The marketing industry is driven by technological developments and customer trends, which can be hard to predict. As such it is one of the most rapidly changing industries and it can be hard to keep up. Last year saw the industry hit by a range of different memes and trends, some of which business professionals were happy to harness for marketing purposes and others which they’d sooner forget. In view of this, I thought I’d give you a head start by introducing you to five marketing memes that have already been taking the industry by storm this year. Which of these will you use to your benefit?
PR stunts are nothing new, but contemporary marketing professionals are starting to catch on to the potential that social media driven stunts can be of great benefit to them. Last year we watched as Felix Baumartner made a record-breaking freefall from space. This grand PR stunt was paid for by Red Bull – and the 8 million people who watched the video were also exposed to the drinks brand. Reputation and image are becoming more and more important to big brands, so stay tuned for plenty more impressive stunts in the future, particularly as advancing technology allows us to extend further than the confines of the ground!
The time when today’s news will just be tomorrow’s fish and chips paper is long gone. PR disasters can no longer be swept under the carpet, thanks to instantaneous online blogging. Indeed, if your company makes a PR faux pas, it can be tweeted about instantly, and could even be trending uncontrollably before you know it. PR mistakes can wing their way around the world almost overnight. So whilst social media can be a real boon for business, it also has the potential to be much more damaging than the traditional print press.
Social media is at the heart of 21st century digital marketing, and there are two sides to the coin. Not only can marketers use social media to influence their customers, but brands can respond to and be influenced by the consumer. It’s never been easy to access and analyze data about audience trends, so you’re in a great position to respond quickly. Forward-thinking brands are those that are working towards influencing customers through social media – communicating with the customer, networking and sparking trends. Don’t avoid social media simply because you’re worried about complaints. Complaints will happen anyway; how you manage responses to them online should form part of your wider marketing strategy.
As leading brand search for new means of connecting with their audiences through digital media, content marketing becomes ever more important. Tedious keywording techniques to improve your visibility on search engines are a thing of the past thanks to advances to Google, and nowadays all tech-savvy brands have their own personalized corporate blogs which are a great way to send content straight to customers. If you’re reading this and you don’t already have a blog for your business, what are you waiting for?
Content marketing goes much further than written texts. Many contemporary businesses are turning to visual platforms as a means to engage with audiences. By using popular networking sites like Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube, you can upload and distribute stimulating content, which in turn will help you access new markets and promote interest in your brand, services and goods. Videos seeded out through Facebook frequently see high engagement with audiences – as long as they are produced with more than simply a sales message in mind.
These trends are all already proving to be hot stuff this year and, their influence only looks set to grow. If you want to keep your finger on the pulse and give your company a good chance of being heard in a crowded market place, follow as many of these trends as you can.
Ian Kirk is a Strategic Marketing Consultant who works for opportunitymarketing.co.uk, a company that offers marketing strategy development and implementation. Opportunity Marketing helps businesses to clearly define their offering, their target market and the key purchasing drivers for their products or services. From this a marketing strategy can be developed and implemented that communicates the right message to the right audience and generates a high return on investment. Image courtesy kevin slavin