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Get on ‘marketing’ trend for 2018

Taking advantage of the latest marketing communication trends could really help set your marketing activity apart from your competitors. However with technological advances and the rapid merging of our physical and digital worlds it can be difficult to know where to focus. Here are Clear B2B’s top tips to get you on marketing trend for 2018.

Delivering success with multi-channel communication programmes for leading and challenger brand means we have to ensure we have the very latest knowledge to hand. As we have already done a lot of the groundwork we thought it would be helpful to give you a few pointers for success in 2018 and beyond. 

Tapping into mobile 'micro-moments'
Are you addressing changing customer behaviour? 

Whether you are looking to send a bouquet of flowers, find a local plumber or check out the job market, the chances are you'll pick up your smartphone to find the information you seek. 
This behaviour pervades our work life nowadays as much as it does our home life. It is giving brands 'micro-moment' opportunities to capture attention, meet needs and start building a relationship which could lead to sales. Brands that are adapting to the micro-moment will be more successful at engaging customers and acquiring their trust. 

It's all about providing the right information at the right time to ensure your customer experience works well for short burst interventions. 

Take a moment to consider the stats…

  • 96% of us reach for smartphones to find something out
  • 61% of us feel better about brands that offer a good mobile experience
  • 73% of the global population (5.2 billion) have a mobile phone. And 40% of these own smartphones 
  • Mobile use for researching B2B purchases has grown by 91% in the past two years 

The power of pictures
Do your images pack a real punch?  

While it is common knowledge that pictures speak to us more powerfully than words, many businesses are still failing to prioritise the image. The truth is, we're all time-poor. A good picture can create instant impact, connecting with us at a highly instinctive and emotional level. Successful B2B organisations are now taking the time to respond effectively to the need for great imagery. Finding the increased engagement from striking pictures which are on message is paying dividends; attracting more prospects and increasing customer advocacy.

In 2018 the importance of image impact will continue to grow with images truly coming to life. Whether this is through 3D technology or live imagery (typically a short sequence of moving images now possible on some smart phones), or even through photos that can now move! These changes in the functions performed by ‘still’ imagery will be creating an even more engaging experience to give brands a better chance of delivering stand-out communication.

So remember to: 

  • Post content with images as this is 55% more likely to be remembered 
  • Dump stock photos as 41% of marketers say original graphics are more engaging
  • Explore the new ways of bringing imagery to life

Video stories
Can you afford to ignore this trend?

Videos are an easy way to absorb information, making them a powerful and increasingly popular marketing tool. Videos also work particularly well when they're shared peer-to-peer via social networks. In fact, according to Com Score, 64% of us are more likely to buy a product if we've watched a video about the product online. 

If you haven’t already, you need to get with the trend:

  • Video will represent over 80% of all internet traffic by 2019, according to Cisco 
  • 1 in 5 Twitter users watch videos each day from tweeted links. What's more, two-thirds of Twitter users think it is worth watching videos tweeted by brands
  • Your chance of getting a page one listing on Google increases 53 times if you're using video 

The growth of AI platforms
How could artificial intelligence help your business?

The growth of AI platforms will mean you can soon interrogate data much more efficiently, enabling you to scale up your digital marketing fast. If you don't have the budget to fund the high levels of manual analysis currently needed to extract maximum value from your data, the growth of systems that will read, answer and even ask questions could be just what you're looking for. Automating the interrogation of digital interactions with AI will give businesses the ability to anticipate the future desires of customers rather than basing predictions on what they have already done.

  • Microsoft AI experts are busy working on machine reading comprehension. See here to learn more.
  • It's predicted that AI technology will increase productivity by up to 40%, enabling people to make more efficient use of their time. 

Make it personal
Are you tailoring content to the individual customer? 

Personalised content that meets the individual customer's needs is much more likely to generate lead conversions than generic content, and so the fast-growing trend for messaging targeted at the individual is hardly surprising. Quite simply, smart content drives better performance. 

The facts speak for themselves on this one: 

  • A survey by HubSpot showed that a call-to-action directed to users did 42% better than a generic call-to-action
  • 61% of customers prefer companies that create individualised content. That means they're more likely to buy again from the same company.
  • 88% of content marketing professionals are considering adding personalisation to their plans.

Account Based Marketing (ABM) 
How well are you targeting your dream customers?

Personalisation and AI combined with the breaking of silos within our organisation brings us to our final top pick – Account Based Marketing (ABM). Already high on many agendas, it is the customisation of your marketing communications to specific prospects in targeted companies. ABM ensures your message resonates with chosen companies, particular types of people and, at its most refined, a specific individual.

ABM is the buzz word for business leaders and shapers because it has such clearly defined goals and value. It reminds marketers of the importance of really understanding the target audience, a process that can be also be scaled-up with the use of AI technology.

It also requires sales and marketing to work together seamlessly in a world where the connectivity of the whole of our customer experience (CX) means business silos are a thing of the past.

Research from ITSMA indicates 

  • 87% of companies say ABM delivers higher ROI than other marketing
  • Return on Investment is better – 208% more revenue generated

More speed, less haste… it’s all in the planning

In the next 10 years we will see the same technological progress as the previous 200 years. There is no time like the present to ensure your business is making the steps it can to move forward. There's already huge scope for you to engage with your target market, both digitally and traditionally, and you can plan now to make the most of these and other emerging trends in 2018.

Clear thrives on keeping your business ahead of the game with the very latest communication strategies and techniques. We want you to get the most out of your marketing and PR budget by combining vision, experience and practicality. Contact the team to find out more.

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