Forbes recently released its annual list of the World’s Top 50 Brands. The list is based on three measures: advertising revenue, net book and digital sales, and website traffic. Together, these indices rank the top global brands based on how successfully they monetize online content.
While the choice of metrics is debatable, the methodology is not. Forbes reviews market share, analyzes financial data, and tracks brand awareness and loyalty to determine a brand’s value. This makes the list a useful tool for marketers to keep an eye on.
Brands That Are Becoming More Indemand
This year’s list is full of brands that are either expanding into new markets or boosting their presence in existing ones. Here are eight online revenue trends to keep an eye on in 2017.
1. Video Is Everything
It’s no secret that video is taking over the web. In fact, according to HubSpot Blogs research, video is becoming an increasingly important part of consumers’ online experience, used by 42% of respondents.
With video, consumers get to see how a brand interacts with its customers, establishing a sense of empathy that can grow brand loyalty. In addition, videos can be shared on social media, increasing the chances of a brand gaining exposure and credibility.
Video is important because it shows the authentic personality of a brand. Consumers are more likely to trust what they see, rather than what they hear. In a study from HubSpot Blogs and Blue Corona, customers rated in-video customer service exchanges higher than out-of-video ones, due to the fact that customers felt they were seeing an ‘honest’ version of the brand.
2. Mobile Takes Center Stage
For a while, mobile seemed to be on its way out. After all, desktops ran on powerful computers that were connected to the internet, while mobile devices were limited by their processing power and connections to the web. However, the tides have begun to turn. In fact, mobile is now the preferred browsing device for consumers, due largely to the rise of mobile shopping and social media.
Along with video, mobile is becoming an important part of consumers’ online experience. According to HubSpot Blogs and Blue Corona, mobile is used by 34% of consumers, more than any other device type. Given the popularity of mobile devices, it’s a trend that marketers should keep an eye on.
3. Consumers Prefer Short-Form Content
Shopping portals, social media platforms, and email marketing all play a role in consumers’ journeys to purchase. However, consumers are tending to favor content that is concise and to the point, instead of getting caught up in lengthy blog posts or online shopping guides.
According to HubSpot Blogs and Blue Corona, consumers prefer to access content that is succinct and to the point, due to information overload. In fact, consumers say that they feel that there is too much information out there and that they prefer to learn new things through bite-sized articles. As a result, blog posts with a medium length (between 400 and 600 words) have become less effective than short-form content (between 200 and 399 words).
4. Content is King
It’s interesting to note that when it comes to video content, consumers say that they prefer to learn about what the brand has to offer through a well-designed web page, rather than through a short video.
In an interesting twist, video content is most effective when paired with text. According to HubSpot Blogs and Blue Corona, video content is more effective when paired with text, especially when it comes to consumers with low information literacy. In other words, the combination of video and text helps consumers who are unfamiliar with the brand or product better understand what the brand is all about.
5. Authentic Long-Form Content
In a world of bite-sized content, it’s important to make sure that every part of a brand’s story is presented in a way that is authentic and consistent. Otherwise, it could become confusing for the consumer, who may not understand what the brand is trying to portray.
According to HubSpot Blogs and Blue Corona, authenticity is a key factor in creating a memorable impression on customers. As a result, long-form content, like an online shopping guide or detailed FAQ page, becomes increasingly important, as it provides the consumer with more information about the brand.
The takeaway is that while video may be the preferred method of content when it comes to the delivery method, the most effective path to gaining trust and making a lasting impression may be a long-form piece of content.
6. Product Launches and Website Redesigns Are Key
In an ever-changing world, brands must be ready to adapt to new technologies and methods of marketing.
According to HubSpot Blogs and Blue Corona, 41% of consumers have changed their minds about a brand based on a website redesign, while 22% have changed their minds after a product launch. In other words, if your website or social media page looks outdated, or if there’s a major change in the way you present your products or service, it could put a damper on your marketing efforts.
7. Digital Marketing Takes the Cake
Across all industries, marketing has evolved from being completely paper-based to becoming digital. However, in the brand world, it’s shifted to being online-based.
62% of consumers shop online, while only 10% visit brick and mortar stores. That’s a huge gap that digital marketing is trying to close. The strategy is simple: attract, engage, and retain customers online, leading to increased sales.
According to HubSpot Blogs and Blue Corona, digital marketing is effective because it allows the brand to target the right audience, with the right message, at the right time.
8. Earned vs. Paid Media
Even though video is popular and digital marketing is effective, you may wonder whether or not to spend your money on paid advertisements when you have a brand video to promote. The answer is yes, as long as it makes sense for your marketing budget.
According to HubSpot Blogs and Blue Corona, paid media is important because it can target the right audience, with the right message, at the right time. In other words, it can be highly effective when executed correctly.
Brands that choose to use paid media say that they use platforms like Google Adwords or Bing Ads to gain better visibility and to attract and retain customers. In a nutshell, when used effectively, paid media is a great way to quickly get your message out there, without having to rely on only your website to do the talking.
So, as you look ahead to the next trend in digital marketing, make sure that you’ve considered how video, mobile, and other technologies will affect your marketing plan.