You may be familiar with the ‘silent’ generation, meaning people who grew up in the era of social media and online marketing. In fact, up until a few years ago, adults aged between 18-24 were more likely to use social media than traditional media.
Today, with the shift towards more traditional marketing methods, the ‘silent generation’ is now entering the workforce. In the last month, 41% of respondents in a Monster.com survey said they were motivated to seek employment after being out of work for a while. For Gen Z, the motivation to work hard and succeed is intertwined with marketing a brand; 60% said they were more likely to purchase a product or service after seeing it advertised, and 55% said they would be more engaged with content if it was presented in an appealing and interesting manner.
The Rise Of Online & Offline Marketing
The rise of the ‘silent generation’ has seen traditional marketing methods rise alongside them. According to HubSpot Blogs research, the percentage of adults who use more than one form of media increased from 27% to 38% in the past year. As a result, marketing strategies have evolved to include multiple platforms and methods, with an integration of online and offline strategies.
Let’s take a closer look at how this has manifested itself in recent industry trends and why it’s important to understand.
1. Influencer Marketing
In traditional marketing, an advertising agency would identify a target audience for a product or service, and a brand would then work to gain recognition by influencing people towards the product. While this still happens, today’s influencers seek to build a personal brand around sharing content that influences their audience to take a certain action (such as buying a product) and encourages them to engage with the brand.
As a result, we see a rise in influencer marketing, where content creators and social media influencers promote products or services for brands they’re affiliated with. This approach can be effective because the influencers’ audience already trusts them; if they’re presenting content that’s helpful, entertaining, or offers useful advice, they’re likely to have a vibrant community willing to engage with brands.
In 2020, TikTok is the most popular video platform globally, with over 800 million monthly active users. It’s also one of the biggest markets for influencer marketing, with popular creators making millions of dollars per year. According to TikTok, 70% of content on the platform is created by influencers, with this figure expected to increase to 90% by the end of 2021.
2. Authentic Long-Form Content
Whether you agree with the theory or not, people nowadays prefer to read long-form content. As a business owner or marketer, you may be familiar with clickbait and other forms of short-form content, which typically has a sensationalist headline, a few gifs or a video that encourages readers to click. However, what you may not be aware of is that audiences are also warming to longer articles that provide in-depth information about a product or service, with one prominent marketing firm predicting that shorter content will lose its appeal in four years’ time.
Long-form content makes for more interesting and engaging reading, and it also provides a greater opportunity to include more internal links to other content on your website, increasing the overall time a reader spends on your site and lowering the bounce rate. The benefits of longer articles are numerous, so it’s worth considering investing in longer-form journalism, not just for SEO purposes, but as a vehicle to engage with an audience and keep them coming back for more.
3. Video Content Is On The Rise
Although text-based content is more prominent than video content on the internet, video content is quickly gaining popularity as a medium. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 35% of respondents cited video content as the most effective form of content when it comes to gaining information about a product or service, while 17% prefer reading about the same topic and 14% said they prefer listening to an explainer video.
If you’re a business owner or marketer, chances are you have a website, social media accounts, or even an email list that you use to promote your product. If you’re looking to grow your business online, video content is an important, if not essential, piece of the puzzle. Videos can help you build credibility as an authority in your industry, increase traffic to your website, and even attract potential customers who prefer to learn about your product or service via video content.
4. Personal Branding Is The KEY!
As previously mentioned, people are warming to content that is tied to an individual’s identity, rather than a general business brand. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 17% of respondents said they’d be more engaged with content if it was presented by a person who is either a) familiar with the industry, b) a person they know, or c) an expert in the field.
These respondents prefer to see a personal connection between an individual and a brand or product they may be considering purchasing. The fact that 55% said they would be more engaged with content if it was presented by an authoritative voice in the field illustrates the importance of having an individualized approach when marketing a product or service. If you’re unfamiliar with the field or industry your company seeks to enter, it can be difficult to present your product in a way that makes sense to the target audience. If possible, consider having an expert in your industry present and articulate the value of your product or service to customers. This way, you can be sure that everyone, from the receptionist to the CEO, will be able to articulate what the product is, why it’s important, and how it can benefit the customer. Better yet, have an expert present during the entire sales process so that the entire team can walk away feeling confident that they contributed to the buyer’s experience and were there at every step of the way to provide an excellent customer experience.
The Importance Of Integrating Offline & Online Marketing
As a marketer or business owner, your goal is to grow your business and engage with customers. If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you already recognize the importance of online marketing and social media, as well as offline marketing through word-of-mouth and direct marketing. While these methods still hold value, integrating them into a single marketing strategy is crucial for effectively marketing a business.
If you’re looking to increase your brand’s exposure and grow your business, it may be beneficial to look into online & offline marketing strategies, which can complement one another.
Offering top-notch customer service is also crucial in today’s world, and according to HubSpot Blogs research, 27% of respondents said delivering a good customer experience is the most effective way to gain loyalty from customers.
To do this, you may need to consider investing in call centers or moving to a virtual call center where agents can provide excellent customer support from anywhere in the world. Investing in this type of infrastructure allows you to focus on growing your business, rather than maintaining operations, and allows you to engage with customers regardless of whether you have an office or storefront in a physical location.
As you may have guessed, we’re not recommending you stop investing in online marketing and social media in general. Instead, we want to encourage you to evolve with the times and consider the preferences of today’s digital consumer. If possible, enter the 2020s with an integrated strategy, creating content for online and offline platforms, and using personal branding to connect with your audience.