The world of marketing is a very fast-paced, quick-changing environment and from one year to the next, a great many things can be different. This means that each year all of us should closely examine market trends to see how we should adapt our strategies, so as to stay abreast of all the most recent developments, and perhaps even to get a bit ahead of what’s happening.
Yeah, it’s April. But if you are like me, you update and refine your web presence whenever you can, and many of us didn’t have a lot of free time last December to get ahead of this.
So here are some things to be aware of for what remains in 2018 and beyond – you may not want to adopt all of these strategies, but if you want to stay in tune with the market, at least some of these approaches should be incorporated into your campaign strategies.
Content quality not quantity
For the past several years, marketers have focused on churning out a high volume of content to get their products and services noticed by consumers. This situation has now resulted in a condition some call ‘content shock’, that is to say, an overwhelming tide of content that threatens to drown users by its sheer volume. As we’ve mentioned a few times, Google makes corrective adjustments to thwart bad behaviors of web masters trying to manipulate search engine results. This results in bad-behavior-innovation. In this case, Google started a few years back by saying, “Stop link farming. Give users valuable content and they will come.” The manipulators took this to mean “write the most content and you win” and off they ran with a new plan to build the most content!
As this content tsunami has engulfed the web, creating gluts of endless, canned content, Google and other search engines are looking for better signals than simply “a bunch of content with keywords”. The bottom line here is that social networking engagement with your content – real users interacting with and using your valuable content – is going to be the key to content marketing. The most content doesn’t win. The BEST content wins.
More market testing
Because the Internet is literally everywhere now, with connections available even through the watch on your wrist and many of the smart devices in your home, consumers are literally inundated with marketing tactics. While all of these do provide a myriad of opportunities for marketers, the cumulative effect is a little bit overwhelming for consumers as well as marketers! Let’s start simple: do you test and evaluate your marketing efforts? If you do, do you have the means to segment your analytics by types of devices? That great ad copy you wrote may be perfect for PC’s, but the ad looks terrible and doesn’t work very well on phones! How will you know that without breaking down and testing your market segments and how they react to your efforts? This means that to effectively reach your target consumers, more testing needs to be done, so that you can reach the right users with the right messages in the right way.
More effective use of video
Video continues to grow exponentially on social networks and the web in general. If a picture is worth a thousand words, video is worth many times that. Just like with the glut of web content, there does appear to be a numbing effect from so many videos these days. The videos embedded within social feeds like Instagram and Facebook are ubiquitous, playing automatically as a user scrolls through current feeds.
Keep in mind that since these videos are also silent unless clicked upon, as a marketer you have to find ways to get your message across in just a few seconds before the user has scrolled past your video. So those of you who have a Youtube channel and have created some video – pay close attention to how you roll out your campaign. You don’t want all that time and energy to be wasted because no one sees your video.
Maturity of conversion optimization strategies
Conversion rate optimization has been around long enough now that no one even bothers to question the value of it. The only real question about it is – what is the absolute best way to achieve the highest conversion rate for your business? The emerging trend is for companies to use a combination or hybrid of in-house personnel and specialist agencies to achieve just the right balance of optimization strategies.
Your in-house team can handle all the test marketing, and be at the helm of the day to day tasks required to properly market online, and experienced marketing agencies can provide the freshest ideas and innovations in this space, because they are so well in tune with a wide variety of market strategies, available technologies, and the ever-valuable experience. Agencies can help identify what won’t work. This function of a veteran agency can often be overlooked, but if you have real marketing experience helping to craft your strategy, you are likely to avoid many expensive, ineffective pitfalls. It also helps to have an unbiased perspective of your marketing strategies, to point out differences between favorite company ideas and actual market interests.
By considering some of the apparent trends in 2018 web marketing, we can stay abreast of the latest innovations, and stay ahead of the pack.
Bill lives and plays in Fort Collins, Colorado.
After a fulfilling career for a Fortune 50 company, Bill founded Colorado Web Design in 2012 with a passion for creative digital solutions for business.
Bill likes to manage a wide variety of projects and tasks for his clients in the digital space. The creative elements of website design, application design, and marketing are enough to keep anyone busy and engaged, but wiping the slate clean over and over at the start of new projects comes with its own challenges.
"I like to start with really good client communication sessions. The rest is easy if you get started in the right way."
He plays tennis, bikes, and hikes and then undoes all of that with too much delicious food and TV watching.
We've been building websites for Colorado businesses since 2002. We are a small team of dedicated individuals who love the challenge of each new marketing project. We live and play in northern Colorado.