Year after year, successful marketers find a way to gain an edge over their competitors. They gain that edge by preparing for the future: Knowing what their customers want, how their customers think, and how their customers interact with each other. These variables are constantly changing. Each year marketers see the rise and fall of social media platforms. Marketers get a front row seat to lightening-fast trends and memes. In this constantly evolving industry, it’s important to know what the top marketing trends for 2018 are going to be.
LinkedIn will lead the way for B2B marketers
Over 90 percent of B2B marketers say LinkedIn is the most effective platform for lead generation. That means if you are in the market for new customers LinkedIn should be the first place you look this year.
LinkedIn has made a number of improvements to its platform during 2017, including presenting users with a fresh interface and offering new opportunities to both B2B and B2C brands. If your company operates on a B2B revenue model, now is the time to up your LinkedIn presence. In fact, connecting with a potential client on LinkedIn increases the chances of them buying from you by 50 percent.
In conjunction with LinkedIn’s continued rise, some have predicted the fall of Twitter. While it’s true that Twitter’s user base has stalled, especially when compared to other platforms that are seeing steady or rapid growth, the social media platform still boasts over 330 million active users sending out more than 500 million tweets per day. This means that Twitter is far from being on life support this year, or anytime soon. Additionally, Google Analytics under reports website traffic from Twitter by up to a third. Additional Twitter traffic could be hiding in your analytics under ‘Direct traffic.’
For those B2C brands, many marketers tend to see better engagement on Instagram than any other platform. Instagram’s advertising controls might help it become to go-to channel for social marketing in 2018. Approximately 800 million people use the platform each month, with more people expected to migrate over from Snapchat to Instagram Stories in 2018. However, Instagram still has a long way to go to surpass YouTube and Facebook. Instagram’s user base is one-half of YouTube’s and one-third of Facebook’s.
The Influencer Market is Booming
It comes down to math. Brands are making $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. That makes influencer marketing a good investment. Influencer marketing budgets and adoption are predicted to continue to grow in 2018. In fact, there are 22 multi-channel influencer networks that are growing and hiring right now.
An important arm of the influencer market is micro-influencers. While celebrities boast between 500,000 and 1 million followers and macro influencers have between 100,000 and 500,000 followers, micro influencers have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers on social media.
So why should brands be paying attention to these micro influencers? Because it’s easier for people to relate to them. Not many people can connect with celebrities. And it’s obvious when they are promoting something on their profiles. Many consumers even doubt that a celebrity actually uses the product they are promoting. But micro influencers are seen as regular people with normal jobs and lives. And they are incredibly popular on social media.
Propelled by social media, video adoption is growing each year. The technology is becoming easier to use and the devices are getting cheaper. Live streaming has become very popular, and that is expected to continue in 2018. YouTube used to be the second biggest search engine but is becoming more popular than Google Search based on the number of users in a given month.
Even though video marketing is on the rise, brands aren’t abandoning blogging. Video is just one type of content. There are over 2 million blog posts written every day, a number that grows incrementally every year. Which means that while brands might add video to their offering, it won’t be in lieu of blogging. Instead, brands will do both traditional blogging and video.
How often do you search something on your phone? Often it’s while using public transportation, during a meeting, or while working on a task. These quick searches are called micro-moments. And these micro-moments are why you need a mobile-first website.
Users turn into their devices as a way to learn, buy, watch or do something. There are hundreds of micro-moments checking your device for anything. Over 90 percent of smartphone users look up information on their smartphones while in the middle of a task. That means users are expecting brands to let them find what they are looking for.
With mobile users outnumbering desktop users it’s important to keep a mobile-first mentality when it comes to your website. But that doesn’t mean that desktop traffic isn’t still a factor. While 69 percent of leisure travelers search for travel ideas during spare moments nearly half of those travelers go on to book their choices through a separate channel.
The best way to predict success is to stay up to date with the latest marketing trends for 2018. Identify those trends and then make the necessary changes to your marketing strategy.