Where will you be focusing your marketing efforts for the new year?
Marketing trends for 2017 may already be on your radar, but before I list the ones I think you should stay on top of, let’s take a quick look back. According to inbound marketing expert Hubspot, the top three marketing challenges for 2016 were generating traffic and leads, proving the ROI of your marketing activities, and securing enough budget for marketing activities.
Does this accurately reflect your marketing challenges?
With there being so much noise online coupled with the exhaustive competition for attention these days, marketing your business requires a lot of focused strategy. It is always a good time at the beginning of the year to review where your revenue came from in the previous year. Has your target market changed? Is it time to make some adjustments to your audience targeting, lead generation strategies and pricing?
Remember, how we do business has changed. Buyers are socially savvy. They do the research ever before thy knock on your door so knowing how to attract and draw customers is essential to your marketing strategy.
Here are the marketing trends for 2017 you should consider implementing:
1. Live Streaming Video
Video has taken over as the primary content delivery system. Video is so much more social, it puts a face to your brand and allows views to be part of the conversation – that is BIG. Again, according to HubSpot Research has found that 43% of consumers want to see more video from marketers in the future, while only 29% want to see more blog posts.
Video can be done in short segments via all social channels and offers a way to tell stories, build relationships, communicate with customers and pull back the curtain to your organization. Whether that’s one of one hundred 2017 is the year to try the platforms where your ideal clients might spot you.
Facebook live is the leader in streaming video. If you have a business page I encourage you to give it a try. To gain further exposure, either boost the post with $20 or create a strategic ad campaign promoting your video’s. Facebook is giving priority to video – time to jump on that opportunity.
2. Relationship Marketing
Are you building relationships or just pushing out content hoping someone will bite and be interested. Taking the time to develop relationships with customers, prospects and referral partners is a long-term strategy that will pay off. Investing in people that become advocates or champions of your brand will tell others.
I bought a new iPad over the holiday and had an immediate issue with it randomly shutting down. I called Apple care who took an amazing amount of time and caring to resolve the issue. Apple builds relationship equity consistently!
Investing in building relationship capital is what I hear more savvy professionals finally getting on board with. No longer is having the most LinkedIn connections valuable. What is valuable are the deeper, meaningful relationships that have been nurtured over time.
In the article I wrote titled, “Beyond LinkedIn: Mastering Relationship Drives Success” It is important to understand so much of what we do in business is virtual or digital, building relationships that are meaningful, long-term and focused on a serving mentality are the way to winning business. This may require a mind-shift in your thinking in terms of how you approach prospecting and connections in a thoughtful yet strategic way.
3. Influencer Marketing
Who influences your market, you know that person who others listen to as the credible resource?
There are always certain people that can influence a brand, or who stand out because their opinion means something. If you can focus on meeting and building true relationship with a few of those folks in time you could earn the respect to have them promote you! The mistake novices make is connecting with an influencer let’s say on LinkedIn, you send them a nice invitation and once it is accepted you send them a message telling them about your really great blog post abut XYZ and would they share it with their audience!
Yes, the right influencers establish credibility and build you up through each social media post or share with their followers, but the key is for you to serve them first. Can you share their posts, quote them in your blog post, promote their event or introduce them to someone? I encourage you to find the ‘giver’ inside and find ways you can serve before asking for something in return.
4. Content Marketing
If your website has a blog you can win in search if you develop high quality, longer posts. Bottom line, Google wants to see better content and will reward those sites that are producing it. What that means according to content marketing guru Neil Patel, “Make your article 4,000 words, add images, include authoritative discussion and create the best piece of content on the internet on that topic.” And Google will show that content above high ranking sites!
Okay, so now that you’ve picked yourself up off the floor because you fainted over the idea of writing a 4,000-word blog post, I get it. However, consider this – all of us have the opportunity to dominate a niche if we focus on the topic we are known for, remain relevant and keep generating really good, quality articles.
I don’t think I need to explain what that means because you’ve read other people’s content where you really gained valuable tips or insights. In the social media niche, the best blog out there for quality content is Social Media Examiner. They have guest bloggers who produce high-quality content because each and every post teaches the reading something of value they could implement immediately.
The length of the articles is nowhere near 4000 words. The caveat to what I’m suggesting you do is to understand they have already established themselves and won’t lose much in search because they have dominated social media blogs for such a long time. If your blog is not established in top search results then I might encourage you to try a 4000-word blog post and track the results.
5. Mobile – get your website up to speed
Google knows that the majority of internet users are accessing everything online via their mobile devices. If you want your website to be shown during a search on mobile you want to be sure your webpages are AMP ready. Accelerated Mobile Page (or AMP, for short) is a project from Google and Twitter designed to make really fast mobile pages. This is very geeky stuff, but here’s the bottom line, Google is saying they will give search preference to those sites that load fastest which will be those who implemented AMP pages into their websites.
Talk with your web developer about AMP pages for your website. If you want to understand more, here is a great article from industry expert, MOZ. https://moz.com/blog/accelerated-mobile-pages-whiteboard-friday
6. Personalized Content
It’s time to get more specific and personalized with your marketing. Go narrow with your marketing messages speaking directly to your ideal customer about the specific solution you offer to their problems, this means not communicating in generalities or trying to offer a one-size-fits-all solution. Audit your website and social media sites for your communication style. The goal is not to do business with everyone who needs what you offer, the goal is to do business with those people who believe in what you believe in. Tell your story, who you serve and how you help.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’
– Simon Sinek, “Start With Why”
Although I shared some marketing trends for 2017, it is important to always be communicating and speaking to those you want to do business with and influence. Tools change, trends change offering ways to leverage your marketing efforts. Taking advantage of these will keep your brand relevant.