Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2018

2018

With 2018 upon us, now is the time to think about marketing strategies and tactics for sales campaigns in the coming year. Read this list to learn which trends will be most popular, and where you should focus your time and budget. Here are 2018’s top 10 marketing trends:

1. Instagram > Facebook

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - JANUARY 02, 2015: A man trying to log in

Growing at an incredible rate, Instagram is set to overtake Facebook in 2018. Approximately 800 MILLION people use the platform each month! Due to excellent advertising controls and better engagement than any other platform, Instagram will become the top channel for social media marketing.

2. Voice-optimized Content

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In 2016, 20% of searches made online were done so through voice search using mobile devices and smart home controllers like Amazon Echo and Google Home. That figure is expected to increase to 50% in the next two years. To meet this growing trend, marketers will have to optimize content for voice search. Voice searches are characteristically longer than text searches, for example, and marketing will have to adapt to keep up.

 3. Influencer Marketing

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Tapping into influencers and their networks will be an effective strategy in 2018. Influencers create compelling content and share it to their networks of followers on behalf of brands. This is especially helpful at targeting younger consumers, who feel that the content is more organic, natural, and relatable.

 4. Video Content is Here to Stay

Video Marketing Audio Video  ,  Market Interactive Channels , Bu

Today, 55% of people consume video content on a daily basis. By 2020, videos will account for more than 80% of all consumer Internet traffic! Companies are adapting their marketing strategies to meet this tremendous rise in consumer demand for video content. Companies who haven’t used video yet can start small and still make a significant impact.

 5. Next-level Personalization

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Look for significantly more personalized content and marketing campaigns in the New Year. Marketers are seeing success by learning more about their customers, such as their lifestyle, tastes, and buying habits, and using that data to make personalized, real-time offers.

 6. Improved AI for Chat Services

female hands using keyboard

Thanks to an improvement in artificial intelligence, marketers can use AI-powered chat bots to communicate with their customers. This delights the customer with easier and better customer service without the usual hassle of having to go through the various prompts on a telephone answering service.

 7. Blogging for Brands

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One way companies can take control of their content is my creating their own blogs. Companies can cultivate their brands and content by publishing posts on topics like company updates, relevant business or industry trends, engaging customer stories, and featured guest posts. This will encourage two-way conversation and allow brands to connect with customers while keeping the interactions on their own website.

 8. IoT is Taking Content Off Screen

Unrecognizable man at home using smartphone and smart watch

The Internet of Things (IoT) — connected devices and the programs that support them — makes content available in all formats. Gone are the days that marketers have to optimize content for just desktop and mobile. Customers are consuming content in a variety of ways, and marketers need to develop content with that in mind.

 9. Distribution is Key

Distribution  Fintech Technology ,  Industrials Warehouse For Di

With all of the different marketing channels and mediums available today, cutting through the noise to reach consumers is essential. To get the attention of even a small percentage of the 2.789 billion active social media users, marketers must adopt strategic distribution to more effectively develop multi-channel and social distribution plans.

10. Live Streaming is Taking Over

Making photo or video with pad of old street in Tallinn, Estonia

Consumers are more likely to tune into a live video than read a blog post or social media posts. Successful marketers utilize live streaming capabilities on social media to deliver a human connection behind the brand. A Facebook video averages 135% more organic reach than images. The time to go live is NOW!

 As marketing evolves and more diverse tactics become available, marketers are challenged to examine their strategy. With these trends in hand, there’s no doubt that 2018 will be one of the most exciting years for marketing.

 

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How Do You Know Your Marketing Efforts Are Paying Off?

You have planned the perfect campaign for your brand. Your newsletter is sent, your Facebook Ads are hitting your targeted audience, your video is posted on YouTube, and SEO Keywords are in Google Adwords. Hooray!

What now?

The next step is to analyze how much of an impact your campaign made. How do you know your marketing efforts paid off? Did I gain more business and customers? Did my conversion rate increase? What kind of numbers determine if I made an impact?

In this blog, we will dive into how to track your success and how to plan a stellar campaign with proven results.


