Trends to Watch that Should inform Your Marketing

The world of marketing is constantly shifting. To ensure that the efficacy of your marketing strategy is on target and achieve ultimate success, it is important to stay on top of all the latest trends. When it comes to how people want to get information, the following trends should be informing your marketing strategy this year.

Consumers are Gradually Becoming more Trusting of Native Advertising

Native advertising, sometimes called sponsored content, refers to content that is designed to look like a publication’s editorial content. In reality it is content that has been paid for by an advertiser and intended to promote a brand and its products.

Many marketers are leery of native advertisers because a lot of consumers simply do not trust it. In fact, several studies have shown that only one out of four consumers trust native marketing, and scroll past it. However, the tide is slowly but surely changing. Consumers are becoming more trustful of native advertising, particularly as the quality of these advertisements continues to improve.

“My prediction is that brands will continue to invest here and improve the quality of their content as a way to increase engagement and close that trust gap,” Johnny Hall explains in Inc. “The more people who start accepting and trusting sponsored content, the stronger that brand's community will become and the greater the chance that brand will have of tapping into some of that audience to amplify its message. Publications and social networks are still figuring out this area, and editorial teams are getting better at incorporating native into their content streams. As brands continue testing native content, we'll begin to see more easily what it will take for readers to trust it.”

Mobile will Only Continue to Surpass Desktop

You have likely heard it before that in today’s world, mobile is king. It is estimated that one out of three consumers relies solely on a mobile device when making purchasing choices, and two out of five consumers report that the smartphone is their most important tool when researching a product. For this reason, you absolutely need a mobile friendly website. However, you should also be looking for unique ways to capture mobile consumers.

Personalization is Becoming Increasingly More Important

Research has consistently shown that personalization makes customers more likely to buy. In fact, personalization can boost the likelihood of a sale so dramatically that most digital marketing firms now recommend that brands collect and use customer data to tailor their marketing efforts either to customer personas or individual customers. This is perhaps why an overwhelming majority of senior-level executives believe that delivering personalization is important to reaching customers.

“Thanks for growing investment in customer data, predictive analytics, and marketing cloud solutions, the majority of organizations report that today they are personalizing content in social media and owned web, email, and e-commerce channels. Most are working towards enabling personalization in over ten media, marketing, and sales touch points, from mobile devices to partner web sites to sales enablement,” Stephen Diorio writes in Forbes.

All of that personalization translates into improved profits. For example, research has shown that marketers that deliver personalized with experiences often see double digit returns for both marketing performance and response. With that being said, it is important to note that personalization efforts, specifically individualized personalization, can significantly drive up the cost of marketing activities due to requiring more time and resources.

Therefore, when thinking about how this personalization trend should inform your marketing strategy, be sure to weigh the costs against the benefits. For example, you might want to start out with just a few segments based on customer persona. opposed to individually segmenting customers and tailoring content to each individual.

Consumers are Increasingly Used to Multimedia Content

Compelling, quality written content will likely be the solid foundation of every content marketing strategy, or least for the foreseeable future. However, consumers also expect to see multimedia content, particularly video.

Research shows that video advertisements, for example, can significantly boost both conversion rates and engagement rates, which ultimately translates into more sales. It is then perhaps no surprise that marketers are consistently upping their video budgets. If you have not already done so, you should be thinking about ways in which you can integrate video into your own marketing strategy.

Chat Apps are Becoming a Marketing Tool

Thanks to falling data prices, cheaper devices, and improved features, consumers’ usage of the top four messaging apps now exceeds their usage of the top four social media sites. For example, 900 people now use Facebook’s messenger, and many more millions are active on messaging services like Viber, Kik, and Whatsapp.

“People are becoming more interested in actually communicating, rather than broadcasting. Social media won’t go away, but traditional social networks may become less important to certain groups. The rise of more intimate channels presents new opportunities,” Mark W. Schaefer writes in the Harvard Business Review. This shift towards private chat apps has implications for marketers.

According to Shaefer, brands specifically will need to shift away from content oriented towards the masses. Instead, they should focus on orienting content towards more meaningful and individualized conversational moments in order to capitalize on these new opportunities.

“Today, a brand goal on social media is mass relevance. Content is at the center of the experience. We want that cat photo (or white paper) to get as many likes, clicks, and shares as we can muster,” he explains. “But in this new world, the goal is engagement through private, meaningful, conversational moments. In the future, content will still be important, but the individual will be the focus of the experience. Brand communications will have to be more immediate, expressive, and intimate.”

The good news is that with well-targeted messages, that are expressive and intimate brands, can significantly improve their reach. Without any kind of paid support for content, the average brand’s Facebook post has an organic reach of around one percent.

However, the open rate for a private message is about 98 percent, meaning that you will reach many more people with private messages than you will with just one Facebook post. Ultimately, the use of chat apps as a marketing tool is still fairly nascent, but it is important to keep an eye on the trend.

In conclusion, good marketing is all about getting good information to people in a compelling and effective way. While this basic purpose of marketing remains the same, the ways in which people want to receive information are constantly shifting and evolving.

For example, consumers are becoming more trustworthy of mobile devices, increasingly coming to expect multimedia content, and relying more on their mobile devices as a means of accessing the internet and viewing advertisements. To be sure that your marketing strategy is efficient, it is important to stay abreast of all of these trends and shifts, and ensure they are informing your overarching marketing strategy. Call us today to help your company follow the trends in marketing!