We’ve identified five digital marketing trends that will help you grow your business in 2018!
In 2018, you need a sales and marketing plan that makes the best use of digital marketing to create more visibility and drive revenue. The businesses that are able to best take advantage of the these trends will get a huge leg up over their competitors.
To help you get you started — and to make this coming year more profitable for you — read about these trends below.
Content Marketing to Attract and Engage Prospects
Content marketing is nothing new, but it is definitely evolving.
Small business owners have gone from simple blogging to more complicated strategies involving infographics, ebooks and more. You don’t have to go all out like that, but you should be providing your audience some sort of value through the content you post.
People want to be educated. They want answers to burning questions. They also want to learn more about the things they already do so they can do them better.
Satisfy their need with content, and you will win their attention. Hold their attention with consistently awesome content, and you can win their repeat business.
For this reason, around 90% of businesses that advertise online use content marketing currently. Most are interested in shifting dollars from traditional ads to content, where they can find better returns.
You should create engaging, in-depth content with a strong visual element to attract prospects. Reach more people by learning about the content they want to consume and giving them more of it.
If you stay in front of your prospects through regular content posting, you’ll increase the odds of being first-in-mind anytime someone requires your services.
When you can balance your services & expertise with things your audience wants to learn about, you can hit a marketing sweet spot. You’ll find bigger returns on web traffic, social media engagement and lead generation.
Video Continues to Dominate
You might not be into Facebook Live yet, but you probably should be! Recent data from Facebook shows that people are 10x more likely to comment on a Facebook Live video than otherwise.
Even if Facebook Live does not work for your business, incorporating video into your marketing is key. Consider that 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos each week, on average. Video holds attention and communicates messages more effectively than text or still images alone.
Research indicates that 79% percent of consumers surveyed would rather watch a video to learn about a new product then read about it. Also, “64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.” People are not only watching video. They are also remembering what they see and actually buying things afterwards!
Small business owners can start by answering common questions customers have — either Live or as a prerecorded release. Existing content can be re-purposed into short, informative videos and uploaded directly to social media.
Facebook Advertising To Reach Prospects
Facebook ads have become quite sophisticated. They’re finally at a point where even marketers for small businesses can target effectively while gaining valuable audience insights.
The Facebook platform has 1.3 billion active daily users. They made $7.6 billion in ad revenue in Q1 of 2017 alone. The audiences are there and others are in on the game. Without your own Facebook ad presence, your competitors are staying in front of your customers when you are not looking.
The average cost-per-click on Facebook is just $1.72. Advertising in Facebook is a cost effective way to reach your prospects where they spend their time. You can put your message about your business in front of high value prospects, even among very specific demographics.
When you combine video and Facebook Ads, you really start to multiply the impact. Recent data highlights the fact that social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
Using paid media, specifically Facebook Ads, has quickly become a must. They help to amplify your brand and product messages to your customer and prospects. Even if your ad does not become a runaway viral ad, it can still likely generate more engagement, likes and awareness for your brand online.
Instagram & Influencers Drive Engagement
When it comes to consistent engagement, Instagram is the number one social channel out there. According to a study done by Yopto, Instagram’s engagement rate is 45% greater than Facebook and 40% greater than Twitter. Engagement means that over 75% of users will take action on an advertisement post in their feed.
The key here is to let your customers do the posting as much as you do. Yopto found that 77% of people are more convinced by user-generated photos of a product rather than professional photos. Crowd-source your own content. Ask loyal customers for pictures of them using your product. People love the attention. You also get to save on professional photography, so it’s a win-win for all.
Instagram Influencers are now growing more powerful. “Influencers” refers to people with lots of followers and tons of engagement from fans. There are all types of influencers. These include subject matter experts who post videos and photos related to their expertise.
Small businesses can tap into these influencers at a relatively low cost. Case studies have shown that niche experts in your industry will drive direct sales traffic without costing your company an arm and a leg.
Take the example of RESCUE, who wanted to push their range of natural products. They asked some micro-influencers and bloggers to share their personal stories. They told these people to include a “buy one, get one free” coupon with their post. The results? A 258% increase in Instagram followers — not to mention over 6,00 clicks to the coupon site.
Success stories like these demonstrate the importance of leveraging micro-influencers to drive conversion rates.
Businesses Not Optimized For Mobile Will Be Left Behind
Digital devices have completely changed how your customers shopping behavior. With 2/3 of the world’s population connected by mobile devices, People now spend more time browsing on mobile compared to desktop.
According to data collected by SimilarWeb.com, 36.46% of Google searches come from a desktop in 2017. In contrast, 63.54% come from mobile. Mobile use is expected to grow further in 2018, likely surpassing the 70% mark by the end of the year. You must optimize for mobile.
What does being “mobile optimized” mean in 2018? Look at your search results appearance. Get found online. Check how your page appears on mobile search. Reviews and accurate information about your business matter. For instance, 50% of local mobile searches lead to store visits, so it is critical to have accurate information on your business hours and location.
Also, people are searching for what they want in the moment at which they want it. Let’s say a tourist is walking in downtown Chicago. He searches for ‘best pizza’. How will he compare the quality of competing restaurants within walking distance?
Usually, they will look to reviews. Research from BrightLocal points out that 90% of people search for reviews of a business before visiting. That’s nothing to sneeze at!
The quality and frequency of reviews matter. Make sure to ask customers for reviews as part of your regular business routine.
Also, ensure the information from Google is plentiful and accurate. Start by using Schema markup on your contacts page. Make sure you have accurate, updated directions to your business listed. Include your hours of operation.
Monitor and optimize your business for mobile use. You will keep getting business — rather than scaring business away.
Take Advantage of These Five Digital Marketing Trends for 2018 to Find Success Growing Your Business
In 2018, competing online is no longer an option. It’s a must in order for your business to survive. To grow your business you must apply a complete digital marketing strategy.
You need one that gets more Leads & Sales. It should take advantage of the shifts in Mobile, Social, Video, Reputation, Search and other digital marketing trends. You need one that connects all the dots, so that people can find you on any channel but still have a consistent experience. It should give the information people need to make a buying decision through helpful content and a mobile-optimized experience.
This is the only way for your business to not be left behind. If you take advantage of these trends, you will have a distinct advantage in growing your business over your competition.
Clarence Fisher has spent more than a decade in the Internet marketing trenches honing his online marketing skills. After helping national companies go from concept to millions of dollars in revenues, he decided to focus his Internet marketing powers on helping local business owners achieve their goals. Clarence has a keen eye for finding out what works in a marketplace and positioning his clients’ companies to dominate their markets.
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