While marketing continues to be a critical part of successful business management across the globe, the strategies and components of marketing have evolved considerably over the years.
Managing an effective campaign in 2018 means something different than it did even a few years ago, and the future will likely bring further change. Digital efforts, once a mere offshoot of marketing, are the central component of companies’ campaigns in a connected age.
Expanded knowledge of modern digital marketing, a complex and essential area of business operation, can aid in career advancement. It’s worthwhile to learn about present and upcoming marketing practices for online channels, including what’s trending in the industry.
Winning the battle for customer attention
Approaching today’s customers requires updated marketing strategies because these individuals interact differently with companies than at any point in the past. It’s as easy to send a direct message to a huge brand as it is to send a casual note to friends and family. A generation of buyers who can choose between a wide spectrum of brands and expect constant, two-way communication with corporations has changed the dynamic of business. On social networks, company representatives and customers can speak more freely than ever. Businesses are becoming associated with personality traits and their opinions on the issues of the day. The latest marketing trends reflect this new reality.
Mobility helps brands stay top of mind
As Forbes Agency Council member Michael Tasner indicated, marketing in 2018 involves a continued focus on mobile efforts. Organizations must reach consumers and business-to-business contacts where they are. Smartphones monopolize people’s attention wherever they may be, and companies that master mobile outreach can have a direct line to a massive audience. From websites that display well on mobile devices to social and even text campaigns that shoppers engage with through their smartphones, effective campaigns take many forms at once.
Once brands capture user attention, they must capitalize on it with responsive mobile websites. Google Mobile Web Lead Avery Cavanah told the Content Marketing Institute that the performance of mobile sites has direct and indirect effects on audiences. First, web resources that don’t load quickly may convince people to give up. In addition, Google search rankings prioritize pages that load faster. With this SEO benefit, website programming has become a marketing tactic.
Reviews and user-generated content contribute value
Tasner added that the 2018 version of marketing incorporates buyer-generated content alongside brands’ creations. Customer reviews carry a credibility that even the best-crafted advertisements lack. Increasing conversions may involve encouraging and promoting feedback from retail shoppers or business clients. Search engines have begun prioritizing companies that earn third-party reviews as well.
Moral values on social media strengthen identity
One of the key differences between today’s consumers and previous generations comes from a persistently deepening association of personal values with brand choice. The Young Entrepreneurs Council’s Kelly Ehlers, contributing to Inc. magazine, pointed out that companies can gain more traction with young shoppers by speaking directly and honestly about social issues.
The most successful organizations in today’s landscape may be those that align their missions and standards with consumers’ lifestyles. From fashion brands focusing on inclusivity and positive self-image to food producers that highlight ingredient transparency, companies are actively courting trust from their target audiences.
Social networks deliver heavy messages
Social media plays an important role in efforts to be conscientious and open. The conversations occurring online are unusually candid and personal when compared with the wide-focus ads of the past. One modern approach involves working with well-known individuals, encompassing online-bred celebrities and traditionally well-known names, as brand ambassadors. These celebrity endorsements carry weight with shoppers who crave personal contact instead of generalized messaging. Some brands may prefer conducting discussions with their audiences through employees rather than outside partners. Either way, companies are gaining and keeping customers by putting personal faces on services and products that may have been more anonymous in the past.
Contrary statements carry their own value
Ehlers pointed out that companies have drawn attention in recent years when they have combined relevant messaging with appropriate communication channels and novel sentiments. For example, organizations such as REI and Patagonia made themselves more visible by taking a stand against the Black Friday retail holiday. Those companies refused to participate in the day of frenzied selling and used social media campaigns to appeal to their customers’ values. Sales for the overall season spiked for both brands, vindicating their publicity moves.
Embracing video for content delivery
Modern marketing involves customizing messages to suit newly viable mediums. When attempting to create such a perfect mixture, marketers often turn to video.
Informational content can lead to sales
The Content Marketing Institute praised video content’s effectiveness in helping buyers make a final decision. Creating how-to videos is an efficient way to take away doubt and confusion. Self-directed millennials, whether buying for themselves or representing their organizations, may prefer to learn through a video rather than a direct sales presentation or bottom-of-the-funnel assets like product catalogs.
Video is a storytelling tool
Educational tutorials aren’t the only genre of videos that can act as valuable soft-selling tools. The Digital Marketing Institute recommended telling branded stories through video content, conveying the company’s big ideas instead of focusing on hard-sell messaging. This approach allows businesses to avoid one of the main risks of online communication: Content that focuses on the company rather than addressing buyer needs may deter potential customers. After receiving in-depth background on an organization, a viewer may wonder “How does this affect me?”
Learning relevant practices prepares professionals
Earning an online MBA with a marketing concentration is one of the ways for professional to learn more of today’s digital marketing best practices. Perusing the Online MBA curriculum at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business demonstrates what students can learn.
The “Digital Marketing” course represents up-to-the-minute thinking on new media channels and value creation for modern consumers. Experienced and connected faculty members provide insights on concepts such as brand advocacy, mobile marketing, and social media outreach. Getting a modern approach to age-old ideas such as branding and customer relationships ensures students can practically apply what they’ve learned.
Furthermore, the course highlights some of the high-level concepts that come along with technological advancement. Today’s marketing leaders need to know how to navigate the information security and ethical considerations that come with increasing data collection and use. With consumer trust in brands leading directly to quantifiable profits, organizations have to ensure their marketing efforts increase that bond.
Consider an MBA in Marketing
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that marketers should be experts in skills ranging from creative thinking to search engine optimization. The present definitions of marketing and promotions involve mixing ideas with technical competency, using up-to-date techniques to increase visibility and secure loyalty. To reach this level of performance for their digital marketing expertise, professionals can seek out specialized education and advanced degrees.
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