Changes in the digital world of marketing keep coming fast and furious. As a marketer, it can be challenging to know which online trends are important and which are nothing but fads. One thing most marketers do know by now is that digital marketing is marketing—in other words, with your audience having fully migrated online to search for suppliers, products and services, digital marketing is one of the most effective ways to connect with your prospects and customers.
Here, then, are seven digital trends worth paying attention to:
1. Online Events. According to GlobalSpec’s 2011 Industrial Marketing Trends survey, 47 percent of industrial companies are increasing their spending on online events. Online events, sometimes called virtual events or online tradeshows, are a trend made possible by high bandwidth availability and emerging technologies that allow media companies to produce and host highly-interactive experiences. Online events targeted to your specific audience offer you an excellent opportunity to showcase your product line, build your brand reputation, provide content to your audience, and connect with prospects and customers. What’s more, you can do it all from the comfort and convenience of your desktop—as can your audience.
2. Video. Video is experiencing a significant growth spurt, the survey shows. In fact, a high percentage of companies are increasing their spending on video, and it’s easy to see why. In the age of YouTube, videos are cheap to produce; homemade production quality is not only acceptable, but cool. Also working in video’s favor is the fact that many people like to watch, not read. Looking for some good ideas for video? Try brief interviews with executives, conversations among product managers, product demonstrations, or on-site visits to customers where your products are being used.
3. Social Media. Although many companies have begun implementing social media marketing strategies, make sure you understand the specific reasons and goals for your own strategy. For example, according to the survey, the top reasons companies use social media are for branding and lead generation purposes, yet only 3 percent of companies state that social media is one of their top three sources for leads. At this point in the maturation of the social media market, increasing brand awareness and building relationships are the outcomes most effectively achieved. LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform for sectors such as the industrial industry, followed by Facebook and then Twitter.