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The Marketing Level-up
Top marketing trends to look out for in 2019
With unfettered access to billions of people across the world, the focus of 2019 will be a brand’s ability to evolve their marketing campaigns to influence this seemingly limitless audience base.
Older ways of doing business are being phased back in, some newer ways of doing business are being phased back out, and the overall marketing landscape is shifting with tectonic proportions.
Understanding the trends being forecasted today, in order to get out in front of the pack tomorrow, will be all the difference between a year of thriving or another year of simply surviving.
As we head towards the second decade of the 21st century, marketing continues to be as important as ever.
The rise of cause marketing
People want to feel connected to the brands they support. They’re now looking for businesses to hold the same values as they do, and support the changes they want to see.
For many years, it was a guaranteed death sentence for a company to speak out about certain polarizing topics or events.
In 2019, it’s nearly a requirement to do so.
The ever-increasing purchasing power of younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z’ers are prompting companies to evolve their marketing strategies to become more focused on the triple bottom line and less on simply shareholder profit.
2019 will see an uptick in cause marketing trends as more issues with the “status quo” are revealed and adopted. Consumers, who themselves, are becoming smarter, more aware, and more connected, will begin to expect more from the brands they choose to support.
The reemergence of offline marketing
The past several years have been dominated by digital marketing strategies that included email campaigns, targeted social media ads, PPC advertising, and brand ambassadorships. With this increase, offline marketing became a way of the past.
This may very well change in 2019.
Consumers no longer respond the same way to digital marketing as they once have. The advent of adblockers, paid subscription services for ad free entertainment, and the increasing savviness of target audiences are leading marketers back to the drawing board, as they attempt to subvert the changing marketing landscape, and make a splash in the new year.
Companies like Mainstreet ROI have begun employing old school, direct marketing techniques such as physically printed newsletters for their marketing strategies.
The focus of relevancy and personal touch have invoked trust in their consumers, allowing for them to foster those relationships more intimately, while differentiating themselves from their competition. This has provided them with some substantial results early-on.
Voice-activated searches – a new marketing frontier
This past year also saw an increased demand for AI Virtual Assistants such as the Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa. These devices are a part of an emerging industry called the “Internet of Things” or IoT, which includes all devices that are wirelessly connected to the internet through a cloud based system.
By 2020, it’s estimated that over 26 billion devices will be connected via the cloud. A good percentage of these devices will have voice-activation capabilities, which is demonstrated by the near 200 percent growth they’ve seen in Q2 of 2018 alone.
Companies will have to adjust their content to be more voice-search friendly by focusing on natural speech patterns, long-tail keywords, and an even bigger investment into mobile friendly platforms.
With the new frontier of search coming by way of voice, the design of a company’s digital marketing content, including the focus of their SEO, will have to evolve.
Staying ahead of the curve
One of the best ways to thrive in business and in life, is to stay ahead of the trends that evolve over time, which puts businesses and marketers in a special circumstance that only comes around once every 5-10 years.
As we look towards 2020, companies will begin to differentiate themselves by leveraging their values, authenticity, and agility. And with the emerging frontiers of marketing leveling the playing field for smaller companies, the landscape will once again shift with tectonic proportion.
The Longevity Theory
The word promotion was first used in the English language in the 14th century. It’s derived from the French word promocion which means to move forward, push onward, or advance in rank.
It wasn’t until 1925 that promotion was used in advertising and publicity. Since then, promotion has stood firmly as a low cost, highly effective marketing strategy still used today.
Four out of five people in the United States own some sort of promotional product: t-shirt, cup, glass, calendar, pen, etc. Of that 80 percent, 53 percent use a promotional product every day.
2019 is seeing the reemergence of strategic promotional marketing. Promotional products, when leveraged correctly, are a game changer for brands trying to gain visibility in highly competitive markets.
Increasing your brand awareness
In brand promotion, the longevity theory involves focusing on giving customers something they’ll use in the everyday execution of their business for months or even years on end.
This gives a brand the opportunity to increase public visibility, especially when used by highly influential clients with large followings, or those who interact with many external companies on a daily basis.
With the advent of social media, finding ambassadors who promote brands has become a popular strategy. Having a social media influencer with a large audience wear your brand on a t-shirt can quickly drive more customers to your company.
Spurring curiosity is key for unknown brands trying to penetrate a new market for the first time. Repeated contact and connection with an unknown brand prompts people to learn more about it while developing the beginning stages of brand loyalty.
Influencing new business
Understanding your ideal customer is foundational in creating an effective promotional campaign. Learning their industry and understanding their needs provides key information on the promotional products they’ll use everyday.
Creating demographic and psychographic customer profiles is a great way of understanding where your customers come from, how they live, and how they think. This gives a brand the ability to provide potential customers with promotional products that improve the quality of their lives.
When attempting to attract new business through a promotional campaign, you want to focus on fulfilling an ongoing need with a utility-first approach.
