Just because your business is small doesn’t mean it can’t be global. In fact, the beauty of business today is technology allows everyone around the world to work together no matter what he or she does. Some businesses run exclusively online because the internet continually fosters new ways for people to make money. Part of what puts and keeps people on the local and global map is digital marketing, and here are five Digital Marketing trends many experts believe are crucial for 2018 and beyond.
1. Go Small
No, not reducing the size of your business, reducing the size of your screen format, that is. Over the last few years, marketing experts have screamed to the rooftops that all businesses should tailor their digital marketing to handheld devices, yet according to Forbes, most businesses still don’t do this. You must format your web presence to look good on handheld devices, and you must market to people on their mobile phones, including implementing an SMS/MMS strategy.
2. Think Content
Forbes also says that even if you aren’t a media company, you are a media company. You must reach people searching for your product or service online by providing them with valuable content, and this goes beyond social media and a blog. People converse about current events online every day and you should be a part of that conversation. You should also get ahead of what’s popular in your niche and put it out there. In fact, you should be the one to generate the online buzz.
3. Get Unreal
Customer service is not dead. You cannot build your business without addressing your customers’ needs and your potential customers’ questions. Thankfully, technology has caught up with this and many a website builder includes a section for online customer service. Use this but then take it a step further with chatbot technology. A chatbot is a tab on each page of your website that allows the visitor to engage in a discussion with a virtual customer service agent.
4. Go Live
Video goes beyond uploading stuff on YouTube and other sharing sites. Inc. says go live in 2018. Find ways to grab people’s attention with live video feeds online. Host these feeds on as many platforms as you can, including Facebook and Twitter, and watch your online presence grow. If you are a mom-and-pop shop that specializes in ceramics, for example, you can host a class with real and virtual students. If you run a food service business, hold a live eating contest.
5. Five Stars
The power of five-star online reviews has not lost its luster in 2018. In fact, people rely on them to make their soliciting decisions more than ever, so you should include a review section in your digital marketing strategy. The strategy should go beyond Yelp. You should also include Google, Facebook, and FourSquare review platforms among others, and do not ignore your reviews – ever. Make certain you respond to every review, good or bad, on every platform, which leads to a bonus point.
Engaging with your current and potential customers remains crucial in 2018. People love to businesses that make them feel important and heard, and with today’s digital technology, people have a voice in more places than ever. Communicate with people on social media, text and email them, but not too much, keep them involved in what your business is doing with live and shared video. Keep them engaged in your brand, period.
You can boost your success by including these five trends in your 2018 digital marketing strategy. Also, make certain the strategy focuses on engagement. If you keep people excited about your brand and your product or service, you boost your business in ways you never imagined. People will share that eating contest with their friends and followers, and that could reach millions of around the world.