The Times They Are A-Changin’: 2018 Marketing Trends
Like the lyrics in the famous Bob Dylan tune — in marketing, “the times they are a-changin’.” The world of marketing is becoming increasingly digital, and while print marketing still has a place in the industry, digital marketing trends now take precedence. In fact, by 2020, spending on digital advertising is set to hit $113.18 billion in the U.S. alone. Trends have recently emerged that influence how organizations collaborate, communicate, innovate and evolve their marketing campaigns.
Today, the internet and all of its trends are constantly evolving and what worked in the marketing industry last year could very well be old news this year. Consequently, agencies are forced to embrace change or risk losing business to their competition. Flexible agencies that are prepared to adapt to this ever-evolving landscape will truly thrive and build brands that respond to modern consumers’ tastes and attention spans. Enter LINKS WorldGroup.
LINKS creates and executes marketing plans that drive revenue and deliver the results that propel your business forward. Our research-oriented and future-forward philosophy, generates remarkable results for each and every LINKS client.
To help you strategize a marketing plan that will take your company to the next level, here’s our list of the digital marketing trends anticipated for 2018. While some trends are actually marketing techniques that aren’t particularly new, these techniques have grown in importance and will be used by countless organizations going forward.
In recent years, we’ve seen countless companies take control of their content by creating their own blog. Business blogging is a marketing tactic that uses blogging to get your business more online visibility and helps support business growth. Your blog helps drive traffic to your website. Each post serves as an opportunity for you to show up in search engines and drive traffic to your website in organic search. Additionally, with each blog post, you’re creating content that people can share on social networks, further exposing your business to a new audience that may not have connected with you yet. Company updates, engaging customer stories, featured guest posts and relevant business trends are all topics that allow marketers to cultivate their brand and connect with customers while having the interactions take place on their own website.
The window for building a trusted and loyal audience is open right now and those who build new and trusted content brands will have multiple options to monetize that content, either directly from customers or prospects or secondarily from syndication through the Apples and Googles of the world. At LINKS, our content development process involves thorough research and analysis before moving on to the gathering, organizing, writing and editing of blog posts. This process yields powerful content our clients need to move their business forward.
Growth hacking is a process of experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most efficient ways to, you guessed it, grow a business. For organizations that may not know who their core customer base is, why customers buy their product (or whether they will at all) and what marketing channels will work the best, this is an effective way to address those issues and grow their business.
One of the best growth hacking strategies remains search engine optimization (SEO). With SEO, you are gaining traction from prospects who have already inquired about your product or service. As search engines evolve to allow additional search options, you need to adjust your strategy to meet your audience where they are looking for you. At LINKS, we understand that digital marketing can be incredibly complex — spends can be derailed by too many buzzwords, delivering intangible results. We have the the skill set to direct traffic and spark conversations, striving to meet our clients’ digital marketing needs.
Apparently, there is such a thing as being too popular. Once a social media influencer reaches a critical mass of followers, audience engagement actually begins to decrease. As this infographic created by Markerly exhibits, the sweet spot (at least on Instagram) for maximum impact is an influencer with a following between 10,000 and 100,000 followers.
We call the influencers in this range “micro-influencers.” Micro-influencers are more likely to post about specific niche topics and they tend to have the loyal followings that share their passion. With more than 32 percent of internet users enabling ad blocker in 2017, it’s increasingly harder to reach users and micro-influencers can bridge that gap moving into 2018.
Fueled by social media and shareability, mobile video is increasing in popularity. As smartphone usage continues to grow, so too will the demand for mobile-friendly video content. Whether it is a couple of cute kittens playing, an adorable baby laughing, or a top commercial featuring a popular model, mobile video content has taken the internet by storm in recent years. The demand for mobile video is growing at an incredible rate. In fact, mobile video ad spend will grow 49 percent to roughly $18 billion in 2018, according to Recode.
With videos, people tend to accept messages and connect with the content on a much deeper level due to the usage of visually appealing and interactive elements. Consequently, the audience is enticed to engage in terms of likes, sharing, etc. With the average viewer expected to watch 36 minutes of online video on their phones and tablets compared to 18.5 minutes on non-mobile devices, it is apparent that the (already sizable) gap between mobile and non-mobile video is only going to widen significantly in the coming years.
When someone says “viral,” you probably think of that meme, photo or video on the internet that has everyone you know buzzing, clicking and sharing. The mind of a doctor tends to think of viruses and diseases, and when a marketer hears the word, they tend to see dollar signs flash in front of their eyes. All marketers want their content go viral. It’s all about creating a content that is easily memorable, unique and shareable in nature.
According to a recent study, more than 45 percent of businesses find it difficult to create compelling content. Unfortunately, creating content that has potential to go viral poses quite the challenge and the content needs to be authentic, amusing, clever, relatable and most importantly, valuable, in order to go viral. You have to carefully craft your content strategy and execute with attention to detail. If your content doesn’t solve a particular problem, enhance your reader’s life or make something better, no one will share it with their social network.
In the end, as the marketing industry continues to shift and change underneath our feet, moving to an increasingly digital landscape, agencies must adapt to the times or risk being left behind. At LINKS, we are prepared to change with this ever-evolving ecosystem to create and execute marketing plans that drive revenue and deliver results. Whatever your business objective is, from web conversions to brand recognition, our agency employs the in-house talent to direct traffic and spark conversations that become business leads.
Discover how LINKS’ commitment to understanding recent developments and trends as well as our ability to think and act differently allows us to provide for our clients and to contribute impactful, intelligent and innovative solutions to the marketing world.