I will be honest – this topic is my favourite! Every year, we see marketing trends and predictions and I can’t help but wonder which ones will actually manifest to be true and which ones are just wishful thinking. That being said, it feels that this year is going to be different. Or at least this is how we would like to approach this whole “marketing predictions” topic. It’s not so much about the predictions, but it’s about seeing the consequences of all the predictions and trends from the previous years. How does this affect your marketing plan for 2018? Let’s see.
Why talk about marketing trends?
First off, why do we even pay attention to marketing trends and predictions? The thing is when we talk about marketing, we can’t ignore the “market” itself. What kind of changes are happening in your specific market/industry?
For example, if you are in retail – one of the biggest news stories last week was that Shoppers Drug Mart posted a new job opening for a “marijuana brand manager”. Mind that it’s not even legal yet, to sell marijuana in regular pharmacies, but Shoppers, staying on top of trends, taking pro-active steps to hire someone to stay on top of the trend, to make sure they don’t miss out. Now, I don’t tell you to be that forward-thinking, but here are some of the marketing trends that you need to keep in mind as you are writing your marketing plan for 2018.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
There’s no mercy here. Absolutely no room for lazy SEO. We’ve been talking about SEO for long enough, so much so that if you’ve been in the industry for at least a couple of years, you should already know by now what good or bad SEO entails. But, as we all know, marketing is not about knowing, it’s about doing.
The bad news:
- Higher online competition than ever, and it’s growing day by day, no matter what industry you are in. If you don’t pay attention to your SEO you are going to be left behind. Quickly. It’s no longer a threat. It’s a reality. And we are not even talking about being in top 3 results in Google. We are talking about staying on page 1 all together. Keep reading to know why.
- Local marketing – last year, Google started paying (even more) attention to local marketing, and Google Maps in particular. Google My Business is where you would tell Google about your business, and very often this information will be listed above your organic search results. This means that all those local results, pushing everyone’s SEO results down the page, leaving less real estate for SEO visibility. You need to work harder now, on both, your SEO and your local results.
- SEO is not as straightforward anymore. It’s all about long tail keywords these days. We know that 25% of all searches every day are new searches that did not happen yesterday. And that’s EVERY DAY! How on Earth can you expect to track “one keyword” and then measure your SEO ROI? You will be shooting yourself in the foot. The challenge here is, naturally, to justify SEO in the first place. We say, just be smart about it – track more numbers, not just a keyword. Look at your traffic, time on site, how many pages were visited, and your bounce rate as part of your SEO KPIs, but most importantly always correlate your SEO efforts with your sales calls. There should be solid tracking on the customer side of things (if you are a marketing agency, doing SEO for your clients), so regular client check-ins are a must.
- Is Google Local messing up your SEO numbers? Another thing to keep in mind that if you have your Google My Business setup and people are visiting the map, read the details and potentially calling you from the listing directly without ever going to your website. So, if you see your organic traffic going down – this could be the reason why.
- Stay consistent, don’t give up
- SEO is not dead, but the KPIs are not as clear-cut as before
- SEO is directly related to your branding – the more people, who already know you, come to your site, the better chances you have of attracting new people via SEO
Paid. Owned. Earned.
Diversify your marketing! This one is more important than ever before. And I am not talking about going back to print marketing. I am talking about diversifying your DIGITAL marketing.
- What is your paid marketing strategy?
- How’s your owned marketing doing?
- Have you been working on actually earning your customers’ trust and love?
Do not put all of your (marketing) eggs in one basket 🙂 Diversify the channels to stay on top of your customers’ mind at the right time, in the right place.
In other marketing news:
- Facebook is considering taking content from publishers and businesses out of people’s feeds. Meaning your customers won’t see your content unless you pay for it.
- PR support – influencers on the rise. Can you manage them yourselves?
- Content marketing – is it really going to solve all of our problems?
- Visualizing is more important than ever (photos, videos) – is it in your marketing plan?
More in this Facebook Live:
Having some marketing challenges of your own?
Give us a shout or stop by our marketing agency in Vancouver – we always have chocolate.