As a lover of all things digital I have been keeping a close eye on the digital marketing trends that are predicted to have the biggest impact in 2018.

But which trends will mean the most for your business? Well, the answer to that question depends on what your specific goals and business objectives are. Still, there are certain trends that are more likely than others to contribute to the goal of driving sales. I’m taking a close look at the four big ones I think you should be paying attention too as well.

Predictive Analytics
Nearly all businesses with any web presence are already using web analytics. Web analytics measures the success of campaigns and provides insight into the return on investment (ROI).

Traditional analytics are great at measuring the past, but they don’t help businesses understand what will happen in the future.
This used to be a long-winded task that marketers would carry out begrudgingly.

This is where predictive analytics comes in. Predictive analytics employs machine learning to create algorithms that can analyse those large datasets and make predictions about future performance.

My favourite feature of predictive analytics is its ability to help companies prospect new customers. Predictive analytics has the power to identify people who are more likely to become future customers because they have similar attributes and behaviours as current customers. Once these “hot” potential customers are identified, companies can be more proactive in targeting them through their marketing.

In the context of digital marketing, personalisation refers to tailoring content, messages, and is created for specific audiences within specific contexts. Personalisation can be through altering the focus of the homepage content depending on the user’s gender, or tailoring messaging for repeat website visitors to better reflect their needs, desires, and goals.

Marketers spend a lot of time trying to come up with ideas and messages that are as universally appealing as possible. The idea behind personalisation is too create messaging and experiences tailored to the individual leading too greater resonance and appeal. By closely meeting the needs and expectations of users, you increase the chances of a conversion.

Unfortunately, personalisation isn’t an easy check on your marketing to-do list. Implementation requires significant investment. Even with the technology in place, making full use of it can be tricky. So start out slow and ensure you understand which parts of your sales funnel can be effectively personalised.

Social advertising
As social media audiences have grown and networks scrambled to monetise them, opportunities to run effective advertising campaigns with the key networks have improved. At the same time, organic reach on these platforms has decreased, which means that to reach users on social media, businesses should invest in paid media.

Over the past few years, I have seen a rise in the advertising opportunities for businesses. Recently, Instagram introduced Stories Ads – full-screen, immersive ads that appear between Instagram Stories posts – adding a new way for advertisers to take advantage of the platform.
Facebook has indicated plans to include a similar ad format in its Messenger Day feature. This would mark the first attempt at monetisation of Messenger, which experienced more growth last year than the Facebook app.

Conversion Rate Optimisation
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the process of testing and implementing changes to your website in order to increase the rate at which users complete a desired action (ie; making a purchase, filling out and submitting a contact form, etc.). And if you’re only going to pick one thing to do to drive sales, this one is probably your best bet.

One of the best uses of conversion rate optimisation is to run tests to help improve your value propositions and messaging. A lot of us rely on gut feelings when determining the way we message to users. This is crazy when you consider that messaging is one of the most important factors influencing whether users will convert. Testing value propositions will allow you to find out how you should message to users, rather than just making guesses about what works best. Furthermore, whatever you learn in your tests can be extrapolated and applied to other areas of your marketing. Thus a small test can have a big impact on your ability to convert customers and leads.

The good news is that there’s no shortage of new methods to try out when trying to convert sales to your business. The ones I have shared with you here are a few of my favourites. Hopefully, they’ll help you rake in the sales! Good luck!

If you would like to discuss how I can help you drive sales through digital marketing,  get in touch today.