Monday, December 28, 2015

2016 Digital & Social Media Predictions

It's time for my yearly digital predictions, and 2016 is no exception. I've loved seeing the digital marketing field continue to advance & make big moves the past few years and appreciate how many people have embraced digital channels over traditional ones. 
  1. Out with SEO & PPC, in with Digital Assistant Optimization
    • I'm not saying search engine optimization & paid ads aren't important, but optimizing ONLY for Google is. The rise of Siri & google's new predictive questions is going to force us all to stop simply writing content we think Google will find acceptable, but to write answers to simple questions our consumers may be asking about us to make it easier for us to be found by the Siri users of the world. 
  2. Mobile growth 
    • Mobile will continue to grow & I predict by the end of 2016 for many industries it will be outpacing desktop views, clicks & purchases. Look around you on your commute home & tell me you don't see everyone glued to their phones... 
  3. Shifts in Social Media Channels 
    • Facebook isn't out & won't likely be for awhile, but with it's pay-to-play stance on unlocking views & engagement for all users, it's getting to costly & those searching to target millennials aren't there anyways. Snapchat will continue to emerge as a newer gamechanger because fewer brands can figure out how to use it will - filters are fine, but can you really craft enough content to maintain a profile? Instagram will continue to be a star as well, but brands need to figure out the right type of content & how to measure engagement on the platform properly. 
  4. The downfall of old-school brands
    • I guarantee there will be yet another older brand (cough: Weight Watchers) who will be outdone by the fact that they can't keep up with the times. If you're not shifting your content to make way for better website experiences, better social media story-telling, great-functioning mobile apps, and keeping up with your demographics' trends, you will be obsolete. 
  5. Personalized PPC 
    • I must say Facebook is doing a fair job, but it and others could do MUCH better. As a customer it's frustrating to see ads that don't matter to you, and by now everyone's been tracking your every move on every site you've ever been on, they know ALL your likes/dislikes/friends/social media engagements, etc etc, so use that! 
I'm excited to step into another year of digital advancements & can't wait to see what's in store. Last year's predictions were mostly on point! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

How To Use Visual Content To Your Advantage

For those of you who've followed my blog over the past few years, you'll know that not only have I grown up in the digital era, but I've been working in it since before I started this blog. I've seen social media channels come and go, I've seen email marketing lose major faith from bosses & coworkers, and I've seen the digital front change before my very eyes faster than anything! 

One thing that's continued to ring true as social media, websites, email marketing, retargeting, digital advertising, etc,etc, overtakes the marketing front, is that great visual content MATTERS. Not only does it matter, it can make or BREAK your engagement numbers, ROI, CTR, and then some. 

Not only do you need to hire marketers who can spot great photography, it's probably key that they can take great photography from an iPhone as well, because that's what consumers (at least in the travel industry) want. They want you to tell a story with your imagery, don't worry so much about the text content that you have to draft up alongside it - a picture speaks 1,000 words, so don't waste those extra characters if you don't need to. 

By now, thanks to social media, you should know what types of images your consumers are interested in. Do they love food shots? Do they care more about a behind-the-scenes type feel? Do like they to see you do good? Even personally, you know before you post that instagram shot what is going to do well (and what time it does best) vs. what doesn't. 

So, don't overthink it, but use your head. Don't post that blurry shot, don't forget to fix the lighting and post a photo JUST to upload an image, not text - and DON'T feel like you can't hire a great photographer above all when you don't know where else to turn. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

2015 Digital Predictions Update

Earlier in the year I wrote a post about the most important digital trends I see shaping multiple industries. I followed that up mid-year with some thoughts on my Linkedin Page about what predictions are taking shape, how much they are controlling many industries, re-shaping our marketing departments and changing our lives, and which ones have stood out so far this year most. 

The biggest players in 2015 that have shifted marketing agencies plans have been: 
  1. Personalization in marketing content 
  2. Pay - to - play on social media channels
  3. New & emerging social media channels 
  4. VIDEO 
I didn't mention all of these earlier in the year, only about half, but these are what I've seen taking 2015 digital media resources by storm. What have you seen so far this year? 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2015 Tech & Digital Marketing Predictions

The digital marketing field is a great place to be these past few years (if you like change & innovation!). It seems every few months, there's a new gamechanger, or new consumer behavior that's changing the way things work, and it's almost always for the better.

My top five predictions for 2015 include the following:
  1. Personalization in marketing content  
    1. Consumers have spoken and it has become imperative for businesses to stop shouting at customers via social media or advertising or print and start working on personalization. They're willing to pay attention to your ads if and when you've learned their likes & dislikes, and cater to them. Remarketing ads have begun popping up like wildfire left and right from many big businesses, and while they're starting to get the right idea (Yes, I was staring at this pair of shoes while on your site, but no I don't actually want them unless you sweeten the deal) the amount of information collected can be put to much better use.
  2. Rise in wearables
    1. The rise in all the fitness-oriented smart watches has really taken off in the past few months. The reason? The approachable price of many. Before, only serious fanatics had some options, and they were mighty pricy. For those who don't want to commit to an expensive fitness tracker, newer devices have come on the scene that fit any type of lifestyle and provide a more approachable device than the expensive brands that previously catered to serious athletes. 
  3. Rise in virtual homes
    1. Devices like nest & kevo have really stepped onto the scene & picked up their advertising and word of mouth. With the announcements and success of Apple Pay in 2014, it seems people are more interested in being 100% connected all the time, and in the dream of owning a "smart home". The ease and ability to check on your home via smartphone may change the game for other industries such as travel (iPhones opening doors becomes standard, anyone?). 
  4. Pay-to-play from social media channels
    1.  Gone are the days of reaching 100% of your audience on Facebook organically. It's probably for the best, because for every 1 person out there effectively marketing their business to consumers, there's probably 3 people out there about to be unliked for their terrible usage of social. For those who've jumped on the social media bandwagon, it's not time to start diverting a small portion of your online advertising budget to continuing to grow and nurture your social channels. It's not just free anymore, and if you want to be effective, you're going to have to look into social media advertising options.
  5. Mobile is a must
    1. I've said it before but this year I really mean it. If you aren't looking into mobile advertising or optimizing your site for mobile & tablets, you are missing out on A TON! 
What do you think will be the biggest shift in digital & social this year?