I believe a huge part of every business' growth can be attributed to an excellent marketing strategy, though I may be a little biased. The goal of this blog is to outline some of the key marketing trends for business marketing in 2020 that will be vitally important to your success. Everyone reading this will have nuances based on their industry, but, hopefully, these 7 trends will serve as jumping off points for propelling your business forward this year! Feel free to check out these brief, easy to watch video tips. I also summarize each trend in the paragraphs below, including a few extra thoughts you may find helpful.
Today’s consumer is more different than ever! They have more options to find solutions than we ever thought possible. As marketers and business leaders, it is up to us to serve our solution in the way the audience wants it most. If you don’t, somebody else will! There are a couple simple ways to do this.
The first is by taking the content you plan to share on one channel and tweaking it to fit correctly on all other relevant channels for your brand. For example, your organization blogs, shares posts on LinkedIn, and sends a regular newsletter. Copying and pasting the same message and sharing it the exact same way on each channel is a fast way to get less engagement.
Blogs are a place to be wordy and go into detail. LinkedIn is a place to share resources and information that your network will find useful. Email newsletters serve to give regular business updates and share digestible bits of information to your audience (more on this later). All of these channels can be used to share a similar message, but each one needs different context and style to make your point stick with your audience.
This does not mean that you need to pick one single channel to share content on! The best solution for organizations is to be where their audience is. If that means one channel, great. If that means five channels, great. Keep your audience front of mind and serve them relevant content on their terms wherever you choose.
The second is combining mediums to give multiple ways to consume the information in the same place. For example, on a blog an organization could include a video paraphrasing the different points being made in that piece. This gives the audience the option to either read the blog or simply watch the video and get the information on their terms.
Another example would be transcribing the conversations had over a podcast in order to allow someone to read the information instead of having to listen to it out loud. It doesn’t always come down to how someone prefers to consume content. Most of the time it comes down to where the person is at the moment they are consuming information. Maybe your audience is in an office and they don’t have the ability to play videos out loud around everyone else in the office so they prefer to read the information out of courtesy to others around them.
You might be wondering “why do my ad costs keep going up?” Well, the competition in the digital ad space is going up. More and more organizations are seeing the potential to make money on digital ads, so they are investing in them more and more. The problem with this is the more ad space that people purchase, the less there is to go around for everyone else. Most industries’ digital ad space have become very crowded. Because of this, the cost to compete continues to climb. In most cases, digital ads serve as a temporary boost in traffic to help build the website’s domain authority. As a website’s domain authority climbs, so does its ability to rank organically for the keywords that it previously had to pay for. There is nothing wrong with paying for ads in the short term, but the goal should always be to improve the ability for the website to rank on its own without having to pay for those keywords one day.
It’s no secret that data protection is top of mind for consumers, tech giants, and the government. It’s better to be ahead of the curve on issues like this than to play catch up. The government and tech giants will be getting involved, it’s a matter of time, so preparing now will make the transition to compliance much smoother when it eventually becomes mandatory. The GDPR and the CCPA are just two examples of the measures being taken by authorities at the moment. Google, Facebook, and others will continue putting their own rules in place to show that they can be responsible without government intervention, but, in my opinion, government intervention is inevitable.
Your brand has a unique story to tell…and it’s powerful. Organizations that understand how their story can be used to differentiate themselves have an unfair advantage over their competition. In a world filled with brands telling us about the different features their products have and why their gizmo is better than everybody else's, the brands that win are the ones that use their story to draw a clear connection between their product or service and the solution the consumer is seeking. If brands can establish a meaningful connection to their audience, they become what we like to call in the marketing world “sticky”. Their audience can’t forget them, they’re the only brand that comes to mind when their problem arises!
The ability to interact with your audience in multiple different settings will position you and your team to make long term and meaningful connections. Tapping into the value that current consumers’ place on experiences is a great way to accomplish this. The best way for small businesses to accomplish this is by creating an in person event that they can then promote digitally through a campaign to a local audience. Oftentimes consumers will jump at the chance to go learn, network, and participate in an experience with a brand. This allows for the team to meet face to face with their target audience which gives them the chance to hear firsthand the pain points they are experiencing as well as what is getting them excited. This setting not only serves as a place to make connections but as a market research opportunity for your brand.
There are plenty of people who like to downplay email marketing but, the truth is, it’s here to stay! If email hasn’t worked for you in the past it’s most likely not because the platform simply isn’t a fit for your business - most of the time your strategy needs an adjustment. There is no question that the inbox of our target audiences is overflowing with bad emails that aren’t worth a dime!
Now, more than ever, businesses are pumping out ineffective emails, so it’s vital to build a well thought out, audience-centric strategy for your email list. The winners in the email space are the ones who stay agile. They test and test and test until they find something that improves their result and then they move on to testing something else! Keeping your list engaged is no small task because it's a moving target. What worked 2 months ago might not work now and if you aren’t testing, your audience could go blind to your brand (or even worse...unsubscribe!). This year, it is crucial to implement at least these three testing parameters.
Testing subject lines will give you information on what catches your lists’ attention so you know how to get people to click on your email in the future
Segmenting your email list will allow your brand to speak more directly to them. The more accurate you can be to the phase of the buyer's journey (link to download ours in new tab) they are in, the more you’ll increase engagement.
Testing out new senders to see who gets through to your audience best is a great way to improve open rates and resonate better with your audience.
Each year, consumers have moved closer to wanting to have a conversation with the brands they love. Obviously the scale of this for most businesses would be overwhelming to speak directly to them all. As time progresses, so does our access to marketing technology. This has allowed business owners to implement tools such as chatbots into their regular marketing rhythm. Chatbots act as a 24/7 support service, an outreach tool, and an opportunity to speak directly with your audience at scale. The ability to give your audience the instant gratification they crave can make a difference between a sale or a lead and a missed opportunity. Conversational marketing tactics are a great way to give your brand a personality that rises above the crowd. Consider implementing some conversational marketing techniques to grow your brand this year!
With each year comes new opportunities and 2020 is the year for boldly going where others haven’t! The solution to an oversaturated content world is not to give up! The solution is to find ways to be better than everybody else. The winner in the content world is the business who defines their target audiences’ problems the best with the most clear solution. This year will be a success for your brand if you can avoid falling into the trap of creating noise just for the sake of creating noise. Place your priority on meaningful engagements with your exact target audience instead of sharing overly general bits of information about your business. Fall in love with your target audience, so you know them well enough to speak their language clearly! Know what hurts them, know what they like, and know what keeps them up at night.
If you don't feel like you have what you need to execute on these trends, let us know if you want to chat about the support of an outsourced marketing team.