Editor's Note: This is the second in a two-part series.
As a small or mid-sized company CEO, time is likely not a luxury with which you're familiar. Staying abreast of evolving marketing technology can seem impossible in light of all of your competing priorities. That's why this year's top 10 marketing trends for the new year are tailor-made for companies of your size -- strategies which can be practically applied in 2018 on a small to mid-sized company budget.
Predictive Lead Scoring: With just an email address, tools like Infer can crawl the internet looking for buying signals from your prospects. Leads can then be scored and prioritized so that only the most qualified are shared with the sales team.
Multi-Channel Cold Outreach: Cold email response rates are low, given the increasing sophistication of spam filters. That's why savvy B2B marketers are relying on a combination of channels, simultaneously deployed for maximum frequency of message, to reach new prospects -- including email, digital ads, social outreach, retargeting and good old-fashioned mailers.
Rising Investment in LinkedIn Advertising: LinkedIn continues to dominate the social channels focused on the B2B space, which isn't surprising given Twitter’s user growth has slowed. A site-wide user interface revamp combined with improvements to the ad platform are contributing to LinkedIn's growth.
Less Gated Content: In 2018, gated content will become less popular as giant content engines realize that the benefits of strong search performance outweigh the benefits of locking down your content.
App Capitalization: It's tough to get an app off the ground where it has enough consumer traffic to matter. That's why in 2018, you'll see more brands buying ads and exposure opportunities on apps that are already well-trafficked -- such as map, review, dining and transportation apps.
Native Advertising: Online advertising that feels like editorial content -- in its placement, tone of content and design -- is growing by leaps and bounds and will dominate in 2018. Compared to its traditional banner ad counterpart, native advertising typically generates notably higher levels of consumer engagement.
Evolving Video: There are three video trends projected to take off in 2018. The first is explainer videos which are short, uncomplicated, animated videos that explain your product or service offering. Wirebuzz.com reports that users are four times more likely to view an explainer video, when present, than read text on a web page. The second video trend is live streaming; studies show that users watch live video three times longer than prerecorded content, with more and more of this content in 2018 being professionally produced as a result. And lastly, 2018 is projected to see a 49 percent spike in mobile video ad spend.
Be sure to check out part one of this series to learn about increased marketing performance expectations, micro-influencers and geofencing.