The world of digital marketing changes fast, which has been especially evident over the last couple of months.
As technology evolves and consumer tastes shift, businesses must adjust their marketing tactics and strategy to meet these new demands and to evolve based on what’s happening in the world around us. That means that even if you were seeing great success with your strategy at the start of last year, the same tactics might not be the right fit for you now.
That’s why we want to recap the most effective marketing trends as they stand right now. Let’s walk through what you should be doing in the worlds of content marketing, social media, and SEO to connect with consumers right now.
Content Marketing Trends
If you think “blog” when you hear the phrase content marketing, it’s time for you to broaden your horizons. Today, content is so much bigger than just the words on your website. Everything that you produce across your digital channels is content, and the way you should approach content today is very different from the way you may have thought about it a few short years ago.
1. Create Video Content
Today’s content is all about video. Nearly three-quarters of consumers say they’d prefer to watch a video than reading text about a product or service. And more than half of all consumers have engaged with a brand after watching their video on social media.
Video content is effective, and it’s what consumers want to see. If you’re not creating video content yet, what are you waiting for?
The great thing about video is that it can be integrated into just about all of your existing marketing channels. You can add video to your website, your social media profiles, and even your email marketing.
2. Focus on Storytelling
Consumers are sick of being sold to. They don’t want to feel pushed towards a purchase by a brand. Instead, they want to come to know, like, and trust a brand through content focused on storytelling.
Why do you do what you do? What makes you passionate about your industry? And how are you uniquely positioned to solve your audience’s problems?
When you think about creating content, frame it as part of a broader story. Build a connection with consumers by allowing them a behind-the-scenes look at the people who create your brand.
Share your expertise, and become a trusted guide within your industry. When you tell stories, rather than just push your products and services, you have a much better shot of winning over long-term customers.
3. Embrace Personalization
Personalization is becoming increasingly important across all marketing channels. Recent surveys have found that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when marketers employ personalization techniques.
One of the best ways to get ahead with personalization is to create personas that help you understand who your customers are. When you understand your customers and their motivations, you can create offers that are better tailored to their needs. And when you segment your audience by persona, rather than sending the same blanket email to everyone, you show a level of thoughtfulness and attention to detail that wins over consumers.
Social Media Trends
Brands today need to have a presence on social media. But it goes beyond simply creating an account for your business and posting updates once in a while. Today’s social trends are about capturing the attention of new audiences and engaging your existing followers in a meaningful way. And with so many people spending time on social media right now, this is a really important one for your business.
1. Create Paid Social Campaigns
Some brands think they can squeak by with just an organic presence on social. In reality, a combined paid and organic social strategy is the best way to stand out.
Facebook previously announced a change to its algorithms that suppresses posts from brands and instead focuses on making sure users see organic content from their friends. This change means that if you’re not using some form of paid advertising on Facebook, you’re likely reaching only a sliver of your potential audience.
Lead ads are another major trend in paid social campaigns. These ads make it easier than ever for brands to collect contact information from prospects, meaning they can follow up one-on-one and more effectively drive conversions.
2. Use Organic Tools to Boost Engagement
Just because you’re creating paid campaigns doesn’t mean you can or should forget about organic content. There is still a place for organic social media, and some of the latest and greatest tools on the platforms are the best ways to drive audience engagement.
Today’s consumers are captivated by ephemeral content. Live videos, where they can tune in and interact with your brand in real-time, get people online, and open up the lines of communication between you and your viewers. Instagram and Facebook stories, which only last for 24 hours, also capture viewers’ attention. People want to engage with the content right away because they know it won’t be around forever!
3. Take Advantage of Messaging Apps
If you think that Facebook Messenger and Instagram DMs are only for communications between friends, think again. Businesses are using social media messaging more and more frequently to communicate with their audiences.
On Facebook alone, 20 billion messages are sent between businesses and individuals each month. And it makes sense: Consumers are on social media every day, and it’s usually quicker and easier to communicate via DM than it is to send an email.
If you haven’t yet considered your chat options, now is the time to do so. Whether you rely on a bot to help you get it all done or turn to a live team to field messages from your consumers, being present on chat is an important marketing trend today.
Last, but certainly not least, we have SEO. Search engine optimization should be one of the cornerstones of any marketing strategy, but the expectations for SEO have changed a lot in recent years.
1. Get Mobile-Friendly
Today, more than 60% of all searches originate on a mobile device. That’s why search engines have started to prioritize sites that work well on mobile, meaning if your site is clunky and slow to load on phones and tablets, you’re likely losing your standing in SERPs. Building a responsive website — one that’s designed to adjust to look great on any device — is critical to staying mobile-friendly and showing up in search results.
2. Prepare for Voice Search
More than 200 million smart speakers were installed by the end of 2019. With the increasing adoption of smart speakers, plus the growing reliance on mobile devices, more consumers are using voice search to find local businesses or to find information.
Optimizing for voice search means thinking about new SEO criteria. If you’re looking to win at voice search SEO, you need to write content in natural language, design a mobile-friendly site, and stay on top of your local listings management.
3. Have a Presence on Local Listings
Local listings sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook all affect your offsite SEO ranking factors. To get the most out of your presence on local listings directories, you must ensure that your contact information is up-to-date, correct, and consistent across all sites.
What works in marketing today might not be effective tomorrow. By paying attention to these latest trends in content marketing, social media, and SEO, you give your business the best shot at appealing to consumers right now.
Looking for someone to walk you through the many moving parts of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy? We should talk.