What will the most successful marketers do in 2018?
It’s a simple question.
And I wanted the answers from some of my super smart friends in the marketing industry to help my team at CoSchedule be as successful as possible in 2018.
My thought here was to use these predictions as potential future project ideas:
- Which of these predictions offer the biggest 10x growth opportunities?
- Are there things we’re already doing that we may need to improve or double down on?
- How may we optimize our strategy + processes to capitalize on new opportunities?
Learning from others’ success is often a great way to become successful yourself.
…in the same breath…
I knew you would likely learn a lot from these 2018 marketing predictions, too.
I also thought you’d enjoy learning from my *informal* marketing mentors.
What Are The Most Successful Marketers Doing?
Download the 2018 State of Marketing Strategy Report to learn the strongest predictors of success with goals, strategy, process, and more.
2018 State Of Marketing Strategy Report
When you do, you’ll learn the benchmarks that set successful marketing teams apart from the rest. So get it now!
Alright, though… let’s hear what our experts predict for marketing success in 2018, shall we? ;)
Adapt Quickly… Agile #FTW
Julia McCoy, CEO Of Express Writers, Instructor At contentstrategycourses.com
Adapt. This is the keyword to successful marketing in 2018. As we end 2017, we've seen incredibly major changes happen to leading social platforms. Facebook Stories merging with Instagram Stories. Snapchat planning on a redesign after confirmation less people are using their platform. Twitter doubling their allowed character and word count per tweet. LinkedIn featuring trends that look very similar to Twitter trends. The demand for video, especially Facebook live streaming, will continue to grow.
Along with adapting to (and knowing the trends), it's also vitally important to know what your users want. For example, in today's noisy social platform world where Facebook autoplays videos, some users seek the basics of beautiful imagery and a well-written story—and mute all videos. Don't overlook what your people want. It could be the basics. So, adapt with them in mind, at all times. With these keys in mind, you're in for a successful, exciting ride with your marketing in 2018.
Julia McCoy is the founder of Express Writers, serial content marketer, and best-selling author.
Optimize Old Content To Increase Your Results With Less Effort
Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder And Strategic Director Of Orbit Media Studios
Update old content. The most successful marketers will go back and find big value in that deep well of past articles.
- Older articles often have authority and links. They'd benefit from a rewrite and better relevance.
- Older articles often convert a good percentage of visitors into subscribers. They'd benefit from a new stream of traffic.
- Older articles are often easy to rewrite. They're faster to update than writing a new piece.
The pros have already figured this out. In fact most marketers have. According to some recent research, 55% of bloggers update old content. They do it for better rankings and more traffic in less time. Maybe you don't need 1000 articles. Maybe you need 100 great articles.
Andy Crestodina is a co-founder and the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, an award-winning 38-person web design company in Chicago.
Embrace New + Repurpose Old + Measure Everything
Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich And Founder And Author Of Spin Sucks
In 2018, the most successful marketers will do three things (I know you asked for only one, but I'm cheating!):
- Begin to adopt artificial intelligence, chatbots, and/or virtual reality.
- Optimize their work by repurposing content.
- Consistently measure their work and tweak and improve as they go.
Though many successful marketers have already adopted some of the new technologies, 2018 brings an opportunity to enhance the work they're already doing–and do more.
For number two, it's always astounding to me how many marketers (most) don't repurpose any content. They create something once and let it live in a silo. The most successful marketers do not do that. For everything you publish, there should be at least five ancillary pieces you can create. Optimize the heck out of your creations.
And then measure your work. Because I am a communications pro, I focus on PR metrics, but the things I push my team, our clients, and our community on are metrics every successful marketer uses. Study them, learn them, implement them. You will be considered a successful marketer by 2019 if you do.
Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger at the PR and marketing blog, Spin Sucks, is co-author of Marketing In the Round, and is co-host of Inside PR, a weekly podcast about communications and social media.
Spend 80% Of Your Time Scaling, 20% Testing
Sujan Patel, Co-Founder Of WebProfits
Your approach to marketing shouldn't change in 2018. It should always be 70-80% focusing on scaling and optimizing proven channels and 20-30% on testing new channels.
New technologies have made AR mainstream on mobile devices, and new media such as voice search on Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Siri are going to make 2018 an interesting year.
With the saturation and increasing competition for internet business, there’s one area where companies can’t afford not to spend on in 2018: Branding. Your brand/voice and the customers’ perspective of you will play a larger part of the purchase decision.
