19 January 2018
With a new year upon us, let’s not waste any time. When it comes to doing right for our brands and by customers and stakeholders it’s time to go bigger.
Brand marketing needs to inspire, engage and impress. Here’s how you can make that happen…
Strong brands require careful thought and planning, extensive research, specific definition, test-driving and maintenance. Let’s explore some of the biggest trends that we’re going to see over the next year.
#1 Visual brand needs to ‘feel’ the part
It’s 2018. This is not science fiction. And yet, we’re close. But before we all go running off to tinker with things like virtual reality and AI… is your brand hitting the mark with customers? Brand encompasses so many different elements including your logo, colours, tone and digital presence. If you’re falling short in any of these areas – chances are that prospects will click away and search for something that visually seems to meet expectations. Make sure it’s cohesive, make sure it looks great across all of the not-so-new social platforms, and make sure your language shapes an enjoyable experience.
See also: Brand identity: Do we know who you are?
#2 Brand marketing needs to get emotional
Successful brands will have found the perfect pairing between emotive needs of different personas and using visual and content marketing messages to meet them. Meaning for your business is definitely generated by the market and the market continues to shift and change. Smart and emotional brand marketing means your business is listening. To be better, we need to listen. That means making the most of strategy insights and data.
Demand generation strategy must change according to market conditions. You need to earn the right to be considered and stay relevant throughout the customer journey.
#3 Content marketing needs to tell a relevant story
Consumers seem to expect more and more from brands and there is no sign of this changing. Paired with trend #2, listening and utilising data to determine what is important to your customers is going to help you create content marketing pieces such as blog posts, e-books, newsletters, explainer videos and Infographics that are effective. What makes content marketing so important? Well it drives higher conversion rates than search marketing and other more traditional approaches for starters, but to do it well you need create content that is planned, targeted and most of all meaningful. Some aspects of brand engagement call for content that is entertaining. But for the most part, and especially in the B2B landscape, creating content that can help your various customers can win you more leads and trust as an expert in your field.
#4 Influencer marketing
With the complete saturation of digital channels, how do you get seen and influence a larger audience? The answer here is to either carve your own channel within your industry to share content as a thought leader, or utilise other platforms and publications to be seen, reviewed, respected. Do you spend $15,000 paying for an editorial spot? Or do you have enough of a reach to create your own industry publication (we have referenced in the past the great work of the Bank of Melbourne) – and/or to build a company blog, or grow your LinkedIn presences to generate leads that way.
We’re excited by how technology is opening the door to new and better ways to communicate, to understand, to measure and to improve the way we deliver messages but making a comeback we’re seeing some of the more traditional contenders of old.
#5 Events create an experience
Executive events are among the highest yield in lead generation strategies placing third after digital advertising and content marketing. Creating a targeted, educational and unique event is a smart way to create a meaningful relationship with prospects. With so many new digital avenues, there are a number of new ways to connect with attendees – increasing reach beyond face-to-face.
#6 Print marketing is not dead
Research has found that four-fifths (79%) of consumers act immediately on direct mail compared to only 45% who say they deal with email straightaway. There are a number of reasons why this happens, but it’s clear that with the sheer amount of email marketing that occurs, receiving something that is tactile and personalised is now a new point of difference your brand should consider. Download our complimentary ebook for more information: Guide to Print Marketing – Direct Mail, Storytelling and Infographics
#7 Chat bots are piqued to be a big thing
We read a lot of material about digital marketing and chat bots are definitely highlighted as a real game-changer for some brands and businesses. How could this work in a B2B context? Chat-bots enable consumers to receive customer assistance (for the most part) around the clock. Excellent for brands concerned with BPM software and technology for example. While it seems bigger organisations have adopted the bots for the moment, it could be worth investigating for the future especially where companies experience a very high volume of call queries.
The team at Make It Happen would like to wish you a happy and successful 2018. Get in touch at any time to discuss ideas for your next campaign.