Communication is changing so fast, perhaps too fast? It seems like we live in a second-to-second news cycle from media, to business communication, to social interaction. From a business standpoint, communication planning, as well as, reactive task management is a 24/7 job.
Where should the focus be in order to continue to scale and stand apart from competitors.
Here are some items to pay close attention to:
AI for Marketing Automation
AI-based technologies have slowly proliferated the mainstream. In terms of advertising, what AI brings to the table is smart automation. As marketing is becoming more data-driven, there is a rise in demand for systems that can process massive quantities of information in real-time, and then act on the results without needing additional assistance. Since AI-based technologies are better equipped than humans to handle these tasks by design, businesses are starting to make more use of them in their day to day operations.
Some of the examples of AI-driven marketing automation include:
- Chatbots, which are a powerful tool for customer engagement
- Customer profiling, whereby customer activity is being tracked across multiple channels and networks, allowing marketers to have an accurate, up-to-date picture of their target audience at all times
- Advanced performance tracking for advertising campaigns, which is essential for making adjustments real-time
The emphasis on trusting in reputable content and social proof
A Nielsen study from 2015 showed that the top four most-trusted sources of advertising were: people you know, branded sites, editorial sites, and reviews. Ads are close to the bottom of that list, and that data point hasn’t really changed.
So, does this mean marketers should abandon ads completely? Absolutely not!
There’s still a place for ads, but they have to be more significant and valuable to the consumer. However, across the board there’s increased budgets have been going to content marketing, referral partnerships, influencer marketing, and other methods that are designed to bring actual value to audiences.
Engaging content prevails
The need to create engaging content rather than just advertisements is a must. This engaging content doesn’t just help marketing. It can enable your sales team and be beneficial to recruiting, internal training, and just about every other area of business operations.
Mobile first designed content adapted for Voice-Search
Browsing the web on a portable device while on the move has led hardware designers and software developers to explore user interfaces, and voice-based ones have proven to be one of the more convenient options.
In terms of digital marketing, voice-search is a new paradigm for content creation. Presently, digital advertising content relies on phrases and keywords that target written search queries. Such queries are expressed in a particular kind of vernacular, which differs from the one we use in everyday speech. Since voice-search queries are more likely to be phrased in the latter, creating content that matches the tone, grammar, and vocabulary of an everyday spoken language is set to become a priority.
Adapting marketing content for voice-search involves:
- Using long tail keywords, phrases, and sentences, instead of abstract arrays of words which are better suited for written search queries
- Optimizing for local SEO, as voice-search queries usually have immediate practical significance for the consumer
- Anticipating the specific questions consumers are making, and creating content that has the form of an answer you would get in conversation
Creativity and measured rule breaking will differentiate successful marketers
Everybody else had gone digital, businesses and brands should consider integrated campaigns and creative distribution tactics that focus on ways to engage audience members that differentiate from industry competitors.
Combining Native Marketing with Video
Video content has skyrocketed in popularity in recent decades thanks to platforms like YouTube, Twitch, Netflix, and Vine. Video advertising quickly followed suit, as evidenced by the plethora of ads that you can see running before, after, or during videos hosted on these services. More recently, video advertising has begun to transition into a new phase, one that is marked by the ample use of principles of native marketing.
Instead of creating a video with the specific intent to promote a service or product, marketers are now attempting to distort the line between advertising and regular video content, in conjunction with the principles of native marketing. This simply means that the ad part of the video is no longer separated from the content. In other words, video ads no longer have a recognizable form that can be used to identify them, allowing them to bypass consumer resistance to ads.
To capitalize on the new wave of video advertising, marketers should consider:
- Working with influencers and other independent video creators. The indie scene has traditionally been the source of some of the best video designs in the recent years
- Optimizing video for viewing on portable devices, in order to capitalize on the growing mobile audience
- Integrating video content into websites and social media profiles, to ensure maximum possible exposure
Understanding how your customers communicate is vital
Technology has evolved tremendously over the last several years. Customers expect that companies will communicate with them in the ways they like. That’s why it’s so important for marketers to be aware of their customers’ communication preferences.
New technologies are being introduced, old strategies are being updated, and the industry as a whole is growing. Keeping an eye on trends is the essential part of future-proofing. Remember, there’s not a single standard to building a marketing strategy. A full stack of tools must be aligned to work together. Digital marketing is an umbrella that encompasses many activities which drive attention to, and defines your brand!