It's nearing the end of 2017, which means everyone’s starting to talk about the new year. New Years Resolutions will start to become a topic of conversation and if you’re a business, you’ll start asking yourself (if you haven’t already), where should I be spending my time and money online in 2018.
The main goal of our agency is to help equip businesses to get ahead of their competition online and to help solidify a digital marketing strategy for the upcoming year. It’s what I think about a lot but since it’s the start of the new year, my mind is on what digital trends are going to be hot this upcoming year.
Mobile. Mobile. Mobile.
Mobile has exponentially grown over the years and that train isn’t stopping anytime soon. Every year mobile has grown and it’s obvious why. If your website is not optimized for mobile, then that should be your number one priority in 2018. You can spend thousands on clever online marketing campaigns but if it’s not leading consumers to a mobile website then you may be wasting money. Besides, Google will penalize websites that aren’t optimized for mobile, so stop waiting, let us help.
Live video will continue to grow as a must-use tool for businesses in 2018. People love watching videos but when you throw a live element in them they really love it. Live video tends to get more views and most people would rather watch it then reading a blog post.
Here are a few tips we got from Social Media Today for getting started with live video:
- Use live video at events to give followers a behind-the-scenes look at the event.
- Show off holiday displays and sales in live video.
- Use live video to introduce your followers to your employees.
- Advertise an exclusive sale or promotion to anyone who watches your live video.
Online Customer Experience
Online customer experience simply put is the experience a consumer has with you online. This is the experience they have on your website, social media, blog or any other place your business is listed online. How are you interacting with your customers online? Are you responding to comments on posts and reviews or are you distant and non-responsive? As a company, you need to be there online for your customers. At any given moment they are looking to interact with you and to get information about you and your business, be there to help them navigate that process.
Content Marketing = Important
Year after year content marketing makes the list. Why is that? Because it’s important. It’s important because it gives a way for customers to learn about your business. According to Smart Insights, 70% of people said they’d rather learn about a business
Content marketing is not just about clever blog posts, it’s a collection of the content you create online. That includes things like video, images, infographics, and of course, blog posts. Coming up with ideas and content for blog posts can be extremely difficult as a business. The number one reason many of our clients don’t blog is because of time and resources. The fact is blogging can take a lot of time to do so it may be something that you’d like to have a marketing agency do.
The Continued Growth of Voice Search
If you’re in the digital marketing or tech field you’re seeing voice search everywhere. We tell businesses about voice search because it’s changed the way people search for goods and services, especially locally. If I’m a homeowner looking for plumbing I might type into Google Search, “Plumbing in Lubbock”. But if I use voice search, I might say something like, “Help me find the best plumber in Lubbock”. Why does this matter? The way your website is optimized is by taking search phrases and creating content around those phrases. Your website might do great with the short keyword phrase of “Plumbing in Lubbock” but might perform terribly with the long (aka long-tail) keyword phrase of “Help me find the best plumber in Lubbock.”
Getting More Strategic with Social Media
If your finding it harder and harder to reach people on social media, it may be time to readjust your strategy. You’ll need a solid social media presence with a strategic plan for posting content. With that, if you haven’t already, it’s time to explore paid social. I see so many businesses approaching social media all wrong. They have no plan going into it and don’t understand why they’re not successful.
Tell the Truth
There’s no doubting that consumers are sick and tired of the lying and manipulation that’s going on in politics and business, that’s why as a business it should be your duty to tell the truth and be transparent.
Also, a part of being transparent is admit when you’re wrong and work with your customers to find a solution. People go to review sites when looking for home services so it’s important your there when a positive or negative review is left. Consumers want to see the human element of your brand, they don’t want to talk to a computer, they want to talk to someone at your company. Since it’s almost impossible to be present to every customer face-to-face, social media and review sites allow your company to be present online.
It will be better than ever to grow your local business online in 2018
Google recently rolled out their Advanced Verification Process for businesses to advertise in Google AdWords. This is different from Google’s standard verification process as it’s stricter and checks a business on many different factors. To be eligible for this advanced verification, you must be one of these businesses. Google is trying to make the internet more transparent by making sure consumers are getting trustworthy and legible service businesses. These measures taken by Google are ensuring a safer, better, and more transparent online shopping experience for consumers, all of which will help your local business.
Overall, the online landscape will be exciting in 2018 for business, especially local business. Every year the tools available for companies to grow online get smarter, more efficient and even more cost effective.