The Wax Marketing blog provides tips, techniques and commentary on the evolving landscape of integrated marketing communications for small to medium-size businesses, plus overall advice for the new entrepreneur as well. The blog is entering its 10th year and is the work of integrated marketing communications expert Bonnie Harris, whose mission is to demystify marketing for the growing business.
The savvy B2B marketer uses a diverse, multi-pronged approach to attract prospects and drive existing clients to purchase again. But one strategy – account-based marketing – outperforms the rest in today’s marketplace. In fact, SiriusDecisions reports that 93% of B2B marketing leaders consider account-based marketing extremely important for success. This method is especially profitable because it’s personalized, precise and measurable. With a focus of resources on a specific set of targeted accounts, your marketing and sales teams converge to present your brand and content with streamlined efficiency. Read more to learn why account-based marketing is essential to your overall strategy.
Customers crave personalization, and account-based marketing delivers.
Account-based marketing is tailored to each account. Instead of sending blanket messaging to a large audience, your team creates content specifically relevant to key accounts. This requires data-driven selection of your highest-potential customers and a deep understanding of their pain points. Though time intensive up front, this process offers your customers value with direct, highly personalized content. The extra time spent catering to your customers’ needs will set your business apart from the competition. As you create campaigns that truly resonate, you strengthen your relationship with the primary decision-makers of an organization. Not only will these efforts improve customer retention but they will also create opportunities to expand business with your target accounts.
When sales and marketing align, efficiency soars.
This marketing method forces sales and marketing teams to work together. And with only 22% of companies who consider their sales and marketing departments well aligned, this collaboration push is often much-needed. With a more targeted focus on individual accounts, your marketing team has access to specific information about the main stakeholders and their conversion behaviors. Your sales team, in turn, can spend less time grooming leads that don’t produce and direct their resources toward accounts that actually want to hear from them. Much of the customer guesswork is out of the equation, and the sales cycle is consequently shortened. Communication becomes key as both teams work together and use data to optimize their efforts.
Account-based marketing offers more bang for your buck.
Higher ROI is one of the biggest benefits of this type of marketing. ITSMA reports that nearly 85% of marketers measuring ROI say that account-based marketing outperforms other marketing investments. And that’s largely because, with this method, you narrow your target audience to accounts with proven interest in your brand. Your team can spend more time and resources on fruitful accounts, minimizing waste and risk. Of course, it’s even more economical if your business is already very knowledgeable of your most attractive accounts and their key decision-makers. Cost-efficiency can be further maximized with the use of technology tools that improve the account-targeting process.
Success is expected, and easy to measure.
When you market to established, high-value clients, it is easier to track your marketing dollars. Smaller data sets and fewer metrics make for simpler analysis than standard marketing methods. Sales and marketing coordination also simplifies goal setting and increases accountability. Once an account-based marketing campaign is well underway, Individual campaign results can be analyzed, along with account engagement, opportunities created and account-level trends. That data can then be leveraged to further optimize your strategy for that account and others.
Stop draining your resources on campaigns that don’t convert accounts. Nurture your key customers and close bigger deals by joining the 61% of companies with an established practice of account-based marketing. You can expect to put considerable time and energy into your most promising targets. But you can also expect to drive the most revenue as you build trust and meet the unique needs of each account. Your customers will appreciate it…and so will your budget.
How can you get an edge on your competition to make 2019 your most successful year yet? By arming yourself with the wisdom of the world’s best marketers.
In a dynamic, ever-evolving field, it’s essential to stay updated with blogs, news and social posts to keep ahead of industry trends, but marketing books offer invaluable, more in-depth insight that you won’t often find elsewhere. Learning from the successes and failures of the pros will help you develop your marketing skills and create more effective campaigns.
As you tackle your marketing strategy and push for growth in 2019, check out our list of the 8 best marketing books to help you get there. (Take a look at our list of the top podcasts too!)
1. Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You (2017)
by John Hall
“A game-changing framework for staying top of mind with your audience―from the No. 1 company dominating content marketing. It’s the winning approach John Hall used to build Influence & Co. into one of ‘America’s Most Promising Companies,’ according to Forbes. In this step-by-step guide, he shows you how to use content to keep your brand front and center in the minds of decision makers who matter.”
2. Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade (2016)
by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D.
