2017 Marketing Trends to Watch
Create more valuable, targeted content
Content Marketing, which is all about the creation and dissemination of content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience, has proven its value over and over again and should remain a staple in virtually every communicator’s toolkit. Technological advances, however, have led to a content explosion that will continue to challenge marketers to make their brands’ voices heard. So be sure you start with a content marketing plan that clearly defines your objectives and target audiences.
Put your users to work
With the rise of social media, it might appear that User Generated Content (UGC) is a new phenomenon, but leading brands have been leveraging this tactic for years. A 2009 Burberry campaign, for example, asked customers to share images of themselves wearing Burberry trench coats, and the best photos were curated and posted to the campaign’s dedicated microsite. Using content created by customers increases engagement and builds brand advocacy. Your customers can be your best salespeople.
Snapchat, one of the fastest growing social media apps on the planet, encourages UGC with a blizzard of constantly changing filters. The London launch of Puma’s Trick Boots, for example, used a Snapchat custom filter that incorporated the brand’s logo and their “Play Loud” claim.
Fox promoted the second season of the TV music drama, Empire, with a custom Snapchat filter that boosted brand awareness by 16 points and increased tune-in intent by 8% (Fox’s campaign).
Tap the influencers
Paid advertisements are gradually being replaced by brand advocacy as the best way to make an impact. Customers and potential customers want a more natural and organic interaction with brands, and this is where Influencer Marketing comes in. Influencers are usually just bloggers with a following. But marketers don’t have to rely on high paid mega-influencers to be their brand advocates. A large following is not necessarily indicative of a blogger’s influence; marketers should also check their engagement levels. A blogger with lots of likes, comments and shares per post often has more influence than a blogger with two million followers. Forbes sees micro-influencers becoming more important in coming years, citing the fact that 82% of people are likely to follow a micro-influencer’s recommendation, especially if you have a niche product or highly specific target market. A word of caution: A number of bloggers and celebrities came under fire last year for failing to disclose that payment was received in exchange for a product review or posting. Most notably, the Kardashians were the subject of an FTC investigation for not accurately disclosing their relationships with various brands. That’s why many influencers use one of the following hashtags to inform followers of their paid affiliations: #ad #paid #sponsored or #advert. Keep this in mind when working with your influencers!
Reboot your email marketing
Email marketing is still one of the most powerful B2B marketing tactics and will continue its comeback in 2017. This is not an excuse, however, to bombard your database with communications. Newsletters, campaigns and promotions should be carefully planned. Each email sent to a customer needs to have a purpose and add value to the customer journey. Blasting out non-targeted communications is a sure-fire way to get them to click “unsubscribe.” “Email marketing has always been about reaching the right people, but this is an evolutionary concept,” explains Jordie Van Rijn of Email Monday. “Email marketing is reinventing itself by acknowledging Person + Profile + Purpose = Performance.”
2016 saw the launch of Facebook Live and the social media giant has made it clear that if your goal is organic reach, video content—specifically Live content—will be prioritized on this platform. So prepare to go Live! Multimedia assets increase visibility and drive discovery of your content. In 2017, really think about creative ways to incorporate video into your brand.
One way to make this easier and more effective is to create a video series. Shooting several short videos together not only helps you maximize your budget, but also allows you to plan your content a few weeks or even months out. Use video as your focal point and create press releases, blog posts, social posts and email campaigns around it.
Take advantage of a relevant trend
When the power went out in the Superdome during Super Bowl XLVII, Oreo’s social media team was quick to seize the moment with a simple tweet. Re-tweeted over 10,000 in one hour, the tweet had an even greater payoff than Oreo’s actual Super Bowl advert. The Pokémon Go phenomenon last summer saw many brands incorporate the craze into their content and social media marketing. Trending topics can be a great way to increase social engagement, but proceed with caution. Follow these tips from the folks over at Spokal:
1. Choose the right story
If a trending topic can apply to your brand or product in a natural way, then go for it. If it doesn’t, don’t force it. Other topics will eventually come along better suited to your brand.
2. Be timely
There is no point incorporating a Pokémon Go theme into your social media content today. The trend has lost momentum and passed. Similarly, the Oreo tweet was so successful because it was sent within that 34-minute blackout. Tweeting the next day would have been too late. Moral of the story: strike while the trend is hot.
3. Think critically
Before joining a trending topic, be sure to know the origin and context of the hashtag. In 2011, Entenmann’s told their Twitter followers they should feel #NotGuilty about eating their low calorie candy. However, the #NotGuilty hashtag was actually the verdict of a high profile court case at the time about the death of a child. So don’t neglect your homework. Best of luck in your 2017 marketing efforts!
What are the marketing trends you will be watching in 2017? Leave a comment below or tweet us at @ConceptGroupInc. And have a great and successful New Year.
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