Digital marketing is the most important factor when building an online business or brand. Content marketing, social media, video, SEO, infographics and mobile marketing… they are all crucial components to make a winning how to create a digital marketing strategy possible.
However, not every brand will focus on all of these key areas. Thankfully, there is enough traffic on the internet today so you can become a master at one of these content creation methods or traffic sources, that it will still be enough to power your whole business. At the same time, it also leaves a lot of opportunities as well — such as the ability to become “the authority” within your niche market.
With this in mind, we sought out the advice and expertise of some of the top bloggers, marketers, and influencers in the industry to get their thoughts on what it will take to create a winning digital marketing strategy in 2018. Here’s what they had to say.
50 Expert Tips on Where to Focus Your Digital Marketing Efforts in 2018
To succeed in our ever-changing digital world, we need only look at what’s working now to get a great indicator of where we’re headed in 2018.
Search continues to grow and when people search, they’re looking for answers. Create quality content that gives them the answers searchers seek and you can build a connection with them. This connection helps you to build authority, trust, and an connection that can help move visitors into the other stages of the funnel.
Social continues to grow and we see visual formats continuing to lead the way. Instagram keeps feeding out need for photos and videos, so investing in the platform is must. The great content we create for this social site can be used across all other networks, where visuals continue to be the best engaging.
Influencer marketing is a powerful tool but very few have been able to get great results or have any idea how to measure them. To see success here, brands need to build a better understanding of measurement and most importantly, they need to understand the FTC guidelines around working with influencers. The vast majority of brands and influencers aren’t meeting these guidelines currently. With the FTC now going after both brands and influencers, you don’t want to put yourself or your brand at risk by not being in compliance.
Ben Brausen – BenBrausen.com
I think my 2018 digital marketing strategy would take the form of a mixture of paid social as well as traditional PR. This year I’ve really seen the power of paid social with a few smaller campaigns with a decent amount of success. So my main goal for me is to ramp it up a little bit, particularly local Facebook search to try and hit local areas that could be interested in my software or services. That seems to work in particularly very well.
Rhys Wynne – Winwar Media
Your website is no longer the nerve center of your content marketing. Your best content needs to step off the pages of your blog and go to work where your target audience is RIGHT NOW: Facebook, YouTube, Medium, LinkedIn, and so forth.
How are you going to do it? Content repurposing. Turning your blog posts into various media formats – videos, slide decks, images, audio tracks – and serving them to your target prospects exactly how they’d prefer to consume content.
Ana Hoffman – TrafficGenerationCafe.com
If you have a large budget, the main area of focus should be to put some money into an advertising spend on Facebook and Instagram. For those without large budgets, the best way to a winning digital marketing strategy is to focus on building great content. That’s the only way you can grow organically these days. Without great content that is spread and shared by the audience, it is difficult to get organic reach and attention. Publish content that is better, more useful, more entertaining, more educational. more informative, more outrageous that all the other content that is currently shared or any content that is currently ranking in the top positions on Google,
Marko Saric – HowToMakeMyBlog.com
For 2018, our digital marketing efforts are still going to focus on what has worked best for us — which is to create high-quality content that is better than the competition, then promote the heck out of it. This might seem simple enough, but most brands are doing this wrong. Right away, you need to focus on only creating high-end content with more than 2,000 words of content (not publishing 500-word articles daily). Once this is done, you then need to spend a ton of time on the outreach and marketing process. This can be done through guest blogging, podcast interviews, expert roundups and direct email response and follow-up to industry experts. It’s a timely process, but one that works extremely well when mastered.
Zac Johnson – Blogging.org
My digital marketing strategy always has and will continue to be pumping out great real estate content that is useful to both buyers and sellers. Content shall continue to be created on my well know real estate blog, Maximum Real Estate Exposure. While I have been a strong advocate of putting out evergreen content I would like to put a bit more focus in 2018 on local information. One area where I see a need for improvement is on a community level. A great real estate site will have some excellent local resource pages. Buyers and sellers love working with those who have a great local expertise. Creating local community pages is one excellent way of doing that. Here is a Realtors guide to Southborough Mass Real Estate. This is an all-encompassing real estate resource for those who want to learn more about Southborough Massachusetts. By providing information that is helpful to consumers, the odds increase exponentially that my phone will be ringing. Of course any good digital marketing strategy will also entail continuing to build meaningful online business relationships with others in the real estate industry.
Bill Gassett – MaxRealEstateExposure.com
As of now, my main digital marketing strategy will remain what is has been–creating content for my website in the form of blog posts and podcasts. As a coach, I think this is the best way to showcase my expertise, perspectives, and personality. I have found a majority of my clients were people who found my website through Google or some other means, and felt a strong connection with my content, quickly signing up for coaching. I really enjoy sharing this information, and creating it comes easily.
