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November is already here and before you know it, you’ll be celebrating New Year’s Eve with your friends and loved ones. Although this time of the year brings joy and family gatherings over Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, and New Year, it is hectic at the same time. There’s a lot you have to do at work to prepare for the upcoming year. The business world constantly changes and the ability to keep up with new trends is important for success.

Even if you run a small business, you still have numerous things to complete before ringing in 2018. Review of company’s performance in 2017, plan for the new year, identifying strengths and weaknesses to ensure your business grows continually, and so much more. But, don’t forget to adapt your marketing strategy as well. The New Year brings new rules and here are some useful tricks that you’ll need to adopt.

Social media as a publishing tool

Figures show that in 2015, Facebook influenced 52% of consumers’ online and offline purchases and 92% businesses opted for social media content rather than blogs in their content marketing strategy. Social media platforms are pivotal for a successful digital marketing strategy, which is a good thing because they make the entire process cost-effective.

We tend to use these networks to share content only. For instance, you publish an article or update on the official website and share it on social media. There’s nothing wrong about that, but lately, these platforms and web developers have started exploring different ways to use social media websites as publishing tools, and not just sharing options.

LinkedIn is leading the way as they are gradually gaining in popularity as a social media publishing tool. This platform allows you to both share content from other websites, but you can also use it to write and publish your articles too. Both Snapchat and Instagram use “swipe up” features in their “stories” which allow business profiles to link content to other pages.

Platforms like Facebook’s Instant Articles are becoming popular among content creators because it allows them to publish articles straight to the Facebook app. The use of social media profiles as publishing sites makes content marketing strategy more convenient, which is what 2018 trends are all about.

Embrace influencer marketing

Influencer marketing has become one of the most popular digital marketing strategies today. While we tend to consider this type of marketing as a viable option for big and rich companies, it is incredibly beneficial for small businesses too. In 2018, you should consider starting a collaboration with a social media influencer who fits perfectly into the business vision you want to achieve.

Benefits of influencer campaigns for small businesses are numerous, including:

  • Cost-effective promotion – contrary to the popular belief, you can carry out an amazing influencer campaign without actually spending too much
  • Improved brand loyalty
  • More traffic to the website
  • ROI is trackable due to a number of metrics and tools you can use to track every campaign
  • Targeted advertising

Live stream

With the evolution of technology and social media, consumers aren’t satisfied with generic and faceless marketing campaigns. In 2018, you should step up your digital marketing strategy and use live video streams to establish a real-time human connection with your audience. Opportunities are numerous for using the Live feature on just about any social media platform to stream product launch to showing an “ordinary” day in your company.

You can also incorporate micro influencer marketing by allowing the influencer you’re working with to “take over” your account for a live session. That way, you’ll attract more followers and promote your business.

Good cause in marketing strategy

Customers are loyal to brands that have an important purpose. One survey showed that 91% of Millennials said they would switch brands to one associated with a good cause. We are living in the time of tremendous tragedies and other unfortunate events, which change the way we think about the world including the way we spend.

People want to be associated with businesses that care about the others. In 2018, you can partner up with a charity from your town and run a social media marketing campaign that will raise an awareness of a specific problem and show how much you care. This is an instant reputation boost, and it’s always good to help others anyway.

Virtual reality

Tech companies are constantly working on virtual reality experience, which is expected to become mainstream in 2018. As a small, local business you don’t need thousands or millions of dollars to step into the new technology era. Consider creating interactive graphics and video on a website to serve as a starting point for future exploration into virtual marketing opportunities.

Mobile optimization

If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, make it a top priority in 2018. Numbers show that in 2017, about 36.46% of Google searches came from desktop computers while 63.454% came from mobile devices. Every website visitor should have a seamless experience, just the way they would on the desktop. The website has to load fast, including images, and be informative and easy to navigate. After all, the official website of your business is something like its identity card and it should send the right message to people who visit it.

Turns customers into influencers

Yes, this is possible too. Influencer marketing is the hottest trend today, but you can go one step further by raising an army of influencers in 2018. How to do it? Offer solutions to the most common issues that customers face, respond to reviews including negative testimonials, and show you’re ready to help, reward loyalty, host competitions, and encourage social media users to add a certain hashtag into their posts as a part of your campaign. The options are endless. Just by improving your relationship with current and potential customers, you can turn them into your very own team of influencers.

Conclusion

Digital marketing trends in 2018 are all about improving your relationship with the customer base. As technology evolves, customers are tired of faceless and generic communication, they want real communication. You can make it happen with live streams and videos. Introduce influencer marketing into your digital strategy to reach more people and promote your business to the target audience. Think about convenience, ease of use, and a good cause.

 

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