By the time you hit the second quarter of the year, you should have a clear idea about what marketing tactics work for your company. Now is the time for planning a marketing schedule for the remainder of the year and replacing some of the things that aren't working with the latest marketing trends.
Having a marketing strategy prepares you for a successful year and prevents major mistakes. In a survey of top marketers, researchers found the ones who write out their strategy are 538 percent more successful. Businesses who plan their goals and marketing schedule have a higher chance of success than those who don't.
If you're looking for some new things to try as the year moves on, add these seven elements to your marketing plan for quarters two and three.
1. Featured Snippets
Have you noticed the results pages on Google lately and how they have a featured snippet box at the top of results? These snippets come from websites, and if you create rich snippets that Google likes, you have the opportunity to rise to the very top of search results for that phrase.
The snippets typically are in bullet point or numbered format and relevant to a specific keyword phrase. Think about longtail keywords making up a question readers have. Then, answer that question within the featured snippet. In a look at popular search terms, experts found snippets between 40 and 60 words were most popular.
2. Personalized Videos
One of the more recent trends in marketing is creating personalized videos that feature the person's name or some other identification. When someone lands on a business website or signs up for a mailing list, they receive an auto-generated video. Figuring out how to create custom videos for each person who visits your site or is on your mailing list may seem like an overwhelming task. What if you get thousands of leads per week?
Fortunately, there are tools which allow you to create a blank sign and personalize it, such as through Vidyard. Personalization is a powerful marketing tool, and combined with video, it is unstoppable.
3. Social Media
Social media remains one of the most popular forms of marketing without spending a bundle. Experts predict that by 2020, social media will be the category of advertising with the most spending. Good social media marketing standards still apply, including interacting and responding to consumers, as well as giving your brand a strong personality and face.
Although social media should be an ongoing effort throughout the year, quarters two and three are good times to gear up for the busy holiday shopping season and try out different methods before Black Friday arrives.
4. Analyzing Data
By the time you hit the second quarter of the year, you've gathered a bit of analytical data and now have enough information to see what works for your target audience. As Google has become more and more proficient at collecting and helping users analyze data, marketers have embraced digital data more than ever before to drive what they do and how they reach consumers.
If you aren't spending part of your marketing time on digging into the statistics of your social media platforms, your website visitors and the effectiveness of your content, you're missing out on an opportunity for continuous improvement.
By 2020, there will be about 4 billion people online. More people than ever before have access to the Internet, and many via multiple devices.
Even though people are digitally connected around the globe, the world is less connected than ever before on a personal level. Brands that stand out figure out ways to tap into customers' emotions and create a sense of community that gives people an opportunity to form friendships and interact with one another.
6. User-Generated Content
The world produces 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, and the rate of growth increases each year. One way of ensuring your brand delivers unique content is by encouraging user-generated content.
For example, a clothing line might feature a contest where users upload photos wearing something from the company in an exciting location and uses a hashtag such as #ABCCompanyAdventure.
7. Influencer Marketing
More and more brands now use influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is on the rise, expected to reach $10 billion as an industry by 2020. There are many factors to successful influencer marketing campaigns, but finding influencers and micro-influencers who have the same target audience you want to reach requires research and trial and error.
Ideally, influencer marketing occurs year-round, but the second quarter is a good time for reviewing how competitors worked with influencers in quarter one. Quarter two and on is your opportunity for working with different influencers with similar audiences and creating unique content and campaigns like no one else's.
Although trying out new marketing trends offers an opportunity for viral content, don't spend all your time on trendy items. Tried-and-true marketing methods are part of most marketers' professional lineup because they work. Email campaigns, regular social media engagement and landing pages that meet visitors' needs are all still effective.
Although the second and third quarters of the year present opportunities for trying new things, a solid marketing plan covers every quarter of the year and allows for adjustments as new trends take root and businesses learn what works with their particular audience.