Real World Digital Marketing in 2018

The digital marketing landscape, like most of the online world, is ever changing and the end of the year is a good time to think about our strategy for the year ahead.  How can we refine our digital marketing in line with the likely trends of the new year and what are the key things we need to be thinking about for digital marketing in 2018?

For this blog post, I have tried to concentrate on those areas of digital marketing which are of most use to smaller businesses, those who don’t have the luxury of a massive marketing budget and a marketing department to match.  The strategies below are appropriate for all businesses, no matter how small.

It’s still all about content!

Content marketing has been at the forefront of online marketing in 2017 and that does not look like changing any time soon.  But, this does not mean just churning out blog posts week after week and thinking that this is enough.  You need to be thinking about all the different types of content for 2018 – video, social media, white papers, infographics and webinars are some of these.  Online video in particular is set to grow, particularly on mobile.  Thinking about how you can keep things fresh and utilise all these different forms of content marketing will help you to keep your current audience engaged as well as attracting a new one.   When looking at content, think about what information your customers and potential customers want to see.  Don’t view your blog, or any other content on your website purely as an opportunity to sell a product or promote your services – think about it as free information, whether that it product or industry related and about sharing your expertise.  For the most part people would rather read an article than an advert!

Authentic Social Media

Facebook has been in the news again recently due to a crack down on ‘Engagement Bait’ and other similar spammy tactics, used by businesses to increase engagement.   This is obviously pertinent to marketers and means that posts which ask you to tag a mate, vote, comment or like and share are likely to be demoted going forward.   If this is your main Facebook strategy, you are likely to see a drop in reach in future.  Facebook are always looking to improve the experience of their users and many have complained about spam related posts so you need to start thinking about ways to get genuine engagement from your Facebook page!  Once again, you need to be thinking about what your followers want to see.  Be authentic, tell stories and let people see the personality behind your business.  Genuine content of this type will build more worthwhile engagement than spammy posts.

Voice optimised content

Voice search is on the rise.  Siri, Alexa and OK Google mean that we are no longer tied to our screens when it comes to getting information from the internet.  To optimise your site for voice search you need to think about how people talk in natural language.  Long-tail searches containing 4 or words and more natural language searches are the key here and, you guessed it – we’re back to CONTENT!  Thinking about search intent and creating content to answer common questions is a good start to optimising your website for voice search.   Voice optimised content is especially important for businesses who serve their local area with voice search on mobile the largest area.  According to Global Web Index 25% of 16-24s use voice search on mobile, and that number is only set to increase.

There are of course other channels which will be prominent in 2018, but concentrating on these fundamentals will be of most use to ‘real-world’ businesses looking to get to grips with digital in 2018.

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