Key Digital Marketing Strategies and Trends to Master and Prepare for 2018

Species that adapt to survive doesn’t solely rely on strength, according to Charles Darwin. This perspective is also applicable in digital marketing not only in biological evolution. Platforms, approaches, methods, and strategies are evolving now in the digital era.  Consumers are now engaging products and brands on platforms that were not present a couple of years ago. This indicates that modern marketer is extremely flexible and creative. Change may stimulate creativity, but the goals of marketing are always constant. It is to communicate the accurate and correct message at different stages of the funnel, increase the brand awareness and loyalty, encourage traffic and customer engagement, and implement approach and strategies that create sales.

Top companies have this habit of starting to formulate plans for the next year right from the second quarter of the year. If you already started planning for your marketing methods and strategies, and budget for the year 2018, anticipate to face many questions regarding tactics you are opting to utilize that would be best to the most of the target consumers. So to start 2018, as early as now you should plan and do research to what effective and perfect approaches and strategies you could utilize for your business and brand. Here are some digital marketing trends this 2018 that are worth considering.

Digital Marketing Strategies Trends this 2018

Enrich the Personalization of Content

More than 50% of B2B buyers solely depend on content in making buying decisions. Also, 47% of it wants to review and evaluate three to five pieces of a specific content before engaging sales representatives. It is pretty apparent that content plays an important role in every marketing campaign. It is the beating heart. As digital marketing progress, the nature of content should also adapt. So, one way to address this adaptation is to formulate a content that connects with consumers or the personalization. This is specifically created to cater customers’ needs.

Implementation of a more personalized approach to businesses must be done to engage the potential customers. According to PWC’s Digital Services group, 94 % of senior-level executives anticipate the idea that personalization provides an important role to reach customers. In addition, HubSpot found out that personalized content performs 42 % better when compared to non-personalized content.

Here are some situations to which personalized content can be successfully used:

  • Consumers visiting a section or page of a business site to shop. Then, an ad is present in that section with content that pertains to a remarketing strategy. This would enable to keep the business in front the customers with the information they’re looking for. Or the ad may include a different message appearing in it dynamically through time until the desired action is made by the user then the ad stops.
  • Next is an existing customer uses a specific brand for a specific service or purchases products regularly. Then with an online order and request for service, a personalized and targeted email could be sent to the customer to keep them reminded about the accompanying services that match with what they ordered or an attempt to introduce brand and services and to make the customer felt more special.

Improve Social Media Marketing

For the years to come, B2B marketing leaders anticipate spending most of their time on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, among others. Advertising through different social media websites and applications will most likely to continue at low cost, and high return on investment for any specific business and brands to produce additional customers and revenue. Based on Top Rank Blog, Facebook continues to dominate the usage of social media. With this, according to TEKsystems 2017 study, social media budgets will inflate. Also, social marketing is shifting to an emotionally engaging contents and storytelling because, according to Oregon Web Solutions, it increases the content’s “spreadability”. So according to Buffer App, by the end of 2017, most of the major platforms enabling its users to make and share video content, create live video content and the ability to discover new content. Majority of social media nowadays have an advertising platform that is attached to it in order to reach users outside of the things the consumers’ immediate following. The only determining factor would be is the target market you want to engage.

It is apparent that Facebook will still continue to be the main platform for businesses in advertising their services and products. They have massive data points connected that enable a specific business to make a highly-focused audience of 20 users up to a million depending on the budget, the goal, objectives, and ad type that is marketed. Facebook also reached beyond to Instagram and the Audience Network to make the ad seen throughout a user’s mobile buyer journey. Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, and LinkedIn will also continue to gain momentum in this business. Pinterest and Snapchat will evolve to reach the younger generation, while Twitter and LinkedIn will still be a viable option for older targets or B2B business services and products.

Here’s an example where social media will help digital marketing: 

Refine the Video Marketing

Digital marketing expert James McQuivey approximates that a minute of video contains the equivalent of 1.8 million words. It is apparent that video is a critical path in the future of digital marketing. According to Cisco Systems’ recent Visual Networking Index, video will continue to increase its dominance on internet traffic with volumes increasing fourfold between 2015 and 2020. By 2019, it is anticipated that video will represent over 80 percent of all internet traffic. According to Simply Measured, video is shared 1,200 percent more than both links and text combined. Indeed, pursuing video advertisement is a great approach.

