2019 awaits us. Which new trends and practices will be in store for marketers in the new year?
I did some digging and discovered several predictions for your review. I leave it to you to decide which ones have merit and which do not.
According to Janice Chou in a recent Forbes article, “content marketing continues to be a go-to marketing strategy and, as more brands are enthusiastically embracing the idea of storytelling and content creation, the competitive landscape is quickly changing.”
Here’s one of her predictions:
Marketers will develop a thorough content marketing strategy, not just an editorial calendar.
“As content marketing grows into an integral part of a marketer’s toolkit, I believe there will be a greater emphasis on analytics and, more importantly, how to analyze those figures to increase conversion and revenue. That means a more robust content strategy—not only a monthly editorial calendar—will be needed. Right now, editorial calendars are pulled together based upon traffic, general shopper or reader feedback, and seasonal or timely announcements. In the new year, expect editorial calendars to expand into a full-fledged content marketing strategy that includes content syndication, email marketing, audience segmentation and acquisition channels.”
I really hope this happens. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know how much emphasis I place on strategy and planning. Without knowing where you’re heading, how will you know when you get there?
A content marketing strategy should be based on your business’s or organization’s overarching marketing plan. Otherwise, what’s the point?
In Entrepreneur, Syed Balkhi offers this video marketing prediction:
Video is arguably the most entertaining and addicting form of content online.
“With Instagram Live, Facebook Live and live streaming on other platforms like YouTube and Twitch, live video for business will become even bigger in 2019. In fact, according to a Facebook report, daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts grew four times over, over the course of a year. With live video, your viewers feel that you’re speaking directly with them; and they’re typically going to chime in on the conversation by commenting and asking questions in real-time. The added personalization in live videos often encourages viewers to stick around longer and be more engaged, too.”
This quote is based on the Facebook report entitled, Shifts for 2020: Multisensory Multipliers. The study predicts that by 2020, more people will have mobile phones than running water or electricity at home. They are also 1.5x more likely to watch video daily on a smartphone than on a computer.
In addition, “the average attention span is said to now be shorter than that of a goldfish. But that’s only half the story. As people are exposed to a continuous and ever-growing stream of information, our ability to consume it has sped up. And as both findings are even more pronounced among younger generations, the future will be fast.”
So, it makes sense that Balkhi’s prediction has merit, right? But, let’s examine who this affects—younger generations. In fact, Millennials are 1.35x more likely than older generations to say they find it easier to focus when watching videos on mobile.
Therefore, the prediction can ring true for younger audiences. However, if you’re targeting older generations such as Baby Boomers and the remaining Greatest Generation, this approach may not be as effective.
One of Kirsten Lyons’ marketing trends in B2Community is focused on customers.
Treat your prospects like people.
“When we are increasingly being asked to hit aggressive, revenue-based goals, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the numbers and forget that, at the end of the day, we are working to connect with people. And to do that effectively, you have to meet people where they are, and interact with them in a human way. This means allowing your prospects to dictate what the next steps of their buying journey look like, and not stubbornly attempting to force them down the funnel with a drip campaign or persistent sales follow up. This also means giving your prospects options for engagement to meet their preferences and needs.”
I couldn’t agree more! Being customer-centric is especially advantageous for small-medium businesses and nonprofit organizations which can frequently offer better service and attention that their corporate counterparts.
Just because the “big guys” can afford to use AI (artificial intelligence) software and other innovative apps doesn’t mean that their customers are happier. The personal touch still reigns!
In “3 Ways B2B Marketing Is Changing in 2019,” Chris Christoff predicts this for B2B companies:
Community building is on the rise.
“Not so long ago, many B2B marketing companies tended to skirt each other, in fear that the companies they were passing by might take some of their business. The goal for 2019 seems to be mixing up that formula in a big way. TopRankBlog notes that about 23 percent of B2B marketers work on building community relationships and that ‘this should be a no-brainer’ for those who want to thrive. If you want people to know who you are, you have to engage with your community in order to build a strong following. There is no better way to become a well-known B2B marketer than by being friendly and approachable and by engaging with your audience, followers, and other companies.”
For years, corporate social responsibility (CSR) studies have measured the benefits companies experience when they connect with their communities. However, many people may still believe that CSR is reserved for enterprise organizations.
In my book, Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most For Small Business Success, I coin the term, “Small Business Social Responsibility.” Smaller businesses can certainly scale CSR to focus on local needs and philanthropic endeavors. When practiced with integrity, transparency, and a genuine desire to do good, results can produce win-win partnerships.