Recently, the Alexandria SBDC presented their annual Marketing Trends Workshop, featuring Maurisa Potts of Spotted MP (Marketing + Public Relations). Among the trends that were highlighted for the upcoming year are the following:
- Interactive Content – Get people participating in your business even before they are a customer. Interactive content includes activities such as polls, surveys, infographics, brackets, and contests.
- Visual Content – Over 90% of marketers believe that visual content is essential for 2017. Content can be in the form of video, infographics, photos, chats, GIFs or Memes. It is important to establish a content strategy and budget for crafting visual content.
- Influencer Marketing – Who are the thought leaders in your industry who establish credibility through social and traditional media outlets? Remember that a brand is no longer what we tell the customer it is – it’s what customers tell each other it is. Who is blogging in your industry? Who has the FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram followers and what are they saying about your business?
- Embrace Mobile Video – It is here to stay! Make sure that the content you put out is mobile-enabled, and capture the metrics by views, reach, and reactions.
- Live Broadcasting will continue to push boundaries with FaceBook Live, Periscope, and Instagram stories. Be strategic on when to use live broadcasting, use a face, and keep it short and meaningful.
- Virtual and Augmented Reality – Businesses are testing how to use virtual and augmented reality to drive business results. How can you use these to create a differentiated, personalized customer experience?
- Keep it short! – Content that is short in length, such as video clips, can appeal to internet surfers’ limited (8 second) attention span. Check out Snapchat, Vine or Instagram stories. Remember to keep it simple and use images.
- Personalized Marketing – Consider leveraging data analysis and digital technology to deliver individualized messages and product offerings to current or prospective customers.
- Direct Marketing – Remember that this is still an important tool, used in over 50% of marketing campaigns and still growing. It is important for your direct marketing materials to include pictures and to be targeted to your ideal buyer.
- Test and Measure! – Above all else, pay attention to what works and doesn’t work for your business and your market. Set up metrics goals for marketing initiatives and track your conversions.