The Biggest Digital Marketing Trends for 2018
2017 is skedaddling towards a close, and the new year is just around the corner. As the holiday season settles upon us, now’s a good time to take a look at your current marketing methods and making the necessary revisions to suit shifting trends. What’s ‘hot’ now might soon be vanquished and replaced by the next latest-and-greatest thing to sweep the marketing realm.
So, without any further ado, let’s outline the trends that are predicted to make the biggest impact on digital marketing for 2018.
1. Deliver personalised content and unique customer experiences
The majority of communications these days are conducted behind a screen, and it’s safe to say this has left plenty of consumers lusting after something a little more intimate. Herein, personalisation is rapidly gaining traction in the world of digital marketing.
Content remains the beating heart of campaigns, with recent stats from Curata indicating that 75% of marketers have increased their investment in content marketing for 2017. While we know that content marketing is indeed, important, the very nature of it is taking a particular turn that’s worth paying attention to.
According to Monetate, 94% of digital professionals believe personalised content is “critical to current and future success”. To further back this up, Hubspot has reported that personalised content performs 42% better than non-personalised content.
How to leverage personalised content:
- Start small and easy. Target ‘low-hanging fruit’ in your client database: in other words, names and emails.
- Using this simple data, kick off a series of lead-nurturing campaigns that offer prospects access to insightful content in exchange for more data. For instance, offer them a free downloadable e-book, which they can access by filling out an online form.
- Start employing targeted calls-to-action (‘smart CTAs’) – these are personalised CTAs that are shown to visitors of your website based on their lifecycle stage.
2. Embrace the marriage between SEO and content
While on the topic of content, let’s look at how this stream of digital marketing is becoming more and more intertwined with SEO. A study by BrightEdge showed that 97% of digital marketers now believe that SEO and content are converging into one single function, which means it’s high-time to start treating them as so and find ways to help the two work together.
In fact, organic search drives 51% of content consumption, therefore a fluent strategy in place can help you garner better results.
How to leverage the SEO and content conversion:
- Trawl through your SEO data to learn how prospects are consuming and engaging with your content. Pinpoint what’s generating interest and encouraging users to take action.
- Look into how users are engaging with different types of content across different channels and devices.
- Continually analyse and measure results. Remember that interests shift, and make sure you implement tangible goals for different stages of the customer journey (i.e. from awareness to conversion).
3. Master the micro-moment
On average, people check their phones 150 times a day. It’s the first thing we look at when we wake up, and the last thing we see before going to sleep at night. While we’ve discussed the importance of micro-moments in the past, it seems this trend will only continue to reshape the way businesses approach their marketing next year.
The prevalence of smartphones has engineered an immediate reaction for consumers to reach for their pocket devices when conducting research and making transactions these days; hence, businesses need to be wary of how they are delivering information to their prospects. Simply put, businesses that can offer consumers immediate answers and solutions have a much better chance at forging strong, and long-lasting relationships.
How to leverage micro-moments:
- Anticipate precise micro-moment needs and address them. If you can give consumers a simple touchpoint for deciding what to do, where to go and what to buy, they are more likely to engage with your brand.
- Understand that the customer journey is not a one-way sprint to your cash register; it weaves and winds, and the best way to ensure your prospects make a purchase is to offer them a high-value service.
- Shift your focus from your brand objective and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. This will help you develop an immersive and humanistic shopping experience.
4. Get onboard video marketing
Did you know that, as of this year, 63% of businesses are using video in their marketing methods? It’s a trend that plenty of companies are quickly latching onto, and rightfully so: the fusion of images and words makes for the perfect communication vehicle.
Not only are consumers far more likely to ‘like’ and ‘share’ videos when it comes to social media content, but this medium of marketing is also a highly effective way to depict your brand story. It literally gives your business a face, thereby making you much more relatable to your customers.
How to leverage video marketing:
- Hook your audience within the first three seconds. This means you need a very clear opening that’s going to grab their attention.
- Add large-and-legible text to your videos. The majority of digital consumers watch videos on their smartphones on mute, so it’s vital that you convey the content via easy-to-read subtitles and descriptions.
- Find inspiration in your current content; turn blog posts into vlogs and give your audience insightful, educational videos that provide tangible value to them.
5. Sharpen your brand messaging on social media
Digital consumers are increasingly yearning after consistent brand messaging and intuitive interactions when it comes to social media. Channels like Facebook and Instagram are often the go-to for users who want to research a brand before deciding to engage with it, hence businesses need to understand what kind of tone they wish to adopt, and they need to maintain that throughout their social media presence.
Furthermore, users are much more attracted to content that taps into their emotions, which means it’s important for businesses to understand what compels and motivates their audiences. By creating content that channels their audience’s emotions, companies of all natures can increase their social media ‘spreadability’. After all, social media is the perfect platform to shape and share your brand story, and no story is successful unless it finds a way to spark an emotion in an audience.
How to leverage your social media presence:
- Ask yourself how current customers might feel about interacting with your brand on social media. Are you providing them a fun, engaging and stimulating experience?
- Determine which social media platforms are most suitable for your business, and consider dropping or reducing the time you spend on those that aren’t delivering the lead generation or brand awareness you’re seeking.
- Take the time to sit down and establish a solid brand voice that you will rely on to create a fully fleshed-out social presence.
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