Trends and strategies
Those are wonderful and terrifying words for marketing. With marketing things change and sometimes they happen quickly and other times slowly. When looking at marketing trends and strategies you have to be careful and thoughtful about what you use and where you take it. Certain businesses can benefit more from one marketing strategy than another business and in some cases they can be harmed by a strategy that helps another.
Take for example refrigerator magnets. Which do you think will have more success (based on ROI) with using refrigerator magnets in their marketing campaign, your local HVAC/plumbing company or a facial tissue manufacturer? Probably the plumbing company, since they are in their customers homes and businesses and can leave the magnet right where the customer will see it, when a problem or need arises in the future. That is a very focused and time appropriate strategy, since they will be in front of a customer when their service is needed. Tissue company, not so much. When you buy tissues, you probably buy the brand with the best price, the brand you always buy or the brand with packaging you like the most.
So with this talk about trends and strategies what should you consider for the coming year? Here are my picks for the most important, in no particular order, that I compiled from multiple sources (Forbes, INC.com, HuffPost and Vidooly).
Transparency and relatable brands
Brands, in order to touch the cords, are drumming the emotional connect with elan. Realising the importance of emotional connect they revive the sentimentalist aspect of a brand by humanising it. Remember the overwhelming ads by coca-cola and back home we had a successful campaign in ‘Ghar-wali Diwali’ last year by pepsiIndia.
I have been told more times than I can count that people buy from those that they know, like, and trust, KLT for short. Basically the steps for KLT are become an acquaintance, then a friend and finally a confidant or trusted advisor. When you become trusted you have reached the last step where a customer turns to you for advice and eventually for a solution, whether a product or service.
When you visit a webpage that isn’t mobile optimized you know that it can be a hassle. While it isn’t a huge inconvenience for most people it is enough to make you think about clicking away and that happens before you ever consume the content that YOU clicked on. Now if most of the content your clients and followers receive from your business isn’t mobile optimized then you can imagine their frustration when they click to consume it.
A majority of your followers and subscribers are likely to be accessing your content via mobile, and yet many businesses still aren’t creating and distributing their content with these users in mind. Considering how and where your mobile users will be reading your emails and social media posts is key…
-Kim Garst, Huffington Post
Keep it brief and simple
“It’s not OK to simply push out anything that contains a relevant keyword,” she says. “As the content landscape continues to experience exponential growth, the future will be about piecing together solutions for time-starved individuals and helping them consume and apply the insights.”
-Nadine Dietz, creator of The CMO Solutions Clubhouse
While keeping campaigns and copy short and to the point isn’t anything new, attention spans are shorter now more than ever and campaigns that are aware of that and cater to it will win. Vine and twitter are great examples of short attention spans becoming mainstream.
A widespread trend observed worldwide was to make content shorter and durable. This seems to be the need of the hour for crafting videos. For people consuming data/video on the go, mostly on mobile devices, need content which is quick and catchy in as we always playfully complain.
“With the continued evolution of technology, like wearables, companies including Chambers of Commerce need to adapt our content marketing so we can better tell our story, engage customers, and create a unique experience for them.”
-Oscar Garcia, CEO of Chamber of Commerce Mountain View
I have written on the impact and power of video testimonials before so please visit there to find out more.
Content creators are needed and user created content is more powerful than ever
“[Next year] will bring decentralized content creation programs with participants across the company (not just marketing), as well as content initiatives that rely on user-generated content in expanded and highly strategic ways,” he says. “The best source of content in most companies may be right under your nose: your employees and customers.”
-Jay Baer, president of Convince & Convert
This is where small companies can make big gains just like the large companies. Earlier this year I wrote about Shoedazzle which leveraged user generated content with great results. As a result they saw dramatic increases in website traffic and more sales.
With the young and happening lot, high on creativity brands are looking to capitalise on this chunk and encourage them by providing them forums to shoot videos and enter many such video contests to promote their brand by enticing the amateur film-makers. The recent campaign by Pepsi India on the theme of Crash the Pepsi IPL, are gaining a lot of momentum these days.
Search algorithms will change and never stop changing
Google is their own company that serves their customers (users of their search engine) and in an effort to serve up more accurate results to their users they update their search engine algorithm multiple times per year. In fact in 2014 Google made 15 major updates to their search algorithm and at the time of writing this article they have already rolled out 3 updates. As a result businesses need to update their website and SEO strategy on a consistent basis which, needless to say, can be frustrating. Moz.com has a great timeline showing the history of Google’s algorithm updates.
Smarter email marketing
Businesses who have been investing heavily in digital marketing over the past 5 years are already figuring this one out. In the past, offering a company newsletter via email was often enough to build and grow your list. But with website visitors becoming increasingly wary of handing over their email addresses, businesses need to become extremely smart about what types of email content they provide and how they promote it.
Using free eBooks or white papers that offer true value are great lead magnets that work well to entice people to join your list. As you continue to send highly relevant content to your subscribers, they recognize that you truly ‘know your stuff’, and are more likely to purchase your products or services.
-Kim Garst, Huffington Post
In some ways smarter email marketing ties back into the trends of mobile, transparency and keeping it brief and simple.
At the end of the day most of these are timeless principles that if followed, will result in increased customer engagement and eventually sales whether it is 2015 or 1950.
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