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5 Tips for Your 2018 Marketing Plan

Don’t we all wish we had a crystal ball? The truth is we never know where marketing will take us year to year. We only know it will change, which leads many organizations wondering where to focus their marketing.

If you’re still struggling trying to figure out what to do differently in 2018 or what to make sure you budget for, here are a few ideas to shake up your marketing next year …

Incorporate more video into your digital strategy

The days of just typical animated gifs are archaic. However, adding video into your display ads – now you’re talking! Video, both live-streaming and recorded is a key driver of growing user engagement. Creating short (60 seconds or less) videos to use in display ads, especially through mobile and social media, is well worth the investment.

Seek out influencers

The term "influencers" isn't synonymous with big celebrities. Up and coming YouTubers, bloggers, those millennials with thousands of Instagram followers can all give your brand a lift.  People are more likely to respond to non-celebrities, those that they feel they can connect with more. These online celebrities, or micro-influencers, can be approached from a PR standpoint or via social media to help plug your product or service.  Sometimes even for free!

Speaking of influence...

If your brand is not yet on Instagram, then maybe 2018 is the year to start.  The number of people using Instagram stories is on the rise and, more and more, it’s becoming a platform to share short videos as well as photos that give brands a face and approachable personality. As a young feature of the service, there is plenty of opportunity for brands to creatively pioneer the story platform that, as the name suggests, gives your voice and message an authentic, narrative style. We already know Instagram is a powerful platform and it has seemingly infinite room to grow. Use it.

Content remains king

Great content fuels links from other sources to your site and encourages more people to share your brand message. If you really want a strong SEO strategy, then keep producing content. Content allows you to become a resource for your customers and your brand. Google is becoming more obsessed with user intent and user experience so it’s in your best interest to develop high quality and engaging content that not only drives people to your site, but will establish you as a credible source in search engines.

Understand your analytics

We’ve all done it, right? You quickly pull up Google Analytics and report it to the boss or the big guys down the hall. Maybe you included charts or colorful bold text to highlight the positive takeaways. But, do you really understand it and take the time to analyze it all? Do you look at your bounce rate and adjust your content strategy or even how your content is being delivered based on the results each month?  Do you look at where visitors are coming from and adjust your media placement?  Do you see that the majority of your traffic is coming from mobile devices, yet your site isn't mobile friendly?  Take the time in 2018 to really use Google Analytics or whatever form of measurement and reporting software you have to truly use it as a marketing tool.

Nobody has a crystal ball, but we do know one thing for sure: When you’re stale and don’t look for new ways to stand out, then you’re getting passed by your competition. Now's the time to make some marketing resolutions for the new year.