Keeping up with the competition requires businesses to pay attention to the latest business trends, including new marketing techniques. Marketing strategies are constantly evolving as businesses and entrepreneurs take advantage of the latest technologies.
From the rise of the internet to the massive reach of social media, the way consumers shop continues to change.
So, what are the latest trends in marketing and how do you apply them to your business? Customer advocacy, micro-influencers, transparency, and chatbots are just a few examples of new marketing trends. Here’s a closer look at these trends and others to help your business stay relevant.
Why Follow Marketing Trends?
What works today may not work tomorrow. Successful businesses understand that they need to stay one step ahead.
Paying attention to the latest marketing trends allows you to:
The ways that consumers research and shop for products and services continually change. How companies target consumers also gradually evolves. Ignoring these changes may limit the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
Keeping track of changes in the marketing world also helps you stay relevant. Businesses that do not get on board with the latest marketing trends may appear out of touch with consumers. Following market trends helps with brand awareness. You are more likely to reach a wider audience when using the latest strategies instead of outdated marketing methods.
One of the main reasons to stay updated on the newest marketing trends is to remain competitive. Your competition may capture a larger share of the market if you choose to stick with your existing strategies. Here are some of the latest marketing trends that you can use to keep up with the competition and stay connected to your audience.
Partner with Micro-Influencers
A growing business may not have the funds to pay major influencers to promote their products or services. Mega influencers charge $25,000 or more for a single promotional post on Facebook.
The current average rate for a single post from a micro-influencer is between $250 to $1250, which is more manageable. For comparison, the average small business spends about $1000 per month on PPC ad campaigns.
The cost also depends on the platform. Instagram is the biggest social media platform for influencer marketing. Mega influencers charge $10,000 or more per Instagram post while micro-influencers charge $100 to $500.
Micro-influencers are defined as social media users with 10,000 to 50,000 followers. They often have a specific niche audience. Yet, micro-influencers also tend to have higher levels of engagement compared to bigger influencers. Unlike high-paid mega-influencers, micro-influencers are considered regular people instead of celebrities. Their messages have more of an impact on their audience.
Before launching your next marketing campaign, find a micro-influencer who’s involved in your industry. Pay them to promote your products or services and reach a wider market.
Focus More on Video Content
Marketers have been saying that video content is going to surpass written content for the past several years. The latest market research indicates that video content will account for 82% of Internet traffic by 2022.
Mobile devices now account for over half of all Internet traffic. When people browse the internet or social media feeds on smartphones and tablets, they tend to consume more video content. Text ads and posts may get lost in the shuffle. If you want to maintain or increase your brand awareness, produce more video content.
You may also start repurposing written content into video content. For example, use a popular blog post that you previously published as an outline for a video on the same topic. Depending on the age of the post, you could also update it with fresh content to make it more relevant.
Build Your Customer Advocacy Base
Social media platforms have made it easier for consumers to share their thoughts with the world. Your customers can easily share positive or negative feedback online. A customer advocacy base helps you deal with the negative feedback.
Your advocacy base includes loyal customers who are willing to advocate for your business when other customers leave negative comments. This type of dedication can help drown out the negativity. Loyal customers also freely promote your products. They may praise your products on social media and recommend them to friends, family, and co-workers.
Building a more loyal customer base requires you to provide superior products and exceptional customer service. Strive to keep your customers satisfied and many of them will return the favor in the form of word-of-mouth advertising.
Add Chatbots to Your Business Site
Chatbots have become a popular way to connect with customers online. Adding a chatbot on your site helps boost customer service, generate more leads, and boost conversion rates. A chatbot is a computer program that simulates human conversation. It is preprogrammed to interpret messages and provide a suitable response.
The most basic bots provide responses from a script. A programmer may use a knowledge base to generate responses to the most frequently asked questions. If the bot cannot comprehend a message or find a suitable response, it escalates the inquiry to the real customer support team.
More advanced chatbots use artificial intelligence (AI) platforms to provide dynamic responses. An AI chatbot trains on conversation logs from past customer support calls and becomes better at responding to questions. When a customer has a question, they can type it into the chat screen and receive a response within seconds.
Most consumers expect a response within 10 minutes when making an inquiry. Unfortunately, you cannot always respond to emails or social media messages within that time frame. Small businesses and entrepreneurs are also less likely to have the resources to provide live chat.
Chatbots provide an alternative solution that can often address customer inquiries. Even if the chatbot does not answer the customer’s inquiry, it can help screen inquiries to reduce the demand on your customer support team.
Develop Native Advertising Campaigns
Native advertising involves the use of paid ads that closely match the look and feel of the format that they appear on. Native ads appear on almost every major news website.
For example, the typical news site includes a homepage with headlines separated into blocks of text and images. The native ads blend with these blocks by matching the rest of the content on the page. As the ads appear to be a native part of the page, they are harder to ignore. One study found that consumers respond to native ads up to 60% more frequently compared to banner ads.
To use native advertising in your upcoming marketing campaigns, find online publications and platforms that are relevant to your business. Choosing a relevant publication allows you to target consumers that are already more likely to show interest in your products or services.
Give Customers More Control Over Data
Consumers are becoming more aware of the threat of cyberattacks. People are less likely to share personal information with a website that doesn’t offer complete transparency & control over the data collected.
Websites that operate in the European Union (EU) now need to follow the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Under the GDPR, website administrators must give visitors the option of whether they want the site to store cookies and other data.
You can implement the GDPR guidelines even if you do not operate in the EU. Following the GDPR guidelines requires a few extra steps but goes a long way toward building trust with visitors.
Optimize Your Content for Voice Search
Optimizing your content for voice search could help you attract more visitors. As more people rely on voice search, you can expect more website content to attempt to address common questions.
Google Assistant, Cortana, Alexa, and Siri allow people to perform voice searches. A voice search typically returns a snippet from the most relevant search result. If you can provide the most accurate response, you may get most of the traffic.
Keep in mind that having your answer picked for a voice search requires your content to appear in the top search position. Follow the same strategies used for attempting to capture Google’s featured snippet position.
Try to target question-based queries. Frame the question as a header or a sub-header on a relevant webpage and provide a short, accurate answer. Keep the content between 55 and 60 words in length, as the voice search may not use longer content.
Marketing trends come and go, but this doesn’t mean that you should ignore them. Some of the latest trends will fade away while others will become common practice. Offering a responsive, mobile-friendly design for your website is not enough. Paying attention to the latest marketing tactics ensures that you remain up to speed with your industry and the needs of your customers.
When adding new strategies, avoid dramatically overhauling your marketing approach. Implement one or two of the latest trends so you can analyze their impact.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.