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    Skot Waldron
    By Skot Waldron

    5 Online Marketing Trends in 2018


    Times are changing, and so is online marketing. It seems almost impossible to keep up with it all. I guess we all just need to hold on for dear life and impliment what we can, right? Well, here are 5 things to start thinking about.


    1 // Embrace the robots

    It was only a matter of time before artificial intelligence made itself a necessity for online marketing success, and that day is here. Machine learning has made tailoring ads to the customer possible in ways that have not previously been imaginable. Giants like Netflix are using AI recommender systems to recommend entertainment choices based on preferences, and customers are loving the efficiency and effectiveness of getting relevant suggestions that fit their tastes. Tailoring ads to fit the consumer is becoming the new norm, and it's extremely laborious and difficult to do this without the help of AI. Your marketing team should think long term about how to incorporate machine learning into your marketing campaigns and ride that wave because it’s here.


    2 // Privacy before leads

    One of the less fortunate trends of 2017 was data breach after data breach. Americans are feeling insecure about their online privacy and it is important as a marketer, whose main goal is collecting customer information, to be aware and respectful of this. Posting secure messages and your certifications on a lead generation form, like Salesforce does in the image below, can go a long way to reassure your customer you will protect their information in this uncertain time. (If you're going to put this on your site, make sure you have the ability to protect their information.) It's safe to assume that if customers don't trust your site, they will not give you any personal information about them, so make sure your webpage is sophisticated and secure enough to warrant the leads you are looking for and protect your customer's information.

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    3 // Native advertising becomes the norm 

    No one really likes being advertised to. This is the entire reason why inbound marketing was created, to help people feel less like a victim to marketing and more empowered to choose the marketing materials they want to interact with. Native advertising is taking this to a higher, albeit sneakier, level, by making people think they aren't even looking at ads at all. While Buzzfeed is the current champion of native advertising, lots of other platforms are embracing the trend, including Instagram, Netflix, and Time. It's important to consider native advertising in 2018 as traditional advertising falls further and further to the wayside, especially if you are targeting a young crowd who will find ways to block and avoid your traditional ads with ease.

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    4 // Make way for Linkedin

    Advertising on social media has become as integral and basic to a marketing strategy as creating a logo. But which social media platforms are worth your time and money is a debate that is constantly changing. While Facebook continues to be a marketing giant, with Youtube close behind, one platform that has been a bottom runner for the past five years, LinkedIn, has made some impressive changes that are getting attention. Whereas Twitter has failed to adapt to the needs of marketers who need assurance that their ads will be shown, Linkedin has created an entire marketing world with native ads, B2B targeted ads, B2C lead generation ads, and more tools to help you turn your profile into a lead generator in itself. 2018 will likely see way more marketing dollars being put towards Linkedin as it finally establishes itself as a major player in the social media marketing game. Just keep in mind that you’ll pay more for LinkedIn ads that on other platforms.


    5 // Subtitles all the way

    That being said, Facebook still rules the school for now, and with over 2 billion active users and super targeted, inexpensive ad options, it is one of the best places for you to put your marketing dollars. However, while it's common knowledge that people are on Facebook pretty much all the time, it's also common knowledge that you usually don't want to broadcast to your colleagues or dinner date that you are checking your newsfeed when you should definitely be doing something else. Because of this, most videos that people watch on Facebook (and people are watching a lot of videos on Facebook) are actually watched with the sound off, so if you are looking to create a video campaign that your target audience will actually understand, make sure to add easy to read, clear subtitles. This tutorial can help you add subtitles to your Facebook videos even after you've already posted them.


    Let this be the year!

    Let this be the year you get ahead of the curve and stay on top of the latest trends. Find a plan that works for your specific company needs, and get ready to rock this whole 2018 thing!


    Small businesses and entrepreneurs need some love too. Branding and marketing your business isn't easy. It takes time and knowledge. Sometimes it just takes a little hand holding. Click the image below if you'd like to schedule a time to talk about what you have going on.   


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