Here’s a my quick, one-paragraph review of 2017:
Definitely a Facebook year. A year where paid advertising took on new proportions. A year of marketing funnel automation and optimization. And a year of local SEO.
In last month’s article I took a look at some of the major developments I have observed over the past 14 years. I covered many points that will give you a good idea of where we’re at today.
So in this article I will concentrate on what we should expect in 2018.
What to expect in the world of marketing in 2018
Even more mobile.
I expect mobile will take an even bigger share of the search, social and shopping pie. At the moment, most people still buy from a desktop or laptop, but this is changing rapidly. So for ecommerce websites, make sure you have streamlined your mobile site for shopping, because this will be big in 2018.
For local commerce, let’s work on making sure your site shows exactly what customers are looking for toward the top of the mobile site.
Website navigation is an issue on smart phones, so make it as easy as you possibly can. And when you think it’s easy, take another look and see how you can make it even easier.
Even more Facebook ads
Yep, Facebook ads will explode in 2018. Everyone and their grandma will be doing ads on Facebook. How you are going to stand out?
By proper targeting and budgeting.
If you are limited by the latter, then target even more. Be on top of your conversion and keep a tight control on your ad results.
Some talk of standing out by using funky or crazy images that will attract attention. That could be true for some industries or specific companies. As for the rest of us, we need to create ads that will attract the attention of our target audience. Zoom in, focus and shoot. And keep doing that for at least 3 months. This is a great tip especially for those with a small budget (under $500/month). Facebook ads can take a little bit of time before you start seeing results.
In 2018, we will continue to see ads in Facebook Messenger. We will also see more Messenger bots, the latest way to chat with potential customers. Messenger bots are little programs that automate chats and give the appearance that the customer is conversing with a live person when in fact he or she is chatting with a program. The conversion rate is stellar for some of the companies using these programs. Messenger bots are going to “explode” in 2018.
Even more SEO
SEO is a game. We play it or we don’t. In 2018, I strongly recommend you keep on playing it, and playing it wisely. SEO is not going away in this coming year and there’s plenty of search engine (free) traffic to be harvested.
For national/international companies, think branding more than ever. Find out how you can increase your brand’s popularity and activity. Then implement content strategies that will do just that.
For local businesses, keep hammering your name in different directories, social media and get reviews.
If you look at search results you will notice that reviews are popping up more than ever. Reviews will continue to take up more space in 2018 and will help your clickthrough in search engines. For local businesses, concentrate on Google, Yelp and Facebook reviews (and possibly a few local directories). For national/international organizations or bigger local enterprises use services such as ShopperApproved.com, freshdesk.com or other similar services. The use of a third party review system will help your reviews show up in the search engines.
Google stated that 20% of mobile searches are now done by voice. Expect to see that percentage rise in 2018. If your site is very visual, make sure your text at least answers the 5Ws (who, what, when, where, why) on any given page. If all of your content is in videos, make sure you have a transcript of the video on the page (or at least a summary of the video). Text will help the machines get answers for voice search users.
And again, I cannot stress enough how important video is in the SEO game. In 2018, see how you can implement a video strategy. As a general rule of thumb, keep your videos short and make sure they answer the 5Ws. Youtube knows what is being said in the videos, so treat them like articles by making sure you have the right keywords in each one of them. The same goes for images in videos (crazy, hey?). So whenever possible, make sure you have an image or text that shows the key concept within the video itself. Videos will be one of the top SEO secret weapons in 2018. Use them well.
Enough said for the moment. There are many other aspects to online marketing I’m not covering here, but will touch upon in different issues throughout 2018.
As a final note, if you have seen the movie Minority Report, you’ll know there are several scenes showing what levels digital marketing may reach by 2054. We will of course not reach that level in 2018, but we will certainly see sophisticated marketing software that will start approaching what is portrayed in the movie. Then, if it’s so freaky, should we be using our current, advanced marketing technology? Definitely yes, because that’s where the competitors are going to be. Keeping the world sane and honest is another mission altogether. But our role should definitely be to show a good example in our marketing efforts, in the services/products we offer, and in striving to create a better world through those efforts.
A strong, healthy marketing strategy for 2018 is what you need.
Market in abundance in 2018 and I wish you an expansive year!