Marketing, PR & Advertising and Technology

Upping your digital marketing game in 2018

January 10, 2018
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We are calling 2018 the year of digital marketing. Businesses that rise to the top of online searches are those that have a clear digital marketing plan.

Execution of your digital strategy includes the use of robust content marketing plans coupled with strategic website design & development, savvy use of social media content and ample search engine optimization.

If you are already implementing a digital strategy, here are some tips to maximize your efforts in 2018.

Beef up your local organic search

Over the last 12-18 months, Google has updated algorithms to place record-high significance on local search. Why? To appease users.

More than ever, users are searching with specific queries and local intent, such as “commercial printers, grand rapids MI.” They’re expecting hyper-local, specific and relevant results, and they’re ready to pick up the phone and call whoever shows up.

While you may have centered SEO efforts on “commercial printers” in the past, you should be making sure you’re optimized for local searches. This is important for all businesses operating both locally and globally.

Re-visit your website content strategy

Chances are, you’ve probably invested money in your website in the last couple years. It probably looks great, responds to all devices and properly demonstrates your brand.

It is important that you are constantly refreshing and adjusting the strategy to take into account content, algorithms, SEO and more. Is your site structured in a way that makes it easy for users to find what they’re looking for? Are you still using cheesy stock photography? Is the copy actually interesting to read?

Users are smart. And they’re inundated with crappy content on a daily basis and they will tune out your brand if you don’t set yourself apart. To truly connect, your content needs to be unique, genuine and engaging.

Start thinking about voice search and transactional voice

Voice search gained serious traction in 2017. While primarily B2C-driven, this will make its way deeper into the cycle of B2B marketing sooner rather than later. Furthermore, Alexa, Google Assistant and connected devices have people quite excited about the power of transactional voice search, and rightly so. Ordering new laundry detergent as you’re pouring the last drop into your machine — without logging into your computer — is the way of the future.

While 2018 may not be the year of full takeover for (transactional) voice search as it pertains to your business, the most effective digital strategies require staying at the forefront of technology. Voice search and voice-driven transactions are two pieces to have on your radar.

Other factors

Based on search volume, app downloads, acquisitions, security and other factors, here are a few additional systems and themes to keep your eye on in 2018. Though some of these are not new, 2017 data projects continued to see exponential growth:

Amazon
Augmented reality
Artificial intelligence
Bitcoin
Generation Z
Live video
Privacy
Transparency

What to ditch

Need to free up some budget to focus on relevant 2018 factors? Though these are general rules of thumb, each business is unique, and strategies need to be tailored based on unique business models, audiences, and objectives for the year. Consider re-examining these tools:

Television ads: Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Facebook (among others) are transforming how consumers watch television. If you’re investing thousands of dollars into traditional TV advertising, think about shifting to one of these companies.

Heavy Twitter use: Though still effective for certain tactics such as pitching media, connecting with influencers and conversing on current events, the platform has failed to sustain growth. Don’t invest too much time here on a regular basis.

Direct mail: You may have heard the phrase print is dead. Though that is not entirely true, print marketing should be used in unique and strategic manners. If you’re spending money on mass direct mail pieces because “it’s what you’ve always done,” it may be time to re-examine this expense.