According to a survey conducted by Infusionsoft, more than 70% of respondents say they plan to use social media contents to acquire new customers in 2018. A majority of which plans to use Facebook as one of their primary social media marketing strategy.
Only less than one-third of small business owners do not plan to increase their digital marketing budgets in 2018. Also, more than 20% of respondents are finding it difficult to allocate appropriate time or resources for marketing.
Every year, we see constant changes in digital marketing trends, the rise and fall of social media platforms and ever-changing client preferences that forces the digital marketing industry to evolve. Here are 3 important trends that small businesses should be aware of in 2018:
1. Artificial Intelligence
Big data has been a growing trend for many years but was confined to big companies in the past. With growing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and machine learning, it is now becoming more accessible to small businesses. AI algorithms enable complex analysis of customer behavioral data allowing for the optimization of customer experience. AI as a service is being adopted by many marketers and technology vendors, allowing small businesses to better personalize their marketing and sales efforts with automation. An example is the growing capabilities of chatbots, which are able to deliver the individualized experience to each customer and web visitors with better service.
2. Content Marketing
For many years, content marketing continues to remain as one of the primary marketing techniques imposed by digital marketers. In 2018, it is expected that content marketing techniques will change drastically, moving from mass content marketing to further personalization. With improving technologies such as AI, contents are being more dynamic and smart, where content placements and relevance are becoming more customized. Content strategies are also not limited to writings, especially with growing voice searches and popularity of videos.
3. Influencer Marketing
In the past few years, influencer marketing has been a major growing trend. According to Inc.com, 84% of marketers expected to execute at least one influencer marketing campaign in 2017 and businesses generate on average $6.50 for every $1 invested in influencer marketing. User-generated contents are also a key part of influencer marketing especially to younger consumers as such contents feel more natural and genuine. The use of influencer marketing is expected to grow tremendously in 2018 especially in the retail industry.