Marketers have a lot of outside data to help determine new strategies, and there is much discussion on how to improve online marketing. Especially for B2B marketers, trends seen among the public and consumers do not always hold true inside their industry. For example, while personal communication using email has decreased, it is still a very powerful marketing tool.
According to a study by digital marketing firm Exact Target, a preference for personal email has dropped 21 percent since 2008. Most consumers now prefer text messaging and social media for personal communication. However, 77 percent said they prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email, not via text or social media.
Making the case for email marketing at your company
According to Business 2 Community, email marketing still holds many advantages over some other types of online communication with buyers.
- One-on-one relationships: While consumers and buyers may interact with companies on social media, it's difficult to target individuals. Email still allows you to tailor content with a personal message that can illustrate the direct benefits to the prospect you are contacting. Just the act of receiving an email is far more personal than seeing a post from a company on a social media news feed.
- Email is established: Much like projections that email would drive standard mail out of business, the reality is not cut and dry. While many forms of mail have dropped off, such as letter writing and postcards, direct mail is still a successful form of traditional marketing. Email also benefits from it's wide utilization by American business and that fact that it's been around a while. While many companies are still implementing social strategies, almost none operate without email.
New strategies are on the rise and proving successful
While email is still relevant, a marketer's most successful technique is to remain versatile. According to an infographic by Uberflip, multi-platform content is the best way to reach consumers. With consumers connected to the Internet via desktops, smartphone and tablets, responsive Web design is more important than ever. The past year highlights some of the stats supporting multi-platform content:
- 54 percent of American consumers are on more than one content platform.
- 20 percent of advertisers execute multi-screen marketing campaigns.
- Spending on mobile commerce has risen from just over $600 million in 2010 to $4.7 billion in 2013.
- 93 percent of B2B marketers are using content marketing in 2013, nearly a 10 percent increase from 2012.
Other changes are on the horizon for content marketing
While marketers must reach buyers on multiple platforms, they must also update content marketing strategies in accordance with changes in Google's search algorithms. While there has been some talk that SEO is dead, in reality, it is just changing. Content is more important than it once was. The change is that it must be of a much higher quality than some marketers are used to. Uberflip states that the future of SEO will be in providing great content – not dishing out mediocre articles and ranking for competitive key words.
Another trend in 2013 is that content is becoming more varied, with brands using an average of 12 content tactics, including case studies, webinars and video. Video in particular is on the rise, and 59 percent of brands would like to share more of it in the next months, according to the infographic.
Marketers are also going for the personal touch with consumer and buyers by implementing native ads, such as sponsored posts and promoted tweets. As 2013 draws to a close, 61 percent of digital content publishers offer native advertising opportunities and 41 percent of brands already use them.