Attention marketers: 8 trends to watch out for in 2018!

2018 will be the year of smart consumers.

With so many users consuming information and products largely via the internet, businesses will have to invest heavily in communicating their value to consumers and be absolutely honest about it. While 2018 might not see a significant shift in the way marketers steer attention towards their brands, there’s definitely going to be a lot of attention to fine details and big data.

Besides, what about all the noise on the internet? Studies show that the average consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages a day.

How well is yours received?

Do you have a marketing plan for your brand in 2018?

If not, here are a few things you could consider while you take the challenge. If you already have a strategy in place, well then make sure to tick these off your list.

Videos over everything

Think of all the videos you saw on the internet over the past one or two years, and calculate the total time you spent watching them. As a marketer, that’s the opportunity you’re gunning for in 2018: tap into the time your current/potential user spends watching videos on the internet.

As video has become the preferred mode of consuming information, you must innovate around ideas to communicate your brand value effectively. And of course, all social media channels support that. For eg., live videos by Facebook and Instagram, a trend that gained massive momentum in the recent past. In fact, as much as 13 percent of web traffic now comes directly from live videos. This is a no-brainer and there are three major reasons why video works in almost any kind of advert:

  • It captures action
  • It’s instant
  • And it’s economical

Plus, videos help you put a face to your business, making it easier to establish customer loyalty.

Influence like you mean it

Welcome to influencer marketing: a trend that has picked up in the past two years and has made a smooth entry into the marketing budget of almost every brand.

Cross-channel social campaigns have become so common that 67 percent of marketers think that influencer marketing campaigns have helped them reach a more targeted audience, thus leading to better results.

One of the major trends we’re looking at when it comes to influencer marketing is building sustainable and reliable relationships between marketers and influencers. The coexistence of these entities is mutually beneficial. While influencers help brands pitch themselves to the audience, brands can learn a thing or two about latest trends by engaging with the audience.

Instagram is big on influencer marketing and their Polls feature just takes the cake.

Find your customers, and stick to them

All the blogs you ever write, all the videos you ever publish, and all the marketing pitches you ever create should be directed towards one ideal buyer or buyer persona.

This means that in order to cater to your ideal buyer persona, you must know what his/her motivation in dealing with your business is. You want to know about their habits, so you could customize your product/services better for them.

We call this process customer journey mapping.

Wondering why you should invest in this journey? Well…

  • You’ll get interesting data, patterns, and trends on how your ideal persona spends their time and money.
  • It should help you meet your customers’ expectations of your brand at each step.
  • And ultimately, these two things combined help you tailor or modify your product according to your customers’ exact expectation.

Ready to create one? Click here.

Tailor-made, just for you

The next logical step is to tailor your business’s deliverables based on your customer’s expectations.

If it helps, a whopping 75% of consumers prefer retailers that use personalization to improve their shopping experience.

If you’re an e-commerce brand, the sky is the limit to upsell and cross sell, especially to your existing clients. You already have your customer’s choices and more. All you need to do is curate the best you can fix up and serve them well with their name tag. So if personalization wasn’t your brand’s first choice in 2017, you might want to revisit the idea.

Security first

As customers, we are asked to share various details of our lives, families, professions, and even salaries while making even a small transaction, whether online or offline. No wonder then that security is such a major concern for today’s consumers that it could very easily become your brand’s USP.

You can establish your brand’s security policies on your website (because it’s mostly the customer’s first interaction with your company). Convey in big bold words all the measures your company takes to ensure your consumer’s informations is safe with you. We found a piece that can help you get started on this.

Content all the way

That’s right. No surprises here.

Investing time, money, and energy in building and proliferating your content will take your business places. Oh, and compared to other factors, content marketing will have the biggest impact on companies in 2018, according to business executives.

While you probably know everything about creating and curating the right content for your business, here are some handy guidelines to make sure you never miss the mark:

  1. Plan your content. Eg., what, how much of it is to be published, and on what platforms
  2. Size your copy according to the reading/viewing time of your target buyer persona
  3. Make sure your content reaches your target persona

While content marketing is not a new strategy, repurposing your existing content and packaging it better could be your potential aim for 2018.

Tech for marketing

There have never been more tools for marketing (or any other service) than there exist right now. And with good reason. Better tools for marketing = more meaningful consumer relationship, driven by data.

Marketing technology has grown rapidly to claim a 22 percent stake of the marketing budget, according to Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey 2017–2018. To begin with, if you’re a business owner, we’re predicting that you might need to allocate a substantial amount just for setting up the technology your marketing team is going to use.

One of the greatest gifts of technology to marketing is the ad space. Some small businesses depend solely on digital marketing to get their name out in the open. Read about voice marketing, AI, and other big disruptions technology will drive towards marketing here.

AI, so real humans can do the smart work

Since we’re on technology, the biggest breakthrough for 2018 will remain the AI revolution in marketing. If you deal with enormous numbers and data, AI can help you process large chunks of it to uncover amazing solutions that could help your business grow fast. Machine learning and AI are critical as we, marketers, try to keep pace with rapidly evolving consumer behaviors and preferences.

More importantly, always be prepared to flip and change your marketing strategies if you think the current ones aren’t working for you. After all, ROI is the word.

Marketing is all about telling your story. Here’s hoping yours is full of data, research, and astute audience selection. Cheers!

Authored by Shivangi Gautam, who’s finally practicing her 2018 resolutions, that she wrote down in 2017, and thought of in 2016. Also,a marketer at Flock.