What’s old is new again. Picking out marketing trends to look out for is incredibly important to help you shape your own marketing strategy. That being said, make sure you’re not distracted by the shiny new names that are often slapped onto tried and true marketing techniques. While you might want to introduce a few new things into your marketing arsenal this year, you might also find yourself doubling your current efforts on things that you are already doing that have been “made new” again for the sake of creating buzzwords.
Here are six marketing trends to watch out for in 2018 – and they sound verrrrry familiar!
Marketing Trend #1: “Native Storytelling”
“Native storytelling: – or as I like to call it – “Storytelling.” Storytelling is as old as marketing is, but always reinvented with a different brand name, storytelling will never go out of style. Apparently the new buzzword of the hour is “native storytelling” or “native content.” Technically, you’re likely already doing this if you have a strategy for each of your marketing channels. Native, in this context, means publishing content directly on a specific platform, following the publication style of the platform. So, for example, if you published a blog post, you would pull interesting tidbits from your blog post and put them on Twitter as individual Tweets.
If you have done the work to build your foundational brand story, then storytelling should be woven through all of your content on each channel. Don’t get bogged down by finicky details.
Marketing Trend #2: Human connection
The only way to beat the bots is to appeal directly to your real, human consumers. In a sense, this is also a throw back to the days before we relied so heavily on digital channels to make marketing work. Even though you have a whole lot of technology available to you, make sure it doesn’t drive your marketing strategy. You are still a company made up of people who are trying to connect with other people. Don’t lose sight of that. Worry about what your audience wants and needs.
If you are concerned about the constant algorithm changes, just adapt. Remember that, for the most part, the algorithms are focused on “learning” from existing user behaviour to provide a more relevant, valuable experience to users. So be relevant and provide value and you won’t be as devastated every time a change is made.
Marketing Trend #3: Gen Z
I know. How can a generation be a marketing trend, right?
Do you remember all of the research and countless articles you read about how to reach Millennials? You’re going to see the same types of content for Gen Z. It will come hard and fast, and you’ll have to sift through the bad to get to the good info. But it will be worth it. Each time a new generation comes of age, this shift happens, and it will continue to happen. People age and new generations start making purchase decisions. By 2020, the Gen Z population will reach 2.56 billion globally. At that time, there will be 2.34 billion Millennials. If you don’t have a sound strategy to connect with Gen Z in place, you will miss out on massive opportunities.
Marketing Trend #4: Quality, not quantity
We’ve been preaching this for a while now, but as marketing channels gain more traction, more noise is generated. Consumers will start tuning out the noise and zero in on quality marketing. You customers aren’t stupid. They are well-informed and they know what they want. If you are open to hearing it, they will tell you exactly what that is. Look to connect with niches of a broader audience to create relevancy and not add to the overall noise. Rather than focusing on building a huge email list, nurture relationships with a smaller list so you can personalize your communication better.
Quality over quantity also has to do with influence. While you might covet working with those influencers with millions of followers and a celebrity flair, micro-influencers can actually deliver better results as they are usually more engaged on a personal level with their followers. In fact, research shows that their engagement is actually 60% higher! Go back to a time before celebrity endorsements rang hollow on social media.
Marketing Trend #5: Awareness
Brand awareness has been around for a long time. It’s just going to become more important than ever in your marketing strategy. As consumers favour authentic brand connections over a carefully thought out sales pitch, you’ll find more and more brands will start to chase influence and awareness as the ultimate ROI. If you are nurturing relationships rather than focusing on closing a sale, the process will happen more organically, and you will find you build a more loyal fan base.
One way to help build brand awareness is to focus on social issues and causes that fit within your brand values.
Marketing Trend #6: Blending traditional with non-traditional
Call it integrated marketing or whatever you want, but the best way to put together a successful marketing strategy is to blend old and new. Play with tactics of the past, but put a digital spin on them. For example:
- Make use of mobile at events by holding photo contests
- Have an event-specific hashtag
- Send a video announcement instead of a press release
Those are just a few low-cost examples of simple ways to blend old and new. Get creative and think about how you use technology as a consumer.
Marketing trends come and go, but you will always see some of the same things popping up year after year, or disguised under new pretenses. Figure out what marketing trends make sense for your business and build them into your overall strategy.
If you’re not sure how to incorporate these marketing trends into your strategy, give us a call. We’re here to help you start down the right path and to arrive at success!