Becky Yardley
With over 8 years’ marketing experience in the leisure and lifestyle industry, working with the likes of Total Fitness, and Wilkos, Becky is experienced in gaining high profile PR coverage and delivering results-based marketing campaigns across digital content, social media and PR.

Our team give their predictions for the future of digital marketing in 2018…

The value of the micro influencer

Over the past few years, the term ‘influencer’ has become the word of choice in every PR’s vocabulary. In 2018, the lines between social media and journalism will continue to blur and the micro influencer trend will continue to grow.

The public tend to trust ‘real people’ more than celebrities in terms of brand and product endorsement, which is why influencer marketing is so effective for digital PR. However, it’s not just the influencers with millions of followers who the big brands are targeting these days. Micro influencers have a smaller, yet dedicated follower account and engagement statistics on their posts are typically higher. This typically offers much better value for money for brands and a bigger win for the PR!

Steph Staszko, PR Manager

The rise of Voice Search

Voice search is going to continue to rise in popularity and if you haven’t already started to incorporate this into your strategy, you should start to think about how you can capitalise on it now.
With this growth of voice search I also expect to see the popularity of other features which reduce the traditional search real estate (like featured snippets) to continue to grow.
Websites should continue to put a heavy focus on serving the users intent and providing Google with the tools it needs (like structured data) to understand your website as well as it can.

Joe Hennessey, SEO Manager

Personalisation, Automation and Video

Personalisation: Consumers want a unique experience. They want brands to treat them like an individual with their own views, opinions and interests, not just another customer. For this reason, brands that can personalise their experience for the consumer will win their trust and interest. The old ‘content is king’ saying is shifting. Content is the tool, but the customer is the king.

Social news feeds are personalised based on your friends, the brands you follow or content you engage with, so why shouldn’t this be the same on websites?
Automation: There’s a fear of the Terminator effect, but if you can provide your customer with the same service as a human in a more cost effective way, why wouldn’t you?

Video: As an already established medium, video will continue to grow and adapt along with these trends, so you’ll see personalised and automated video improving the customer experience.

Liam Foy, Head of Social and Innovation


Behaviour predictions

With the advancements in data technology, marketing will shift from assessing customer’s past behaviour to predicting future behaviour and capitalising on this.
Take Email marketing, which has traditionally focused on past behaviour of consumers (previous purchases, visits, interactions etc) to suggest similar products or services that customers might like.

Back in 2012, Target used customer data from purchases of non-childcare items like cotton balls, hand sanitiser and large purses, to give them a score on the likeliness of that customer being pregnant. It was alarmingly accurate – a real insight into the capabilities that data can have.

Move forward to 2018 and data will predict future behaviour, wants and needs. Possibly even before the consumer knows it themselves.
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) metrics will also shift from past to future too, with predictive data looking to future CLVs rather than basing insight on historical interactions. This will help to improve insight into new customers or leads who have not yet made transactions.

Becky Yardley, Marketing Manager

Digestible video content

In an age of information overload, people want content that they can absorb quickly, digest easily and connect with instantly. What better way to do this than with video and animation content?
Visual marketing is growing in popularity because it helps to promote brands and communicate key info in a cool, dynamic and interesting way.
With over 1 billion unique YouTube visitors a month and millions of people consuming video content on Facebook every day, this could give your business more exposure than you could ever dream of.

Chrissy Kuharcuk, Content Manager