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7 digital trends to include in your marketing plan

7 essential trends to include in your marketing plan

Marketing has been democratised. The capability to use marketing tools and technology without having to beg or pay for attention is unprecedented. It’s a time where you can now build your own crowd to market and sell to, without paying the mass media gate keepers.

Have you adapted your marketing tactics to meet the continual marketing and technology evolution?

Seven trends that all marketers need to consider in their marketing plan to remain effective and current.

1. Content marketing

The importance and role of content marketing and how it works across social media, search, multimedia, and mobile is becoming a key focus for many brands. Many companies don’t understand the importance of this trend and how it underlies almost all digital marketing. Brands such as Coca Cola have recognised this and changed their strategies to meet the web realities.

Brands have been blinded by the shiny new toy of social media, and think that Facebook marketing is all they should be doing beyond their day-to-day habitual marketing that they have been doing for decades.

This is just a snippet of your activity focus. You should not be forgetting Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, plus many others to market your content. Content is the foundation of all digital marketing, and is the reason people read, view, or share. Creating “liquid content” is vital to create brand awareness and tap into crowdsourced marketing.

2. Mobile marketing

The rapid rise of smart phones and tablets has flatfooted many marketing managers, and delivering marketing messages and content that is optimised for mobile platforms is becoming a “must”. Increasingly, consumers are viewing content, receiving emails, and buying products from “small screens”.

Companies need to urgently redesign websites and blogs to “responsive” (respond to all devices screen sizes for optimal viewing and usability) to ensure they are optimising for mobile devices. Some websites are recording 30%-40% of all traffic from mobile devices. That should not be ignored. It will cost you money and lead to missed opportunities.

3. Integrated digital marketing

Companies that are savvy marketers are realising that digital marketing should not be ‘one-offs’ that are islands of isolated tactics. Social media and content is impacting search results. Google created Google+ for a few reasons including capturing social signals. Ensuring that your approach is allowing you to tie them all together to achieve maximum effectiveness is becoming key. This is optimised and integrated digital marketing.

4. Social media at scale marketing

Brands are also realising that “doing” social is complex and is like juggling many balls at once. We are seeing the rush to develop, buy start-ups, and implement Enterprise platforms that are assisting marketing professionals to market, manage, and monitor multiple social networks as well as other digital marketing platforms (for example, email).

The tools to manage the complexity are emerging and evolving as the rush to package the technology accelerates. The holy grail to have one tool to manage your marketing is the mission for many software companies who see this opportunity. This is “social at scale

5. Continuous marketing

Marketers need to realise that a strong trend is emerging called continuous marketing. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t run “campaigns”. The reality is that being found online (found in social network updates, Twitter streams and in a Google search) requires constant SEO activity and content creation, publishing, and marketing.

Google hates silence.

Creating, curating, and marketing content that is fed into the maws of the social media beast needs to be relentless or you will be left behind and lost in the web noise. To do this well requires implementing marketing automation that leverages your time and resources.

6. Personalised marketing

The “one size fits all” approach to marketing, where mass messages are broadcast on television and traditional media, are becoming less effective due to media saturation. We are seeing the rise of personalised marketing on e-commerce sites, websites, and emails that tailor the advertising and user interface to the relevant interests of consumers.

Visit an online store once and come back, and the website knows that you are male and like Nike runners. The next email that arrives has also been personalised with products that you visited while shopping online. The web is capturing your habits as it reads the data, applies intelligence and serves up information that is relevant to “you”.

This trend is being driven by technology using “big data” to increase marketing effectiveness.

7. Visual marketing

We first saw the creep of visual marketing into the landscape when YouTube entered mainstream consciousness a few years ago. Since then, this creep has turned into a torrent of visual marketing with emergence of Pinterest, Instagram and even Slideshare.

In the last 6 months this has gone to a whole new level as Vine’s 6 second snack size video, and now Instagram’s new 15 second video app has marketers scrambling for creative inspiration to apply and leverage this new trend. Your marketing needs to ride this trend to increase engagement and cut through the online noise.

What about you?

Which trends excite you or even surprise you? Have you adapted your tactics to meet the continual marketing and technology evolution?

I look forward to hearing your stories, feedback and insights in the comments below.

More reading:

How to be an amazing digital marketer 
The dawn of the ‘contsumer’: Are you prepared?
5 lessons from Coca Cola’s new content marketing strategy
23 tips for creating content that Google loves
37 tools and resources for blogging and social media marketing
Social commerce: Does it work or not?
Omni-channel marketing: why all the fuss?
Big data, smart data, my data?

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