January is without doubt a time for new beginnings, thinking about what you would like to achieve in the year ahead; but also a time for reflection, thinking about how your business performed in 2017. Understanding what small business 2018 marketing trends are coming up and how they may influence your business will be really useful when writing or reviewing your marketing strategy. 2017 saw many changes (CLICK HERE to read our 2017 marketing trend blog) and 2018 is set to continue along the same path, we wanted to share our top trends to look out for:
1. Introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This comes into force on 25 May 2018. This new regulation is without doubt going to impact all businesses, regardless of size. For large organisations a big concern will be to change their internal processes for fear of potentially huge fines, but for smaller businesses it will all be about how to respectfully use people’s individual data. All businesses will need to adhere to the new regulations, from a marketing perspective as you are asking permission from your clients to engage. CLICK HERE to check out the latest update.
2. The increase of Live Streaming. Over the last few years, video has been noted as a huge focus for businesses. The old saying that “pictures speak a thousand words” is so true and video has taken this to a whole new level. With the increasing number of videos being watched and shared within the social media channels, Facebook Live is without question driving this trend, with daily views set to eclipse 64 billion views per day by Q4 in 2017.
3. Content, content and more content. Over the last few years we have spoken about content being so important and this is predicted to continue into 2018. With Google’s ever increasing and sophisticated SEO tools in place, relevance and personalisation to your target audience will be critical as we move forward.
4. Engaging with your ideal client. At Rimu Marketing we place a huge amount of importance on defining your target audience, without truly understanding who you wish to speak to, it is very difficult to find the right channels, message and creative to engage with your audience. With the ever advancing abilities of tools such as Google Analytics, Google Trends and the social media channels, it has never been so easy to see who is engaging with your brand.
5. Emotionally connecting with your ideal client. Personalisation is something that we have spoken about over the last few years and this continues to be important, it is predicted to grow into 2018, not only on a practical level but also connecting in an emotional way. Once you understand your ideal client you can understand their attitudes, needs, wants and what makes them tick. The emotional connection with your client then takes the brand engagement and loyalty to a whole new level. We have seen some great examples of this over the festive season. It is fairly un-disputed that this year’s M&S ad did a great job in show casing this – CLICK HERE to view. It will be interesting to see how they evolve their creative this year and of course what they have in store for next Christmas.
6. Increasing cost of social media. Long gone are the days that you could build a small business in Facebook alone and quickly gain thousands of followers. More and more Facebook want you to boost a post or invest in Facebook Advertising. CLICK HERE to read our blog back in Sept 2016 with some thoughts on this. Some small businesses often forget that the social media channels are businesses in their own right. 95% of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising for example and they are not alone in this with other popular networks such as Linked In, Twitter, You Tube and Instagram also driving huge advertising revenues. With this in mind it is no surprise that it is predicted we will see an ever increasing cost of engaging in the social media channels and reduction in the success of organic reach.
7. More Automation. In today’s busy world the automation of emails for new subscribers and using other marketing tools to help you drive your business forward when you are busy, will be key. It will be equally important to remember to keep things personalised and relevant, rather than just adding to the noise.
8. Taking care of yourself. In 2017 there has been a definite move to be more open about mental health. This trend is on the crest of the wave and is set to really take hold in 2018. If you are a larger organisation then how can you look after your staff, enabling them to achieve a work/ life balance will be a focus at board level, happy productive staff will mean great results and good company performance. Something to look out for this year are sessions such as the “Laughter Workshop” from Light Mind, a revolutionary concept to help bring teams together and enhance their performance.
9. The importance of Digital Marketing. Lastly, in today’s digital world it is even more important to connect with your ideal client in the way they wish to be engaged with. We will see even more emails, social media engagement, content and online ads coming our way. The trick for any small/ medium size business will be to achieve cut through in such a cluttered environment with dynamic and relevant content.
Mobile marketing, app development and PR are also cited as some of the key 2018 marketing trends but due to the cost implications they are often more reserved for the larger organisations.
There is lots to look forward to in 2018 and it is set to be an exciting year, combined, no doubt with some challenging times as well. We hope that this year is a successful one for your business.
If you need help in kick starting your marketing please contact us to arrange your FREE 60-minute consultation.