Five Killer Marketing Trends You Need to Know About

What marketing trends will shape over the next year?

We’re seeing a record number of tools and tips fly across our screen every day, on social media, in blogs, and in e-blasts. Everything promises to be a money saver and a game changer. But how many of these things can actually move the needle forward for you?

You need to sort out the hype from the help.

To help you do so, we’ve identified 5 key marketing trends that are making a big difference for businesses across the board in every sector.

Here are the marketing trends you need to be aware of in the new year.

Five Killer Marketing Trends You Need to Know About1. The ROI of Mail

This may be the most surprising marketing trend on the list. As everything moves forward, it’s revealing a new opportunity for good old-fashioned email and… yes… snail mail marketing efforts.

Alpha Mail

Let’s start with actual mail. A lot of people are seeing really big results from direct marketing campaigns.

In recent years, experts have declared the time of death on direct marketing. And it has been a bit of a punchline in the marketing world. And that is exactly why it now works. Because nobody else is doing it.

When everyone zigs, you zag. The ROI for direct marketing campaigns is actually the highest it’s been in years.

All people are getting in their mailboxes now are pizza coupons and bills. So something else is actually pretty novel to them.

And we’re seeing millennials respond to direct mail in a big way. They grew up in a digital world. Something tangible they can hold and look at is actually very different to them.

But don’t just send out any old postcard. Put some thought and strategy into it. Here are a few things the modern direct marketing campaign needs:

  1. A) A dedicated landing page: Set up a landing page just for this campaign, so you can send your traffic there, and measure the results accurately. Do not send this traffic to an existing product or service pages.

You can’t track that. And if you can’t track it, you can’t manage it.

  1. B) Use a simple URL: Make sure your dedicated landing page has an URL so simple that people can remember it, without having your card in front of them.

If you’re offering a holiday promo make it something like Or if you’re giving away a free iPad,

  1. C) The exact same messaging and branding across the board: Don’t confuse your audience by having your postcard look different than the landing page.

Make sure the branding is exactly the same; same colors, and the same visuals. And make sure your promo is front in center. If you’re promising a free iPad, make sure headline talks about the free iPad.

Don’t make people wonder if they have arrived in the right place. If they have to hunt or work at all for the information you promised in your postcard, they’re gone and you’ve lost a golden opportunity.

The Return of Email Marketing

This is another one of the marketing trends you may have prematurely written off or have been shy to start.

This remains one of the most cost-effective forms of digital marketing. Well-run email campaigns are seeing an ROI of $4400 these days. The focus here is on “well run.” Poorly run campaigns are wasting marketers times and annoying recipients.

A targeted and well-written drip marketing campaign is still one of the best ways to nurture your sales leads and gently guide them through your sales funnel, until they’re ready to buy.

This is particularly true on big-ticket consumer purchases that people don’t usually pull the trigger on a whim; they need the education to make their decision.

This is also useful in the B2B space when you’re trying to get a company to sign on for a long-term relationship.

2. Snapchat Video Killed the Vine Star

It’s no secret that video continues to be one of the highest performing forms of content   on the web. But you may not have any idea how high.

Cisco VNI (Visual Networking Index) recently reported that 70% of the total Consumer Traffic in 2015 was Video traffic only. So that number reaching 80% by 2020 is actually probably conservative.

Snapchat exploded on the scene and left Vine in its wake. However, Snapchat’s growth was slowed when Facebook and Instagram also unveiled their own “My story” video features.

But these videos are everything right now. There was also a great meme in 2017 about even Microsoft Excel introducing “My stories.”

Unfortunately, most businesses still haven’t figured out how to cash in on Snapchat’s potential. They see that users watch 10 billion videos a day and think “We’ll take a piece of that”, but they usually don’t. Because they make one of these mistakes:

  1. A) They go too far off brand: In an attempt to tap into this young market they try to act cool and young… when in fact, they are anything but.

This leads to a very forced, very inauthentic, very transparent video campaign that will actually turn people off your brand immediately.

  1. B) They offer the audience nothing: If they clicked on your video, the audience wants to be educated or entertained, so you have to do one of those two things. Bottom line: you need to provide actual value.

You’ve got a new product? Great! Announce it on a video and literally, nobody will care. But, if you show it in action and what it can actually do for the audience, you’ve provided actual value.

If you’re going to announce a sale on Snapchat, it better be a good one. Or it’s just going to blend in with all of the other failed Snaps out there.

Bonus Tip: Never go to your marketing agency or videographer and say “We want to shoot a viral video.” They can’t promise you that, nobody can, there are way too many factors.

