In the never-ending quest for relevance, many marketers are turning to the internet to find the trends and techniques that drive consumer behaviour. However, staying relevant is not as easy as it seems. You need to be able to constantly innovate to stay ahead of the curve, which can be difficult when you’re already operating inside a silo.
Here we’re going to run down the top trends that marketers should adopt as soon as possible, as well as give you some ideas on how to master them.
1. Personalised Learning Experiences
The first step to staying ahead is understanding your audience’s needs and wants. One of the best ways to do this is through personalised learning experiences. Today’s consumers are connected to some of the largest data pools in history, and they use this information to better understand and appreciate the products and services that interest them.
Take clothing retailer HootSuite as an example. They’ve used data and personalised experiences to help their customers understand and connect with the products that they sell. For instance, let’s say that a customer visits the HootSuite site looking for a black T-shirt. They’ll see a range of black T-shirts that they can customise with different designs and messaging.
The retailer takes it a step further by allowing the customer to save the T-shirt that they’ve selected, as well as letting them keep track of their favourite items. Through these features, HootSuite engages their audience and encourages them to come back for more.
2. Video Content is On the Rise
In order to better understand his audience’s needs and wants, the marketer must consistently study the trends and techniques that drive consumer behaviour. One of the dominant trends currently is video content.
This trend has been driven by a variety of factors, including the rise of TikTok, as well as the shift to a more digital consumer landscape. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 69% of consumers now get most of their information from video content, while only 25% get the majority of their information from text.
Even among younger generations, video content is emerging as a dominant form of content. Amongst Gen Z, 52% get most of their information from videos, versus only 22% from text and 23% from traditional marketing platforms.
This means that marketers should not only consider video content as an optional addition to their digital marketing efforts, but should consider it a necessary part of their strategy. Videos can help to establish a connection with the audience that you’re trying to convince to buy your product, and establish credibility and trust.
3. Authentic Long-Form Content
In an age where content consumption is shifting to the digital sphere, consumers are more likely to be encountering shorter content pieces, such as blog posts, tweets, or even youtube videos.
However, this should not be treated as a negative trend. Authentic long-form content exists, and it’s being used effectively by some of the biggest brands in the world. Consider the New York Times, which publishes dozens of in-depth articles each week, regularly posting multiple-thousand-word features.
While this may seem like a negative trend, in-depth, quality content can help to establish authority and trust, as well as provide valuable information to consumers. It can also enable a brand to develop an insight into the minds of its customers, and to become more relevant and engageable.
Consider how useful and how engaging The New York Times’s extensive coverage of the 2016 US election was for both readers and the candidates themselves. The newspaper’s in-depth election coverage earned it a Pulitzer Prize, and it was a key driver of its success.
4. Influencer Marketing Is the New Trend
In the age of digital marketing and content creation, anyone with a large enough audience can become an ‘influencer’ for brands.
This trend is largely based on the platform of TikTok, where anyone with over 500,000 followers can become an influencer, and where brands can connect with a large audience. Influencer marketing provides a variety of benefits to marketers.
Firstly, influencers can help to drive organic traffic to your site. When compared to paid promotion, organic video traffic can double or even triple.
Secondly, influencers can help to build relationships with potential customers, establishing credibility and trust, as well as providing an opportunity to build a brand voice and establish thought leadership.
Thirdly, and most importantly, marketers can gain an insight into their target audience’s behaviour, identifying the problems and the needs of those consumers, as well as establishing what works and what doesn’t.
Ultimately, marketers can use this information to better understand the needs and wants of their audience, and to ensure that their messaging is aligned with what the audience wants and needs.
5. Content is Key
What’s important isn’t just video content or influencer marketing, but a combination of the two. According to HubSpot Blogs research, consumers now value video content more than ever, but they also value the ability to read and gain an understanding of a brand or product.
This means that video content isn’t enough. You need to have comprehensive, well-thought-out content strategies in place, interspersed with video content where appropriate.
Ultimately, the role of marketing is no longer to simply entertain or to attract attention, but to engage with and inspire action from consumers, establishing credibility and trust along the way. With the ever-changing digital landscape, staying ahead of the trends is a necessity for any marketer.