Marketing ain’t what she used to be. Thanks to the digital revolution we now have what seems like an endless plethora of opportunities … and challenges to predict the next step. Read on for a few digital marketing trends for the next one to two years that Mark Schaefer, Schaefer Marketing Solutions, identified in 7 Digital Marketing Trends to Embrace NOW.
Content marketing vs. content advertising?
Advertisers are horning in on what marketing does best: content. It has some vast complications, namely how do you distinguish your content from the crowd? According to Schaefer, one trend he sees is making information small and more digestible (i.e. quick and easy to consume). Instagram, Pinterest and Vine are great examples of trending channels for quick, compelling bites of information.
Another way to combat the content advertising trend is to remember to create your marketing content to educate not activate, according to Chikodi Chima in his blog What is the Difference Between Content Marketing and Advertising? Build trust by offering something of value, for nothing. And don’t self-promote or try to sell too fast.
“Putting your product or service ahead of the needs of your new readers is a fast and easy way to damage your credibility,” he relates.
The Internet is pretty much everywhere but the shower these days – and that’s probably even in the works. Researchers are coming up with news ways that the Internet interacts with our everyday lives. Just look at Google Glass. “We are going to have a digital layer on top of the real world, Schaefer relates. The Internet will surround us like the air that we breathe. It will change how we connect, communicate, learn, discover and entertain ourselves.”
Social influence marketing
There is no doubt that people’s actions on social sites affect others. Posts, groups, networks, blogs and tweets are all common ways we influence behavior. It’s not a new trend, but it certainly is only getting stronger. According to Schaefer, entire agencies are popping up to handle influence marketing. And best of all, influence marketing isn’t just limited to your social sites. Like never before, marketers can find enthusiastic influencers, connect with them and turn them into social advocates.
Ever heard of it? It may sound straight out of Star Trek, but it is actually real, and Schaefer feels it is the wave of the future. “Imagine that you are working on a home improvement project and you are one bolt shy of completing your project. You digitally scan your bolt and within minutes your “printer” produces the precise part you need,” he relates.
If he is right, it will change what we know about the business model entirely. In the future, you won’t just order items online; you can actually “print” them in a personalized way that meets every need. That will also significantly change how products are marketed.
“It goes beyond user-centric design to choosing and compiling the exact design you think will be suited to your needs. The issue here is about 3D printing meeting machine intelligence; creating new products that are not only functional but embody the values of brands in ways never before realized,” writes Jeremy Garner, Executive Creative Director at Weapon7, in Could 3D Printing Rewrite the Laws or Marketing?
The future is not always predictable, but the trends are certainly exciting. Check out the rest of Schaeffer’s blog to see what other predictions he is making for digital marketing.