As a marketing strategist, it’s my job to understand new marketing trends and how they can/will affect our clients.
I do this by reading marketing blogs by industry leaders, downloading e-books, and reading books. Every morning, I log into my feed reader (yes, I still use one of those) and spend time digesting news about the marketing industry.
Throughout the day, I may log into Twitter or LinkedIn and check out marketing hashtags to see what’s being talked about in real time.
Many of our employees have similar routines. It’s how we are able to pivot when needed and have smart discussions internally about what we can do to help our clients get more leads, drive more website traffic, or increase brand awareness.
As a business owner or high-level executive, you may not have the time to do this. But, because you probably talk to your peers about business pains and are always interested in growing your business, you get nuggets of information that you feel you should act on — or at least consider.
You try something you’ve never done before, like advertising on Facebook, and it works. Great! You experimented with one of the new marketing strategies that work, and reaped the benefits. Traffic grew, leads came in, and sales went up.
Sometimes, seeing a shiny new thing that promises to bring you more business doesn’t quite pan out. Let’s look at example of this from the not too distant past: the introduction of Snapchat and its meteoric rise in the social media world.
For some early adopting businesses, it was smart to get in and test out how the new platform could affect their brand in a positive way. For those businesses in the consumer markets who partnered with Snapchat influencers, the benefits of this new brand building service were probably there. It’s hard to fully gauge based on the ephemeral nature of the platform, but branding is often hard to measure as it is.
There were success stories from marketers across the spectrum singing the praises of various Snapchat strategies. Behind closed doors, however, the tales were much different.
In speaking to many of my peers at various marketing functions, I had not run across a single marketer working with clients similar to ours who had been able to show any demonstrable success with their tests of using Snapchat as a marketing channel.That was our agency’s hypothesis from the beginning, but it was good to hear it from others who had gone into the trenches.
We researched Snapchat as a marketing channel on behalf of a few of our clients, and each time came away with the recommendation to not spend resources in that direction.
Understanding our clients’ target markets and goals allowed us to avoid spending time and dollars on a platform that would likely not move them towards their business goals.
As we collaborate with our clients, our ability to stay up to date on marketing trends has allowed us to jump in early when the opportunity presents itself and to stay the course when it’s warranted.
I was reminded of this when I logged on to LinkedIn recently and was presented with a new layout that is now emphasizing hashtags. It appears to be a good move by LinkedIn, and we’re already looking at how to utilize the new algorithms to benefit our clients.
We had tested out hashtags in LinkedIn posts in the past with mixed results. There wasn’t any conclusive data that LinkedIn users were using hashtag searches to find relevant information. Now, LinkedIn seems to be pushing it front and center, so it’s less about searching for hashtags and more about serendipitously being presented with relevant information based on your LinkedIn use. It’s pretty brilliant.
And it’s not just about social media marketing (although it often gets the most attention). Listening in on conversations between our search specialists can reveal changes in approach to website layouts, link building strategies, and other shifts needed to ensure our clients’ websites are beating the competition for search rankings.
Marketing, especially digital marketing, is an ever-evolving field. As user behavior changes and new platforms for attention are created, it’s easy to fall in love with every shiny object. Understanding how it may affect your business success is key to knowing which marketing strategies to deploy. Knowing your target customers helps in deciding which marketing tactics to change.
There is nothing static about modern marketing.
If you, like most executives, don’t have time to stay current on marketing trends to keep your business competitive, consider outsourcing your marketing needs to a marketing firm in Houston.