As if lightning-fast internet access, voice-activated smart home technologies, and AI-run customer service weren’t enough, there are several technological developments going on these days that could transform marketing and social media as we know it.

To stay ahead of the curve, it’s important for marketers to not only be aware of these latest advancements but also be willing and able to implement these technologies into their marketing strategies. To give you an idea of what you can expect to explode in popularity within the next few years, here are the top 3 tech developments you should start looking into:

Virtual Reality

Virtual and augmented reality are already popular among gamers, but this tech is becoming more and more mainstream every year. From Facebook buying the VR developer Oculus to the latest immersive shopping experiences developed by Sixense, you might be surprised to learn just how popular VR already is among consumers.

Within the next few years, consumers might be able touch and try out holographic versions of products before deciding whether or not to buy – all from the comfort of their own homes. If your brand isn’t actively considering the possibility of implementing augmented reality and immersive, virtual shopping experiences into your marketing strategy, then now is the time to get onboard with the future of online shopping!

Voice Shopping

Thanks to smart devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, shopping with our voices has never been easier. We can already ask Alexa to re-order more dog food from Amazon or ask Google to find the lowest prices on gaming consoles in our local shopping area. How much further will this technology take us?

By some estimates, 50% of online shopping by 2020 will be conducted by voice. This is extremely valuable information for marketers who have not yet rewritten their product descriptions and blog posts to be optimized for voice search.

Since there doesn’t appear to be any slowdown in voice searches in the foreseeable future, it’s crucial that marketers optimize their content for voice searchers, which may include audible product descriptions for anyone searching without a screen in front of them.

Blockchain-Based Social Media Platforms

Do you know what blockchain is? Many social media startups are increasingly reliant on blockchain to support their websites.

In a nutshell, blockchain social media websites are also known as “decentralized social networks,” which refers to the fact that there’s no central database where all users’ information is stored. Instead, the information is highly protected and private because it’s spread out across an encrypted network (the blockchain). Websites such as Steemit, Minds and Mithril are good examples of early adopters of the blockchain technologies for social platforms.

On these websites, social mining – or content creation and engagement with other users – is key to earning money (in the form of cryptocurrency) and/or digital tokens that you can exchange for more views on your posts. This is the future of content marketing right here: publishing high-quality content that attracts a wide base of people upvoting, commenting and sharing that content, which can then earn you digital tokens to exchange for even more visibility among your target audience members.