Discover how to optimize your online presence in a crowded and noisy digital environment.
Digital Marketing Expert-in-Residence, Entrepreneur
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Warren Buffet once told Forbes, “Ultimately, there’s one investment that supersedes all others: Invest in yourself.” Clearly, he knows a thing or two about investments, so this is great advice for all entrepreneurs.
So what is one of the best ways to invest in yourself? Knowledge. And you can’t stop with what you may have learned in school. As Jim Rohn said, “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”
Conferences are a great way to gain this knowledge, but the travel and costs involved can sometimes be prohibitive and have a negative impact on that fortune you’re building. SEMrush will solve both of these challenges during Global Marketing Day on Oct. 30. I’m excited to be a part of this 24-hour streamed conference which will feature some of the top minds in marketing. Olga Andrienko, Head of Global Marketing at SEMrush, explains, “Be it from pioneers of the industry from such brands as Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Canon, Walt Disney and Condé Nast, an array of professionals will be able to offer insights to their knowledge, skills and success.”
I’ll be speaking, but as usual, I’m really looking forward to the learning opportunity. To jumpstart the experience, I interviewed a handful of my fellow speakers. During these conversations they shared marketing trends to look out for in 2020 and things you can immediately do to increase the impact of your online marketing.
Know the value of personalization
“There is still a tendency to apply principles of mass communication and broadcast media as if digital was a channel. It’s much easier now for marketers to personalize and get closer to one-to-one communication than ever before. If you have thousands, even hundreds of thousands of customers and potential customers, why talk to them all as if they were the same person? And we are not doing ‘digital marketing’ – we’re marketing in a digital world. Even the 30-second spot on TV is recorded on a digital camera, edited on a digital software program, uploaded to a cloud server and distributed digitally to TV stations that transmit adverts digitally to your smart TV – a totally digital process. Probably the toaster you used for your bagel this morning is digital! We’re marketing to human beings not transmitting to devices. Get up close and personal.”
—Mike Grehan, CMO & Managing Director, Acronym
“These days customer stories don’t need to be a big customer shoot, where you fly a team on-site and film for 2-3 days. The best customer stories/testimonials today are their actual words — pulled from social media or review sites like G2 Crowd. Why? Because buyers are skeptical today. They don’t believe some highly-produced case study because it feels like marketing. Instead, companies need to use the real words real customers are saying online. Do things that provoke, inspire them to share that stuff online, and then use it all back in your marketing.”
—Dave Gerhardt, VP of Marketing, Drift
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When it comes to voice search, don’t believe the hype
“I think voice search is one of the most over-hyped trends in marketing over the last few years. At this point, I recommend marketers should not chase this trend. Maybe in the two to three years, this may change. For now, brands can start preparing their content and website for voice search, but I question the ROI of these efforts until we see consumer behavior change. Until then I recommend focusing on channels and tactics that are going to have actual revenue impact within the next six months.”
—JD Prater, Quora Evangelist
Creating meaningful connections and experiences
“Engagement is a key factor in creating meaningful connections with your audience. It starts with the on-site user experience and expands to engagement on social platforms. There should be clear success metrics for engagement based on the platform. For example, time spent on site could be a clear KPI for scale (reach), UX and content engagement, while user shares and comments could be the KPI for most of the social platforms. It is very important to identify content that engages users and try to build on it. Condé Nast Traveler’s Women Who Travel is a great example on how this can be done.
Two years ago, the brand launched a collection of articles around International Women’s Day celebrating inspiring female travelers around the world. To continue the conversation and connect further with those female travelers, Condé Nast Traveler launched a Facebook group called Women Who Travel, aimed at being a space for all self-identifying women to share their travel stories, offer advice, and form a community of like-minded women. Today, the group has exploded into a 140,000+ member community.”
—John Shehata, Vice President, Audience Growth, Conde Nast
The continued dominance of video in 2020
“Video will continue to rule. There’s a reason why the play button is the most compelling CTA on the web and why reports recently show VPs and the C-suite prefer video to other content formats. B2B videos done well can delight your audience at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
On LinkedIn, millions of people have already created a video on LinkedIn, and video is the fastest-growing type of content. Members spend almost 3x more time watching video ads compared to time spent with static Sponsored Content. And since we started the LinkedIn Live pilot in February this year, we’ve seen that live video attracts 7x more Reactions and 24x more comments than regular video for individual creators.
However, many B2B marketers either think their products or services aren’t flashy enough for video or they need a Netflix size budget to pull it off. Which is just not the case. In 2020, we’ll see a lot more B2B marketers experiment with effective video that doesn’t break the bank.”
—Alex Rynne, Global Content Creator, LinkedIn