What to look out for in 2017: Is Your Marketing Strategy Ready?

 In Marketing

The best way to ensure marketing success in 2017 is to update your marketing strategy. This provides a viable way to allocate resources more effectively. A good marketing strategy makes it easy to stay ahead of the pack and maximize return on investment (ROI). Marketing is constantly evolving and companies need to adopt a dynamic approach to grow their business.

For this reason, it is vital to assemble your sales and marketing team to formulate a working plan. The brainstorming process entails five steps: research and idea generation, idea validation, production, promotion and conversion. The final blueprint should be guided by a number of factors, including past experiences, tried-and-tested content marketing principles, current trends and more.

Some of the key considerations include:

Budget
Buyer profiles
Brand differentiators
Marketing collateral
Previous year recap
New year marketing goals
2017 timeline
Understanding the profile of your customers plays a key role when formulating a viable strategy. The buyer personas or profiles must be accurate, hence the need to update them accordingly. On the other hand, make an effort to clearly outline the buyer’s journey. The trail covers the steps each profile takes to becoming a customer. It is vital to plot all interaction points and evaluate the impact of your content or company’s actions on buyer decisions.

Identify your company’s unique selling points and strengths to leverage brand appeal. Ensure that branded visuals attract qualified leads. From website design to digital marketing materials, businesses need to communicate unique qualities to customers and prospects. The website should educate and attract visitors by maintaining a consistent messaging and branding.

Content Marketing Trends 2017

In 2016, content marketing underwent considerable changes. The developments mean marketers should investigate and adopt new approaches to maintain relevance. However, the choice of updates largely depends on the latest trends and the target audience.

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing strategy was a game changer for many organizations in 2016. This trend is widely expected to continue throughout 2017 and beyond. To successfully employ this strategy, marketers have to consider both the number of followers aligned to a given influencer and the relevance of the target audience.

Quantity coupled with quality is still king going into the new year. An increase in content consumption translates into constant need for new, relevant content. The majority of marketers are keeping content fresh by creating more of it. Personalization is another top trend guiding the approach of marketers. It is aimed at ensuring relevance to qualifying prospects, which enhances effectiveness of campaigns.

Content creation

The creation of targeted content has proven more effective than aiming for a broad audience. The approach is helping many brands differentiate themselves from the competition. For this reason, it is imperative to examine the segmentation strategies designed to filter prospects based on a number of variables. Content published on websites should implement proper search engine optimization techniques.

For some, the challenges of devising a more streamlined marketing strategy are being compounded by the need to leverage purpose-driven content. Content creation alone is not enough. The trick lies in identifying a connection between ROI and value.

Video content

Use of video content surged in 2016, and the new year is widely expected to raise the bar in terms of competition. Facebook reported a marked increase in video usage (by up to four times) starting May 2016. Meanwhile, the introduction of vertical videos by Snapchat added a new dimension to mobile content consumption.

The new year will most likely see a rise in the number of marketers repurposing content using video. This type of content can be embedded on websites, apps or on social media. Videos are an engaging way to showcase products and services.

Ephemeral content has proven to be more engaging despite its short lifespan. Studies by Snapchat revealed that the fear of missing out results in higher engagement levels. This makes the trend more appealing when dealing with various types of marketing strategies.

Top Strategies for 2017

Promote content through social media

When it comes to content distribution, it is important to complement website-based efforts with social media content promotion. The channel has proven indispensable in 2016. It rivals email and website-based distribution. Identifying the target audience on social media platforms allows marketers to improve the success rate.

Many brands are combining content distribution and paid advertising on social platforms to maximize exposure. It comes as no surprise that companies reportedly spent up to $23.68 billion on paid social media advertising in 2016. The figure is expected to jump to around $35 billion in 2017, according to eMarketer.

Another interesting aspect of social media is continued maturity of influencer marketing. Brands are realizing the value of recruiting a number of micro-influencers with real relevance. This approach is more beneficial than opting for one mega influencer. The former provides a more authentic way to engage the target audience.

Target mobile users

Mobile content marketing continues to play a prominent role across various sectors. The new year is not expected to be any different. The success of Pokemon Go should help bolster interest in optimizing content for mobile. However, you have to master the idiosyncrasies of composing content for mobile devices.

More businesses are finding value in introducing their own apps. On another level, attention is gradually shifting to wearable mobile devices, which are projected to see increased usage in the coming year.

The new year comes at a time when mobile traffic outperforms desktop. Most new internet users are gaining access through mobile devices, while many existing users search for products and services on the go. The introduction of mobile-friendly approaches like responsive web design is enhancing the experience for users. Google announced that it now indexes the web pages using the mobile-first index.

Increase your email marketing budget

Email marketing is still a viable option going into 2017. Its relevance is supported by the massive global reliance on email clients for communication. Return on investment is significant. Marketers take advantage of an ROI of up to $44 for every $1 spent on email marketing strategy.

An effective campaign avoids the inclusion of more than one call to action. The message should be concise and composed with a single, clear purpose. The aim is to keep the message professional. Spammy emails are perceived as annoying.

Target more local website traffic

Targeting local traffic is one of the most effective ways to boost conversion and sales. Many potential customers search for local services using zip codes or by city or state. For this reason, it is crucial to target these consumers by implementing appropriate SEO tactics. Marketers should focus on improving content and website visibility, which translates to higher search rankings.

Consolidate marketing platforms

Many brands are improving efficiency and reducing expenses by consolidating marketing tools or platforms. Using too many separate marketing platforms can be confusing. For this reason, a single platform is preferable since it boosts return on investment.

Your competitors are certainly looking out for strategies to give you a run for your money. Simplemachine is here to help you re-design your brand. By sharing your goals with us, we craft a marketing strategy as part of your road map to success. Contact us today.

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