As 2017 comes to a close, new marketing doors open. Inside these doors lies the next wave of trends. Are you ready to discover them?

Here are the five marketing trends I am recommending savvy marketers keep an eye on. Implementing them for your brand will elevate your marketing strategy and drive new customers.

1. Chatbots

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Over the years, chatbot technology has become much more sophisticated and seamless. A great example is Facebook. But other sites have popups with a chat box asking if you need assistance navigating a webpage or needing help with a specific sales offer or product.

Are you talking to a human or a bot? If you can’t tell, then the bot is working as intended.

2. Augmented and Virtual Reality

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This trend was kicked off by Pokemon Go. If you recall, that summer, people of all ages were walking around randomly with their mobile devices out into the world to catch a Pokemon using AR. The biggest takeaway from this phenomenon was Augmented Reality’s ability to drive real business results. The app had millions of downloads and the stock for Nintendo rose significantly that summer.

This has become a seriously viable option for marketers looking to bring the online into the real world. Apple’s AR Kit allows companies to design apps specifically for AR. IKEA as another more recent example.

VR follows a similar path. Marketers need to figure out how to run ads and capture the attention of the VR population. VR gaming and watching movies will only become more popular as prices drop and more advanced options become available.

3. Blockchain

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Blockchain is a very hard concept to wrap your head around, but it has never been more relevant than it currently is. This 2-minute video will give you a general gist of what blockchain is.

How do we implement Blockchain in marketing? Take payments for example. You can implement Blockchain with your e-commerce site, and start accepting bitcoins as payment. This is a safer method, and since bitcoins are a digital currency, it makes sense. You can also purchase supplies and products online to run your business.

This is just one of the uses for Blockchain technology in marketing. As Blockchain becomes more developed, ideas will become better and this form of currency will be more readily accepted.

4. Voice Optimization

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Me: “Hey, Siri. Did you know voice search is becoming super popular and markets now have to implement voice optimization?”

Siri: “Of course, Alex. I’m aware of this trend, and it’s going to be huge in 2018”

Apple, Amazon, Google, and Samsung are all leaders in voice search, and now every marketer needs to be aware of this trend. Typing a search query is becoming a thing of the past. As a matter of fact, more consumers are going off-screen and relying on voice-activated personal assistants to search for information, with some analysts estimating that as much as 50 percent of all searches will be conducted through voice by 2020, according to a Forbes article.

Your marketing messages need to be crafted with voice search in mind, which means targeting long-tail keywords and featured snippets.

5. Video Domination

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As we all know, content is king. But more recently, video has taken over content markets priorities. I expect nothing to change here, except for video to become even more prominent. Watching a video is generally preferred than reading, especially if the video is short.

According to a Forbes article, Fifty-five percent of people consume video content thoroughly, and by 2020, online videos will account for more than 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic. Bringing video content into your marketing strategy might seem like a big undertaking, but you can (and probably should) start small. It doesn’t have to be the sole focus of your budget or even the biggest portion of it to be valuable.

As marketing tactics become more intrusive and diverse, marketers are challenged to consider their budget and strategy from every angle. With these trends in mind, there’s no doubt 2018 will be one of the most interesting years in marketing yet. What trends are you looking forward too? Let me know your thoughts on the trends listed in the comments.

By: Alex Siminoff @alexsiminoff