The world of marketing, especially digital marketing, is always evolving. The duty of the successful marketer is to stay abreast, if not ahead, of the curve.
Those who fall behind lose out on the sales and the money.
As we head into the second quarter of 2018, what trends and tactics will make the cash register ring? I have listed 6 of the trends I believe will help you get ahead of the curve and on top of the profits.
1. Dark Social – The Force Behind Your Marketing Power
Dark Social, a phrase coined by Alexis Madrigal, refers to web traffic that is untraceable, mostly due to privacy and referrer security.
This includes email, messaging apps, and all IM platforms.
“84% of consumers’ outbound sharing from publishers’ and marketers’ websites now takes place via private, Dark Social channels such as email and instant messaging. And yet over 90% of social marketing ad budgets goes directly to social networks.”
Let me put it bluntly. 90% of social marketing is being spent on platforms that will ultimately yield little fruit, or fewer profits compared to the massive potential in dark social marketing.
Successful digital marketing depends on accurate data tracking and proper web analysis as these help marketers to better refine their tools and target their campaigns properly. This is why dark social is important to understand. It holds the mystery to your next successful campaign.
The future of marketing lies in understanding, harnessing and deploying the power of dark social.
Successful marketing is all about reaching people where they are. According to Radium One’s report, the action is taking place in the realms of dark social. That’s where you have to be as a marketer. After all, the money is always where the people are.
2. Native Advertising – Guerrilla Marketing
Native advertisements are adverts that are seamlessly woven into content. They look “native” to the content they are placed in. Because of this, they are less intrusive and don’t disrupt user experience. The Volkswagen ad in the above screenshot is a classic example.
Gone are the days when advertising had to be intrusive (think disruptive pop-ups and TV ads). Consumers have control over what they consume media wise. The power is now in their hands and they are striking back against intrusive advertisements.
This is the age of permissive advertising. Instead of forcing yourself into your prospect’s busy content schedule, why not get permission to step over their welcome mat?
This is where native ads come in. Because they don’t disrupt your prospect’s current experience, the prospect will gladly welcome your offer.
As you plan your content strategy for 2018, include a native advertising plan. Create compelling content and infuse it with an engaging yet seamless native advert.
The power of native advertising is in the fact that there is no disconnect between what the user is currently experiencing and what the advert offers. It becomes natural for the user to pay attention to the advert and click on the offer.
3. Chatbots – Marketing 24/7
When segmented emailing was introduced to marketing, the marketing fraternity thought it had reached the pinnacle of personalized marketing.
Enter the chatbot.
Chatbots take personalized marketing to another level altogether. With the ability to gather and retain information about customer preferences and adjust the information relayed to customers accordingly, chatbots make user experience more personal.
Chatbots send relevant and timely information to your customers. It’s like having a personal shop assistant out of the shop. Did I mention they “assist” your customers 24/7, 7 days a week? How cool is that (FYI, this generation thrives on cool)?
Deploy chatbots into your marketing strategy and watch your sales increase.
4. Big Data Equals Big Marketing Results
“Big data refers to the ever-increasing volume, velocity, variety, variability, and complexity of information. For marketing organizations, big data is the fundamental consequence of the new marketing landscape, born from the digital world we now live in.” sas.com
Marketing thrives on data and campaigns succeed based on proper interpretation and implementation of that data. Let me use an outlandish scenario to paint a better picture. If two nations are at war, the nation that will ultimately win is the one that has more intel about the other nation’s hardware and preferred tactics. In other words, the nation with big data, not necessarily big guns, wins.
Marketing may not seem like it but it is a war. A battle for customer engagement and retention. This is where big data comes in. Properly interpreted and used, big data is the differentiating factor between successful marketing and flopped campaigns.
Big data gives you the insight you need to direct the right kind of traffic to yourself and the tactics to close the sale.
5. Proximity Marketing – Bringing Your Prospects Closer to a Sale
Proximity marketing is the sending of marketing information to customers who are within your proximity, hence proximity marketing.
This is done by way of beacon technology and apps that are already downloaded onto the customer’s mobile device. Whenever the customer is in the proximity of the store, they get alerted of any in-store specials, coupons or any other marketing information the customer can find valuable.
Although this technology has been around for a number of years, it’s only now that it is beginning to pick up steam.
Integrated with AI or Chatbots, the customer gets a uniquely tailored experience. An experience that will boost your sales.
“According to the research, 60% of users will open and engage with these types of triggered messages and 30% will take action to redeem a beacon triggered offer.” Spark Post
Though some consider this invasive, it actually enhances the customer’s experience and most find it helpful.
6. Content Marketing
The future of marketing, successful marketing that is, lies in harnessing all the data I have been alluding to above and creating content around it.
Whatever you may have heard concerning the demise of content marketing, it is here to stay. In fact, content marketing is becoming one of the most powerful marketing mediums to get your message across and reel in a lot of leads for your business. A report by the Content Marketing Institute in collaboration with Marketing Profs states that 60% 0f marketers saw an improvement in ROI from their content marketing efforts in 2017.
The key to this success is simple – producing high-quality content. This is content directed at people and not search engines. Content that is well written and meets a particular needs in your client’s life.
Ready To Conquer 2018?
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Old I know, but still relevant. What plans are you making for your marketing strategy? Whether you have already planned or not, consider these six marketing trends and ride the wave of success.
Perhaps you have a lot of data and don’t know how to convert it into top-notch content that converts, Biz Content Hub is here to help you reel in those leads and turn them into prospects through our high quality engaging content.
Here’s to a high ROI marketing year.