Sujan Patel is a data-driven marketer and entrepreneur. He is a high energy individual fueled by his passion to help people and solve problems. Sujan is the co-founder of WebProfits US, a growth marketing agency & software companies, Narrow.io & Mailshake, tools to help marketers build their Twitter following and scale content marketing efforts.
Very Purposefully Stand Out From The Competition
Ian Cleary, CoFounder of OutreachPlus and Founder of RazorSocial
Focus more on strategic content and invest more time in content promotion. Content marketing is very competitive, so to stand out, you need to build more strategic assets. These are not 500-word blog posts. They could be surveys that take you weeks to build, a useful software utility for your audience, a whole series of video content, a guide that contains better information than anything available on the internet, etc.
When you produce these assets, you then need to invest time in outreach. That's building relationships in the short term to help with strategic content promotion in the long term.
Ian Cleary is a CoFounder of OutreachPlus and the Founder of RazorSocial. He works with clients all around the world on with marketing consultancy and training programs focused primarily on content marketing and relationship building (e.g. influencer programs).
Personalize Experiences With Marketing Automation
Barry Feldman, Founder/Owner Of Feldman Creative
I see great marketers separating themselves from the pack by gathering and using customer intelligence. It's become widely understood customers want more personalized experiences. The marketers able to nurture the brand/buyer relationship with personalized interactions and experiences that cater to an individual's needs will win more customers and be better equipped to keep them and create brand advocates.
Of course, the process of building intelligent profiles of your customers can be handled in a variety of ways. I consult with ShortStack and their platform provides a great example. Their interactive content—contests, quizzes, and such—encourages prospects to not only engage, but to reveal their wants and needs. And now, there's a marketing automation element to the platform enabling the marketer to follow-up with more personalized communications. It's just one example, but it's a good one. Ask yourself, how can you learn more about your prospects and use the intelligence in your marketing?
Barry Feldman, founder of Feldman Creative, is a prolific writer with 25 years of experience bringing his clients' online presence to the next level through copywriting and content marketing creation and consulting. He writes and educates clients on online marketing on The Point and on many other sites across the web.
Listen + Analyze + Plan + Personalize
Joei Chan, Content Marketing Manager At Mention
In 2018, the most successful marketers will be listening to, working with, and leveraging customers from acquisition to retention. The best marketers will be those who succeed in extracting and analyzing granular customer data and behavior to create personalized and targeted campaigns. This doesn't just mean surveying customers, but actually having a process to incorporating the feedback and making the customer's voice the starting point of your strategy. The feedback can be collected through NPS, CSAT, social media monitoring, behavioral analytics, chatbots, or with AI, etc. In the past customer feedback was usually an afterthought or 'just for reference.' In 2018, every marketing decision you take should be based on customer feedback or data. "We've listened to our customers, this is what's frustrating them, this is what they want, and this is what we're gonna do."
Use Behavioral Data To Tailor Content To The Customer Lifecycle
Kim Courvoisier, Director Of Content Marketing And Social Media At Campaign Monitor
2017 has been a heck of a year on all fronts, and marketers need to fasten their seatbelts because 2018 is coming in hot! If 2017 was the year that as marketers we fought for and gained access to data (which many of us did!), then 2018 will be the year that we will use that data in unique ways to power massively relevant campaigns to our prospects and customers. It’s no longer enough to talk the talk about the right message to the right person at the right time. 2018’s most successful marketers must OWN the customer lifecycle and own it like they never have before. The marketing funnel is no longer a linear path to conversion and it won’t be enough to simply cherry pick a few pivotal touchpoints and expect to get results. To be a truly successful marketer in 2018 and beyond, marketers must use behavioral data and personalization to deliver on consumers expectations for messaging and offers that apply uniquely to them. One size fits no one in 2018 and marketers will finally get a command on their data and begin to use it in incredible ways.
See more email marketing and automation predictions for 2018 in Campaign Monitor’s 2018 Email Marketing Predictions. The future of email is lit!
Kim Courvoisier is a seasoned digital marketing leader specializing in B2B and B2C content marketing, social media, email marketing, customer lifecycle marketing, and SEO. She builds and leads the inbound content strategy to drive lead generation and boost organic traffic, among much more, at Campaign Monitor.
Less “Marketing”, More Listening
Adam Hutchinson, Head Of Marketing At Socedo
It's time to strip out the jargon (or worse, sales speak) from our marketing messages, and we need to put human conversations front and center. With buyers bombarded by ads, emails, and cold calls, response rates continue to decline, but marketers are seeing drastic improvements by engaging in existing, meaningful conversations and talking to their audience as people, not just customers.
