2018 Digital Marketing Trends For Small Business

Luckily, leveraging digital marketing doesn’t have to take a lot of your time or money.
You just need to raise your awareness, learn some basic strategies and jump right in!
To help you get you started — and to make this coming year more profitable for you
— you can learn about 5 important digital marketing trends for 2018 below. Once you
deploy them, you’ll be well on your way to finding fast sustained business growth!

Content Marketing to Attract and Engage Prospects

digital01Content marketing is nothing new, but it is definitely evolving. Small business owners have gone from simple blogging to more complicated strategies involving infographics, ebooks and more. You don’t have to go all out like that, but you should be providing your audience some sort of value through the content you post.

People want to be educated. They want answers to burning questions. They also want
to learn more about the things they already do so they can do them better. Satisfy their need with content, and you will win their attention. Hold their attention with consistently awesome content, and you can win their repeat business. 70% of people say they would rather learn about a company through articles than ads. For this reason, around 90% of businesses that advertise online use content marketing currently. Most are interested in shifting dollars from traditional ads to content, where they can find better returns.

You should create engaging, in-depth content with a strong visual element to attract
prospects. Reach more people by learning about the content they want to consume
and giving them more of it.

If you stay in front of your prospects through regular content posting, you’ll
increase the odds of being first-in-mind anytime someone requires your services.

When you can balance your services & expertise with things your audience wants to
learn about, you can hit a marketing sweet spot. You’ll find bigger returns on web
traffic, social media engagement and lead generation.

Video Continues to Dominate

You might not be into Facebook Live yet, but you probably should be! Recent data
from Facebook shows that people are 10x more likely to comment on a Facebook Live
video than otherwise.

Even if Facebook Live does not work for your business, incorporating video into your
marketing is key. Consider that 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook
or YouTube videos each week, on average.

Now, keep in mind that there are over 2 billion active Facebook users in the world. A
little bit of number crunching reveals that approximately 1 billion people watch one
hour of video a week. That’s a huge embedded audience to explore!
Video holds much more attention and communicates messages more effectively than
text or still images alone. Recognizing this, small businesses have been using video and
finding huge returns. Whether as a type of content or a paid ad, video drives huge
amounts of engagement.

Research from Wyzowl indicates that 79% percent of consumers surveyed would
rather watch a video to learn about a new product then read about it.
Also, “64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video
about it.” So, people are not only watching video but also remembering what they see
and actually buying things afterwards!

Small business owners can start working on their video strategy easily by answering
common questions customers have — either Live or as a prerecorded release.
From there, consider repurposing some of your existing content into short,
informative videos and uploading them directly to social media. You know the audiences are there, you just have to give them something worth paying attention to.

Facebook Advertising To Reach Prospects

Facebook ads have become quite sophisticated in the past couple of years. They’re
finally at a point where even marketers for small businesses can target effectively while
gain valuable audience insights.

Facebook has 1.3 billion active daily users, and they made $7.6 billion in ad revenue in
Q1 of 2017 alone. So, you know for a fact that audiences are there and that others are in
on the game.

Without your own Facebook ad presence, your competitors are staying in front of
your customers when you are not looking.

The average cost-per-click on Facebook is just $1.72, which means you it is a cost
effective way to reach your prospects where they spend their time.
You can put your message about your business in front of high value prospects, even
among very specific demographics.

When you combine video and Facebook Ads you really start to multiply the impac.
Recent data highlights the fact that social video (basically any kind of branded video
or advertisement) generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.

Using paid media and specifically Facebook Ads has quickly become a must to amplify
your brand and product messages to your customer and prospects. Even if your Ad is
not runaway viral advertisement it can still likely generate more engagement, likes and
awareness for your brand online.

Instagram & Influencers Drive Engagement

When it comes to consistent engagement, Instagram is the number one social channel
out there. That’s the conclusion of a study done by Yopto , which found engagement
rate on Instagram to be 45% greater than on Facebook and 40% greater than Twitter.
What exactly does ‘engagement’ mean? It means this: over 75% of users will take action
on an advertisement post in their feed.

The key here is to let your customers do the posting as much as you do. The
same Yopto study found that 77% of people are more convinced by user-generated
photos of a product rather than professional photos.

Crowdsource your own content by asking loyal customers for pictures of them using
your product. People love the attention, and you save on professional photography,
so it’s a win-win for all.

Another key thing to know about Instagram is how powerful Instagram Influencers
are.

“Influencers” refers to people with lots of followers and tons of engagement from
fans. There are all types of influencers, including subject matter experts who post
videos and photos related to their expertise.

Small businesses can tap into these influencers at a relatively low cost. Case studies
have shown that niche experts in your industry will drive direct sales traffic
without costing your company an arm and a leg.

Take the example of RESCUE, for instance. RESCUE wanted to push their range of
natural products, and asked a number of micro-influencers and bloggers to share their
personal stories and include a “buy one, get one free” coupon with their post. The
results? A 258% increase in Instagram followers — not to mention over 6,00 clicks to
the coupon site.

Because of success stories like these, there is no question that leveraging microinfluencers
to drive conversion rates will be a major trend in social media marketing
going forward.

Businesses Not Optimized For Mobile Will Be Left Behind

Digital devices have completely changed how your customers search for and buy
things. 2/3 of the world’s population is connected by mobile devices, and people now
spend more time browsing on mobile compared to desktop.

According to data collected by SimilarWeb.com, 36.46% of Google searches come
from a desktop in 2017, while 63.54% come from mobile. It is expected that mobile use
will continue to grow in 2018, likely surpassing the 70% mark by the end of the year.

The only conclusion you can draw from this: You must optimize for mobile.
Otherwise, you’ll hurt the experience for mobile viewers, causing them to seek out
other businesses that can offer a better one.

What does being “mobile optimized” mean in 2018? Looking at your search results
appearance, for one.

Get found online by researching how your page appears on mobile search. Mobile
searches tend to bring up locally focused information, so reviews and accurate
information about your business matter.

For instance, 50% of local mobile searches lead to store visits, so having accurate
information on your hours is critical.

The continued transition to mobile means people are searching for what they want in
the moment at which they want it. Let’s say a tourist is walking in downtown Chicago
and searches for ‘best pizza’. How will they compare the quality of competing
restaurants within walking distance?

Usually, they will look to reviews. Research from BrightLocal points out that 90% of
people search for reviews of a business before visiting. That’s nothing to sneeze at!
The quality and frequency of reviews matters, so make sure to ask customers for
reviews as part of your regular business routine.

Also, ensure the information available on your business from Google is plentiful and
accurate. You can start by using Schema markup on your contacts page. At the same
time, make sure you have accurate, updated directions to your business listed and your
hours of operation updated.

All of these informative features need to be monitored and optimized for mobile use in
order for you to keep getting business — rather than scaring business away.

Take Advantage of These Five Digital Marketing Trends
for 2018 to Find Success Growing Your Business

In 2018, competing online is no longer an option. It’s a must in order for your business to survive. To grow your business you must apply a complete digital marketing strategy .
One that gets more Leads & Sales. One that takes advantage of the shifts in Mobile, Social, Video, Reputation, Search and other digital marketing trends. One that connects all the dots, so that people can find you on any channel but still have a consistent experience. One that gives the information people need to make a buying decision through helpful content and a mobile-optimized experience. This is the only way for your business to not be left behind. If you take advantage of these trends, you will have a distinct advantage in growing your business over your competition.

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