As with every other industry on the planet, marketing is constantly growing and changing. From newspaper advertising to radio and television to digital media, the marketing industry strives to innovate and at times, just stay up-to-date with the most recent trend that is driving results.
2014 was the year of content creation. Content became the glue that held many marketing campaigns together. Intriguing content got people interested and kept them coming back. One thing that appears to be obvious is that the importance of content creation is not going anywhere in 2015. Here are five of my other marketing predictions for 2015.
- Content creation will become a company-wide effort. Right now, content creation is largely a task for the marketing team within a company. Why? Marketers know how to write, create visual media out of that writing and (supposedly) know what the consumers of their brand want. In 2015, companies will understand the importance of input for from all teams. Employees will be tapped for their expertise on different subjects that consumers really care about. For example, technical support staff can create content about the questions they are asked all the time about the products the company sells. This quickly and easily creates valuable content for many consumers
- There will be a greater value in community. Social media has been around for years now and while many companies and brands are using it to promote their products and services, they are ignoring one of their greatest assets… their fans. In 2015, companies are going to start to focus their marketing on their community. Not only will marketing become more engaging in order to interact with and build trust with that community, but companies will work harder to create brand advocates out of that community. In addition, sometimes the best content creation comes from those community members. Testimonials and stories from consumers can be repurposed into relatable and effective marketing opportunities.
- Content creation will move beyond the blog post. While some companies are still working on getting a blog onto their website and other companies are just trying to blog consistently, the movers and shakers of marketing will be moving beyond the stale blog post all together. Marketers will begin producing richer content and making content an experience for their consumers. An example of this will be marketers creating stories through videos, infographics, webinars, or even, yes, a blog post packed with visuals. These stories will be filled with valuable information that is designed to relate to the consumer without the hard sell of products and services.
- If it’s not on mobile, it’s not working. Over 60% of emails are opened on mobile devices first but conversion rates on mobile are unimpressive. This means that there is still a huge potential for marketers to better understand how mobile users behave and to utilize that information to build bigger and better mobile marketing campaigns. Mobile-first thinking will be a priority as mobile usage and mobile content consumption continues to grow.
- The customer is in control. With the influx of information available on the internet, businesses and consumers are spending more time researching the products and services of different companies before they buy. The buyer wants to know they are getting the best prices, the best products and the best services they can and with the internet, they have a choice of many different companies. Because of this abundance of information, the buyer is in truly in control of the buying process. Because of this, brands need to build their marketing campaigns around grabbing a consumer’s attention, gaining that consumer’s trust and then making sure that consumer comes back for that product or service time-and-time again.
In addition to my marketing predictions, I have one marketing wish for 2015:
My wish is for brands to find a balance between being present and being useful.
Brands constantly strive to be seen by their consumers. They want their consumers to see them, know them and then think of them when they need their product or service. Many brands actively stay present in their consumers’ lives through blog posts, email blasts and/or social media. The brands that are effectively marketing to their consumers though, are those who are providing useful information to their consumers such as video tutorials and how-to articles.
Within the past year though, I have become annoyed. Many brands have become so concerned about being seen by their potential consumers, that they are no longer useful… just annoying. Everyone agrees that spammy, frequent emails are the worst, but some runner-ups include a boring blog post for the sake of having multiple blog posts per day and brand news that really isn’t news.
Brands must start asking themselves, “will our customers and potential customers find our content to be useful?”
By all means, stay present! But find a balance between that presence and usefulness. Answer questions from your followers on social media and create new how-to videos for your products and services. I just ask that brands find that happy place between making sure their consumers and potential customers know them and the three-times-a-day-shoving-useless-content-down-your-throat emails.