For example, taking a look at some of the most successful B2B social media campaigns from 2017, we can see some common trends: highlighting actual people, leveraging relationships, and using simple, relatable language and imagery. Social is a great place to start, but this needs to be true across tactics, whether it's telling compelling stories in email campaigns or writing content that speaks to personal interests and concerns. It all starts with listening to the right conversations in the first place, and the most successful marketers will turn to social listening tools, intent data providers, and content analytics platforms to understand what the people in their audience care about most.
Adam Hutchinson is the Head of Marketing at Socedo. Socedo helps B2B marketers discover, engage, and convert leads using real-time behavioral social data.
Sometimes, You Have To Pay To Play
Chris Von Wilpert, Chief Content Sumo At Sumo Group
If I channel the fortune-telling energy from Noah and answer related to content, I would say:
“The most successful marketers in 2018 will use paid to promote their organic. There are so many great content creators out there today, the biggest shift will come from marketers who can master the skill of promoting their content profitably with paid traffic. The rest will die on the content pile of death.”
Chris Von Wilpert is the Chief Content Sumo at Sumo Group where he’s growing the Sumo.com blog from 100k/mo to 500k/mo unique website visitors.
Stand Out With Competition-Free Content
Garrett Moon, CEO And Co-Founder Of CoSchedule, Author Of The 10x Marketing Formula
The most successful marketers will create competition-free content that stands out. Content marketing isn’t living up to the hype. Instead of delivering upon its promises of extreme growth, we’ve plunged into the “trough of disillusionment.”
Instead of creating “copycat” content—which is essentially copying and pasting examples from others—you need to embrace the 10x Marketing Formula.
So what’s that?
You need to ditch playing follow the leader and start thinking like scrappy startups. It’s results or die. And startups know this better than anyone. Instead of doing what’s safe and comfortable, startups embrace risk and innovation. They reward it.
The 10x Marketing Formula is about finding the paths no one else has taken to differentiate yourself and ultimately grow your results 10 times over.
4 Key Takeaways From Your 2018 Marketing Predictions
First, let’s recap some of the broader 2018 marketing trends from these predictions…
...in 2018, successful marketers will:
- Be agile, embrace new, and test: There will (obviously) be new marketing trends that emerge in 2018. Instead of pushing all of your resources into these fads, test them, then embrace what works. Paying to promote your content may be part of this—as marketing enters the trough of disillusionment, your strategy needs to pivot.
- Scale what you know already works: Just because new stuff will inevitably come doesn’t mean you should embrace it right away. What you’re already doing is likely already working… so how can you scale it to get even bigger results? This ties into optimizing old content and repurposing it.
- Listen to their audience, and measure their efforts: To seriously understand what works while embracing the new (and continue doing what you know already works), you need to listen to your prospects and measure the return on existing marketing projects. This is huge. Successful marketers are 242% more likely to report conducting audience research at least once per quarter.
- Personalize content across the customer life cycle: It’s impossible to plan the funnel experience at a macro level. That said, every click, view, and action indicates a personal level of interest. Based upon that data, you can customize the experiences for specific people who are getting to know your business to strategically lead them closer to that point of purchase.
^^^ If you remember the beginning of this article, I asked for this advice so I could use it at CoSchedule…
So… What Is CoSchedule Planning For 2018?
Well, I wouldn’t plan it if I didn’t predict it to be successful… right? ;)
So very soon, you’ll see the demand generation team here at CoSchedule (listed as prioritized):
- Personalize the content you receive based on your activity: We’re already working on enhancing your experience with this blog and well beyond. Some of that includes testing new things, covering even more topics like change management, integrated marketing communications, pitching ideas to your team and boss, and a whole lot more. So look forward to it!
- Continue scaling what we know you love: We’ll continue analyzing blog post success and repeating home runs we know you’ll love. Part of that includes our historical optimization process where we update older content to seriously help you solve your biggest marketing challenges. In addition, I see more guides in our future, more course releases, and more webinars.
- Test new: We have a couple more ideas for freemium tools that will complement the headline analyzer and social message optimizer. *Insert shriek of excitement here.* An advanced marketing academy is on our radar. And… of course… we’ll publish that book we started writing in 2017 that I predicted would happen about a year ago (lol).
And, of course, we’ll listen to you every step of the way. ;)
Now it’s up to you. Will this serve as a guide for your marketing in 2018?