I think the best strategy for any one person is the strategy they enjoy most. That energetic alignment, the enjoyment of the particular action, will bode well for attracting ideal clients, customers and opportunities to expand your reach, such as guest post and podcast invitations.
When we engage in a strategy that we really don’t resonate with because we are told by experts we ‘must’ use that strategy or because other people have seemed to have success with it, we tend to get lackluster results at best, often having to work very hard for them, to boot.
Kelli Cooper – Life Made to Order
Update old posts! I’ve updated several posts this year with great results. I’m going to double down on this strategy next year. To decide what to update, I find the posts that are ranking high on page two. These can be found in Analytics (Acquisition > Search Console > Queries, use an advanced filter to see queries for which the “average position” is greater than 10) or in SEMrush.
When you find the phrase, search for it to find the corresponding page. Now check to see if the phrase is used on the page. In a lot of cases, it’s not! I call this the “control+F test” because you’re just using the “find” feature in your browser. If the phrase isn’t used on the page (or hardly used at all) go update the page. Often, it will jump in rankings within a few days.
Andy Crestodina – OrbitMedia.com
Creating and connecting is my favorite 1-2 punch for my 2017 digital marketing campaign. Each fundamental is a timeless, ageless, lasting activity for building a rock solid marketing campaign. I create helpful content through various digital channels to render useful service. I build connections by promoting other bloggers on said channels. Creating and connecting was the lynchpin for me, because building my content base and friend network helped me elevate my blog and brand to new levels.
The more things seem to change, the more things stay the same, as the saying goes. But in the same vein, marketing continues to shift from a more competitive, fear-based, numbers game, based on manipulation, toward a heart-centered, generous, authentic venture that thinks of humans as humans, not numbers. I remember the people behind the Twitter followers, and the human beings behind the readers and all the real, living breathing folks who I am helping and serving through my digital marketing campaign.
Ryan Biddulph – BloggingFromParadise.com
In 2018, my main areas of focus for a winning digital marketing strategy include greater use of social video, including livestream content to share my thought leadership in the areas of payments, invoicing, and business processes that increase organization and productivity.This social video content will also include our customers and how they are using our various tools. Additionally, other digital marketing tactics will include interactive email campaigns, more automation for our marketing tools, and chatbots to help us market and gather more information on our audience. We are also considering a dedicated app to further assist our small business customer segments.
John Rampton – Calendar.co
In 2018, I’ll be reviewing everything I do to make sure it works exceptionally well on mobile. Phones have surpassed desktop and laptop usage, and all three are well ahead of tablets. I have been slow to move on mobile, but I’ve made some big steps in 2017, and I plan to do a total review in 2018.
I also plan to create some authoritative guides. I want to be known as an authority in the ghostwriting space. Some of my blog posts already move this way, but I need some better assets to take it up a notch.
David Leonhardt – THGMWriters.com
Content marketing has and will continue to be my major focus for marketing my business, The Blogsmith, in 2018. It works out pretty well that I’m a freelance writer, and am gaining notoriety in the niches I’m focused on. In essence, I get paid to advertise myself whenever someone publishes one of my articles with my byline and a link back to my website (with some context as to what I do in the bio).
Even if you’re not a writer, content marketing can still be a very beneficial use of your time or budget. I always recommend that clients publish anywhere between 2-4 posts/month (depending on length), and ideally, one of those goes on somebody else’s blog. The act of guest posting has been somewhat contested by Google, but to date hasn’t actually been labeled as something worthy of incurring a penalty on their search engine. If you get a follow link from that blog back to your website, it actually helps to pass on authority, which can boost your other SEO efforts. It’s win-win-win because guest blogging allows you to reach a new (but relevant) audience, gain their trust, then guide them back to you.
Content marketing isn’t going away anytime soon, just make sure to be purposeful in your execution.
Maddy Osman – The-Blogsmith.com
Video content creation and marketing will continue to be one of the most effective areas for digital marketing and ROI online. With more audiences now using their mobile devices and tablets to access the internet, less people are interested in long-form text. Now it’s all about instant gratification, which is being delivered through social media in the form of video and visual content. This is one area where all businesse and brands can’t afford to not focus their efforts on.
Karsten Böhrs – mysimpleshow.com
Content and link building are our main areas of focus this year and beyond. As we develop core strategies on these two key areas, we are able to tap other aspects of digital marketing, such as generating conversions/leads, additional following on social and building brand affinity towards customers.
A few things why content plus links matter:
- It helps improve rankings for targeted keywords with strong competition in the number of referring domains (you can check out ranking pages for their average number of page-level links).
- It can bring referral visitors back to your site when links are placed contextually on pages where people naturally click.
