Success in marketing is a moving target. Just when you've mastered your on-site SEO, Google changes the rules (i.e. the major change in cookies coming down the pike). When you finally get your blogging in full swing, they say do pillar pages instead. All your pics are finally custom, versus stock, and now you need a video. It's my job as an account manager to not only "keep my finger on the pulse," but to understand what to do as a result of changes to that pulse. Here are the top trends I'm watching in the coming year, and ones that you need to keep your eye on to stay ahead of your competition.
Be personal without being a creep.
2020 is going to be the year of personalized marketing. Consumers are quite adept at tuning out generic ads that have no real connection to them. Accordingly, traditional means of advertising are becoming much less effective. So, what can be done? Personalize it!
This is a fine line to walk. Tailor offers and messages based on behavior data that you collect through analytics. The more fine tuned the offer to the users behavior, the more they feel like you're understanding them and saving them time by only showing what they might really like. But be careful not to be overly familial or that fear of big brother kicks on and can be a real turn off.
It's about the Player, not the Game.
There was a time when he who published the most blogs won the game of search rank. This lead to an outlandish volume of 300-450 word posts about nothing in particular, for no one in particular, chock full of keywords and no real value, just to boost SEO. And it worked.
But, the computers are learning and so are the people. Authenticity is critical. Your best bet is to be true to yourself and your brand message. Say the things you want to say, how you would say them to a friend, and the like-minded folks will find you, with the help of AI. One of Google's highest ranked Ads factors is RELEVANCE. Is what you're saying in your ads and on your landing pages relevant to what the searcher is looking for? Keywords and blogs alone won't cut it.
Marketers will need to create more natural conversations to stay in the content game. Speaking to people from the heart online – with the same conversational language and tone they might use with a friend, or colleague – will help in search (think “how would I respond personally?”), as well as with building deeper, more trusting consumer relationships through the content they share.
Lube up your customer experience.
There used to be a funnel that we sent our users through. They start at the top and we narrow the field and focus the content as they go through it towards the ultimate goal of becoming a customer. But we're a fickle species and we get overwhelmed... and bored. Enter the flywheel. The customer experience is in constant motion and, if you want to grow, you need to be adding the right pressure to the right places to keep it that way.
The key to the flywheel metaphor is reduced friction. Flywheels keep spinning because you reduce factors that might impede that motion. Same applies to today's potential customer. When someone lands on your site, how hard is it for them to achieve a desired conversion? Do they have to click through three pages? Can you do it in two? Where can you sand down the rough spots and grease up the process? How can we help them work smarter not harder?
Know your lane and own it.
When you're new in a business, you tend to wear all the hats. As you grow, you realize all these hats are weighing you down so you start to look for help. Smart business people know when it's time to let an expert take on work that isn't what they founded the business to do. Know your strengths and tap into the strengths of others to grow. If you're ready for someone to wear that marketing hat, call us. We keep up on the latest trends so you don't have to.