Digitalization has taken over the globe, sparing no industry or sector in its wake. From machine learning in manufacturing to artificial intelligence in marketing, the world now runs very differently from what it used to.

In retrospect, it may not come as much of a surprise to know the number of things that technology and the changing times have made completely redundant.

Paper road maps are a thing of the past with GPS, iTunes and digital music in general has changed the music industry completely, and don’t even get me started on the encyclopaedia business!

The point of bringing up the past is so that we don’t stay rooted there and actually adapt to survive.

In this year, we saw how video and going “Live” dominated content on social media. We also saw the first signs of how we might not be ready for AI. But there are a few trends we saw potential in through the year, and believe that early adopters will really capitalize on.

1. Automation and AI

Apple’s Siri is what sparked the whole virtual assistant phase. The more recent Alexa takes home automation to the next level and actually makes the smart home accessible to not just the super-rich.  In reality, the future is actually now. Doc Brown and his DeLorean should be arriving any time now.

More and more businesses are trying to implement AI in their respective fields. From AI powered SEO audits, to automated email assistants, the hiccup from Facebook’s rogue chatbots hasn’t slowed this trend down at all.

2. Live content

This is one thing that all the marketing gurus were right about. We weren’t kidding when we said that video dominated 2017. From music industry announcements, to magazine publication houses (Grazia), the going live trend took over everything.

Audiences enjoy this style of communication because it’s a rare to find organic, unplanned, honest content from businesses and brands.

Marketing teams have already started experimenting different types of video content through this feature to better connect and engage with their audience, boost conversions, and increase brand awareness. So if you haven’t already jumped on the bandwagon, you might want to start considering it.

3. Chatbots

Chatbots are the latest addition to the digital marketer’s bag of tricks! By playing different roles from customer service and engagement to lead generation, chatbots are versatile if nothing else.

Using this technology, businesses are now able customize the customer experience, answer queries, and even help find the news, weather and love!

Popular ecommerce stores have already employ chatbots to better the onsite experience. We predict that chatbots will soon be a norm for most businesses.

4. Employee Advocacy

We’ve already seen the impact that social influencers can have. But this year the debate between macro and micro influencers reach all new heights with companies like SocioAdvocacy showing why the latter may be more worth your while.

Employee Advocacy very simply put is the promotion of a brand or organization by its staff members through social media. While several brands invest a ton of marketing dollars in influencer marketing, they fail to see the potential of the employees already in the office!

Given that an IBM report found that leads acquired through employee connections convert 7x more often than regular leads, it’s only a matter of time that the concept of employee advocacy blows up. It’s up to you to figure out when you want to take a chunk out of it.

5. Social Recruitment

It was only a matter of time before social media took over the recruitment game too. Social recruitment is basically the distribution of jobs opportunities and recruiting candidates using social platforms. It’s natural for recruiters to go where great candidates are. With the help of fantastic software’s like SocioRecruiter, that use social media profiles, and employee personal connections to find information on candidates and source the best talent, it’s becoming easier for companies to use to attract candidates.

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About Author

Rick is a Serial Entrepreneur, Writer and Head of Marketing at Passionate Marketers.