- It adds social following to the brand from content creators who share a specific linkable content asset to their followers on social.
Venchito Tampon – Leadership Training Philippines
Our core focus is audience building. We’re currently developing a series of websites and building their audiences through content marketing activities so we can monetise the audience in the future. We’re implementing a funnel strategy where we build trust through content marketing (mainly blogs) and then place either affiliate, lead generation ads or product ads to monetise that audience.
We also make sure that we don’t limit our audience building efforts to one channel. But we do want to make sure that the audience that is coming to our site is converting. This is why we focus on conversion rate optimisation as well. So we also focus on CTAs, colours, fonts, typography, buttons and anything else that can help us convert our onsite traffic so they build an audience.
David James – BusinessGrowthDigitalMarketing.com
If you want to win the war of digital marketing and stay ahead of the competition, not only do you need to continually come out with better and more valuable content, you also need to know how to promote it and get in front of new audiences. A perfect example of this would be if you were to come out with a new graphic editor software. Instead of just going to market and trying to advertise all over the place, it would be better to work directly with some of the biggest photography blogs and design resources online. All of these sites already have large followings in place. Getting mentions and reviewed on these sites would be of a lot more value than just plastering ads all over the place. This is how all brands and businesses should be thinking right now.
Caitlyn Stevenson – freephotoshoponline.com
I think AI or artificial intelligence is the big trend of 2018. As a result of that, I think people who can find ways to really utilize artificial intelligence to their advances for marketing can make a big difference in 2018. Artificial intelligence can provide high-end data and information on your customers, markets and potential business opportunities that can enable people to take their businesses to the next level. For me, my biggest focus will be utilizing AI to visualize data and collect information that can help grow my businesses in new ways.
Jeet Banerjee – JeetBanerjee.com
I think we will see a lot of new trends emerging in 2018 when it comes to digital marketing. And, the reason I say this is because marketing to a large group of people, using relatively less money, is becoming the norm. Essentially, thousands of marketers all vying for your customers are going to do so in innovative and budget-friendly ways, meaning you need to step your game if you want to remain competitive.
Here are the two things I would focus on in the upcoming year:
- Data Collection. The more information you can gather about your target audience, the better you are going to be able to target them. In fact, seeing the entire visitor journey, from the moment they click on your website, to the minute they perform your desired action (e.g. subscribe, purchase, or make contact) and leave your website, is going to be crucial to making your strategies more personalized and efficient. Evaluate every aspect of customer behavior, no matter the reason they are on your website, and monitor exactly who they are, where they are from, and what they are doing at every step in their journey.
- Mobile Video. Being mobile-friendly far extends having a responsive website that renders seamlessly to site visitors on the go. In fact, it oozes into your marketing strategies and plays a large role in how customers will interact with your brand and whether they will make a purchase or not. Since mobile advertising has been a hotspot marketing technique for some time, it is best you start devising a way to incorporate mobile video advertising into your overall strategy. This means adding ads in between game plays, throughout apps, and even on YouTube where millions of views are happening daily.
As you can see, these concepts are not necessarily new; they are simply evolving so you can gain a more competitive edge. That said, being in the know when it comes to digital marketing strategies, whether it be the above-mentioned concepts, or ideas of your own, is going to have a significant impact on your success.
Lindsay Liedke – WPKube.com
The main areas we are focusing on for growth with digital in 2018 at Prosperity Media are by using the following – High-quality content marketing campaigns, high-quality SEO, Social Ad buying on Facebook and lead generation using Adwords. These 4 key areas are still strong in 2017 and we feel they will also be strong in 2018.
James Norquay – ProsperityMedia.com.au
A lot of our strategy is in line with SEO and Inbound Content Marketing that keeps us organically relevant in our industry of email management. We are putting more focus on localized marketing to increase conversions in different regions around the world. Finally, we are seeing more value with strategic partners where Mailbird’s services are complementary to their business and we can work together to grow. We still continue to test out direct sales now that we are expanding to businesses and leveraging our referral system. We work with promotion partners who help us with advertising Mailbird on relevant platforms that are targeted to our business. We also nurture the whole funnel so it is relevant to the customer and their behaviors in any given region. This goes even further with target landing pages based on our different customer buckets, so the journey is relevant to them from the ad they click to the landing page to their onboarding experience with the app.
Andrea Loubier – GetMailbird.com
I believe valuable content, SEO, video and sound are the most promising mediums. I’m working on my upcoming short-form podcast because I have been enormously influenced by the podcasts I listen to and want to provide that personal connection to my audience.
Creating data backed and value-based content has been working pretty well for me and my clients. I will be focusing on creating more useful content keeping in mind all the SEO best practices.