“The acclaimed New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller from Robert Cialdini—’the foremost expert on effective persuasion’ (Harvard Business Review)—explains how it’s not necessarily the message itself that changes minds, but the key moment before you deliver that message. With the same rigorous scientific research and accessibility that made his Influence an iconic bestseller, Robert Cialdini explains how to prepare people to be receptive to a message before they experience it.”
3. Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen (2017)
by Donald Miller
“New York Times bestselling author Donald Miller uses the seven universal elements of powerful stories to teach readers how to dramatically improve how they connect with customers and grow their businesses. This revolutionary method for connecting with customers provides readers with the ultimate competitive advantage, revealing the secret for helping their customers understand the compelling benefits of using their products, ideas, or services. Building a StoryBrand will forever transform the way you talk about who you are, what you do, and the unique value you bring to your customers.”
4. This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See (2018)
by Seth Godin
“Seth Godin has taught and inspired millions of entrepreneurs, marketers, leaders, and fans from all walks of life, via his blog, online courses, lectures, and bestselling books. Now, for the first time, Godin offers the core of his marketing wisdom in one compact, accessible, timeless package. This is Marketing shows you how to do work you’re proud of, whether you’re a tech startup founder, a small business owner, or part of a large corporation.”
5. Outside Insight (2016)
by Jørn Lyseggen
“Tomorrow’s most successful brands are already embracing Outside Insight, benefitting from an information advantage while their competition is left behind. Drawing on practical examples of transformative, data-led decisions made by brands like Apple, Facebook, Barack Obama and many more, in Outside Insight, Meltwater CEO Jørn Lyseggen illustrates the future of corporate decision-making and offers a detailed plan for business leaders to implement Outside Insight thinking into their company mindset and processes.”
6. They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer (2016)
by Marcus Sheridan
“A revolutionary marketing strategy proven to drive sales and growth, They Ask You Answer is a straightforward guide to fixing your current marketing strategy. Content marketing is no longer about keyword-stuffing and link-building; in fact, using those tactics today gets your page shuffled to the bottom of the heap. Quality content is the key to success, and you already have the ingredients in-house. This book shows you how to structure an effective content strategy using the same proven principles that have revolutionized marketing for all types of businesses, across industries.”
7. Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing – Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth (2017)
by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
“Blue Ocean Shift is the essential follow up to Blue Ocean Strategy, the classic and 3.6 million copy global bestseller by world-renowned professors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. Drawing on more than a decade of new work, Kim and Mauborgne show you how to move beyond competing, inspire your people’s confidence, and seize new growth, guiding you step-by-step through how to take your organization from a red ocean crowded with competition to a blue ocean of uncontested market space.”
8. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content (2014)
by Ann Handley
“In Everybody Writes, top marketing veteran Ann Handley gives expert guidance and insight into the process and strategy of content creation, production, and publishing, with actionable how-to advice designed to get results. Ann deconstructs the strategy and delivers a practical approach to create ridiculously compelling and competent content. It’s designed to be the go-to guide for anyone creating or publishing any kind of online content — whether you’re a big brand or you’re small and solo.”
From fresh strategies for specific platforms to timeless persuasive techniques, these books offer a variety of content, perspectives, and lessons that will help you level up your skills and accomplish all of your marketing goals this year.
A business’s online reputation is extremely important, and many business owners understand this. According to a recent study conducted by TripAdvisor, 97% of business owners agree that online reputation management is important. Although most business owners understand the importance of their own online reputations, many do not understand that their clients online reputations are also very important. If your client’s online reputation is negative, it could be negatively impacting your business. There are many reasons for this, but in this article, I will be discussing the four main reasons why your client’s online reputation is just as important as your own online reputation.
1. It influences Your Own Online Reputation
If you are in business with an individual or corporation that has a negative online reputation people may assume negative things about you and your business as well. As a result your online reputation will be negatively impacted. Consider carefully whether it makes sense to do business with anyone who has a negative online reputation that can’t be fixed. Although there is no way to fully control what people say about you online, doing things like responding to reviews, being active on social media, providing good customer service, and keeping all of your business accounts safe from hackers with database security are all excellent ways in which you can help improve your online reputation. Your clients should be keeping these same practices.
