As the end of 2017 approaches you may be thinking about what you would like to achieve from marketing your small business in 2018. Keeping up to date with the latest digital trends will enable to you to plan early and retain a competitive advantage for 2018 and beyond! We have put together our top predictions to help you get a clear digital marketing strategy in place for the new year.
1. Content Marketing – your primary strategy!
Recent Google algorithm changes, along with changing customer expectations means that great digital content is becoming more important than ever. Not only does it help your Google positions but also helps to establish you as an expert in your industry, enable your customer’s buying decision, and build a loyal following. Having a blog linked to your website is essential for this practice and you could try writing regularly with industry information, insights or entertainment. Next it should be shared on social media and you can add to the content in other digital formats such as videos, eNewsletters, case studies etc. Good information content around your product or service is also key, as well as positive mentions about it on other influential websites or blogs.
2. Mobile Optimisation will be key
We all know there is now a growing and widespread use of tablets and smartphones due to ever changing mobile technology and innovations. It is also growing; according to Forbes, “87% of connected devices sales by 2017 will be tablets and smartphones”. This means more of your customers will be using these devices to connect with you online. Have you thought about how your website performs on a mobile browser? At the very least it should employ a responsive design, or an alternative mobile website. Don’t forget about optimising your advertising for mobile devices also. Google shows Adwords ads in their mobile browser, so make sure your own includes a call to action such as ‘Call Us Now’ with your phone number.
3. SEO and Social are now joined at the hip
Social signals are playing more of an important role in search engine rankings these days, which means you should see them as one and the same. Google wants to provide users with the most relevant content possible, so it’s easy to see why the amount of Facebook shares, comments or reviews are taken into account. They see it as this – if more people like the content and find it compelling enough to share, the more authoritative it is likely to be. Google have recently added extensive social reporting functionality into their free Web Analytics, which shows it is not likely to go anywhere soon in terms of changing Google algorithms. At the very least get Google Analytics installed on your website and review how effective your current social media strategy really is.
4. Update your image library
Consumers are bombarded with digital content from brands these days, whether its a social media post, or an advert on another website. To stand out you need to create a compelling argument. The rise in image-centric social networks such as Instagram and Pinterest shows the viral potential of images so make sure your content includes at least one good quality image to break up the text. Social media posts that receive the most social shares will include a well place image to emphasise their point. If you are to compete, you need to do the same. Infographics are also great such as this one in which Microsoft tells us how SMBs use of technology is changing.
5. Don’t overdo it!
Another trend in consumer preference to do with too much digital advertising, is that there is now a backlash against those that overdo it, screaming ‘look at me!’. The most successful and innovative brands such as Apple and Google are now valuing simplicity with pared down digital campaigns that don’t overwhelm their customers. The best websites are simple, clean and uncluttered such as Pinterest. Another opportunity is to create goods and services that simplify your customers lives, not add complications.
We hope you enjoyed reading our top small business digital trends for 2018. What do you think? If you have an other ideas then let us know in the comments below!