Posted on Jan 3, 2018

7 Marketing Trends of 2018 that Won’t Break the Bank

At the beginning of every year we all take a step back to reflect on the past in hopes to harness our life lessons to propel us into the future. Marketing and business trends are no different. Here are 7 trends shaping up the future of marketing in 2018.

The best part about these trends – they are easy to execute for startups and small businesses that may not have huge marketing budgets going into the new year.

Chatbots

A 2017 study done by Myclever found that 70% of consumers prefer to engage with a Chatbot rather than making a phone call or using an app. Consumers see chatbots as the fastest way to get content, help, and answer their questions. As we continue the shift of marketing via experiences, consumers are seeing Chatbots as a positive way to better their interactions with brands. The good news is you don’t need a Machine Learning or AI developer to successfully utilize chatbots. There are a ton of pre-built chatbots that can be easily customized and added to your website or app.

Purposeful Marketing

Just like many individuals seek purpose in life, consumers will look to your brand and evaluate the purpose of your company’s existence. This notion of company purpose is not new, but it has been demanded more and more by consumers. It is a holistic approach to marketing and growth that can be achieved with little out of pocket spend. All it requires is having a little heart. 91% of millennials said they would switch brands to one associated with a social cause. So, how do you share your brand’s purpose with the world? Support causes that your target audience would be interested in, partner with other brands who support your mission, and make sure you humanize your brand. Customers in 2018 want to support people, not a faceless organization.

Voice Optimized Search

In 2016, Google stated that 20% of online searches were conducting through voice search. That number is expected to increase to 50% by 2020. If you don’t believe this statistic, just take a moment to comprehend the saturation of Amazon Echo, Google Home, and reliance on intelligent assistants like Siri over the past year. Just like previous years have seen marketing optimize textual content for web and mobile searches, there will come demand to start optimizing content for voice search as well. Since voice search is easier than typing, searches will tend to surface more long-tailed content. Text search tends to showcase shorter, more general phrases. It will be important to keep this new type of search in mind when building websites and creating a content strategy come 2018.

The Slow Demise of Twitter

Twitter has been unable to grow its userbase in 2017. There were also failed acquisitions as no one wanted to take on responsibility of the declining platform. Since all focus went into trying to acquire more users, Twitter’s advertising solution has suffered and marketers are using other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and retargeting to connect with potential customers. This is not to say Twitter still isn’t relevant, it is just being used as more of a news repository than an actual platform that sustains business growth. In 2018 it will be important to shift focus to mediums that spur engagement and loyalty amongst your target demographic, Twitter will most likely not be the first tool to achieve this.   

Influencer Marketing – Specifically the Micro Influencer

Micro-influencers have a total audience size between 1,000 – 100,000 followers. The numbers may seem small, but Hubspot has the data to support the relevance of these types of digital influencers. Micro-influencers have more targeted audiences, achieve 22.2 times more conversions than macro-influencers, and are more affordable. They are much more likely to post about specific niche topics to a more loyal follower base. 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 33% trust ads. With 30% of internet users enabling ad blocker in 2017, micro-influencers are a definite and cheaper way to bridge a digital outreach gap in 2018.

Content Marketing Continues to Grow

The past years have seen a huge boom in content marketing, especially via digital channels. 2018 is no different when it comes to content, but the key is making sure your content is actually valuable to your users. No matter your industry or target demographic, your audience will demand content that is valuable. An example is how home improvement stores highlight content that shows how to complete DIY projects or home improvement hacks.    

Video Marketing

Speaking of content marketing, there is a noticeable boom in video content as more and more social media platforms and mobile apps support high quality video streaming. Video will help you provide a human connection to your audience and they pack a punch when it comes to driving results. Wirebuzz offers a ton of useful statistics, all pointing to the value of video marketing. The most powerful being that brands using video marketing grow their year-over-year revenue 49% faster than brands that don’t.

Don’t be intimidated by the idea of cost when it comes to creating video content. There are a ton of websites that offer easy-to-use, drag-and-drop functionality to create professional videos. Check out Videoblocks, Audioblocks, and a company called RawShorts to start your video marketing adventure.

Of course there are probably a ton of unknown marketing surprises that await us in 2018. Based on the current trends of 2017, marketing is heading down a path of becoming more focused on organic and natural search through purposeful channels like voice and social media.

It is important to always do your research rather than chase trends. Be sure to keep an eye on top performers in your space and use data, as well as experimentation, to fuel your 2018 marketing strategies.

Which of these marketing trends for 2018 are you working on incorporating into your strategy? Let us know by commenting below.

 

Feature image: Pixabay

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