The New Year is a prime time to really plan your small business’s marketing strategy. Now more than ever you need to look at what’s working versus what’s missing and form a plan from there.
It’s not too late to address and plan for next year’s big marketing trends! These seven trends we’re going to talk about may last well beyond 2018.
1. Longer Blog Post Content
The so-called information about human beings having the same attention span as a goldfish has actually been identified as a myth. The reality is that people are reading longer blog posts and paying attention to the content within them, especially on mobile devices.
So long as the quality is of value to visitors, i.e. it’s high quality, people are going to stay longer and read your blog posts all the way through instead of leaving the post as soon as they click on it. Longer blog content can add many benefits to your website such as improved ranking on search engines, more shares on social media, and more engagement with your audience. So if you have something to say and lots to say about it, make it into a longer post!
If you’re not promoting your content outside of your website, you really need to. Strategic content distribution is going to be your best means of marketing your small business while also cutting through the online noise and standing out amongst your competition.
Take a look at your distribution channels or set up new ones if you haven’t already. Instead of just posting content to your website, you need to have social media and email marketing channels to send that content to your audience. You also need to use them to improve engagement with your audience! Doing so will help your company stand out above the noise.
3. Responsive Web Experiences
Having a responsive website and providing customers with a great experience is a trend that is going to last throughout 2018 and beyond. Mobile websites are more important than ever, and the importance of having a responsive website is not going away anytime soon.
You need to make sure your visitors are using your website for a longer period of time. To do this, your website’s design needs to be easy to use, it needs to load quickly, and it needs to be optimized for mobile devices as well as for desktop computers.
Transparency between business owners and their customers is going to be more important than ever in 2018 and even beyond then. According to Digiday, more and more people are suffering from ‘brand fatigue’ – i.e. they’re growing tired of brands claiming to be authentic and supportive of ‘green’ and charitable causes. The much-needed sense of transparency and trust is something people are feeling is missing between them and the companies promoting their brands. If that’s not enough to convince you to start being transparent, Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Survey revealed that 82% of North Americans are following a brand they trust based on recommendations from people they know.
So going forward, transparency and disclosure will be more important than ever for anyone who wants their business to succeed.
5. Content is King
Content marketing will continue to be a small business’s cornerstone for success in 2018. What’s important to remember about content is that its needs to both catch people’s attention while also building the sense of trust and transparency we previously talked about.
Rather than creating content based around promoting your company, you need to create it based on what’s called ‘the buyer’s journey’. This ‘journey’ consists of three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. You can build awareness of your company by creating things like blog posts, ebooks, etc., then move on to consideration with videos, podcasts, or webinars, and then cater to decision with things like live demos, case studies, and comparisons in products.
Next time you need content created for your business, you need to consider all three of these stages rather than just one. Doing so will help create that sense of trust between your company and customers.
6. Live video
Video is and will continue to be a beneficial trend in marketing going forward. Live video will especially be a major contribution to small business growth. Facebook’s videos have seen their organic reach grow by 135% and people are 3 times more likely to watch live videos than videos that are no longer live.
Making a video can be scary at first but they are a wonderful opportunity for your small business to stand out above your competition! After all only 14% of business owners have been committed to using live video in their marketing strategy.
You can find out more reasons why video can help your business grow in our video.
No marketing strategy can be successful without planning it first and foremost. Every strategy you create must be done for the sake of interacting with your audience effectively every step of the way.
This means you will need to do another task that may be a no-brainer at first, but is shockingly not done often enough: write down what your next strategy will be. Taking the time to document your next marketing strategy can help both you and everyone in your company’s staff stay on track with your 2018 goals (and beyond even that!). A plan that is written down will help you figure out what’s helping your business grow, what’s preventing it from growing, and what you need to do for your business next.
Angela Hovestad graduated with a Bachelor of Arts at Vancouver Island University, and joined KIAI Agency in early 2017 as a Content Manager, after working in other agencies for the past 5 years. She is responsible for managing our writers and editing their content, and she also creates blog posts and web page content for both KIAI and our clients, as well as helping with the text-based part of SEO. Angie is a writer in her spare time. She likes to write about video games and loves to read books, play video games, bake, and spend quality time with her friends and family.
Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to KIAI Agency Inc. and a clickable link back to this page.