It’s that time of year again, when we start looking ahead to what the new year will bring.
There were changes in 2016 in our approach to marketing, social media, and design. It was a year that focused on the consumer: consumer-centric marketing, consumer experience, consumer insights, and ways of tracking and analyzing those perceptions.
As we look at what’s ahead for digital marketing – we will need to rise to the challenge of staying ahead of emerging technologies and find strategies that emphasize targeted marketing.
Here are some key things to focus on for 2017:
Interactive Content: Last year, it was reported that audience attention spans have shortened as result of a more digital lifestyle. Keeping what little of consumers’ attention we have will depend on engaging them in the content. Blog posts, white papers, and infographics are still great content for people and search engines, but attention can easily shift away from static content. Interactive content like assessments, calculators, training modules, and games to keep your audience clicking, swiping, and sharing information will be key in engaging your audience. A great way to generate items such as these is through marketing automation.
Marketing Automation: The software used to automate repetitive marketing actions such as email, social media and other website actions.
As you are gearing up your digital strategy for 2017, there are a few things you will want to make sure you have in place.
1) Dynamic content: Dynamic content is content that “talks” to your subscribers. It puts a personal spin on your messaging and the more personal you are, the more likely you’ll convert subscribers into customers. As this strategy becomes more the norm, consumers will expect email to have more relevant content. But beware of over-personalized content – studies are showing that consumers have less tolerance for advertising that crosses this line.
For example, there are two forms of personalization:
Personal which involves facts related to an individual person; and Intimate – most people would feel hesitant about sharing the information in a professional setting. There’s a good chance that your marketing might feel a bit “creepy” for your audience if your marketing personalization is based on information that is both personal and intimate.
Basing your marketing around personal facts like what city or community they live in, how many children they have, or what they do for work are good examples, although privacy limits are always subjective. By contrast, if it’s intimate, and you’re basing your marketing display around intimate details like you overheard them talking on the phone about troubles with their wife and you start showing them ads to purchase flowers in their city, you may be crossing the line into “creepy”.
2) Drip campaigns: Drip campaigns are a set of marketing emails that will be sent out automatically on a routine schedule. These can be essential for businesses with long sales cycles. A drip campaign can help your team stay in contact with prospective leads and provide touch points that help in closing a sale. Setting up a drip campaign is the most efficient way to run a campaign without having to constantly monitor it.
3) Nurture campaigns: Just like dynamic content that changes depending on who you are contacting, a nurture campaign will segment your audience based on interaction. A nurturing campaign can be particularly effective with leads who are on the fence and need a little nudge.
The Social Scene: We’ve been seeing the influence of social media on marketing for years now. It’s a form of marketing that’s been embraced by most companies and viewed as a must-have to appear relevant in today’s world. Almost 70% of companies are still not collecting data from their social media channels – that is a crazy number, considering that social channels offer the greatest marketing opportunities out there. Suggestion for 2017: invest in social analytics.
Content…Content…Content: People’s attention spans are getting shorter. With that in mind, consider the content of your website. Information needs to be accessible as quickly and easily as possible. Great copy will always add strength to your website and is invaluable for SEO, but if something can be said clearly with a photo, animation, or short video, then do it. It all goes back to finding a better way to engage your audience in a concise and shareable way.
Remember too that your content doesn’t end with your site.
Your marketing strategy should interweave those valuable nuggets of information and brand messaging into all aspects of your digital existence. Social content and blogs are crucial aspects, and marketing channels like videos will be what blogging was seven years ago.
Content strategy is not a trend; it’s an evolution of where marketing is and will be in the foreseeable future.
Keeping up with the latest and greatest strategies is always a struggle for any business.
Give Debbie @ Radsick Ad Group a call to help your business stay ahead of the curve in 2017.