Video is something I haven’t spent that much of time on this year but I’m looking forward to connecting with experienced YouTubers and learning from them as well as outsourcing the post-production to free myself up and focus on the things I am good at.
Other than that, growing email list and keeping it engaged is something everyone should focus the most no matter the industry they’re in.
Some of the tools I use to ensure there is an audience for my content are the following:
Tomas Laurinavicius – TomasLau.com
The interesting thing about the digital marketing scene is that the key promotional strategies have remained the same over the years. There have been changes or updates only in the way those strategies are implemented. Then new technology solutions have been added as regular updates from time to time.
Blogging continues to be an important part of my digital marketing plan in 2018. It plays an important role in both SEO and social aspects of promotion. Content continues to be the king and I am planning on increasing my focus on video content too (besides textual content).
PPC is an effective marketing platform. AdWords may be leading the game, but I would suggest investing in other programs too.
Social media marketing is another relatively newer avenue. As Facebook inches towards the 2 billion monthly-active-user base, you cannot afford to ignore the targeting potential of the social network.
Nisha Pandey – SEOTechyWorld.com
I’ll have two main focus areas: funnels and content. Specifically, I’m rebuilding my funnels at the moment. And when that’s done, I’ll focus on generating content people would be willing to pay for.
The content won’t be the usual online content. To make content (videos, articles, emails…) work in my strategy, it has to be remarkably better than what people expect from marketing people. If my target customers wouldn’t be willing to pay for the content I create, it won’t work as a part of my strategy. Articles need to be more impactful (not just interesting, but truly eye-opening). Videos need to be not only interesting and educational, but also entertaining and surprising. Emails need to make people wait for the next email. It’s not an easy strategy because it sets the bar so high for all content, but if I can make it work, it can create great results, too.
There’s an endless stream of mediocre content available. So, I rather take the challenge of creating unusually valuable content than the challenge of breaking through with more mediocre content.
Peter Sandeen – PeterSandeen.com
I am heavily relying on pay per call marketing for 2018. My business closes sales on phone and we benefit a lot from direct calls. I think this is an underutilized marketing channel and will become more prominent in the coming time.
Mohit Tater– Mohittater.com
Defining your business objective is probably the first task in order when it comes to creating a winning digital marketing strategy. When you have an objective in sight, you would be able to formulate a marketing plan that will yield a positive result.
The second task is to analyse your past marketing strategy to check where you have gone wrong in the past so that you can steer clear of it. As they say, learn from your mistakes, so you won’t repeat it.
Lastly, research about your target audience, in order to identify actionable marketing techniques that will help boost your conversion. For instance, if you target audience are teenagers then check out which marketing channels would be more lucrative in grabbing their attention. This will also help you create content that is tailor-made for them.
So, according to me, the main areas of focus should be the following 3 parameters.
✓ Defining your business objective.
✓ Analysing your past marketing strategy.
✓ Researching about your target audience.
These will help you create a winning digital marketing strategy for 2018!
Nirav Dave – Capsicum Mediaworks
In 2018, my focus is to be lean and integrated. Did you know that you should “clean” your content? Do an analysis of your blog content, identify the posts that drive the most traffic and those that get the most backlinks, optimize those and keep them in your blog. As for the rest, freshen those up, update them and repurpose them. Consider posting them on syndicated sites such as LinkedIn, Medium and Quora or mix them up and create an ebook. This will not only streamline your brand and your content, but it will expose you to a larger audience.
Ivana Taylor – DIYmarketers.com
Having spent most of 2017 on creating content and building out our site, what we will focus on in 2018 is the promotion of content and how to best monetize it. For the most part, this is going to be focused around creating online courses that we can sell, then using remarketing to target existing users, site visitors and those on our mailing lists. This will mainly be done through Facebook advertising, as that is what has proven to work best for us.
Brandon Johnston – BlogReign.com
My keys to a winning digital marketing strategy are all summed up in one word: Diversification.
As a digital marketing agency that focuses on small businesses, our clients often do not have the large investment required to pay us to get their digital marketing to fire on all cylinders. I am happy to report that many channels, as long as you’re willing to invest your own time, offer great ROI without paying for someone else to work them!
We simply focus on adding a few good links, a few great client reviews, a few good citations, and our networking activities each month. Boiled down, it sounds pretty simple!
The results speak for themselves. To illustrate, here are several key areas we have earned clients in the past few months to illustrate my point for our own company:
- Yelp.com (Reviews and Paid)
- Thumbtack.com (Organic and Paid)
- Organic SEO
- Local SEO
- Guest Blogging
- Word-of-Mouth Client Referrals
- Strategic Partner Referrals
If you separate the first two, that is nine different digital marketing channels that have earned us small business clients in the last few months. Word-of-mouth and referrals from strategic partners aren’t exactly digital, but they’re key to any winning digital strategy!