SMART Goals

Setting SMART Goals

Before measuring success, brands must brainstorm ideas and set goals. This process helps a team focus and push them to be better.

To make grounding goals, think of the acronym S.M.A.R.T.

  • Specific – Do set real numbers with real deadlines. Don’t say, “I want more visitors.”
  • Measurable – Do make sure that you can track your goal. Don’t hide behind buzzwords like “brand engagement” or “social influence.”
  • Attainable – Do work toward a goal that is challenging but possible. Don’t try to take over the world in one night.
  • Realistic – Do be honest with yourself, because you know what you and your team are capable of. Don’t forget any hurdles you may have to overcome.
  • Time-Bound -Do be honest with yourself, because you know what you and your team are capable of. Don’t forget any hurdles you may have to overcome.

How To Measure Success!

In these next sections, we will layout tips on whether your marketing campaigns are paying off. When you are pitching your campaign to your audience, you should analyze the Bounce Rate, Organic Traffic Searches, Landing Pages, and Conversions. These four tools will help you determine your success and how to move forward!

Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. This stat can easily be ignored, but it is important to know if your content is reaching the audience and how long they stay on your website or blog.

Many sites have a bounce rate of 45 to 50 percent. Anything under 40 percent is considered a win. Though a high bounce rate may be negative, it can also be a positive. A visitor may receive all the information they need in a single page of your website or blog. Use discretion on whether your content is reaching your audience.

 

Organic Traffic Searches

Google

Almost everyone who has access to the internet is asking questions or searching for some answers on search engines. These queries could potentially bring people to your content–but are Google and Bing actually throwing any love your way?

You’ll get your answer by looking at the number of people who arrive at your site through organic search. Just as with bounce rate, you must monitor your numbers growing through organic searches. If you do not see steady growth, you may need to re-strategize your website or content to ensure that they’re fully optimized for search engines.

 

Click-Through Landing Pages

Landing Page

Whether visitors on your site arrive through organic search, a Facebook referral, or an email link, you’re ultimately going to want to guide them from the content into a sales-focused environment.

One way to achieve this is to weave contextual links to relevant e-commerce or landing pages right into your content. Customers are more engaged by, and more likely to interact with content that contains helpful information about your brand. You can see just how effectively your blog as a whole or individual articles is driving to e-commerce or other landing pages by setting up a custom segment in your analytics program. If you’re not seeing a lot of clicks from your content into e-com, you may need to reevaluate how you’re integrating brand mentions in your content.

 

Blogging to E-Commerce Conversions

Blogging

When a viewer lands on your e-commerce page, are they making purchases?

You can set up your analytics to track the path that readers take once they enter your blog, and learn about their buying habits. You can see exactly how many purchases were influenced by the blog, the average amount purchased per transaction, and how much total revenue that part of the site generated.

Don’t be discouraged if your customer didn’t buy your product during the conversion period. They may return tomorrow, a week, or a month to buy your good or service!


Sources

Kreuser, A. (2016, March 2). 4 Easy Ways To Tell if Your Marketing Is Working. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/amanda-pressner-kreuser/4-easy-ways-to-tell-if-your-marketing-is-working.html

Visual Storytelling

Have you noticed the growth in video marketing? Are you constantly bombarded with live video feeds on your social media accounts?

With brands constantly using videos to target their audience, visual storytelling is also on the rise. Society’s attention spans are shrinking each year and it is important for your story to capture those who may be interested in your business.

In this blog, we will share some tips on how you can create your perfect visual story, where to publish them, and some great examples for you!


Why You Should Use Visual Storytelling With Your Brand 

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When you first visit your Facebook account, what do you see? A lot of images and videos!

Within these graphics comes with a story. More and more consumers are now searching for something that can resonate within their lives. People now these days want to feel included with their interests and share their stories with others who also may be interested. This creates networking opportunities and grows your fan base to the next level!


The Trends of Storytelling You Should Know

Infographic Storyteling


How Do I Create Great Stories?

Stories can be powerful. With the growth of social media, society is seeking trust and authenticity within organizations.

