Ah, the beauty of a New England fall season…The crisp air, apple cider donuts and many trees display the multifaceted colors of fall. Content consumption trends this fall are just as varied as trees lining I-90 to the Berkshires. As a device dependent nation, the consumers of content have pushed both manufacturers and marketers to infinite boundaries – a flurry of multifaceted demands to have everything we want (or think we need) at our fingertips all hours of every day. So for mobile technology, Fall 2013 is blowing in with many winds of change for the content consumption marketplace.
Will the PC become obsolete? According to Digital Trends, “research firms have been informing us for some time now that sales of desktops and laptops are on the decline, with consumers turning increasingly to reasonably priced tablets and smartphones that do more than enough to keep them happy.” Even Morgan Stanley analysts have predicted that mobile web use will outgrow stationary device browsing by 2015. This is great news for mobile device makers while stationary PC’s and even laptops sales may continue to fall to below expectation when it comes to content utilization.With the impending November 29th, 2013 Black Friday and Cyber Monday on December 2nd just around the corner, its predicted that consumers’ choices are definitely shifting from PCs to handheld tablets for daily content consumption.
What’s everyone humming about? Yes it is finally arrived – Google Hummingbird. By replacing the old algorithm, Google has answered the call for easy search queries for people on-the-go. Hummingbird is essentially an entirely new ranking algorithm that understands the relationships and relevance of words and phrases, instead of just considering a bunch of individual words. Thus, making it more “human friendly” than ever. So it focuses on ranking information based on more intelligent and naturalistic search requests – providing more useful, intelligent and higher quality content in the digital world.
Seemingly Unlikely Bedfellows – Adobe & Data Analytics? Adobe Marketing Cloud is the latest user interface and in the new Adobe Analytics with an iOS operating system for mobile devices reports the baseline norm from historical user trends and then identifies data points that fall outside that norm. This super smart app offers real-time reporting capabilities to give marketers and copywriters/editors solid intel on readers content consumption, marketing campaign success and on-site conversion as it happens. An SDK mobile app will provide unparalleled opportunity analyze data collected from mobile apps in Adobe Analytics, giving marketers the ability to serve location-specific content to customers based on their location when they access a mobile app. I noticed this most recently while on Pandora. An audible ad, that was specific to my location, popped up to gain my buy-in on their services. This is perfect for true lead generation efforts and capturing the right demographic for a successful campaign.
Branding, Media Style This fall, many companies are beginning to understand that they need to think more like publishers and not just marketers. Connecting brands with online audiences is essential for true consumer, marketing integration and growth. More brands will use sizeably more video and mobile-friendly content in response to the growing number of smartphones and tablets. Media integration helps businesses generates revenue and strengthens customer relationships by leveraging the latest technology and draw on a full range media marketing resources. Since content consumption is at an all time high, using social video resources like Vimeo, YouTube, Instagram, or Vine ads flavorful social content that reaches your audience in quick and impactful ways.
Content Curation Marketing For those who don’t know, content curation goes way beyond just making sure website content is both up-to-date and SEO rich. Content curation is the process of connecting content creators, i.e. marketers, bloggers and writers, to easily and quickly target relevant content. Since content is king, content curators oversee and manage the entire landscape of content – from driving product development and marketing strategies to social networking integration, Notably, this is a fantastic tool to boost social media presence and true engagement for key target audiences.
So there you have it folks – all things content and dominant trends for the Fall season of 2013.
What do you think? Are there other content trends you see fading like the leaves of fall or flourishing in full bloom for 2014?
Today via email, I received the Executive Summary released today by Lyris (penned by The Economist Intelligence Unit) titled “Mind the marketing gap – Sizing up marketer and consumer perceptions.” The article indicated “The findings of…surveys indicate some gaps in marketers’ perception of how consumers want to engage with brands, what influences their purchase decisions and how they view privacy.” I found this article very interesting and I’ll share some tidbits from it below. Considering their findings, I began thinking about how we marketers view our marketing campaigns vs. how consumers interpret our attempts, successes and even failures.
When designing websites, I often say that I create with my marketing & copywriting hat on and then flip it backwards to gauge the visitors utilization response. Is it user friendly? Does the imagery and written content engage me? And so forth. Admittedly, I don’t always do that with print collateral to the same extent. But I should. So I want to share some of what the Executive Summary disclosed in hopes of educating both you and I on what we’re doing right, wrong and what we should be doing and considering as we engage our consumer audiences. It’s just a few tidbits but you can access the whole article on the hyperlink above.
“Consumers are put off by superficial personalization, but they appreciate customized product recommendations.
