Looking Ahead: Digital Marketing in 2018

With a new year comes new marketing trends, and we’re excited about what’s peeking around the corner in 2018. As digital marketing takes the forefront in modern advertising, a consumer-focused future is looking uniquely bright for modern vendors, entrepreneurs, and innovators around the globe.

And experts predict that next year’s trends will focus more on themes like compassion and empathy, which give way to a new form of inspiration. Terms like “positive energy” and even “karma” are being tossed around today’s drawing boards—and the impetus towards goodwill isn’t hard to pin down. Amidst a tumultuous political climate alongside conflicts worldwide, modern consumers are searching for a way to learn, grow, and help out—not just invest.

 Start with Love 

Today’s audiences want a shopping experience they can feel good about. We’re living in turbulent times, and most of us are just looking for a little love—whether it comes in the form of playful reminder that we’ve left a shopping cart abandoned, or via a lighthearted video we’re compelled to share with friends. Whatever the product or service, 2018’s marketers would all do well to work from the heart, tailoring each user’s experience to encompass good tidings – however that might look for the target audience in question.

Spread Good Cheer, but Don’t Forget about Google

Beyond a focus on compassion, it’s worth every marketer’s time to keep Google at the forefront of any online marketing campaign. The vast majority of consumer actions, from posting on Facebook to completing a contact form, start with a Google search – and Aaron Weiche, CMO at the popular review website, explains that this phenomenon “makes Google a new type of home page.”

And “winning” at Google needn’t break the bank. Boosting your brand’s ranking good be as easy as completing your business profile, for example. Enhancing your social media presence, honing in on the quality and linkage of your content, and engaging with your would-be customers can also work indirectly to step up your Google rank.

Keep Your Eye On Content

High-quality content blurs the line between entrepreneurship and education, since the best content seeks first to inform the would-be customer—not woo her into a sale. Blogging, collaborating on white papers, and participating on large-scale forums like Quora all help to boost your Google rankings – and your brand credibility. By sharing information – for free – across a range of disparate avenues, you’re keeping pace with the information boom, and your content is more likely to land out on top.

It’s also worth recognizing that Facebook continues to dominate everyone’s time. With two billion monthly users and counting, Facebook’s presence isn’t likely to dwindle anytime soon – and it makes a terrific avenue for broadcasting high-quality written content and video.

And speaking of video—it’s here to stay, according to experts, trendsetters, and data crunchers alike. With nearly one and a half billion monthly users, YouTube is dominating airwaves around the world. WhatsApp boasts a growing 1.2 billion users, right up there with Facebook messenger. Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat represent growing categories of daily visitors, too – and all are upgrading to include video and timeline capabilities, further enhancing the scope of all types of content.

Focus on the Journey, Not the Destination

In 2018, it’s all about the consumer – and that includes the route she takes to get to that final purchase. Modern shoppers are doing research, asking questions, and eking out answers however they can – and most can recognize a credible source instinctively.

Set your brand apart from huge-scale review sites – we’re thinking Amazon Answers – by producing a reliable stream of reliable content that isn’t designed to sell your product or service. “You’ll be rewarded in a major way if you do,” remarks Armida Markarova, founder of the Chicago-based consulting firm Marketing Strategy Hub. “We all like sales funnels because they are so simple,” she adds, but “that’s not how people think and buy.”

Customers want more than one resource, she explains, and it’s critical that today’s entrepreneurs recognize that. Content produced in-house may not be enough to present a credible, unbiased perspective to the buyer – but what can? Think outside the box, collaborating on video content or participating at conferences to gain – and present – a well-rounded picture of your offering.

This year, set your sights on compassion alongside superb, relevant content. We at Champ Internet Solutions wish you a happy, healthy holiday season, and we’re looking forward to many more terrific discussions in 2018 and beyond.

Post By: Amy Brandt

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