But how can you connect with your targeted audience? Read this infographic

Infographic Stories


I Have A Story! Now What?

Now that you’ve sculptured your story, you need to pitch it to your intended audience.

Before you pitch your story, you must strategize the artwork behind it. Ask yourself: “What kind of image will represent my story? Do I want to shoot a video?” 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Photos are sort of the “proof” that you’ve done something or seen something. People share millions of photos every day. When those are shared, your story will receive more recognition.

When choosing or taking a PHOTOGRAPH, review these tips.

  • Is this photo authentic?
  • If I was looking at this photo, would I relate to this story?
  • Did I get permission using this photo?
  • Will this photo be shared and capture the attention of the busy individual?
You also might want to create a VIDEO for your story. Here are some things to consider.

  • Create a script for your video. Write down what you want to say and practice in front of a mirror.
  • Choose the location of your video. Remember – does your location relate to the story you are telling?
  • Dress appropriately for the role
  • Keep your video under 3 minutes. Since society has short attention spans, try to keep your video as short as possible.

Types of Platforms to Share Your Story

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Blogging

Blogging continues to be one of the greatest platforms to pitch stories to audiences who may be interested in your business. Though blogs mostly contain words, try to narrate an image to your audience. They then can imagine your story and where you are going. Create your blogs by using WordPressBloggerSquarespaceTumblr, and more! The more photos/videos you post, the more recognition your story will be picked up. 

Social Media Channels 

Within regards to visual storytelling, Instagram continues to climb to the top. A photo or video can capture the attention of your intended audience. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are also great tools to create and display your visual story.

Live Video Feed

One of the great things in today’s tech savvy world is using Live Video feed at your finger tips! Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram now lets you broadcast to a wide range of users.

Press Release – “Pearl Marketing & Design produces PSA for Nashua Safe Stations Program.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

[Nashua, NH] – Pearl Marketing & Design, with the partnership of United Way of Greater Nashua, recently produced a PSA promoting the new “Nashua Safe Stations” program.

“Nashua Safe Stations” is a program for people who are suffering from substance abuse and need assistance to seek treatment. A person can visit any Nashua Fire Station and will be medically evaluated. Once the evaluation is complete, they will meet with a licensed professional to assess proper treatment options. This will include medical detox, medication assisted treatment, intensive outpatient groups, and residential services.

We are very grateful to the coalition which has put Safe Stations in place and is already seeing positive results in our community,” says Mike Apfelberg, President of the United Way of Greater Nashua.”We are also very thankful to Amanda Schneck and her team at Pearl Marketing and Design for stepping up to produce this tremendous PSA.”

The program is also in partnership with the City of Nashua, American Medical Response, and the Partnership for Successful Living.

Nashua NH Firehouse Safe Stations from Pearl Marketing & Design, LLC on Vimeo.

Nashua Telegraph -New PSA spotlights “Nashua Safe Stations”

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Contact –

Amanda Schneck, Owner of Pearl Marketing & Design, LLC

Info@pearlmarketingdesign.com

603-732-9070

Video Marketing Is Important To Your Marketing Strategy

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Video marketing is important to your marketing strategy

How important is creating online video when planning your marketing campaigns and brand strategy? Consider these three trends:

  1. By 2019, 80% of all internet traffic will be video[1]
  2. A 2014 survey of 1,046 consumers aged 18-54 who have shopped online found that 53% (+/-3.3%) of Americans said that a YouTube video influenced their decision to purchase a product at least once in their life[2]
  3. Considering that YouTube is viewed by more 18 to 49 year olds than any cable network[3], there is potential to influence hundreds of millions of people in the US and throughout the world into purchasing your product or service[4]

Why are videos so influential?

  • video information is processed quicker by the brain than text information
  • video shows personality in a way that text cannot
  • video boosts search engine optimization
  • video demonstrations on a product or checkout page leads to higher product order values and conversions

Having video on your website boosts Search Engine Optimization and improves its ranking on Google Search. Furthermore, video can create an emotional bond with your audience as humans naturally connect with video and process visual data faster than reading text[5]. For consumers who won’t read long descriptions, videos effectively increase the understanding of your product or service and influence consumers purchasing decisions. It is reported that 90% of users say that viewing a video about a product is helpful in their decision-making process5. At Pearl Marketing & Design, we see an increase in likes/shares on our customers social media pages and increased customer engagement and comments when we post a video to their website and social networks. For companies that do email marketing, our customers find double the click-through rates by adding a video to their email marketing strategy.

