Marketing is as old as the hills. From the caveman creating charcoal drawings to tell his companions about events and ideas. …To the spreading of messages when the printing press was invented in 1440. …To the radio, television and telephone of the 20th Century. Humans have always used communication tools as a way to sell their ideas.
Today much of the world’s marketing is done digitally. This makes it easy to stalk your competitors, which can be useful for finding inspiration. But, it can also leave you feeling overwhelmed. Especially if they’ve got a great marketing campaign going. How can you compete?
Whether you’re a startup or an established business, marketing is all about one thing: persuasion. And while there are a few go-to marketing techniques that will always be relevant, it’s a good idea to stay informed of the latest marketing trends.
Make next year for business by getting ready with these 2019 startup marketing trends predictions.
1. Focus on quality content
High quality content is, and always will be, the king of the marketing world. Great content establishes and increases awareness for your brand, builds customer trust, and helps you reach wider audiences. Don’t fall into the trap of generating content for the sake of it though. Focus on quality over quantity.
In other words, don’t publish a blog post every week because you feel you have to. Don’t tweet every day because you feel you must. You won’t lose followers because you haven’t posted in a while; you’ll lose them if your content is cr*p.
So, with blog posts, create content that you feel is important to your target audience (think about what issues trouble them most). And that is better than anything else on the web.
By better, I mean:
- More informative. I.e. more tips or advice than any other article out there
- Richer content. I.e It’s all very well that every article out there tells people to build a website but you’ll win if you provide a step-by-step guide on HOW to do it
- More entertaining and easier to digest. If it’s quite a complex topic, rather than writing 142 steps and thousands of words, could you walk them through it in a video?
- Paint the full picture. If the topic is how to close a sale, perhaps your article also covers the signs that a sale is actually closeable? Or the signs that sale is never going to happen? Maybe how to follow up after a handshake?
Sure this means that each blog post takes A LOT longer to create. But the SEO benefits of a killer piece of content far outweigh publishing one mediocre post each week. Why? Because you’ll most likely generate lots of backlinks from your ultimate guide which are SEO gold.
2. Make yourself voice-searchable
According to Forbes, by 2020 around 50% of all online searches will be made by voice search. The development of voice recognition software such as Alexa, Siri and Cortana have made it cool and convenient to search for things online by simply speaking.
The queries we make with our voices are structured differently from those we type. So, cultivate your content to work for those who are searching vocally.
One of the best ways to do this is to include long-tail keywords in a conversational style – which is the way that most people will ask questions to their voice search software. For example, rather than just saying ‘coffee shops in Manchester’, people are likely to say, ‘what are some of the best coffee shops in Manchester?’.
Incorporate this type of conversational language into your content, and you stand a much bigger chance of ranking highly in the voice search results.
3. Invest in the user experience to build your own little digital ecosystem
Whether you sell products that are bought, used once and thrown away or you sell a service which means you engage with customers daily, you must think about your user experience in 2019 if you’re going to grow.
Think beyond the customer service teams, the sales process and the customer feedback forms. Think about your content. That is what will take your customers from apathetic, one-off buyers, to long-term brand ambassadors who love what you sell and what you are.
This mainly comes from offering extra support to customers once they buy from you. To take the product or service from insignificant to life-changing. People don’t just buy into your brand because they love your product. They buy into the feeling you give them, and the all-round services you provide.
Say you sell phone covers.
People typically have one phone so once they’ve bought one cover from you, provided it doesn’t break quickly, they’re unlikely to engage with your brand again for some time.
BUT what if you build an online area on your site and across social media that keeps them engaged, makes them proud to own one of your covers and gives them ideas for how to customise it further?
This could be done by encouraging people to take and share snaps of their phone cover camouflaged or in contrast against other items.
Or you could ask people to identify clothes, bags and accessories currently on the market that match perfectly with the phone cover.
And you could give loads of tips in text and video form on other handy uses for the phone cover around the home.
If you have a little more cash to splash, find a way of building gamification into your website. The more enjoyment you can give your customers, the happier they’ll feel about your company.
Providing free resources might feel like a waste of energy, but it will grab customers’ attention and establish your business as a generous and trustworthy brand.
4. The end of paid partnerships
Depending on who you follow on Instagram, your feed might be full of posts labelled “Paid Partnership”. This means the celebrity or influencer you’re following has received money for posting about the brand they’re featuring. On a blog, it’ll be called a “collaboration” or “sponsored post”.
For consumers, while this may draw their attention briefly to a brand they’ve never heard of before, it’s unlikely to drive a sale. Why? Because it’s a real turn-off. The influencer isn’t saying they genuinely love what they’re sharing! They’ve been paid to talk about it and the consumer knows this so the product is instantly devalued in their eyes.
It’s just like in a print newspaper or magazine. People look past the ads for the news as it’s a far more credible source of information.
As paid partnerships or sponsorship deals are bloggers main source of revenue, they rarely post about any products for free anymore. I believe this will mean that their fans will slowly grow tired and lose interest.
Plus with recent news that influencers are buying likes and followers, which ones can brands really trust to make a difference to their sales?
It’s all economics. It will all balance again eventually. Soon bigger brands will join small brands in refusing to pay influencers the extortionate and unreasonable charges required to get their products covered. Then, bloggers will notice a drop in their income and their engagement, and they’ll go back to lowering their fees and bending their own rules on free publicity for brands they really believe in.
But my view is, is it even worth it? Or should businesses be finding a different way to attract customers?
So, how are you going to make the four trends above part of your 2019 marketing strategy? Would you like some of Upmarketry’s help?