In today’s world, businesses are thriving and operations are moving smoothly online. This has dramatically changed the playing field for marketing professionals who are looking to stay afloat in an increasingly digital world. One of the major takeaways from this evolution is that traditional marketing methods (such as TV ads) simply do not work in the same way as they did in the past.
This shift has led to a new era in marketing: one characterized by digital marketing, social media, and influencer marketing. While these fields have existed separately for years, today they are all considered forms of marketing and are completely integrated into the overall marketing mix.
What does this mean for you as a marketer? How can you utilize these new marketing methods and how can you measure their effectiveness? Let’s explore.
The Rise of the Influencer
One of the major changes that has occurred in recent years is the rise of the influencer. While the term was used loosely in earlier years, today it virtually defines a person who can sway the public to purchase a product or service due to their celebrity alone.
This type of influencer can range from a celebrity spokesperson to an A-list celebrity who regularly posts about fashion, travel, lifestyle, or entertainment.
The importance of celebrity in today’s world cannot be overstated. Not only do we perceive celebrity to be highly influential but it also serves as a trust marker. Those who are famous today may very well be tomorrow’s influencers, so brands must keep an eye out for emerging talent.
Why do we value celebrity so much? Simply put, it’s because we trust and like those who are famous. Studies have also shown that the more familiar we are with an influencer, the more we trust their opinions and the more likely we are to purchase a product or service they promote. This is called the familiarity bias.
Another major paradigm shift that has occurred in recent years is the rise of digital marketing. This encompasses all techniques and tactics used to promote a product or service digitally, ranging from SEO to paid ads.
While traditional marketing is still considered a form of marketing, it has evolved to fit the new era. Today, it includes both traditional and digital techniques and is often used in tandem to maximize reach and impact. For example, a company may use traditional marketing to generate web traffic and social media to convert that traffic into leads and ultimately sales.
In a nutshell, digital marketing allows you to target the right audience and engage them into action – like buying a product or service – while retaining your brand’s identity. In the right space, with the right content, and at the right time, you can bet that your brand will get the desired results.
The Rise of Social Media
Another important area of marketing that has evolved with the new era is social media. This is where we hold personal information that is public. Therefore, any entity, such as a business, can pay to target the audience that is held captive within these pages.
The important thing to note about social media is that it is always open for business. Whether you have a million followers or ten thousand, someone, somewhere, is always listening and watching.
With any luck, you can gain followers who are interested in what you have to say and who trust you to give good advice. What’s more, you can use social media to have real-time conversations with your customers and prospects. This way, you can keep your finger on the pulse of what your audience is interested in and what would make them more engaged. You can also establish yourself as a thought leader in the industry and generate more leads and sales on the back of your content.
The Rise of Content Marketing
Last but not least, we have content marketing. This is a type of marketing that involves creating and distributing content to attract, engage, and retain potential customers. Depending on the size of your business, you may consider yourself to be in the content marketing sphere already, regardless of whether you use the term or not.
While the content itself doesn’t have to be expensive to produce, the focus is on having interesting and engaging content that will keep your audience coming back for more. This type of content can take various forms, such as blog posts, white papers, eBooks, infographics, and commercials. Typically, the more creative and unique the content, the more success you will have.
As a general rule of thumb, the more you put in it, the more you get out of it. At least, that’s what the saying goes. Create as much content as you can and schedule it frequently. The more you put out there, the more you will get back.
Measuring The Successes Of Your Marketing Efforts
Once you have executed all the steps of a successful marketing plan, the only way to determine its effectiveness is by measuring the results. To do this, you will need to define specific metrics for each step of the marketing plan and track the performance of these metrics over time.
For example, if you increased website traffic through SEO, you can measure this by comparing the number of visitors at the end of the month to the number of visitors at the beginning of the month. If you determined that this was the result of your efforts, then congrats, you’re a success!
Similarly, if you increased brand recognition and sales within a certain period, then you can consider this a successful metric. The difference is, you will not only need to prove that this was the result of your efforts but that it was greater than what you would have gotten without the program. In other words, you’ll need to show that this was a worthwhile investment of time and money.
The Evolution Of Marketing
In summary, the rise of the influencer, digital marketing, social media, and content marketing have all contributed to the evolution of marketing in the digital age. While some of these methods – such as TV ads – haven’t changed at all, the way we use them has. That being said, businesses must continue adapting to these new methods and leveraging them to drive growth and revenue.