As February gets underway, business owners and CEOs are diving into their business plans to see how they can improve their ROI and bottom-line in 2018.
Digital marketing continues to gain momentum and changes the way companies are doing business; so, it’s critical for you to know what your company should do to stay ahead of the curve.
Online ad revenue increased globally by $10.5 billion year-over-year during the third quarter of 2017.
As online marketing becomes more analytical and more focused on a holistic marketing approach that encompasses search engine optimization (SEO), social media and email marketing, your business’s website and digital marketing strategy are more important than ever.
Digital marketing is always changing.
And, the word “trend” may make you nervous. You might be apprehensive to make new changes to your company’s online marketing approach.
That’s where we come in. We’ve nailed down a list of the most effective digital marketing channels in 2018 poised to make the most significant impact on your business’s bottom-line.
What’s in store for the digital marketing industry in 2018?
The way businesses use digital marketing channels is evolving and as marketers and entrepreneurs, we need to adapt.
To better understand what’s ahead for 2018 and beyond, we put together this list to show businesses of all sizes how to approach digital marketing in 2018.
Ready to jump in?
Your business’s website is the most important digital marketing channel in 2018. Your site will be the first impression of your brand.
And, if we’ve learned anything over the past year, we know, everyone likes a fast website.
If your website takes longer than three seconds to load, you’re most likely losing half of your visitors. So, the faster your website is, the happier your customers will be.
This page speed trend is rolling over to mobile websites as well. Pages optimized for smartphones and tablets are vital now more than ever with the launch of Google’s mobile-first index.
Google has shared advice on getting ready for the mobile-first index. The good news is, if your site is responsive and dynamic, you don’t have to worry about making any changes.
The announcement of the mobile-first index is blending user experience (UX) and SEO more than ever now.
We know that 52% of users that have a bad mobile experience are less likely to engage with a company. With SEO and UX playing for the same team, websites on desktop and mobile can deliver an amazing experience at every stage of the customer journey.
As search engine algorithms continue to evolve, digital marketing agencies are using SEO and UX to drive leads and increase conversions on websites.
In fact, according to a report from the Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA), 77% of agencies believe that poor website UX is a weakness for their clients, making poor UX the biggest weakness identified by agencies.
Netflix is a great example of how UX and SEO are combining efforts. Netflix gives the users freedom to watch what they want when they want it. And, they use an algorithm to give you more shows that you want.
Reed Hasting, CEO of Netflix, said, “With Netflix, you can watch how you want when you want, and wherever you are in the world,” allowing the customer to drive their own experience.”
Navigation is also an important aspect of user experience (UX).
Last year, marketers began to move away from the hamburger style menu. “Card-based design” is becoming more popular because it allows digital marketers to show more information on mobile.
Spotify recently did away with their hamburger menu and implemented a tab-based navigation menu instead that appears on the bottom of the app.
Pinterest is another example of a card-based website design.
Cards could include information such as a user name, picture, title and various icons. Sometimes there may be a small amount of text, like a product description. In a nutshell, Cards are small, condensed web pages.
More than 205 billion emails are sent daily.
By 2019, this number is expected to rise to 246 billion daily emails.
But, just as your website becomes more personal, so does your email marketing.
30% of marketers said personalization is most likely to impact their email marketing patterns in 2018.
This year digital marketers will create more conversational and visually-striking email marketing and newsletter tactics.
Amazon is a great example of email personalization.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, is an email marketing genius.
He says, “If you build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”
And, that’s why more than 35% of all product sales come from email recommendations.
Personalizing your email campaigns goes beyond using the user’s first name. Consumers today expect brands to create an individual experience with relevant content unique to their needs.
Here is another email personalization example from Airbnb.
After booking my trip to Portland, they sent a personalized email of things to do in the Portland area.
As machine learning begins to grow, email marketers will be able to create more opportunities for personalization.
Email segmentation is also going to impact your email marketing strategy in 2018.
Digital marketers are segmenting more by email preferences. Search Engine Journal directs subscribers to a preference area where they can choose the frequency and the type of content they want to receive.
With the right email marketing strategy in place, your emails can deliver results with individualized content experiences. By harnessing the power of personalization and segmentation, you can track behavioral data to create content for each individual.
1 out of 5 searches already come from voice queries.
The rise of voice search changes your SEO strategy. Keyword research needs to focus on long-tail keyword terms and natural language that matches the user’s intent.
Let me ask you…what are you more likely to search?
Option A) What’s the weather like in New York?
Option B) weather New York
Digital assistants like Siri provide users with quick, relevant answers to their questions. Your SEO strategy should help the algorithms provide the best answer.
Voice search opens a big opportunity for brands to optimize their content for voice search. Content that answers questions directly will have a better opportunity to reach position zero.
The coveted “position 0” is where gaining featured snippets comes into play.
According to Stone Temple Consulting, almost 30% of the test Google search queries show Featured Snippets. And, optimizing your featured snippets for voice search is going to continue to grow in 2018.
And, let’s not forget about the basics.
Google still uses your meta title and meta description. You want Google to display your metadata to get someone to click on your listing versus someone else’s.
If you optimize your metadata with keywords using words and phrases that people want, as well as provide relevant information, you can really win from a click perspective.
Here is an example of how to write engaging metadata:
Experts predict that the new year will see a larger trend toward more sustainable social media practices.
Video marketing has become a popular marketing trend. By 2020, online videos will make up more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic.
In 2018, businesses need to make sure the videos they’re posting align with their company’s goals and can be tied to a real metric or quantifiable business value.
For example, Chobani uploaded a less-than 90-second video about how to make overnight banana berry oatmeal, a banana berry chia smoothie, a banana berry bowl, and banana berry pops to Tasty’s Facebook page.
The video soon got 21.7 million views and 446,000 engagements. Chobani stayed true to its brand and values by helping customers create four healthy meals to enrich their daily lives.
And, with the new Facebook algorithm change announced on January 11th that prioritizes content from “friends, family, and groups,” we’re going to see marketers ramp up efforts for live video.
Another interesting trend in 2018, is the rise of live chat and messaging bots.
In April 2017, Facebook Messenger hit 100,000 bots.
Today, some business like Estée Lauder and AmEx are investing in chatbots to assist customers with making purchases.
Estée Lauder uses a chatbot to match your skin to their foundation. Here’s a sneak peek:
With AmEx, cardholders can connect eligible cards to their Messenger accounts and enable purchases for items sold through Facebook pages.
Thanks for reading. We hope you found a few new digital marketing channels to test in 2018. We would also love to know what new channels you’re trying in 2018? What new strategies are testing? We’d love to continue the conversation below in the comments.