Digital Marketing Trends to Rule 2018: Q4

Part 4 of a quarterly digital marketing guide from our agency experts.

They say all good things must come to an end. In this final segment of our quarterly digital marketing trends for 2018, we’re committed to helping you complete the year on top of the world.

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For the last time this calendar year, we’ve used our collective brainpower to construct a snapshot of the digital landscape. Flashpoints in SEO strategies and social media marketing, as well as PPC and web dev developments, await you.

Think back on your business goals at the beginning of the year. We’re here to make sure no box is left unchecked. As you prepare to blast out of 2018 and into the next fiscal year, let this final digital marketing mix help you warp speed past the competition.

Here’s your digital dose of everything fueling 2018 marketing trends in Q4:

Technical SEO/Link Building:

1. FAQ, Q&A and How -to search snippet results

Soon there will be even more ways to showcase your content in Google. At last month’s Singapore conference, Google showed what types of previews users will see in their search results. The idea is to use a variety of Q&A, FAQ, or How-to formats to make sure search results are as relevant and useful as possible.

2. New Search Console

Soon, owners will have more access to manage access and adjust permissions for users and other sites. Reporting features are also more robust, promising swift and welcomed changes to the search console.

3.Responsive search ads

Could you use a third headline and little more descriptive text in your responsive search ads? Google has given the green light for you to text long and prosper. You’ll now have up to 90 characters to make your elevator pitch in responsive and text ads!

Social/Content Marketing:

1. Hootsuite updates

Hootsuite Inbox Beta gives you swift, consolidated access to your Twitter Direct Messages and Facebook Private Messages. If you’re looking for an additional channel to connect with customers, this will help. Monitor your messages from multiple profiles for increased oversight of complaints and compliments. Be aware these have taken the place of your Twitter Inbox and Outbox Direct Message Streams.

Hootsuite Explore isn’t yet available to everyone, but likely will be. The feature helps source brand mentions from anywhere on the web so you can tune into the conversations that matter most. They’ll even put them in a timeline where you can segment and analyze based on filters like the location.

2. Live video!

It’s become a big deal on social networks like Facebook. You’ve probably seen them start to pop up on the right-hand side of your feed. Now, you can read comments and respond to users in real-time. Why is this important? According to Livestream, “80% of audiences prefer watching live video from brands as opposed to reading a blog. And 82% of consumers say they would rather watch live videos than read social media posts.”

3. Chatbots

These digital conversation starters themselves are nothing new, but they are growing and integrating with all variety of social media platforms. For instance, Pizza Hut is one of the first national chains to allow customers to order food through their social media accounts using a chatbot.

4. Influencer Marketing

We’re no strangers to influencer marketing strategies. If you read our blog you’re in on them, too. Now, instead of partnering with celebs and other big-time figures, companies are increasing their credibility with micro influencers. According to one Forbes report, “Research shows that micro influencers have 60% higher engagement rates than traditional celebrity influencers.” The same study suggests a more than micro 22% increase in your conversation rates using the tactic.

PPC:

1. Google AdWords rebrands to Google Ads

The latest AdWords update ushers in a big push for machine learning and smart ads. It comes with a new marketing platform and Ad Manager to help you advertise over multiple channels while making sure you’re appealing to the right target audience.

2. New Expanded Text Ads

Differentiating yourself from the competing links on a SERP just got easier. If you feel like you’re having déjà vu it’s because we already alluded to this in our SEO link building section. It’s important enough that it bears repeating. What can the three headlines and expanded 90-character count descriptions do for your brand? A lot. One Wordstream piece reported, “Google found these larger ads received 15% more clicks than other ad formats…[and] saw that advertisers increased their ad CTR by an average of 20% after making the change.”

3. Updated Exact Match Keywords

As culture evolves so does our language. Dictionaries are updated with several new words a year and our day-to-day lexicon shifts with the times. How we search is following suit. Very soon, exact match keywords no longer need be exact to show up in search results. They need only be variants that convey the same meaning through synonyms, paraphrases, and other results that clearly satisfy the user’s original intent.

Website/development:

Our fearless web dev keeps us abreast on all things front and back end. Here are some quick updates that made it across the desk last month.

  1.  Chrome 70 is now in beta
  2.  Chrome (68) brings a new “not secure” notification when visiting HTTP pages
  3.  Firefox 62 supporting variable web fonts
  4.  PHP7.3 is coming soon
  5.  TypeScript 3.0 was released
  6.  Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) and how to debug websites
  7.  Starting in October, most browsers will distrust Symantec TLS certificates entirely

Whatever your hopes for expansion were in 2018, lead generation to increased web traffic, we hope these guides have helped you navigate the terrain successfully. Until next year!