A huge congratulations to everyone involved in making this one of the most anticipated annual reports in the history of digital marketing!
Between January and December 2017, we’ve been through an incredible journey together. We’ve seen the biggest changes to hit the industry since the emergence of digital marketing, and we’ve grown as a result.
So, what’s next?
The future is incredibly exciting as we approach a new year, and it’s one that promises more exciting changes. We’re already starting to see signs of the next big wave in digital marketing emerge. Let’s take a look at what’s new, as well as some of the exciting changes that await us in the coming year.
In case you’re wondering, the name Awewber originated from the combination of the words “Awesome” and “Webmaster.” The company was originally known as Drip.com and was founded by Troy Young in 2007. It was originally conceived as a way to provide inbound marketing expertise to clients, and it started out as a very basic email marketing tool focused on delivering messages to people based on their interests.
Today, they consider themselves pioneers of inbound marketing – a space that focuses on attracting, engaging, and delighting people to grow a business – and their approach really started to take off in 2017. They started 2017 by releasing a brand new look for their platform, implementing integrations with several other prominent SaaS products, and adding a new dashboard feature.
This year has also seen the emergence of a new breed of online marketer – one that focuses heavily on strategy and results rather than hype and shills – and Awewber was there at the forefront of that movement. Their blog, marketing smartly, was named a top marketing blog in the world by Forbes in October 2017, and the same blog was also recognized by Marketo as a Top 100 Marketing Blog.
The Evolving Role of Social Media Marketing
As we know, traditional marketing channels like radio and television ads follow a somewhat predictable trend.
TV commercials during sporting events, for example, always have a 30-second pitch to entice viewers to watch more commercials. The pattern usually plays out the same with radio ads, with traffic lagging behind until a short while before and after the ad break.
The evolving role of social media marketing is far from predictable, and it’s definitely not one that fits comfortably into a brief commercial break. The truth is, social media marketing is a conversation – a constantly evolving, living, breathing conversation that has no clear beginning or end.
One of the most exciting things about the growth of social media marketing is just how much it has evolved. The platforms and the toolsets that we have access to now are truly incredible. They allow for more creativity, more effective communication, and more productive engagement than ever before.
Many marketing professionals now find themselves in an incredible position of power. They can have conversations with customers, provide valuable and actionable marketing insights, and educate prospects on what they offer without feeling the need to sell.
Increased Focus on Content Marketing
You might be wondering, what’s the difference between content marketing and social media marketing?
Well, the short answer is, it’s a lot more than just posting and sharing content on social media. While you might post on social media to attract and engage with potential customers, you’re actually doing content marketing to educate and inform those same people about your offerings.
This year, we’re seeing more and more businesses using content marketing to educate and inform their target audiences about everything from mobile phone maintenance to office furniture. Forrester predicts that by 2022, people will spend more time consuming content and less time consuming advertisements.
The Rise of Voice Search
If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve heard of voice search. It’s one of the most popular trends that emerged in 2017, and it’s unlikely that you’d spend any time in marketing and digital marketing without coming across it.
Imagine searching for dog clothes online and being presented with a variety of options. All you have to do is say the word “dog” and your search results will be populated with relevant products.
If you’re a business, you might wonder how to best navigate this emerging trend. Fortunately, there are a few strategies that you can use to optimize your site for voice search.
- Add an “ask” button. When someone performs a voice search, they often don’t know what they’re looking for. By presenting them with several options, you give them the chance to ask for help. Additionally, having an “ask” button allows you to get clarity on what the person is looking for, which in turn, helps you better understand their needs. For example, if someone is looking for a travel agent in London, you might suggest a number of agencies, asking for feedback. The more you know about your prospects and their needs, the more effectively you can serve them.
- Use video content. Videos are incredibly engaging and hold great potential to attract more traffic and leads to your site. Additionally, using video content allows you to get creative and experiment with different styles, all of which can potentially reach your target audience. If you’re looking to create more engaging content, consider using video.
- Feature expert opinions. Not many people will blindly trust what they read online. In a world where fake news and unreliable sources flourish, people are looking for that extra layer of assurance. If you’re a business, take the time to educate your target audience on your expertise through articles, whitepapers, and case studies. Not only will this make you seem more credible, but it will also provide additional value to your audience.
- Blogs. While social media might be the preferred method of communication for many marketers, consider using a blog to get in touch with your audience on a more personal level. A good blog will often go a long way to establishing credibility with a new audience, and the content will often become a trusted guide for those that you’re trying to reach. If you’re looking to establish yourself as an industry expert, a blog can be an incredibly valuable asset.
- Take advantage of SEO. If you’re not using search engine optimization (SEO) on your site, it’s probably time for you to start.
- Use a content scheduling tool. Scheduling content is incredibly important whether you’re running an inbound marketing strategy or you’re simply looking to keep your existing customers engaged. Having content available at predetermined times allows you to take advantage of SEO and get the most out of your content marketing efforts. Consider using a tool like ContentCalendar to help you plan out content for the future.
Why should you go metric?
If you’re reading this, you’re undoubtedly interested in gaining more knowledge about digital marketing and the role that you play in it. The problem is, most books and educational resources are not written with a beginner in mind.
If you’re new to digital marketing, you’ll find it difficult to pick up the right terminology, definitions, and metrics without some hand holding. Going metric will transform how you think about your work and the problems you encounter. It will give you the confidence to look at your work with a beginner’s mind and the clarity to see your work in a whole new light. Once you’ve gone metric, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
When we think about performance, we usually think about what happened in the past. How many sales did we make? How much revenue did we generate? These are all important numbers, but they don’t give us an accurate picture of how well we’re doing now. To know that we’re going in the right direction, we need to look at the numbers from a different perspective. This is where we get metrics.
We need to look at performance in terms of what happens now. What are we doing to ensure that our marketing efforts are producing the results we’re looking for?
How to Approach Performance Measurement
To start creating and following a performance review process, you need to approach performance measurement from two angles. First, you need to determine what you’re going to measure, and then you need to set goals and determine how you’re going to measure your progress. Let’s look at each step in a little bit more detail.