5 Tips to Make Your Business Stand out in 2018

Staying ahead of the curve is become increasingly difficult in today’s fast-paced world.

Thankfully, there are multiple tools at your disposal to help set you apart from the competition.

Whether you’re an independent business owner or an entrepreneur of a small business, stepping up your game should be a regular thing. And continually driving success to stand out from the crowd should be a 24/7 goal.

From social media to technology advancements, content and website marketing and everything in between, these tools have the power to make a major impact on your business in 2018. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Invest in a Video Marketing Strategy

Video marketing is a powerful tool that’s grown in importance over the recent years. So, if you haven’t got on board with it yet – make 2018 the year to do so! With new video formats taking the stand like live streaming, short and catchy videos have become a highly effective way to engage with your users on social media. These latest formats are making it easier to integrate video into your existing social media marketing strategy too and give your business a face.

The stats speak for themselves too, with 100 million internet uses watching videos every day. It’s predicted that by 2020, video content online will account for over 80% of consumer internet traffic. Video marketing is proven to boost your ROI and build trust with your audience. Plus, social media websites love it. And if you’re not utilising it for your small business, you’re definitely falling behind your competition.

2. Make Sure Your Technology is Up to Speed

Small business owners that invest in IT support have access to responsive, fast and proactive technology. This is absolutely crucial if you want your systems to be up to speed on a day-to-day basis. Regular interruptions with IT can be a huge headache when it comes getting the job done efficiently.

Businesses need trusted and knowledgeable technology partners who are familiar with your needs and proficient with current technologies. This is the best way to ensure you stay current with your industry’s operation requirements and eliminates taking yourself or other people off the job to assist with IT support. With the bulk of businesses relying on technology every day, IT support is invaluable and gives your business a competitive edge.

3. Increase Your Social Engagement with Ephemeral Content

Timeless content that generates engagement over as long a period of time as possible is still very much needed for 2018 (and beyond). This type of content probably won’t ever go out of fashion either, and is necessary to propel your business brand forward and succeed. If you’re trying to reach the younger millennials and generation Z though, embracing social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram Live can be extremely beneficial. And it’s such apps that have driven the popularity of ephemeral content – visual content in the form of a photo or video that is short-lived (up to 24 hours).

Ephemeral content is fantastic for grabbing your customer’s attention quickly. Because there’s the fear of missing out aspect to it, audiences generally respond to the content and take action faster, which marketers gain the benefits from.

4. Be Hashtag Savvy

Are you using your hashtags properly when it comes to content and social media marketing strategies? There is still a huge amount of business owners that just publish a handful of relevant hashtags, without being too smart about their strategy. Taking the time to map out your hashtags and research into what works for your content is crucial to stay ahead of competition in 2018.

The two most popular social media platforms to promote content, Instagram and Facebook, are big on hashtags. Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags whereas Facebook has no limit but encourages you to keep it to a minimum to avoid losing interaction (2-5 is best). Now, Instagram allows you to follow specific hashtags along with profiles, making it easier to keep tabs on the relevant conversations and adding a new element to your social media strategy. This is a key consideration in helping to expand your brand messaging and promote your branded hashtags.

5. Take Advantage of User-Generated Content

Regardless of how much user-generated content (UGC) you have flooding in, it’s vital to still create engaging content that’s designed with your audience in mind. Jumping on board with UGC in 2018 is a big must for savvy business owners. They say the best things in life are free and UGC is a prime example of this. Content which, as the name suggests, is posted from customers or fans about your brand.

Instagram is big on UGC but the concept can be applied to most social media platforms. Any photo, video, tweet, snap, post or review that’s shared about your brand/business can be considered UGC. And taking advantage of using it as post-worthy content means you have the opportunity to save money, get free endorsements (and free marketing) from your happy customers/followers and boost your engagement by a whopping 97%. Not to mention it’ll make your marketing team happy and you’ll benefit from having an army of brand ambassadors doing some of the hard work for you.

As a professional in your industry, it’s essential to keep your finger on the pulse with everything new and exciting in the world of marketing and business trends. Which ones will you be embracing this year?