“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” John C. Maxwell’s words continue to ring true. New trends enter the industry each year, and every business has a chance to capitalize on them. Prepare your business for the new year by learning about these seven marketing changes.
Google’s focus on the mobile-first index.
Non-responsive websites will continue to take hits in 2018 with Google’s switch to a mobile-first index. Google’s index is compiled as “Googlebots” crawl through your website, taking stock of the information available. The index created can then serve up relevant search results. The switch to a mobile-first index means all search results will be based on the mobile-version of your website. You can read more about it here, but the gist is your business will fall in its ranking without a mobile-responsive website or a mobile-friendly strategy.
Voice searches will grow in prominence.
By 2020, 50% of all searches are expected to be voice searches. Search-engine optimization managers will need to focus on delivering content results based on both what people type and what people say. For instance, a person may type, “family doctor,” but speak a long-tail question like, “What family doctor is near me with good reviews?” Developing an SEO strategy that factors in voice search will yield powerful results in the upcoming year.
Customer expectations will get higher.
Did you know 70% of consumers say technology has made it easier to take their business elsewhere until their expectations are met? Increasingly, customers expect prompt responses, easily-accessible content and quick customer service. Prepare for 2018 by developing a streamlined process for feedback and by regularly creating helpful content for customers. Beefing up customer service and social media staff may also be necessary.
Chat bots will step up to the plate.
With Messenger’s audience at more than a billion users monthly, chat bots will become a necessity for brands and businesses. Chat bots offer help in a variety of ways: Directing customers where they need to go; collecting useful information to send to customer service prior to interaction; and automating previously time-consuming services. A chat bot can also serve as a placeholder until your customer service team logs back in the next day. Brands and businesses who receive many customer service requests should consider employing chat bots in their 2018 strategy to deal with rising customer expectations.
Personalization will become the norm in marketing.
Using customer data to deliver one-to-one marketing has been done for years, starting with direct mailers using the first name of the intended customer. The explosion of online data, though, has made personalization easier. Home pages that immediately showcase products you’re interested in or emails sent with a discount for an item you just looked at will become normal. Even with smaller businesses, one-to-one marketing can be utilized through social media advertising and customer-relationship management software.
Retargeting as we know it will change.
Retargeting allows businesses to place coding behind the scenes of a user’s browser so they can target a customer later on different websites. The release of Intelligent Tracking Prevention from Safari at the end of 2017, however, laid the groundwork for some big changes. While Apple touts it as a privacy benefit, advertisers decry the development, which limits the ability to plant retargeting coding. However, Google has already started to make changes to how it captures and reports on conversions in AdWords to circumvent these issues. Retargeting may be on shifting ground, but staying tuned in to industry blogs like Search Engine Land and AdWeek will help your business stay in the know.
Informational videos will boom.
Four times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product instead of read about it. Developing multimedia content about products and services will increase substantially in 2018 as consumers continue to struggle with information-overload. Take a survey of your products and services now, and see where you could create helpful content for customers to increase their interest in your brand or business. An early start will make all the difference.
The world of marketing is constantly changing and offering new opportunities to grow as a business. Without a revitalized marketing strategy, though, you may fall behind. Talk with us today to learn how your business can find new growth in the new year.