2017 wasn’t a bad year for marketers. We saw lots of innovations in attracting audiences and generating leads. Podcasts became a popular format for disseminating marketing messages – and an effective one, too – and the continuing rise of Instagram saw more and more brands segueing onto the platform and using its unique position to their benefit.
But 2018 is no slouch when it comes to fresh, inventive marketing ideas. You might have read about many of them, but it’s always hard to separate the truly effective from the gimmicks. Well, that’s precisely why we’ve put together this piece. We’re here to show you the best, most effective 2018 marketing trends that you can use to improve your marketing and boost your bottom line. So, with that said, let’s jump in.
For a long time, the focus on marketing has been all about maneuvering around algorithms on social media to have the most significant impact. While this isn’t wrong, it has given rise to a great deal of marketing that isn’t so much about the human user, but more about besting the various algorithms with reams of hashtags and other ‘spammy’ methods to create conversions. Not anymore.
A major trend for 2018 marketers is to put the human touch back into optimisation. Many marketers have realised that quality engagement with an audience is just as valuable, if not more valuable, than hashtag stuffing and an algorithm-beating approach. The result of this approach is a community that feels engaged and attached to the brand – because they gain value and real communication from your marketing efforts.
The more you engage with users on a human, personal level, the more platforms like Facebook and Instagram will push your content to those users. It’s an organic way of personalised, optimised marketing that can pay real dividends.
2018 is seeing other big changes in the way brands and businesses use social media for their marketing efforts.
Many marketers have long since seen social media platforms as nothing more than a place to push out content and, in return, harvest traffic back to their site. Many brands still view platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in the same light. But this is all changing.
Now many marketers are coming round to the view that social media pages can function as specialised content outlets in their own right. What this means, is platform-specific content for each social media channel, rather than the same content pushed out across multiple channels. This benefits brands because users value unique content that’s tailored to their social experience, and it speaks to a creative, committed approach to marketing. Social media users know you are going to market to them – they don’t mind that – they just want it to be specific and of value to them.
We’re a long way away from the days when corporations and businesses could pursue their agenda without any thought for the wider world. Today’s consumers are much more aware of the problems facing the world, and they expect their favourite brands to have this awareness too. And this is where conscious marketing comes in.
Many brands, for example, now talk a lot about what they’re doing to facilitate change. But this isn’t just a small blurb hidden away on the website; it’s something they put out there and discuss with their customers and potential customers. Many consumers want to feel like they’re making a difference to the world when they buy a product or use a service, and telling them how they can do this through you is a sure-fire way to boost engagement and brand loyalty.
This isn’t to say that social issues should become your only content, but that you should be making an effort to show your audience how you are making the world a better place – even in small ways.
Marketing to Generation Z
For the past half-decade or so, much of marketing’s collective focus has been on engaging with millennials – those born in the late eighties and early nineties. This is still a big focus in 2018 as millennials represent a vast audience, but Generation Z is starting to come into its own in terms of marketing efforts.
This audience, born in the late nineties and early noughties, is now at the point where they are entering adulthood. That means marketers need to understand a new generation that has disposable income and particular tastes. And social influencers are a big part of Gen Z’s outlook. Marketers are starting to realise that the influence of social media personalities – often with targeted, niche interests – is more important to Gen Z than celebrity endorsements.
As time goes on, marketers will gain more insight into this new generation of consumers, and their heavy use of social media is going to play a big part in how you reach them.
This big trend started back in 2017, and it’s all about businesses and brands showing their audience who they really are.
With the rise of social media has come a want from audiences to know about the personality of brands – it’s no longer enough to simply offer products in a staid, professional manner. For many brands, this means a casual, sincere and often humorous approach to social media, AKA a human, fun side that your audience can relate to and enjoy.
Developing an authentic, enjoyable personality is a crucial marketing trend in 2018, but it means identifying who you are and putting that into practice. The tone you use could be witty, casual, funny or whatever is natural to your brand. Don’t force it, and ensure you have an in-house document to keep your message and personality unified. If you’re thinking about the above methods and want to boost your bottom line in 2018, take a look at how lead generation package from L2W Digital could help. Our Lead Engine V2.0 flagship software can help your brand develop quality leads, and we offer expert, knowledgeable help every step of the way.
MD of L2W Digital
Lover of all things Digital and Liverpool FC!