2. It Can Impact Sales
Believe it or not, your client’s online reputation doesn’t just impact your own online reputation it also hurts your business’s bottom line as well. This is because that many consumers are influenced to either buy or not buy a product or service based on what they read online. Therefore, if you’re closely associated with a client who has a negative online reputation both of your sales are going to be negatively impacted.
3. It Can Lower Trust
If your customers find out that you are in business with some people who are not well liked within the online community, they may lose trust in you and your business. According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, 74% of consumers credit positive reviews with making them trust a local business more. If you really think about it, this concept makes perfect sense when it extends to you and your clients as well.
Let’s say that your stockbroker is in business with some shady people who have been accused of stealing money, or insider trading. Any rational person under those circumstances would be concerned, and try to find a new stockbroker – even if their current stockbroker has done nothing wrong and is the most ethical person in the world. This same ideology applies here as well. Even if your company is the most ethical and reliable company in the world, by being in business with shady people, you will ultimately lose the trust of your clients.
4. It Hurts Your Ability to Generate New Business
Every business wants to expand at some point in time and the only way to do that is by generating new business. It is almost impossible to expand your business if you can’t get new clients. By being in business with brands or individuals with negative online reputations, you are decreasing your chances of accomplishing that goal. Most people would rather not be in business with someone who represents a brand or individual with a negative online reputation.
Before you agree to do business with a new client make sure their online reputation is positive – or you could be hurting your own business. Many business owners understand the importance of their own online reputations, but don’t fully understand the impact that their client’s reputation has on their business. It’s important to consider not only your own online reputation, but the online footprint of everyone you do business with.
The future of marketing will be revolutionized by a powerful, nonhuman force: artificial intelligence (AI). Even now, AI and marketing-powered solutions can streamline your marketing efforts and give you an edge on your competition. According to Gartner, AI technologies will be virtually pervasive in almost every new software product and service by 2020. Fear not, as AI is not expected replace you, the marketer, any time soon. It can, however, make your job easier by allowing you to focus your efforts on addressing important challenges by using AI and marketing.
How does it work? The following list outlines some of the most significant ways AI can boost campaign success and ROI.
Deepen understanding of the consumer
Customer segmentation is one of the most substantial areas AI can make a difference in your campaigns. Automated audience analytics capture a thoroughly comprehensive look at your engaged and disengaged consumers, as well as prospective clients. By processing massive amounts of data, AI and marketing technologies offer detailed consumer profiles and extract insights to predict customer behavior patterns. You can easily segment customers to determine precisely who you want to target, what platforms they use and their preferences. A Salesforce study revealed that 76% of consumers expect companies to understand their expectations. With real-time information, determining what motivates your audience and how they feel about your brand is only a click away. Your efforts can then be focused on adjusting your messaging with more accurate predictions of what customers truly want.
Optimize content creation and delivery
Today’s consumers expect personalized experiences with only relevant content. AI has the power to help you deliver just that, and efficiently too. In a Real-Time Personalization Survey by Evergage, 61% of the marketers who used AI and marketing to deliver personalized web experiences reported improved customer experiences and 63% noted higher conversion rates.
AI tools can automate your personalization efforts on a second-by-second basis that’s simply not humanly possible. Insights extracted from research data allow content marketers to focus specifically on what will get traction with their target audience. From emails and push notifications to blogs and websites, intelligent algorithms are able to analyze significant data about single users to produce tailored content and offers. A Demand Metric survey of marketers in 2016 showed that personalized content is 80% more effective than non-personalized content. What’s more, with format guides and specific settings, machines are even capable of creating narratives in a human-written style. These can include location descriptions, event recaps, business reports and financial insights, just to name a few. Though long-form communication is still a human’s game, AI is undoubtedly changing the content marketing landscape and creating exciting possibilities.
Provide more efficient customer service
Intelligent chatbots offer an opportunity for more individualized customer support. These technologies can access vast data points and analyze requests specific to a customer’s location. They serve as virtual assistants that offer an opportunity to build stronger relationships with your audience. Not only are chatbots an inexpensive, reliable option, they are often even more effective at addressing problems than humans. Bots simplify the identification of recurrent problems and patterns and predict causes for a user’s issues, and they do it around the clock. These virtual assistants free up time and resources that can be better applied elsewhere.
