By Jim Hennessey

As marketers finalize their 2018 marketing plans and strategy, what are the buzzwords they are talking about? Here is my take on the five most “buzz-worthy” concepts that will pervade most digital marketing plans for the new year.

Micro-Moments – Whenever a consumer feels the need to inquire about something, an astounding 96% of users reach for their smartphones at that very instant. They reach for the smartphone to conduct research, search for a home, or even to settle an argument. These moments have been dubbed ‘micro-moments’, and a successful digital marketing strategy will try to master those moments.

It’s simple, really – consumers expect brands to supply them with reliable information whenever they desire it. That means your strategy has to be ready to meet their needs with informative, reliable, engaging and regularly updated content. The most talked about tactic for delivering these moments in 2018 will be chatbots.

Smart Content – Consumers continue to react and respond better when they feel the message is directed specifically at them. Smart Content is simply the personalization of your marketing messages. While you may think personalization is complicated, it actually isn’t.

All you need to do is give your content a more personal touch. Brands that optimize their call to actions and direct them toward specific users do much better than those who just use generic ones. This means that by simply sending personalized, customer-oriented messages, you could be going a long way toward giving your company a digital marketing edge over your competitors.

Eye Content – For all the exciting and informative things found online, whether it is a couple of kittens playing, a baby laughing, or a top commercial featuring a popular model, there is always an element that attracts the eye. Videos, GIFs and Infographics will continue to drive the consumption of information online.

Video and infographics tend to make the audience connect to the message on a deeper level, particularly if there are interactive elements involved. That means they’re also far more likely to share the content, and shareable content should be a part of any good digital media strategy.

Native – Consumers are responding less to digital display ads. Website banners and display advertising have seen double-digit declines in response rates over the last 5 years. Native ads are a way to market your products and events in a non-disruptive way that blends in easily with the environment a user is most comfortable with.

Native ads blend in such a seamless manner that customers may not even spot them when viewing, whether it be advertorial, instant content, search advertising, recommended content or sponsored listings forms of native advertising. Rather than approaching it as a deceiving aspect, the point is to put the right information in front of the viewer when they actually need it.

Authenticity – Authenticity refers to the awareness of oneself and the projection of this awareness across digital channels and audiences consistently. An individual or brand’s ability to be authentic prompts more tangible success like higher engagement, more followers and ideally a higher return on investment.

Jim Hennessey (LinkedInTwitter), is the Director, Consumer Marketing at Event 360. He leads the marketing and social media strategy for MuckFest® MS and works with other organizations including Bike MS, the Florida AIDS Walk & Music Festival, and the MMRF Team for Cures 5K with digital marketing and social media strategies to support their peer to peer events and fundraising. Jim lives in Chicago.

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