One thing that makes the world of digital marketing so exciting is that it’s constantly changing. It requires you to keep researching, testing, and experimenting with the latest and greatest trends to determine what might resonate with your audience.
Unfortunately, that’s also what makes it a little overwhelming and stressful, at times.
There are some digital marketing trends that have peaked in popularity and fallen into the shadows (we’re looking at you, beacons). There are others that have stood the test of time and show no signs of slowing down any time soon.
So, how can you avoid spending time, energy, and money on trends that won’t last? How can you determine whether a trend is here to stay and whether you should invest yourself in it before you miss the wave of popularity?
Let’s look at how you can make the most of modern trends and stay ahead of the game, so you can capitalize on what’s popular now and avoid falling victim to trends that won’t last.
How to Spot a Trend
One of the best ways to get ahead of digital marketing trends is simply to do as much research as possible. Trends tend to follow patterns, and you can likely look at the previous year or months to determine what’s around the corner.
You can also consider what customers are looking for based on societal changes and demands. For example, it was obviously necessary to market things a little differently throughout the pandemic than it would have been otherwise.
This year, some of the top digital marketing trends have included:
- focusing on a whole brand rather than specific products or services
- digitization of customer and supply chain interactions
- an increase in managed services.
Right away, you can see how these three examples are likely going to stick around. As technology continues to advance, people expect more, and they don’t want to wait for the products or services they order. At the same time, most consumers value the humanistic side of businesses and brands. One survey found that 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them.
When you research trends underlying data, it’s easy to determine which ones you should implement into your marketing strategy.
Looking at Longevity
The problem with most trends is that they just don’t last. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hop on some of them. There’s a lot of money to be made from whatever is popular at any given moment.
However, it’s essential to know when to hop on, and when you might have already missed that train.
Unfortunately, it can take time to pull the trigger on a trend. By the time you develop a strategy around it and collect funds for your marketing team, the appeal of that specific trend could be fizzling out. In these situations, you can’t wait long to make an informed decision.
Going through the formal stages of the decision-making process can help to streamline things and make it easier to feel confident in your decision to jump on board or sit this one out.
Making an informed decision doesn’t have to be overwhelming or take a lot of time. Use these steps to work through the process as quickly as possible:
- Identify the decision
- Gather relevant information
- Identify alternatives
- Weigh the evidence
- Choose among your alternatives
- Take action
After you’ve decided to participate in a trend (or not), you can then review your decision to determine if it was the right move. Don’t skip this step! It’s crucial in making sure you don’t repeat mistakes and learn from your existing strategies.
You’ll also become more in tune with your target audience through this practice. You’ll see what works and what doesn’t, and get a better idea of what your audience is looking for, so you can say yes or no to relevant trends in the future.
Developing the Right Marketing Campaign (and Fast)
If you’ve decided to participate in a trend, you don’t have much time to get a great marketing campaign together. The process remains the same when it comes to developing a strong strategy:
- Determine your objective
- Determine your budget
- Build a message
- Implement the plan
- Collect data and review
However, when it comes to something especially trendy, you’ll likely only have 45-60 days of life with it, so it’s important to work efficiently and effectively. Rely on productivity tools to keep everyone on your team on the same page, and don’t lose sight of the most important thing of all – content.
At the end of the day, content remains king. Whether you buy into a marketing trend or not, keep your content consistent, and your target audience will stick with you.
Choose Trends That Build Your Brand
Remember, most people want to feel they can trust the brands they buy things from. It can be tempting to get involved with exciting marketing trends, and some of them are worthwhile. However, if you don’t think they will deepen the connection between you and your audience, or they will create a larger gap between you, it’s likely not worth it.
As you keep that in mind, it will be easier to determine whether a trend is here to last. Because consumers are looking for very specific types of connections with brands nowadays, any trend that drives a wedge between those connections isn’t going to last long.
When you recognise that, you’ll have a better time picking and choosing where you want to invest your time, energy, and money, and which campaigns will truly make a difference.