The world of digital marketing is always changing- making prediction analytics a high commodity in the industry. We’re always looking ahead, trying to anticipate coming trends. Too frequently, we fail to reexamine the past. We all know that history repeats itself. Here are the top marketing trends of 2018 to help shed some predictive light on 2019 and beyond.

Artificial Intelligence

Those who moved early to leverage advanced software tools to exploit mountains of data got their foot in a door that had yet to fully open. 2018’s AI marketers captured a glimpse of the future. Those who don’t develop these assets are going to regret it sooner than later.

Voice Search

This is one of many search/marketing trends that are powered by the ways mobile tech is changing search phraseology. As mobile devices work their way deeper into people’s personal lives, search dialects become more casual. Astute SEO marketers foresaw the implications this would have on search terms. In 2019, we’ll be watching to see how this development matures.

Chat Bots

One of the most controversial aspects of digital marketing and branding, chatbots brought in mixed results in opinion surveys. The overall appearance is that they deliver higher volumes of customer service–more good customer service–and also more bad. This is one area where you’ve got to keep your ear to the ground to know what’s coming.

Influencer Marketing

Let’s face it, influencer marketing has always been with us. However, the rise of the Instagram star has made it much more accessible for small and medium-sized businesses. Time will tell how much longer it will still carry cultural weight. Still, we think this trend has got plenty of life left in it.

Interactive Content

People love to be heard, and interactive content proves it. What’s nice is your audience not only feels like you’re listening- but you really are. Interactive content gets both direct and incidental feedback from an engaged audience. And that makes it easier to glean even more organic data.

Growth Hacking

It sounds like something a shady margin ad might try to sell to you. But it’s really a pretty subtle strategy. This process of rapid, multi-discipline experimentation is a great way to find and remove scalability weaknesses in your outreach efforts. GH is a bit like Kung Fu though, it’s going to take a master growth hacker to push the discipline to the next level.

User-Generated Content

In 2017, results from a Forbes survey led market researchers to conclude that the way to deliver the authenticity consumers want is to give them an opportunity to generate their own content for you. Some brands opened themselves up to some problems, as you can imagine. But others developed vetting strategies for deploying trusted user content, which showed some positive and some mixed results. This trend is likely to go forward. We think that given more time, well developed UGC campaigns could turn out to be potent click magnets. Now that we’ve given due consideration to last year’s top digital marketing trends, be sure to check in next time when we look forward to 2019. Maybe you’ll be able to spot some interesting patterns!