Digital marketing will continue to be a watchword for businesses in 2019 and beyond. Though trends evolve over time, one thing is certain: it’s essential for every business to have a comprehensive content marketing strategy. Seventy percent of B2B marketers say that their organization’s content marketing is more successful than a year ago.
To help you reach your own digital marketing goals next year, Vizion Interactive asked some of the industry’s top experts how to approach digital marketing in the New Year. Here’s what they had to say.
“My advice for businesses in 2019 is to “take it personal” and invest in avenues that allow for a more personal connection with their customers. Those avenues include identifying the influencers that have your audience’s ear and finding ways to engage with those influencers in an authentic way.”
“Start with a concrete statement about the behavior you want and how you’re going to measure it. Otherwise, you’re just pivoting around the solution to an unknown problem. Too many marketers fall in love with making the most clever campaign, because that’s what we reward. But at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is the behavior you change. Sometimes, boring changes behavior.”
“I think the biggest thing that sites and SEOs are missing are the opportunities for schema markup. So many sites don’t take advantage of marking up their sites. On-page SEO has come back, as well, and many don’t take advantage of the classic HTML type of markup, using Headings, Lists, Tables, and Images/graphics.”
– Bill Hartzer, SEO Consultant
“In 2019, renew your commitment to providing your audience with truly useful content that educates them and helps them become your ideal customer. Walk them through a process, teach them about an industry and provide them with resources that make their lives easier. Brands who do this – provide useful content for their audience – will be top of mind as a solution whenever those customers face a challenge!”
– Melanie Deziel, Founder of StoryFuel and brand storytelling keynote speaker
“I think it’s really important to understand that most of the time when we’re putting messages out there they don’t have those key components that people actually need. I refer to it as the minimum viable message. It’s like we put minimum viable products out there to test them and see how they work, but we tend to just put out these long form pieces of content, or these fully baked ad campaigns without actually making sure that they have these pieces that people must have in order for those messages to make sense.”
– Tamsen Webster, Founder of The Red Thread
“I would just encourage everyone to ask themselves: ‘How is our brand significant in the lives of our loyal users?’ because that is best answered through qualitative research. Big data tells us a whole lot about what our customers are doing but the secret of brands are why they’re doing it and why they’re loyal and that’s the secret to going beyond just being relevant to them to actually being irresistible and so I would just say start the new year by asking that question and see if you know, and if you don’t know the answer then you need to go find out.”
– Cynthia Round, Brand Strategist, Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Businesses should really rely on newsletters and eBlasts more than focusing so much on social media because that’s always kind of out of our control. We experienced at National Geographic, Facebook was a partner for us, the algorithm changing constantly and newsletters are something you can control and that to me is where you have a very loyal audience. I think Facebook’s great for the back-and-forth conversation but I think in 2019 people really need to spend more time thinking about newsletters, doing a/b testing, and investing more in there as opposed to just social media.”
“I think company culture core values and that intersection of core values and marketing is an important place to focus. We’ve spent so much time on social media and digital marketing focused on purely marketing, but a lot of times we haven’t done a good job at looking at it internally for better internal communications, better relationships between employees and better communications of that core value message being told externally. Marketers are getting more involved in this as well but the unemployment rate right now is so low that when you’re competing for the best and brightest talent, your company’s marketing story, your company’s culture and core values are really part of that as well when you’re competing for high-value potential employees against other employers. You really have to incorporate all of these areas of your company and the values and the mission and the culture as well.”
“Moving into 2019, everything’s going towards mobile so even the content that we’re not producing new, but the content that we’re trying to kind of give a facelift to, the content we’ve already published, we really need to think about the mobile user and design the content that we’ve already created for desktop users to facilitate the mobile user and what that means is really creating content that gives an immediate answer. It makes it very quick and easy to digest as well as something that they can digest on their mobile devices, which is video. Everything’s moving to video and taking what used to be text and now making it video.”
– Ashley Ward, Evangelist, Madhouse Marketing
“I would advise businesses to go back to the basic. Just focus on what the user really wants and really needs and if you really understand your user then you know you’re crafting the right kind of product or experience or service for him. So just keep in mind that the user is first and in general, try to do the right thing. It’s one of our leadership principles, so it’s funny when you do the right thing either for moral reasons or for ethical reasons, you an also end up helping your business.”
– Lily Bather, Interaction Designer, 7-Eleven
“It’s all about ROI. Make sure that you have real (good) measurements for success for everything that you’re investing in, be it SEO, PPC, Email, etc. When you see that something is overachieving, think about how you can invest more in those channels. Likewise, if something is underperforming, consider what you might do to move money from the “losing” bucket into the “winning” bucket.”
– Mark Jackson, President and CEO, Vizion Interactive
“Trust will be a big factor in marketing in 2019. With GDPR, high profile data breaches, social platforms being criticized over so many transgressions and perceived as having “creepy” algorithms in 2018, companies need to make sure they are baking in ways to instill trust with their target consumers. This might mean reviewing internal processes to ensure data is being used correctly and as transparently as possible, but also making sure consumers are being educated on how to ensure their personal information is being safeguarded and not used in nefarious ways. To build trust, we’ll also see an increase in companies using people as mark of their marketing campaigns in the form of the personal brands of employees within the company, and well-chosen influencers who they partner with to carry the brand message. People trust people way more than they trust a logo, so having people-power as part of your marketing mix will pay dividends as your target audience identifies with the human faces of your brand and keeping wanting to come back for more.”
– Mel Carson, Founder ~ CEO ~ Principal Strategist, Delightful Communications
Digital marketing, for 2019, is less about connecting with the latest trend and more about understanding your target customer – and crafting content that engages them with your brand:
- Influencer marketing will continue to be a cost-efficient option for businesses in 2019. This allows target customers to relate to a brand and lends an air of authenticity. A survey by Collective Bias found that 70% of Millennials admit peer recommendations swayed them.
- Going back to basics means knowing your targets. For some businesses, conducting a full target market analysis in the New Year could prove beneficial.
- A mobile-first approach will continue to be a valuable use of marketing dollars, especially when you consider that the average consumer spends five hours a day on their smartphone.
- Authenticity and ethical marketing will be dominant trends in the coming years. Not only do consumers tend to stop buying from companies they find unethical, a collective public interest in ethical behavior will trickle down into business marketing.
- Measurement of your marketing goals is essential. Without a concrete plan for evaluation, you could be wasting money that could be better spent elsewhere.
2019 will be the year of ethical, authentic marketing experiences that drive value to your target customer. If you pursue digital marketing manner, conversions and sales should follow naturally. Are you ready to make it your best year yet?
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