I recently spent a few interesting hours at the Digital and Social Marketing Conference. The conference aimed at digital marketers covered many things including the future of digital and social marketing, the impact that AI is having on the way businesses use marketing and the shift from the use of celebrity influencers to the use of real life influencers.
Something that really stood out for me was that most of the conference speakers all commented that as consumers we are ignoring bulls**t messages and are craving more relevant and interesting content from digital and social sources.
For business owners, this means that it is no longer good enough to just post messages on Twitter or Facebook about your latest special offer or newest product. People are simply not interested. The type of content they want from brands needs to be unique, in-tune with their interests and worthy of their attention.
Big business is doing it, so can you
Most of the conference speakers were from big brands, who can afford spend millions on a marketing campaign. Whilst, this level of spending is totally unrealistic for the average business, the method of message delivery doesn’t have to be.
What big businesses do, smaller businesses can also do.
You could even look at it and say that it is easier for SME’s to market themselves. Big brands feel the pressure to be innovative and to be pushing the boundaries in marketing. They know they could be spending millions on a campaign and it could end being a flop.
Smaller businesses have the luxury of being able to see what methods are working well for the big brands and then apply these techniques to their own business.
3 Marketing trends for 17/18 that SME’s can invest in
I’ve summarised three marketing trends that will be important for SME’s to invest in 17/18:
Video will continue to be huge. As one speaker put it, why write a thousand words when you can say the same thing in a 60-second video.
Creating video content no longer requires a whole video production team and a large budget. Anyone can create a video for their business using a smartphone. With a little editing, you can create a great looking video. Some people don’t even bother with editing, they stream live to Facebook and Twitter.
There are several options available when it comes to creating video content. Choose one that you are comfortable with and that you feel will suit your customers viewing habits.
Traditionally, influencer marketing involved paying a celebrity to endorse your product. Kim Kardashian has become the queen of endorsement. It is reported that she can earn up to $300,000 per product. In truth, it’s probably more than this.
It may be bad news for Kim, as people are starting to be less trusting of celebrity endorsed brands and are looking for endorsements from ‘normal’ people.
Smaller businesses can jump into influencer marketing very easily and cheaply. They can interview existing clients about their experience and present it as a case study or testimonial. Or, they can reach out to bloggers who cover their area and ask them to review the product or service.
If they can persuade a blogger with a large following to review their brand they could reach an audience of thousands.
This means getting the message to the right people, at the right time and in the right space.
One of the easiest features on Facebook for businesses is Facebook advertising. It gives a business of any size the opportunity to reach customers 5 miles or 5000 miles away. The downside is (as with any form of online advertising) if you don’t get your audience right, the advert could be ignored and ROI is nil.
Therefore, analysing customer behaviour is very important, more so than segmenting customers by demographics.
Small businesses should track the source of any online transactions using either a code or with a “where did you find us” tick box. This information can guide the business with its future marketing campaigns.
The future of marketing is moving away from big bold campaigns and is focussing on getting on the basic need of the consumer – providing information they want in a way they want when they want it.