When you go online, chances are that a lot of the content you see is in video format – and for good reason. Every day, approximately 100 million people watch at least one video online. So videos are an incredibly effective way of marketing your product and/or service.
If you have been avoiding making videos because you think they will be too expensive or difficult to make, it is time to rethink your marketing strategy.
61% of all businesses now use video content in their digital marketing plans. Two out of every three of these businesses are newcomers to video.
Additionally, video consumption continues to rise online. Estimates from this summer predict that overall video consumption via mobile will increase by 35% by the end of this year.
These developments foretell a new year where digital video will be more important than ever for business owners’ success. Those who take advantage of the following four video marketing trends in 2018 will likely be in for a great year ahead.
Video Content Marketing Becomes a Must-Have for Small Businesses
For one, people complete video content more frequently than the average non-visual, text-based blog article. According to Vidyard, over a third of all video viewers (37%) make it to the end of the video’s run time.
Nearly all mobile users who watch video (92%) have a tendency to share video content with others. Simply Measured also says that video gets shared around 12x more frequently than content links or text.
Other studies show that audiences retain video in messaging better than text.
With these advantages, businesses putting video content out there will see higher levels of engagement. They will also see higher levels of shares and conversions into their marketing funnel. Having a video component to your digital marketing strategy will become a competitive differentiator in months ahead.
Business owners looking to get into video can start by transforming existing content assets into a short (around 2.5 minutes or less) summary. Look to the assets with the most views and shares for inspiration.
Video Becomes an Integral Part of the Sales Pipeline
Video not only generates awareness, it can help nurture sales in both B2C and B2B industries. 65% of business decision-makers will visit a startup’s website, claims ComScore.
Offering video content helps turn what could be a pushy and person-intensive sales process into a self-service nurturing pipeline. Interested prospects can view video content hosted on websites or shared via social to learn more about products and features. As they educate themselves, they move towards the end of the sales funnel with minimal person-to-person contact.
Self-guided lead nurturing not only reduces employee overhead, it also results in a more pleasant experience for leads. 19% of prospects claim they only want to hear from a company rep when they are actively considering a purchase. 40% of prospects want to be able to buy without talking to anyone at all.
Meeting this need involves considering how video assets can provide value at every stage of the sales/marketing funnel.
For instance, business owners can cultivate awareness by creating emotional or intriguing video advertising assets.
Video content marketing assets provided on their website next to text content can help buyers at the nurturing stage. In-depth explainer videos can help lay out different buying options. It can also lay out the final steps in the procurement process for those ready to close the deal.
“When you incorporate video into your sales processes, customers get what they want: a friction less, self-serve experience on their time, and on their terms,” says WireBuzz.
Think about buyer needs that were once traditionally met with person-to-person interactions. Imagine how video can replace these needs with a self-service, video-heavy customer journey.
Live Video, 360° Video, Slideshows and Other Video Formats Gain Traction
Like everything else online, the world of video marketing is evolving. While you can still upload videos to your YouTube channel and share them online, there’s also a new kid in town – live video.
One of the most accessible options, which allows companies to fully integrate video marketing into their Facebook marketing, is Facebook Live.
Live video presents an easy, low-budget and low-concept way to create more video content for audiences. Brands can engage with audiences in a way that feels authentic and like a 1:1 conversation.
Preparing live video into your content marketing and social engagement strategy can quickly round out your assets without a massive up-front investment.
There are a lot of reasons that doing live is a good way to gain more followers. This is something that you should be investing in.
We could go into a lot of detail now about why Live might well be the ‘future’ of social media in many ways. For now, though, suffice to say that for you, it offers a unique way to communicate with your audience. This takes away the limitations of having to wait for a post or a message to be delivered.
Your audience will feel as though they’re getting real insight into your lifestyle, your business and your personality. You will be able to answer their question directly.
This is a fantastic format for a whole range of types of media. From AMAs (Ask Me Anything), to interviews and to product reviews.
On the other end of the spectrum is 360° video. These assets use a special camera setup to capture a full spherical range of images. Audiences can then use a smartphone headset like the Google Daydream to tilt and move their head as the video plays, changing their viewpoint as one might in real life.
360° video results in a truly immersive and memorable experience. However, the high cost of equipment and production means businesses require an airtight strategy for converting 360° videos into measurable returns.
Formats like these lower production costs for video — especially video ads. They still provide higher levels of engagement. Best of all, they can communicate well even without sound.