About 1 in 5 consumers say that customized offers are more likely to meet their needs than mass market offers and
that inclusion of personal details (e.g. previous transactions) makes them feel valued as customers.”
“Ways of engaging and influencing consumers vary by industry. Industries like travel, automotive and entertainment are investing in data to increase customized promotions. For automotive executives, deep analysis of consumer data top
the list of marketing strategies at 30%—higher than the all-industry average of 23% and up from 13% five years ago. The
automotive industry leads all others in spending on corporate websites, which is closely aligned with consumer
preferences. The clothing industry, on the other hand, spends more than other industries on branded social media
pages, even though clothing consumers are least likely to say they prefer to engage with brands through those
We Want It Now! This is the era we live in. I see-I want-I get. At our fingertips, the worldwide web is ready to give us minimally bridled access. So whether it’s on-demand TV, 24-hour accessible banking, shopping or bill paying-we want what we want or need when we say so. And technological advances have certainly given sway to our demanding ways.
This has created a big boom and bank for the marketing world. On-demand marketing exists and is used influentially from majority of the major, well-known companies, mid-size and even small businesses who understand not just the concept but the cash flow resulting from it. Companies and brands have come to understand and leverage this concept to zero-in or pinpoint their exact consumer targets and ensure the marketing content is responsive, relevant and effectively consumable by that target audience. One would think this is quite integral and complex-but it’s really not. It’s about intelligent, simplistic and integrated solutions for successful marketing campaigns and profitability.
In a hyper-competitive world, using on-demand marketing solutions allow businesses, small or large, to expand their reach and contact an unprecedented number of people with a minimal investment. Some examples include:
#1 – The Mobile Connection With just a few clicks on the Blackberry or taps on the Smartphone we are in the digital marketing world; consuming all that it has to offer. Creating websites that are designed for and allow for online purchasing; having a mobile version or one that can toggle between full details and basic info; increases the pleasurable consumer experience while allowing for fast paced purchasing or access to information.
#2 – The Power of Reviews
Most of today’s consumers aren’t just driven by their own desires but studies show they are mostly moved by others opinions of goods or services their fellow-man has already test-run and wrote about it. According to PowerReviews, “Customer Reviews create three times more reviews than competing solutions. This results in 10 to 50% more organic traffic to your product pages…content creation and moderation solutions use research-proven processes, product-specific templates and structured reviews that turn more browsers into buyers.” And that’s where it’s at. Turning browsers into buyers of your product and consumers of information.
#3 – From Strategies to Capabilities Once you understand and plan your on-demand strategies, it’s time to look at how they can increase the capabilities of your product or service and market that effectively. So one becomes the catalyst for growth in the other. Whether it’s a product or service, your strategies to capabilities plan should entail:
•strategically considering your resources and goals to ensure the strategies can and will hits their marks;
•brainstorming about improved capabilities of the product or service to appropriately market it; and
•clearly identifying goals and focusing on the best means for achieving them.
Summed up, it’s all about creating the need, want, and will to purchase/utilize your product or service demand while influencing potential consumers. So let your marketing plan answer the call while driving more consumers to your business and profitability.
What is a Brand Ambassador? Is there a sash or tiara one gets? Per Wikipedia: “The brand ambassador is meant to embody the corporate identity in appearance, demeanor, values and ethics. The key element of brand ambassadors lies in their ability to use promotional strategies that will strengthen the customer-product/service relationship and influence a large audience to buy and consume more. Predominantly, a brand ambassador is known as a positive spokesperson appointed as an internal or external agent to boost product/service sales and create brand awareness.” So unless being a brand ambassador is your promotion strategy – no satiny sash or sparkly tiara for you. But let’s talk about how to make your brand shine without them shall we?
If you have a business then you have a brand. And for it to be successful, that brand has to create awareness to its target audience to ultimately achieve and acquire brand loyalty.
Fact: Promoting your brand is a necessity!
Fact: Customers will pay more for brand names that they’ve come to know and trust.
Fact: For your brand to grow, you must promote your brand consistently and disseminate your brand message in as many forums as possible.
If you don’t have confidence in promoting your brand, why on earth would a consumer have confidence in it? You are the impression-setter for your company. Being a good brand ambassador is all about having confidence when talking about and marketing your brand’s product or service. Your brand is your responsibility and the success of it greatly depends on your attention to it. It’s in your hands!
HOW A BRAND IS REPRESENTED TRULY AFFECTS THE SUCCESS OF WHAT’S BEING SOLD!
