2018 is going to be the year of Facebook Virtual Reality and flying cars… WAIT. Only half that statement is true, but we aren’t going to bore you with another blog about our predictions for what we think might be coming to the marketing arena this year. Why? Partly because everyone else has already done it and partly because it doesn’t matter.

Yes, you heard me right. It doesn’t matter, and therefore we aren’t going to waste our time – or yours –trying to come up with ideas when instead, we should be focusing our attention elsewhere. Elsewhere, meaning, these three tried-and-true recommendations.

Always focus on your target audience.

Trying the latest and greatest marketing trend might work for some, but always keep in mind who your target audience is and where they are. If you aren’t sure who or where they are, then this is the place to start this year. Knowing your target audience is the first step to maximizing your exposure among the correct demographics instead of trying to target everyone (which can’t be done, trust us).

If your target audience is Baby Boomers and you find they rely heavily on Facebook for their social media, putting a new push on Snapchat advertising isn’t going to be your best bet. Instead, try out a new kind of Facebook advertisement or play with the time of day when you post the most about your product or service.

If you must keep up with trends, focus on your industry.

In this day and age, each industry tends to focus on certain aspects and forms of advertising. In this respect, knowing your competition is of utmost importance. Keep an eye on what your top three competitors are doing right, but also try to figure out what they’re doing wrong and what you can do better.

Your audience knows where to go to look for information about the services or products in your industry. For example, when looking for events, people know to turn to Facebook. For up to the minute updates, Twitter probably has what you’re looking for. And we all know radio stations are jam-packed with your local car dealerships’ latest pun-filled advertisement.

As you focus on your goals for the coming year, pair up your competition with your own efforts. Evaluate what you did last year and how you can improve and keep the momentum going for 2018.

Be willing to think outside the box.

Trends need to start somewhere, why not start some of your own? Try something that hasn’t been done before. To get your creative juices flowing, think about your service or product and bring up your audience one more time. What is a totally different way to reach your audience without completely missing the mark? Maybe it’s putting your brand in a different newsletter or turning your CEO into an expert and writing a new column for the local paper. Maybe a simple Facebook contest can get you more Page Likes, or try a scavenger hunt with freebees around town and a map on social media to reach new potential customers. Get on the ground level and try some new guerilla marketing tactics.


As with any new marketing strategy, evaluate what works and what doesn’t work for your brand and make sure results line up with your marketing – and ultimately your company’s – goals.  Don’t be afraid to try something new this year!


Emily Bettridge is Plaid Swan’s Content Strategist and Multimedia Specialist, working with clients to get their story in front of their audience through both writing and visual content.