Why should you be excited about digital marketing?

Because when it gives you the results you’re looking for, it’s magic for your business; however, the formula for making the most out of your digital marketing strategies isn’t some mysterious, magical form of wizardry, but rather tested, proven equations you can adapt and personalize for your company’s target audience and marketing goals.

The overarching theme for 2018 is personalization. It’s all about customizing your marketing efforts to speak directly to your potential and existing customers.

At Solutions 8, we’re always excited about digital marketing and staying ahead of the curve, so we put together a list of some of the most important digital marketing trends for 2018.

We’ve done the research on these effective strategies, and we’re sharing them with you here in hopes of helping you get a jump start on your marketing plan for the coming year.

1.  Content is still king.You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again and again: content rules when it comes to marketing.
And, quality over quantity is more important than ever before, because the internet is saturated with copy. Yours needs to offer something useful. Ask yourself the following questions:

How does the content you provide help your business stand out?

• Do your blog posts directly answer your customers’ questions or address a concern?
• Do you present one relevant subject per blog so it’s easy to understand and easy to find online?
• Are your posts personalized? Directed at your target audience? Search engine friendly?
• How does each blog post drive customers to take a particular action that ties into a current campaign on social media or directly to your company’s branding?

2. Video content keeps getting bigger.Using video on your website or on social media isn’t a new concept, but the trend continues to grow.Recent research shows that video searches are becoming increasingly more popular and fueled by social media. Google and YouTube are neck and neck when it comes to search engines at 40% and 42% respectively, according to one study.
What does this mean for your business?If you’re not providing quality video content, you might be missing a valuable venue for getting your message to prospective clients. Both YouTube and Google offer video ad options so you can seamlessly implement this piece of your marketing strategy.
When you embark on video content, keep two things in mind:• As with written content, offer quality information over quantity.
• Customize the message to your target audience with one specific goal in mind


3. Generic drip email campaigns are out; personalized emails are in.Sending unimaginative mass emails to your entire contact list and anticipating a high

level of engagement from your customers is like giving the same generic gift to every member of your family with total disregard for age or interest.

Some of them might like it, but the majority of them won’t know what to do with it (and will undoubtedly regift or discard as soon as the opportunity arises).

Again, a personalized, customer-centered approach is the way to get the results you want from your email campaigns. Consider demographics, online behavior, and recent levels of engagement to divide your contacts into more specific groups. Then you can provide relevant content based on this criteria that prospects and existing customers won’t regift or delete.

Over 50% of companies recently surveyed admitted to not having ANY type of target marketing in place for email campaigns. If your business is one of them, commit to breaking that ineffective cycle for 2018.

4. Give your clients a better website experience — on any size screen.
Mobile phones currently trump computers and tablets when it comes to searching for products and services online. Today more than 50% of your prospective clients are searching for your business on their cell phones.

• Is your website optimized for this mobile experience?
• Are you providing specialized content or personalized landing pages for targeted groups of visitors with specific needs or interests?
• Is it easy for customers to find answers and get help when they visit your site?

Chatbots have become increasingly popular as part of a customer-focused website experience, too. Make it simple and user-friendly for visitors to get the information they need with a friendly, efficient, tech-forward approach.

4. Use social media to your advantage
Organic Facebook reach used to be effective, but now, not so much. You need to do more than maintain a social media content schedule.

Remember to post quality information that prospects and existing customers can use, and take advantage of Facebook’s paid advertising. That way you can handpick your target audience based on demographics and other relevant criteria you choose.

Consider integrating social messaging apps into your communication with customers, too. 61% of mobile phone users are on Facebook Messenger. What if you communicated with the right audience via persuasive or informational text messages with a call to action?

In the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, you can’t just take one single approach and hope it reaches your target audience.

Your business needs to take advantage of multiple streams of marketing that you can tie together with branding and a clear message.

We’ve said it ourselves – when it comes to marketing, it’s all about the relationship. Keep that in mind when you’re thinking about marketing for 2018.

Your relationship with your customer is a big deal. The more customer-focused you are — in your content, your target marketing, your blog posts, your social media, and email campaigns — the more engagement you’ll get from those customers.

Tie up your new marketing strategy with your company’s unique branding, and you’ll be off to a great start for 2018. And, as always, if you need our help in any of these areas, just stop by and say hi. We’d love to help.