The “how to’s” of making a video

Every business dreams of its video going viral. Often times a video that is unconventional, funny or witty has a high chance of going viral. Certain emotions such as awe, surprise, joy, humor and courage help your video to go viral as well. A viral video will drive visitors to your website, increase likes on social networks, and expand your “followers”. Here are a few simple tips for creating video content:

  • Know your target audience – as the intention of a video is to gain an interested audience, take some time to research the interests and behaviors of your target audience
  • Craft your message – communicate your intended message clearly by staying on point, minimizing “um”s, and keeping your eyes on the camera at all times
  • Have fun with it – remember, this video is showcasing your company’s personality to the world, so you want to exude confidence, high energy, and creativity
  • Keep it relatively short – The average attention span of someone is approximately 8.25 seconds. That is why we see some commercials have gone from 1 minute long to 15 seconds or 30 seconds long. People tend to absorb content quickly during shorter commercials and lose interest when exposed to longer content.
  • Posting – post your video on your website, preferred social media platforms (including YouTube), and place in email newsletters and blogs. Be sure to add “tags” in order to attract the appropriate audiences. And then “boost” your post.
  • Hire a professional – although we have all seen amateur videos go viral, oftentimes their popularity comes as a surprise. Think of a video as your “virtual store or office” and make sure it is representing your business in the manner in which you want your audience to perceive it.

Contact Pearl Marketing & Design today (info@pearlmarketingdesign.com or 603-732-9070) to schedule your next company video.  Our video team will work with you to create video content that expresses the personality of you and your brand. We have the most current camera technologies (a licensed drone, 360-degree camera, etc.) and software to record, edit, and create just about anything you would like. We will even edit self-made videos. Let us help you build customer relationships, tell your company’s story, and showcase your brand through a professional video.

You can see some of our recent videos by visiting our website at https://www.pearlmarketingdesign.com/portfolio.html

[1] Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2014–2019. Retrieved March 6, 2016, from http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/ip-ngn-ip-next- generation-network/white_paper_c11-481360.pdf
[2] 53% Say a YouTube Video Influenced a Purchase at Least Once? (2013). Retrieved March 6, 2016, from http://www.reelseo.com/youtube-video-influenced-purchase/
[3] (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html
[4] How Video Marketing Influences Your Customers’ Decisions [Infographic] – Vidyard. (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2016, from https://www.vidyard.com/blog/how-video-marketing-influences-your-customers-decisions-infographic/
[5] 50 Must-Know States About Video Marketing 2016, January 12, 2016. Retrieved March 6, 2016 from http://www.insivia.com/50-must-know-stats-about-video-marketing-2016/

Welcome To Our City – The Experience from Amanda Schneck, Owner of Pearl Marketing & Design

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I want to take this opportunity to share my experience in working on the Welcome to Our City Music Video.   This video project opened my eyes to many wonderful people, organizations and the positivity that exist in our community. This blog post is long, but it is important that I share the entire story behind our video project.

 

Welcoming Week:

Friday September 16th marked the kickoff to National #WelcomingWeek, a nationwide initiative to embrace the cultural diversity in our communities and send a welcoming message to all. With all of the tensions occurring in our country right now and the negativity we hear on the news, we wanted to present a unified message that our community is a welcoming city, where we respect one another’s unique perspectives and talents and work together to provide opportunity, enjoyment, safety, and support.

 

Why Create A Video?

This idea of a video project began after the constant negativity, rioting, protesting and divide I was hearing about in the news.   The news does a great job of communicating what is going on… and it always seems to be something negative. I knew that I wanted to make a difference in our community and show that not all cities/towns are divided. In fact, in Nashua we are a community that celebrates diversity and respects one another. No matter your profession, your religious view or your ethnicity, we are one community.

