Eighteen for Marketing tips for the New Year

Here are eighteen tips for 2018 that all business owners should do to ensure continued growth and continued success for the year ahead.

MARKETING STRATEGY

  1. Integrating Marketing Activities into the Customer Lifecycle

    Marketing and digital marketing has grown in complexity, resulting in the increased reliance upon techniques such as customer journey mapping for individual personas, which helps define the most relevant communications and experiences at certain touchpoints along the customer’s purchase journey.

  2. Analyse, Review, Re-analyse

    The nature of marketing is becoming more scientific every second. Focusing strongly on your marketing data will provide you with an insightful way in which to manage and spend your budget wisely; narrow down which KPI’s you’re trying to achieve, then thoroughly review the previous year’s activities to see which campaigns or projects assisted in driving you closer to your goals. Find out what worked, and what didn’t.

    Technology and how consumers behave online is rapidly advancing and diversifying, so making sure we know how to reach your next customer with the right campaign, the right message, and the right tech is now at the front and centre of your marketing and business strategy. 

    Though data is amazing, it’s useless unless you can understand it and unless it helps businesses make better business decisions. Over time, groups of data and numbers show correlations and trends. They can show at any point what type of content works, at what point a campaign is working, when social media posts are their most popular. We capitalise on these trends in a quick and effective manner to make smarter business and marketing recommendations to grow your business.

    Icon has developed a customised reporting system that merges online results with offline and digital campaigns, the key elements of the reports are to research, analyse, present, and innovate.

    Data
     
  3. Ask Your Customers

    While the data and insights can tell you the facts and figures, the real source of information about how your business is tracking are your customers. Asking your customers will give them the opportunity to directly raise any ongoing issues they may have with your company, and provide you with the opportunity to address them. 

    This type of engagement with your customers leaves them feeling valued and appreciated, as well as being a contributor to a successful, ongoing business relationship.

    CONTENT MARKETING

  4. Viral Content

    When you hear viral, you think a cute cat or a talking goat. Everyone wants to have their content go viral. Marketing teams are doing everything they can to develop and procure viral-worthy content that leads to revenue. However, creating content that has potential to go viral is very challenging and needs to be authentic, funny, witty and relatable.

    Viral Content
     
  5. Micro-Influencers

    Micro-influencers are digital influencers with a total audience size of between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. Micro influencers are 4x more likely to get a comment on a post than are macro-influencers [1] (who usually have ~10 million followers). Micro-influencers are more likely to post about specific niche topics and they have the loyal followings that share their passion and a staggering 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 33% trust ads. [2]

  6. Blogging

    Topics like company updates, engaging customer stories, featured guest posts and relevant business trends allows marketers to cultivate their brand and connect with customers while having the interactions take place on their own website.

    Content marketing will continue to grow as the cornerstone of all marketing, driving strategies into 2018. 

    “What’s important to remember, is that content is what catches the attention of your audience and builds the trust with your brand.”

    “It’s the experience created by your content that moves the customer from the top of the funnel down into the final conversion of the buyer’s journey,” - Neil Patel.[3]

    VIDEO MARKETING

  7. Video Marketing: More is Better

    It was once said that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” According to Dr. James McQuivey “a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.[4] ” With the need and reliance upon customer engagement growing exponentially, video has been found to be the best and most efficient way of engaging your customers. 

    In the recent Cisco Visual Networking Index report, they believe video will further cement its dominance with volumes growing fourfold between 2015 and 2020. In fact, by the time we reach 2019 video will account for over 80% of all internet traffic. In actual numbers, that means by 2020 3 trillion internet videos [5] will be uploaded per month, equalling (roughly) 5 million years’ worth of content per month.[6]

  8. Video Advertising

    Video has been a significant part of digital marketing for many years, providing the industry with a more engaging way of delivering content aside from words and static images. But there is still a large opportunity for industries to use it for advertising, [7] without it looking like an advertisement. One such example is Facebook. With the adoption of live streaming through your account, it is a great way to get your brand out there. Also, Facebook appears to be prioritising live video over video, and video over all other content.

    VideoAdvertising
     
  9. Content Adapts to Human Search Behaviours

    “The times, they are a changin’” 

    Business customers will need to begin to behave like the average consumer in 2018, because search engines will be expecting it. [8]

    The meteoric rise of voice and local search (Google Home and Siri we’re looking at you), rich card SERPS and smart phone usage continues to fatten-up Google’s latest algorithm updates, evolving search engines in to a virtual mirror of human behaviour. What does this mean for users? That organic, natural language (not robot speak) is going to perform best (for SEO) in the future.

    Create and produce worthwhile content that answers questions, not content tailored around keywords. Your competitors may already be doing this, which makes it vitally important that you position your brand’s content as a unique addition to your industry’s conversation.

  10. The Reality of Augmented Reality

    Customers are looking for new and inventive ways in which to engage with your brand, and one of the most popular up-and-coming technologies is Augmented Reality. This technology layers computer-generated enhancements over your existing reality, allowing you to engage with it. One of the best examples of the possibilities of Augmented Reality was the highly successful Pokemon Go. 

    It was a video game that had people outside exercising, while engaging with the Nintendo brand through app participation, not to mention conversations on social media.

    Pokemon Go

  11. The Immersion of Virtual Reality

    While many believe Augmented and Virtual Reality are the same, they are quite different. Augmented Reality combines computer layers with your surrounding environment, while Virtual Reality removes you from your existing environment, and through technology puts you in to another one. Companies have started to use these as a way to provide customers with an experience that pushes them towards a purchase.

