No matter how fantastic your product, you aren’t going to sell anything unless you have a killer marketing strategy in place.
But the landscape of marketing is always changing, especially with the rise of digital and social media marketing.
Here is what every business needs to know about marketing for the upcoming year.
DO cultivate a visual storytelling strategy.
Visual storytelling will continue to situate itself as an important marketing strategy.
Today’s consumers are absolutely saturated with information, and the Internet is becoming increasingly polluted with digital noise.
Visual storytelling is not only a way for brands to stand out, it is also a powerful way to build online communities predicated on interaction and engagement. Remember, you don’t just want consumers to see your content; you also want them to engage with it.
The idea is to craft compelling visual stories that elicit emotion and spark consumer action.
DO solicit consumer participation.
The more that your marketing material fosters consumer engagement, the better. Consumer participation is the way to succeed in 2015.
When British chocolate company Cadbury decided to relaunch its beloved Wispa Gold candy bar in preparation for the 2012 London Olympics, it immediately took to social media to ask its consumers for help.
Marketing executives at the company created the clever “Retweet for Sweets” challenge, allowing users to win a box of Wispa Gold if @wispa retweeted their completed Tweet: “I love #WispaGold because _____.”
The results were impressive: 41 million Wispa Gold bars sold out in just weeks. Cadbury was literally selling a Wispa bar every single second.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
DO focus on mobile users.
Mobile usage will eclipse computer-based Internet usage in 2015. That means that markets need to work to cultivate mobile channels.
That means utilizing responsive Web design to optimize mobile user experience on your website and developing mobile-specific marketing strategies.
Keep in mind that mobile apps are also an incredibly effective way to target mobile users. However, make sure you do some research before you plunge into app development, and make sure you have a clear app marketing plan in place.
DO focus on video.
Video is an absolutely crucial marketing strategy.
The average Internet user spends roughly one-third of his or her time online consuming video-driven content, so you need a top-notch video marketing strategy to succeed, especially in the realm of social media. If your brand doesn’t have accounts on Vine and Instagram, now is the time to jump on the bandwagon.
DO be flexible.
Marketing efforts that are agile and flexible will be poised for success in 2015 and beyond.
That means being able to respond to trends or events promptly, developing and adapting your marketing strategy and content accordingly.
In fact, any ability to capitalize on real-time events will increasingly make or break a brand’s marketing strategy, especially when it comes to social media marketing platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Oreo is one of the best examples out there of a brand employing a flexible marketing strategy that makes it easy to capitalize on real-time events. Take, for example, Oreo’s Super Bowl ad. When the power went out at last year’s Super Bowl, the brand released an innovative ad announcing, “You can still dunk in the dark.”
Though the concept was simple, it was clever and incredibly relevant. Needless to say, it was an instant hit and went viral across social media networks.
DON’T ignore digital.
Digital marketing is essentially marketing that occurs through digital devices, including tablets, smartphones, computers, etc.
The idea is to link digital marketing with more traditional channels of marketing in order to maximize consumer engagement and improve effectiveness.
Take, for example, Dunkin’ Donuts’ Vine campaign. Last football season, the coffee brand used Vine to animate some of the most memorable plays using coffee cups on a football field.
The brand eventually moved these animations onto stadium billboards, which appeared on television during segments between ESPN programming. All in all, it was the perfect blend of digital advertising with more traditional mediums.
DON’T forget about your target audience.
Some things never change. As always, tailoring marketing content to your target demographic is absolutely crucial.
Targeted marketing is much more effective than more broad, blanket strategies. That means you need to define your target consumers.
Of course, you can also rely on traditional means to do this, such as U.S. Census Bureau information. However, in today’s world, social media analytics can also provide valuable demographic information.
The Facebook analytics tool, for example, provides valuable insight into who is visiting and interacting with your Facebook page, including like sources, visitor demographics, external refers, and media consumption, among much more. This not only helps you to identify who your target consumer is, but also his or her needs and preferences.
Remember, the more information you have about your target audience, the better your marketing campaign will be. By understanding what other sites your consumers tend to visit, you can maximize the impact of your marketing dollars.
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