As the first quarter of 2017 comes to an end, there are four trends already becoming favourites:
- Marketing Automation
- Content Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
(And we’ve thrown in a few extra trends so you can be ahead of the curve.)
- Marketing Automation – Because it is still yet to reach its peak, a lot of businesses are still in a wait-and-see mode. The reasons are clear: it’s a big set-up and a long-term strategy. It’s not something you want to rush or do half-heartedly. There has been a lot of development in terms of software capabilities, as well as pricing, over the last 12 month — another reason a lot of companies have not jumped on the bandwagon as yet. However, it is clear that data-driven marketing is the way to move forward and you need some kind of foundation where you store, analyse and make use of this data. The top three advantages of using marketing automation are:
- The ability to segment leads, which allows communication to be sent out to the right people at the right time
- Nurturing prospects through re-marketing on third party sites
- The use of dynamic and personalised content in onboarding processes
- Content Marketing — Although Facebook Ads are the big buzz at the moment, it looks like companies are coming full circle and concentrating more on the quality of their content marketing. As we all know, content is the core of your inbound marketing strategy, and with new capabilities in data analysis across multiple channels, companies can easily find the right mix of frequency, and measure that contents ROI. As consumers are better educated than ever before when making a purchase decision, it is crucial that companies have the right content for different stages of the ‘buying cycle’. It is also crucial that businesses are marketing on the right channels, targetting where their ‘people’ are.
- Personalisation — We’re all bombarded by so much marketing every day, we don’t even open newsletters anymore! So the key trend in 2017 is to really know the consumer, so that companies can write relevant and attention-grabbing content. Marketing needs to speak to the customer personally. Companies are massively honing into this in 2017.
- Mobile Marketing — Mobile now accounts for over 50% of web traffic. Customers most often do their research on their mobile devices instead of opening a browser on their desktop.
- Channel Integration — Do we really need to publish on Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, Tumblr, Pinterest etc, when our main prospects are actually most active in only one or two of them? There are many marketing channels focussing on different things. Lots of companies still believe that they have to be everywhere, and are maintaining too many marketing channels, instead of focussing on those ones that work specifically for their industry or business. Wouldn’t it be smarter to publish on one channel and then re-market with Google Adwords (for example) to those prospects that have indicated an interest?
- Social Media – Research shows that B2B businesses get impressive results from Twitter and LinkedIn as well as YouTube and Slideshare. Surprisingly, Google+ does not show great results. When it comes to social media we need to prioritise where we direct our efforts. Making an account is easy, but running it and keeping it active requires effort. Direct your effort on the platform that delivers the most.