If you’re already employing bots in this capacity, you may consider expanding your customer chat options beyond service interactions. AI agents can also be used to advise and engage website visitors directly with surveys, recommendations and content-related chat opportunities. This provides an excellent platform for communicating on a “personal” level with each customer and consequently increases satisfaction and loyalty.
Improve ad performance
Account-based marketing solutions can result in smarter ads, but AI is capable of boosting ad performance exponentially with deeper insight. Using social profiles, searches and more, machines can provide a depth of analytics unattainable before. These tools have the capacity to produce more in a few minutes than it would take an entire team to create in a month. You may be surprised at just how much of an impact this form of AI can make. For instance, Harley Davidson has had incredible success using AI-driven marketing, including ad performance. Their automated data analysis revealed that ads with the word “call” in them performed 447% better than ads with the word “buy.” The AI platform replaced “buy” wording with “call” in all their ads and produced impressive results.
The benefits of AI in ads doesn’t stop there. AI technologies can also find advertising channels that aren’t being used by your competitors. You can optimize your digital advertising campaigns with technologies that analyze, manage and optimize for you. Some tools target audiences, buy media and test the results, with little human input. It’s clear that marketers now have unbelievable power at their fingertips. Marketing resources can be maximized by harnessing AI’s ability to crunch serious numbers and identify behavior patterns across platforms and channels.As marketers, we now have the opportunity to understand and engage with customers on an individual basis beyond mere demographics, a degree of personalization previously unimaginable. AI allows us to eliminate human bias to reveal hidden insights and refine marketing campaigns.
With less guesswork, your brand can deliver the most relevant message to the right person, at exactly the right time. So, what are you waiting for?
Fast-forwarding through TV commercials, using ad blockers on mobile and desktop, skipping ads entirely with streaming services subscriptions…these are the behaviors of today’s consumers, who don’t want to be bothered with pushy ads or salesmen. They value materialism less and personalization more.
So how do you catch their attention? Experiential marketing.
Experiential marketing, often used interchangeably with “event” marketing, uses branded experiences to engage consumers in a personal way. These campaigns center on live, memorable and immersive interactions designed to leave lasting impressions on the customer. The customer then shares with others, creating not only direct, lasting connections for them but also a positive association with your brand.
Why experiential marketing is worth your time
Regressive though it may seem in the digital age of consumerism, person-to-person interaction between business and customer is in higher demand now than ever before. With technology serving as the primary medium for daily social activity, people place a higher value on face-to-face experiences. An Eventbrite study found that 78% of millennials would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event instead of a desirable object. Not only this, but American consumer spending on live events doubled from 1990 to 2010.
Technology is an essential component to this type of marketing, though. Effective experiential campaigns harness technology by crafting brand engagements in tangible, offline ways that, in turn, fuel online conversations. Actionable insights can be gleaned from the resulting boost in online presence, brand loyalty and relationships with customers.
And industry leaders are taking notice. According to a Freeman Global Brand Experience study, one in three CMOs plan to dedicate 21 to 50% of their budgets to experiential marketing over the next several years. From more informed messaging changes to increased consumer engagement, your ROI will be hard to miss.
Types of experiences
Experiential campaigns come in many forms, so it’s helpful to know your options. Your interaction doesn’t even have to be an event, but it does need to create personal engagement with your brand.
The not-so-exclusive exclusive
This experience comes in the form of content creation designed for a small group of people to be shared to the masses through social distribution or advertising. These interactions are often easier to execute because you are planning for less people on a smaller scale, but the potential rewards are still significant.
The branded event
This type of interaction isn’t simply throwing a party. It’s a live event that connects your brand directly to customers with the goal of increased conversation and product trial. You should encourage social sharing at your event to boost those conversations. At branded events, 49% of consumers reportedly record mobile video and 39% of them share those videos on Twitter.
The event presence
In this experience, such as sponsoring an event, you have less direct engagement with customers but increased brand awareness by association. This type of interaction can be particularly effective with pre-scheduled events that are highly popular among your audience or hosted by business partners.
Regardless of your resources, one of these experience types should align with your goals. The opportunity to craft exciting experiences for people to learn about your brand – and promote it – is within your grasp.
How to create a smash experience
Designing an original, engaging experience is simpler than you might think. You are essentially inviting your audience to engage with your business in a tangible situation, to shift from passive viewer to active participant. Hands-on, interactive branding material is useful, but remember that an experience can be your chance to show consumers what you stand for, not just what you offer.