Andrew Lowen – NextLevelWeb.com
I think that little will change in the approach to marketing. Certainly, the content will continue to dominate and decide about the quality of the promotion, but it does not mean that technical aspects should be neglected.
If your industry is known, you are not a new product that creates its market, SEO is the first station which decides whether your customers will choose you or your competitors. That is why it is important that you do everything with SEO in your mind, remembering the weight of the words you use, the speed of action, the quality of the links redirecting to your website. We recommend our Ultimate Guide to SEO for Small Business.
If you need good marketing, you have to take advantage of the market opportunities offered by the existing start-ups which will automate multiple processes in your company. We have chosen Zapier and its integrations, which help us in marketing processes, but not only.
Learning Machine in Google
In the article about Google algorithm, we highlighted the importance of mathematics used by Google. Thus, the constantly improved intelligence of Google algorithm will affect the whole SEO and the content we create.
Paweł Kijko– TimeCamp.com
Our most important area of focus for 2018 is to continue our content creation strategy for all of our brands. From providing our readers with detailed guides to help them with their WordPress sites to content marketing and conversion advice, we want to make sure we’re providing value in all of our writing. We will continue to do keyword research using Google’s Keyword Planner, crafting SEO friendly headlines, and using the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin. We recognize that people like to consume content differently. Some prefer detailed blog posts while others would rather watch a video, gif, or glance at an image overlay on Twitter. We’re ramping up our social media efforts to provide useful content via pictures and links. Some of our social media profiles will be a mix of curated marketing news and our original content while others may just focus on original content. The original vs. curated content ratio will differ by brand.
Syed Balkhi – OptinMonster.com
The year 2018 is going to be an interesting time for digital marketing, to say the least. The bar has been set extremely high in the past couple years. It now takes an incredibly particular approach to reach today’s customers. At this point, everyone knows how important social media and content marketing are to the bottom line. That being said, the real challenge is crafting your strategy in a way that creates superior brand differentiation amongst a crowded landscape.
The main areas of focus my team and I will be set on in 2018 is producing a more visual-oriented approach to social media and AI-enhanced creative content.
Visualization has always been important in marketing. But, it has really taken center stage in recent years. Paired with the increased importance of video content on the major social media platforms, the name of the game is creating visual content that clearly defines branding and encourages engagement. The trends are telling us that video content needs to be a cornerstone in future marketing strategies. In fact, a study conducted by CISCO predicts that video will make up more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2020. Ultimately, videos work to give people a more meaningful attachment to brand messaging. As high-quality video now plays a big role in online visibility, a lot of our efforts to be focused on this area in 2018.
In terms of creative content, marketers everywhere are currently dialing in their strategies for the potential of AI. While there will always be a strong need for human content creators, AI’s role in the near future will be using data-driven insights to give marketers the information they need to produce highly customer-centric messaging. Many of the AI platforms we’ve seen in recent years, such as chatbots, recommendation systems, and data analysis algorithms, are still very much in the infancy stages. In the upcoming year, we can expect to see a huge jump in the sophistication of these systems and how they influence distribution across the board. My team and I are prepared to focus our efforts on adapting to the changes AI will bring to the process of creative content marketing.
Manish Dudharejia – E2Msolutions.com
Influencer Marketing — “Organic growth” is still largely influencer driven, although I have noticed a tapering. A/B Testing — This strategy on all social media platforms is still highly profitable. People are constantly changing, and our offerings to them have to keep up with those changes. There’s no guaranteed way to know what sells, always, however through A/B Testing we’re still able to reduce risk and scale only that which continues to work.
Cody McLain – SupportNinja.com
There are 3 main areas we plan to focus on at B Squared Media — for ourselves and with our clients — in 2018:
- Video & Live Streaming: A recent report by Buzzsumo shows that video is the most engaging format on Facebook. Tp combat falling engagement and impression numbers, marketers will need to put some serious stock into video. Whether we do this with planned video snippets, or off-the-cuff live streaming is yet to be seen (and depends on the client). Either way, we’ll be focusing on making our video content short, sweet, and shareable (think hacks, tips, how-tos, etc.).
- Native Advertising: With users growing wary of in-your-face advertising, we’ll be making a bigger push for our clients to use native advertising. Areas of focus for us with native advertising include: recommended content, sponsored listings, and certain types of remarketing.
- Influencer Marketing: With Influencer Marketing, we don’t mean spending millions on Kim K. to tweet about our clients’ product, rather we mean seeking out micro-influencers and customers who are advocates and possible influencers. We plan to invest in UGC (user-generated content) from these influencers and customers that shows off the benefits of our clients’ products and services in a visual way.
