The companies that are winning online are all doing one thing the same — they are all finding ways to get an edge on any and all competitors, whether local, national, or global. Online, there is very little room on top, where the majority of the action is.

There are a lot of people fighting for the same piece of the pie, and the companies that are able to spot trends and opportunities before the other competition are the ones that become the most well-known brands in their niche.

You can’t be too late to the party and expect to get the same kinds of results the top dogs are reeling in, so you should always be on the lookout for the hottest online marketing trends and strategies. We are at the half-way point of 2018, so I wanted to do a quick rundown of what is currently working.

By using these strategies, and adapting them to your online marketing efforts, you will be able to finish out the year strong and be prepared for the upcoming new year. Also, you will want to make sure you have a plan for the holiday season, which will be here before you know it, and these are all great campaign starting points.

Let’s get started on these online marketing strategies that are working right now..


1. Content Marketing

Content marketing surged onto the scene a few years ago, quickly becoming the main focus of every digital marketing strategy, and hasn’t looked back since. It is still the most effective way to market your business online and has several strong benefits, including:


  • Building brand awareness


  • Attracting organic traffic by targeting multiple search terms


  • Earning high authority niche relevant links


  • Providing you with content to share on social media


  • Allowing you to give your website visitors something to engage with


  • Pre-selling customers and answering common questions automatically


In the beginning, content marketing consisted of posting 500-word blog posts on your website on a daily basis. While this was working in the beginning to attract some traffic, the value wasn’t there so it wouldn’t help attract links, and the quality was so poor that human visitors weren’t receiving much value from it.

When quality became the main focus point, it resulted in well thought out long-form content and people quickly learned that it not only was more value-packed, which their website visitors loved and other websites wanted to link to, but Googled loved it and started to fill the top of the SERPs with long-form content.

There really isn’t a new content marketing strategy — what has been working still does, and it works well. They key is to do it right and put in serious effort.



2. LinkedIn

A lot of people still think of LinkedIn as a network for those looking for career moves, and while it will always have that element to it, the network has made some major changes in an attempt to become more of a social network for all business professionals.

There is a good chance that your target audience is there, and even more so if you are a B2B company. LinkedIn can be a goldmine if you approach it the right way. The paid ads on LinkedIn are horrible, so I don’t suggest you waste your time and money with those, as the cost-per-click can be through the roof. But, as a blogging platform, LinkedIn is amazing, and their recent changes to the algorithm makes it very easy to game the system and get your posts going viral.

Create LinkedIn engagement pods consisting of connections you know, and every time you post on LinkedIn notify the group and have everyone like and comment on your content. While you will need to do the same, the fast engagement will push your content up in feeds to be seen by more of your connections. The engagement will also show your content to other people that have mutual connections, so you have the chance of gaining new connections as well. It’s a huge opportunity for B2B marketers right now, so take full advantage before the algorithm is adjusted.


3. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing took off a couple years ago and companies took full advantage. There were startups that were focusing 100% of their marketing on influencers because the return was so amazing. This is due to it being very new and consumers started seeing their favorite celebrities and public figures promoting products so they started buying in record numbers.

It soon started to slow, as more and more “influencers” started hawking products, but it’s still a very effective way to put your business in front of a very targeted audience if you do it right. Now, you can’t just find someone with a huge following, have them post, and expect to see the sales pour in.

You need to identify influencers in your niche that have a decent following that actually engages — likes and comments — their content at a very high rate. If someone has 100,000 followers but only receives 200 likes and 20 comments on their posts the following is either fake or not interested in what they are posting.

Find micro-influencers that have the attention of their following and pay them to promote your business. You can get creative with custom coupon codes and affiliate links if you want to offer bonuses and profit sharing to encourage stronger promotional efforts.


4. Artificial Intelligence (Chat Bots)

Facebook advertising is one of the most popular ways to generate conversions online, but rather than talk about Facebook ads, I wanted to talk about Facebook chat bots. This is one thing that is absolutely crushing it for many companies, but very few are taking full advantage of this opportunity.

A chat bot is almost like having a full time sales person attempting to sell to every single person that lands on your Facebook page. Every business should have a Facebook business page for the local citation alone, and there are many free chat bot building programs that make it very easy to get up and rolling.

This isn’t only good for sales, as you can also answer FAQs, assist with customer support, etc. Imagine if you could eliminate all support tickets, emails, and phone calls asking for order status updates? Well, you can set your chat bot to funnel those requests through the customer login process and then show them their tracking information.

