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Marketing Trends to Persist Into 2018

As we wrap up the last quarter of 2017, it’s time to gear up for the new year. As a small business in the advertising/marketing field, we are always looking for the most effective ways to communicate to our target audience and deliver to our clients. Staying on top of marketing trends is crucial to visibility as a company in the eye of the consumer. Dividing your focus as a small company to cater to a diverse customer base is challenging. Here are some of the top trends your company should consider implementing into the new year, gathered from Forbes and other top market sources:

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  1. The Move to Mobile: In 2017, we saw a huge shift to mobile marketing, with almost 95% of Americans owning some sort of cellphone. We basically have everything we need in the palm of our hands, and the need to appeal to this trend is only growing. As a smaller company, don’t underestimate the importance of mobile-friendliness, loading speed, and responsive design. An estimated $25.11 billion will be spent in mobile search spending in 2018 and $28.25 billion in 2019, so don’t fall behind!

  2. Video Content: Video content has consistently been the most effective way to engage consumers. It is the most visually stimulating and proven to resonate most in the mind of the consumer. More than half of marketers worldwide, attribute video content to having the best ROI. Remember, almost 3/4 of all online traffic this past year was video content. This statistic will only increase into the new year.

  3. Self-Digital Transformation: Undergoing change to consistently improve is vital to growth. Of course, there are going to be unexpected trends that your company perhaps was not ready for, but regularly analyzing your digital transformation should be routine. Showing your market how you are transforming and how the consumer experience will be affected and bettered as a result, will keep you in a good spot as digital initiatives progress throughout time. Keep it in the public eye so the efforts are transparent from all ends.

  4. Influencer Marketing: Small businesses should realize the importance of influencer marketing and how more prominent it will be in the coming year. 90% of consumers claim to trust peer recommendations, according to an article on Business to Community. As a small business, take advantage of micro-influencers, who have 1,000 to 100,000 followers, and are more loyal than macro-influencers, who have 10,000,000+ followers. Micro-followers are four times more likely to get a comment on a post than macro influencers and target specific niches, which translates to a more effective and efficient way of improving ROI.

  5. Customer Experience: Contrary to popular belief, Starbucks doesn’t sell coffee. It sells the personalized, higher end cafe experience that comes with sipping on your Iced, Half Caff, Ristretto, Venti, 4-Pump, Sugar Free, Cinnamon, Dolce Soy Skinny Latte. Experience is key and marketing strategies should be tailored to deliver a customer-centric focus.

  6. Effective Measuring: Measuring growth and results should be done with purpose. Everything should tie back to profit, revenue, customer retention and growth. Always go back and reflect on your product, placement, price, and promotion efforts. Is there a more effective way to nurture your relationship with customers in any of these aspects? Google Analytics is a wonderful tool for observing and tracking trends and making sure they translate back to your company as $$$.

  7. Personalized Content: In today’s capital market, personalized content is the new norm. Mass-customization is not going anywhere. Be sure to constantly track your customers’ purchase behavior for trends, ways to better target them as individuals, and streamlined processes to make the experience as a whole, unique to them.

  8. Social Media Marketing: If having a content calendar to disburse relevant topics and information to your customer base on a variety of social platforms is not in your daily marketing repertoire, you have some work to do before the new year begins. According to several studies reported by CoSchedule Blog, your company should post only once per day on Facebook between the hours of 1 and 4pm (anything more than this too often, will be interpreted as spammy). 15 daily tweets and seven re-tweets are ideal. One daily LinkedIn post between 10 and 11am is recommended, and two Google + posts. When it comes to Instagram, one to two daily posts are ideal between 8 and 9am and around 2am. Too much to manually handle? There are plenty of tools that allow you to set up scheduled posts such as Re-Queue. You don’t want to miss an opportunity to reach your audience. Remember, don’t use social media to send out mass messages, but instead, to engage consumers and make them part of the conversation.

  9. Right-Time-Marketing: Timing is the most important factor in growing audiences. Using data to pin-point the perfect moment to reach a person, indicates the need to shift from real-time marketing to right-time marketing. Data analytics tools are virtually abundant, so it is becoming more and more realistic to narrow this information down. Making sure your company is targeting your audience when they are most likely to see a post and make a purchase is essential to success.

  10. Native Ads: When your company does not have 250+ employees, it is easier to hone in on the use of native ads to smoothly blend content into the feeds of customers that will most likely already have an interest in your product or service. One of the benefits of being a small business, is that you capture your target market without them feeling pressured in any way. Use native advertising to increase your conversions!

Delivering a personalized customer experience is the heart and soul of marketing. Moreover, marketing with a larger purpose than just making a sale is a more simple task as a small business because of niche marketing. Prioritize the customer experience and implement effective analytics, native ads, and social media marketing initiatives to reach them at the best time. Utilize influencer marketing and as you transform, be sure all stakeholders are in the loop, and for your own good, make sure you’re engaging in promoting video content!

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