Odd things go viral every day that have nothing to do with strategy, placement, or marketing trends. So don’t aim at making a viral video. Instead, focus on making a “the right” video.

3. User Experience

Your website’s user experience (UX) has never been more important. This has been the case in conversion rate optimization (CRO) for years, but it’s now being shown to be a factor in search engine optimization (SEO).

UX and SEO

Since 2011’s Google Panda update, Google has been looking at user experience, or how human beings use your site. Can people find what they’re looking for, or are they arriving and leaving right away?

Because if they’re leaving right away, you probably didn’t give them what you promised/ what they were looking for. So Google Penalizes you for that and rewards sites that seem to provide a good user experience.

In 2011, marketing trends introduced UX, but most brands looked at the UX journey as how well they can guide people from the home page to wherever they’re supposed to go.

But the journey is not that linear. In fact, less than half of consumers start on the home page.

So each product page, service page, campaign page, and blog page will be assessed on how people interact with it. You need to look at your UX from every possible touch point. Not just A to B to C.

UX and CRO

One of the most profitable marketing trends you can jump on top of is using UX to find the leak in your sales funnels.

It’s the ultimate kiss of death to have great traffic, but no leads. Where are all the people going? Why aren’t they buying or filling out our form?

Evaluating your UX forces you to look at your website and figure out where people are dropping off, and why?

We could fill blog after blog on common UX mistakes that cause people to leave your site. Most of them, once you identify them, are either cheap or easy to fix. It could be a matter of changing a few lines of code or adding one sentence to your copy.

Like the $300 Million Button, which unlocked a company’s frozen sales funnel by adding the words “You do not need to create an account to make purchases on our site” to their page.

Odds are good that something small like that could make your business a lot of money.

4. A Mobile-First World is One of the Biggest Marketing Trends

This has been one of the top marketing trends for the last few years. But that’s because mobile traffic is just growing and growing. So much so that Google announced that they are now indexing mobile sites first.

Not only do you need a responsive mobile site (you’re a few years behind marketing trends if you don’t have one yet), it now needs to be even more optimized than your desktop site.

A few recent mobile stats you need to consider inside 2018:

  • Mobile traffic accounted for 52.64 of all global online traffic last year
  • According to Google, 61% of users won’t return to a mobile site if they had any hiccups along the way
  • And another 40% will leave and immediately go to a competitor’s site
  • Don’t just focus on phones. Tablets had the highest add-to-cart rates in online stores (8.58%)
  • 88% of consumers who find a local business on a mobile device end up calling or visiting that business within 24 hours

All of these factors combined make mobile marketing one of the most important marketing trends of the year, and the next few years to come.

As we continue to better understand SEO for mobile sites, the demand for better CRO is staring us right in the face. We need to make it as easy as possible to buy from a mobile device, right now.

This can mean a few simple clicks to add something to a cart, or optimizing your Instagram account to make purchases from your pictures.

5. Influencers Have Replaced Spokespeople

A few years ago, influencer marketing landed on our radar as one of the big marketing trends of that time, and we all looked at it as “Get the cool kids talking about your brand.”

Now, it’s “Get the smart kids talking about your brand.” Consumers today (particularly Millennial-aged shoppers) are more swayed by an expert than they are a celebrity.

In fact, 63% of surveyed buyers from the age of 18 to 24 year-olds trust a YouTuber endorsement more than a celebrity endorsement.

It’s fun to watch George Clooney on a commercial for Nespresso, but marketing trends today have forced you to ask if something like that leads to a purchase decision anymore.

Influence Vs Reach

When eyeing up a potential online influencer, you need to assess their actual influence. Do the words they tweet and the pictures they share actually lead to a purchase from their audience?

Followers are not the yardstick of influence. It’s possible for someone to have 500,000 followers, but have no influence whatsoever. Heck, you can buy 100,000 followers these days. Never buy followers!

If you get them to review your product or service, will anyone care? You can’t fake expertise or clout these days. So before you spend your whole PR budget going after an online influencer, make sure they can actually help you.

Let Us Show You How to Leverage Today’s Marketing Trends

We have an entire team of certified digital marketing and traffic channel experts to drive more clicks and more leads.

How can we help you? We recommend first, clicking here to sign up for a free review of your current digital marketing strategy.


Owner and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry. With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.

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About the author...

Located in the heart of the Emerald Coast - Destin, FL, founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization / and PR campaigns, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry.

With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.

Jason Hall

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