Klyp's Top 3 Digital Technology Predictions for 2018

If you live in the digital realm, as Klyp does, you have probably become aware of the increasing buzz surrounding Machine Learning, Blockchain technology and video. Intrigued by the possibilities these digital technologies offer, the team at Klyp decided to kick their brainstorming powers into high gear to share with you our top 3 predictions for 2018; and how marketers are leveraging this knowledge for business gain. These predictions are more than just a gut feeling - we've based our hypotheses on facts. Here's the evidence:

1. Machine Learning Informs Automation

Despite the hype around Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the proposed potential for machines to learn from human data; you might think we're not ready to fall down the proverbial Matrix rabbit hole. But what if I told you - smart machines have already infiltrated our lives (albeit subtly)! From Google Maps simply saving a reminder to tell us where we parked the car, through to Tesla's driverless car experiments. AI affects so many everyday moments that is has truly become mainstream... and our new best friend. Love-able AI characters are even gracing our screens on TV shows like NBC's The Good Place (now available on Netflix). Janet's cheery personality and endless knowledge of the universe make her a endearing character to fans, despite the fact she is an artificial being incapable of emotion!

So how will the ongoing development of smart machines benefit the marketing industry? Increased technological capacity for machine learning will enable marketers to access a broader spectrum of data; which paints a more detailed picture of their audience to develop highly targeted strategies. This is great news for businesses who outsource their marketing to digital agencies - like Klyp; as it accelerates data collection and ensures more accurate analysis. Marketers can implement automation tools and reallocate time to creative activities while machines take care of tedious tasks. Companies are implementing machine learning algorithms to perceive problematic factors that humans haven't been able to identify. The volume of automation tools now available, means it's easier than ever to customise communications according to consumer preferences. This data can then be utilised to build customer profiles which in turn can inform future automation decisions.

In its most basic form, automation enables marketers to personalise Emailed Direct Marketing (EDM) with the recipients email address in the subject line or text content. This cycle can be repeated and refined, leading to ultra-customisation; with subsequent marketing tailored to the individual.The evolution of more sophisticated machines including the Internet of Things (IoT) is taking automation to a whole new, exciting level in 2018. Samsung's third generation smart fridge has a built-in tablet which works with voice technology to remind you of the pending expiration date of food inside. Marketers in future, could utilise such opportunities to send you advertisements about which brand of milk to add to your shopping list. Personally, we can't wait for this one - let the Full Cream versus Skim versus Zymil fridge ads begin!

2. New Applications for Blockchain

While some may have originally scoffed at the idea that virtual currencies like Bitcoin would have less impact on the finance sector than playing with the likes of Monopoly money; crypto currencies are set to transform the global economy. If you're not convinced - even the Australian Taxation Office is taking notice and implementing regulations! There are now several different digital currencies available, including Litecoin and Ripple. While each currency has its own nuances, they are all characterised by decentralised control which works via a blockchain. A blockchain is a ledger distributed between peers thereby ensuring transparency. Each transaction record is linked to the previous block. This creates a secure system, without the necessity of an authoritative middleman, because if one version of the transaction is corrupted the other copies in the peer network will prevent both its use and the duplication of tokens already spent.

Multinational companies such as Stripe, which facilitates online and mobile app payments, were initially excited about Bitcoin's potential to revolutionise international transactions. Back in 2014, Stripe became one of the first companies to support Bitcoin payments. However, in January this year, Stripe announced it will be phasing out Bitcoin support, before ending the service on April 23, 2018. Stripe explains the combination of block size limits, fluctuations in value and transaction fees mean Bitcoin is now more of an asset as opposed to an appropriate means of exchange. The company still suggests the usability of other crypto currencies is likely to improve and support will be considered again in the future.

The burgeoning success of multiple crypto currencies utilising blockchain technology has innovators brainstorming - what other applications would benefit from the security inherent in blockchain technology? The elimination of third party distributors for products and services could substantially shorten supply chains, thereby reducing costs. This technology could signify a solution to the piracy or royalties issues within the film and music industries; service and employment contracts could be verified via blockchain, as terms couldn't be deceptively altered. Healthcare could be revolutionised, giving doctors secure access to records, ensuring the patient remains confident their privacy hasn't been compromised. The blockchain concept could also improve the agrifood industry, as its transparency would allow consumers to observe the supply chain from farm to supermarket and respond rapidly to contamination disasters. From a marketing perspective, this blockchain technology opens up new opportunities to showcase trustworthiness to consumers. Brand claims such as ethical production can be verified at the point of sale, for example; the consumer could access the unalterable blocks of evidence that prove a product is genuinely grown organically, packaged with recycled materials, and transported by Australian workers. The options are literally endless...

3. Video Takes Over

Want greater customer engagement? Record a video. Video content is becoming more prevalent than ever and it's impossible to ignore - YouTube is already the second most popular social media platform in the world! This content is valued so highly by consumers that Facebook adjusted its algorithm to preference video over other forms of content in its news feed a couple of years ago. It then took this partiality a step further, by changing the default settings to automatically play video sound in the news feed. So why are we still harping on about it? Because quality video is now going to be seen absolutely everywhere! Prove our point by taking a moment to think about the appearance of billboards in city centres and the overhead menu at fast food restaurants. Screens are now showing dynamic content, where these traditional mediums once displayed printed images and text. The way we consume video has changed; so it makes sense that online ads which typically used static visuals in the past, will now be replaced with rich media. Video has become the hero of engagement; with video across the board revealing more intent; generating greater reach, brand recognition, more conversions and shares. So it seems highly plausible that video, such as in-stream ads, will become the most popular medium for marketers to allocate their advertising budget to in 2018.

However, if you still haven't gotten around to posting video content on your company page - please don't have a knee jerk reaction and begin posting disingenuous content in a panic! Content may be King, but Quality is Queen. We have seen a noticeable rise in the number of profile pages sharing static content in video format on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook; in the past 24 months. Fortunately, Facebook realised this conduct was rather disingenuous; and now uses additional measures to determine if video content is actually just a still image. At Klyp, we urge Business Page managers not to employ such sneaky tactics; as this will invariably be detected and likely penalised by social media platforms. We recommend that you first consider the role of video in your business strategy. Video should be a sub-section within your approach to content marketing.

While Snapchat Stories and Instagram Live posts tend to appear unpolished due to their organic, instantaneous nature; these videos are often more relatable and can help establish a brand persona. However, this is not to suggest that this video content doesn't have a clearly defined purpose. These social snippets of video should be kept to 30 seconds or less and only created by brands to serve a distinct purpose. Perhaps this reveals something to keep followers invested in your brand, like exclusive behind-the-scenes footage. Amateurs are looking less like novices these days. You too can produce videos with a more professional feel, by employing a few simple techniques. Use a handheld phone stabiliser or tripod to prevent a shaky viewer experience. For longer form content, like a 2 minute "how to" video, consider upgrading to a Digital SLR camera. There are a range of software solutions available to perform minor through to major edits. It's imperative for success that these videos primarily deliver value to the audience, as opposed to directly selling your product or service. Alternatively, you may wish to up the ante by engaging a videographer to develop professional, sophisticated branded content.

So that's what Klyp predicts will unfold in 2018. If you'd like to chat about the potential impact of these digital developments on your business, please get in touch:

Katharine Bogard Katharine Bogard

About the author:
Katharine is the Digital Marketing Coordinator at Klyp. She loves brainstorming creative content ideas.