Consider the following questions:
How does my brand help customers’ problems/desires?
What kinds of things bring my customers enjoyment?
Where does my audience like to visit/socialize?
How can my product benefit potential customers in ways they didn’t realize?
What message do I really want my brand to send right now?
Take your answers to those questions, and build an experience around them. Jump outside the digital box and get creative! Make it fun, but keep it relevant and on-brand. Require an exchange of personal information as the cost of admission. Consider partnering with other brands, regional artists and noteworthy musicians. Keeping efforts local will encourage people to share with friends and family. Adding elements of competition and play can also give your audience a sense of achievement. Check out these examples for inspiration.
Even B2B companies can create interactions that give audiences the chance at first-hand experiences with their services/products. It’s less about the type of event you choose and more about the interactions between consumers and your brand.
A branded hashtag for social media sharing is a must, as well as an online way for people to participate who discover your experience through the hashtag. Consider live-streaming as well to capture the action and generate more attention.
Measure your campaign’s success through data collection. You can use engagement metrics to determine how many social expressions and viral impressions were earned. Surveys of participants are also excellent for tracking sentiment and product engagement.
Marketing magic can happen when you couple real-life experiences with social amplification across channels. By carefully curating authentic interactions, you can reach your target audience in a meaningful, memorable way. Few other strategies offer the chance to humanize your brand and elevate connections with customers while balancing local and global.
Eventually, experiential marketing will find its way into nearly every industry. #beamongthefirst
They are great for grabbing people’s attention, explaining important concepts, and sharing statistics.
Unfortunately, as more people began to realize the power of infographics, everyone starting creating them for their websites and their quality started to go downhill.
In a world where everyone is trying to increase brand awareness and generate more sales using infographics, it’s more important than ever that you take the time to create high-quality visuals for your readers.
ROI is an acronym business loves to talk about. It’s one of the most important figures you have to take into account. Marketers often focus on superficial and short-term aspects of investments instead of something as crucial as ROI. People often talk about ROI in the context of fortune 500 companies, but that’s starting to change. With the knowledge of investment opportunities spreading, every business must know how to calculate and use their marketing ROI for successful ventures.
1. What is marketing ROI?
ROI, or Return On Investment, is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the amount of money you receive from a certain investment or venture. Different ventures have different ways of calculating ROI. Real estate has a pretty simple way to calculate how much ROI you get. Take the amount of money you spent on a property, add the amount of money you invested into it to increase its value. Once you sell the home, take out these two values from the profit of selling it and you have the return on investment for the whole process. Basically, you add up the total amount of initial investment and subtract it from the total profit.
“Online marketing works much the same way. The knowledge commerce business generates a certain amount of money, but it also costs a specific amount to actually market a product. It’s simple math when you get down to it. When it comes to your bottom line, disregard everything else, because this is the only thing that matters. If there is no return on your investment or the investment profit isn’t high enough to justify making any move, you might not opt for the investment at all.”
2. Getting to know marketing ROI in depth
While calculating ROI at its core is pretty simple, the real-world applications of it are much more complicated. Business isn’t just cut-and-dry math, it’s more akin to a game of chess. You make strategic moves with the intent of getting further than you were before. A lot of businesses should know one of the most important mantras in entrepreneurship: you have to spend money to get money.
For other people, these things can fall on deaf ears. You will see many small businesses fail because they don’t think they should spend too much money on any kind of improvement. In their place, other businesses will invest and push them out of the market. Spending money might seem pretty simple, but that’s not the whole story. You have to spend that money wisely. On the opposite side of the spectrum, you have entrepreneurs that spend thousands of dollars on investments that will never give bear fruit.
3. Choosing the right channels
Picking the right place to invest your money is the most important part of the business and it works the same way when dealing with marketing ROI. Depending on what your company does, it can be any number of things. A cattle farm might not need to invest a lot of money into billboards, while a luxurious hotel in the center of a city will make good use of it. There are some relatively safe choices that can be made for businesses. Not every company has large stacks of money lying around, but they still need to invest to make growth. In fact, this is how a large majority of companies start out. Marketing should be one of those investments as well. Choosing the right channel is important, and knowing your audience is the first step in that process.
