2018 is quickly approaching! Are you ready? In this post, we’re reviewing some 2018 marketing trends that are sure to impact your 2018 strategy.

SEO

Bottom line is to always right for humans not search engines. Google and other search engines appreciate quality rather than quantity.

Be ready for voice search

It’s fairly easy to use voice search, and users can easily ask their digital assistants a question rather than typing a query into a search engine. Currently 55 percent of teens and 41 percent of adults use it daily. What does this mean for keywords? Long-tail keywords will become even more valuable as you try to determine specific intent. Long-tail keywords are more conversational as well. Here’s an example. If a keyword relevant to your business is “sales seminars” that’s rather broad. By adding more context to the term like location or other identifiers like “social selling seminars in Denver,” you are likely to capture more relevant traffic.

Voice search also brings rise to question and answer content. So take the opportunity and create content that has a question and answer. When researching keywords, consider the question they may ask their digital assistant. Using the example “social selling seminar” a question could be: What does a social selling seminar cost? When someone asks a question in search, it’s pretty clear to search engines of their intent – they want an answer. If your content answers this question, you’ll be considered more relevant and have a higher search engine rank.

Enhance the user experience (UX)

Any brand that has a digital presence wants to ensure they provide an excellent UX. Because if they have a bad experience, they aren’t coming back! Research reveals that 88 percent of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. UX is also critical because search engines take that into account as well. Search engines are focused on UX and have continued to demand it be the best. After all, Google now puts more emphasis on mobile-friendliness of a site. So if you’re site isn’t mobile-friendly that’s the number one thing you need to evaluate.

If you do provide a great UX for your visitors, and they stay on your site longer or share your content, search engines will reward this. Your site will have more authority and better ranking.

Besides mobile-friendly design, your site’s speed must be quick. Content should have high readability and its navigation should be clear and minimal.

Another segment of UX is accelerated mobile pages (AMPS). Google introduced AMP 2015 to ensure a smooth user experiences to users. It is noted that AMPs web pages load in less than one second and utilize very few data compared to non–AMPs web pages.

As SEO evolves to include more personalized experiences, UX will be key to maintaining search traffic by creating an engaged audience. Optimising for these UX areas should help not only increase traffic but help with conversions, too. It’s a chance for real engagement.

Convert to HTTPS

HTTPS is a sign that your website is safe and secure. HTTP was found to have security issues and be vulnerable to hackers. Converting to HTTPS isn’t complex so this should be an upgrade to your site that’s relatively easy. HTTPS does contribute to your search engine rank. Google has stated that HTTPS will help some site rankings. Google’s search engine Chrome will also in the near future begin displaying non-HTTPS sites as not secure in bright red! This means it’s even more critical to switch your site over to HTTPS

Content Marketing

Content marketing helps answer questions and educate. It’s not a brochure or a product summary. It’s an opportunity to connect with your audience and build credibility. The use of content marketing by brands continues to rise with 60 percent of marketers creating at least one piece of content each day. There’s also the great advantage that content marketing has over traditional marketing in cost. Content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads.

Interactive content

Interactive content is very popular and will only gain momentum. Gamification allows you to make content fun. Consider the Buzzfeed quiz. They consistently create interesting and unique quizzes. You can take that same idea and develop your own quizzes. For example, back to the exterior door example. You could create a quiz with questions around style and preferences. At the end of the quiz, users would be shown the door of their dreams. This inspires readers. It lets them feel like they are part of the story.

Content marketing and trust

There’s a lot of mistrust in the world right now for big brands. Scandals and bad press are often hard to avoid. No brand is perfect, but the severity and amount of disasters from what were once considered credible brands is staggering.

There are a lot of examples. Wells Fargo’s fake accounts and continued fallout haven’t helped their reputation. The continued ethical and judgment lapses for global brands like Uber and AirBNB haven’t helped their image.

Frankly, buyers have trust issues as displayed in fact.
So how does content marketing bridge the gap to trust? Content that is authentic and honest could turn your brand around in the eyes of buyers.

But you certainly don’t need a scandal to use content marketing to build trust. This should be part of your core strategy. This means you must create content that’s accurate and also has the right point of view for your audience. Content marketing really allows you to find your brand’s voice and keep it consistent. When you develop content from a place of transparency, you’ll probably get more engagement.

Ephemeral content

With ephemeral content, there is a limited amount of time to view the content. Instead of anchoring with evergreen content, consider playing on an audience’s FOMO (fear of missing out). Make short videos that echo authenticity. Show a little of the behind the scenes of your operations. Try an “Ask Me anything” session. To execute, you’ll need to decide on the limited time of your content and how to ignite interest.

Social Media Marketing

Social media platform continue to get more sophisticated as they begin to utilize AI more. As technology advances so do the opportunities for social media marketing.

Chatbots act as friendly customer service agents and more

Yes, they actually are a good thing. Chatbots are becoming smarter and easier to customize. Facebook currently has about 100,000 monthly bots on Messenger. These bots are being used for customer service to offer quick answers to common questions. They can also raise brand awareness, acquire new customers, enable transactions and provide support.

Bots provide a cost-effective way to provide a more personalized experience. Marketers can now use bots to connect with customers online in a completely new way.

Don’t forget about your current audience

Only about 19 percent of all Facebook ads are post engagement. These ads are shown to current followers. Facebook reports that these ads perform well with a 142 percent CTR. These types of ads are also less expensive and have low competition. It’s great to get new fans but keep fostering the relationship with your current audience. You have the opportunity to keep building the relationship so that your followers become loyal customers.

Targeted campaigns offer personalized messaging

Every platform allows you to get very granular in who you want to target. Use this to get very specific so that the campaign is relevant to them, as if you were somehow clairvoyant! Think beyond simple demographics like age or job title. Dig into interests, behaviors and more to narrow your audience. This can also provide you better ROI for your social media advertising. In our opinion, we recommend social media ads over Adwords, retargeting or any other digital advertising (because when’s the last time you clicked on a paid ad on Google or a banner ad?).

Turn trends into tactics

These 2018 marketing trends provide multiple opportunities for you to leverage content and optimize your social media marketing. Consider how each of these things impacts all your marketing channels. If you’d like to understand how to best tackle marketing in 2018, we invite you to learn more about design and marketing packages for SMEs.

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