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Consumer Trends all Business Owners Should Know in 2018

INSPIRATION • FRI 5TH JANUARY 2018

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In order to stay ahead of the game in 2018, business owners need to know their consumer inside and out. What is important to consumers in 2018? What are they searching for, and what steps can your business take in order to fully meet these needs?

The future is mobile

There are very few things that your mobile phone can’t do in 2018. In fact, many mobile apps and devices are actually replacing face-to-face communication between businesses and their consumers entirely. Consumers look for ease, and smartphones allow them to organise many major parts of their lives with one single tap of their finger. Mobile devices are increasingly being used for identification and to make secure payments, to name but a few examples. Coming into 2018 and beyond, pretty much everything will become available from your smartphone, and businesses that don’t offer a mobile alternative could be in trouble. Businesses that do not make the conversion to mobile could be at risk of being left behind when their competitors create a better user experience.

Social media matters

A business’ social media image is becoming increasingly important to consumers. Research has shown that many people will now check a company’s social feeds (like Instagram), even before googling them or visiting their website. Therefore, that Instagram feed is more important than you thought, especially when you consider that it is increasingly becoming many people’s first impression of your business.

Some quick tips to improve your social presence:

1. In terms of what content you should post, a general rule is that images containing other people tend to do well on social media. Sharing behind the scenes photos of what your team are getting up to will build trust between you and your consumers. These everyday moments will connect with your audience because it’s real. Show your audience the humans behind your business!

2. Stay consistent and upload content regularly. When a consumer is checking you out online, it doesn’t look great if the last time you posted on your Facebook was 3 months ago! You don’t need to be posting religiously 5 times a day, but you do need to ensure that you have fresh, up-to-date content rolling out on the regular.

3. Generally, social posts that don’t contain any form of media (text-only posts) don’t tend to do too well online, as they are not very attention grabbing. Always try to have some sort of media included in your post, whether that’s sharing a quick photo, or just a link to a related article.

4. Take advantage of social media management applications such as Later, Buffer or TweetDeck, for example, which allow you to manage and schedule your content ahead of time.

5. If you’re really struggling for content ideas, why not take a peak at what your competitors or similar businesses are posting online? What kind of content are they sharing, and which of their posts are performing the best? Then, ask yourself how your business can create similar content for your social channels.

Rethink advertisements

It’s time to get creative, because your average display ad on Facebook just isn’t going to cut it anymore. Today’s consumers will do anything they can do avoid a digital advertisement. In 2017, 615 million devices were using AdBlock (and this number is only continuing to rise). Normal display ads are no longer as effective as they once were. The younger generations in particular have become almost immune to these sort of advertisements. With our news feeds being oversaturated with ads as it is, businesses must become much more creative in order to grab the attention of these upcoming consumers, and find ways to make their ads, less ad-like!

You only have a couple of seconds to grab someone’s attention, and so you have to be succinct and offer them value immediately, and a short, attention grabbing video is an excellent way to deliver this. Businesses that don’t begin adapting to this new form of advertising will be in big trouble in a couple of years, as these succinct, attention grabbing ads are quickly becoming the standard.

Business ‘values’ matter to consumers, now more than ever

Consumers like to be well informed when making choices, and therefore, there is an increasing demand to know more information about businesses, their products, ethos and general practice. This demand is set to skyrocket in 2018. In a world with such emphasis on wellness, and concerns for the environment, consumers want to know more about your businesses values, and what you stand for, because they want to know they are making the best choice. It’s no surprise that 58% of consumers agree that they would be willing to pay more money for businesses they consider to be more ‘ethical’. Therefore, it is in any businesses best interest moving forward to get on board with such concerns, and use this trend as an opportunity to mould themselves to appeal more to this growing number of value-conscious consumers.




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