The start of a new year gives your organization the chance to examine and revitalize its current marketing plans. There is no shortage of predictions for what the hottest marketing trends will be this year — so many that it can be overwhelming to decide what will work best for your goals and budget. To make things easier, we’ve researched the top marketing musts for 2018 and put together a list of our favorites for Central Ohio small- to medium-sized businesses and nonprofits.

 

  1. Voice Search & SEO – With advancements in voice recognition and natural language processing, smart assistants like Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, are changing the way we interact with technology. While not everyone has adopted the voice search trend, according to Google 20% of mobile queries these days are voice searches. There are some predictions that by 2020, voice search will make up 50% of overall search queries. What does this mean for your business? A strong SEO strategy is more important than ever. Voice queries tend to be longer than typed searches and use full sentences with more details. This small change in search style means a big change for your SEO and marketing strategy. Now is the time to examine your SEO/SEM strategies and website content to get ahead of this growing trend.

 

  1. Fundraising Strategies – The new tax law is making many Central Ohio nonprofits anxious about individual giving in 2018. Any previous strategies that relied on the tax deduction may be less effective now. Begin this year by taking a fresh look at your fundraising initiatives. The previous tax code incentivized transactional relationships between nonprofits and donors, but now you must focus on building relationships with your donors. Smart use of social media can be a great way to connect with donors. Additionally, volunteers are an amazing source of financial and word-of-mouth support. Many people are looking for new ways to volunteer in their community, make sure your volunteer opportunities are posted where volunteers are looking: https://www.volunteermatch.org, https://www.volunteercentralohio.org/Default#/ or http://www.givebesa.org/volunteer.

 

  1. Influencer MarketingInfluencer marketing was one of the biggest trends in digital advertising in 2017 and will continue to grow in popularity this year. As an alternative, companies are now utilizing micro-influencers, those with an audience of 1,000 – 100,000 who are considered experts in a specific niche. Micro-influencers are not only more affordable, but also more trustworthy than their celebrity counterparts as their hyper-specific niches give them a more loyal group of followers. At Peebles Creative Group, we’ve had great success working with local influencers, Girl About Columbus and What Should We Do Today Columbus for our destination and family-friendly clients.

 

  1. Purpose Driven Marketing – Marketing is no longer just about showcasing a great deal or a new product, businesses now have the opportunity to connect with their consumers’ emotions and conscience with purpose driven marketing. Customers care about brands that have a purpose, with 91% of millennials saying they would switch brands to one associated with a cause. At Peebles Creative Group, our branding process will help you identify your “why” so your consumers and employees can feel more connected to your brand. Our work with local nonprofits also gives us the expertise to help connect you with a nonprofit to create a give back program that will strengthen your brand by aligning with the values of your consumers.

 

  1. Live Video Streaming – Today, more than ever, people are constantly connected. Customers crave a real connection with businesses and one way to accomplish this is with live video streaming. Businesses can utilize live streaming to showcase a new product launch, do a Q&A with customers or bring attention to an event as it’s happening. A recent study found that 80% of audiences would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog. This is a free, unique way to connect with your audience that shouldn’t be ignored.

 

These are just a few of the trends to consider when forming your marketing plan for the rest of 2018. If you’re looking for a partner to help you assess what worked best for your business in the past, collaborate on future goals and navigate new marketing tactics, Peebles Creative Group can help, please email laura@peeblescreativegroup.com to learn more.

 

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