As 2018 gets into full swing, the breakneck pace of change in the world of marketing continues. While it can be a little overwhelming to try to keep track of everything, it is worthwhile to pause occasionally and take a close look at the major trends that appear. And the beginning of the year is the perfect time to do so. Identifying these trends and doing what you can to take advantage of them is a vital part of successful marketing for your business.
Some trends, like thin content and quality over quantity, gain incredible momentum, only to ultimately prove ineffective. On the opposite end, trends like quality content seem so far like they could last forever. And then there are trends that blew up, died down, but then reemerge–like podcasts.
Whether you are a professional marketer, a small business owner or a major corporation, it is in your best interests to keep a finger on the pulse of marketing trends. Let’s take a look at some of the trends that seem to be a major part of how online marketing will play out in the coming year.
10 Marketing Trends to Pay Attention To
1. Great content remains king.
With all the shifts in what works and what doesn’t in the world of online marketing, it is comforting to find that a few things remain constant. “Consistent, original, and addictive content is all the rage,” according to Joe Pulizzi. Creating content that is unique and of high quality should still be the top priority of any business that wants to leverage the potential of online marketing fully. From individuals who are just getting started with a small business to the biggest companies in the world, great content is the key to attracting an audience and keeping them around long enough to generate conversions.
2. Impersonal drip campaigns are not working.
The team at Kuno Creative gathered together some of the marketing trends that seem to be on their way out, one of them being impersonal drip campaigns. The appeal of a basic drip campaign was obvious. You could gather email contacts from leads and send them regular marketing messages through email in hopes that some of them would bite. But with the increase in personalized marketing options, it is no longer ideal to mass email your marketing messages. You will get better results if you measure your target’s behavior, demographics, etc., and send something more personal.
3. Effective SEO strategies must include more than just text.
When something works well, it is easy to just keep doing it expecting similar results. SEO strategy has been focused on text for as long as SEO has been around. But the diversity of content coming on the stage and the demand for this content including images, video, and audio. This means that your focus will need to broaden to include everything people are looking for. And it is not enough to create the content; you also need to optimize it for SEO so that your audience can find it easily.
4. Voice search is becoming a major part of day-to-day life.
In an article published in Entrepreneur, Deep Patel indicated that last year around 20% of searches conducted online were voice searches. The number is worth noticing, but even more important is the prediction Patel stated for the coming years. An estimated 50% of searches will be voice searches in 2020. As voice recognition and voice search technology improve, it makes sense that users would choose the simple act of speaking instead of typing. For marketing purposes, this means optimizing content for voice, just as you do for mobile.
5. Live streaming generates more audience engagement.
Recently Mark Zuckerberg said that live streaming video resulted in viewing times that were three times longer than for regular video. On top of that, live streaming leads to 10 times as many comments from the audience. Such a high level of engagement is worth noting for marketers.
6. Influencers have become gatekeepers.
According to Jeff Bullas, “…because of content clutter, the influencer and thought leaders who have built reach globally are the new niche gatekeepers.” These influencers are a force that must be acknowledged and integrated into the marketing strategy of businesses that want to gain access to the audience behind the gate.
7. Podcasts are cool again.
Podcasts were a big deal, and not very long ago. But they did fall somewhat out of the limelight. However, as John Boitnott points out in his article on Inc., the podcast is making a comeback. Boitnott thinks that “…people are looking for compelling stories.” The draw of podcasts and the appeal of compelling stories is something to look closely at in relation to marketing. Engagement is what every marketer wants from the audience, and few things are more engaging than a compelling story.
8. Ethical marketing is more important than ever.
Every day, people are bombarded with marketing messages online. These people are smart enough to learn when they are being manipulated, and push back against such manipulation. Tahir Akbar states that “Ethical principles should be your guiding principle.” He says this not only because it is the right thing to do–but also because ultimately it is more effective.
9. Marketing automation continues to gain momentum.
Marketing automation provides valuable tools to help you get done what needs to be done, without needing to perform repetitive, tedious tasks. By automating what can be automated, you can focus on the things that only you can do. Like creating the best possible content.
10. Integrating search marketing is a necessity.
Social media marketing has a lot of potential. It has proven to be effective for interacting with audiences and raising awareness. However, so far social media marketing has not proven able to drive sales. For that, you will need search marketing.
Whether you are ready for change or not, it’s going to be happening faster as markets change and technology advances. However, if you’re prepared for the ever-changing marketing tactics, you’ll be sure to achieve success in 2018 and beyond.