Marketing has always been on the move in terms both of how it’s both defined and executed. From the early days of the telephone and wireless transmission to the “huge TV” trend, radio and billboard commercials and the internet, to social media platforms, IoT — and more — businesses and brands have always had to be on their toes to figure out what’s coming next.

Related: 5 Digital Marketing Trends Your Business Needs to Try

If you run a business, you know that most consumers and businesses today are online, so a major part of your marketing has to be digital — at least if you want to make any headway in reaching them. The scope of digital marketing application is massive — and, no,  it is not all about social media marketing.

According to digital strategiest Nathan Yeung,writing for the Find Your Audience blog, “Social media marketing is just one type of digital marketing. Alongside this marketing channel,” Yeung pointed out, “ecommerce business should use other means to diversify their digital marketing strategy. By relying on PPC ads, native ads, SEO and email marketing, ecommerce business can seize plenty of new opportunities in the fast- and ever-growing online world.”

Who will win, and who will lose

 Businesses that understand the swiftness with which these marketing trends evolve typically start working on their marketing strategy for the next year as early as Q2 of the current year. For instance, many people believe that social media is the most effective digital marketing channel. But according to Asif Razzaq, a digital marketing consultant, “Email marketing is more effective than social media marketing”.

This means that any business that wants to thrive cannot afford to stick to just what was working for them. But that business must always be on the lookout for new marketing trends and how it could be affected.

Here are just a few exciting marketing developments that have grown in 2017 and are sure to explode in 2018.

1. Smartphones will see increased marketing dominance.

The desktop’s relevance is swiftly going the way of the dinosaur, as mobile devices continue to eat up market share when it comes to all-round usage, especially in advertising, customer engagement and conversion rates. According to Statcounter, mobile (smartphones) currently own 50.87 percent of market share, up from 8.49 percent in January 2012. Desktop usage has gone in the opposite direction, dropping from a 91.51 percent usage rate in January of 2012 to 44.87 percent as of this past October 2017.

Related: 4 Digital Marketing Trends to Pay Attention to Right Now

Obviously mobile phones should be every serious marketer’s device of choice, regardless of industry, business size or offering. According to media measurement company Zenith, global mobile advertising (video, search or display viewed on smartphones and tablets) is expected to grow $27 billion, or 34 percent, to $107 billion in 2017. 

And, with Google’s shift to a mobile-first algorithm, mobile content-indexing and ranking are guaranteed to tilt marketing more in favor of mobile phones.

2. Location-based advertising will increasingly be adopted by small businesses.

Say you run a flower shop: You can display a special offer ad to a local event within a five-mile radius, a form of geo-targeting marketing that typically costs less to run but posts higher conversion rates, increasing the effectiveness of your advertising budget. BIAKelsey says location based mobile ad spend amounted to $12.4 billion in 2016 but is expected to hit $32.4 billion come 2021.

3. Video will continue to dominate other ad media.

If a single picture is worth a thousand words, then a minute-long video is worth a million words — about 1.8 million words actually, according to Forrester research. In other words, video marketing is the new poster child for digital advertising. In the recent past, video content has proven to be the most effective medium when it comes to garnering traffic and engagement, gaining leads and boosting conversions.

Come 2021, video will account for 82 percent of all online traffic according to a visual networking index created  by Cisco Systems. When you crunch the numbers from that report, you’re looking at approximately 1 million video minutes per second by the year 2020.

Videos, in fact, are head and shoulders above other media strategies because they don’t just provide content for your website users — they demand engagement. This in turn speaks to the viral ability of videos, as 37 percent of viewers typically watch a video to the end, and 92 percent of mobile viewers share them with others. Simple Measured says that videos are shared 1,200 percent more than text and links combined.

For 2018, your business should concentrate mainly on creating memorable video content that stays true to your brand strategy. Do your SEO a world of good by adding relevant video content to your website, landing pages, content offers and ads (on and off social media).

Why? Video is the marketing tool of choice for 63 percent of businesses, according to a Wyzowl report — so don’t be left behind.

4. The one-size-fits-all content strategy will grow obsolete.

Your audience is likely made up of new, veteran and prospective customers of different ages and from different cultures and geographic locations. It would be foolhardy of you , then, to expect that they will all respond the same way to the same content. That’s why you need to take their individual needs and requirement into consideration.

According to Key Difference Media, 78 percent of consumers will trust your brand if you create more personalized content. Dragon Search Media, moreover, reported that 61 percent of consumers it surveyed made buying decisions they said were influenced by custom content.

Related: 18 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018

For all these reasons, focus on creating customer-relevant content for next year. A move like that could very well turn out to make 2018 a very good year for your business in leads, sales and a lot more.             

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