With the New Year behind us, it’s time to look to the future of 2018 and see what it has in store for us. 2017 brought us plenty of marketing trends, but only a few are likely to remain relevant in 2018. To help you get ready for this upcoming year, we’re going to look at the three essential marketing trends that you’ll need to be up to date with. By the time we’re done here, your business will be one step closer to dominating the digital media marketing scene of 2018.
- Embrace The Power Of Content Marketing
While there are plenty of avenues your business can pursue when it comes to marketing, few are as accessible or effective as content marketing. It’s no secret that well-executed content marketing can help you increase conversions, the real question is, why is it so effective? By understanding the reason why content marketing works so well, we can then begin to understand the mind of the modern consumer and anticipate their behavior instead of reacting to it.
The power of content marketing can be described in a few different ways, but they all boil down to the same key principle: value. When you’re dealing the modern consumer, you can’t expect to be given anything for free. There’s such stiff competition that you’re constantly just going to be fighting to stay relevant until you become a brand authority.
So, in order to get the modern consumer’s business, you have to earn it. And you earn it by being associated with value. The beauty of effective content marketing is that it both builds your brand authority for you, and helps give modern consumers value at the same time. By solving tangible problems for your audience, and giving them meaningful insight into the future of your industry, you’re one step closer to earning their trust and their business.
- Take Advantage Of Email Marketing
While content marketing may be one of the more popular choices lately, there’s no getting around how effective email marketing campaigns can be. And it’s easy to see why. Email marketing campaigns are targeted, giving you the ability to control exactly who sees a specific email by segmenting your contacts based on things like their lead status, demographic and location.
The great thing about targeting emails is that it ensures that your audience will receive the content that’s specially tailored to their needs. But email marketing doesn’t just make it easier to customize your message for each customer. It also helps you increase brand awareness in a meaningful way. With every email sent, your audience is exposed to your business and, by extension, your brand.
Using clever design, strategic planning, and targeted content, your business can consistently build value. This way, you can stay relevant to your audience. Even if you don’t manage to convert that consumer today, your brand awareness has ensured that when a customer needs one of your products or services, those leads will become clients and those potential customers will become repeat customers.
Beyond that, email marketing is some of the most easily shareable content you can promote. With a single click of the ‘forward’ button, subscribers can share all of your news, offers, and deals with their contacts. This way, you’re not only working on converting your subscribers, but you’re helping turn those subscribers into brand evangelists, who can continue to spread the news about your business.
- Leverage Social To Build Communities
Easily the most tragic thing about social media marketing is the wasted potential. Too often, I see businesses turn their social media profiles into little more than the vessels for thinly-veiled self-promotion, pretending to be valuable content. While that’s clearly an issue by itself, it speaks to a larger issue about the way most businesses approach social media marketing.
For many, it’s just another channel to bombard people with ads. Which interestingly enough, completely misses the point of using social media platforms for marketing. The reality of social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram is that they are spaces built for communities. And if you’re not actively building a community, your business is leaving a lot of money on the table.
At this point, some of you might be wondering, “what’s the difference between an audience and a community?” Well, if you want a simple way of looking at it, think of an audience as the people that buy PCs and a community as the people that buy Macbooks. One exists out of a need for a product; the other exists as a loyal member of a community of like-minded people.
If you’re wondering how you build one of these loyal followings, the answer is to nurture your relationships on social media. Embrace 1-to-1 interactions. Respond to every comment. Make an effort to help if something went wrong.
Your business pages shouldn’t just be another place where you post status updates about deals. They should be a place where meaningful discussion occurs, and where your community feels like they can engage in a dialogue with you.
What B2B marketing trends are you watching in 2018? Share your strategies in the comments.