It’s now been a whole year since the last biggest review of 2017, so let’s have another look at the hottest trends in online marketing. As you’ll see, many of these trends are here to stay and are very relevant today.
Video Content is On the Rise
Back in August 2017, YouTube announced that it had served over 1 trillion video content items to users across the globe. Now, a year later, video content is still on the rise. In fact, according to HubSpot Blogs research, 87% of consumers have watched videos on social media sites in the last week. Further, 77% have watched YouTube videos in the past week.
Video content can be fun to create and easy to understand. However, ensuring that your videos are high-quality and engaging can be incredibly time-consuming. Thankfully, there are a number of platforms that can help you with the production process, from finding the right equipment to editing and publishing your content. As a result, creating, producing, and publishing video content became much simpler and more convenient.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or someone just starting out on this journey, knowing what will resonate with your audience is essential when creating content. After all, video content can be both engaging and entertaining, but it also has the ability to reach people where they are, showing them content they might not have seen otherwise. And since people are consuming video content more frequently, marketers should take the time to see how they can incorporate this new medium into their content strategy.
In the past year, we have seen a rise in brands placing a greater emphasis on customer-centricity across all marketing endeavours. From digital marketing and social media to SEO and email marketing, your customers should always come first.
In fact, companies like HubSpot who pride themselves on being customer-centric created a tagline that embodies the brand’s philosophy: “Helping customers accomplish more through technology.”
The idea behind customer-centric marketing is that the customer is at the centre of every decision that the business makes. This includes everything from product selection and development to pricing and delivery. As a result, marketing efforts should be shaped by the needs and wants of the customer.
For instance, earlier this year, HubSpot conducted a study that revealed that 79% of consumers search for products and reviews before purchasing a piece of tech. This means that, in the future, tech companies will need to consider searching for products and reviews before releasing any new releases.
Personal Branding and Digital Natives
Personal branding and digital natives are two terms that describe a similar concept: the idea that marketing efforts should reflect the personality and values of the company.
A company’s digital marketing practices and content should reflect its culture and be consistent with the “Marketing Material” section of the corporate website. However, since the lines between marketing and design become increasingly blurred, the “Marketing Materials” section should not solely be considered as the digital manifestation of the brand.
In the past year, we have seen a rise in personal branding and companies valuing the “customer experience” above all else. This was reflected in platforms like Twitter’s new consumer-focused design as well as in the success of blogs and vlogs that focus on providing quality content relevant to everyday consumers.
To stand out from the competition, entrepreneurs and small businesses must establish their brand voice, whether that’s fun, engaging, or educational.
Mobile First, SEO Second
In the past year, we have seen an emphasis on mobile-friendliness in website design, from icons to copy. As a result, Google, which is the dominant search engine, moved the “search button” to the top of the page. This means that Google will prioritize websites that are responsive and have an easy-to-use mobile-based search bar. To follow suit, marketing departments should develop content for mobile first, ensuring that their SEO efforts are in line with the platform’s preferences.
Generation Y and the Rise of Influencers and Micro-influencers
In the past year, we have seen an increase in content created by and for younger audiences. This can be attributed to several factors, including the decline of traditional TV audiences, the proliferation of video platforms like YouTube, and the rise of influencers.
You may already be familiar with influencers, people who have large networks of followers who are more than happy to help promote a product or service if they feel it will help them gain more followers and ultimately make them more influential. The most popular fashion, beauty, and lifestyle influencers usually command thousands of dollars in sponsored posts per video.
With the right strategy, companies can harness influencers’ large audiences to drive sales. For instance, earlier this year, Guess released a TV commercial featuring the influencer Patricella, who has over one million Twitter followers. In the ad, viewers learn about several famous fashion designers who have designed collections inspired by Guess’ iconic style.
One example of micro-influencer marketing is TikTok, the popular social media platform that was valued at nearly $15 billion earlier this year. The platform is often referred to as “digital natives’ paradise” because it was founded by and is dominated by millennials (i.e., people who were born in the 1980s and grew up in the age of social media).
Due to TikTok’s popularity and the fact that it’s dominated by millennials, we can safely assume that content created for the platform will heavily feature influencers, trendy memes, and lots of laughter. If you’re looking to target this audience, you may want to consider creating content in a similar style.
To ensure the success of their micro-influencer marketing strategy, companies must understand the dynamics of this evolving consumer audience. This means determining the gender, age, and language preferences of their target audience before devising a plan of action.
Marketing to Generation Z
One of the biggest trends to emerge in the past year is marketing to Generation Z. Since these are the consumers who will inherit the World, it is important that brands create marketing materials and products that resonate with this audience. But how can marketers reach Generation Z when they’re often overlooked by brands?
One way is by considering the platforms and media channels that Gen Z uses to consume content.
According to a Buzz Sumo analysis of over 500 million videos, the top-three video platforms that Gen Z uses are YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram—in that order. Additionally, the research noted that Gen Z’s primary social media sites are Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. Finally, Gen Z is more likely to click on videos that are hosted on platforms like YouTube and TikTok rather than traditional websites. This is because sites like these provide a more personalized experience and allow consumers to easily discover new content.
To ensure that your marketing efforts are reaching this important audience, consider the digital platforms that they’re using to consume content and devise a plan of action that takes the above factors into account. For example, if you’re considering advertising on YouTube, make sure that your target audience is also found on this platform. With over 1.7 billion monthly active users, YouTube is the most popular video platform globally. As a result, if you’re looking to target Gen Z, consider creating helpful and educational content for this audience on YouTube.
Video is Changing the Way We Get our News
Back in March of this year, a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey revealed that 38% of news consumers get most of their information from online videos. This is compared to only 15% who get information from traditional news sources like newspapers and magazines. Furthermore, the survey revealed that 80% of respondents use a mix of online and traditional sources to gather news.
While video content is rapidly changing the way we interact with each other and get our news, it’s still early in the game. In 2022, video is expected to account for 79% of all consumer Internet traffic.
Considering the above, video content is here to stay and companies should take the time to understand its importance in today’s society.