Digital marketing strategies are ever-changing and sometimes even overwhelming. While it can feel nearly impossible for the average small business to keep up with the dizzying trends and the vast budgets of large companies, there’s definitely room to take advantage of what’s hot right now.
We’ve compiled a list of popular digital marketing strategies for small businesses in 2018 for you. Peruse the list to see if there are any that you can implement into your existing strategy.
1. Voice Search Optimization
Alexa, Siri, Google Home. By now you’re all too familiar with the hype of smart speakers and their increased popularity, but have you wondered how these tools can affect your business search rankings? As voice search becomes more popular, savvy businesses are gearing up by altering their keyword strategy.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Begin writing down questions from consumers. Note frequently used wording, phrases, and questions. Use this info to create content on your site including content pages and blog posts.
- Optimize for local search by claiming your business pages on popular sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook.
- When deciding on keywords think in terms of a conversational tone. These longer keyword phrases are known as long-tail keywords and are at least three words in length.
2. Live Video & Stories
In 2017, we saw live video and stories flourish. People, especially the younger market, can’t get enough of them. From Instagram’s ultra-successful story expansion to the introduction of Facebook stories, stories are everywhere! Even YouTube is getting in on the action by testing a new story-like feature they are calling Reels.
Here’s what you need to know to kickoff 2018:
- In November, Instagram Stories hit a new record when Mark Zuckerberg announced that the feature now garners 300 million daily active users.
- Instagram Live can be saved as a story when your live feed is over. This is an awesome way to get more exposure for your live events.
- Instagram just announced two additional new Stories features in December, Stories Archives and Highlights. With Stories Archives, your stories will now automatically save to your archives folder after they expire. You’ll be able to repost these archived stories as a post, add it to a new story, or highlight it on your profile. Speaking of highlighting stories, this new feature allows you to highlight what you want to standout from your stories and then features it on your profile until you’re ready to remove it.
- Facebook Creator is a new standalone tool (available on desktop or as an app). It’s basically a one-stop shop for live videos and stories where you can connect with your community and view insights.
- Last but not least, you can get more visibility for your events and causes with a custom Facebook Frame or a Snapchat Geofilter.
3. Personalized Audience Segments
What’s in it for me? That’s the question every single consumer expects to be answered. Your marketing should be answering questions for your customers and clients such as:
- How is it relevant to me?
- How can it help me?
- Does it appeal to my beliefs, lifestyle, personality, etc…?
- Does it make me feel like I belong?
- Do I connect with it emotionally?
We published a blog earlier this year on psychographics, which if you haven’t read it, we highly recommend that you do so. You can’t blanket messages to the masses anymore. To the consumer, it’s not business; it’s personal.
One tool that helps with personalized experiences, and is growing in popularity, is chatbots. While they are by no means perfect, chatbots are an easy way of automatically answering consumers’ questions in the direct message box of your social media platforms.
The chatbots use artificial intelligence (AI) that “listens” for key terms and terminology used in direct message communication and responds to the consumer’s inquiry with an automated response. This can be both efficient and effective for a variety of customer service inquiries.
While some of the chatbots can get very sophisticated, businesses may want to consider automated replies on channels like Facebook to direct clients and consumers to alternate customer service sources in the event that the direct message box isn’t monitored 24/7.
5. Micro Influencers
You’ve heard about influencer marketing, but something to keep an eye on in 2018 is the emergence of micro-influencers. A micro-influencer is someone who doesn’t necessarily have millions or even hundreds of thousands of followers, yet has a significant loyal following from a specific niche or even in a specific market.
Not only are micro-influencers more cost effective, they can be more effective for your message, especially when the influencer is highly trusted and has consistently high engagement from their followers. Whatever your influencer strategy is, make sure that your message fits in with the audience so that it doesn’t come off as an awkward, off-base ad.
Bonus Tip: Cybersecurity
As more and more of our business goes online—along with our customers’ and prospects’ personal data—it’s critical to have an updated cybersecurity plan in place. Cybersecurity, is without question, the most talked about topic in the technology world. “Properly securing your network, protecting your data, and ensuring you have an effective continuity plan should be at the top of every businesses plan in 2018,” says Ivan Mladenović, President/CEO of Preemo, an award-winning Miami IT support company in Miami.
Building a digital marketing strategy takes consistent effort and a specific communication plan. Be patient as you monitor the response while keeping in mind that a consumer has to see your message an average of seven times before taking action. Would you like some digital marketing help in 2018? Contact us to learn more about our services.
Bonelli, S. (2017, May 02). How to optimize for voice search. Retrieved December 08, 2017, from https://searchengineland.com/optimize-voice-search-273849
Clark, J. (2017, December 08). Everything You Need To Know About Chatbot Marketing. Retrieved December 11, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/12/08/everything-you-need-to-know-about-chatbot-marketing/2/#519966be4c4c
Network, E. (2017, August 16). 10 Marketing Trends to Think About for 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2017, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/10-marketing-trends-to-think-about-for-2018_us_5994b288e4b055243ea1357c