by Guest Author on August 22, 2014
It is an amazing time to be working in marketing. With the field evolving almost every day, client expectations have soared. There are, however, several diverse and innovative tools available today that help marketers meet their high expectations.
The marketing arena has witnessed many changes in the recent years. Marketers are more alert than ever before with their number one priority being to create and strengthen marketing plans for the time to come. The way companies communicate with their customers goes a long in way in establishing how the former will be perceived.
While companies realize that their product or service isn’t going to sell by itself, more and more marketing pros find themselves facing increasing challenges ahead. We all know that a robust marketing strategy plays a huge role in giving businesses headway in the industry. But there are certain trends, which when applied accurately, can help augment your marketing plan.
In this post, we look at 3 marketing trends that marketers and businesses need to know about, in order to do crackling business this year.
1. Niche Social Media Sites
Over the last few years, social media has gained immense prominence, not just among teenagers, but people of all ages. In fact, it has become a highly potent tool for businesses to connect with prospective customers and maximize the chances of success.
This tool is especially efficient and cost-effective for startups looking to find and establish their customer base.
Looking at the rising acceptance and usefulness of social media in creating awareness among the masses, marketers cannot afford to overlook the role it plays in helping to build a brand. Having a social media strategy, however, is no longer limited to posting promotional content and advertisements on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
A lot of companies prefer to target specialized networks as they find it difficult to identify the ideal audience for their product/service through the conventional social networking platforms.
It is, however, possible to tap into your target audience through niche social media sites.
Niche networking sites provide you with the right platform to connect with a specific audience. If used tactically, you can come across prospective customers and business partners from your industry, who will probably have the same commercial interests as you.
While the conventional social networks may be popular and bigger in terms of reach and users, there are many niche social networking sites that concentrate on people with more specific needs.
It is advised that you do some research on such sites and subscribe to one that is most relevant to your business as doing so will help you create visibility, brand awareness, build a positive reputation, and create a loyal customer base.
2. Location-based/Mobile Marketing
With an increasing dependency on portable devices like mobile phones (or smartphones) and tablets, more marketers are opening up to the prospects of using location-based marketing. These gadgets come equipped with geo-location technology, which needs to be harnessed by businesses in order to tap local markets to the best of their ability.
In the last few years, technology that enables businesses to geo-target their marketing messages towards potential consumers has gained significance and now allows entrepreneurs to reach limited but influential audiences in particular locations via mobile devices. Customers can use these marketing messages to –
- Search for local businesses over the Internet
- Check-in at a particular place via an online, location-based service
This type of marketing is an effective and quantifiable way of boosting sales. Some of the most commonly used location-based services are Google Places, Facebook Check-in, Foursquare, Yelp, Loopt, and Urbanspoon.
Simple location-based services like Google Places provide very basic services. It will generate a list of businesses according to the user’s search terms along with basic information about them. Services such as Yelp and Foursquare, however, are more advanced. Once a user checks into a particular place, he may start receiving information about offers and discounts for immediate use at nearby businesses.
3. Content Marketing
Content marketing continues to be popular, and it isn’t difficult to guess why. Come to think of it, hasn’t great content always helped drive demand for goods and services? It all depends on how you perceive content marketing and make the most of it to reap its immense benefits.
The Content Marketing Institute defines it as “the technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined target audience in order to drive profitable customer action.”
The eminence of original and engaging content is estimated to multiply in the coming years. With updates on Panda, Penguin and the ilk, search engines are now realizing that just doing SEO isn’t enough anymore, which has resulted in more stress on updated, fresh, and pertinent content.
Here’s some information for those who aren’t aware of how content marketing helps:
- Content marketing involves communicating with your existing and prospective customers without actually selling products/services.
- Instead of directly promoting your offerings, you are delivering relevant information, thereby increasing the customer’s knowledge.
- Content marketing works on the principle that by consistently delivering factual and valuable information to customers, you can convert them into buyers and loyal patrons of your product/service.
This marketing technique has been adopted by some of the biggest giants such as Microsoft, Cisco Systems, P&G, and John Deere. Apart from the stalwarts, it is also used by small businesses and startups around the world, because they see its worth and effectiveness.
Content marketing has a bright future as it is proving to be one of the most effective ways of influencing customers positively and gaining their trust. It is a great way for businesses to establish their authority over other brands. Churning out accurate and helpful content consistently is the key to being successful in this.
While being in marketing allows you to be creative in your efforts to promote a business and acquire customers, you also need to direct efforts towards engaging and retaining them. The above three marketing techniques may help you immensely in resonating with the new-age customer.
Andrew Cravenho is the CEO of CBAC – an innovative financing company. As a serial entrepreneur, Andrew focuses on helping both small and medium sized businesses take control of their cash flow.
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