Aside from the heartstring tugging Christmas adverts and elf gifs, this time of year features a lot of PR and marketing trend predictions for 2017. Bu
Aside from the heartstring tugging Christmas adverts and elf gifs, this time of year features a lot of PR and marketing trend predictions for 2017. But knowing which could really help your business, and picking out the relevant information amidst all the industry speak is a real chew.
So, like Boxing Day turkey we’ve separated the quality meat from the bones and picked five trends which are worthwhile and fairly simple for SMEs looking to increase their customer awareness next year.
Here’s The Honest Predictions Guide to Marketing in 2017. Merry Christmas.
Translation: get better at measuring things like website visits, social media and advertising.
What do to:
At the very top level there are some insanely accurate measurement tools that can tell you what someone was wearing and their heartrate* when they engaged with your company. But, for the majority of SMEs, 2017 is a good opportunity to get some training on basic analytical tools because understanding something as simple as how people navigate through your website, and when they look at your site, for example, means you can put information in front of them which they’re more likely to want.
If you give people what they want, the chances are they’ll give you what you want. Custom. That’s why measurement is important.
*Not exactly true…yet.
Translation: your customers are individuals with their own likes and dislikes, recognising and treating them as such makes them feel special.
What to do:
There are different levels of personalisation, but reaching them depends on what customer information you have and the skills available to sort through that information and put it into different sections (industry term: segmentation of data). Start with the basics, like sending emails personalised to people’s first names.
Translation: Record and share video, just like live TV
What to do:
Live streaming has been a bit of a slow burner in the past couple of years, but it can be a great tool for SMEs because you don’t need expensive equipment or a lot of specialist training to share video content to the web. We recommend you use it for product demonstrations, sharing top tips with your audience and announcing special offers or competitions. Be prepared for the first few times you live stream video to be a little awkward, no-one expects you to be a stellar presenter, but speak clearly, think about the lighting that’s around you (if it’s too dark people will be watching a fuzzy blob) and remember the more you do it the easier it’ll become.
Translation: software which helps you send a series marketing communications designed to convert more people into customers.
What to do:
The technical and jargon terms to look out for here are lead nurture, customer journey, and sales funnel. The entire point to automation is to make everyday marketing tasks easier to do and improve your sales and conversion process. But, there are a lot of complex software platforms out there which you might not need just yet and could leave you with more work to do. When used well automation is a fantastic option for SMEs but we recommend investing some time into researching automation and taking small steps.
Translation: get other people, with a bigger following than you, to say good things about your business.
What to do:
When we say influencers, we mean the people on social media you’re a little bit jealous of because they have a large dedicated fan base who hang off their every word. PR has always been about getting other people to talk and act positively about your product or service and this is just an evolution of that process. First, you need to identify the key influencers in your sector and then you need to pay attention to how and what they write, post or share. It’s not about getting them to be a puppet mouthpiece for your words, it’s about developing a relationship with the influencer. It’s not easy, but can deliver huge results. Huge.
Right, now we’ve cleared that up you can either stick the kettle on and crack on with some of the above, or call us and ask us to help you implement some of these trends in your marketing communications plan next year.
Sara Hawthorn is founder and MD at InFusion Comms.