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It’s that time of year again! As we say “goodbye” to 2017, we look forward to 2018. For small business owners the thought of planning online marketing may seem intimidating given all the…

  • Choices of media and social networks
  • Rules, do’s and don’ts
  • New technology

So here are a few of the Online Marketing trends and strategies that I think the average small business owner needs to embrace for 2018 or…

Get Left Behind in the Dust…

My top 13 Online Marketing Trends, Tips and Strategies:

  1. Video and Live Video. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and now LinkedIn have incorporated video. We know video sells. It’s eye-catching. People will watch a video before reading a blog post. What’s great is it’s so easy to create videos with smartphones and tablets – you really have no excuse for not taking advantage of this medium. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have the Live Video capability so you can broadcast live from anywhere where’s the Wi-Fi.
  2. SEO is not dead. Search Engine Optimization is still important if you want Google to know that you exist. Google is still the number one traffic-driver to websites. The good thing is, you don’t need to hire an outside firm if you can do a few things including Content Marketing, sharing on Social Media and benefiting from Organic Search Results. Watch this…

  1. Twitter Follow MeTwitter is not dead. Sorry, naysayers, Twitter is still alive and a viable medium for marketing, SEO and exposure. We have President Trump to thank for the increase in users, tweeting and opinion-sharing that’s so prevalent on the never-ending news ticker. Take advantage of regularly trending Hashtags and spin your marketing message around them. Use a free tool like TweetDeck to schedule promo posts so you don’t miss opportunities for exposure.
  2. Email / Marketing Automation. Once it’s setup, it just runs by itself! And what’s more, services like MailChimp offer automation for FREE if you have under 2000 people on your email list. You can segment your list by asking 2 or 3 pertinent questions on the sign-up page. Offer visitors to your website a freebie to entice them to join your list. Having the right Call-to-Action on your site is critical to marketing success.
  3. Customer Experience Marketing. Always think of the customer’s buying journey – even if they’re not ready to buy! You need to put yourself in their shoes. That’s why getting to know your target market(s) is so important.
  4. Instagram Stories. Owned by Facebook, Instagram is the fastest growing social media network going from 600 million to 800 million active users in 2017. Over 300 million daily active users take advantage of Instagram Stories doubling in the last year. The idea is that you can combine several pictures and videos to simply tell a story.
  5. How to Develop Social Media Marketing Strategies for Your BusinessStrategy over Tactics. So many small business owners jump in and start posting with absolutely no clear strategy whatsoever. That is such a waste of time, energy and efforts. You must think it out and plan it out. Do one month at a time.
  6. Influencer Marketing. This is basically finding folks with a lot of followers whose opinion matters to your target market. Then make friends with them. Get them to notice you and hopefully they’ll share your fabulous content with their thousands of followers.
  7. Make it Visual. Videos, stories, pictures, graphics, infographics. No one pays any attention to a tweet or Facebook post with just text and links. Their eye is going to the movement in the video or the interesting picture. Remember, you’re not just competing against your direct competitors for your target’s attention. You’re also competing with the family, friends and other businesses and causes they follow. You need to stand out and going visual is the answer. Use a free tool like Canva.com to create eye-catching pictures.
  8. Voice Search. More and more people are asking Alexa or Google to help them find things, shop, answer questions, etc. Where do they come up with the answers? The search engine finds content on websites that most closely matches the question. Which is why you need to blog and be aware of the varied use of keywords in your writing. Mastering the Google Keyword Tool is also beneficial.
  9. Become a follower magnetHaving a Social Media Base. Building a loyal following takes time. These people follow you or like your page because of what you post. They could be loyal customers or are just interested in your business. They won’t follow you if you’re not posting anything. If starting from scratch, it takes about 90 minutes a day for the first 30 days to build a following. If you’re new to social media, my FREE Master Class will help get you started.
  10. Transparency. Fake News is a hot topic. People are wary of “click-bait” headlines that entice one to click on it only to find the article talks about something else or is trying to sell you something. Honesty is still the best policy. Don’t make up a story just to get attention. The truth always comes back to bite you in ways you never imagined. If you have a disgruntled customer who leaves a bad review, do your best to rectify the issue and respond publicly.
  11. Paid Targeting. I always tell my clients to try social media marketing along with proper SEO and blogging without spending money for 3-6 months first. Track your analytics, metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) each month to see what’s working and not working. In the event that business slows, you might have saturated your market. It’s time for paid advertising. Based on your analytics and target market audience, placing key paid ads in the right networks will help you expand your reach and be noticed by more people. Yes, you have to have a budget, but then again, you do have to spend money to make money. Put some paid advertising dollars in to your marketing budget for 2018.

You must be feeling overwhelmed right now.

Where do you start?

Check out Giselle's Greater Phoenix SCORE workshops!

This article originally appeared on the AZ Social Media Wiz Blog.

About the Author(s)

Giselle Aguiar, Social Media Marketing Specialist, Coach and Trainer at AZ Social Media Wiz

Giselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing consultant and trainer specializing in market research, strategic planning, social media and marketing automation setups, training and coaching. She's been doing Internet marketing since 1995.

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Trainer and Coach, AZ Social Media Wiz
Online Marketing Trends for 2018 that You Need to Know