4. Learn from your competitors.
They say that experience is the greatest teacher. Unfortunately, there are only so many failed investments that a company can make before they go under. It’s simply not worth making bad decisions in order to learn from them. The good news is that you don’t have to do it yourself. You probably won’t find a business that is so niche that there are no competitors in their market. This means that they can look at the moves their contemporaries are making and calculate if they can make the same success.
It’s not as difficult as it may seem at first glance. If you look at the website of one of your competitors, you will notice the layout and which features they have. Any time you notice an update to their software, you can check on their social media and see if it has had any effect. You already know the price of a good website upgrade, but you should see if others can make money off of it before you try it yourself. This is something you can do to every aspect of your business. Everything from SEO to e-mail marketing campaigns can be analyzed from afar. As long as you don’t wait too long, you can get in on the good ideas before your competitors start taking customers away.
Roughly calculating the ROI of an investment is one of the most important aspects of a business. Businesses don’t look at it as a way to spend money, but rather as a way to make money. With the right kind of knowledge, anyone can calculate the returns of a smart business decision and marketing ROI. With this in mind, make sure you and your company are always three steps ahead of the market when you make your decisions.
As the final year of this decade is well underway, it’s pretty awe-inspiring to think back about how our culture – and consequently the marketing industry – has evolved. It can be a challenge to stay current in such an ever-changing field. Blogs, news and social posts can help you stay ahead of the curve but one of the most valuable sources for marketing insight has made itself known in a rapidly growing, new channel – marketing podcasts
A recent CBS poll revealed that two-thirds of Americans listen to podcasts at least once in a while. This is compared to just a year ago when less than half of America was tuning in. The podcast platform has skyrocketed in popularity because of its accessibility, even for the busiest of lifestyles. And expert marketers have taken notice.
Marketing podcasts offer some of the most beneficial and fresh insight you can find. Create more effective campaigns in 2019 by checking out our list of the 8 top marketing podcasts out there. (Our list of the top marketing books coming soon!)
1.Copyblogger FM: Content Marketing, Copywriting, Freelance Writing, and Social Media Marketing
Rainmaker.FM: The Digital Marketing and Sales Network
“Copyblogger FM is a weekly, short-form broadcast hosted by Sonia Simone. Each week, she and a cast of rotating experts analyze the week in content marketing, copywriting, email marketing, conversion optimization, mindset, and much more.”
“Call to Action is a show about remarkable online marketing success stories and how you can apply the lessons to your own marketing campaigns. You can expect candid interviews with digital marketing professionals and thought leaders featured on the Unbounce blog, actionable tips for improving your conversion rates and exclusive offers for marketing optimization tools, events and resources.”
“Social Media Examiner’s Michael Stelzner helps your business navigate the social jungle with success stories and expert interviews from leading social media marketing pros. Discover how successful businesses employ social media, learn new strategies and tactics, and gain actionable tips to improve your social media marketing.”
“Neil Patel and Eric Siu bring you daily ACTIONABLE digital marketing lessons that they’ve learned through years of being in the trenches. Whether you have a new website or an established business, learn the latest SEO, content marketing, social media, email marketing, conversion optimization and general online marketing tactics that work today.”
“Welcome to The Garyvee Audio Experience, hosted by entrepreneur, CEO, investor, vlogger, and public speaker Gary Vaynerchuk. On this podcast you’ll find a mix of my #AskGaryVee show episodes, keynote speeches on marketing and business, segments from my DAILYVEE video series, interviews and fireside chats I’ve given, as well as new and current thoughts I record originally for this audio experience!”
“The Science of Social Media is your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and inspiration. Every Monday (and sometimes more) hosts Brian Peters and Hailley Griffis share the most cutting-edge social media marketing strategies from brands and influencers in every industry. Join our 21,000+ weekly listeners who are taking their social media marketing to the next level!“
Whether on your commute, at the gym or relaxing at home, these podcasts will provide you a wide range of wisdom from some of the most successful marketers around. Plug in your headphones, and tune in to make this your most successful year yet. Have a favorite marketing podcast? Add it in the comments below.
Smartphones have changed the way we socialize and process news, entertainment and advertisements. Vertical video is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to reach the hyper-stimulated, visually hungry consumers of today. According to Breadnbeyond, a startling 57% of video play worldwide occurs on mobile devices.
