2018 Online Marketing Trends With The Best ROI for Small Businesses
There have certainly been a lot of changes in the world of online marketing as of late and you can expect that flux to continue. Some new developments are sure to come and go, but others seem to be more promising in terms of delivering a strong ROI in 2018.
Whether you're running a growing company or just starting your business, be sure to keep an eye on these four trends as you make your marketing strategy.
Ramping Up R&D for Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are going to get more and more accurate, making it easier for you to get in front of the customers you want. Better tools are being created to perform consumer research and segmentation, such as Popcorn Metrics and Snitcher, which allow you to learn who your customers are, what they care about, their pain points, and what kinds of solutions will help them.
All of this funnels into your ability to make smarter marketing decisions and, ultimately, boost sales. These tools combined with a heavier emphasis on surveys, consumer behavior analysis, and buyer lifecycle research means that entrepreneurs can synthesize a pretty killer picture of their ideal customer. Follow the lead of Snap, Inc., who recently doubled their R&D budget to put together a marketing strategy for the coming year.
Using Credibility to Get Customers
It's no longer just about the products or services you sell—it's about the credibility you and your company have. You have to use your marketing to show why people should trust you, like you, and want to buy from you.
That's why inbound tactics like guest blogging and long-form blog posts are taking over. These help you establish authority and offer a value-add to your prospective customers, and they are also thought of more highly by Google, affecting your overall site ranking. HubSpot's latest report shows that the best-performing blogs, in terms of traffic, have between 2,250 and 2,500 words. Consistently publishing content of this length and getting popular names in your industry to jump in and guest post will offer a huge ROI by increasing your site ranking and traffic.
(P.S. Want a quick way to establish some extra credibility? Register a .PRO domain to show you're really the best in the business.)
The Rise of Personalized Messaging
Now that everyone's shopping on mobile, brands are taking advantage of the multitude of messaging apps and text abilities in order to reach customers in a casual and familiar manner. One-on-one micro messaging is already happening via Facebook Messenger, where users can talk to retailers' chatbots to make a purchase right within Messenger. Combining smart AI and the ability to reach customers instantaneously on their phone is sure to be one of the most effective online marketing moves in 2018.
A little bit of personalization doesn't have to break the budget. Marketing automation tools like Marketo and Hubspot pride themselves on helping small businesses achieve their personalized marketing goals through focused, real-time personalization. Likewise, platforms like MailChimp allow you to add a personalized touch to your customer emails.
Online Storefronts With Interactive Experiences
Shopping doesn't look anything like it used to. Shoppers today don't just enter a store to buy a product and leave—they expect a shopping experience. The more people that are engaged in the experience, the more sales you will make.
The Bugaboo store is a perfect example—it allows shoppers to custom design the style and look of their strollers and luggage right on the product page, offering users a memorable shopping experience.
If you don't have the technological bandwidth to create something that advanced, it's okay. Squarespace recently rolled out new interactive templates and WordPress is building its repertoire as well! You can also think of creative ways to make your offerings feel more personalized, like using Typeform to create a quiz that will give consumers recommended products or services based on their needs.
2018 is going to be a year of lots of changes in the online marketing world. Keep an eye on these marketing trends as you formulate your strategy for 2018 and see which ones end up yielding you the highest ROI for your efforts.