Happy 2018! While we’re always excited to pop a cork, toast and sip some bubbly to mark the start of a new year – we’re just as excited to keep up-to-date with 2018 marketing trends. (Yes, we’re marketing nerds.) It’s a brand-new year, and we’re honing brand-new strategies for clients large and small.
We’re committed to sticking to the tried-and-true (data, strategizing and killer creative) as we head into 2018 and augmenting them with fresh approaches to finding your customers. With hopes to help your business grow, here are some of the trends my staff and I are most excited about for 2018:
- Micro-Influencer Marketing: Targeting people with large followings on social media is nothing new, but 2018 could be the year influencer marketing comes into its own. Brands already typically generate $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, according to Inc.com, and internet celebrities aren’t the only vector for that. Smaller brands are finding success with micro-influencers, local personalities with 1,000-100,000 followers. What does that mean? It means you don’t need Kylie Jenner to endorse your brand – you just need someone with a small but fiercely loyal following.
- Voice-Optimized Searches: While Google has been singing praises in the name of semantic search for years, Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple’s Siri are quickly eliminating the keyboard from searches – and changing the way people use search engines. While traditional long-tail keywords are still massively important, the rise of voice-search optimized content will change the game: Natural-language questions like “What’s the best type of wine to drink with chicken marsala?” are just as important as “wine with chicken marsala.” You’ll see a nod to this in Google’s recent Rich Snippet change (read on Moz.com here for the best explanation we’ve seen).
- The Rise of Generation Z: Millennials are so 2017. The next age cohort, which is now unimaginatively dubbed Generation Z, is starting to come of age. The eldest in this cohort is 22 in 2018 and seeking a job, while younger Gen-Z’s are commanding the purchasing power of teenagers. It’s time to start building personas that go beyond the typical Boomer, GenXer and Millennial (Shameless plug: if you’re not building personas to hone your marketing strategy, you could benefit from one of our Discovery projects).
- LinkedIn Flourishes: While social media continues to be a great place to connect with consumers, LinkedIn’s late 2017 revamp has made the professional-network based social media site a lot more friendly and even more helpful to the digital professional. Look to the platform to make a move to become the go-to spot for B2B social-media marketing. Connect with me on LinkedIn here.
- Content Marketing Continues to Climb: About 70 percent of customers would rather read about a brand than learn about it through an advertisement, according to Smart Insights. While this puts pressure on Public Relations teams to get coverage, it also underscores the importance of content marketing. Your blog shouldn’t merely be an SEO strategy, it should be a place for your current and future customers to learn about what makes you unique. We’re excited to say that we hired our first Public Relations Specialist a few months ago, meet Rebecca here!
Which will become the biggest of the 2018 marketing trends?
It’s still far too early to tell, but OTM’s already developing strategies to make sure our clients stay ahead of the curve!