5. Live Chat
Time is a commodity. People want information now, and they don’t want to have to source it themselves. This is why we’re not surprised more consumers are turning to live chat to have their questions answered mid-purchase.
“People want to know about products without having to call,” says Mo Moezzi, Head of Digital at Localsearch. “A recent survey found that 63% of website visitors are more likely to return to a website that offers live chat.”
That’s huge—and why we’re predicting businesses will be incorporating live chat within their sales funnel in 2018.
4. Content & Video Marketing
Video content is a great way to capture your audience’s attention and lead them to your products. Many businesses have already begun using video within their strategies, both for advertising and for ‘soft content’ (building clout, feel-good videos, tips and tricks, etc.).
With the introduction of Facebook’s autoplay feature in December 2013, video has quickly become the marketing tool of choice, and with YouTube maintaining the position of second-largest search engine, video marketing is more important than ever for business in 2018.
3. Mobile First
As mobile browsing continues to dominate, we are seeing a shift in consumer needs—in design, within the sales funnel, and most importantly, what they want in user experience.
“It’s not enough to have a mobile-friendly website anymore. It has to be designed for mobile, it has to be intuitive, it needs to showcase the right information,” says Mr Moezzi. “We are predicting more integration with mobile marketing and social media, using apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Snapchat.”
2. SMS Marketing
Continuing the ‘mobile-first’ trend, SMS marketing should be included in every business strategy this year. Why? It is a superior, powerful platform that more businesses should tap into.
“Nearly every mobile device on the market is SMS-enabled, making SMS the channel with the widest possible reach over any other platform,” says Mr Moezzi.
The benefits of SMS marketing are many: customers get updates in real time, can be alerted to flash sales or events, and most importantly—it opens a dialogue between customer and company. In general, customers are more inclined to read a text than an email.
“It’s been found that 97% of all text messages are read by recipients, while emails have a standard open rate of just 20%. That is staggering, and leads to our prediction of a larger focus on SMS marketing.”
1. Machine Learning & Personalisation
Imagine being able to automatically create targeted audiences for your email campaigns and search engine marketing campaigns. This is what artificial intelligence (AI) can do in 2018. Businesses are beginning to utilise AI to cultivate consumer data and drive marketing platforms such as Google Ads, email marketing, push notifications on mobiles, content recommendations on social media and more.
Need a hand with your marketing for 2018? Our digital experts at Localsearch are here to help. Backed by a Google Premier Partnership, and years of experience in both traditional and digital media, you know you will have made the right choice. Call to boost your business today!