My husband Kyle participated in the Leadership of Greater Nashua program through the Chamber of Commerce.  He came home one day after listening to a presentation and shared how Nashua is one of the most diverse population’s for its size in the U.S., yet there are inequities that exist and people that feel excluded from the community as a whole. That night we talked about how we still live in a world where one’s skin color, religion, age, gender, or physical appearance, is judged and often times discriminated against. As white caucasians we are afforded special privileges because we rarely face discrimination. Kyle shared the challenge he was given and asked me if I wanted to take on a challenge with him: in order to make a difference in our community, we have to better understand others’ perspectives and experiences. In order to do this, we have to be willing to constantly step out of comfort zone and do things and meet people that are outside of our social circles.

Challenge accepted! From his experience and our passion for our great community of Nashua, a video project was born

 

My Experience:

One of my first experiences in filming this video was getting to know a wonderful transgender family.  This family shared with me their struggles to fit in and be a part of the community.  They took part in our video project and had such a fun time.  We invited them back to our house after the video shoot to celebrate and have some food.  As we sat there on that hot (and I mean 100 degree HOT day), I learned more about this family.  I learned that people often looked at them strangely and make comments behind their backs.  I learned that they cared for and appreciated the same things that I did.  All that this family wanted was to be appreciated and loved like any other person.  Getting to know them and learning about their experiences in our community was probably the best part of that day.  Before this conversation, I had never truly heard someone tell me that they had a hard time fitting in.  One of the women came up to me afterwards to thank me.  Thinking that she was thanking me for the food, I said of course you are welcome.  She proceeded to say

“No. Thank you. Thank you for including us.  Thank you for looking at us and treating us with respect, love and appreciation.  You showed us why we love being a part of Nashua and never looked at us any differently.”

I felt very touched by her comment and moved that this meant so much to her.  The last thing she said to me as she left was

“We may never see each other again, or maybe we will.  But I want you to know that you made a friend for life by going out of your way to be so nice to us.”

Her comments truly resonated with me.  It was her comments that made me realize that there are people who do not always feel like they fit in.  There are people that struggle to see where they can fit in.

Over the next few weeks, my team and I would attend numerous community and cultural events, in order to not only capture scenes for our video, but more importantly to meet and learn more about our city’s residents. I attended a mosque for the first time and learned so much about the Islamic faith and Muslim culture. I danced and ate food at the Latino American, Brazil, and Indian festivals. I visited several non-profit events, such as the YMCA’s Silver Sneakers class and the Boys & Girls Club National Night Out, where I spoke with several of our amazing service members from the police, fire, and emergency. I would say, for the first time in my life, I fully immersed myself in my community and it enriched my life!

 

Lets All Make A Difference!!

This is what I challenge all of us to do. Love. Show respect. Take the time to get to know someone you don’t know. We are all human and deep down care about the same things. A quick smile. A high five. Even a handshake. Those little gestures might not seem like much to you, but they can mean the world to someone else.

 

About the Video:

This video project was a collaboration of many different organizations and people, celebrating the welcoming community of Nashua, NH.  Most notably the United Way, Great American Downtown, Positive Street Art, and the City of Nashua. Every person in this video, including my staff who filmed and edited the video, donated 100% of their time because they wanted to make a difference in our community.  After we released our video on the 16th, we learned on Monday, September 19th that Money Magazine ranked Nashua, NH #16 on the best places to live in 2016!!  I am also happy to say that in just a few days, we have watched our video go viral and be shared over 500+ times and counting!

 

Thank you:

We want to take this opportunity to share this message to our community. We have received so many positive messages from all of you over the last few days. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  As many of you know, we did not film this video for the recognition.  We did this because we love our community, we believe in the people, and we want to send a positive message to all.   Thank you to everyone who donated his or her time, dancing skills, and resources to make this video project incredibly successful. If you have not seen the video, here is the link: Welcome To Our City Music Video

 

Sincerely,

Amanda Schneck and the entire team at Pearl Marketing & Design

http://www.pearlmarketingdesign.com