There are a lot of areas to focus on in 2018 with digital marketing! But we feel these three areas will take top priority with our clients and our own marketing.
Brooke B. Sellas – BSquared.media
Digital marketing is very rapid and there are a lot of new trends every day so I follow some good blogs and forums to keep myself updated. Because if you don’t learn you are gonna die out of your business. Learning is very important and I see myself that most digital marketers don’t update themselves. They follow old trends and never get into world of real-time updates.
I will be focusing on good content always and having great website design. User experience matters a lot in 2018 and I am working ass off on my niche websites to give users real value.
Jitendra Vaswani – BloggersIdeas.com
As content marketing continues to become more competitive, personalized connections at scale will be the only way to build a competitive advantage. There are more tools than ever that allow you to do this; you can set Google alerts to notify you when an article with your target keyword is published, push the link to Google sheets, scrape the author’s name using a tool like Import.io, find their email address using a tool like Voila Norbert, and send a personalized email with Mailshake, all without writing a line of code. The days of “quality over quantity” are over. To succeed in 2018 and beyond, you need quality AND quantity, and the way to achieve that is through process, automation, and personalization.
Mark Lindquist – WebProfits.Agency
Consumers want their shopping experiences to be more personalized. So for 2018, our main focus will be on delivering more personalized experiences and increasing the relevance of marketing campaigns to target customers.
The Accenture study found that 65% of consumers are more likely to buy from retailers who remember their previous interactions such as past purchases. And according to the Infosys study, 86% of consumers who have experienced personalization say that it has some influence on their purchase decisions.
So our main focus will be on guiding our clients to create more personalized digital marketing campaigns, developing personalized offers and ads for their customers, and building website experiences tailored according to the needs, interests, and behavior of their visitors.
And of course, we will still continue to focus on influencer marketing. We’ll connect businesses with the right influencers for their campaigns and help them form lasting relationships. We will continue to create influencer marketing campaigns with a focus on winning the trust of the target audience.
Shane Barker – ShaneBarker.com
For 2018, my digital marketing strategy will focus on building a strong personal brand. With that in mind, one of the steps I’ll be taking is launching my very own podcast about online business and digital marketing and growing its audience. My podcast and the whole strategy around its production are going to be my main focus.
At the same time, nonetheless, I’ll be publishing new articles more frequently and consistently on my blog, giving more attention to building my email list and sending more email messages to my subscribers.
With that said, I guess I can sum it up this way: my focus will be on my podcast, blog and email list. These will be my three main areas of focus in 2018.
Louie Luc – BuzzNitrous.com
Our main focus can be dividing into three broad categories: Organic traffic from search engines, Social media and PPC. With organic traffic from search engines, we just concentrate on SEO, good practice of good quality contents, regular site update, and the occasional link building.
You can’t be 100% sure that everything you do in terms of SEO will bring good result because it is quite difficult to rank nowadays in competitive niches. But it does not mean that you should stop thinking of organic traffic.
“Google currently holds 80.5% of total search engine market share (up from 65.5% in January 2016)” so you should still consider it as one of your main traffic sources. And 57% of B2B marketers stated that organic SEO generates more leads for them than any other marketing initiative.
With our social media strategy, from conversion data we collected from Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Tumblr we have decided that we will be focusing all our efforts on just two platforms: Facebook and Twitter. The reason could be our audience age. Because Instagram has mostly young audience and we are targeting other age.
As for our PPC, that one is a moving target, we basically follow the twist and turns Google and Bing bring our way, which could be totally different from what we are currently working within 2017. We have spent much more in 2017 than in 2016 on PPC and it means we will extend our PPC budget even more in 2018. More and more people use smartphones to access Google and Bing. To see organic search results you need to scroll a lot because paid adverts holding more and more place.
Evgeniy Garkaviy – Hope Spring Ecards
Two simple (but not easy) things:
1. Multiply your content
I think content is becoming a MUST for every business who wants to win the digital space today. In fact, creating good content isn’t enough. Everyone can generate decent content, but not everyone distributes and promotes it well.
Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Medium, Quora — while businesses are fighting over attention, all these platforms are fighting over users. None of them want their users to leave their platforms. What does this mean for content marketing?
It’s harder to drive people off where they are to your website, app, or any channel you’re dominating.
Thus, the solution is clear: BE EVERYWHERE. I made a video on how to multiply your content here.
2. Focus on market inefficiency
Traditional advertising is almost dead. That means the online space is becoming more saturated than ever. If paid advertising is one of your strategies, I suggest you focus on where the market inefficiency is.
Instead of burning your cold hard cash on Google and Facebook ads where the competitions are high, find other channels with lower competitions. For example, Reddit, Flipboard, Stumble Upon, and Quora.
