One of the core challenges of marketing is what key information to present and how to do so effectively. Consumers literally have the entire world at their fingertips and as a result, there's a considerable amount of marketing noise. With so much information streaming at a near constant, new and innovative methods of engaging users are crucial to establishing a unique voice over the chatter. To ensure they're being heard, many businesses are utilizing the following eight marketing practices.
1. Going Mobile
No, I am not going to say 2015 or 2016 or any other year is the year of mobile. So now worries, there. However, it's estimated that consumers spend almost 2.8 hours a day on mobile devices. With this comes big opportunity for marketers to engage their audience and in 2015, it's become a downright necessity to re-contextualize business endeavors and situate them in the mobile space. From phones, to tablets, to wearable tech, companies are refactoring their efforts to maintain fluid marketing channels.
A prominent trend in the world of marketing is visual storytelling. By making use of videos and infographics, marketers can visually convey their brand, philosophy, and objectives in a manner that is not only aesthetically pleasing but one that taps into the hearts and minds of their audience. Going into 2015, approximately 70% of marketers planned to boost their use of original visual assets. As we approach 2016, things don't appear to be slowing down.
For a long time, blogs have served as a great way to occupy a piece of digital real estate. They're free, anyone can sign up, and they're beautifully simple. Whether you're a chef or a software developer, a blog can serve as an effective platform to broadcast expertise. Blogs are so enticing that each month around 329 million people read them. What's this mean for businesses? You guessed it again: opportunity. Even Fortune 500 companies have jumped on the bandwagon, with 34% of them maintaining active blog accounts.
4. Content Marketing
A sound product or an innovative service are fine and well but consumers want to feel like they can trust the brands they love. Roughly 70% of polled consumers stated that they prefer to learn about a company through articles rather than standard advertisements. According to Simon Z, CEO of Rantic.com, his company dramatically increased their lead generation by 47% within two months of starting a blog on their website. With over $100 billion dollars invested in content marketing this year, you can sure count on more videos, infographics, articles, and eBooks.
5. Social Media Marketing
Social media is now an installment of our culture and it's one of the most effective ways a brand can engage their audience. The sheer volume of users provides a direct channel into prospective customers and it offers the chance for brands to employ the marketing trends discussed thus far. That's why it's estimated that marketers will drop close to $8.3 billion on social media marketing assets by the close of 2015.
Successful marketing requires not only high-quality content, but also punctuality. Consumers want and expect to be engaged on a regular, timely basis, and on the customer service side, you want to be able to address every customer complaint or question as soon as possible.
Although many think that there is no beating the personal touch when it comes to interactions on social media, these naysayers are behind the times - there's actually an extremely strong case for automating social media practices. By using a software like Oracle Eloqua (note: my employer), you can easily cover every channel when you release a campaign, improve data collection, and increase your brand presence through shares and customer word-of-mouth.
7. Internal Communication
Communication is vital and there's been a major push to ensure that the minds behind marketing campaigns are on all on the same page. By investing in streamline internal communication systems, employees are becoming more knowledgeable, more efficient, and more equipped to address work obstacles. As a result, they have evolved from representatives into robust "brand ambassadors", backed by a fully-equipped and uniformly educated support system.
In order to maximize on marketing efforts, improving the user experience should be at the forefront of a brand's priorities. That's why they're emphasizing conversion rate optimization (CRO) methods. By combining analytics and the user feedback, businesses can can monitor their online traffic, implement necessary marketing changes, and ensure that their online traffic converts to customers. One proven conversion tactic relates to the content marketing directly. With 25% of Americans watching online videos each day, 73% of them are more likely to make purchases after watching a video.
As technology advances and we hurdle closer and closer towards 2016, don't be surprised if these trends become even more prominent. While it is true that the fundamentals of marketing are constant, the rate at which they are expected has most definitely accelerated. If you're a business and looking to keep up, let these trends aid your momentum.