Look Back to the Future for Digital Marketing
As you return to your office and begin sifting through emails this week, there are three story themes monopolizing the internet worth a deeper look when planning your 2015 marketing plan…
1. 2014 review
Whether personal or corporate, the New Year is an opportunity to look back and learn from successes and failures of the past 12 months. Nostalgia aside, this is a great practice for businesses hoping to find some guidance in planning their marketing initiatives.
Lucky for us, when it comes to digital marketing campaigns, success is directly measurable through a variety of analytics (e.g. click-through rates, page views, time spent visiting, popular posts and sharing statistics). This data is critical to understanding what worked in your marketing tactics and what took a nose dive. So make sure you review and analyze it carefully before moving on to…
2. 2015 planning
It’s no secret that we all love to set New Year resolutions, but it’s also no secret that these resolutions are often dismissed as nice ideas that are bound to be broken. So forget resolutions and start thinking objectively about building on past successes and avoiding pitfalls of poor planning or execution. Put together a plan with SMART objectives.
From a content marketing perspective, 2014 taught us a few things many of us didn’t know in 2013 and reinforced a few things we did. Here is a summary of lessons learned and an action plan of how to move forward in 2015.
Social Makes Cents
The power of social networks continues to grow because they offer businesses increasingly valuable connections to their target audiences. Despite Facebook and Twitter’s never-ending “social tweaks” to make more money for their investors at the expense of users, communicating with your target audience through social still offers two key advantages to traditional marketing schemes:
- Lower initial costs (Inbound marketing costs 61% less per lead than traditional marketing streams)
- Higher organic search leads (ultimately resulting in higher ROI)
The ongoing growth of social won’t come as a surprise to anyone with a smartphone or a sixteen year old. To illustrate the momentum of social, consider this: In 1999, 80 billion consumer photos were taken on film. In 2014, 800 billion photos were shared on social networks. (Source: Andreesseen Horowitz)
If you’re one of those business owners or marketers who still “don’t get social“, it’s time for you to face the future. And the future is social.
Quality Content is Critical
Despite the frightening futures of print magazines and newspapers, the written word is most definitely not dead. People are consuming information at a higher rate than ever and the key to marketing your brand is ensuring that your content brings them real value.
As frequency of consumption rises, so are the expectations of readers for fresh, high quality, educational, entertaining and helpful content. Regular blog posts will keep your business on the first page of Google; a major lifeline for your company to thrive online. In fact, companies that blog 15+ times per month get 5 times more traffic than companies that don’t blog. (Source: NewsCred)
And, arguably most important, content builds trust. 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles over ads. Furthermore, 78% of consumers believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them. (Source: NewsCred)
Go Mobile or Go Belly Up
As mobile devices continue to adapt to our fast-paced lifestyles (or perhaps we are adapting to them ;)) and expectations of 100% accessibility, marketing campaigns need to take action to win the advantage.
According to Ovum, by 2015 one billion people will use mobile broadband as their only form of internet access. More than 1.3 B people login to Facebook and 400+ million of those ONLY access Facebook through their smartphones.
Not convinced yet that mobile needs to be a huge part of your marketing mix? Read on…
3. Back to the Future II.
The third story trend of last week has nothing to do with your upcoming year and everything to do Marty McFly’s.
Whether in the form of viral memes reminding Facebook users of McFly’s fictional 2015, or full-length articles exploring the risks of predicting a hypothetical future, people have loved the chance to revisit this 1989 classic that sees McFly travel forward in time thirty years from 1985 to 2015.
But the Back to the Future resurgence is worth more than a Facebook LIKE. It is a great reminder that we do live in a rather futuresque world with gadgets and programs in place that few could have predicted three decades ago.
Every day we engage with smart technology that can accomplish just about anything. And while our younger generation may not (yet) be sporting colander-like helmets as they hoverboard around town, marketers can learn a lot from the way they are engaging with technology.
Whether checking the time, choosing a movie, chatting with friends or transferring rent money, millennials are always engaged with mobile. And while it may be to the dismay of their parents, it is in the absolute best interest of marketers looking for new ways to reach them.
Already, the gross majority of social media time is spent on smartphones and tablets versus laptops and PC’s (Source: Business Insider) and more time is spent on mobile apps than all of the web (Source: Andreesseen Horowitz). With daily tasks such as banking and grocery shopping acutely adapted to mobile devices, this ever-connected generation has a trusted marketing resource in the palm of their hand–or at the very least, their back pocket–at all times.
By curating quality content through various mobile-friendly social streams, your stories, your products and ultimately your brand will achieve a much broader impact. Less time, more reach and added room for creativity and personalization. The future looks good.
As with any goal setting initiative, it’s important to look ahead and imagine how your plans will adapt with progress. Like Back to the Future Director Robert Zemeckis, we don’t have a crystal ball, but we can make calculated estimations and the biggest one for 2015 is a continued emphasis on mobile.
Invest your time, energy and less of your money into mobile marketing this year. You will stop playing catch up and start leading the pack. How’s that for a resolution?
Have a healthy, happy and prosperous new year everyone!