As I was compiling this list of marketing trends, I couldn’t help but sit here and be amazed at some of the advances we've made in the past five years. Seriously. Five years ago I was in college and eating up as much information about new technology in advertising as possible. If you would have told me back then that we would integrate chatbots and videos into advertising strategies the way it's being done now, I would have told you, “Boy, you are crazy!” But here we are, staring amazing technological changes in the face, and that’s really where we see a majority of the top trends coming into play.
I wouldn’t necessarily say this is a trend; this is something all companies should be doing in 2017. If you aren’t, then you’re behind. With more and more B2B decision makers being millennials, they research and consume information differently than their predecessors. Videos not only allow them to visually see what someone is referring to, but it is their preferred way of consuming media.
To build off of the first trend, another you may never have heard of is outstream videos. These are video ad units that allow publishers to show video ads outside of video players. This means video ads can be served to users while they are reading an article, not just watching other videos. This is a huge advancement in video advertising and, if you don’t know about it already, you need to watch the video below. This allows advertisers to use video assets in ways you never could before. If you thought the video trend was going to end, sorry to break the news, but you were wrong.
Content Over Keywords
We’ve talked about this before; content is king and Google is taking notice. We are already seeing the movement from keywords to content. Google takes context into consideration for many of their searches. As this year goes on, I would advise you to look at your SEO strategy not by just keywords but by relevant content pillars (key topics your business is an expert on). If you are creating relevant content around those key content pillars you determine, then you will be golden!
Personalization in the B2B World
You must have known this is where marketing was going when HubSpot invested in Terminus, an account-based marketing software business. Account-based marketing (ABM) is the epitome of personalization in our digital world. ABM is the process of targeting specific companies and tailoring your marketing message specifically to them. In the B2C world, this has been happening for years—targeting based on specifics of the users (if you are a dog owner who just bought food on Amazon, Amazon is most likely going to start targeting you with some dog treats and maybe even a dog bed). Now we are moving to a world where you, as a decision maker or influencer at your company, will receive relevant messages during the day while working. Frankly, this is what consumers expect—a personalized experience. Why shouldn't we deliver this kind of experience when we interact with these consumers on a B2B level?
Do you remember when you were in middle school and AOL Instant Messenger was the best thing ever? I do. I also remember SmarterChild. While I was learning about Chatbots, my memory went here. SmarterChild was the robot that you talked to and asked the most ridiculous questions of, and it would have the answer.
Nowadays you can do so much more than have a weird conversation with a chatbot. If you are a business, chatbots could be the next step in your ecommerce plan. Not only do these help with user experience, but it basically allows your customers to have an in-store experience on a messaging service. Pretty cool, eh?