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2018 is here and the new year brings with it several online business trends you need to be aware of. Here’s my short-list:

Automation

Automation refers to using technology to drive your marketing systems. Successful automation relies on processes and systems. You create a month’s worth of newsletters in one afternoon and then use the scheduling system in your autoresponder to send these out weekly, so you don’t have to remember to do this.

Similarly, you can set up workflows where new leads automatically get added to your follow up system, or you are reminded when to renew clients for more services.

Automating as much of your marketing as possible is essential to help get it all done.

Cross-Promotion

Smart marketers need to make the most of every opportunity to cross-post on social media, and cross-promote in their marketing mix, email, blogging, video and more.

Developing a well-synchronized and focused marketing plan is key to making the best use of your marketing resources.

Personalization

Your target audience wants more content that feels personal to them and you can use a range of tools to help with this and get feedback as well. Use all you learn to create the kind of content and the different kinds of format (eBook, video, audio) that they want most. Personalize your content and marketing to your best customers.

Remarketing

Remarketing tools are improving and getting easier to use, so even small businesses can take advantage of them. If a visitor lands on a particular product page but does not complete a transaction, they will see an ad for the item on other sites where your retargeting service runs them. Facebook is one of the easiest places to get started if you are not using this already.

Connections Rather Than Just Customers

Smart businesses will continue to grow the relationship with their target audience rather than just try to sell to them all the time. Social media and email will be more important than ever.

Building a More Definitive and Expert Brand

The eCommerce and marketing space is getting pretty crowded these days. One of the best ways for your brand to stand out, and also make good connections and develop loyalty, is to define your niche strongly and show off your expertise. Demonstrate your value proposition in all you do – namely, that you have considerable expertise and are therefore worth paying attention to.

Steady New Product Creation

Every new product you create should contribute to a strong brand. Make sure you set a regular product creation schedule in order to cash in on the Pareto principle, which says that 20% of your customers will buy 80% of your products. This being the case, repeat customers are worth their weight in gold and should be treated as such.

Going Greener

Green products continue to grow in popularity. Think not just about green products, but about how to make your entire company green. Showcase this in your marketing if it is an important aspect of your business.

Businesses with a Cause

An increasing number of businesses support important causes, such as animal rescue, caring for veterans, or helping the elderly. If this is one of the main drivers for your business, don’t be afraid to tell people.

Crowdfunding Continues

Crowdfunding is a continuing successful trend which helps bring new products to market. It’s more competitive now due to so many more aspiring entrepreneurs trying the top crowdfunding sites, but, when it succeeds, it could just give you the money you need to set you on the path for success.

Kiva Loans

Kiva is similar to crowdfunding, except it is a loan. Each can lend you as little as $25 to help you build up to the amount of the loan you have been approved for, such as $1,000. This may not sound like a lot, but once you establish your track record of paying back the loan, you will be eligible to borrow larger amounts without having to go through the approval process again.

These trends will shape online business this year. Are you ready?

Do you have some questions about marketing your business online but don’t know who to ask? Why not ask me? I can help you with both strategy and implementation to make your business more profitable and more popular. We can do this together in 75 minutes; though my whiteboard session. Learn more about it!

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