Noah Kagan – Sumo.com
My main areas of focus to a winning digital marketing strategy for the next year of 2018 will be social media advertising and video marketing.
I’m planning my best approach to running several advertising campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. The objectives of those ad campaigns are a) to bring people back to my websites and get them to sign up to my email lists and, also b) to increase the number of followers I have for my websites/brands on those social networks.
In parallel, there is video marketing. Coming up with interesting, compelling, story-telling kind of videos is a great idea and technique to increase my brand’s notoriety and set me apart from my competitors.
Katy Manniche – TattooOy.com
There are so many people in the digital marketing space. But guess what? Not many of them have a plan that involves building brand authority. Most people are just throwing up random blog posts, in hopes to receive traffic and ultimately convert those visitors into sales. As we all know, it doesn’t work that way. You need a strategy, and that strategy starts with knowing your audience or your clients’ audience extremely well. The idea of personas is a good start, but a winning strategy goes far beyond just knowing age and income. What questions are your customers asking? What problems do they need to solve? Once you understand their obstacles, a great strategy would be to create content or assets that provide solutions. However, before you create that strategy, it’s important to make sure your website has a strong user experience. Digital marketing doesn’t work without a clear brand message on your website. Go back to basics and define your business goals. Clean up your existing content and get rid of stuff that is not performing well. Take the time to make sure your website has a solid technical SEO foundation. Once you have all this in place, take your efforts to social media and let your brand be known.
Dario Zadro – ZadroWeb.com
In 2018, I’ll be focusing on producing more content on a weekly basis. I plan to publish two new blog posts each week of the year on my niche websites. For that I need to do extensive keyword research, lend another set of eyes to both on-page and off-page SEO which includes guest posting on other websites and all other link building strategies I can think of.
I will also bet on creating and publishing YouTube videos where I’ll review many of the affiliate products I’m promoting on my niche websites. Video is growing very quickly and I really need to get aboard and ride that wave to profitability. These will be my main areas of interest in terms of digital marketing for the coming year.
Mike Martyns – SoccerGearHQ.com
Infographic creation and marketing is still one of the most effective ways we’ve been able to create a brand and build out our rankings in Google. It’s not just a matter of creating the infographics, it’s about researching what topics are going to perform best, then actually making sure you can get other sites and media outlets to pick it up. While you might think this is a timely process (which it is), it’s definitely worth it once you figure out how to get top media sites like Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur to start picking up your content. Just a handful of these links would be more valuable than 500 links from other websites.
Kristel Staci – Marketing Infographics
My main focus for 2018 is to better understand my market. By that, I mean to build out buyer persona’s and dive more into the sales process from a customers perspective.
You may have a great product or service that you think everybody should buy, but if you do not understand your customer and their buying patterns then you will fail to convert more times that make that valuable sale.
I have started performing a lot of testing across my different service offerings and will A/B test everything multiple times to see what converts the best.
I constantly tweak copy, images and CTA’s on all my sites to see what works best. I have more than doubled my conversion rate on one particular site just by changing one word in the CTA and moving it up above the fold.
By moving the CTA I have been able to capture the visitor information and add them to a sales funnel. They are far more engaging after this point than if they were just to read the copy on the site – which most people don’t do anyway…
Gary Evans – Yourweb.ie
Video marketing, a stronger focus on SEO and longer form content is going to rule the roost in 2018, however this does not mean you should avoid other areas which are equally important, such as working on your community, engagement, and brand.
Jacob Cass – JustCreative.com
These days my main focus is on understanding the data we’re collecting. We collect a lot of data around Keyword search volume, Key competition, and different content marketing tools we use to access the quality of the content we deliver to our clients. I fully believe that if we can understand these numbers, then our direction and strategy will be clear and we will win online.
Madeleine Taylor – ContentRefined.com
At HealthJoy, we are still putting a large focus on content marketing in 2018. Industry-focused article like one we wrote on Reference Based Pricing is narrowly focused for our target audience. It continues to bring in quality leads for us every month at a drastically lower price than any other marketing method. These articles can take days to write since they are heavily researched but it’s worth it. There is a lot of competition for content these days but there will always be a market for well-written articles that focus on the long tail of keywords.
Rick Ramos – HealthJoy.com
Digital marketing consists of so many factors, but making videos is something that is necessary for all businesses, and Wording Well has already made a few. I plan on making more in 2018.
I have used the Facebook Live feature to make a couple of videos to help promote my self-help book, From Nope to Hope.
I’ve also uploaded several videos to YouTube, for bloggers.
Increasing my use of different social media platforms is also something I plan on doing. For example, I want to use Instagram and Snapchat more.
Pinterest is quite an excellent platform for driving traffic to your blog, too, and I plan on optimizing my blog images for Pinterest.
