6 Must-Know Marketing Trends You Can’t Miss in 2018
The trends shaping marketing in 2018 are all about brand experience. Retaining customers and earning new customers involves a lot more than sharing a Facebook post every other day. When companies offer inventive ways to experience their brand, product, or service, they’re adding depth and enriching the relationships they have with their audiences.
Large corporations and small businesses alike must identify ways to build stronger connections through brand experience. Stronger connections can be developed through multiple communication vehicles, whether that be digital marketing technology or promotional products and wearable tech. Below is a list of the trends you should consider adding to your marketing mix this year.
The rise of virtual reality, or VR, has given marketers a way to creatively engage with their audiences. VR uses computer-generated images to place users in different environments. While it may seem like a tactic reserved for high budget marketing departments, smaller companies can use VR to give audiences behind-the-scenes content, exclusive event access, and other valuable marketing content.
TOMS is a company that encourages giving to those in need. The shoe and accessories company practices its core values by giving to a person in need every time one of their products is purchased. TOMS used virtual reality as a way to communicate the company’s core values by posting a YouTube 360 video where users were placed in a Virtual Giving Trip. Viewers were able to actually see the charitable aspect of TOMS’ business model as Brand Ambassadors delivered free shoes to underprivileged residents in Peru.
Video has been in nearly every “marketing trends report” for the past couple of years. Last year saw the rise of Live Video and the data suggests it’s going to play a massive role in content marketing this year.
The Facebook Newsroom reported that:
- Users spend 3x more time watching live video than a video that’s no longer active.
- Users comment more than 10x more during live shows.
This level of engagement is not something you’d want to miss out on.
A survey conducted by Livestream discovered that:
- 80% of respondents said they would rather tune into a live video for 2018 than read a blog post
- 82% of respondents were more interested in watching live video from a brand than reading social media posts.
Influencer Marketing is another trend that has experienced growth in the past year. Search Engine Journal surveyed 29 digital marketing experts on the important social media trends of 2018. It’s no surprise that influencer marketing appeared in several of these experts’ responses.
Having a trusted expert share your product or service extends your reach and connects you with those most likely to be interested in what you offer. By connecting with relevant social media influencers, you have the equivalent of an online brand ambassador championing for your brand.
There are rules and regulations involved in sponsoring a paid influencer program, so be sure to practice transparency and follow the FTC’s guidelines.
Wireless Promotional Products
Bluetooth-enabled products are on the rise, especially since major smartphone makers have ditched the headphone jack. Branded products should be viewed as a necessity in any well-rounded marketing strategy, but the key is to purchase products that your customers will want to use time and time again.
Sure, promotional pens and custom notebooks have their place in the product essentials bucket, but be sure to include more memorable products that will enhance your customer’s perception of you. Bluetooth connectivity isn’t restricted to just headphones, earbuds, and speakers. Multifunction products like hats with speakers in them, fidget spinner speakers, and even connected socks have been introduced to the promotional products industry.
If you’re a digital marketer or small business owner, it’s great to be privy on digital marketing trends, but even better to also be up-to-date on promotional product trends.
Custom wearable technology has become a highly sought-after category in the promotional products industry. Fitness accessories such as watches and smart bands will increase communication and efficiency and reduce healthcare costs. Human resources departments, in particular, have been using branded fitness trackers in their health plan rollouts to incentivize employees to join.
Other types of smart clothing have been introduced to the promotional products industry with brands like Levi’s and Nike serving as early adopters. Nike is currently selling NBA jerseys with a built-in NFC tag, which allows fans to sync and scan the jersey to the NikeConnect app so that they can watch highlights of the player whose jersey they’re wearing.
LinkedIn is already known as a high value, high performing social media channel for B2B marketers. Facebook and Instagram will remain social media giants in 2018, but the volume of updates and potential growth LinkedIn is staging is unmatched. As Fast Company states, “LinkedIn generates a level of engagement and genuinely thoughtful interaction that other social platforms are hard pressed to match.”
In 2017, LinkedIn added video to personal accounts, tested geofilters, made messaging updates, and reached over 500 million monthly users. This year LinkedIn will introduce video ads for business pages. If LinkedIn’s targeted video ads have the same impact that Facebook’s video ads have, it will certainly be a dominant force in social media marketing.
Have you considered putting marketing dollars toward influencer marketing? Has your company’s CEO questioned the benefit of using LinkedIn for business? Curious about what types of wireless products are available to have your logo printed on? We’d love to fill you in. Give us a call, send us a message, or contact us here.