Looking to latch onto winning digital strategies for 2018, I hope to be the one responsible for your discoveries.
We are at the beginning of Q2, and having observed the Nigerian digital space in Q1, along with forecasted global trends from vaunted names in digital marketing, practices such as AR/VR in social media, and voice marketing are off the mark in the Nigerian context.
Based on the Nigerian audience, and the pattern of adoption of new practices by digital marketers in Nigeria, I recommend the following practices to digital marketers and strategists who want to stay ahead of the curve in 2018.
consumers of online content have little tolerance for ads and with the increase in the use of ad blockers (Mobile ad blocking is increasing 90% year-over-year), this limits the number of people who view ads. Hence it is important to target people with ads that are relevant to them in 2018. Through the audience section in Google Analytics, Determine the type of audience interested in your brand, and target them appropriately.
This is a recurring theme. However, in 2018, this is more important than ever. Most of the content on the internet is consumed on mobile devices. More websites, including those of your competitors, are becoming responsive and suitable for mobile. Make sure you have a website that renders well on mobile. In addition to this, PPC ads on Facebook, Google, and Twitter should be targeted to mobile devices.
Data-informed Social Media Management
Social media has become an essential communication/advertising channel for every type of business. It goes without saying that competition among brands on social media has been increasing and this trend will continue in 2018. Turbo-charging your social media management with social media monitoring tools such as Mention and Keyhole would put you ahead of the competition. It must be said that these social media monitoring solution would only make economic sense for big companies and agencies. If you don’t have the deep pockets of big companies or you are a one-man show, you can still have a decent data-informed social media strategy and respond to changes in your niche or industry by using free solutions such as socialmention, tweetreach, likealyzer, and talkwalkeralerts along with your native social media analytics tools on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Learn the best times to post content, what types of content to post according to trends in your niche, and understand how far your tweets travel, and efficiently monitor your competition.
Rich Media Ads
In 2017, we noticed rich media ads such as the one for MTN, now defunct Etisalat, and most memorably, that for Knorr. These ads are interactive, and raise the bar when it comes to customer engagement and brand performance. As such, we would be seeing more of them this year. Currently, there are only a few companies in Nigeria that create rich media ads such as Webcoupers and ROI digital. They could be expensive, but the results are truly impressive and totally worth the investment if executed well.
Another social media trend. Chatbots support was launched on Facebook at Facebooks’s F8 2016. Since then, chatbot usage has grown exponentially and continues to grow even in 2018. Chatbots are also available on Twitter. Big brands such as UBA and GTbank provide customer service to customers using chatbots. Smaller brands can also creatively implement chatbots to respond to needs of customers, and ensure higher levels of satisfaction with the brands. Research cited by Jay Baer tells us that 42% of consumers expect a response with 60 minutes. That’s more work than a social media manager can get through considering other responsibilities they may have. Get on the chatbots train this year, and don’t get left behind.
I am an avid reader of Nigerian blogs and in terms of blog quality, I have seen the good, the bad, and well.. the ugly. The ugly used to be very dominant and differentiating one’s blog from the rest was not so difficult. However, times are changing, and the bar is being raised. There are more consumers of digital content than ever before. Invest the time in understanding your audience, and also your niche. Give value to customers when they come to your blog be it in the form of entertainment, education, or service. Words and Pictures are no longer sufficient, invest in professional video content as video content enjoy high engagement. 20% of people will read the text on a page, but 80% of people will watch a video. Not only will video content help you increase exposure and engagement, it can also increase organic search results by up to 157%.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not going anywhere this year. It has been a mainstay of successful digital initiatives over the years and trends like this only increase in significance. From Google Analytics benchmark data, between 25% to 80% of Internet traffic is generated by search depending on your industry. This is a huge number if you also consider that organic search traffic is not paid for…. totally free. Invest in SEO this year, create quality content, build partnerships that would raise your authority in your niche and increase your Google Search rankings, and consults experts in this field. If you are a large company invest in technical SEO. Enterprise and Mid-sized companies rely more on Technical SEO and content development to increase and maintain search presence.
There’s an ancient saying from the Stoics that nothing catches a wise man by surprise. We have 7 digital marketing trends above which would be helpful if properly executed. Digital marketers are wise people by profession, and I hope that you would keep your eyes open for shifts and disruptions in the industry because that’s where the true wins come from. Take action this year.
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