Another facet to consider is where are you promoting your brand? Representation of your brand, via your website or print marketing materials, is paramount to supremacy as opposed to mediocrity. Have you considered using the free tools provided by social media?
If you’re busy actually making your product or providing your service, you might not have a lot of time to promote your brand with your own ear to the phone or feet to the pavement. You know the old adage “if you can’t beat them, join them?” Well how about “if you can’t do it, pay for it.” Consider hiring Brand Ambassadors who will beat the street for you. It’s also called Guerrilla Marketing and it’s become a very common and acceptable marketing strategy. So there are many businesses that provide this type of service and the rewards can be worth the investment if you choose correctly.
So ask yourself – Do I have the vision, tenacity and marketing savvy to leverage my brand to all its potential and watch my sales and profit margins soar? I’m sure the answer to the latter part of that question is yes, but you may not be sure about how to employ the leveraging part. I’m no expert but I do give some noteworthy morsels in my blog titled http://blog.jpdesigntheory.com/branding-to-dos-tidbits/. So take a few maneuvers from my playbook and let me know how implementing just a few of these tips works for you, as well as your potential or current clientele. I look forward to hearing how you represent your brand best.
Facebook is an important platform for both engagement and professional networking among business and marketing professionals. But not everyone believes that time spent on this social media forum is well worth the effort. Or perhaps you think you do have strong and proper utilization of Facebook. And if so, that’s fantastic and way to go in leveraging your social media marketing channels. However, if you haven’t seen much engagement last year or haven’t generated any leads from it, then maybe some (or all) of these tips can help you change your fate in 2013. With a little time, a few colleagues and these tips, you can easily make your Facebook marketing strategy a success, increase traffic and engage, engage, engage!
#1. Content Making Your Audience Yawn?
Too many brands are guilty of over-posting articles and links to other businesses articles. Facebook is the most ‘social’ platform for all and people want to see, read, and share knowledge. Just posting articles can make your page quite boring! A better way to engage fans on your page and keep them coming back for more is to share a wide array of content. Anything from Infographics to select business tips to short e-books. Facebook may not be free forever so use this worldwide social media leviathan to your advantage while it’s still gratis!
#2. Tumble Weed Blowing Through Your Pages
There’s nothing worse than having a dead Facebook page. Many businesses Facebook pages were guilty of serious neglect with posts dating back weeks or even months ago. Not only does posting infrequently kill your Edgerank (the system that controls content visibility on your network’s News Feed), but it also sends a message to your fans that you don’t care to much about their loyalty to your brand and voice. The best way to improve visibility on Facebook is by frequent postings, advertisements and product/service imagery.
#3. A Little Vanity Is Good
A lot of businesses still don’t have a vanity URL (username) and are using the same old default URL given by Facebook from when they first signed up. To business prospects this can look tacky and unprofessional. Remember that once you have 25 fans, you are able to claim a dedicated username for your page. This comes in handy when you’re directing people to your Facebook page from other sources. You don’t want them to type in a URL that’s long and awkward. If you need help changing your URL, here’s how to do it.
#4. Don’t Let Your Page Be Visually Impaired
We all know that most of us “eat” with our eyes first. Visual content remains one of the number one way to engage with your network. What catches your reader’s attention through imagery certainly opens the door leading us to the relevant information causing them to spend more time on your page. Without it, your run the risk that fewer people will ‘Like’ your page or share your content. Infographics are a great way to grab the reader’s attention with imbedded links to your page to promote key information or a healthcare service being provided.
#5. Facebook Features and Apps
Business brands may not know or choose to use custom tabs for highlighting interesting content. But they should. With Timeline, a default landing page is no longer a must for businesses. You can now draw attention to your free resources, YouTube videos or other great content by using the (four) custom tabs underneath the header image (or cover photo). Custom tabs are fun and easy to create – here is a wonderful guide to get you started.
#6. Lacking Personality?
Although you still need to be professional on your Facebook page, it doesn’t mean you have to omit personality and excitement about your services and products. Once in a while ask your fans short, entertaining questions (even within the business context) to keep them engaged. Try to consistently engage your fan base by weekly postings with a certain theme. For example, try highlighting a product or service of the week, share a business tip or customer testimonial. Nurture your Facebook community while still maintaining your humor andlightheartedness in conveying the strength of your brand and business products/services.
Facebook is a fantastic business tool that can surely help you grow your business, but you have to use it properly for it to work to your advantage. So feel free to buck business stuffiness a little while using it to generate leads, engage your fans and gain a faithful following. Stay tuned for next week’s follow-up article highlighting Tips to Promote Your Business with Facebook Ads.