In 2018, capturing an audience’s attention is harder than ever. It makes sense though—technology and social media dominate the landscape and people are becoming selective with where they spend their time, energy and money. In order to set yourself up for success in 2018, it’s time to up your content game—and content delivery game. Your audience wants to be engaged by content they consume, and simply reading a post or status update isn’t going to push them to take action.
Luckily, technology has continued to evolve and allow marketers to engage prospects in new and exciting ways. While video was king in 2017, and will continue to enjoy the spotlight in 2018, we can also anticipate live video and virtual/augmented reality content to continue evolving and developing as ways to reach audiences.
There are also tried-and-true concepts that benefit from a digital twist. For example, gamification, which has long been a marketer’s best friend, is making a comeback. Starbucks consistently pushes the envelope with their games and rewards with the “My Starbucks Rewards” program. The app-based rewards program gives customers “stars” based on dollars spent that can be redeemed for free treats. Higher frequency users receive special challenges to earn bonus stars for ordering certain items or completing certain actions (like placing a mobile order, or ordering at a specific time of day). Low frequency users get incentivized with easier to achieve bonuses for simply making a purchase. Taking into account a user’s habits and rewarding them for what they’re already doing in a fun and friendly atmosphere has helped make mobile orders through the app account for 30% of all Starbucks business.
Another tool marketers have always fallen back on? Expert endorsements. Ever since the days of radio dramas, advertisers have relied on endorsements from celebrities and subject-matter experts to gain audience trust and faith in a product. Today, it’s not as simple as drawing a comic where Superman uses Twinkies to defeat his foe. Identifying an influencer that your target market trusts requires a strategy. “Micro-influencers” with follower counts under 1,000 are more trusted by consumers, have better engagement rates than the bigger names, are more affordable, and are often willing to put forth an endorsement or review for a fraction of what a bigger influencer might charge. Sometimes they’ll even post in exchange for free samples of the products.
Despite the excitement of a new year and tech-growth, marketing isn’t always about using the newest, shiniest toy to lure your customers. Your focus should be creating content that your audience actually wants to consume. Here at the Xoo, we love combining new technologies and strategies with data-driven, tried-and-true practices. 2018 is all about leveraging new technologies to understand and reach your prospects directly. Want more tools to make 2018 your best year yet? Check out our 2018 Digital Marketing Trends Report for more predictions and tools to add to your arsenal.