Online Marketing Trends for Holiday 2018

1. Video Is King

Yes, video is now more important to consumers than ever before.

Each day, we stream our favorite shows and watch videos on social media.

However, video isn’t limited to entertainment; it can also be an effective tool for marketing.

According to HubSpot Blogs research, 82% of consumers learn about products or services through online videos.

Videos can teach consumers about your products and services, and allow you to connect with them on a personal level.

Additionally, videos can be more engaging than text-based content, making them more preferable to consumers.

These are just some of the reasons why videos are so important; if you’re not using video content marketing, you’re losing out on a huge opportunity.

2. Live Events Are On the Rise

It’s well-known that traditional forms of marketing (such as billboards, radio ads, and TV spots) work best when paired with a face-to-face meeting between a seller and a buyer.

However, in today’s ever-evolving digital world, live events don’t have to disappear; they can be adapted to fit the modern era.

Thanks to the internet, remote meetings become an option for B2B businesses, allowing them to reach thousands rather than dozens of people with a live event.

According to HubSpot Blogs research, 50% of consumers say online videos give them an idea of what a product is like before they’ve even tried it, and 73% of consumers learn about a product or service through online videos.

Live events, such as webinars and seminars, can be effective tools for marketing; they allow you to showcase your expertise, provide customers with useful information, and allow you to establish some form of personal connection.

Additionally, live events are more convenient for customers. They can attend a webinar from the comforts of their homes, rather than having to travel to a physical venue to learn about your product or service.

3. Virtual Shopping Is On the Rise

E-commerce has increased by 17% in 2016 alone, with online shopping now measured in billions of dollars across the world.

Thanks to the internet and E-commerce platforms, customers can research, compare, and purchase brands and products without ever leaving the comfort of their homes.

Additionally, with 82% of consumers citing online videos as a way to learn about products, it’s obvious that virtual shopping is the future of online marketing.

As more and more people turn to the internet for research and comparison shopping, digital nomads can take advantage of this trend and build a business selling online.

Thanks to platforms like Shopify and Bigcommerce, creating an online store from scratch is now easier than ever before.

These E-commerce platforms make it simple for any business to set up a shop, with all the necessary features (such as shipping and pricing) built in.

For shoppers, the convenience of online shopping is also appealing. They can do their research and comparisons from the comfort of their homes.

There are several ways businesses can utilize virtual shopping, including:

  • Establishing a storefront on a website
  • Setting up a pop-up shop in a mall or retail space
  • Holding virtual events
  • Offering virtual sample rooms
  • Creating e-learning courses
  • Rerouting shoppers to a third-party merchant site, where they can make a purchase
  • Rerouting shoppers to a physical store, where they can make a purchase
  • Offering online credit card processing, so customers can make purchases in your store, even if it’s online

4. Customers Are More Reliant On Reviews Than They’ve Ever Been

Thanks to the increasing influence of social media, customers now have an equal voice in the narrative of a product or service.

As a business owner or marketing professional, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of the review, whether it’s good or bad. Reviews can help or hinder your business, and you need to think about how you’ll respond to them.

According to HubSpot Blogs research, 23% of consumers read online reviews before purchasing a product, and 10% of those consumers have changed their mind about a product or service because of it.

However, sometimes it can be hard to separate good reviews from bad reviews; respondents to the survey said it was mostly impossible to tell which were which.

This is why it’s essential to have a plan for how you’ll respond to reviews, whether you like them or not. You can encourage positive reviews by providing exceptional service, but you have to be careful not to sabotage yourself by responding inappropriately to negative reviews.

5. Authentic Long-Form Content

In today’s always-on world, consumers have shorter attention spans than ever before.

According to HubSpot Blogs research, consumers are now more likely to read longer content than shorter pieces; 55% of consumers surveyed said they usually read articles with between six and ten pages, and only 20% prefer two- to four-page articles.

To truly connect with customers and encourage them to learn more about your product or service, you should consider publishing long-form content frequently—more than five to seven blog posts, for example.

Even though the respondents to the survey said they prefer shorter pieces, they still want to learn more about a product or service they’re reading about.

This kind of in-depth coverage allows potential customers to fully understand what your product or service is, why they need it, and what features make it special.

In a nutshell, long-form content provides a better user experience for both the reader and the publisher. Plus, people love to read about what makes a product or service special; 82% of respondents to the survey said they learned about a product or service through articles.

6. Consumers Prefer Video Content

Thanks to social media, video content is becoming ubiquitous, with consumers now expecting to see video content in every way possible.

According to HubSpot Blogs research, video isn’t going anywhere, and it’s an effective tool for marketing. While text content still has its place, videos can provide a rich experience for customers, allowing you to showcase your expertise and interact with potential customers on a personal level.

Additionally, people love to learn about products and services through video content. In fact, 73% of respondents to the HubSpot Blogs survey said they learn about products or services through online videos. This makes video content marketing ideal for B2B businesses, as well as those in retail.

YouTube, for example, is the second-largest search engine after Google, with over 500 million monthly active users searching for product or service information. In the past year, Google searches relating to marketing strategies increased by 21%.

This kind of research proves video content is here to stay, and it’s an ideal tool for establishing trust and credibility between a business and its customers.

7. Customers Seek Outface-to-face Contact

When asked about the best way to market a product or service, consumers cited face-to-face contact as the most effective strategy.

According to HubSpot Blogs research, nearly three out of four (or 72%) of consumers said they’d prefer to learn about a product or service from an experienced sales person, rather than advertisements or online content.

If you run a business, you should consider investing in selling face-to-face. You can take advantage of social media to promote your products and services, and gain credibility online, but nothing beats getting on the phone with a live human being, with all the benefits of real-life presence.

Additionally, the respondents to the survey said they’d rather learn about a product or service from someone they know and trust, rather than a business they don’t know much about. This makes sense; you can’t always trust what you see online, and a face-to-face relationship is usually more trustworthy. This is why you should consider establishing yourself as a face in your industry; having a face is more effective for marketing than having an icon or a silhouette, according to HubSpot Blogs research.