As you consider 2018 planning and your marketing priorities for the new year, it’s important to reflect on marketing trends and insights to assess how to invest in activities that will be position your brand in the coming year.
In 2018, digital will continue to reign. A recent survey by DScout found that “people tapped, swiped, and clicked a whopping 2617 times a day, on average. And heavy users doubled that number!?”
Here’s a snapshot of trends that will shape the marketplace in 2018 and some planning tips to help you outperform your competition.
1. Optimise social media platforms
People are increasingly turning to the social mediums to search for products and services. Certain tools you can use like Facebook, Instagram, PInterest are powerful yet simple to use. Millennials (Gen Y) and Centennia (Gen Z) buyers have grown up with these tools and turn to them instinctively when looking for products, services and answers to their problems. If you can be found online, and across multiple platforms, you have the upper hand over businesses that can not. Social media listings also help improve search engine optimisation across Google.
2. Create more content
The best way to be position yourself or your brand as an authority is to plan and share your knowledge - free of charge. Content Marketing is the best way to spread your reputation, online and offline. Create a content strategy with a purpose, you need to plan, create, distribute, analyse and repeat. What is the purpose of your content? If it’s to get people to your site, you have to provide value, whether it’s in the form of a blog, video, ebook or case study etc. Think about your buyer's needs, who you’re trying to reach and what potential problems do they face? If you provide value to them, they will trust you and continue to come back to you for your expertise.
3. Build brand loyalty by improving the brand experience
In addition to spending money on marketing campaigns there needs to be a focus on true value for your customers. Provide solutions for your brand audience, provide your customers with a customer-friendly and easy to navigate website. We now have online generations, who live on their phones, so ensure your website is mobile friendly. If you want brand loyalty ensure you communicate with your audience - good and bad. Companies that ignore bad reviews and angry customers will only spread the conflict. Ensure you have a community management strategy to deal with conflicts, this will ensure you uphold a good reputation and strong brand loyalty.
4. Measure your impact
If you are not measuring your marketing, how can you assess your effectiveness or understand the marketplace and what your brand audience wants? It’s important to measure, adjust and repeat. You need to take marketing metrics and analysis seriously to gain insights for constant improvements. This way you can understand what you need to change and what new ideas you can test to improve your marketing effectiveness during 2018.
5. Inbound marketing
To ensure you are easily found online you need to optimise your inbound marketing/SEO. One of the best ways to be found is through the power of keywords in both SEO and adwords. Gaining traffic for relevant keywords is important for your website, however the most important thing is to ensure you have sufficient valuable content. When using keywords in your content don’t go overboard, use them in the title, the link tail, and sprinkled throughout your content but not so much that your audience feels they are being sold to. (Google also knows all the tricks and will penalise overuse of keywords!).
Optimise conversions by making sure any traffic that you get to your web pages include clever calls to action for both data capture and lead generation.
6. Plan your year ahead
As Mark Twain says - “the secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Start your year with the end in mind. What do you want to achieve with your marketing and how can you maximise and influence the outcomes with marketing activities?
BEAM has handy tools to help kick start marketing plans including:
- BEAM Project Plan - for each project or promotion you will run
- BEAM Marketing Calendar - to map out the year ahead by activity and by month
- BEAM Brand Checklist - to help you define what/who your brand is