Social Media Trends…What to expect in 2018

As social media has become one the main modes of communication, if not the number 1…consumers are now wanting brand marketing to become more personalised. But yet at the same time the rise of automation is there for all to see as it offers digital marketers a new method to pass on the day-to-tasks and concentrate on the most important thing…you the consumer. Without a doubt, digital marketing will continue to move toward these two poles in 2018Here’s a look at what else lies ahead in the world of digital marketing in 2018, and how businesses can prepare. 1. Consumers are reacting more to unfiltered, authentic moments than perfectly designed content I mean who doesn’t love a studio set photo with all the trimmings of photoshop…but these images can sometimes hinder brands trying to show off their authenticity when it looks a bit forced. That is why businesses are utilising the story modes on various social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat…and it honestly would not surprise me if a super-story platform was launched in 2018 to rule them all! Consumers are looking for honest insights about how brands operate, and they want to connect on a personal level to the brands they follow. Brands that share unfiltered photos and videos, which haven’t undergone heavy editing, can expect to receive more likes, shares, and clicks on their content.

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2. Storytelling is more important than everWe love a story…I mean who doesn’t?The importance of content marketing is old news, but gone are the days when a brand could hire just any copywriter off of Freelancer. As the competition for online attention grows, many digital agencies are looking at journalists to write their key material. With traditional media on a steady decline, creative journalists are out there and looking for work. No to mention agencies as a whole can benefit from hiring writers with reporting and storytelling backgrounds. The demand for high-quality and engaging content is growing yearly, and is expected to continue on this trend for 2018. Readers want to get unique value out of the brands they follow, and in order to compete, agencies will have to step up their strategies – which may mean bringing in more non-traditional talent.3. Automation is here to stayBy mid-2018 machines may be generating 20% of business content for Social media. But how does that effect small businesses? Chat bots are a great way for a business to provide customer service with automated responses. Millennials have adapted to this technology, with a large percentage claiming they’ve already encountered a bot when dealing with brands. Chatbots can help automate processes, reducing workload for teams and allowing marketers to dedicate more time to creative projects like content creation.Even top brands are using bots to automate their content - The New York Times admitted recently to using bots to help coordinate posts across their several pages. These bots may even do a better job of predicting engagement than their human counterparts, so expect to see them making a big impact on marketing in 2018.4. Competition for video views will increaseVideo is the way forward, with every social channel embracing video and ways for individuals to share it. Video is the most consumed media online. In fact, it's predicted that by 2020, up to 80% of online content will be video. Already in 2017, 90% of all content shared by social media users includes video.Video is here to stay. But with that said it means the competition for videos to get traction is rising. You have 3 seconds to grab the viewers’ attention before scrolling. So keep that in the back of your mind when going through the content creation process. Optimizing video content for viewing with sound on or off will also be important since most social networks automatically keep videos silent unless you click on them. The experience should be good for all viewers, whether they listen or not.Finally, make sure to consider the reasons for making a video in the first place. Video is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Your audience will want to know how your video content can help them solve their own problems, so if they don’t see any value, they'll keep scrolling.As with 2017, 2018 will be an ever changing landscape across the social media landscape, so be sure to be willing to bend, move, change direction and try something new.

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The 5 benefits of blogging

Sometime along the course of running your business someone has told you that a blog on your website would be a good idea. Now I know what you are thinking, 'No one wants to read what I have to say', but your customers and potential customers do. Blogging opens the door for you to be able to express your brand identity, introduce new and seasoned employees to your clients and establish authority in the market place. Below are the 5 key benefits to blogging. 

1: Increases search engine traffic

Search engines love fresh content. And the best content is blog posts. By blogging consistently, you give Google, Bing and other search engines new content to index and you create opportunities to plug in those all-important keywords to increase your visibility on search engine results pages.

2: Establish the tone of voice for your brand

Carefully crafted website content (e.g., a homepage or about page) can’t hold a candle to a blog post when it comes to establishing the tone of voice for your brand. Your blog posts give you a unique opportunity to share your personality, build trust and increasing your brand’s likeability.

3: Establish your business as an industry leader

No matter how small your business is, you can build trust and clout within your industry by providing valuable, expert information in your blog posts. Over time, you become a “go to” resource for educational, inspiring and entertaining content, which can ultimately lead to higher customer conversion rates. This is especially important for small businesses looking to gain credibility to compete with larger companies
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4: Improves conversion rates

Having an active blogs let's new customer know you are open for business.. This one of the main reasons either in house or through an outside source, having at least a weekly blog posting to your site can increase traffic and conversions. A blog with high-quality content also helps build brand loyalty, further increasing your conversion rates. According to Hubspot, overall ROI is also more likely to increase for companies who blog; in fact, businesses who prioritize blogging experience a 13X increase in ROI, year after year.

5: Helps generate inbound links

Without a blog it can be extremely difficult to attract authoritative links to your business website. When you add new content that serves as a resource for other bloggers and media, you start to naturally accumulate inbound links as other authors, columnists, journalists, bloggers and contributors reference and cite that content in their own articles. These links are important for SEO, but can also generate significant referral traffic back to your site.

sources: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2015/05/28/the-top-10-benefits-of-blogging-on-your-website/3/#2fc67dec7afe

http://www.openvine.com/small-business-internet-blog/5-benefits-of-blogging-for-your-small-business


6 Signs It’s Time to Hire a Marketing Agency

If you have ever been on the fence about whether you need to hire a marketing agency you are not alone. Many small businesses aren't sure when they should hire an agency or if they should hire one at all. So in this podcast we have outlined 6 signs that tell you, you need to hire an agency.

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5 Ways to Convert Your Website Traffic

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