It’s common knowledge that a solid marketing plan is essential for any business to succeed. Yet while many businesses spend time creating a marketing plan, a small amount actually invest the time to regularly update it according to marketing trends, advances in technology and changes in the customer journey. There is no better time to do this than the New Year, so we’ve asked some of the leading marketers what the trends we can expect for 2018, so you can apply them to your existing plan for a successful and profitable year.
Master the Art of the Micro Moment
It’s no surprise just how much smart phones play a crucial role in the buyer’s journey. Yet statistics show that smartphone use and research is on the increase year after year. Whether a customer is choosing to purchase something small like a lipstick or a pair or shoes, to something that a huge investment such as a house or a car, they are now expecting to have answers to their questions at their fingertips. One study shows that a whopping 96% of all smartphone owners will reach for their phone to do research on their purchase before committing to buy. This figure indicates that companies need to constantly present fresh, new and reliable information to the buyer. These micro-moments should be easy to find, and you need to make it very simple for the customer to find what they are looking for in just a few touches of a smartphone screen.
As simple as it seems, this easy finding of information forms the basis of the like know and trust factor, and is central to building lasting relationships with the customer.
Year after year, information presented in videos is proving to have much higher success rates compared to written content. For 2018, one of the main things that you can do to improve your marketing efforts is to increase the amount of information that you share through videos. Whether tis small ads for Facebook, insider stores on Instagram or even longer YouTube videos, this type of content is what is able to capture and engage your audience. Some stats to back this up include that there are more people over 18 viewing YouTube videos than any of the cable channels combined at any one time. Over on Facebook, around 8 billion videos are watched each and every day! High quality video content is not a trend, it’s a type of content that is set to soar and you need your business to be involved in.
Personalised Website Content
A one-size fits all approach is no longer suitable for your audience, instead it’s time to incorporate customized content based on exactly who is viewing your website at any one time. This may sound like it required a big overhaul, but in fact it’s relatively simple once you get a few systems in place. You can utilise a website which allows visitors to choose what they are interested in when arriving at your website, so that you can be present the information that they are looking for along with the right products for their needs. The same applies to newsletters and other promotional materials. By categorizing tour list into different sections, you can better cater to your customer’s needs.
If you’re hot on the marketing trends of 2017, you will know all too well the-power of the influencer. 2018 is the year to take things a little further and gather together a strong team of influencers who really share content that captivates your audience. Instagram is a particularly strong platform for influencers to share your message. With a little research and some longer term contract, you can work with a selection of influencers who constantly promote your brand and products.
And it’s not all about hiring influencers to do the work for you; you should have strategies in place that will help you to transform existing customers into spokespeople and influencers. Studies show that word of mouth promotion amount friends and family s one of the highest forms of marketing. You can transform customers into sharing your brand message simply by providing an exceptional service that they just have to tell people about.
Invest in Content
You’ll see that content is a theme for 2018. But it goes beyond just hiring a freelancer to create a few blog posts here and there. Content really is king, so why not invest in an in-house content team who specialize in creating the most informative, engaging content for your customers? This could instantly shift the way your customers view your brand as well as attract new ones to view your products and services. If this isn’t possible, then you can work with a third-party content suppliers who can help to manage your content needs, or even keep a special writer on retainer.
Last but not least is the importance of utilizing data to your advantage. You can first start by making sure that you have feedback from customers, Perhaps through an annual survey, social media posts or simply talking to them in person. There are also user testing sites which enable you to test our making ads, website design and so on with a team of users. This will give you some incredibly valuable feedback which you can use to make shift to your existing plan and bring about changes for 2018.
These are the major trends to be focusing on this year. Perhaps only some of them apply to your industry and sector, or maybe you can incorporate each one into your marketing plan and implement changes to how you run your business. Just a few small shifts to how you choose to market your product or service can make the world of difference. Good luck.