The target is one that is always already in motion. People change, and so too do their needs, wants, values, and expectations. This is why it is imperative for marketers to understand the dynamics of their customer base and to meet their clients not only where they are today, but also where they will be tomorrow.
Such dynamism is especially well illustrated by the host of new marketing trends emerging. This article examines some of the most significant online content marketing trends and provides advice for implementing them in your marketing procedures.
Once upon a time, the most fruitful marketing channels were open only to a select few. Only those with the financial resources and the appropriate access could create content that would reach a broad consumer audience. Usually, these privileged few were marketers who were affiliated with either a marketing firm or a corporation they represented full-time.
The ascendancy of the internet, however, has changed all that, bringing about the great age of democratization in marketing. What this means is that marketing content can be produced and disseminated to an immense audience at little or no cost to the creator.
Thus, it’s no longer simply the professional, corporate-affiliate marketers who have the public’s ear. Now it can be anyone with an internet connection and a product or service to sell.
This is both good and bad news. The good news is that now more than ever, you can access your target audience directly and, often, in real time, without investing a great deal of time or money in the endeavor.
The bad news, though, is that every other individual or company with an internet connection has this power as well, and they’re using it. Thus, you’re going to have to work harder than ever before to differentiate yourself and your brand from a vast and growing sea of competitors.
The rise of the morally conscious consumer happened quite a while ago, but their power seems to be poised to grow in 2022. A particularly important manifestation of this can be seen in the increasing importance of empathy in marketing.
Now, more than ever, consumers want to do business only with companies whose values they feel align with their own. Today, this involves not only forging a strong reputation for corporate social responsibility (CSR), but also cultivating a strong human connection with your target audience.
Today’s consumers want to feel like more than just a piggy bank to the businesses they patronize. They also want the companies they support to understand them, care about them, and seek to serve their best interests over the long term, even if it means forgoing a bit of profit to do so.
For marketers, demonstrating empathy requires you, above all, to clearly define your target audience. Unless you understand exactly who your efforts are designed to speak to, you will never be able to manifest empathy for them. That begins with defining not only who your company serves, but how.
In other words, developing marketing procedures with a strong focus on empathy necessitates a clear conceptualization of how your company’s products and services fulfill an unmet need or solve a problem in your target audience’s life.
For example, where once your target consumer might simply have desired an effective laundry detergent at an affordable price, now they’re likely looking for a company that demonstrably cares about the consumer and their world. They want to buy from a company that cares not only about the effectiveness of the product, but also about the impact of the product on the health of the buyer and their family, on the environment that the buyer’s children and grandchildren will inherit.
There’s mounting evidence that today’s audiences are consuming marketing content in new and diverse ways. Among the most important of these this year is the video marketing channel. Indeed, video-oriented platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram are dramatically outperforming the old stalwarts, like Facebook.
However, the research suggests that consumers aren’t just turning to online videos for entertainment. Videos are also increasingly being used as a first-choice platform for researching products and facilitating purchasing decisions.
A marketer’s job is never boring. To be successful, marketers must keep pace with the ever-changing demands of the market and the always-evolving needs and expectations of the target consumer.
This means capitalizing on the democratization of marketing, while striving to stand out amid a cacophony of competing voices, all trying to attract and retain customers. It also means learning to clearly define your target audience, devise marketing strategies that prioritize empathy, and unleash the power of online video in capturing and converting your target audience.