Keeping up with the latest changes and trends in the industry, each of us made a prediction for a change or trend we think we will see in 2018 since it's right around the corner. Stay ahead of the game and see what you should keep your eye on in the digital marketing world next year.
WordPress usage will encompass 32-35% of all sites and WordPress market share will encompass 62-65% of all CMS' by the end of 2018.
Why: In 2017, WordPress encompassed 29.1% of all websites. WordPress’ track record of consistent growth, coupled with the new features scheduled to come out next year, is why I predict that their usage and market share will grow even more in 2018.
Their new features will improve accessibility and usability for standard users and serve to push forward WordPress’ mission of democratizing web publishing. With each version of WordPress that is released, the user experience becomes simpler, yet more capable. In April 2018, WordPress will release Gutenberg, which is a block-style page builder that will revamp how we create and edit content. “Gutenberg is an important conceptual step forward for WordPress. Gutenberg enables WordPress to build content layouts, not just write articles. It is one of the many transitions happening in WordPress toward a more simplified user experience," says Zack Katz, WordCamp Denver 2017 speaker, about Gutenberg.
Also, WordPress will soon achieve greater success with international growth because of "new plugin/theme community translation mechanisms." More non-English websites will choose WordPress as their choice of CMS, therefore leading to WordPress encompassing, even more, websites on a global scale.
Videos and podcasts will become an increasingly popular way of presenting and distributing content in 2018.
Why: When we see a big block of text, our eyes will eventually glaze over, even if we are interested in the topic. Most of us prefer to listen or see things that are visually and aurally appealing. That’s why I’m predicting an even bigger rise in content being created as a video or podcast in 2018.
Consuming content is more convenient now, and we are taking advantage of it. We have data plans through our cell phone providers and smart, connected vehicles that allow us to watch and listen on the go. Even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told BuzzFeed News in a 2016 interview, “We’re entering this new golden age of video. I wouldn’t be surprised if you fast-forward five years and most of the content that people see on Facebook and are sharing on a day-to-day basis is video."
So, should you throw all of your eggs into the video/podcast basket? Not necessarily. Our preferences for consuming content are always changing, so by no means are blogs and websites going anywhere. It is smart to stay on top of the latest trends though, especially one that is having so much success. Since videos and podcasts are so versatile and cost-effective, there isn't much to lose by trying it. Videos and podcasts allow you to relate to your audience because you are adding a personal touch. It establishes credibility and makes an impact on your audience.
Website tracking (by cookies) and analytics will become harder in 2018.
My prediction for 2018 is that website tracking and analytics will have to become more anonymous, which will make marketing towards those consumers even harder. This will also cause more overhead for businesses handling these kinds of requirements. Kenny also says in his post, "What can overcome these constraints is science, engineering, legal analysis, and a more insightful view of the customer."
Next year, pay to play online will become necessary for all stages of the buyer’s journey.
Why: As more and more marketers are learning the targeting power and cost-effectiveness of social media advertising, fewer people will be searching for initial answers to solve their problems. This is because people are now being served up advertisements for the perfect solutions to their problems before they even have time to formulate their problem. As a result, buyers will begin to use search engines strictly as a product-research platform (decision stage searches) instead of a problem-research platform (awareness stage searches) for a lot of industries.
High organic search ranking will become less effective due to the increase in Google Search Engine Result Page (SERP) features. Click-throughs on the SERPs will become harder to achieve since Google snippets are increasing the user’s expectation to find what they are looking on the results page, instead of having to click through to a website for the answer. "If we look at the layout of the search results we can see four large [ads], a large rich snippet, and a 'People Also Ask' box with four related questions shown. So even a 1st place organic [result] can often be around [the] 10th or 11th listing on the page," says Marcus Miller, digital strategist, regarding SEO changes due to Google's SERP.
This means that paid results on Google are becoming more visible than the top organic rankings. Therefore, paid search is a must in order to increase the likelihood of gaining your audience’s attention. These factors mean your marketing strategy must include paid advertising on multiple platforms.
These are just a few changes that we expect to happen in the digital marketing industry next year, but there are plenty more. If you want help formulating your 2018 strategy, let's talk! We offer free consultations, just click the button below.