Since 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, slideshow and short-form video assets provide substantial returns with a relatively minimal investment.
In 2018, Video Marketing Trends Will Define Small Business Success
If 2017 was a year of pioneering growth for video, 2018 will be the year people expect business owners to give their video marketing campaigns some structure.
Business owners can bring in bigger audiences than ever before. Simply by using the above trends in combination with intelligent strategy and dutiful measurement of KPIs.
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Digital Marketing Trends for 2018
In 2018, you need a sales and marketing plan that makes the best use of digital marketing trends to create more visibility and drive revenue.
We’ve identified five major digital marketing trends that should get your focus in 2018.
The businesses that are able to best take advantage of these trends will get a huge leg up over their competitors.
To help you get you started — and to make this coming year more profitable for you — read about these five important digital marketing trends for 2018 below.
Content Marketing to Attract and Engage Prospects
Content marketing is nothing new, but it is evolving.
Content is what makes the web go around. Content is what makes people visit your website, it’s what encourages people to follow you on social media and it’s what eventually turns your visitors into fans rather than just followers.
Your social media strategy should largely be about sharing content. That means directly posting images, videos, and text to your social media accounts, but it also means posting to your blog or website and then sharing that on social media.
But this strategy will only work so long as the content you are providing is top quality and highly engaging. So now the question is: how do you ensure that this is the case?
70% of people say they would rather learn about a company through articles than ads.
For this reason, around 90% of businesses that advertise online use content marketing currently. Most are interested in shifting dollars from traditional ads to content, where they can find better returns.
You should create engaging, in-depth content with a strong visual element to attract prospects. Reach more people by learning about the content they want to consume and giving them more of it.
Video Continues to Dominate
You might not be into Facebook Live yet, but you probably should be! Recent data from Facebook shows that people are 10x more likely to comment on a Facebook Live video than otherwise.
Even if Facebook Live does not work for your business, incorporating video into your marketing is key. Consider that 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos each week, on average.
Now, keep in mind that there are over 2 billion active Facebook users in the world. A little bit of number crunching reveals that approximately 1 billion people watch one hour of video a week. That’s a huge embedded audience to explore!
Video holds much more attention and communicates messages more effectively than text or still images alone. Recognizing this, small businesses have been using video and finding huge returns. Whether as a type of content or a paid ad, video drives huge amounts of engagement.
Research from Wyzowl indicates that 79% percent of consumers surveyed would rather watch a video to learn about a new product then read about it.
Also, “64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.” So, people are not only watching a video but also remembering what they see and actually buying things afterward!
Small business owners can start working on their video strategy easily by answering common questions customers have — either Live or as a prerecorded release.
From there, consider repurposing some of your existing content into short, informative videos and uploading them directly to social media.
You know the audiences are there, you just have to give them something worth paying attention to.
Facebook Advertising to Reach Prospects
Billions of users reside on Facebook. The targeting is so specific, you can even turn off ads to people who have clicked on them before. It can also be inexpensive if you know what you’re doing.
No wonder it’s one of the top advertising platforms for marketers.
The results of Facebook advertising can happen very quickly. It’s not unusual to see sales start after 24 hours of running an ad. As a small business owner, you can use Facebook to your advantage.
If you’ve read that boosting a post is a waste of time, I’m going to correct that thinking. As a small business owner, page boosts are perfect for you.
If you’ve got a massive audience (over 2000 fans) then it’s probably not.
But then again, if you use it the way we show you how, it may be good for any business size.
When you boost a post, you aren’t just limited to your fans. You can target certain demographics, just like an ad. Most people don’t know that. They think boosting is just for your fans.
If you’re just boosting to your fans, you may be wasting money.
If you target it like an ad, you’ll be getting the most out of your boost.
You can choose your demographics based on age, location, age, and interest. In this case, you want to target people in your local area. You can play around with the other options, but location targeting is key.
This way your post will be seen by people in your local area.
What kind of post should you boost? Try one that’s talking about a product or your latest sale. You want to entice people to come into your store or contact you. If you want them to contact you, be sure to put your contact information in a boosted post.
A boosted post is extremely inexpensive. It can cost as little as $20. You can potentially reach hundreds or thousands of people with that money.
Boosted posts can run for one to seven days. The maximum amount of days it can run is seven. I’d recommend that you run a post if you can afford to run it.
Make sure the post is applicable to at least that amount of time. You don’t want a post about a sale running after it has expired.
