The new year is here, and if you want your online marketing to be ahead of the game this year, it’s time to start working on your strategy now. Predicting the pattern of trends and preferences for digital marketing in 2018 helps you get a head start on engaging your customers and winning quality leads. Here we analyzed the leading trend predictions for online marketing in 2018.
Content marketing is a staple for all online marketing strategies, but as more businesses become wise to the power of content marketing, the internet has become saturated with it. In 2018, businesses will need to work harder to create ‘smart’ content: content that is specifically targeted to the ideal buyer persona, and that is also diversified to reach customers at different stages of the buyer’s journey.
Personalized Instant Communication
Instant gratification communication is indeed a theme of 2018, and personalized chat communications help to target this. Using chatbots on websites and social media allow visitors access to immediate personalized help, and as the technology becomes more advanced, they provide even more value to customers. Using a live chat feature on your website or a chatbot on social media channels like Facebook can give your visitor the instant gratification they are looking for (not to mention give you a potential sale opportunity!).
Take Advantage of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is where you take advantage of leading influencers in your field – them being celebrities, social media personalities, or well-known experts to support and endorse your products or services. This is a more natural form of marketing because it takes names and personalities your customers already know and trust, and allows them to support your brand genuinely. Influencer marketing provides an outstanding return on investment because leading influencers are in direct contact with your target market, cutting through the noise to ensure your message reaches your ideal buyer.
Big Data Gets Bigger
Big data is the extensive collection of information about your clients, customers, site visitors, sales, and marketing performance that can be analyzed to show patterns, trends, and associations. This data has always been a big deal to marketers, as it provides key insights into who your ideal buyer persona is, where you should be looking for leads, and exactly how you can interact and nurture leads through the buyer’s journey for the best results.
In 2018, with marketing automation, Artificial Intelligence, and personalized content ramping up, big data is going to be more critical than ever. With marketing management platforms now allowing even small to medium-sized businesses access to big, high-quality data, more companies will be taking advantage of this to drive their marketing strategies.
2018 is all about forgetting the ‘one size fits all’ approach and bringing personalized, targeted strategies in for maximum ROI. Lifecycle marketing is a process that identifies your engagement with customers through the purchasing process. Lifecycle marketing specifically addresses your customers’ needs and expectations over time, through the “Attract,” “Nurture,” “Convert” and “Delight” stages of the marketing lifecycle. This allows you to shift your marketing strategy and personalized interactions based on how customers are engaging with your business.
Email automation has been around for a while, but it’s going to be a leading theme of 2018. Email automation effectively targets consumers at different stages in their buyer’s journey to skillfully nurture them into leads. By sending the right content to the right person at the right time, you are more likely to get the consumer to interact with your content.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning
While artificial intelligence was once just a feature of sci-fi, it’s now becoming an essential player in digital marketing in 2018. AI is seen to be crucial to marketing personalization and will change the way we do marketing. As voice search capabilities on mobile devices and connected home systems improve, the goal will be marketing to machines, as well as humans.
‘Micro-moment’ is a term used by Google to refer to the moment at any time in the day when a person picks up their device to search for something, check the weather, or buy something. These small moments should be capitalized on as a chance to connect. The companies that use their data and demographics to connect to these opportunities will see better results in 2018 as marketing becomes smarter, more efficient and more advanced than ever before.
Marketing in 2018 promises to bring some incredible advances and innovations in strategy as technology expands and trends shift. If you don’t yet have a marketing strategy in place for 2018, now is the time to put these marketing predictions into action to build leads and boost your business growth in the new year.