With digital marketing moving at such a pace we’ve set out the key marketing trends we think will become common place for businesses during 2018:
1.Get more creative and personal with your content.
Firstly, what is content? Content is anything from traditional PR, advertising to website blogs, social media posts, video etc. The trick is to understand your audience and integrate your content into a clear and effective ‘story’ that helps drive your customer journey.
While it’s clear that visual content is a leading factor in content marketing success, 2018 is likely to be more about quality visual content you’re sharing.
For instance, while infographics are great, live videos and snippets on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube may be more effective. We expect to see a lot more “behind the scenes” content too with organisations letting followers in to their world.
In 2018 we envisage a ‘quality over quantity’ approach and not ‘content for content’s sake’ so high quality videos, images and blogs that engage with their audience.
A documented content marketing plan is key to ensure you deliver on what you set out to do.
It is worth remembering that nearly 80% of all internet usage in 2018 will be mobile based. Millennials and Generation Z are glued to their phones, along with most people walking around London, and it is unlikely people will take kindly to poorly designed mobile sites. A lot of companies do have a mobile friendly site now but it’s still surprising that when searching for that telephone number how many are not set up correctly to immediately call for example.
Visual content is estimated to account for 82% of all internet traffic by 2021.
Deliver personalised experiences to your clients and prospects…
Personalisation can be anything from a simple customised email to a landing page (e.g. sending traffic from a campaign to a specific web page tailored to that person’s interests). On the other end of the scale it could be a fully personalised website experience.
Video has been an important part of digital marketing for a number of years and isn’t anything new but more than ever people today don’t want to read your story, they want to watch your story.
We believe it will be used much more as an advertising medium. YouTube attracts incredible amounts of traffic and engagement.
There will likely also be more emphasis on live streaming as Facebook seems to be prioritising live video content over video content, and video content over other types of content.
Remember only emotion can be communicated quicker than video!
3.Why is social media so so powerful and cannot be ignored?
Well not just for the sake that a targeted audience are already interested in your company or services but for the data these platforms hold. More than 2.4 billion people combined are active on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp on a monthly basis. The amount of information held on messaging apps and social networks protected by privacy is huge. Look at how targeted you can make a Facebook advertising campaign for example: “Mum’s living in a certain geographic area who are interested in yoga.” It’s incredibly targeted and a very powerful marketing tool.
There’s nothing worse than feeling ignored!
People are increasingly talking to companies through social media. For example, when you want to know whether your train is delayed, it is expected behaviour to check social media. Twitter is now used as a communication tool where users can ask the company a question and expect a response within minutes. This is great for customer services, as users don’t feel ignored, and feel they have a platform to get quick replies.
It is also a known fact that companies which have days when they don’t say anything on social media when they’re actually not doing something, do better – so again we would look to produce quality content over quantity, not content for contents sake! You can overload people with too many posts that drives them away!
Finally, don’t talk about yourself – talk about how you help your clients and what you can do for the end user (you don’t need to mention names to tell a story).
To grow your social media presence further, user generated content is probably now the biggest way to gain mass exposure. People want to see what others are doing and provide a more unique experience. You’ve seen people photographing food in restaurants – that’s the real side, and why Instagram is such a popular social network to pull in. The paid for side is driven by influencers and YouTubers.
4.How do people find your web site?
People are using more direct search terms.
Search is still the most important traffic source for most websites. The homepage is almost obsolete as people want to land on exactly the page they are looking for. Take M&S for example – you would search for white shirts and expect to land on shirts, not a homepage.
Google now rank search results based on location and relevant content to the user. If your website isn’t responsive (mobile friendly) then they won’t rank as highly in search.
What’s coming up? Voice search has been around for a couple of years now but the number of voice searches is likely to increase in 2018. Google revealed Google Lens in October where you can show your camera a poster and Google will search for the text and images within that poster. If this comes off and it’s a way off yet, this will be a game-changer for search. Content heavy sites are now relying on accelerated mobile pages (AMP) and faster loading times with higher ranking mobile pages. Google appears to be favouring AMP content but there are negative points to it – for example analytics won’t track who’s viewed this content. It is most useful for news articles and blog posts – and something to look out for.
5.Don’t give up on email
It costs 7-8 times as much to get new business as opposed to retain business or sell existing customers more! When planning your bulk client emails think about sending more targeted emails, especially in relation to a subscriber’s history. By understanding the specific services a ‘subscriber’ is interested in, you restructure the type of content they receive. It might not mean as big a list but a much more targeted one! Unique content will take the lead on emails too with people choosing their topic preferences, not just whether they subscribe to a newsletter or not.
So there you have it – our predictions for what we will be working on; interactive visual content and storytelling with increased personalisation.
Have a think about how this applies to your business. We will be working with our clients to ensure content is being delivered in the best possible way to maximise value from all communications.
This is the golden age of flexible working – if you have any questions please feel free to pick up the phone! We’re always happy to help where we can add value.
Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous 2018.
Founder, Brand Brown Ltd.
About the author:
Robert Brown is the founder of Brand Brown Ltd, a modern marketing agency which provides businesses with a fully managed marketing service. Robert is a champion of flexible working and has seen the marketing landscape change rapidly over the past 10 years. His enthusiasm and passion for marketing is the driving force behind Brand Brown.