In December and January, while you were busy keeping customers warm, many “experts” put out lists on the marketing strategies businesses should focus on in 2018. But what works for a retail store doesn’t necessarily work for a fuel retailer, and you can’t sell a heating system the same way you’d sell a bottle of soda. Let’s look at how they relate to your business goals.
- Content Marketing – Content marketing is a strategic approach to create and distribute valuable, relevant and consistent content. In other words, you provide information on a regular basis that the reader wants and needs, rather than looking for an immediate direct response. Use your expertise to become a trusted resource for homeowners, via blogs, social media posts, videos, infographics, Pinterest pages and more, by providing tips on how to lower energy bills, reduce their carbon footprint, use renewable resources, or even learn to replace a filter.
- Big Data – In its most simple definition, big data is the collection and storage of large volumes of information that are analyzed to develop business and sales solutions. Data comes from traditional sources, smart technology, social media, and web-based intelligence, and can help you understand your sales cycle, pinpoint customers ready to buy and even identify products that are more likely to move. By analyzing data correctly, you can customize new customer acquisitions as well as existing customer services.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) – AI can analyze big data to “learn” your best targets (among other things), pinpoint marketing opportunities, and personalize the consumer experience. AI has advanced our industry in many ways, from smart thermostats that “learn” comfort preferences to programmatic advertising that puts your ads in front of the individuals most likely to click through.
- Social Media Marketing – 79 percent of American internet users are on Facebook; 32 percent on Instagram; and Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter see 31, 29 and 24 percent respectively. As these numbers grow, the platforms are aggressively monetizing, and thus limiting, your business outreach. In fact, Facebook’s new algorithm will further limit every company trying to organically communicate with its customers. Promoting on these platforms is relatively inexpensive, however, coming in somewhere
- between $10-$15 CPM. If you want to reach customers on social media, this is a good investment to consider.
- Search Engine Optimization – By now, your site should be device responsive, to accommodate your customers’ needs as well as Google’s mobile-first ranking system. By now, content should have been optimized to make it easier for search engines to catalog. (If not, contact us today!)
These are just a few of the trends, tactics and strategies to look out for in 2018. Want to know more? Contact us to speak with a marketing advisor and review what will work best to boost your year.