In the world of marketing, it can seem that things move incredibly fast. One day, you know everything there is to know and have not a single doubt. The very next day, the whole landscape may have changed with old techniques needing to be thrown out and completely new trends existing to be followed. Keeping up can certainly be no easy feat.
Many of the marketing practices that we’re following now are not the ones that were raved about even not that long ago. In marketing, the right way to do things changes all the time so that you really have to pay attention to know what to quit on and what to get started with.
Understanding how marketing trends shift and change is just the start in figuring out how to make them work for your brand.
Understanding Trends in Marketing
The most important thing for us to understand about trends in marketing is simply that they exist and that we cannot fight against them. Things are going to change and our job as marketers is just to change right along with them. The truth is that adaptability is the most essential element for successful marketing of any business.
If you don’t roll with the pouches, you will fail. The only way through to complete marketing success throughout the years is to adapt.
Leave behind the marketing practices that aren’t working for you anymore. Figure out where the marketing world is going and move along with it. Otherwise, your brand will lose out and go out of favor just like the practice you continued to hold onto too tight.
An Example of a Marketing Practice That Has Lost Its Appeal: The Marketing Funnel
Here’s an example of a marketing practice that you should let go of as soon as you can: the marketing funnel. As a concept that many hold onto tight, this may be something of a surprise to you, but, yes, it may be time to say goodbye.
It’s not that the marketing funnel is intrinsically bad. It’s just that something new and better has already come along to replace it. The marketing funnel has become obsolete because it does not cover the full process as is actually required in our contemporary marketing environment.
The newer marketing flywheel is a much better fit for the needs of today’s modern marketers.
Let me explain.
In the old funnel-based model, it was all over when you got a customer to make a purchase. Once you’d gotten someone there, you’d reached the ultimate goal and so all marketing efforts ceased for that person. It was always just about pumping more potential customers into the funnel so that you could get some down to the last step where it ends. Except that this leaves out so much of the more ideal marketing process!
With a more circular view of the marketing process, it never has to end and so you can continue to see new results. This is the beauty of the marketing flywheel. Instead of singularly focusing on the sale, you make the customer the priority, and doing so leads to greater success for you.
Marketing Practices That Are Rising in Popularity
Naturally, this is not the only change in the marketing world that is worthy of our attention. Depending on how long it’s been since you last took stock of the current marketing situation and how your own actions compare, there might be a whole lot that you’re outdated in.
Only by taking a look at what various marketing practices are now rising in popularity can you determine where you most might need to adapt.
1. Transparency and Accountability
There is nothing that the modern-day customer prioritizes more in the brands they shop from than these crucial elements. They don’t just want the truth from brands they work with, but actually expect it and will quickly turn elsewhere if not given full transparency.
So you absolutely have to get this right if you want to be able to earn the business in this day and age. Put it all out there, everything that your business is doing, good or bad, and every way that you’re working to improve. It’s no longer a good idea to even try to hide the mistakes. Nowadays, the smart marketing move is to own up to the unfortunate truths of your business, let customers know right away what they would otherwise find out anyway, and allow that trust to build. With transparency, you will find greater connection between your brand and its audience.
2. Mobile Marketing
In today’s age, you will also find that the whole world lives on mobile devices. If your company isn’t also going mobile for your marketing, there can be absolutely no doubt that you are missing out. This is the place to be, so mobile marketing is the practice to utilize.
Of course, there is a way to do this right and there are lots of ways to get it wrong. Don’t shy away from opening up those mobile lines of communication with your customers, but also be wary not to over-intrude into cellular lives. Make mobile work for you with a mobile-optimized website, smart social media ad choices, and a marketing plan that overall takes this medium into consideration.
3. Optimization for Voice Search
One marketing practice that has already long been known to be extremely beneficial to your efforts is search engine optimization. Almost every business knows that it would be a huge mistake to not include SEO in some way in your marketing plan. After all, today’s customers get their answers and discover their new favorite brands with internet search.
Yet, now, these customers aren’t just making their discoveries on the search engine results page (SERP) that shows up on their computer screen. Many searches now begin with a verbal “OK Google” or “Hey Siri,” which means that marketers are kind of dealing with a whole new ball game when it comes to SEO. No longer is it just about traditional search results. Instead, the optimization to begin to focus on is that for voice search.
Voice search is actually very different from your typical web search on the phone, computer, or tablet. When someone asks their smart device a question, they usually only get one answer, pulled from just one top result. The answers given out often come right from Google’s featured snippet.
Now, it’s important to keep in mind that there is not much guarantee when it comes to optimization for voice search. No definitive tricks will earn you a featured snippet, but there is still worth in putting effort into voice search optimization. It’s definitely something you want for your business to come up for a customer’s voice request for one near them.
4. Quality Content Writing of All Types
A great way to make sure your website is optimized to get found on voice search or otherwise is by having great content. It has long been the way for smart marketers to use quality content to launch brands to the top of the SERPs. This is in no way a new strategy, but it is true that it couldn’t be more important than it is right now.
While advertising in a traditional sense is usually thought of as an intrusion into customers’ lives, content is actually wanted much of the time. People often don’t even mind blatant CTAs in a piece of content, especially not if the article is providing something else of significant value. And your content should offer something of value if it truly is high quality.
With valuable and high-quality content on your website and elsewhere on the internet, you can find your digital marketing success. The fact is, it is just not possible today without a fully thought-out content marketing plan.
Now, for that all-encompassing content marketing strategy though, we aren’t just looking for purely text-based content. Content writing can also include planning out a visual guide, creating an infographic, or writing the script for a video. Any and every one of these content forms are valid and valuable tools to use. Any of them might provide just what your brand needs to get content marketing right.
Especially now in the modern state of marketing, there should be no underestimating of video content. With a video, you can tell a story, team up and reach farther with an influencer, and harness a power of content marketing traditional text-based forms just don’t have. While it may seem easier to just keep writing the same old articles, you don’t want to let the opportunity of video pass you by.
5. Native Advertising
One great marketing practice, rising in popularity, that successful content marketing can help you achieve is native advertising. This strategy is also not a brand new idea but it does make quite a big impact in today’s world. Customers simply aren’t interested in advertisements anymore, so if your ad doesn’t look or feel like an ad, you’ve got much better chances.
Native advertising is where your advertising, rather than interrupt what people came to enjoy, actually makes itself a part of the location. Indistinguishable from the content that surrounds it, your advertisement doesn’t force itself on the customer in an overly-pushy manner, but instead allows them to accept the brand message as they wish. In this way, you can avoid turning people away with the brashness of traditional advertising. Native advertising actually encourages them to come towards your brand.
Putting Marketing That Will Last Into Practice
The trend nowadays is really to leave behind all the hard selling techniques and just approach the customer in the most human manner possible. Don’t advertise, but start a genuine, honest conversation. Make marketing work for the modern customer by working to put the right marketing practices into action. If you can get it right again and again in this constantly-changing world, your marketing adaptability will certainly be able to take you far.
Guest article written by: Dmitrii Kustov is founder of Regex SEO. Currently, as Internet Marketing Director for Regex SEO, he is helping businesses and entrepreneurs grow their presence online. Due to his experience and background, he has been able to share hands-on knowledge about the following topics: Internet marketing (SEO, paid advertising, social media, content marketing, etc), statistical analytics, web development, and entrepreneurship.