The Top Marketing Trends You Should Know About in 2018

Josh Spilker

Another year in the books…and how did your marketing efforts go?

If you’re like us, some things worked really well…and others, not so much.

And as marketers, what’s exciting is how dynamic the industry can be. This can lead to some frustration when the old techniques and tactics don’t work anymore, or you can view it as an opportunity to try something brand new.

It could be time to put off some of those old ways, and to incorporate something new in your mix.

Here are some trends that you’ll definitely want to know about that can positively impact your marketing in 2018.

Market Before You Build Something

People in the Workzone office have been super excited about a new product–the Tesla Model 3.

Thousands of pre-orders were made before the car ever hit production. And though sales have slowed a little bit, it’s a marketing coup for Tesla.

In theory, their ideas was validated before any production started. They weren’t guessing at the demand; they know it right away and can adjust resources accordingly.

Of course, building a complicated product like a car is not what most of you market. But this idea can work well for any new product idea that you have.

The key is to validate by gauging interest from your current customers. Gauge their interest before you’re off to the races. This sounds obvious, but it’s not the way most things are marketed. As Matthew Sweezey describes in this Forbes article, the past strategy was to “build, market, then sell” while Tesla is an example of perfect validation: “market, sell, then build.”

In essence, the product is only built if the marketing works. And if it doesn’t? Then you don’t make it. Just so crazy it might work.


Maximize FB Messenger

Think FB messenger is just a way to connect with friends?

Nope. It’s a key channel for connecting to your prospects.

But how do you do it? Automated chatbots.

One of the new ways of expanding the reach of Facebook is to directly correspond with subscribers, leads or prospects with Facebook Messenger. Yes, you can automate it with chatbots and send direct messages that way or you can treat it like an email newsletter and send out relevant information.

A program like ManyChat lets us send out broadcasts, very similarly to email. It allows people to subscribe via chat.

So…What about results? Does it really work?

Facebook pro Josh Fechter once mentioned that he got a 90% open rate on Messenger because it’s so new. That definitely won’t last for long! This could be a great tactic, especially in the B2C world.


Slide Into Text Messages

Your Lyft is almost here.

How do you know?

By text of course.

We’ve become accustomed to texts for confirmations and transactional details.

The next step will be perfecting that to get deals, promotions or reminders on a more widespread basis. These will have to be extremely relevant because recipients will be extremely trigger happy to block or unsubscribe.


Create Topic Clusters For SEO

If your business participates in content marketing, then this will be a full-throttle shift that you’ll see this year. In fact, I’m working on moving more of the Workzone content to this model.

The idea here is to provide comprehensive and in-depth information on one particular topic to be the definitive go-to post on the topic. Usually these are very broad topics that can then link out to other posts.

The key here is that interlinking to boost up the page ranking. In other words, if you already have a lot of great posts on a certain topic, then you should create on mega-topic cluster page on that topic, and then backlink to your other posts.

Hubspot has a great breakdown of how topic clusters can function.


Personalize Everything

This isn’t just about merge fields and making sure you {INSERT THE RIGHT PERSON’S NAME HERE}.

It’s about knowing likes and dislikes before you ever reach out. Segmenting your audience based on pages visited over time. And crafting a persona based on real people.

Email marketing consultant Val Geisler puts it this way:

“Personalized email campaigns based on links clicked, not clicked, pages visited, and more are coming out big time. Honestly, email has always been the name of the game but it’s going to be a huge differentiator in 2018. If you can personalize and do it well, you’ll stand out from the dreaded spam folder.”

Plus there are even more tools to do this. A tool like Crystal will scan prospects and assess how they write and respond across the Internet and then give you concrete ways about how to write and approach them. Crystal even integrates into your marketing automation. This is personalized marketing taken to another level. Here are more forward-thinking sales tools to add to your marketing.


The Rise of LinkedIn

LinkedIn has transformed itself from just a place for resumes, to a more vibrant community of new ideas and articles. Their status updates have really taken off and more creators are finding a home there with native video content. Updating your LinkedIn status, actively participating and commenting in groups and liking posts from your connections will help you build credibility.

People buy from people. That’s the key message that Gilles de Clerck from Salesflare has successfully leveraged with LinkedIn posts that get thousands of views. What’s been the difference? It’s been offering inspiring advice behind businesses and ideas and also gets more leads for his business.

How can you take advantage of these marketing trends in 2018?

When creating your marketing plans and strategies for the next quarter or year, see how you can experiment with your marketing with a few of these new techniques.

Maybe you need flip some of your advertising to LinkedIn.

Maybe it’s time to give your sales team a boost with a few new tools.

Maybe it’s time to invest in new text messaging capabilities.

Part of marketing is keeping up with what’s latest and new to see how that moves the needle.


It’s easy to get distracted by tactics. Your goal is to understand how these tactics fit into what you’re already doing.

Use these marketing trends and configure them for your marketing in 2018.