With 2018 here, it's time to take stock on where your business stands with your digital strategy.
Technology is constantly changing and it's important to keep up with the trends that come along with those changes. Now is the time for your business to make a plan and make this your best year yet. Here are five digital marketing trends to keep an eye on in 2018.
As we come into 2018, it is no surprise that the importance of mobile devices is higher than ever. In the last couple years we've seen mobile devices take over as the majority market share of internet usage and search engine usage. This means your marketing ideas going into 2018 should shift to a mobile-first strategy, if they haven't already. This starts with your website, if your website isn't optimized for mobile devices, than 2018 is the year to start. Not only are you missing out on potentially over 50% of internet users, but are also hurting your SEO strategy as well. Google has stated that it will primarily focus on mobile first content when it comes to indexing and ranking websites.
This goes beyond just your website and SEO as well. Your whole marketing ideas should accept this philosophy. As technology and platforms get better and better, we are going to see increases in mobile usage in other areas as well. Social media, mobile apps, and video consumption on mobile devices keep increasing, so there is no better time than now to develop a strategy to get ahead of your competition. Social media apps like Facebook live, is a great way to put this to practice.
As mentioned above, our technology is constantly improving. We can take advantage of that by now doing more online than just displaying information about our business. We can vastly improve the user experience for your customer across all digital platforms. This will be a huge asset for your business moving forward in 2018. Your brand will rely on the sum of all the different experiences your customers have with you, both in person and digitally. Whether that is creating enhanced website experiences like conversational forms, online ordering, advanced user account features or creating a mobile app to make an easy option for customers to receive promotions, check account status, or join loyalty programs. The possibilities are virtually endless.
This also means you need to keep your customer in mind with every digital marketing strategy you make. Your business will be held accountable for each decision, so make sure you are doing it with a purpose. Content creation should be made with what people will find valuable, not to just fill up space. If you aren't adding value to their experience with your business, then you shouldn't write about it. Email marketing should serve specific needs instead of blanket emails sent to everybody. As we are well aware, people are less forgiving about their inbox being filled up. Finally, make sure your business listings and message are consistent across every platform they will find you at.
Transparency, now more than ever, is going to be key for your brand moving forward. Users want to know everything about your business before they even connect with you. They are going to look up your social profiles, your website, and all the reviews they can on you before you even know they were a potential customer. This information is so easily accessible now that you need to be diligent in how you approach your brand identity online. Ramp up your review marketing strategy, think about how your social media user experience is, and add a human element to your digital marketing to become more than just a logo with a product or service. Having a user first mentality will show great returns for your business.
Research shows that customers would rather learn about a business through an article than through an ad. This is actually really great news for your business because not only does it cost way less (62% less to be more precise) but also generates three times the amount of leads over outbound marketing strategies. With the amount of ads we are bombarded with on a daily basis, it's easy to see that consumers often will tune them out, or worse, find your ad and the brand it's representing to be disruptive. Having a great content strategy, built around providing useful information to your customer base is a powerful tool. The advancement of mobile technology, consumers are expecting to have any information they need at that moment with a push of a button. If your business is the one that can provide that information, you are making a powerful connection with the consumer.
There are many creative ways to provide great content as well. Blog posts, videos, social media posts, infographics, memes, images are just some examples you will see used. Having a strategy that mixes up different types of content will allow you to connect to different consumers and appeal to them in different ways.
This could fall into the category above, but video is so important that we decided to talk about it more exclusively here. Video especially has seen a dramatic increase in user consumption over the last couple years and that trend will continue as we progress into 2018. User develop more of an emotional connection with video and are fare more likely to share video content on social media. Google owns YouTube as well and you will often see an SEO boost from incorporating YouTube videos into your website. This can be a great way to beat out your competition. Don't just take our word for it, check out these eye popping video stats.