The best trends are the ones that easily integrate into our regular routines and culture. In the case of marketing, two of the bigger digital trends currently making many “Cool Things in 2017” lists also appeared on past lists: Video and content marketing.
However, the 2017 versions are definitely more refined and precise. As more people find new ways to use both of these concepts effectively, more and more tools continue to emerge. These items, plus a couple of other contenders, are what smart marketers should be focusing on this year, and even starting to think of innovative ways to utilize them well in 2018.
- Content Marketing. The story and how you put it in front of readers still reigns supreme, as product marketers seek new opportunities to show off what they’re doing and to bring fans/customers into the conversations. Gone are the choppy, random lists of keywords from the past or long paragraphs that filled pages but lacked structure. More marketers are now creating more bite-sized items that are easier to share on social media and keep visitors on site longer. They’re breaking up stories or photos into several smaller slideshow components which are great for shorter attention spans. Look for more bullet points of the highlights and highlights at the top of a story for those who may not read the whole thing.
- Video. Snapchat used to be the prime place for short, customized videos and video filters. But now, the popularity of mobile devices, along with Snapchat’s success, have encouraged other providers to offering similar options. There’s no need for editing or pro filming skills either. Facebook Live gives anyone the power to share opinions or adventures. Instagram also allows people to record and broadcast Stories, which could be short videos or connected photos. These options appeal to advertisers: they’re short, inexpensive, easy to make, and people love them.
- Wearables. Though some security experts have concerns about potential vulnerabilities of the “Internet of Things,” consumers do like the idea of connected mini-computers positioned all around them, everything from smart watches to something on their shoes to measure tread, to mini-cameras on their clothes that are hard to notice but easy to operate and upload. Marketers can make products with these in mind, such as something attracting attention or filming people’s reactions to their items.
- Email. Even though people do respond to texts faster (minutes instead of hours), email remains a useful tool but it needs a purpose. Customers may enjoy a weekly email with embedded coupons, or useful links to interesting content. An automated email campaign that includes different offers, changing subject lines, and scheduled delivery may be appreciated and also will provide more incentive to open more than a one-time greeting.
- Non-advertiser advertising. The best recommendation for a brand isn’t the company, it’s the end-user. So user-generated posts telling how great a product is from someone you know, or a celebrity, can be more effective than the business the same thing.
- Local search. Some joke that social media is only for complaining and praising. But local businesses can use these activities to be seen, such as a restaurant inviting fans to come and laugh/cry or plumbers letting people know they are available for emergencies. But social media is only half the outreach formula – a site that comes up high in local searches for your product or services is also vital. Learn how to buy keywords to bump this higher.
Since the year is half over, expect even more trends to emerge in the second half of 2017. Even if you don’t watch every trend yourself, we do! Please contact us today for your marketing needs to stay ahead of the curve.