Must-Know Small Business Marketing Trends for 2018 [#Infographic]

Small Business Marketing Trends 2018How is your marketing strategy working so far this year? Have you been staying up on marketing trends, and putting strategies in place that even allow you to measure your success? If not, you are not alone. Many, many small-to-medium-sized businesses don’t know if their marketing strategies are even working.

Marketing Trends Can Help You Measure What’s Working – And What’s Not

At Luce Media, we have always said: You can’t manage what you can’t measure. So, let’s look at some elements that will help you accomplish this in 2018.

Today we will examine 5 top small business marketing trends revealed in the Infusionsoft 2018 Small Business Marketing Trends Report. Use them and see how well your business can succeed by incorporating what this research has revealed.

5 Marketing Trends to Improve Your Digital Efforts in 2018

1. Tracking and Measuring

Successfully marketing your small business digitally remains a mystery for too many businesses today.

A very large percentage of small business owners – an astonishing 46% – don’t have a clue whether their marketing strategies work or not.

With today’s technology, you are able to track marketing expenses and returns down to the penny. However, a vast majority of companies using modern marketing tools, and even some companies being hired for their expertise in online marketing do not take advantage of the detailed information available from all of these services.

For instance, how much does it cost your business to acquire a new customer? Look at all the dollars you spend in the areas of marketing: website, social media, blog writing, direct mail, trade shows, paid social, etc. Factor in what you spend each month on these elements and divide that into the number of new customers you get each month. Second, what marketing channel are those inquiries and new customers coming through on? Tracking ROI is imperative.

2. Improve Marketing Strategy

Another unhappy 17% of small business owners know their marketing strategies are definitely not working.

There’s a variety of reasons this may happen. You have no strategy. You are just throwing up posts and hoping something sticks.

Companies that are successful in digital marketing spend a large portion of their marketing budgets on content marketing. Content on social, blog posts, emails, etc.

You create good content – but then don’t promote it. It’s the proverbial tree falling in the forest. It’s critical to use the various digital platforms available to you to promote your great content.

3. Create a Plan

Perhaps your content is irrelevant or uninteresting, or you have not narrowed the niche audience you are targeting.

Incredibly, only 37% of small business owners say they have effective marketing strategies and efforts. These are the business owners who are tracking what they do with the leads and sales they generate. They have a process that works and they regularly use it.

4. Social Media Marketing is Hot

A recent study shows that 2018 is the year of social media marketing. Of all small business owners investing in digital marketing, a whopping 71% intend to acquire new customers using social media marketing. Of all small business marketing trends, this needs to be viewed seriously. So how does that break down?

Facebook is overwhelmingly the social media platform of choice for small businesses. An incredible 75% definitely will use Facebook in their marketing strategies. How will YOUR business benefit by joining the masses in this 2018 trend?

Mari Smith, the Facebook guru and author of many successful social media “how to” books says it is all about mobile, mobile, mobile. To take advantage of what Facebook is rolling out in the next 12–18 months, make sure everything you produce and deliver is mobile-friendly.

5. Work the Plan

Where are small business owners most likely to spend their 2018 marketing dollars? The vast majority say in social media.

Stats for 2018 include –

  • 38% consider social media marketing to be one of the top 3 digital marketing tools for 2018
  • 30% consider SEO and digital ads as a top digital marketing tool for 2018
  • 24% consider website analytics to be one of the top 3 digital marketing tools for 2018

Many small businesses say they are already putting money into social media marketing, and their efforts are going to center around maximizing the effectiveness of their social media marketing.

Does this sound familiar to your business? The biggest challenge for 1 in 5 small businesses is reported to be finding the correct amount of time and/or resources to properly do marketing. Time is something we all have to invest in for our business to succeed.

If you don’t have the time to learn how to make social media work for you, or the time to effectively market in the social media space, give serious thought to hiring a small agency with the expertise and experience to make your efforts and marketing dollars pay off.

A truth that captures the situation overall is this: There is more to social media marketing than just posting a picture on Instagram or Facebook.

Small Business Trends 2018 Infographic

Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s Infusionsoft’s Small Business Marketing Trends 2018 infographic.

Infusionsoft Small Business Trends 2018 Infographic

Infographic Courtesy of Infusionsoft

Put these Marketing Trends to Work for Your Business

Measuring results may be not as “fun” as content creation, but to succeed, add that task to your must-do list. And again, when your calendar is already filled but more effort is needed, don’t be afraid to look for help with this important task. Understand each of these 5 trends and put them to work for your business. Now, go Plan your work and then work your plan.

What’s the next step for you to leverage these trends? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Mark Toney

Mark Toney is CEO of Lucé Media – a social and digital strategy, research and content company. He has worked with hundreds of companies small and large to increase awareness, engagement and most important – new business.

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Mark Toney