With this shift from desktop to phones, the need to transform how we present our businesses to suit the mobile format is greater than ever. Videos are no exception.
Video orientation matters.
Social media platforms, like Snapchat and Instagram, have accelerated the rise in the once frowned upon vertical video. Research has shown that 94% of the time, people hold their phones vertically.
Videos created to fit that orientation simply capture more attention because they take up the full screen. They also create less opportunity for distraction and require no extra movement – however minimal – from the user.
What’s more, people presented with horizontal video ads only watched 14% of the ad. The majority of that little time was spent searching to close the ad. Vertically oriented video ads, however, were watched completely 90% of the time. People obviously want their information in a fuss-free format.
It makes sense.
Compared to traditional widescreen, horizontal platforms, the narrower, portrait-oriented video offers a more intimate feel. The very labels “portrait” and “landscape” signify the subjects best suited by the formats. When trying to showcase a brand or product, portrait orientation is a more natural fit.
Smartphone home screen and menu layouts themselves are designed to be operated in the upright position. Additionally, many applications only operate in a vertical setting. Over 90% of the 100 most popular iOs apps have a fixed vertical orientation.
Holding the phone in an upright position allows the user a free hand to interact with the video as well. Horizontal format also breaks a person’s focus to physically move the phone and increases the risk of dropping the device. The average user isn’t willing to take that risk or expend the extra energy.
It’s easy to see why the vertical video trend has developed so quickly, as it suits the phone’s native format. We must adapt what we create to a delivery style that consumers want, and for videos, it’s vertical.
What’s IGTV have to do with it?
IGTV is Instagram’s latest feature, and it’s truly tailored for mobile by allowing only vertical videos. It’s an app created for watching long-form, vertical video from others. These videos be accessed from the app itself and within the Instagram app.
Anyone can be a creator and upload IGTV videos to start their own channel. Videos can be up to an hour long for verified accounts and ten minutes for smaller accounts. Upon opening the app, videos automatically play based on who you follow and your interests, and users can easily switch between channels.
Though IGTV experienced a slow start after its release, Instagram is said to be investing heavily in it for 2019. IGTV is set to challenge the traditional TV format, as well as streaming services like Netflix and Youtube. With TV in its name and Instagram’s “just like TV” descriptions, this challenge is by no means subtle.
People are watching more digital video and less TV overall. In fact, mobile video is projected to make up 78% of total mobile data traffic by 2021. IGTV may well be the future of television, and you’ll be ahead of the curve if you start uploading now.
Here’s how it’s done.
There are dozens of ways to grow your brand’s visibility by integrating vertical videos and IGTV into your marketing plan. One easy starting point is to repurpose your existing, horizontally oriented videos into the format for sharing with a new audience. You could also create a regular segment posted at the same weekly/monthly time, much like a TV show.
Creating frequent video content may seem challenging, but if you document things you already do, it can be quite simple. A few ideas to consider:
take viewers on a tour of your facility
provide footage of how your product is produced and distributed
capture company events
feature satisfied customer stories
interview experts within the company
introduce new products and highlight features
host a Q&A to address popular customer questions
Start recording your videos in vertical format. That’s easy enough with a smartphone by holding it upright. However, you can crop or adapt videos shot with a camera to fit as well. You can do this without compromising resolution by editing the aspect ratio of the video from landscape (16:9) to vertical (9:16). Check out this tutorial for Adobe Premiere Pro CC.
As marketers, we have to adapt our content to the way it’s being consumed. If videos aren’t optimized in a convenient, user-first format for the mobile experience, consumers simply won’t engage. Vertical video and the IGTV platform provide an immediate, engaging opportunity to tell in-depth stories about your brand. By offering an intimate glimpse into what you do, you can position yourself as a transparent, unique and relevant business.
Have you ever found yourself thinking something along the lines of “Marketing has changed more in the past two years than in the previous 50”? Adobe’s Digital Distress Survey 76% of surveyed marketers agreed to this exact phrase back in 2013. Skip to 2019 and digital marketing trends seem to be accelerating rather than slowing.
Everything from business operations to the web itself is in a dynamic state of progress. Artificial intelligence has opened the doors to personalized campaigns and marketing automation, which have become standard practices. Consumer needs, wants and desires are naturally shifting. The ability to integrate CRM systems and other backend systems with tools like Zapier are creating inexpensive, powerful marketing stacks for smaller businesses. lAs a result, digital marketing trends continue to disrupt the marketing industry.
