In 2018, staying ahead of the curve in your company’s marketing plan will involve staying on par with the most current marketing channels and understanding the role they play in your business. From there, it is about knowing how to best use them to leverage their advantages, bringing you customers and bringing you profit. Ready to learn more? Here is where to start: 

1) Influencers and Machines

This year we will see a battle start to rage against the machine.  That is, there will be competition between how much influencers can impact, offering valuable content and reviews that act as product marketing, versus how much it is all taken over by machines – artificial intelligence, automation, and streamline systematic approaches to marketing will have a big place in 2018.

Indeed, automation, is, in many ways, the goal all along: have automatized systems such as Salesforce and Pardot, collect data which Customer Experience Consultancies like Blirt, can help empower clients to analyse and create automated personalised campaigns.

Consumers want to feel as if they are building relationships, connecting, and engaging with the business, and not simply talking to a computer screen. It is a tricky balance to navigate, and working with a partner that helps you strategise, implement and grow toward your business objectives will be a key part of your company’s success. 

2) The Video Game

Video is thriving, and projections for 2018 show no sign of it stopping anytime soon. 52% of marketing professionals consider video to be the best ROI, while 43% of consumers say that video is their preferred medium for content from marketers.

From Facebook Live, to Instagram stories to webinars and video uploads, there is ample opportunity to share video – and you better believe you need to be creating video.  This year Facebook introduced their own version of Instagram stories, the six-second video option designed to give information, while still heeding consumers’ limited attention span in their increasingly video saturated feed. And that is just it: feeds are saturated, and companies need to be choosing the optimal marketing tools and trends to stand out above the noise and get noticed. 

3) Targeting Messaging Apps

While so much of our data and information is public (even if you didn’t realize it!) there are a few areas where it is still private – and we spend a lot of time on these. For example, Facebook Messenger, Google’s Allo, and Apple’s iMessage all continue to allow the user to have private conversations and share data and information that is inaccessible to all the cyber data collectors. 

But marketing professionals want access to that, and they don’t like that you might have some private information that you aren’t sharing.  2018 will see companies trying to exploit this data and get access to currently private interactions.  Early information shows this is happening in the form of Chatbots, but what is also happening is that in that marketing professionals are trying to integrate social messaging directly into your social messaging – you know, the fact that you may now see ads pop up into your Facebook messenger box. 

4) Content Marketing

Good content is timeless. When consumers perform a Google search, there is an exorbitant and overwhelming amount of content that they receive. And the only way to succeed as a business is to make use of this channel and be able to offer the content that the user will choose over all of the others.  This translates to valuable, relevant, and consistent content, directed towards a target audience, which acts as marketing and drives profitable customer choices.

The trick to this? You need to know your audience and you need to be creating content that brings in the audience you want. Creating content that draws in people who aren’t even potential customers and interested in buying your product or service, is not effective marketing.  Instead, use this channel diversely, making use of all of the different content marketing opportunities, and create the content that will peak the interest of your ideal lead, and then nurture them a long until you end in a sale.

5) Social Media

Whether you prefer Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or are gaining success from Google chats, social media is going to be a big player in marketing in 2018. Facebook and Instagram are continually altering their algorithms, which, when used optimally, can allow for a dramatic reach into your specifically targeted market. 

The trick with this though – and with social media marketing as a whole – is understanding the differences across each channel, such that advertising can play to the assets and strengths of each one, leveraging their sophistication and advantages to work them to your advantage.

Indeed, top marketing teams are not making cut and copy marketing schemes that they send out to five different channels.  Instead, they are combining the ability to use automation within each social media platform to then cater their marketing campaign to the audience and the platform and leverage the maximal gains.  And in many cases, when done right, those gains turn up as dollar signs.

With a sneak peek into the marketing channels of 2018 it is time to get your company on board. Set up an appointment with our team at Blirt and we’ll get you started!