Our Top 3 Digitial Marketing Trends of 2018

So many digital marketing trends aren’t very useful, they don’t last, and they’re not universal for B2B and B2C businesses. This isn’t one of those lists. We probably should have titled it 3 practical digital marketing trends for 2018, but we didn’t.

We’ll take a look at one existing trend that, for the most part will probably never go away. The others are some recent (but not really) developments in the way we market.

Like the Laws of Nature…

Gravity is a constant force on earth. So too are the forces of Google and Facebook. While Facebook might be the social network of your parents and grand parents young whipper snappers, it’s also got the most staying power.

Why Facebook? Because it’s got a way to monetize your eyeballs. It also has 2 billion users, that’s 1/3rd of the planet. When 1/3rd of the planet has given up their personal data to marketers, it’s a good bet that marketers are going to leverage that, and so should you.

Google just simply has its claws into every aspect of the Internet. From browser to video, and search to cell phones, they dominate the way we access information. If you’re not following their trends on how to behave as a digital marketer, you’re not going to get found.

So yes, this is a “trend” but honestly it’s more like jumping into a river. It’s a force that’s going to happen whether you like it or not. So if you jump in, be prepared to go where it wants you to go.

Community-Based Marketing

Are SEO and content marketing dead? No. But when it comes to really growing your sales and driving into new marketplaces, what’s old is new. Call it social selling, social marketing, community-based marketing. Getting your customers to be brand evangelists is not a new idea.

B2B businesses have relied on referrals for growth for as long as there’ve been B2B businesses. Creating a great customer experience has more often than not lead to increased sales from people spreading the word for you. In today’s socially connected world, it’s easier than ever to get your tribe to evangelize your company.

Companies are creating more incentives for their customers to spread the word, and in turn getting new customers. Beyond that, some companies are involved in things like Facebook groups to encourage interaction between power users. We belong to a SharpSpring group, where you can exchange ideas and get help without contacting support.

As expected we spread the gospel of how SharpSpring can help agencies whenever we go to a speaking event. This is how a company like that can grow without the huge advertising dollars of their competitors.

Personalized Markting

Everyone wants to feel special. They don’t want blanketed emails and advertising that makes them feel like they’re just one of many. Prior to digital marketing it was harder to do this. Only big companies had the ability to tailor their discounts, marketing, and advertising to what you purchased.

Thanks to automation tools and variables we can now be very personalized in our marketing based on the behavior you exhibit. If you visit a website and only look at sections A&B and don’t need C-F, you don’t want emails that talk about E at all.

Personalizing emails, online advertising, and other digital marketing outlets to your specific wants or needs will become even bigger this year than they have been. Mainly because the costs for doing this continue to go down, but more importantly, customers have said they want them.

Conclusion

The reality is that both personalized and community marketing play well with the continued growth of companies like Google and Facebook. We rely on those companies to help us deliver those personalized ads as well as a platform to have our customers share our work.

They’re the catalyst that makes our marketing efforts grow. So while it’s not always fun to have to bow to their whims, they’re delivering what the buyers and searchers want, so shouldn’t we want to follow their lead?

Published 02/21/18 by Eric Lynch