The time has come to review the design, digital, branding and marketing trends for the year and make comment.
This year I have focused on 5 trends that I think will affect us and our clients the most.
1. Content Marketing
This should be the number one issue for all businesses to think about in 2015. By content marketing I mean everything you as a business create and publish – your website content, blog content, emails, LinkedIn profile, comments, blog, infographics, videos, press releases, advertising, landing pages, emails, the list go on.
Why do we create all this content? For search and social optimisation in the hope of increasing your digital footprint, ie. the number of customers you reach.
Thing is this content is usually produced as individual pieces in a rush. But businesses must take time to think holistically about all their content, plan a strategy to make sure it all makes sense. Then be sure that the content is good to read/view, looks great and that the effort does not go unrewarded. Adding social posts, blog updates and writing website words is time consuming so make sure it actually achieves something. Ask yourself, are your customers engaged and impressed?
I love this content marketing periodic table created by econsultancy
2. Be Human
One of the reasons why we fail in digital marketing, and we are all guilty of it, is we create content to a formula (usually to impress Google) rather than with our customers in mind. I think business owners have got so overwhelmed by the rapidly expending complex digital marketing communication mix that they have forgotten they are ultimately trying to talk to fellow human beings. Lets face it, I struggle to keep up with all digital developments and I’m the expert, so this confusion and fear comes as no surprise. Do not get hung up on missing out, simply put yourself in the shoes of your customers (or better still, talk to them) then go back to marketing basics. Write as if you are reading it through their eyes, understanding who they are and want they want rather than following a digital trend.
That is the best bit digital marketing advice I can offer this year.
Companies must work harder on the presentation of their content. Competition for your customer’s money is growing and you have to continue to stand out. Just writing a quick blog article is not enough, it needs to be well written, well informed, devoid of mistakes, supported with pictures and well laid out. If you can’t produce quality, don’t bother.
– If you can’t write, don’t – ask someone who can… pay for it if needs be
– If you can’t design, don’t – ask someone who can… pay for it if needs be
And be brutally honest with yourself. If you are narcissist, ask someone else to pass judgement and take the feedback.
It will make the difference between getting noticed and winning clients, as opposed to being a bit scruffy and being ignored.
4. Paid for Ads
It was inevitable that Google, Facebook and Co we going to figure out how to monetise their hugely popular services, and boy have they got good at it. Free leads from organic search and social marketing has become tough to achieve, and is now usually too narrow to deliver all the new business results you want. In its place paid for digital marketing has become a really good and often profitable option – one to consider trying for 2015, be it adwords, a boosted post or similar.
A bit left-field for the last one, but I think SlideShare will become a useful means of b2b communications. There is no disputing that online video is the preferred medium for customers when it comes to receiving new information. However, that is only true if your videos are any good, which most SME b2b video are not – many are really, really bad 🙁
That’s because producing videos is difficult, a skill we haven’t mastered and one that can be quite expensive to employ. The advantage of Slideshare is most of us can work Powerpoint into some kind of order, plus it is now owned y the largest b2b social network LinkedIn. For more information follow this link.
Happy New Year and have an amazing 2015