Digital Marketing 2018 Trends: What’s working so far (and why it matters)
Take a look at 2018’s Digital Marketing trends & tactics—the ones you should keep an eye on, and how you can capitalize on them for your 2018 marketing goals (and beyond).
Ready? Here we go.
Any good digital agency will tell you that with a new year come new marketing trends. Season after season, we see predictions on what’s destined to be hot, and 2018 is a little exception.
While a few trends, like greater sales/marketing collaboration, have already started to emerge in the first few months of this year, there are many more coming down the pipe, and staying on top of these shifts before they’re in full swing is the best path forward to success.
1. Video first.
Consumers are placing an ever-increasing priority on video content, and, as a result, companies are following suit by increasing their video output. It’s not just videos that live on brand websites seeing a surge, though. Streaming video is also experiencing growth, as avenues like streaming on YouTube and Facebook Live become more capable.
To conquer these arenas, consistency will be key. You’ll need to devise a regular schedule of posting/hosting videos.
Your video content doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have to be captivating. Make sure you understand the fundamentals on how to create great video content, preparing thoroughly to pull it off without a hitch.
If you do nothing else for your digital marketing 2018 efforts, start making videos today.
2. Marketing is media.
For most of history, brands have operated only in sales/production. They manufacture their products and services, leaving the media portion to media companies. There’s a shift brewing, though, as brands start to take on the role of media magnate for themselves.
Brands are getting in on the content game from multiple angles—blogs, podcasts, streaming video—and with good reason. With the popularity of content like podcasts on the rise, it makes sense for brands looking to control the message and reach consumers directly, and those brands with the best content in this arena are the ones who win.
This also fits in with the likely move away from relying on referrals for attracting clients.
As the recent Agency Growth Report from HubSpot notes, a large swath of agencies still relies on referrals as their main source of leads, which may be a detriment because it holds them back from true growth (the same kinds of leads means the same pricing, even as expenses and expertise grow).
As more companies realize the need for expanding their lead pipelines and customer bases, content strategies might well see the increased significance.
Since the idea is to attract clientele through superior content, it’s your job as a company to make sure the components of your media push are well-polished. Be sure to work with a stellar web design agency to ensure top quality.
3. Have a message.
Hand-in-hand with a greater focus on media is ensuring that your brand has a message. Being a “conscious brand” seems to be more popular a concept than ever.
And with that knowledge in hand many brands are adjusting their approach to ensure that they have something to say to their customers beyond the traditional “buy our products/services.”
What’s interesting is that brands are also catching on to the idea that each of their social media channels can function as platforms for different kinds of content all tailored toward the same overarching message.
While their main effort remains untouched across their web handles, you’ll be seeing more and more of companies putting out content specific to each platform.
To take advantage of this, try establishing a stronger “theme” for your brand, crafting a message that your company can support, and then finding different stories to tell on each of the social platforms you manage. Keep the content unique, and engagement from followers should grow.
4. Invest in mobile.
While an emphasis on reaching potential consumers through their mobile devices is nothing new (mobile phone use has been on a steady rise since 2013), you can expect to see a renewed focus on it this year as brands adapt to what they find is most effective.
Key among the current crop of strategies is optimizing websites for viewing on mobile devices and incorporating new features, and pairing with the best web design company you can find will further your efforts in this regard.
Be sure to place a priority on making the mobile user experience a flawless one, and including fun ways to reach out to customers like promotional text messages and the like (as long as they aren’t too intrusive, most people are fine with them).
5. Demographics are shifting.
While millennials seem to be taking over the workplace, they aren’t the only demographic group brands are putting their focus on.
Gen Z is stepping into the spotlight, and these products of the late 90s and early 2000s require a slightly different approach when it comes to marketing.
The best strategy for connecting with Generation Z is a combination of “succinct messaging, company authenticity, inclusivity, cross-collaboration, and fostering some sense of purpose,” according to Kelly Lovell, guest writer for Entrepreneur.com.
The younger crowd is all about diversity and giving back. For marketing efforts to succeed with this group, brands will have to start reflecting those values in an honest way.
Ok, so now what?
Now, go forth and market. Add some of these tactics to your playbook as the year progresses.
It’s not exhaustive list obviously, but the 5 tips above cover most of the things you’ll need to use in your marketing campaigns throughout 2018 and beyond.
The more effectively you can incorporate them into your strategy, the better your chances of success.