Marketing trends to look out for in 2018

The New Year is fast approaching, and as 2017 draws to a close we are considering which trends will shape the marketing landscape in 2018. Here’s 5 trends to consider in your 2018 marketing plan.

1. Content Marketing

Delivering quality content on a regular basis rather than solely sales messages highlights your brand as an authority and positions you as an industry expert in your field. This positioning has a direct effect on the trust your potential customers have towards your brand, and ultimately trust sways customer purchasing decisions.

Think about content that will interest your target market. Are there huge news stories in your industry that you could write about and provide opinion?

2. Data and the upcoming changes to data protection with GDPR

Collection and usage of data will be a hot topic of discussion in 2018 with the introduction of GDPR legislation in May. Are you prepared for the impending changes to data collection, storage and usage? Are your processes aligned to the new regulations, or do you need to assess the way your business deals with data? Are the marketing and sales programmes you are using equipped for the changes? These are questions you need and should be asking as a business.

Savvy companies will embrace the introduction of GDPR and see it as an opportunity to review their customer database and the marketing processes used. Relevance is key in marketing, and at Sixothree we actively advise our clients to maintain a clean and legitimate database. Rather than giving customers the option to 'opt out' from hearing from you, with the introduction of GDPR companies will now need to gain permission from their customers to communicate with them. This will result in many companies working with smaller databases but with more focus and more budget spent on those who have expressed an interest in hearing from you, naturally this will result in a better ROI.

3. Social media marketing and social media customer care

Social media isn’t going anywhere, so if you’re not embracing social media platforms as part of your marketing strategy, you can guarantee that your competitors will be. The choice in social media platforms is vast, so whether you’re using Instagram for photo and video sharing or twitter to connect with your audience via hashtags, 2018 will continue to shine a light on businesses using social media. Can you engage your customers in meaningful conversations using bespoke content, helping to create a community and foster an environment of trust between you and your customers?

Customer care via social media platforms is also expected to move up the agenda in 2018. Can you support your sales teams by answering customer questions on social media, in turn helping to protect your brand by connecting with customers via the method they choose?

4. Marketing automation and the rise in web personalisation

As time is becoming more and more precious, automation is becoming key to businesses. Marketing automation can save your teams time, and in turn help boost productivity. There are a wide range of automation tools on the market so make sure you take the time to research which will help rather than hinder you and your teams.

Web personalisation is being used in the market place by brands such as Amazon. As a business, can you provide your customers with a personalised experience when they interact with your brand? Can the information they see online be shaped around their buying decisions, and the content they want to interact with? Personalisation ultimately enables customers to see information that is relevant to them first, without being blocked by irrelevant information.

5. Authenticity in marketing and video content is here to stay

76% of marketers and small business owners who have used video marketing say it has had a direct impact on their business. Video may seem like a scary and expensive proposition, but it really doesn’t have to be. Video provides a perfect opportunity for you to portray the personality of you and your brand, helping your customers to get to know, like and trust you. Think about meet the team videos or ‘a day in the life of’ video taking customers behind the scenes of your business.

In addition, video is now integral to a successful social media presence, with video posts gaining businesses up to 53% more shares than a photo or text post.

If as a brand you didn’t embrace video in 2017, you need to be looking at video as an opportunity to add personality to your brand and boost engagement across your platforms in 2018. Read more about including video in your marketing strategy.

If you’re reading this blog and worrying about your marketing activity for 2018, we’re here for you at Sixothree. To discuss your marketing goals, objectives and strategy, contact the team on 0161 694 9617 or email jenny@sixothree.co.uk.