I am looking forward to seeing what others are planning on doing in this area, and if they have great ideas, I might just do those too!
Lorraine Reguly – WordingWell.com
There are two things I’d like to focus on in 2018.
#1: Creating more educational videos.
I’m a web consultant and work with my clients face-to-face. And a video is hands down the fastest way to win people’s trust, not only with your expertise but also with your personality.
#2: Creating more long-form content with a unique perspective.
I write about content marketing and website improvements – a very saturated niche where a blog post you typed in 2 hours won’t get you far. The blog posts that were the most effective in growing my audience and winning new clients took me from several weeks to two months each to create, so I’d like to create more articles in this format.
The only problem with this approach (and I’m sure the passionate bloggers will agree): You need enough discipline to stay focused on one project and not to give into the temptation to publish a couple of OK posts just for the sake of the adrenalin that comes with hitting the “Publish” button.
So if more discipline and focus qualifies as a marketing strategy, this would be my #3.
Gill Andrews – GillAndrews.com
I am focusing on making connections & improving relationships.
If you’re following me you know that I am doing a lot of white-hat link building and outreach. What I found out is that a link from an authority website is valuable but more valuable is the connection that you’ve made with the person who linked to you. This is the area that I am going to focus in 2018 – to create more connections with people and to help each other to grow, also to learn from each other. Yes, definitely connections are more important than backlinks. If you have many connections, you’ll get business from them and you do not need to have a single backlink to your website. Did you get my point?
I think many people are focusing on building links and they forget to establish and nurture the relationship. It does not look good when you reach out to someone and instead of getting to know them, you push and try to get a backlink at all cost. Think about it, if you are already a friend with the person, he would be happy to link to your website and sometimes you do not even need to ask for it!
Georgi Todorov – DigitalNovas.com
In 2018, we’re going to be doing everything we can to increase the opt-in rate on our site. Although traffic is going up each month, it’s generally much easier (and much cheaper) to increase conversions than it is to increase traffic.
We have a great understanding on who visits our site and the problems they tend to have (even when visiting for another purpose.) While continuing our tweaking and improving through split tests, we’re also coming out with a wide variety of lead magnets tailored to individual posts and categories. Because our audience is so diverse, this will ensure the lead magnets promoted will be further tailored to the visitor’s personal interests.
We’re also scaling up our blogging to ensure more people see these offers. Hiring 4 new writers this year, we’re prepared to publish new articles at more than double our current rate, without sacrificing quality. Retaining existing visitors is key to growth, and we know these two things will allow us to expand even more quickly this upcoming year.
James McAllister – Starlight-Baby.com
Social media. Social media. Social media. I know it sounds like I am beating a dead horse here, but in 2017 we’re still seeing companies still haven’t figured out social media. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your outlook), social media is where people spend their time. Brands are still pouring money into websites and apps, when that’s not really where people are. If you want to win in digital for 2018 and probably the next 3-5 years, you better figure out Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and even Twitter. And you better do it fast.
Chris Kubbernus – ChrisKubbernus.com
Digital marketing is extremely important to the success of our brand. Since we focus on coloring pages and print outs for kids, it’s important for us to build personal relationships with other sites where we know our audience is already at. Often times, this can be pretty tough. It falls somewhere inbetween influencer marketing and content partnerships. No matter happens, we will continue to create content for our audiences and simply look for new opportunities on where we can blend in with existing audiences to offer our content and service. At the same time, our main sales are coming through Amazon, so it’s important to associate our products with a brand that everyone trusts as well. Once we’ve mastered the art of getting customers to follow up and leave reviews on Amazon, then we will have a clear path to success!
Montgomery Peterson – OriginalColoringPages.com
In 2018 there are a few digital marketing strategies we have in place for Influence Express as it is a newer site and doesn’t have to much brand recognition yet. A few of the bigger pieces would be guest posting, content creation and sales calls. Guest Posting will allow us to create more brand awareness by getting out name out to different audiences and Content creation will allow our site to rank better organically in search engines, where as sales calls will help to reach out to clients who may be interested and discuss how we can help them.
Kelley Jones – InfluenceExpress.com
How to Make the Most of Your Digital Marketing Efforts
No matter where you are focusing on digital marketing solutions in 2018, the important thing is that you have a plan in place. Most businesses and brands fail to find success because they simply wing it as they go along. This is going to only set you and your brand up for a path to failure. As you can see from the many responses above, the clear winners for 2018 will continue to be content creation, social media and relationship building. These have been winning formulas for many years now, and will likely continue to be for years to come.
Follow each of the actionable digital marketing above, while also measuring your own results and ROI based on each method. Should you need any help with this process or building a new or better image for your brand, be sure to contact InfographicDesignTeam today!