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  • Writer's pictureMcCafferty Advertising

Trends in Marketing for 2018

January is such a great time of year for businesses and their leadership. It represents a new year with a new start, where real focus is given to marketing efforts for 2018.

It's always important to look back on the past year's performance, but you've also got to look ahead to major trends affecting your industry and seek out new opportunities. To help, here are six marketing trends that leaders should take into consideration moving into 2018:

1. The need for content marketing distribution has never been greater.

As brands and marketers increasingly rely on content marketing as a major part of their marketing strategies and produce more content of their own, it's become harder to cut through the noise and grab your audience's attention before your competitors do.

Creating content at a consistent pace is important. You also need to think about how you can distribute your content better than anyone else in your space. This goes beyond social shares, especially as Facebook's organic reach is dropping significantly. Particularly in 2018, it's crucial to put together a content distribution strategy to get your message to the right people in the right place at the right time - when they need it most.

2. Demand for authenticity in marketing is on the rise.

In our online world people have more of a need for human connection. Marketers should approach communications with a commitment to more personalization. This will be one of the most effective ways to scale your connection to your audience.

A second part of this strategy is to work to meet potential customers face to face at events and through networking opportunities. Having these “real world” personal connections that are then supported by personalized content over time can cement an affinity with your brand.

3. Chatbots are emerging to help brands in all industries.

Chatbots are not directing users away from the social platforms they're already on, such as Facebook Messenger. This is good news. It enables marketers to meet their audience where they are already consuming content. In fact, many brands in a wide variety of spaces are already implementing chatbot strategies.

Plus, the barrier to entry here is low, so consider testing a chatbot on your own team. There are quite a few free tools out there to help you get started, and you can obviously put some spend behind other tools for different experiences. This simple investment can help you quickly engage your audience and nurture a more personalized relationship that keeps them coming back.

4. Voice search is on the rise.

Hey Google: Is it true that typing a search query is becoming a thing of the past? As a matter of fact, more consumers are going off-screen and relying on voice-activated personal assistants to search for information, with some analysts estimating that as much as 50 percent for all searches will be conducted through voice by 2020. Your marketing messages need to be crafted with voice search in mind, which means targeting long-tail keywords and featured snippets.

5. Video content is here to stay.

If you've heard it once, you've heard it a hundred times: Video isn't going anywhere.  Fifty-five percent of people consume video content thoroughly, and by 2020, online videos will account for more than eighty-five of all consumer Internet traffic. Bringing video content into your marketing can be important, even if you’re just starting in a small way. It doesn't have to be the sole focus of your budget or even the biggest portion of it to be valuable.

More and more marketing tactics are invented every day. Marketers are challenged to consider their budget and strategy across many options. With these trends in mind, there's no doubt 2018 will be one of the most interesting years for marketing yet.

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