    The likes of The Marriott, Merell and Volvo have already used VR to promote products and experiences, by providing potential customers with a chance to “see” how they work or what they look like without having to step outside the home. This acts as another step in the sales funnel leading towards a purchase.

    SOCIAL MARKETING

  12. Increasing Popularity of Instagram Stories

    Over 200 million people use Instagram Stories each month, which is over 50 million more than those who use Snapchat -- and Instagram Stories is just one year old! At this rate, nearly half of all Instagram users will be using Stories by the end of 2018.

  13. Take Control of your Social's

    Are you guilty of setting up every new social network that comes along but then gotten too busy to manage them?

    Having an inactive social media account sends the message to your customers that you are either no longer in business or just don't care about your online reputation. According to Grace MacDonald of Social Live LLC, 
    Typically, problems occur when managers of a company place their social media marketing responsibilities in the hands of their own employees, who usually have little or no experience in this type of work. Sometimes, employees even will take it upon themselves to create accounts without asking, operating without management's permission or knowledge. This can hurt reputation, as there is no consistency in the message or proof reading from the eyes of those in charge. 

    “This is further compounded when companies allow in-house employees to create and keep the pass codes to social media accounts. If that employee quits, is let go, or walks off the job, he/she take the social media accounts with them.” [9]

    The best way in which to avoid situations like those above is to contract a professional third party. They will take control of your accounts security, while also bolstering your online reputation through uniform communication to your customers. Rest assured that you will not surrender full-control. Some third-parties will be able to create a social strategy based on your industry, while taking direction from you when there are special events you wish to promote.

    SocialMedia
  14. Investment in Proven Social Platforms

    A common refrain from B2B marketing managers is that their companies aren’t able to engage on social in the same, provocative way that B2C brands do. Thus, they curtail their social budgets.

    A fine-tuned social strategy will be the new norm in 2018, as businesses have years of data that show which platforms work best and where their customers are actually present online. But instead of slashing spend for social media altogether, however, companies will more wisely allocate their resources toward a single platform, such as LinkedIn. By doubling down on what they know will work, their investments are more likely to pay off.

    DIGITAL MARKETING

  15. Take Advantage of Google My Business

    Take charge of what people see when they search for your business. Google My Business gives you the tools to update your listing and engage with your customers from your phone, tablet and computer. All for free.
    Businesses that verify their information with Google My Business are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers.

    Landing page
  16. Make Every Page of Your Website a Landing Page

    Website site visitors enter your site through a variety of means. Who knows which page will be their first impression of your brand? Maybe they found one of your blog posts on Google, or maybe they saw a tweet that caught their interest.

    Landing pages are built with the end-user in mind. They are built to convert. They are built to be tested. They are built and never finished, because there’s always something else that can be added or subtracted.
    And landing pages are focused on one thing, one clear action that you want your website visitor to do. Buy.

  17. Mobile Influence on Desktop

    For year’s the desktop and mobile design elements of sites have been kept separate, worked on individually with desktop driving the design and functionality of mobile, just on a smaller scale. However, for the first time ever, it appears mobile browsing has surpassed desktop, and begun to influence modern design trends.

    Elements strictly considered mobile, are making their appearances on desktop designs. Things such as such as hamburger menus (three lines stacked on top of each other) and large typography, are just the beginning of the changes. [10]

    Another change we believe will transition across to desktop are ‘sticky elements’. Mainly found on mobile site, ‘sticky elements’ will be things like navigation menus and hello bars, which remain at the bottom of the page while you scroll, making them easily accessible.

  18. Don't Fear Traditional Channels

    With all this talk of technology and digital, you would be forgiven for thinking we were advocating the total abandonment of traditional media like print, radio and outdoor. But we are not, as we believe each has their place in the marketing landscape, and will greatly depend on your business and its audience.If your business has geographic restrictions, or just prefer to offer your services to certain areas, placing adverts in the local paper, at bus shelters or on buses, even on billboards in the local area, you may find these methods will best suit your business and its objectives.

    Newspaper

    This is what makes Icon Visual Marketing special. We do not recommend practices or technology just because it is new or gimmicky. We take the time to get to know you, your business and its pain points. THEN, we will take the information and create a strategy and direction we think is best for your business. Icon Visual Marketing has the experience, skillset and knowledge to help grow your business. 

    To start the conversation on how we can help, please feel free to contact us on 1300 138 984, or you can fill out our online for here, and we will contact you as soon as possible.

References

[1] https://venturebeat.com/2017/02/23/how-micro-influencers-are-becoming-essential-to-marketers/
[2[ https://simplymeasured.com/blog/influencer-marketing/#sm.000009886711jddv2zxqc8th6czzt
[3] https://neilpatel.com/blog/content-marketing-trends-2018/
[4] http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/a-minute-of-video-is-worth-18-million-words-according-to-forrester-research-1900666.htm
[5] https://www.kunocreative.com/blog/digital-marketing-in-2018-and-beyond
[6] https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/complete-white-paper-c11-481360.html#_Toc484813971
[
7] https://www.business2community.com/digital-marketing/2018-digital-marketing-trends-01962489#ACkFqubz1Js44jSt.99 
[8] https://www.brafton.com/blog/strategy/11-exciting-b2b-marketing-trends-you-need-to-know-for-2018/
[
9] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/inactive-social-media-accounts-can-harm-your-online-grace-macdonald/
[10] https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/ux-design-trends-2018