The 5 Latest Trends in Small Business Digital Marketing in 2018

We continue to hear about the coming of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the realm of digital marketing.

The buzz around AI is a mixture of hype and reality. The truth is, AI has been with us for some time and is ALREADY making an impact. Natural language processing (NLP), clustering and segmentation, search/filtering, chatbots and more have already revolutionized customer experience, while empowering small business marketers to do more with their advertising dollar. While AI will certainly continue to evolve on a daily basis in 2018, there are some tangible trends that small business marketers need to leverage in 2018 in order to win in their markets RIGHT NOW.

Here are the 5 latest trends in small business digital marketing:

1. The rise of peer specialists, key influencers and niche curators

With information overload itself now on hyper-drive, in 2018 consumers will increasingly depend on “local” or “niche” specialists they trust to help them make purchasing decisions. Do you have a friend or online influencer who is your go-to music guru? Your tech wizard? Your source for the latest culinary developments? Consumers will increasingly take intrusive ads with a grain of salt, while putting more stock in these niche curators to help them make trusted decisions.

2. Prevalence of geo-fencing

While not exactly new, geo-fencing is gaining momentum in a big way. Geo-fencing allows you to tag the phones of prospects who enter the premises of your competitors, then serving those prospects mobile banner ads. It is a very efficient way to serve up your ads directly to those who already use the kinds of products and services you offer. More on how geo-fencing works here: https://mindecology.com/blog/geo-fencing-mobile-conquesting-explained-video-blog/

3. Less spammy social media posting (hint: avoid ad-style posts)

If you are still posting purely self-promotional content on your company Facebook or Twitter feeds, you need to switch mental gears and take a new approach. Nobody feels like sifting through advertisements in what they view as their personal space. And they do NOT want you polluting their feed with “look how great we are,” ad-style social media posts. While ads certainly have their place, they need to be leveraged at the right time and place (and it is not your social presence).

4. Precision of hyper-targeting

Niche, niche, niche. This is the buzzword, and with good reason. Advertising today can be increasingly targeted to specific individuals at the right time and place. For example, imagine comparing a TV ad shown on 1950s US television to a targeted mobile ad on your cell phone that appears the moment you walk into the store being advertised. Out is the one-size-fits all ad, in is how-can-I-help-you-personally-right-now advertising. Today, you can target by geography, purchasing habits, sentiments and moods, opinions, device type, time of day, and as a real-time response to user actions. If you are not taking advantage of all of this, you are NOT getting the ROI on your advertising that you should be. Guaranteed.

5. Continued reign of content marketing

Content marketing doesn’t sound like a “latest trend,” does it? Think again. Building original, targeted content will remain all the rage in 2018 – and even more than ever. You should be building original content on a regular basis for your business. Furthermore, your articles, social posts, blogs, and website content need to be in sync with not only your customers’ needs, but more importantly, with HOW they think. Keep their psychographic profile – their attitudes, beliefs and wants – in mind when building content customers and prospects. This attention to detail will come across in your content and connect mentally and emotionally with your highest-converting prospects. Everybody, everywhere cares about personalized content. Time to get on it!

Stay ahead of the small business digital marketing curve with these 5 trends in small business digital marketing. Contact MindEcology to find out how.