers to reach consumers.
Whilst monetization options a few at this moment, we expect 2018 to be a year where cross-device sales and marketing becomes mainstream. When the day comes that a voice command in your living room is able to activate your mobile phone to order a take out, just remember that you heard it from us first!