Top Trends for Your 2018 Marketing Plan

Marketing in 2018 is all about integrating and personalizing. With short attention spans and oodles of info at their fingertips, consumers are seeking useful, relevant content that's easy to find.

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Really get to know your followers.

Detached and indifferent marketing communications belong in the Mesozoic Era. Focus on personalizing every interaction with your customers and prospects and foster them into long-lasting relationships.

Use email to engage your subscribers with interactive photos, videos, live shopping carts, surveys or polls. Encourage your subscribers to give you feedback that you can use to improve their user experience,

Encourage people to create customer profiles on your website or mobile application so you can track their patterns and give them offers based on their browsing behaviors and prior purchases. 

Engage and interact your customers via their mobile devices with customized content.

Geo-fencing is a technology that marketers use to gather information and target their customers as they enter specific areas known as “geo fences.”A customer active in a specific area prompts mobile notifications that marketers could use to send promotional messages to users. Geofencing is a great way to engage with your customers through their mobile device which is usually attached like another appendage. Customers have to ‘allow’ your app to track their location, but explaining the highlights of the discounts, promotions and exclusive deals they would be eligible for may do the trick!

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Video killed the radio star for a reason.

According to Huffington Post, 75% of 2017 online activity was spent watching videos. And that stat is expected to grow to 82% by 2021. Take advantage by using video as an increasingly-powerful tool to connect to your target audience. You don’t need professional skills, just a smart phone. There are a ton of free video editing apps out there, too.

80% of consumers prefer watching a live video to reading a blog. And viewers watch live streams 3x longer than recorded video, according to go-globe.com. Live video platforms include: Facebook Live, Instagram live, YouTube Live and Twitter. Live video lets you interact with your followers in real-time.

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Have others validate your brand.

Micro-influencers get paid by brands to promote products or services on their social media pages. They have a total audience size of between 1k – 100k followers, while macro-influencers have 500k - 1 million+.

Micro "influencers" post about specific topics to followers that share their lifestyle and passions. HelloSociety claims 60% higher campaign engagement rates with micro-influencer campaigns, obviously making them more cost effective. And with more and more consumers enabling ad blockers in 2017, micro-influencers can close that gap moving into 2018.

Influencers utilize social media. And according to AdAge, Instagram is growing faster than Facebook or Twitter, and its engagement rates with content far higher.

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Artificial Intelligence is some crazy shift.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to advance through chat bots, conversational user interfaces and voice marketing. AI tools can analyze behavior and make decisions based on programming. 

Combined with big data and machine learning, AI has a huge influence on marketing to consumers. Users can expect highly-personalized and automated content, based on their personality and lifestyle. Salesforce anticipates AI use to grow by 53% before 2020. Chat-bots are an AI tool that improve the customer experience. They're available 24/7, guarantee satisfaction, handle multiple conversations at once and never have a case of the Mondays. Chat bots drive customer engagement and facilitate faster conversions by answering questions and proposing suggestions. Conversational User Interfaces like Amazon's Alexa, smart fridges and Microsoft's Cortana will continue to establish their position in consumers' daily routines and lives at home and at work. Voice marketing on-the-go also continues to rise. Google says 20% of its mobile queries are voice-activated. Somewhat surprising because I just asked Siri if these pants make me look fat... crickets.

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Just Answer the Question (and if you giggle a little, that’s okay too)

Creating quality content is increasingly important in 2018. Consumers are more curious but have less patience. Offering informative content with that personal touch is key. Personalized messaging with a dash of wit and humor will raise your brand’s awareness above “fake news” status.