For 2014 and beyond, companies are spending more time looking inward than outward for advertising. While traditional advertising methods are still a proven way to reach target audiences and attract new clients, many businesses are finding success publishing their own content internally and positioning themselves as industry experts.
Here’s a look at some growing marketing trends:
One popular and successful way to establish authority and gain trust with consumers is by creating content on a variety of platforms. Relevant information that offers thought leadership can build relationships with key demographics and build a following for the company. According to The Content Marketing Institute, some of the most effective content are well-managed social media, articles published on a business’ own website, eNewsletters and informational/promotional videos.
Diverse Social Media Marketing
In the past, businesses were primarily using social media to support their traditional ad campaigns. Now, it’s been proven that the most effective social media business accounts engage with their followers, allow for more “back and forth” conversations online, and provide a platform for followers to share their own material.
There are now also several worthwhile social media platforms besides Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. While sites like LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, Google+ and Tumblr don’t seem to have the omnipresence of Facebook and Twitter, they do have specific identities and provide new options to share content.
The more advertising consumers face, the more it all becomes noise. It’s more important than ever for content to stand out and be quickly absorbed. Look at the most popular social media sites previously mentioned: most of them are driven by images – photos, videos and animated graphics. Visually-driven content, especially that with viral potential, can be tremendously successful at reaching desired demographics. Photos can even enhance blogs and articles in a meaningful way.
This isn’t to say text-based content is endangered, but incorporating images with text together will likely increase the overall impact.
Another notable trend is the effectiveness of simple marketing messages rather than in-depth, detailed information. In other words, less is more. This is likely due to the afore-mentioned marketing “burnout” that stems from the never-ending onslaught of advertising messages the average consumer sees every day. Think about the simplified messages of some of the top global brands like Apple (Designed by Apple), Google (For What Matters) and Coke (Ahhhh). Even the most successful new products of late – like the updated iPhones, fitness bracelets and streaming devices for televisions – are designed to simplify, organize and add convenience to people’s lives.
Smartphones are widespread and their use continues to grow exponentially. It’s virtually a necessity to create content that’s mobile-friendly. Whether it’s creating an alternate mobile website, building an ap or incorporating responsive web designs, it’s more important than ever for businesses to offer positive mobile experiences for users. And it’s easier than ever for potential clients to click over to the competitors that do.
Retargeting is a strategy that’s really starting to catch on. Basically, it works by using browser cookies to track websites that users visit. Once they leave certain sites, products or services they viewed will be shown to them again in ad spaces across other sites. Ad retargeting works to build on conversion rates by reminding users of the products or services in which they’ve already expressed interest. It’s backed by psychological studies that show simple exposure and re-exposure to brands builds familiarity, which in turn builds trust and increases the likelihood of purchase.
Social Signals and Search Engines
Social signals generally don’t carry the same weight as traditional Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. But social signals – user-generated reviews, responses and recommendations, can affect overall SEO. Search engines zealously guard how their searches are generated, but it’s clear all of them consider social signals as some part of the ranking factors. Social signals, such as shares and likes, can serve as a testimonial for other visitors. Many businesses are even installing social share plugins and encouraging satisfied customers to share their opinions.
It’s hard to say how search algorithms will change in the near future, so there’s no way of knowing whether social signals will come to equal or even outweigh traditional SEO. But as we’ve seen in the business world, those who resist technological changes can often fall victim to them.
Online marketing, traditional marketing and how to blend them most effectively – it can be a difficult task to determine the right marketing mix. Professional marketing professionals can help. Contact us for information on how we can provide a new perspective on your marketing plan.
(Sources: Forbes, Social Media Today)