For many of us, marketing planning is firmly on the agenda for January and with this comes the opportunity not only to reflect on what worked well (and not so well) in 2017, but also to look forward to the marketing trends we can expect to see in 2018.
In this blog, V Formation’s Sue Carr sets out her thoughts on what 2018 might bring for marketers and gives some tips on how to ensure your marketing strategy is geared for 2018 and beyond.
It is estimated that over 60% of searches are now made from mobile devices. With this trend continuing to grow, ensuring your website works effectively on mobile devices is essential. Not least because Google will penalise you if it isn’t mobile friendly.
Furthermore, video consumption on mobile devices is targeted to continue growing, in particular the viewing of live video, with 80% of Facebook users saying they would rather watch a live video than read a blog post.
When thinking about providing for a mobile audience, the key is to think about why visitors are accessing your site on mobile. Is it to quickly find out information about your company such as a location or phone number? This information needs to be easily accessible and easy to find on your mobile site.
Privacy protection will become a major priority in 2018
With the onset of the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in May this year, a large focus for businesses is on ensuring their data is compliant and that they understand the restrictions about how prospect data is collected and used for marketing purposes.
If your business is yet to embark on this project, you may find our earlier blogs on GDPR helpful:
GDPR: 6 months and counting
GDPR and digital marketing
New data protection regulations: a guide to getting your marketing data compliant
Strategic social media could hold the key to attracting new customers
It is increasingly difficult to reach your target audience, not least with the introduction of the new GDPR regulations. Having a strategic and realistic social media plan could hold the key to reaching audiences.
Facebook remains the top social media platform followed by YouTube and then Instagram. Whilst not all social media channels will be effective for businesses, it is increasingly important to review and challenge the channels you use to ensure you are reaching your target audience, and are remaining engaged with customers.
For B2B brands, LinkedIn has made a number of improvements to its advertising platform as well as refreshing its user interface. This is presenting new opportunities for businesses to interact with their target markets.
If you haven’t explored the opportunities presented through social media advertising, now might be the time.
Focusing on the customer journey
This has always been important, but in increasingly competitive and crowded markets, ensuring customers have a good experience is paramount. Having a deep understanding of how your customers feel when they buy or receive stories from you can help you to further improve the way you do things, understand the customer better and in turn shape the way you do things to win more customers, whilst ensuring you build long lasting loyalty with existing customers.
It all starts by listening to your customers and ensuring you are gathering their feedback. If you want to read more about how to create a professional client listening programme click here.
There has been a lot of talk about marketing communications aimed at millennials, but in 2018 the focus will turn to Generation Z. This generation, born after 1995, spans over 20 years and we will be marketing to them for a while, so it makes sense to get started now.
Generation Z will have grown up with the internet and technology, as well as interacting and communicating via social media.
By 2020, Generation Z will account for 40% of all consumers, however not many businesses have considered how to communicate to this demographic. We found this article on some top tips to help marketers communicate to Generation Z consumers.
The growing importance of content marketing
Content marketing has been around for a while, but it is fair to say its importance will only continue to grow. It is one of the cheapest forms of marketing and, if done well, can help produce more leads.
Good quality and optimised content on your website will enhance its performance whilst helping to drive more traffic to your site.
Content doesn’t have to be in the form of a written blog, it can include a variety of things from video content and infographics to digital PR.
To read more about content marketing see our blogs below:
How to write effectively
The use of video in the marketing mix
The rise of Artificial Intelligence and behavioural marketing
Increasingly, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is giving marketers a helping hand – reducing manual workloads and enabling them to make rapid personalisation decisions to improve their targeting. AI is improving as technology develops, and with this, so does the ability to make messages more targeted and relevant.
This is something that is set to grow in 2018. If you have bought from Amazon, you will have experienced AI yourself. In fact, over 35% of Amazon’s revenue is generated by its recommendation engine.
There is set to be a 200% increase in messenger bots this year and a further increase of the 37% of enterprise organisations that already use AI. This paves the way for a more personalised and targeted internet experience and therefore the growing use of AI is not something to be ignored.