As that elusive number one spot on Google continues to slip out of reach, content marketers may need another game plan to reach their customers.
Trying to be the brightest, shiniest needle in order to stand out in the haystack isn't working all that well. Maybe it's time to go back to the basics.
What about trust?
While institutional trust has been in a steady decline for the last decade, brands have a significant opportunity to earn back trust by showing consumers who they are and proving that they care about them as much as they say they do.
The good news? Building and maintaining consumer trust isn't as hard as the Mount Everest climb to Google's top ranking. At least not for trustworthy brands.
“The key to success is in paying attention to what your customers are doing. You'll also find that most marketing trends are driven by the consumer, not the brand”
Several new marketing trends have been gaining momentum this past year, helping content marketers increase their brand’s trust by delivering more personalized customer service and value. If you don't know about them yet, you should!
1. Personalized Content Experiences
What is it and why is it so popular? Have you ever received a piece of content and thought, “How did they know that I was looking for this?” This is what a personalized content experience should look like. A few years ago, personalization didn't quite make the cut in delivering a wow experience for consumers. It pretty much equated to slapping someone's name on an email subject line or piece of marketing and calling it good. Although consumers were excited to receive something that was addressed to them, they soon learned it was just a gimmick. Aside from their name, the content had nothing to do with them. So much for that personal added touch.
Now, top performing marketers have upped their game. By using marketing automation technologies like Streampage, Marketo, and Hubspot, they can personalize the entire customer experience, not just the content. They are able to deliver the right piece of content to the right person, through the right channel, through the right device, at the perfect time. Each individual receives a unique experience that caters to their needs and preferences.
• Demand Gen Report found a 20 percent increase in sales opportunities for lead-gen campaigns that have personalized content.
• Personalization can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50 percent, lift revenues by 5 to 15 percent, and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by 10 to 30 percent (Mckinsey).
How Are Top B2B Marketers Using It? Marketers have had great success using personalized content marketing to improve the buyer's journey. Being able to pinpoint where each customer is in their journey, they are able to deliver content that is most meaningful to them in that moment. They create valuable touch points that are tailored to each person's needs and level of interest.
2. AI Powered Marketing
What is it and why is it so popular? According to Capgemini, "Artificial Intelligence encompasses a range of technologies that learn over time as they are exposed to more data. AI includes speech recognition, natural language processing semantic technology, biometrics, machine learning and deep learning, swarm intelligence, and chatbots or voice bots."
AI powered marketing has gotten a lot of buzz in the past year. It satisfies a huge hunger for marketers who are looking for more accurate and predictive consumer data. AI powered marketing technology uses a subset of AI, machine learning, to gather new data and learn from it. It's then able to identify patterns and behaviors and that provide valuable insights to marketers. The more information the technology gathers and analyzes, the smarter and more accurate its predictions become.
• 72 percent of high-performing marketers are already using some form of AI (Salesforce).
• 3 in 4 organizations using AI increase sales of new products and services by more than 10 percent (Capgemini).
How Are Top B2B Marketers Using It? Early adopters have found success using AI driven marketing automation platforms like Marketo, Streampage, and Hubspot to receive deeper and more accurate insights about their customers in order to improve customer experiences and increase campaign conversions.
3. Live Video
What is it and why is it so popular? Live video has become the new "it girl" of video content. Big players like Facebook Live, Periscope, and Youtube Live allow their audience to be part of an experience as it unfolds. For B2B brands, Live video has become popular with consumers, because it's seen as more transparent and trustworthy. Its raw and unscripted nature reveals a more authentic point of view, allowing its audience to see a more human side of a business.
Live video also opens up unique opportunities for consumers to engage with their favorite brands in real time and be a part of the action as it happens. Many brands using streaming video have also found that their followers are more engaged with them, freely contributing to the conversation with questions or comments.
• 82 percent of respondents would rather tune into a brand’s live video than read its social media posts.
• People spend 3 times longer watching a live social video compared to one that has been pre-recorded (Social Media Today).
How Are Top B2B Marketers Using It? The word hasn't gotten out yet. Few B2B brands are using live video, but they will when they learn how effective it is. Those who are ahead of the game, use it to promote or provide updates at local or industry events, demonstrate how to use new products, conduct Q&A sessions with experts, or have interactive conversations with their followers on social media.
What All of This Boils Down To
For marketers? It's getting and keeping the right attention, building trust and recognition, and increasing customer loyalty and advocacy. For consumers? It's finding answers to problems more quickly, more easily, in less time, and from a trusted source. Each has their own agenda. The key to success is in paying attention to what your customers are doing. You'll also find that most marketing trends are driven by the consumer, not the brand.