If you’re attempting to provide wearable promotional products, ensure that they’re stylish and match the client’s business environment.
This increases daily use and, in-turn, daily exposure.
Landing high-value clients
Providing people with value is a guaranteed way to increase interest in new brands and products.
By adding value to a potential customer through different promotional strategies, you’ll demonstrate that you truly care about their success. This develops trust and loyalty with your brand.
Gratitude also goes a long way in enticing people to align with your brand. Providing useful, personalized, and high-end promotional products to high-value clients, demonstrates a high level of gratitude.
Attract highly niched people by tailoring promotions to their needs. This can instantly place your brand at the forefront of their minds, ensuring that they consider the products or services you provide, the next time they’re ready to buy.
Promotional products boost outreach and recognition in a cost-effective way and creates a long-term sources of new business.
Before you use tightly budgeted marketing dollars, understanding your ideal outcome is imperative to getting the most return on investment for promotional campaigns.
Choosing useful products that fill a need of your target customer, and tailoring your promotion to a specific audience, can create enormous avenues of visibility which expose your brand to an even bigger market.
By differentiating yourself with new takes on old school promotional marketing strategies, 2019 can become the year you initiate that targeted, thoughtful, and cost-effective promotional campaign to finally solidify and grow your brand.
Small Business Survival: How to grow your business online and attract more customers
Every business owner wants to grow revenue, get more customers, and draw attention to their product or service. There are people who want you to think you need venture capital or a large budget to succeed in attracting new business. I’m here to tell you they are wrong. They have their own reasons for wanting you to believe that. There are several ways to make a big impact with little shifts. Here are a few of the basics along with tips and tricks.
By the end of this article, you will understand what platforms you should be on and how to set them up. By following these steps, you will gain more customers and increase revenue.
Step 1: Register on Google For Business and Google +
Go to https://www.google.com/business/ and click on SETUP now. You will need:
- Business Name
- Phone Number
- Photos (optional)
Important: Make sure to use a correct business address. Google will mail you a verification code that you will need to activate in order to set this account up!
Why Google For Business is important: It’s like Yellow Pages, except one that people actually look at, often. When’s the last time you used Google Search or used your GPS? Google is used as a verb. That’s why.
Maintaining a good Google profile allows you to:
- Showcase what makes you special
- Bring in new business
- Bring in repeat customers with
- Showcase helpful information like hours of operation
- Engage online and build customer loyalty
- Discover how people find your business
- Collect and respond to reviews
Step 2: Join Yelp.
For most companies, this simply isn’t optional. If you are not on Yelp, you are likely getting rated. A couple bad reviews and your business is branded toxic. It’s best to get ahead of this one. Plus, Yelp is a great way to build brand recognition, community engagement, and gain free advertising. Respond kindly to reviews. Encourage all doing business with you to leave top marks. This builds loyalty. And loyalty nurtured spreads quickly in our viral world.
To join Yelp, visit https://www.yelp.com/. For convenience, you may sign up with your company’s Google Account. This is recommended because it allows you to have synchronicity, and you will be able to monitor both easily.
Step 3: Create a Facebook Page
I know businesses that have created multiple Facebook pages by accident. This step is a bit trickier.
Log in to your PERSONAL Facebook account at https://www.facebook.com/login/
Find the drop-down menu (usually all the way to the right)
Click on CREATE PAGE
Follow prompts and create your account.
Put a nice photo of your business logo as your profile pic. (300 x 300 is ideal)
Use an attractive and visually appealing image for the cover photo.
Branded pages look better.
Important: Do NOT accidentally create a Facebook Group when you see it prompted. It can serve to confuse your audience. You should create a Facebook Group ONLY if you intend to build a community and have a large amount of time to dedicate to it.
Step 4. Setup Branded Page on LinkedIn
- Go to https://www.linkedin.com/
- Log into your PERSONAL account
- Click on setup company page or click https://www.linkedin.com/company/setup/new/
- Follow prompts
- Use your business logo for your LinkedIn profile picture!
- Use a captivating banner image.
LinkedIn is where the entire business world has gone to network. It is a spectacular wealth of information, networking, and brand building. Done correctly, LinkedIn marketing can be a tremendous asset to your business. More and more people are using LinkedIn to scrutinize the people they want to do business with. Make sure to put your best foot forward, and remember never to word vomit. When you first connect with someone, make sure to ask them about them. Don’t make it all about you. Build a relationship first, then approach at an appropriate opportunity.
Done correctly, these 4 platforms drive traffic to your business, brand, blog, or service. According to statista.com, the number of Americans estimated to be on social media is 2.34 BILLION. That’s where the customers are. Build your ideal candidate profile and find your audience. While setting up an internet presence is important, the real fortune is in the follow-up. Manage your virtual presence well.
Hope this helps! Do you have a question? Best practice? Feel free to say hello.