By Lucy Bradley
We’re well into August now, and with the end of the year approaching faster than ever it’s important to start planning for the year ahead in business, and that applies to our marketing strategy as well. It’s never too early to get ahead of the game, and more importantly ahead of your competitors – and that’s where we can help you out! We’ve put together a list of what you need to look out for to stay on top of your marketing game in 2018!
You may have heard the term ‘Micro Moments’ being thrown around a lot throughout 2017, but micro moments are only set to get bigger in 2018. Micro moments are all about users acting on a need to go, do, know or buy basis with a device of their choice, and with the rise of everything mobile, the idea of micro moments coming into play in marketing is of no surprise. Now, 96% of users reach for their smartphones when they are in need of information ‘in the moment’, therefore as marketers, we want to ensure we’re providing the information to our target market in the moment they crave it most.
But how is it you meet customer’s needs in these micro moments? You need to focus on providing the information they want as and when they want it – a right place right time scenario, essentially. Be there for your target market when they need it most, providing an experience that is best suited to their needs and gets the information as quickly as possible and – of course – make sure to do this across a range of channels.
Having a customer centric approach has definitely been big in marketing this year, but personalised content is definitely something to put some serious thought into for 2018. In such a digital orientated world we are constantly surrounded by media and advertising, sometimes without us even realising it, so as marketers we’ve got to find out how best to engage our target market and stand out from the crowd. The old saying ‘people buy people’ is an idea we can definitely apply in the digital age – personalising content makes the user feel more valued and gives them feeling of exclusivity, which we all love.
Furthermore, personalising your content can really help you to stand out from the crowd and make your brand appear more attractive to your target market. Customer experience is key throughout the sales journey, whether that be on your website or face to face in a meeting. If you can personalise this content and experience to meet their needs, they will be more likely to associate your brand with this positive experience, and ultimately improving upon your brand reputation.
Recording and analysing data is nothing new in the marketing world – but 2018 brings the age of using this data to its full potential; something that hasn’t always been done enough previously. As marketers, we now have access to consumer behaviour, market insights, responses to trends and much more – and this data is what can be used to make predictions going forward.
It can be tempting to record too much information and not use it to its full potential, so the key rule to remember when it comes to using data in 2018 is to focus on the vital few. Focus on the data and analytics you can dig deep into, and get useful insights out of in order to put the actions in place to improve your performance going forward. Focussing on using the right data is more useful and a more efficient use of your time, and you’ll see a more positive impact doing this than measuring everything and doing little about it.
When it comes to promotional methods, word of mouth is still one of the most powerful methods of gaining new customers. This makes gaining a team of influencers who love your products/services, and are willing to share this experience increasingly important – and something that isn’t thought about enough in marketing.
Whether this be your current customer base influencing their social circle, work peers or on their social media, or perhaps using social influencers; spreading the word about your business is key when it comes to brand awareness. Spreading a positive message creates a chain reaction, where the individual will say how much they love a product service to their friends, who then try it themselves and tell more people they know, and essentially you get a wide range of positive promoters of your brand who act as the influencers in your marketing.
Visual content is something more and more of us are using in our marketing in an act to get our messages to resonate with our target market – and this is something that will definitely remain a key focus in 2018. Using visual content can be a way to get your target market to discover more about your brand, whether this be through an image, video or infographic it encourages interaction and helps to create more shareable content (which is always great in the age of social media).
Creating visual content isn’t limited to the typical ways listed above, it can include gifs and memes which stay in line with market trends. Using this type of visual content means people naturally engage with it more, and it can be used in an attempt to stay ahead of the competition. It is important to consider your use of visual content in line with your brand image as if you use the wrong type of content it can actually have damaging effects on your brand reputation. So when it comes to your content marketing strategy in 2018, think of ways to stay visual, on trend and engaging to really make most of this!
Of course, our digital marketing team are always here to help you out, and really embrace the marketing trends going forward. You can book a free consultation with us here.