Marketing for 2018
Like just about everything else in this world, marketing is constantly changing. By the time you master one tactic, it’s become obsolete. This means you have to be flexible, constantly evolving, and open to change.
In order to market your business effectively, you need to make sure your strategies aren’t outdated. If you’re asking what SEO is in 2018, you might be in some trouble.
Since we’ve just rung in the new year, let’s consider the state of marketing and look at some things you can do in 2018 to boost your marketing team’s effectiveness.

Predictive Analytics

“Youthquake” was the Oxford Dictionary word of the year for 2017. I think they may have gotten this one wrong. If it were me, I would’ve gone with data. Sure data is by no means a new concept, but it has seemed to commandeer every conversation I’ve had over the past 12 months.
Whether I’m talking sports with my friends, real estate prices with my dad, or marketing with my boss, the word “data” is sure to come up.
Data processing on a large scale has enabled marketing organizations to do amazing things in the realm of predictive analytics. Put simply, predictive analytics is any process that allows organizations to leverage data and, as a result, better predict outcomes.
Lead scoring, deal prediction, targeted content, and identification of upsell opportunities are all areas that marketing teams should leverage predictive analytics.
By looking at historical data, you can identify the signals that prospects give when they are close to purchasing. By identifying signals for all sorts of customer behavior, you can better anticipate customer and prospect actions, and therefore, communicate with them in a way that nudges them in the direction you’d like them to head.
If you’re not yet leveraging predictive analytics in your marketing efforts, there are a few things you’re going to have to do first before diving in.
You’ll likely need to hire a data analyst, unless you have somebody on your team already with the requisite skills. Identifying trends in data is a skill that needs cultivating. Additionally, a data analyst will be comfortable working with the tools necessary to do the job. These tools might be anything from a data management platform to data visualization software.  

Invest in Content

Don’t say content is king. Don’t say content is king. Don’t say content is king.
Content was… queen in 2017 and it will remain hot in 2018. The SEO company Conductor Spotlight conducted a survey of marketing professionals and it reinforced this notion.

Some eye-catching stats from the survey:

  • 76% of marketing execs believe their focus on content marketing initiatives will increase in 2018.
  • 60% of marketing execs believe their focus on content marketing will increase in 2018.
  • 61% of marketing execs believe their focus on digital advertising will increase in 2018.

Content marketing is a somewhat broad term, and two businesses can carry out two entirely different content marketing plans while both being successful. Ultimately, content marketing can be thought of as providing valuable content of any kind to a targeted audience with the ultimate goal increasing brand awareness and growing a business.
An effective content marketing strategy drives traffic to your website organically can increases the conversion rate of that traffic. In addition to measurable things like those just mentioned, it can also build trust with your audience.
Read more about content marketing here

Be a storyteller 

This falls under the umbrella of content marketing, but it’s highly relevant to anybody on your team involved in content creation.
It’s a common and understandable instinct that creating a bulletproof, logical argument for why somebody should buy something is the most persuasive strategy. The simple truth is it isn’t.
Effective copy appeals to emotion, not logic. The best way to appeal to emotion is through storytelling. If you can create an effective emotional connection with your audience, you’re going to have a higher conversion rate.

Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM) really started to take off in 2017, and it’s only expected to continue in 2018. ABM is the practice of marketing to a specific account in lieu of a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy. 
This means identifying targets and delivering unique marketing material designed specifically for each account. Typically, an account is an entire organization, but in some cases marketing content can be geared toward an individual. 
This strategy enables you to create marketing content that is highly relevant to your targets, making them more likely convert. 
As an example, let’s say you work at a software consulting agency and are in charge of the new ABM strategy. Your company focuses on implementing and integrating ERP software solutions. As part of your strategy, you might research companies that are likely to use supply chain software and tailor marketing content towards them that boasts your agency’s ability to integrate ERP systems with supply chain software.
There are any number of channels you can then distribute this marketing content through, but if you select an effective one, your content is much more likely to leave an impact on your audience.

Talk about artificial intelligence 

Okay this one is a joke… mostly. It’s hard to go more than a few minutes on the internet without seeing some sort of reference to artificial intelligence, and it seems that quite a few companies have adopted the strategy of “let’s just say we have artificial intelligence and worry about the rest later.” 
Does this work? Hard to say. Should you do this? Probably not. Will you do this? Only time will tell.
This blog was was written with artificial intelligence.