Make sure all your posts abide by Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines. These posts need to be approved. Sometimes they will be approved but then you’ll find out later they’ve been canceled. If they’ve been canceled, it’s usually because they violated the guidelines in some way.
Facebook is a great advertising platform.
Now small and local businesses have the chance to increase their audience with just a small budget. Make sure you implement at least one of these this week. Once you see your first sale, you’ll want to make it a regular part of your advertising. This is one of the easiest ways to implement the most effective digital marketing trends in existence.
When you combine video and Facebook Ads you really start to multiply the impact. Recent data highlight the fact that social video (basically any kind of branded video or advertisement) generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
Instagram & Influencers Drive Engagement
When it comes to consistent engagement, Instagram is the number one social channel out there. That’s the conclusion of a study done by Yopto, which found engagement rate on Instagram to be 45% greater than on Facebook and 40% greater than Twitter.
What exactly does ‘engagement’ mean? It means this: over 75% of users will take action on an advertisement posted in their feed.
The key here is to let your customers do the posting as much as you do. The same Yopto study found that 77% of people are more convinced by user-generated photos of a product rather than professional photos.
Crowdsource your own content by asking loyal customers for pictures of them using your product. People love the attention, and you save on professional photography, so it’s a win-win for all.
Another key thing to know about Instagram is how powerful Instagram Influencers are.
“Influencers” refers to people with lots of followers and tons of engagement from fans. There are all types of influencers, including subject matter experts who post videos and photos related to their expertise.
Small businesses can tap into these influencers at a relatively low cost. Case studies have shown that niche experts in your industry will drive direct sales traffic without costing your company an arm and a leg.
Take the example of RESCUE, for instance. RESCUE wanted to push their range of natural products and asked a number of micro-influencers and bloggers to share their personal stories and include a “buy one, get one free” coupon with their post. The results? A 258% increase in Instagram followers — not to mention over 6,000 clicks to the coupon site.
Because of success stories like these, there is no question that leveraging micro-influencers to drive conversion rates will be a major trend in social media marketing going forward.
Businesses Not Optimized for Mobile Will Be Left Behind
Did you know that 4 out of 5 consumers now use smartphones to shop? Let’s face it, nowadays just simply having a website is no longer enough for your business to truly connect with consumers online. People are accessing the internet from desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Your customers are using mobile devices to search for businesses in their area and to shop online.
Having a mobile website can make a big difference in how many customers find and interact with your business. The use of mobile phones to browse the internet isn’t new, but it continues to rise, making a mobile website more and more important for businesses who want to stay on top of the market.
Why being Mobile Friendly Is Important for Your Business
Studies show the average consumer is spending more time browsing and utilizing the web on a mobile device vs. on a desktop or laptop. Tablets and phones can be conveniently carried around and accessed instantly. How often have you seen someone looking at their phone while waiting for a bus, sitting in a restaurant, or taking a break from work? All of those moments are opportunities for your business if you have a mobile-friendly website. Better yet, 2018 should be the year you adopt a Progressive Web App! This will be the hottest of all digital marketing trends.
In a 2014 study, ad network InMobi found that in the United States people are spending more time accessing the internet through their mobile devices than through their PCs. This means that if your business’s website is designed only for PCs, you’re missing out on over half of the market. Furthermore, about one in three online searches are now conducted through mobile devices. People use their phones when they are out and about and looking for a local service. If your website comes up in their search results and is easy to access, you might gain an immediate new customer.
A recent study by iAcquire found that 70% of mobile online searches result with an action taken within less than an hour of the search. This means that mobile searches are a more effective way of reaching customers than desktop searches, and can quickly result in new customer interactions and sales.
Take Advantage of These Five Digital Marketing Trends for 2018 to Find Success Growing Your Business
In 2018, competing online is no longer an option.
It’s a must for your business to survive.
To grow your business, you must apply a complete digital marketing strategy.
One that gets more Leads & Sales.
One that takes advantage of the shifts in Mobile, Social, Video, Reputation, Search and other digital marketing trends.
One that connects all the dots, so that people can find you on any channel but still have a consistent experience.
One that gives the information people need to make a buying decision through helpful content and a mobile-optimized experience.
This is the only way for your business to not be left behind.
If you take advantage of these digital marketing trends, you will have a distinct advantage in growing your business over your competition.
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Enter any business name and zip code and see how optimized it is for local search.