For many, marketing is an aspect of business that gets pushed to the peripherals until the last minute or some unexpected free time creeps along. It’s a lot of work, and this year’s biggest impact trends demand continuous attention. When you get a list of the most effective ways to market your business in an ever-changing digital space, it’s something you really don’t want to ignore. Let’s take a look at what’s happening in the world of digital marketing and what you need to do to stay on top of it. To start, we picked up a copy of Smart Insights’ survey of 1,500 marketing professionals on what they experience to be the biggest, most impactful digital trends. Let’s focus on the top 3:
1) Content Marketing
2) Big Data
3) Marketing Automation
Content marketing is definitely a topic we’ve visited before. It involves creating valuable and original content to build an audience of potential customers and to retain customers. Such content includes thought leadership pieces, blogs, and original articles and it can be shared through multiple platforms to maximize viewership and audience engagement. It can be difficult for some people to understand the value of content marketing because it does not directly impact lead generation or revenue. In fact, a few weeks ago my uncle, who is serving as financial adviser to a team of app developers, asked me why so many businesses now have a blog on their websites. Here’s why: companies are sharing blog posts with information that is worth something. In some cases, it’s almost like a free consultation. Professionals are sharing valuable information and industry insights to build relationships with new and existing customers and create transparency. Promoting the created content i.e. blog posts further allows the company to extend their audience reach – providing the substance for e-mails, social media, and more.
From the back-end perspective big data takes hold as the second top trend in marketing for 2016. Recognizing how critically important data is for making the best possible decisions is necessary. Many of us are intimidated when it comes to measuring, analyzing, and organizing data. When you do make the leap to accept data as a foundational part of your business, you will be making more accurate judgement calls and giving your business the best possible ROI. More and more businesses are boarding the big data train, adopting NoSQL technologies, used to help organize unstructured information. Leveraging this information can take your marketing to a whole new level, as well as your business. Be sure to understand what information is available and capitalize on any and all of it.
To be strategic in your marketing, it takes more than just great content and information—it also takes the right medium to reach your audience at the right time, which brings us to the third biggest marketing trend of 2016: marketing automation. The big focus here is on the customer. Marketing automation involves tools such as CRM platforms, behavioral emails, and programmatic ads and serves to bridge the gap between your business’s lead generation efforts and long term growth.
We find that using a combination of critical data, valuable content, and marketing automation tools that nurture customers works best for serving our clients and their customers for maximum ROI. Are you keeping up with the trends?