Think of it like a sales funnel on steroids. You can help customers pick out the right products 24/7. Your chat bot never needs a day off and never takes a lunch break. They are the hardest working employee on your team. I would suggest that everyone create a free chat bot using ManyChat and then once you learn how to tweak one for your particular business you can upgrade to allow for more sequences.



5. Personalized Marketing

The average person is receiving dozens of offers via email every day and they are seeing ads in the Facebook and Instagram feeds every time they log in, so the last thing they want to see is another from your business.

It’s nothing personal — but it becomes overwhelming, which is why the businesses winning online now are the ones making changes to be different and grab attention quickly, and present their targets with offers. Here are just a few examples of how you can easily personalize your marketing efforts:


Personalized Emails: This is so easy to do, but many don’t for two reasons. Number one, they are lazy and don’t take the time to set up their emails and insert the personalization tags in the subject lines or email body. Mailchimp, for example, makes it so easy to just paste the name tag anywhere you want. The other reason is that many people just collect emails and not a name. While less fields are best, you can add a name field as well — just one, not first and last — and this allows you to easily personalize every single mail you send.


Facebook Ads Custom Tailored According to Targeting: This requires you manage a lot of ad sets, but if you create ads for each targeting spec, such as profession, age, or location, it allows you to fine tune the ad copy and make it as personalized as possible Often times if you call their attention using their profession or location it will cause them to at least pause and look at your ad. Then, if your copy and offer is compelling enough they will click-through.


Custom Landing Page Text for Returning Visitors: This is something that your developer can implement, and you can do something simple like, “Hey, welcome back” or “We see you are back for more…” Or, use location based code that pulls the visitor’s IP address. Something like, “Hey! We are offering 20% off today to everyone from [location]!” Little personalization tweaks to your copy can make a massive difference.


6. Millennial & Gen Z Specific Messages

Right now, Millennials and Gen Z are the two most powerful generations in terms of online buying power. Who is going to buy more online? A 20-something or a 60 year old grandmother? The younger generations have grown up with the internet and to them buying online is natural, and going to a store is the awkward scenario.

This is completely the opposite for older people, as they are more comfortable shopping in person and have trust issues when buying some products or services online. So, in order to really take command of this younger generation, you need to make sure you are creating messages that directly speak to them.

Use lingo and a more direct approach when targeting Millennials and Gen Z. You can use humor and sarcasm much more openly, as well. Since these generations are online nonstop and constantly plugged into the news and current events via social media, using hot topics and current events is a great ice breaker and attention grabber.


7. GIFs and Memes

Memes and GIFs are great to use as content for your marketing campaigns online, and this is due in part to the last point I touched on above. The younger generations, Millennials and Gen Z specifically, are now a large percentage of the online buying power and they love memes and GIFs. Not only do they help you draw attention, but they are highly shareable and they can help you really spread your message or offer when you get creative and you get to experience the power of virality.

You can re-purpose memes that you find online or you can use some of the free meme generators to create your own, based on popular images. One thing to remember is that you need to keep the message fun, and try to relate it to current events, as those memes tend to be the ones that gain the most traction.

When you create something that’s both witty and on-topic, you can get a huge boost in views and traffic when people start to share them. For inspiration, search Instagram and Facebook for popular content and try to base your strategy around what’s hot in the Explore and Popular feeds.



8. Live Video Streaming

How would you like to instantly connect with people that are into your business and what you offer, and be able to give them an option to grab a special discount, resulting in sales on the spot? Well, with live video streaming that is very possible.

When you build up a large following on Instagram and Facebook, you can then broadcast live, and everyone who tunes in is a supporter. Every now and then you can broadcast a limited offer, and if your followers get wind that you start doing this is will snowball and more will turn on notifications so they are alerted every time you do it in the future. I’ve seen this work very well for friends of mine that own a motocross business, he’s able to get 1000s of views  (for free) by re-sharing the video in relevant Facebook groups.

This is a very easy way to generate sales almost on-demand, which can be helpful during a slow period or in the event you need to bring in extra money to support scaling up.



You need to always stay up to date with the latest online marketing happenings and news. It’s the only way you are going to stay ahead of the curve, and even if you have an agency handling all of the work, you really should be aware of what’s going on, in order to stay self-educated and keep your agency in check.

A lot of companies get lazy and coast, but those that are constantly pushing the envelope and innovating are the ones that gain serious traction and position themselves in ways that results in massive growth.

These strategies I just went over are all working very well right now, so I encourage you to test them all and see how they perform for your business. There isn’t a one size fits all solution, so the more you can test and experiment, the greater the chance of finding the winning formulas for your particular business.

Are there any other strategies that you are currently using and finding success with? I’d love to hear what’s working for you, so drop a comment below.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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