It’s 2018. If your company hasn’t finished outlining the marketing plan for the year, I’m sure it’s close. But, whether it's finished or not, adding these marketing trends could make the difference in your ROI and customer retention. Being first to market will not only give you an edge over the competition, it will solidify your company as an industry leader. So, let’s get started….
Long gone are the days of cold calls. It’s not about getting leads, you want quality leads. Social Selling combines the best of marketing and sales. Using Social Media to build relationships with the right prospects makes lead generation and sales prospecting easier by communicating within networks that you and your customers trust.
LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook have advanced features that help you find the leads you want and resources to target them.
Augmented Reality is not new, but the way companies are using it is. Companies like Mountain Dew and DC Comics are creating interactive experiences for their customers with Snapchat filters and animations. E-Commerce giant IKEA lets you scan their catalog to see how the product would look in your room before you buy it. Using AR to tell a story immerses your customer into an experience that feels authentic.
Everything from 3D virtual tours and product configuration to AR Display Network ads gives customers an element of fun while allowing buyers to learn more about products or services.
Emails don’t have the impact they once had. Customers want to feel a connection. As a brand, attention is the most important currency. Connecting with your target audience with personalized landing pages and emails along every stage of the buyer's journey and sales funnel will be critical for digital marketing strategies in 2018.
CMS platforms like Sitefinity DEC and Sitecore Experience Platform allow companies the flexibly to target specific personas with personalized content at key conversion points.
With Social Media strategies leading the way in Digital Marketing, time becomes a premium commodity. To put it bluntly, a large company cannot have a successful Social strategy without a marketing automation platform. It simply takes too much time to draft and post on multiple platforms, at several different times, and make everything sound human and natural without one.
Hubspot and Marketo lead the way when it comes to marketing automation.
Organic traffic is just as important as it ever was. As Google Algorithm updates seem to release daily, quality, relevant content is a must. In addition, SERP Features such as Structured Snippets, Knowledge panels, local packs, and Schema mark-up are critical to search rankings.
Your website load speed and mobile friendliness are the two most important assets in organic traffic. If these aren’t on point, no need to stress about the SERP features.
Keep an eye on Voice Search being a factor soon as well.
Like AR, video will be in the forefront in 2018. Not only video, but LIVE video. Social Media platforms are adding new features like live video allowing customers another outlet to connect personally. The need for professional assets will be the norm.
Live video feeds for product releases and streaming events as they happen will give a new cutting edge to any marketing strategy.
Lastly, devices like Amazon's Alexa and Google’s Home were hot purchases in 2017. As customers continue to input these devices into their daily lives and get comfortable with their uses, brands will be able to interact naturally about products and services. (See voice search)
Also, on-page technology such as live voice and chat platforms will eventually be on every website.
To sum things up……
While adding any of these strategies will improve conversions and brand loyalty for 2018 and beyond, choosing the best strategy that fits your company might be difficult. A thorough assessment will help determine which would do the best in each circumstance. Don’t wait too long, so you can reap the benefits of being first to market.
Digital Marketing Guru. Travis has been in the marketing field for over 14 years. He started doing graphic design, moved into web design and eventually to SEO, Social, and PPC. He has additional skills in HTML, CSS, PHP and video production. He is a member of the Ivy Tech VISC Advisory Committee, Google, Bing, and Hubspot certified.