In today’s competitive marketing landscape you can’t afford to ignore the latest digital marketing trends, no matter how small your business is.
5 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2019
Evolved influencer marketing
As the focus of social media marketing shifts to engagement rates, more authenticity, and transparency, it’s time for brands to rethink their influencer strategy. Influencer marketing in 2019 is not about numbers and big names – it’s all about finding the right person that is considered an expert within their niche, whom your audience can trust and relate to.
Micro-influencers are not only gaining ground because it has been proven that those with smaller follower counts have higher engagement rates. Consumers have grown weary and untrusting of big celebrity endorsements. Smaller influencers’ services are still much more affordable than those of mega influencers, which has opened the doors of opportunity to smaller brands and even local businesses. If you haven’t yet done so, now is the time to jump in on the opportunity and explore how you can borrow someone’s influence to build your online presence, strengthen your brand image and earn your audience’s trust.
Temporary social media content which self-destructs after 24 hours naturally sounded counterintuitive to most marketers at first. But as we head on further into 2019, it’s clear that ephemeral content is a powerful marketing tool. Brands of all sizes need to be using this type of content to boost visibility, engage audiences and build trust and authenticity. Stories features are available on Snapchat, Facebook and of course Instagram, which reigns supreme among ephemeral platforms with 500 daily active users worldwide.
Ephemeral content works well because it tends to be viewed as more authentic and genuine. Even YouTube is jumping in on the game and rolling out its own Stories feature. We have yet to see how YouTube’s latest endeavor will develop but it certainly carries a lot of potential impact on content marketing strategies.
With the developments in AI and machine learning, it’s becoming increasingly common to see chatbots as customer service and sales representatives on business websites. Chatbot technology is growing more sophisticated and according to Gartner, 25% of customer service is expected to be using it by 2020. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg of an evolving practice that’s fundamentally changing the customer journey: conversational marketing.
Conversational marketing aptly refers to the growing practice of fostering one-to-one personal conversations with leads and customers and it’s one of the most important digital marketing trends. This type of marketing comes in the form of personalized support. This means providing guidance at whichever time and via whichever channel suits the customer best – whether it’s social messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, email, text messaging, phone calls, or even the postal service. Companies rely on chatbots, live chat agents, social media monitoring and the use of CRM systems to provide personalized customer journeys and simultaneously connect marketing, sales, and customer service. The combination of genuine conversations with modern-day technology and the omnichannel approach to marketing is making a big impact on how business will be done in the future.
Voice search optimization
Currently, voice searches make up for 20% of mobile queries on Google. There are plenty of catchy numbers regarding the state of voice search and the famous “half of all searches will be voice searches by 2020” prediction surely hasn’t skipped you.
There’s justifiable debate around the validity of such pompous interpretations of statistics and this is not a novelty as the “voice search revolution” has long been anticipated. Nevertheless, it’s undeniable that the prominence of mobile search – and consequently the rising prominence of voice search – is strongly affecting digital marketing right now. As Google adjusts its algorithms to better detect and respond to voice search queries, marketers will need to polish up their content to be more conversational and focus on voice search optimization.
The appetite for video content across the web in recent years has given wing to video marketing – which is by no means a new trend, but it’s certainly one of the defining practices of modern-day digital marketing. And it’s only set to grow bigger in the future, as surveys show 43% of consumers want to see more video content from marketers.
It all clicks together in an intertwined relationship of cause and effect among trends and possibilities in the digital landscape. Creating and distributing video content is easier and more convenient than ever. Instagram’s latest addition dedicated to long-form video content, IGTV, only goes to prove further the fact that audiences are craving video, and platforms are making it easier for brands to meet their consumers’ desires. In short, if you haven’t yet leveraged video marketing, now is the time to do it.
Digital marketing has gone a long way from that first clickable banner ad that emerged back in 1993. The ability to discern which digital marketing trends need your urgent attention is crucial. While there are many exciting opportunities to contemplate it’s important to look over your shoulder every once in a while and see where your current digital marketing efforts could use an update. Consider the trends in this article when developing your strategy – and always keep a close eye on how these practices are unfolding as we move further into 2019.