Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends For SME Business In 2018

The digital marketing world is as complex as ever. In 2018, small and medium sized business owners and managers are looking for strategies and tactics that can help them not only compete, but thrive. Infusionsoft asked 1,000 SME business owners about their main priorities and challenges in digital marketing for 2018. In this report, they asked some marketing folks to interpret and offer insights into where small businesses need to consider focusing on in 2018.

Below is the digital marketing infographic, and the top five takeaways from the report:


You can arrange to have a chat with us at SME Marketing Labs if you want to get the results of effective digital marketing strategies and plans. Hopefully the infographic at least serves as a spark to ignite your thinking about your own strategic planning for marketing your small or medium sized business.

1. Digital marketing success remains a big challenge for most small business owners.

According to the survey population (based in the U.S.) 46 % of small business owners can’t tell if their marketing strategies work. Worse still, 17% are certain that their efforts aren’t working at all. That’s 1 in 6 small businesses! Just 38% can confidently say their sales and marketing efforts are producing results.

This means that the majority of small businesses are spending their marketing and promotion budget on strategies and methods that either are not working, or can’t be shown to work.

Competitive advantage will be achieved through the use of Google Analytics. Your business can gain immediate competitive advantage in 2018 by tracking your leads and customers.

Talk to us at SME Marketing Labs we can plan, setup, implement and manage your analytics to give your business an unfair advantage. Book Appointment

2. 2018: The year of social media marketing

It’s obvious that social media marketing is on the rise.  More than 71% of small businesses actively use social media marketing as part of their customer acquisition strategy. But is it the right strategy for your line of business. Some sectors work better than others, and on different platforms. A personal trainer or gym owner these days needs to be active on Instagram to promote their personal or business brand. Instagram is primarily a visual medium that if used correctly can deliver real results.

Fewer than 40% use email marketing to acquire customers which is a surprise considering email marketing can deliver higher conversion rate than social media platforms.

Out of those surveyed, fewer than 30% use video for marketing and promotion. There are a number of factors behind this (talk to us to learn more), many practical in nature, however this will likely rise over the next few years. We might even put together an article on that to highlight the pros and cons of using video as a way to connect, engage and convert your customers.

Nonetheless, social media is a powerful medium for customer acquisition, but there’s every chance that a small business like yours could do better with their social media results. SME Marketing Labs can do all the work for you so you can focus on your customers. Click here to get in touch!

Facebook remains the leader for the social platform small businesses will turn to in 2018. A whooping 75% of SME business owners using social will include Facebook in their social media strategy. While Facebook was projected to lag behind more innovative social platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, they’ve rebounded and are proving to be ahead of the curve. A word of caution though is that small businesses need to have a budget to advertise on Facebook as more and more, it is difficult to reach new potential customers without promoting a post or creating an ad on the platform. Facebook announced that they would be showing more posts from friends and family and less of others in users news feed which means without a realistic marketing budget, mobile friendly content marketing and graphic design skill, your business is unlikely to get customers on Facebook.

If you want help with social media, we can discuss with you informally what we can deliver for your SME business to help you increase customer engagement and grow sales. Choose a time to talk

3. SME business owners plan to increase spending on social media

What is loud and clear from the survey is that SME business owners and marketing managers working within them are willing to invest in their business using social media. The number one tool small business owners plan to increase their spending on is also the thing they use the most to acquire customers: social media. The top three digital marketing tools small businesses will increase budget spending for are:

  • Social Media Management Services: 38%
  • SEO and Digital Ad Creation / Management: 30%
  • Website Analytics Management: 24%

If you’re going to spend more on social, where should you invest your money? Invest in tools and services that enable you to monitor traffic and conversions, to see what’s working and what isn’t, and implementing improvements to grow sales. SME Marketing Labs can manage all of this for your business.

4. Nearly 1 in 3 small business owners will still try to survive in 2018 without investing enough in their digital marketing.

The majority of small businesses are increasing their marketing and promotion budgets for at least some aspect of digital marketing as they can see the huge opportunity to sell more to customers. And yet, there remains more than a quarter (28 percent) of small business owners who intend to try to tackle 2018 with the same or even smaller digital marketing budget as they had last year. These small businesses will look to work on optimizing their marketing budgets and will look for lower cost or free tools to help them succeed without spending more.

Some marketers have highlighted the increasing availability of data and analytics tools that help with every part of the marketing funnel, from getting new prospects to engaging them and closing the deal. These are accessible, affordable, but sometimes require the help of a service like SME Marketing Labs to implement and get the most out of to get real results. This is good news for small business owners on a smaller budget, to test and iterate on their marketing quickly, effectively, and within an agreed budget.

5. Biggest marketing challenge for 2018: Finding the time or resources for marketing

When asked about their biggest challenge they’ll face for their marketing in 2018, respondents indicated that their number one challenge was simply finding the time or content resources for marketing. It seems that the biggest hurdle to small business marketing is just getting a break from helping customers to properly market their business.

Hiring SME Marketing Labs as a service to implement your digital marketing saves you precious time and money.

We know SME business owners, managers and marketing teams are short on time, but the answer may not be to simply to adopt more technology with fancy dashboards yourself with everything else on your plate, only to spend hours in the evenings trying to figure the data out without accidentally causing it all to go crash bang, wallop on your computer!

SME Marketing Labs can manage the marketing process for you.

As Brian Anderson, news editor at Demand Gen Report, observes,

“Finding time and resources for marketing, being able to convert leads into customers, being able to have the types of conversations that lead to sales: it’s ultimately not a technology solution as much as it’s a process solution. If you don’t have a process to understand your marketing efforts and your sales efforts, your technology isn’t going to benefit you.”

So what next?

You could read some more on our blog or delve once more down the rabbit hole that is digital marketing on Google or Bing search result pages, but frankly that’s only feeding your procrastination frustration. We want to help.

You don’t have all day to read up and learn about every tiny detail about the ins and out of digital marketing, UI / UX focused website design and best practice white hat SEO (Search Engine Optimization – Getting your website listed on page 1 of Google search results). That comes with years of practice, learning and real world experience which SME Marketing Labs has to offer you.

Let SME Marketing Labs take care of your website, digital marketing and SEO needs so you can focus on what you do best, serving your clients needs first.

Invest in your business and organization by hiring SME Marketing Labs to take care of your online footprint. Get an unfair advantage over your business competitors. We offer no nonsense advice and services without the fluff, slow moving, and unnecessary expense of traditional old world print ad agencies who don’t know SEO and sometimes end up hiring us to do the work for them.


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