UpdatedApril 21, 2022
January 22, 2020
AuthorMichaletz ZwiefMarketing and digital communications agency specializing in smart, meaningful content development.
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There’s one thing you can count on in marketing — the landscape will always be evolving. From social media and automation, to smartphones, smart watches and the evolution of smart houses, the channels marketers use to engage customers are continually changing. And driving those changes are customer expectations for personalization and convenience. We can’t predict the future, but there are certain trends that have grown significantly over the past few years and will continue to revolutionize marketing as we know it today.
It's time to embrace these four marketing trends.
The traditional marketing funnel has been replaced.
Companies are turning customers into their biggest promoters, and rightly so. It’s an age where influencers, review sites and social media opinions guide purchase decisions. Think about how you find solutions. You control your own journey by researching online, reading reviews and making decisions with a click or swipe.
That’s why it’s essential for marketing, sales and customer service teams to shift their focus from closing customers to helping them. The traditional marketing funnel has been replaced with a flywheel, which puts customers at the center of a business strategy instead of the outcome. It’s no longer about convincing people to buy from you, but providing helpful information online and an exceptional experience at all touchpoints—before, during and after the sale. How well you do this will be what differentiates you from competitors going forward.
Today, people buy experiences.
A strong brand is arguably the most important thing you can have today. Customers have numerous options, and at the end of the day, strong brands stand out. What’s more, customer experience is the new product. That’s because customers today crave dynamic, personalized experiences. This is leading to the rise of experiential marketing.
Take the FacebookIQ Live event for example. Attendees had a chance to learn insights through Facebook's data and interactive experiences about consumer and business trends. At the end of the day, 93% of attendees said the experience provided valuable insights on how to use Facebook for their business. This positive experience most certainly shaped their perception of the Facebook brand, as well as their social media strategies going forward. Build a digital or in-person experience for people that helps them understand how your product or service works and the specific benefits for them.
Your online content needs to be optimized for voice search.
Smart speakers like Alexa and Siri have been around for a while now, and technologies are continuing to improve as the demand for smart home products grows. This year over 50% of searches will start with voice search as people demand quick, convenient answers. A study done by BrightLocal found that what people want to use voice search for most is to make reservations, discover the products and services a business offers, and hear prices.
With this trend becoming the norm, businesses need to optimize online information to fit Google voice search. This requires truly understanding your customer’s mindset and language. For example, consider using common questions as headers. Voice assistants can easily match the question to recognize your content as a solution. Optimizing content for Google’s featured snippets is more critical too, since they’re often the result returned from voice searches.
Video. The most popular social networking tool.
Video has been embraced as the smart content marketing tool, especially on social media. And today, there’s no need for costly equipment and lengthy production schedules. Thanks to the popularity of social networks like TikTok and Instagram, creating quick, lo-fi videos via smartphone can be just as effective—if not more so—due to the high engagement rates of these platforms.
TikTok continues to be one of the fastest growing social channels—an app you record, edit and share short, looping videos. Given consumer preferences for quick visual content, it’s no wonder the app is doing so well. Fashion, publishing and entertainment companies are having immense success on TikTok, and as the platform evolves other industries will likely find creative ways to leverage it. Older channels, such as Facebook, are creating new features to compete with these services, which will influence social marketing strategies going forward.
Overall, marketers must adjust their strategies to fit customer expectations and changing technologies to stay ahead and compete better. There’s never been a better time to do so.