Welcome to the decade of smart phones, viral videos, and apps—technologies big businesses already use to their profit. Marketing in the digital age requires staying on top of the latest trends in order to keep your business relevant. Likely, your company already has its own website, plus social media accounts on various platforms (if not, we encourage you to do so). Take full advantage of these valuable resources and make the latest marketing trends work for you.
1. Optimize for mobile. Mobile technology isn’t a trend; it’s the new way of life. According to recent research, 4 out of 5 consumers use their smartphones to shop. That’s why guaranteeing your online presence is optimized and responsive for smartphone and tablet use is important. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, consumers will likely view your business as outdated and irrelevant.
2. Humanize your business. Customers are wary of both overt and covert sales tactics, and many steer clear of companies that see them as numbers rather than people. Consumers want to feel good about the businesses they buy from, which explains why many Super Bowl ads have relied on emotion to appeal to their audiences in recent years. But making a connection with customers doesn’t have to seem sappy. Show appreciation for your customers by providing something they need—a way to charge their mobile devices in public. A charging station branded with your logo shows thoughtfulness in a simple way customers respect.
3. Provide real-time service. With mobile devices and Wi-Fi internet connection, consumers expect to access service the second they need it. And now, they expect the same from your business. Make sure your company has a strong staff of trained customer service professionals who regularly monitor social media accounts, online business directories, and customer reviews, and can respond to customer complaints in a timely manner. Customers feel neglected and can become angry when businesses ignore their messages, so act as fast as possible to put out potential fires.
4. Engage influencers. Bloggers are the internet’s new version of the celebrity endorsement. Influencers maintain a large audience of followers who make purchasing decisions influenced by these lifestyle gurus. Do some research, read a few blogs, and decide who will best represent your company. While some bloggers/vloggers (video bloggers) ask for compensation for a call-out, others simply accept freebie products for their good word.
5. Showcase your customers. If selfies say anything about today’s culture, it’s that people love drawing attention to themselves. One surefire way to increase engagement is by highlighting customers on your website, social media accounts, and advertising. Select customers yourself or hold contests to create more buzz around your brand. Customer testimonials are another great way to show you value your customers’ opinions, so ask for feedback after every purchase. Studies show that 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so let this form of word-of-mouth marketing work for you.