Marketing trends seem to change with the wind, but if you own a business you probably know that you need to pay close attention them if you want to stand out and be seen as a leader in your industry. There are two marketing trends that appear to be the prevailing force for most successful marketing strategies going into 2017. They are content driven marketing and video.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably realize digital marketing has become more complex and more of a time demand on your business. This is partly due to the flood of businesses who have taken over digital marketing and created a very competitive atmosphere. Gone are the days of posting your sale and thinking anyone will care. Savvy consumers are seeking value online and they want to know that you provide it before even considering handing one dollar to you.
For larger corporations, this means adding content writers to create the great content their customers demand. For the small- and medium-sized business owner, adding this to the mix has been a bit more challenging. Small business owners try to cut costs and do it all themselves, leaving many of them working long hours and feeling exhausted and defeated by the demands on their time. So, let’s examine these two marketing trends and how you can easily integrate them into your marketing plan.
So, what is content marketing? First, let’s start by defining content. Content is any piece of information you produce and share on your website, social media, or email. Content can be as complex as an epic blog post or ebook, or it can be as simple as a post to a social media platform. The key is this content should have some intrinsic value to your audience. It does not need to be complicated or even long, but just provide value to your audience.
Many business owners think the word value means more than it does in this case. You can produce a meme quote and it will have value to a segment of your audience. You can post a curated article and that will have value to a segment of your audience. While these are both good and fit somewhere into most marketing strategies, the real value comes from content YOU produce that helps your audience in some way.
Again, this content you produce takes many forms. It can be a text post, a behind the scenes photo, a blog post, a tip, or a video (we’ll get to this later). The point is, it needs to be apparent to your audience that the information came from YOU and your knowledge. This is what establishes you as the expert to your audience. This is why clients will want to work with you. The key is to solve a problem for them. Know where their pain points are and how to resolve them.
Of all the forms of content, I consider blogging one of the best ways to provide content to your audience. There are several reasons for this. First, blogs tend to provide a more systematic and comprehensive form of content to your fans. Long form writing gives you a chance to explain more complex ideas and thoughts to your audience and it gives them a chance to learn more about you! Blog posts are highly shareable and one of the most trusted source of information online. It has also been shown that 60% of clients feel more confident in a business after reading their content.
Second, blogging consistently adds new content to your website. Google likes newer content and moves up your rank in searches. The longer you go without adding new content to your website the lower in searches your website will be because Google sees it as stale content and automatically gravitates to newer content. So, not only does your audience benefit from your blogging, but so do you!
Once you start blogging, you can pull out multiple pieces of content for other social media posts. Mix this up with some quotes and curated content that makes sense and you will have plenty to post about!
But, what if you don’t have time to blog? From my experience, it is well worth the time and effort, but if you really don’t have the time, I recommend hiring someone to blog for you. I see blogging as so important I even offer blogging and writing services to help business owners who need great content but are lacking the time to write it themselves. If this sounds like you, then check out my blogging packages or schedule a call with me to see how I can help you.
Video Marketing Trends
Marketing trends also show video as a prominent force for business. Mark Zuckerburg has even gone so far as to say he fully expects the Facebook newsfeed to be mainly video within the next few years. For this reason alone, business owners need to pay attention to this trend.
So, you are not using video yet? It is time to re-evaluate your marketing plan and understand the benefits to your business that video provides. Before we delve into this any further, it is important to understand that there are many forms of video you can use n your marketing plan. Let’s explore a few.
Youtube, Vimeo and Your Website (and others)
A few years ago Youtube was the main place businesses created video. Youtube is still going strong and can be used to create a strong brand story. I grouped Youtube, Vimeo, and your website in one category because this type of video requires a little more professionalism and expertise than some of the other forms of video. If you start to produce a show for Youtube consider hiring a professional to help you, unless you understand how to edit video, create credits, Have proper lighting and sound equipment, and all of the other things that go into creating a professional video.
Facebook Live, Periscope, Firetalk, and Huzza (and others)
This is where I found my sweet spot and you can, too! All of these platforms are live streaming platforms. Live streaming does not require a lot of knowledge or expertise in order to create a valuable piece of video. All of these platforms can be used to get to know your audience better and allow them to get to know you. They significantly cut down the time it takes people to know, like and trust you, making them one of the most effective forms of video to use in your overall marketing plan (and one of the easiest)! All you need is a smart phone to get started! Of course, there are a few things you will probably want to become familiar with such as proper lighting, sound and camera angles, but the learning curve is short compared to more professional video as mentioned above. Once you start live streaming, you will see that your followers will feel like they know you and will be more likely do business with you!
Instagram Stories and Snapchat
These two are basically live streaming in short form, but they can be used to create stories (a series of short videos) about your business for your followers to watch. The stories disappear in 24 hours, but can be downloaded if you want to save them to your phone. These stories can be very effective in developing your brand and gaining a market segment if used properly and regularly. I like using them to show some behind the scenes happenings and to give fans a little bit of video when I don’t have time to live stream. My suggestion is to try them and see if you like them. I happen to prefer Instagram Stories, but there is a large audience who prefers Snapchat, also. You really need to check them out and decide for yourself.
What You Can Do Now
So, now that you understand these marketing trends, you should be able to see where they will fit into your overall marketing plan. One of the easiest things to integrate is live video. If you are one of the many business owners who is not comfortable with being in front of the camera, I understand. When I started live streaming I felt the same way. I can tell you that if you try it and just keep doing it over and over, I promise it will get easier.
Whatever you decide to do, understand how important it is for you to consider these two marketing trends and pay attention to changes in these trends. You don’t want your business to be left in the dust because you were too afraid to go on camera or you did not take the time to blog or hire someone to do it for you. It’s also important to understand that these marketing trends are here to stay – at least for the foreseeable future. Understanding the trends and integrating them into your marketing plan and strategy is vital to your business.
Both of these marketing trends offer numerous benefits to your business and can greatly increase your visibility and fan base. They are well wth the investment. If you are unsure of how to integrate them into your plan, I do offer marketing strategies and will work with you to develop yours into a plan that makes sense for your business.