October 2017

Top 3 Digital Marketing Trends for 2018
 

2017 is almost at an end, and we’ve already seen a significant shift happening in the digital marketing space just these last few months. Looking forward to 2018, what can we expect to see? Now battling with the constantly moving target that is Google’s algorithms, and facing previously unthinkable alterations to ‘net neutrality’, it’s plain to see that content and digital marketing trends will continue to evolve: and at a rapid pace. Keeping abreast of the changing paradigms of marketing is key to business survival in our increasingly digital age and so, we take a look at what’s predicted for digital marketing in 2018 and beyond.
 

Consistent, personalised content

More than ever, and unsurprisingly, buyers are looking to online content to help them make their purchase decisions. The same can be said for B2B buyers, and it is estimated that over half of them follow this trend. The old marketing adage that “a buyer needs to have 7 points of contact before making a purchase” has not changed. How buyers receive these ‘points of contact’ however, has changed significantly.
 
Nowadays, if your business does not have a social media presence, a regularly updated blog and a consistent email marketing strategy, buyers are less and less likely to engage with your business. Keeping your audience, and customer base, engaged with regular and relevant content is increasingly important. In 2018, more business will depend on their online interaction with potential clients than ever before. But, there is an eternal struggle to reach a balance between engagement and spamming. So, how do businesses stand apart from the white noise of the online space, and attract the right type of clients? It all comes down to consistent, personalised content.
 
According to Hubspot, personalised content performs at least 42% better than that which is not personalised. This is why you see your recently Googled products suddenly popping up in your Facebook feed and on your Amazon sites. The internet giants have become very clever at carefully watching your browsing history and shopping habits to target you with specific marketing.
 

So, how does this translate to your business?

Short of installing some pretty incredible software to track your audience’s every move, you need simple and effective ways to target their interests. The easiest ways to do this are:
 

  • Create different calls to action on your website, which allow visitors to sign up for content they’re interested in. This helps you to break up your mailing list into distinct categories. For example, those interested in cogeneration solutions, versus those interested in measuring and monitoring only.

  • Offer helpful ‘guides’ and information for users to download for free. Offering your expertise to the world – for nothing – helps you to build trust, and also helps you snag those all-important email addresses!

  • Personalise your mailing content with email marketing software. This most basic of personalisation steps should be followed at all times. Let your readers know that you at least know their first name!

  • Always ask ‘is my content helping my clients to achieve their goals?’ and ‘is my content valuable to my clients?’

  • Keep regularly in touch with your audience, whether it be via email marketing, with regular blogs, via social media or all of these.

  • And finally, and perhaps most importantly: Follow up on all leads. This might mean replying to a Facebook comment with a genuine response, or responding to an email enquiry that came via your latest newsletter. Clients want to know that there are real people behind their screens, and that your business is interested in engaging with them on an ongoing and meaningful way. Which leads us to our next point…

 

Up your social media game

Social media is quickly becoming the number one resource for product and service information online. As many as 7 out of 10 consumers will search for a business on Facebook or Instagram before deciding whether to make a purchase. For B2B transactions, LinkedIn is becoming increasingly more important. While different platforms work differently depending on your business type, one thing is for certain: In 2018 and beyond, if you do not exist on social media, you do not exist at all, according to most of your potential client base.
 
Keeping up a steady flow of social media content can be challenging for any business – and most especially if you don’t have the resources to employ a dedicated marketing expert. That’s where marketing and digital support agencies come in handy. For a fraction of the cost of an extra employee, you can have an expert managing your online presence, and engaging with your audience.
 
Social media marketing is becoming one of the most popular ways to advertise. For starters, it is often much more affordable than a Google AdWords campaign or a radio advert, and it also helps you to grow your online following. The ability to target very specific audiences means that social media marketing is taking over traditional advertising at an alarming rate. Your business can use social media to collect user data (email addresses), build your audience, and generate leads. If you’re not already involved in social media marketing, now is the time to start.
 
And remember: Followers and likes are simply a vanity metric. What’s more important to your potential client base is that you’re active, and engaged on your social media profiles.
 

Video content is king

As much as 85% of all internet traffic will be dominated by video content in the next 12 months. It is well proven that videos get a much higher rate of engagement with audiences than text alone. That’s not to say that blogging content is not important – quite the opposite, in fact. Your content marketing strategy should be supported by video content, to help you engage better with your audience. And it needn’t be overly expensive. Evergreen video content can be used over and over again, to build your audience through social networking channels, and to convert new visitors to your site into leads. Having strong video content available across all of your online platforms helps to draw in potential clients for the first time, while regular and engaging blogging, emailing and social media content keeps them involved.
 
Over 60% of businesses are already using video as a marketing tool, and that is expected to grow significantly in the next 12 months. According to Adlaunch:

  • 65% of decision-makers in business will visit a website after seeing a branded video

  • Videos are shared more that 1,200% more than links and text alone

 
Adding videos to your landing pages, and regularly sharing via social media marketing can significantly increase your business leads. If you haven’t already developed video content for your business, find out more about it today.
 
The future of digital marketing is developing rapidly, and may have many of you scratching your heads. How do businesses dedicate the adequate resources to developing regular content, engaging with followers on social media platforms, generating leads, creating engaging video content and still have time to do business? That’s where Smart Business Hub comes in.
 
Our extensive industry expertise, coupled with our team of digital experts allows us to offer you a range of services which will keep you ahead of the digital marketing crowd. From content creation, to cinema-quality videos, email marketing, social media management and more, we can help you to build your brand’s marketing strategy for 2018, and beyond. Get in touch today to find out more.  

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