The start of the year is always a time for predictions.
What's going to happen this year? What's the big trend? Who will be the winners?
Sometimes these things can be an exercise in futility. However, it's still important to pay attention, especially when you see a lot of experts mentioning the same few trends.
This year is no different, especially when it comes to marketing.
With so many brands vying for an ever decreasing attention spans and trying to stand out from the crowd, marketing is more important than ever.
If you want to have your brand stand out and reach the right customers, you need to know what's on tap for the next 12 months (and more importantly, not be left behind).
In this post, we'll take a look at some of those projected marketing trends and why you should pay attention to them.
1. Be Willing to Adapt
A lot of marketing today is focused on the Internet. There are social media like Facebook, email marketing, AI, all this stuff that is both here right now and coming down the road.
At the same time, technology changes quickly. What might have worked for you on Facebook six months ago, probably won't work six months from now. So, while it's important to know what is working for you now, your brand also needs to know there's no guarantee that it will keep working into the future.
Keep an eye out on those areas where you're willing to adapt and take a little bit of risk when it comes to early adoption. Being agile is a valued business objective today.
Video marketing has been big for the last few years, and it is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
That means the brands that are willing to jump into video are likely going to see a leg up on those who don't. Now, before you move on from this because you don't have video production skills, hang on one second.
If you have a smart phone, you can get into video. Look at Instagram stories and Facebook video for one. Content and value are way more important than production value right now.
3. Quality Over Quantity
The wild west days of blasting out any content online might as well be over now. It was nice while it lasted, right? In the past, putting out lots of material was the focus for many brands because it helped get their name out there and have better SEO rankings.
Today, that's a different story. There is so much content created every single second of the day that a term has been coined for it: content shock. There's no doubt you're seeing this in your own life, we're blasted daily with endless articles and ads. After a while, they don't have the impact they used to.
To counter that content needs to be insanely good. Amazing content always wins. So the brands that put out one incredible post a month is actually in a better place than those who put out eight mediocre posts.
4. The Customer Journey
While, technically, this has always been important, too many brands have slid by on this in the last few years. That's about to change as the customer journey is becoming more critical than ever.
Part of that is rethinking what's traditionally worked in the past. Rather than focusing on pushing people down the funnel, brands need to pay more attention to the overall customer experience. And that's not just through the process but also after purchasing too.
So that means focusing on things like personalization. What specific topics are your customers looking for? What voice do they want to hear it in? Also, your brand should be trying to interact as much as possible along the way to find out how you can improve that journey.
5. Micro Influencers
Think you've seen enough of brand influencers? Think again. This concept isn't going away anytime soon, but smart brands are making a slight shift in their strategy by focusing on the micro influencer.
These are people who are on social media and have a much smaller yet way more engaged group of followers. You might think it's great to have someone with 500,000 Instagram followers sharing your product, but in reality, you might see far better success with someone who has 10,000 followers doing the same.
This way you can get super targeted with who you want to reach. Not only that, but it's also pulling in from the customer journey too. These people are engaged with your customers so they can be the perfect partners for success, at a much more affordable rate.
While there are dozens of predictions out there this year, after scouring many articles, these are the five that I saw pop up most frequently.
So, pay attention to how you are approaching 2018 in each of these areas and see what you can to do stand out from the competition.