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The Influencer Series – An Interview with Jeff Bullas, Part 1

by on March 3, 2014

7 Key Trends You Shouldn’t Ignore

Image courtesy of blogs.mcafee.com

Image courtesy of blogs.mcafee.com

Influencer Marketing and Influencer Relations have played an important role in marketing and sales for organizations both small and large.  As brands develop and consumers become more demanding, we tap into the insights and thought-leadership of Influencers like Jeff Bullas to help us navigate this ever-evolving space.  In the first of a series of Influencer interviews, we talk to Jeff Bullas.

MacLean:  No stranger to the fast-past world of marketing, your blog is read in over 190 countries and you have been recognized by Forbes, Huffington Post and many others for your thought-leadership and influence.  You are a strategist at heart and it shows.    So, as an industry influencer, what are the top trends that you see emerge for marketers?

Bullas:  There are many trends that have been emerging in the last two years. Here are 7 key trends that you shouldn’t ignore.

1. Content marketing

The importance and role of content marketing and how it works across social media, search, multimedia and mobile is becoming a key focus for many brands.

Brands have been blinded by the shiny new toy of social media.  They think that this is all they should be doing beyond their day-to-day habitual marketing. The same thing they have been doing for decades.

Key Take-Away:  Content is the foundation of all digital marketing and is the reason people read, view or share.  Creating “Liquid” content is vital to create brand awareness and tap into crowd-sourced marketing.

2. Mobile Marketing

The rapid rise of smart phones and tablets has flatfooted many marketing managers and delivering marketing messages and content that is optimized for mobile platforms is becoming a “must”. Increasingly consumers are viewing content, receiving email and buying products from “small screens”.

Companies need to urgently redesign websites and blogs that are “responsive” – to respond to all device screen sizes for optimal viewing and usability – to ensure they are optimizing for mobile devices.

Key Take-Away:  Some websites are recording 30-40% of all viewing from mobile devices. That should not be ignored.

3. Integrated Digital Marketing

Companies with savvy marketers are realizing that digital marketing should not be one-offs that are islands of isolated tactics. Increasingly social media and content is impacting search results. Google created Google+ for a few reasons, including capturing social signals. Ensuring that your approach is allowing you to tie them all together to achieve maximum effectiveness is becoming key.

Key Take-Away:  This is optimized digital marketing.

4. Social at Scale Marketing

Brands are also realizing that “doing” social is complex and is like juggling many balls at once. We are seeing the rush to develop, buy up start-ups and implement Enterprise platforms that are assisting marketing professionals to market, manage and monitor multiple social networks and even other digital marketing (e.g. email).

Key Take-Away:  This is “social at scale” marketing. 

5. Continuous Marketing

Marketers need to realize that a strong trend is emerging called continuous marketing. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t run “campaigns”. The reality is that being found online requires constant SEO activity and content creation, publishing and marketing.

Key Take-Away:  Google hates silence. To do this well requires implementing some marketing automation. 

6. Personalized Marketing

The “one size fits all” approach to marketing of mass messages on television and traditional media are becoming less effective due to media saturation. We are seeing the rise of personalized marketing on ecommerce sites, websites and email that tailor the advertising and user interface to the relevant interests of consumers.

Key Take-Away:  This trend is being driven by technology using “big data” to increase marketing effectiveness.  

 7. Visual Marketing

We first saw visual marketing creep into the landscape when YouTube entered mainstream consciousness a few years ago. Since then this creep has turned into a torrent of visual marketing with the emergence of Pinterest, Instagram and even Slideshare. In the last six months this has gone to a whole new level as Vine’s six second snack-size video and now Instagram’s new 15 second video app has marketers scrambling for creative inspiration to apply and leverage this new trend.

Key Take-Away:  Use and maximize visual marketing tools.

Be sure to check out Part 2 of my interview with Jeff Bullas, To Pay or Not Pay Industry Influencers.

A version of this post previously appeared on the Marketing Cloud blog.

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