There’s never been a more exciting time for online marketing. With new products and platforms emerging every day, it can be difficult to stay current. Video marketing trends are likewise in a constant state of flux. What are the current best practices? What type of video is hot this week? Where can you get the most return for your content?
All these questions are important. Staying current with online marketing trends is important. Not only can you jump on the latest and most effective methods and practices, you also get a heads up on what ISN’T working as well.
If you’re a business looking to keep your online marketing headed in the right direction, consider these tips for staying ahead of the curve.
Watch The Big Dogs
It never hurts to pay attention to what your large competitors are doing. Large brands have well-equipped and well-funded marketing departments which spend their time studying marketing trends. If they’re doing something different, it may be worth looking into.
This doesn’t mean you must emulate every move your large competitors make. This can be difficult, depending on your budgetary limitations. However, suppose a new social media platform opens up tomorrow. As a small business, you may be wondering if it’s worth your time and effort to devote resources to that platform. Look and see if the larger companies in your industry think it’s worth the effort. Odds are they’ve done the research so you don’t have to.
Pay Attention to Industry Blogs
Companies that operate heavily in the online marketing space have a vested interest in being informed. What’s more, they’ll willingly share this information with their customers. After all, you found your way here, didn’t you?
Blogs such as this one are a great resource for anyone looking to stay up to date with video marketing and online marketing trends, news, and best practices. However, there are plenty of other professional blogs available. Pay attention to Social Media Examiner for all the goings on in social media marketing; or the Content Marketing Institute for your video marketing. If these industry-leading outlets are reporting on something, it’s probably worth considering.
Listen To Your Customers
Your customers may be your first indication of a trend catching on. If a new social media platform, review site, or piece of technology is taking off; your customers will let you know. This doesn’t mean that every question should be treated as a sign of things to come. However, if multiple customers are all asking the same thing, i.e. “Do you accept Apple Pay?” It may be time to consider that a trend is taking hold.
Listen To Influencers
Whatever industry you’re in, it’s safe to say there are a handful of people who are paid to know what’s going on. Identify those individuals and follow them. Subscribe to their newsletters, download and listen to their podcasts, or read their articles.
Need to get started? Check out Rand Fishkin, founder and former CEO of Moz, Neil Patel, founder of Quicksprout and KISSMetrics, Dennis Yu of BlitzMetrics, Mari Smith and Larry Kim, CEO of Mobile Monkey
Again, this doesn’t mean everything they say is a slam dunk. Not all businesses, even those within the same industry, are alike. What works for Apple might not work for Microsoft. What works for Facebook might not work for Twitter. Furthermore, it can be difficult to drop everything and jump on a trend. It can be costly, time consuming, and worst-case scenario: it doesn’t work.
However, if you immerse yourself with those “in the know,” you can be in a better position to make a well-rounded and informed determination regarding whether or not something is worth your attention.
Don’t Forget To Look Within
No, it isn’t a Zen-like premonition. Rather, it’s a reminder that you can be your own litmus test at times. Pay attention to your analytics and see if you can identify trends forming. For example, how are your customers finding you? Is it through email? Social media? Google searches?
Conventional online marketing wisdom will tell you that all of the above are important to your overall strategy. However, they’re not created equally. If you see a jump in your video marketing metrics that shows more people are finding you through your YouTube channel, this is a good indication of things to come. It’s also a sign you need to nurture this trend and keep it going with some grade-A video marketing content.
Use Technology To Your Advantage
There’s a reason Google owns the world. Well, not literally. Yet. However, they are the world’s leading search engine. To put it bluntly, they’ve got a TON of valuable information to aid your online and video marketing efforts.
Google Trends can help show you what’s going on in your industry. Google Alerts can inform you when they happen. You may as well let one of the world’s largest technology and information companies do the heavy lifting for you.
Check With Your Peers
There’s a wealth of information to be had by keeping your ear to the ground and listening for the rumblings around the industry water cooler. Attend trade shows, be active in industry forums, and attend conventions. On a smaller scale, you can attend area meetups for others in your industry.
People love talking. No, they aren’t likely to divulge their secret recipes but they are usually willing to talk shop. Find out what others are doing and what works. What’s more important, you may find out what DOESN’T work and save yourself the time and hassle.
Don’t Resist Change
It is said that the worst 7 words in business are: “because we’ve always done it this way.”You know what the 8 worst words are? “We’re STILL going to do it this way.” Not every trend is a sign of a paradigm shift in your industry, but in an ever-changing online landscape, it’s much harder to stay put rather than evolve.
Do not be dismissive of new ideas, new platforms, or new methods. Sure, they may not have staying power but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth taking a look at. By following the above tips you can be in on the conversation as they happen and be able to make an informed choice when guiding your online marketing strategy.