Top 10 Marketing Trends for Small Businesses in 2018
2018 Marketing Trends for Small Businesses
We’ve seen quite the evolution of marketing in recent years, and as one year ends and another begins, there are a handful of "trends" that we believe are here to stay. 2018’s sudden arrival means we have an opportunity to adopt new best practices and strategies, so here are the key 2018 marketing trends on the horizon that will keep your business moving forward.
1. LIVE STREAMING
We’ve been telling our clients all year to pick up their mobile phones and start practicing live video. This trend is not going anywhere anytime soon - and businesses that don’t participate in the live video content game will struggle to stay top of mind. Live Video is a great fit for just about any kind of business on social media. Across multiple industries, live video allows businesses to host Q&A sessions, broadcast special events, conduct live office tours & behind the scenes specials, introduce members of the team, and more. There are so many creative and fun ways to integrate live video into your social media strategy. If you’d like more ideas on how you can weave Facebook or Instagram live into your 2018 marketing strategy, contact us!
2. EXPLAINER VIDEOS AND BRAND TRAILERS
An explainer video is a short, uncomplicated piece of video content that quickly explains your products or services. A brand trailer can be any length, but typically between 60 seconds and 3 minutes, that shares your businesses’ “Who, What, and Why.”
Both explainer videos and brand trailers will be essential in 2018 as mobile video consumption grows. A study by WireBuzz found that short videos are 4x more likely to be consumed on a website versus text. To put it simply: we all want content, and we want it FAST.
3. MOBILE GEOFENCES
Let’s face it. We don’t go anywhere without our phones. Mobile geofences have been used by digital marketers for years, and their popularity is only growing stronger. Mobile geofencing allows you to advertise to a consumer’s cell phone within a specific radius. These radiuses can be miles or city blocks in size - and offer small businesses an efficient, hyper-targeted way to send special offers, promotions and messages to consumers when they’re nearby. Mobile geofencing does require the consumer to have location services turned on, but at this point in time, most consumers do. Have a question about using mobile geofencing in your digital marketing strategy? Our experts can help! Drop us a line.
4. GOOD OLD FASHIONED BLOGGING
Blogs are making a huge comeback in 2017 and 2018 - and are actually a fantastic way to maintain a connection to people most interested in your industry, products, and/or services. Brands large and small are taking advantage of the exposure that a well-maintained blog can provide - and in 2018, this trend is expected to grow.
Not sure how to maintain a branded blog on your website? Start with company updates, team member bios, industry trends, tips & tricks, featured guest posts and customer spotlights.
5. BRAND STORIES
Products and services have become grossly commodified by price point and now consumers are looking for brands they believe in. This is why telling your brand story has never been more important. People want something to feel connected to - and businesses that understand how to leverage a powerful brand story will rise to the top in 2018.
6. EMOTIONAL ENGAGEMENT
We’ve talked about brand trailers and brand stories, so this next trend should not come as a surprise. Emotional Engagement is at the forefront of marketers minds today. As we share our brand stories and content throughout 2018, consider the emotions that you can stimulate in order to grow stronger connections with your audience. We expect positive brand experience via emotional engagement will be heart of digital marketing for years to come.
7. CUSTOMER AVATARS
More and more marketers are digging into detailed customer personas or avatars thanks to growing demand for highly specific consumer insights. In 2018, businesses are encourage to reflect on their ideal target customers, and create detailed personas in order to understand their needs on a micro level.
8. QUALITY & DIVERSIFIED CONTENT
Both B2C and B2B businesses have reported huge success from content marketing in 2017. In a recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute, 85% of content marketers stated that content marketing was their #1 factor for success in 2017 compared to the previous year.
It will be important for brands to produce high quality content that engages ideal consumers. Well-thought out content such as e-guides, social media, blogs, webinars, e-newsletters, checklists, and video will act as a lever for small business success in 2018.
The key is to have several content strategies planned for the year. The most successful brands today use an average of 8 content marketing tactics (examples listed above) and invest in teams with broad skills in order to cultivate winning content. It’s not just enough to have one - diversify your content and watch your numbers grow.
9. INCREASED SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING COSTS
The days of Facebook ads for pennies is sadly coming to an end. With over 2 million advertisers on the platform at a time, it’s no surprise that we will see social media advertising costs increase in 2018.
You can’t just get away with organically posting as a business these days - and every brand on social media is encouraged to have an advertising budget - no matter how small. Despite the rising costs of social ads, their target-ability allows businesses to invest and increase brand awareness much more efficiently when compared to several other advertising tactics.
10. INFLUENCER MARKETING
Influencer Marketing was extremely popular in 2017, and for good reason. 74% of consumers trust their social feeds for advice on purchase decisions. Despite influencer marketing growing in popularity, brands will have to be careful when considering influencers to partner with - as some can charge excessive fees. Also, consumers have quite the pulse on authenticity, so choosing an influencer that will honestly and authentically promote your products or services is essential.