Top tips to master your marketing strategy
NEW year, new beginnings ... especially in business, where marketing trends move at lightspeed and if you're reading this article in six months' time it will probably be too late.
The best returns can be found at the forefront of any new movement in the marketing space, which is the space that I play in daily.
That is, when I'm not busy chasing the sun on the world's largest sand island.
You see, as well as flitting about on Fraser Island hosting media and celebrities, I do roll up my sleeves and get busy among the work of selling our fabulous region to the world.
To effectively do that, I spend a lot of time keeping up with the "marketing Joneses", so we can encourage more travellers to enjoy the charms of the Fraser Coast.
We're all in this business boat together, so I thought I'd share the hottest marketing strategies on the agenda, so that we can all succeed online this year.
Top Trends for 2018
This is "the" strategy for high return on investment on social media spend and will start to replace traditional "list building" strategies this year.
With costs of email acquisition continuing to climb and open rates dropping like flies, lists will become a thing of the past and "connections" will become direct-response du jour.
Social media campaigns utilising Facebook Messenger and chatbots are already proving highly successful in many industries and are, in fact, much easier to implement than traditional online funnels requiring significant set-up to get started. Now you can say hello to 10,000 new customers through apps on your iPhone.
Your new motto: The ability to connect is what creates customers and fast cash.
While A-List celebrities reign over the magazine stands, B-Lister's rule reality television screens, and D-Lister's have found fame, power (and the big bucks) on Instagram - much to every marketer's chagrin - a new category of influencers will be the focus this year.
"Micro influencers" are social media stars with a following of only 50,000 to 100,000 people. They have smaller but more engaged, followings (compared to Beyonce who casually charges $1million for a post to her 110million followers).
Engagement is what translates into clicks and sales, which is the true measure of influence all marketers should be measuring (not awareness).
Your new motto: Numbers matter, but influence matters more.
The days of a 10-second video overlay are over (corporate videos, I'm looking at you) and anything that doesn't catch a user's attention in the first third of a second, will be lost in the online scroll.
Video is still one of the most important conversion weapons in your online toolkit, but it is a vastly different version of video than what you see on television.
Video for social media needs to tell a complete story in 10 to 30 seconds, or less.
Your new motto: If I wasn't being paid to watch this, would I?
By now, you've probably realised I haven't mentioned "mobile optimisation" or "marketing to millennials" yet and for good reason - the time to get among those strategies was 2008.
Thankfully, millennials no longer rule the world - baby boomers are spending the biggest bucks (and are the largest audience) on Facebook, and we have a whole new Generation Z to worry about now, and they are rarely on Facebook, so it's always a race to keep up online without spreading your marketing efforts too thin.
While this all sounds like a lot of fancy theory, the practical applications are actually quite easy, and there is a host of new platforms and options to enable even the smallest companies to take advantage of these trends very easily this year - for very little cost.
That is the joy of the internet; you can be in a remote location (um, hello Fraser Island with your 1200km of sand tracks) and still lead the way for innovative marketing this year.