The new year is here, so if I were you, I would get started on planning and preparing yourself for new marketing plans for the year. Start by looking back at what you worked on in 2017 and reflect on your year goals; was your 2017 marketing plan successful? What types of existing channels were you using that had benefited you the most?

If you haven’t noticed by now, social media constantly changes, and as time passes by, your existing channels will be adding new and better features and strategies that may be useful in order for your business to become successful.

That being said, we will be going over the top 5 new marketing tools you should consider to incorporate in your 2018 marketing strategies:

1) Live Video

Have you noticed the increase in use of regular video marketing this past year? Video marketing is already an excellent tool for those who don’t like to read a novel and rather visually view and hear what they have to know. So what’s way better than video marketing? Live streaming.

Live video incorporates more of the social trends of marketing in 2018. Social media is now allowing business owners to become mini-celebrities in their specific niches, also known as micro-influencers. Micro-influencers are appealing because they are approachable and relatable.

Live video is similar to video marketing but you are able to connect with your audience in real time. Live video facilitates the transparency and authenticity that consumers expect in today’s landscape, in a nutshell. Live video doesn’t have to be long – it can be a quick five minute announcement or even a check-in will do the trick. For best results, announce on your social media that you will be hosting a live stream on your feed and let them know to tune in at a specific time.

2) Integrating Social Media Apps into Communications

There has been an increase in use of messaging apps throughout the past years. Some of the most popular messaging apps are Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Telegram—even social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat enable a ‘direct messaging’ feature.

These apps are a great and fast source to customer service for businesses. It allows the business to communicate with their customers easily, effectively, and immediately. The more chat tools available to us today, the less patience we have to wait for an email response or even to be on hold for a few minutes.

If you’re looking to increase sales, bump up customer service review ratings, and get ahead of your competitors, try using these messaging features in 2018.

3) Visualization is Necessary

If you haven’t already done this in 2017, you should totally consider using more visual pieces. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook are quickly booming in users because people like to view and scroll through pictures. Always make sure you are including exciting and informative things. It can be as simple as a shot of cute puppies laying around—and I am really that serious.

Try using videos once in a while, too—people tend to accept and attach on a much deeper level due to the usage of visually rich and interactive elements depicting a proper message or story.

4) Personalization or Customization

In 2018 the best marketing strategy is all about personalization—when you cater content to specific scenarios, individuals get the sense that you have a grasp on your marketing channels and a clear understanding of your target audience. The more they realize you know about them, the more they’ll realize you can meet their needs.

Start with these 4 new marketing strategies and incorporate it to your 2018 marketing plans. Have a fresh new start of the year and good luck!

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Charles Crawford is a high-level entrepreneur and co-founder of Keeva Organics and Zensleep. Charles has been studying internet marketing, web design, and tech start-ups for years, and he has been successful with multiple business ventures such as affiliate marketing (where 98%+ of people never make money). Follow him on twitter @ChazCrawford.

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