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3 Trending Marketing Tactics in 2018 From AI to Social media, we bring you the tricks of using technology to get in touch with your customers in minimal investment

By David Petersson

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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In January, Facebook's algorithm update slammed brands that relied too much on the social media platform. And with the emergence of the GDPR, things are even harder for smaller publishers. Businesses must be smarter on how they market, build real relationships with their audience, and be transparent to be trustworthy. On top of that, Machine Learning and other technological advancements are influencing the marketing tactics. So, how do you stand out in 2018?

1. Voice search

Voice search is breaking ground. Some call it a revolution, and statistics suggest that by 2020, 50 per cent of all online search queries will be by voice. It is extremely easy to speak your query than typing it on a mobile device especially when you are driving. 40 per cent of adults use voice search once per day, and 20 per cent of searches are currently voice based. But this has also lead to a new competition; since devices such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa read out the featured snippet (and not the entire list of search results), the competition is now to place on "position 0".

As to Kent Lewis, President and Founder of Anvil explain: "Owing position 0 means you've doubled your real estate in select organic searches. Not only that but on voice-enabled devices like Google Home, position 0 is the ONLY answer/result. That means you are more likely to get a new customer now or in the future."

Aiming for voice search will get you on the featured snippet which is not just good for Google Home and Alexa, but also for mobile devices with their small displays.

2. Artificial Intelligence

AI is being baked into everything we use. Facebook and Google are using it (among others) to drive better, more relevant results that are harder to cheat, and businesses are left to adapt to the changes or get punished for incompatibility. But there is one AI that's designed to help businesses, and it is estimated that 8 in 10 companies have already adopted it or are planning to do so by 2020: chatbots.

While they are still not as intelligent as we wanted them to be, chatbots do have their sweet spot:

Facebook, Google and other social media platforms are making it easier to connect with companies via direct messaging, but if you cannot have anyone responding to messages 24/7, chatbots are a viable alternative

Chatbots are much faster than human operators, and the answers they offer can be enriched with links and pictures that are sometimes unavailable to human operators

With the proper design, chatbots can function as the frontline before handing over to human operators. As mentioned earlier, chatbots are not as intelligent as they should be. But they can be assisted with buttons that simplify or limit the user's options. Especially when many clients have the same questions, chatbots can be efficient time savers

3. Live video

2018 has been called the year of video marketing because it is the most popular form of content. But there's one particular kind of video content marketers are especially keen to: live video. Live video allows brands to drop the corporate veil, connect human to human, and allow users to participate in brand storytelling in ways that enrich the customer experience. According to Brandlive 95 per cent of brand and agency executives plan for live video to be an important part of their marketing strategies this year.

Periscope, Meerkat and Youtube Live are some of the players in this field, but the one most suitable for marketers is Facebook Live. Unlike Periscope which only keeps a broadcast for 24 hours, Facebook Live preserves your broadcast as a permanent post on your followers' feeds (unless you choose to delete it). Using a social media platform for live streaming lets you start off with a built-in audience and a familiar environment. Solutions built on top of these platforms take advantage of this and improve on it. For instance, allows you to hold multi-person talk shows on Facebook where the hosts can interact with their audience via Facebook comments and the Messenger bot.

But the real question is…

In the end, I found this comment by Brian Carter best summarizing how we really tend to deal with trending marketing technologies: "Despite what is new - my experience both in the agency and as a keynote speaker who talks to many SMB audiences is that many businesses are behind. There are strategies and tactics we've been recommending for five years that many businesses have yet to even try. For example, Facebook ads. No matter what is new with Facebook ads, and the fact that they could help many businesses, I would estimate 10% or fewer of them are using them. And every ten audience members that agree they should, only a handful will either learn how or hire someone to do it."

David Petersson

Freelance Writer

David is a developer and freelance tech blogger that covers various topics from cyber-security and artificial intelligence to hacking and blockchain. He tries to identify the intersection of tech in human life and how it affects our future.​​


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