Rethink your customers’ online journey
By now, you should have a pretty good idea of who your customers are and how they discover and engage with your brand. But as the online landscape continues shifting at a fast pace, buyer behaviours change with it and if there’s anything that’s become highly prevalent in recent years, it’s the importance of mobile for customer journeys.
If you’re only now considering or working on optimising your website for mobile use, you may need to accelerate the pace of your focus.
Mobile search volumes now eclipse desktop and that is only set to grow further. For most online businesses now mobile is a huge contributor to sales.
In 2018, putting mobile at the very core of your digital strategy we consider absolutely essential, and this will enable online retailers to start capitalising on ‘micro-moments’. These are the smaller interactions between a user and a brand that influence the final buying decision and can also provide an improved indicator as to what consumers expect from businesses.
Personalisation at its best
You’re probably sick of hearing and reading about personalisation and how important it is for a strong digital strategy, but it seems like this trend isn’t going anywhere soon. If anything, as consumer expectations increase, the role of personalisation continues to grow.
The good news is that as new types of dynamic content appear, and marketing automation tools continue to become more widespread, cost effective and user-friendly, serving personalised content across different channels will become so much easier and faster to implement than ever before.
For example, you can set up highly tailored, automatic email campaigns that will interact with different customer groups at key moments, whilst also serving your target audience with dynamic social media or PPC ads. Not to mention all the additional software you can implement on your website to deliver personalised product recommendations and more from providers such as Nosto, Clerk.io, Yotpo, Fresh Relevance and others.
Invest in video
If there’s one area you should divert more budget towards in 2018, it’s video content. According to a Cisco report, global IP video traffic is expected to account for 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2021.
From hosting explainer videos on your website, to building your own YouTube channel and taking advantage of the popularity of video content on social media (Instagram stories, Facebook live videos, 360 videos and more), there is so much you can do with this type of content.
It may be more resource-intensive, but when done right, video content can pay real dividends and all the big players such as Amazon and Apple are investing heavily in this medium.
The future is now
Another buzz term roaming around the Internet in the past couple of years has been AI (artificial intelligence). Whilst technology isn’t there just yet to start implementing widespread AI-based solutions, new forms such as chat bots and augmented reality are certainly enjoying a rising level of popularity.
If you’re looking to improve your customer service, especially across your social media channels and deliver the real-time replies that consumers are growing accustomed to expect, then adding a chatbot to your marketing mix is the way to go. Meanwhile, keep a close eye on the latest augmented reality solutions that appear on the market, as this could play particularly well in industries such as homeware or fashion.
A new wave of SEO
With voice searches on the rise, Google announcing its plans to launch a mobile-first index potentially in early 2018 and the prevalence of personalised and localised search results, SEO is certainly changing. But that doesn’t mean that it’s less important or that you can take it off your digital strategy.
If anything, SEO remains a core component of any healthy digital marketing mix, as Organic Search continues to remain a strong channel for delivering traffic and sales. However, instead of pouring all your time and effort into optimising your website for keywords you want to rank for, you should start thinking about ‘topical’ SEO and how you can optimise your website to better reach organically your target audience and cater to their needs.
The secret behind making this happen? Make sure that in addition to having a strong technical SEO foundation, you don’t isolate your SEO activities into narrow siloes, but expand your focus across a wider and more holistic agenda. Working together across earned, owned and paid channels including content marketing, social media or paid search to achieve your core KPIs for traffic growth, for example.
Keep up with new social media features
With social media networks constantly morphing and launching new features every few months (if not more often!), there’s no signs of slowing down coming from this channel. In 2018, it will no longer be enough to be present or even active on the relevant social media platforms.
Instead, to grow your brand’s visibility in an over-crowded online world, you’ll have to make the most of the latest features and thinking – from creating an influencers-based strategy to embracing live video in all its shapes and forms. And that’s just the beginning. Make sure to dedicate some budget to Paid Social activities to maximise exposure for your content and use new social advertising options to achieve your objectives – whether it’s driving more traffic, gaining new leads or increasing your number of sales.
Ask for help
If you’ve just finished reading the above list and feel like you have a daunting task ahead of you, fret not! Working together with an experienced digital marketing agency can help you constantly keep up to date with the latest thinking and trends in the industry and you can use their extensive resources to grow your digital brand in a more cost-effective way.
Need a hand with your digital agenda for 2018? We can help. All you need to do is say [email protected] or give us a ring on 0116 326 0090.