Online Marketing Trends for 2018 and Beyond

Staying ahead of the competition often means knowing what products or services are more in demand when figuring out what to offer potential customers. In addition to keeping track of trends on what to sell, however, successful business owners also have to stay up to date on how to sell. The following are a few of the online marketing trends that are currently underway and should only expand throughout this year and into 2018.

Content Marketing Will Reign Supreme Through 2018

Online marketing is overcrowded with websites and content, so this will force businesses that wish to compete successfully to tailor their content more toward niche markets. Marketers have already learned the importance of focusing on niche keywords when it comes to promotional methods such as pay-per-click advertising. If there are a million people selling shoes online then it's completely pointless to bid on the keyword “shoes.” The competition on such a general term will result in an absurdly high bid being required to rank anywhere near the top under it. This is why experienced marketers learned that you need to bid for far more specific keywords to what you are selling such as “black leather boat shoes.”

This same type of niche marketing is happening more in content marketing now as well because the internet is flooded with content under every imaginable product category today. Content that targets a specific, narrow group of potential consumers will have much less competition than more general offerings of similar information.

Increased Use of Images

When it comes to grabbing the attention of someone quickly scanning an ad or website, a powerful or evocative image is generally more effective than text. Whether one is talking about Facebook ads or Google Adwords ads, it has been known for a while now that ads with an image perform better.

Infographics can be particularly effective because they combine the attention-grabbing power of a visual with content throughout it that helps to relay your message. They also look far more impressive than simple text and random pictures on a webpage and convey the impression to website visitors that you are a serious professional in your field.

Increased Use of Video

As compelling as standalone images and infographics can be, when it comes to grabbing a viewers attention, nothing beats video. This medium more fully engages a website visitor's senses by adding sound and motion to the drab text and imagery that adorn all websites.

Putting a video on a website to increase visitor engagement is the best way to make your website stick out from the competition, and this trend is only going to continue through this year. The internet is swarming with an impressive array of video production companies that are booming thanks to businesses realizing that they need to stick out from their competition. Whether it is a corporate video, training video, educational video or a sales presentation, the message will be relayed with far more certainty through this medium.

The use of short explainer videos seems to be growing across the internet. These couple minute long animated presentations get a company's message across to their target audience in a way that gets people to take action.

Video streaming is another one of those online marketing trends 2017 will see an increase in. Live streams on sites such as YouTube are an effective method for growing YouTube channels to offer current information in a more interactive manner.

More Native Advertising

Some people may find it annoying, but native advertising will undoubtedly be one of these online marketing trends that continues through 2018. These are those ads that disguise themselves to look like other content on the website they are on. One example of this is when you go to a site like cnet.com to download some free PC software, and on the download page, you see a square graphic that says “download.” When you click on it, however, you find it takes you to some advertiser's page.

It is easy to see how this method may aggravate some people as they frequently think they are getting something else when they engage with the advertiser. This may make it especially important for those who use this method to have landing pages that grab the visitor's attention even more quickly than usual.

Capabilities That Give Consumers an Immersive Experience

The next step in online marketing seems to be to give web browsers the feeling that they are more a part of the shopping experience. This is being accomplished through the use of augmented reality(AR), virtual reality(VR) and 360 degree videos.

The one thing that's missing when we shop online, as opposed to going out to the store, is the knowledge that we are really just sitting at home staring at a screen. We are not really experiencing shopping as we do when we go out to the mall.

To set themselves apart from the crowd, increasing numbers of companies will utilize technologies that immerse the consumer in the company's business through their internet device. You may have already seen these types of technologies on some real estate websites where they give you the feeling that you are actually in the home that you are looking at.

Online Marketing Trends 2017 and 2018

The above marketing trends for 2018 reflect the fact that there is a lot more competition online today. The trend in general is moving more toward more focused content and advertising efforts that are more interactive and immersive. This type of evolution of online marketing should improve the bottom line of businesses that stay on top of trends while also providing consumers with ads and information more tailored to their needs.

Social Media Marketing Trends
Social Media Marketing Trends

Social Media Marketing Trends 2018

Social media platforms are changing every day, which means that Social Media Marketing is changing too. You may or may not be aware, for example, that Facebook recently added a “Stories” option, which is similar to the feature previously offered by Instagram (among others). Social media and advertising and marketing trends are changing rapidly, too.

Here are five of the biggest Social Media Marketing trends you should watch for in 2017 & going into 2018 (as well as a few tips on how to personalize them for your business, website, band, or whatever you're trying to promote).

1. Moving Away from Twitter

In recent years, Twitter has been in a slow decline. Many analysts have even predicted a slow demise for the one-time social media giant. While Twitter will likely survive, it's pretty unlikely that you're going to find any positive references to Twitter if you search the web for Social Media Marketing Trends 2017.

What happened? Twitter was originally built on real-time, quick-to-read updates. Unfortunately, Twitter's original appeal isn't as exciting anymore now that users crave longer, more in-depth posts and content. In addition to controversies regarding censorship and security, Twitter clearly needs to overhaul their game plan if they want to remain viable in the years to come.

2. New Approaches to Creating Inspirational, Emotional Content

There's a reason Facebook adopted “reactions” to replace simple “likes” (you can even react to comments now); allowing users to react let's them share their specific feelings about a post or a piece of content, and not just the fact that they noticed it.

What does this mean for your business's Social Media Marketing? Well, one of the biggest recent Social Media Marketing Trends is a shift toward more emotionally engaging content. Increasingly, marketers need to be sharing not just a message, but a story. Something inspirational, something adorable, maybe even just something that's downright funny. Why is this so important? Well, content that provokes strong emotions increases content's “spreadability”, and consequently improves your brand awareness as well.

3. Oh, Snap!

What a difference a few years can make. The one-time scrappy upstart Snapchat has gone from a relatively-popular platform to a position where they now stand a chance at becoming more relevant than Twitter. What's behind the spark in popularity? Their adaptability, for one.

Recently Snapchat completely changed their format and even their name–they're now known simply as: Snap. What are their goals for the future? Focusing on what they do best: in-the-moment and live content, including the introduction of vertical videos.

Snap is reportedly also working on some exciting product development, including glasses that will allow Snap's users to share high-resolution visual information in real-time. Naturally, these changes and new opportunities have marketing professionals champing at the bit. Their new style promises to be one of the most-watched this year in Social Media Marketing.

4. Increased Choosiness from Businesses

Although new platforms show up seemingly every day, most of them don't succeed on a global level. As more marketers realize this, expect to see a trend towards greater choosiness when it comes to social media platforms.

For many businesses, it's redundant and even wasteful to market on more than one platform. Consequently, many are predicting that in years to come, business should focus all of their online marketing efforts only on the platforms that have a proven success rate.

5. More Experience-Based Marketing

There's an increasing demand for social media to be more immersive, providing a sort of vicarious experience for users. In the simplest terms, it's no longer enough for you to post about an event–you need to take users into the experience by live-posting, or even by using a 360-degree video. We predict that this will be one of the most noticeable shifts when it comes to Social Media Marketing Trends 2017.

How Will You Make These Trends Your Own?

Now that you're aware of some of the Social Media Marketing Trends 2018, the question remains: how can you take advantage of these trends to tell your brand's story? Here are a few tips.

What's your brands “story”? Are you socially engaged? Are you outdoorsy? Let your customers know what you're about!

Do you have events that you can live-post?

Which social media platform has had the highest marketing success rate for your business?

We wish you the best of luck creating your own Social Media Marketing Trends!

If you need help with any of your social media, you can contact us here, or call us at (503) 563-3028 to find out how we can help you grow.