Building your business from the ground up is both an exciting and stressful process. New businesses are fortunate in having more options than ever to reach a wider audience. But they’re simultaneously cursed with greater competition than ever, as more and more businesses hop on the digital marketing bandwagon.
Consumers want authentic and trustworthy brands more than anything else. Especially in today’s transparent internet landscape, brands will continue to be held accountable.
In addition to these basics, there are some emerging trends that you’ll need to know for marketing your business in 2018.
Getting acquainted with micro-moments
“Micro-moment” is a new term being thrown around in the marketing world. However, it’s more than just guru jargon; it’s a consumer trend that could make or break your chances of acquiring a new customer. Brands are quickly realizing the massive impact mobile devices now have on consumer decision-making.
Thus, micro-moments refer to those instant decisions smartphone users make on at least a daily basis.
This may include a quick decision to Google a product, research a topic, or a number of other actions. Now more than ever, brands need to focus on shortening their content and enriching it with value.
Can you optimize how you explain your products and services? Can all of your customer’s questions be answered in a couple of clicks or taps?
Boosting your customer service
Chatbot technology has been on the rise since its inception. Specifically, more businesses are using chatbots for quick and efficient customer service. Bots can answer questions and suggest solutions, offering the immediate satisfaction customers have come to expect.
A 2017 Gartner study estimated that chatbots would account for an astounding 85 percent of customer interactions by 2020.
If your business is scaling rapidly and you’re finding it difficult to keep up with customer service requests, consider adding this technology. While it may not seem directly tied to marketing, word-of-mouth travels fastest when poor customer service is the culprit. The best way to ensure positive word of mouth is through exemplary assistance.
Related: StartupNation Business Services
Some marketers say that text-based marketing tactics, such as blogs, are dead. This may be a bit dramatic, as millions of internet users still click and at least scan articles on topics that interest them. However, there has been an undeniable rise of visual marketing and a growing expectation for video content in the last year.
Back in 2016, Facebook users alone were viewing approximately 8 billion videos per day. As brands from every industry find new ways to utilize Facebook Live, YouTube, Instagram and even Snapchat, visual content from brands has become the norm.
According to a Recode study, “Mobile video ad spend will grow 49 percent to roughly $18 billion in 2018.”
So if you’ve yet to dive into visual marketing, 2018 is the year to get started. How can you bring more visual elements into your content marketing plan?
Testing out geofencing
Geofencing is a marketing trend designed to help businesses learn more about their local demographic. Essentially, geofencing allows businesses to market to smartphone users in a certain geographical region. When a potential customer uses an app or enters their browser while in that region, businesses can target them with an ad through geofencing.
This style of marketing is ideal for brick-and-mortar businesses looking to capitalize on foot traffic. One study found that “Sixty percent of consumers look for local information via their smartphones,” and interestingly, “Seventy percent are willing to share their location with you for something in return.”
So if you seek more local customers, geofencing may be just the tool to alert those who need your products and services.
Much like micro-moments, micro-influencer marketing is a trend that is likely to expand in 2018. Influencer marketing is nothing new, but micro-influencers tend to have a smaller following.
You might wonder, “Then why are businesses eager to link up with them?”
Research has shown that “90 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations, while just 33 percent trust ads.”
Micro-influencers are more likely to be thought of as peers, which means they’re more likely to garner trust. They are also more likely to post about specific topics rather than broad, popular trends in their industry. This creates the perfect grounds for collaboration: a startup finding trustworthy spokespersons for their brand.
It may seem overwhelming to implement all of these into your marketing strategy at once. So start small – take one or two of these ideas and brainstorm ways to build a sustainable plan that works for you.