If a business in not using video in advertising their products and services then it should be the very thing that they should check off of their list. According to Commexis, a full-service marketing agency, YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world and there are several targeting methods that are available via Google AdWords and the Google Display Network that enable to control the placement of the video, the audience shown based on its demographics, previous users, interest-based audiences, and lastly contextual targeting depending on the web page the video has the chance to post to. Facebook also announced that they will decrease static and image ad exposure on their platform to provide more visibility to video advertising through Facebook Advertising Platform. Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter also support and have video advertising as well. For those that have been in the video marketing field for quite some time, they must look beyond in order to fully integrate the advertising strategy with video commercials on advertising platforms that are not still highly used as of now. In the past, these platforms required a huge amount of budget making only the large corporation to afford them as advertising avenues. As 2018 fast approaching, it is anticipated that the budget requirements will loosen up to an extent where mid-sized businesses and successful small businesses can consider this possibility. Also, these are some platforms to keep an eye on; Spotify, Pandora, & Hulu. All of them supports video advertising and the rate to advertise within these platforms is slowly decreasing because more and more businesses are signing on and their platform continuously progressing.

Here’s an example of an effective video marketing according to Forbes:

Way back 2014, a YouTube vlogger installed a Go-Pro camera on his dog’s back in order to better understand how his pet behaves when he leaves the house. Viewers also got extremely curious making the video viral. Companies of pet food should rethink that it’s not required to have big budgets to win the audience but rather it’s the great ideas that can provide low production costs.

Introduce Pansexual Marketing 

Last July 2017, the UK Advertising Standard’s Association reported that harmful and negative stereotypes in advertising tended to limit choices, aspirations, and opportunities for children, young adults, and even adults. The guidelines should require brands and businesses to follow new standards where the overused stereotypical gender roles are replaced. Like the statue created by McCann New York for th So a month later, they remove the gender-specific labels from their children’s’ clothing in support to eradicating gender stereotypes. Even with anticipated retaliations, brands and businesses should introduce more gender-neutral marketing ideas and campaigns. These will introduce more progressive slogans and hashtags that targets cross-gender segments. This marketing approach will give support to 2018’s celebration that is the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

Enhanced Management of Micro-Moments

It is apparent that mobile gadgets have a major influence on customer interaction and engagement with brands and businesses across the globe.  According to comScore’s 2017 U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus, 69 % of digital media time is solely spent on mobile gadgets, and according to Moinstall, $143 billion will go to mobile advertising in 2017 (twice of $71 billion last 2015) globally. Because of the concept of “micro-moments”, this fueled the shift to mobile phones. From the long-term goals such as planning to buy houses to smaller such as quick grocery from the nearest market or even just locating as small as acquiring ingredients of a specific dessert from your phone, and among others. These micro-moments highly stimulate us to reach out for our mobile gadgets. For Think with Google, these moments are critical and evaluative points where the consumers expect the products and brands to provide their needs with reliable information, anytime and anywhere. 96% of users tend to use their smartphones right away to research whenever they feel the need to inquire about something. Last 2015, Google encouraged the appeal of micro-moments giving relevant content in real time. With many brands adopting this strategy, the pressure on marketing department to push for more and more content has diluted its effectiveness. So this 2018,  it is anticipated that marketers will further refine and develop micro-moment management when it comes to frequency and depth of customer support and experience campaigns across all devices. With the association of deeper understanding of digital psychology, marketers will become more experienced in being responsive in providing relevant and timely content without appearing very pushy. The one-touch, useful and quick access to the required information becomes the basis of getting customers’ trusts and in making long-lasting relationships.

These are just some of the best strategies that every growing companies and brands should anticipate and consider. These trends are based on trends observed for the past years. Even if your business is already huge, growing or still small, surely the approaches above will surely improve your marketing towards 2018. With the ever-increasing sophistication of digital technology, the boundary and scope for varying businesses and company in engaging and interacting with their target market became inexistent. Change is inevitable. Thus, companies should utilize this to their advantage by incorporating these new trends in their strategies and plans for 2018. Companies should be flexible and resilient in anticipating new trends. Think again what Charles Darwin once said: Survival goes to those who adapt, not necessarily to those who rely on strength. Your business may be six months ahead with the actual implementation phase but being well-prepared beforehand will surely give your brand and business a competitive edge and a total advantage with your other competitors. In this competitive world, paying to give time for preparation and planning could really give you some heads up with the other competitors.

References:

Forbes – Key Digital Marketing Trends To Prepare For In 2017-2018
Smart Insights – 7 Major Digital Marketing Trends For 2018
Smart Insights – 2018 Marketing predictions you need to keep an eye on
Kuno Creative – 6 Trends That Will Impact Digital Marketing in 2018 and Beyond
Commexis – Key digital marketing trends to watch for 2018

About the author

Ruben Licera

ESTRAT X's Chief ESTRATegy Officer (CEO) Ruben Licera Jr empowers businesses by providing them actionable digital marketing strategies. Know more about him via his personal website or here.


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