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If you are attentive to shifts in marketing, you know that the paradigm for online or digital marketing changes from year to year. Whatever steps you have taken thus far, and whatever results they have yielded, are unlikely to net the same returns in the coming year. As writer Scott Oldford said in an article about digital marketing trends in 2018 for Entrepreneur, "What got you to this point won't get you to where you want to be, and your job as an entrepreneur is to keep up with this change."

Of course, that begs the question of how to keep up with the change? What are the trends you should be emulating as you re-deploy or refurbish your marketing strategies to reflect them? We have compiled a list of the key digital marketing trends identified thus far in 2018, and recommend you compare your current model against these points or tactics.

1. Emphasize mobile - In short, "Put a mobile strategy in place to engage with your prospects and customers. This means creating a mobile website but, depending on your business, mobile elements might include the ability to send text messages to your customers." Without mobilification, you are going to find yourself outdated and at a loss.

2. Think relevance - Though the experts at Inc. described this as prioritizing "customer needs over bells and whistles," the point here is to forget about buying ads and using brute force to develop enormous email lists or gather vast numbers of leads. Instead, think of terms like relevance and relationship with the leads you have. As Oldford said, "In 2018, relevancy will win the war," and by relevance, he means building trust through the right content at the right time, and in the right place.

Essentially, that breaks down into the creation of articles, videos, long form posts, and authority pieces (such as case studies) that appear in social media feeds, emails, the web, and so on. Consider that another of the major strategies at work in 2018 is the use of blogs, which have some of the highest ROIs and which generate the most leads. That takes us to the next strategy…

3. Go multi-platform - Dominating one platform (such as Facebook) is no longer viewed as the ideal digital strategy. Instead, you must seem to be everywhere in order to support that relevance we looked at in point two, above. The best method for being relevant across multiple platforms is to develop effective content and then repurpose it across those platforms. For example, turn a blog post into an authority piece, translate that into a podcast and so on. This can be used as an email series for leads, as an array of social media posts, and as video content, and so on.

4. Reset your SEO pace to match Google - How often have you updated or even audited your SEO? Did you know that Google updates its algorithm around 500 times per year? If you are not reviewing your keywords at least four times per year, you are likely to be losing traction with each of those updates.

As you can see, content is still king where digital marketing in 2018 is concerned, but it is not about gathering the biggest lists of leads or emails. It is about nurturing the relationships you already have and showing yourself to be of value to those seeking what you have to offer. Of course, it must all be mobile and it must be everywhere your potential audience tends to be found online.

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