Digital marketing trends are changing, and so are the expectations of your customers. In both B2C and B2B industries, customers expect smarter and more engaging solutions. Your next step forward must be revolutionary to succeed. What’s new in digital marketing in 2018? Companies are moving beyond passive engagement to interactive and personalized methods. This creates a new competitive paradigm of which you must be a part of. Companies are engaging their customers across several platforms. That means optimizing marketing for mobile devices is a priority. 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. Most importantly, your customers expect personalization. That must evolve beyond simply sending messages on customers’ birthdays. Customers expect brands to form effective partnerships in their lives. They must respond to their every need without effort on the customer’s part. And they must deliver exceptional service, whose quality is more public than ever.
What’s New about Digital Marketing Trends in 2018?
Digital marketing must become dynamic and be evolving. Companies who adopt automation, machine learning, and even artificial intelligence (AI) are ahead. But many of these tools are more approachable than you think. What’s the single most important quality of digital marketing? It must add value to your customers’ lives. That value must extend beyond advertising what you’re selling. That’s why content marketing and Big Data are the highest-rated marketing activities. (Machine learning and AI follow closely behind.) And these numbers far exceeded others on the scale. Years ago, marketing was a campaign-by-campaign initiative. Now, Big Data drives a continuous marketing evolution. That evolution requires engaging content, personalized for customers. Marketers wrestle with the best ways to collect, analyze, and leverage that data. But automation, machine learning, and AI are making it easier. The result: large and growing competitive advantages in certain corners of the market.
The Top 10 Digital Marketing Strategies to Adopt in 2018
It’s an unforgiving marketplace. Both large and small businesses must adopt new digital marketing trends to succeed. But thanks to modern tools, you don’t need break the bank to do it. The following 10 trends are the most important to keep on your radar. Start thinking about how you can adopt them successfully. Imagine how your strategy must evolve to adopt these new methods as well.
1. Adopting a ‘Value Add’ Mentality
Customers no longer engage brands that provide littl
e more than advertising. They look for brands with which they can form relationships. They now expect brands to become ongoing companions in their lives. As a companion, they expect special treatment from those brands. That’s why brands increasingly engage in value-added marketing. That means providing new anddevoted customers with value for free.
This is why content marketing is now the highest-rated marketing activity. Brands can provide meaningful content that bypasses advertising for personal engagement. Companies can leverage customer insights to provide personalized content or deals. These are unique to each customer, adding value not found elsewhere.
2. Integrating Marketing in the Life Cycles of your Customers
The companionship theme must continue. Brands must continue to amaze and delight existing customers. This inspires loyalty and advocacy, the most desira
ble outcomes in digital marketing today. That’s why digital marketing trends prioritize new and powerful tools. Automation and machine learning allow marketing to evolve without human involvement. They make ongoing customer engagement manageable for marketing teams of all sizes.
3. Leveraging Data Collection and Analytics
Customer data is critical for optimization, personalization, and ongoing engagement. The latest digital marketing trends incorporate next-level data practices. This involves the collection of behavioral, mobile, and other types of data beyond demographics. That co
mpanionship depends on knowing one another. Consumers now expect brands to know what they want and when. They expect brands to notify them of opportunities when the time is right.
4. Prioritizing Personalization in the Customer Experience
Marketers can leverage that customer data to create personalized experiences for customers. Many companies have more data than they can process or leverage. Personalization must now factor into all marketing efforts. These become more manageable with m
5. Mastering the Art of Storytelling and User-Generated Content Adoption
As mentioned, customers look for value-added content. That’s why many marketing teams consider themselves media organizations. You can do this by creating your own unique stories online. You can also create channels for adopting user-generated content (UGC). This allows customers to develop great stories for you, usually about using your products.
6. Transforming Your Content Platforms
Short-form video is among the strongest digital marketing trends in 2018. Video is easier for customers to consume. You can transfer more information and value in a short amount of time as well. Keep your value-ad
ded mentality when creating videos. Be sure you understand the channels on which you publish them as well. For example, consider what customers on Facebook will want to see on that platform. Make sure it drives business value for you.
7. Developing Value-Added Social Media Campaigns
Video has become an integral part of social media. But interactive content is essential as well. Leverage the ways in which customers like to use these platforms to succeed. Facebook users like taking polls, voting, and using other interactive tools. They like sharing digital experiences with friends. And they enjoy humor or ‘wow factor’ content. Social media takes expertise. But most companies assign a junior-level employee to manage these campaigns. Consult an expert to get true business value from your social media efforts.
8. Improving and Extending Service Communications
Customer service is now a branch of marketing. Much of customer service quality is now visible to everyone. Customer expectations, in terms of service, have evolved as well. Many companies now use social media as a service platform. This helps them by making outstanding service visible to other users. You can also utilize smart technologies. Chatbots are transforming the service landscape. These tools can be used in other facets of your organization as well.
9. Targeting Advocacy,Influence, and Customer Loyalty
Companies now prioritize customer loyalty and lifetime value over conversions. Conversions are the critical factor to keeping businesses alive. But achieving loyalty, lifetime value, and even advocacy compound opportunities for conversions.
10. Integrating Machine Learning and Marketing Automation
The latest digital marketing trends are overwhelming. Digital marketing has entered a new dimension, and it’s harder than ever to compete. The next generation of technologies will help you maintain a competitive edge. They’ll become increasingly affordable as well. With the right strategy in place, you’re sure to succeed.
Insights You Need for Your Ongoing Digital Marketing Strategy
Gold Coast Media & Consulting is dedicated to your success in digital marketing. We use the latest technologies and techniques to create ongoing business value.
Contact us for a free consultation. We’re ready for your questions, your goals, and your latest ideas.
Al Alfieri The digital marketing, sales automation and funnel architecture expert.