5 Business Marketing Trends You Need for 2018

We’re at that time of year again where we’re in a swirl of activities around the holidays, but every business leader understands that this is the time he or she should be looking to ensure next year’s success. Marketing is an essential aspect of any group or organization, and in the digital era, it’s critical that you provide your team is focusing on the following as we soon speed into 2018.

Storytelling

Customers do not want to be sold. No one likes being sold. The best marketers know that the way to “sell” is to connect first emotionally and consumers will then work to rationalize their decision to buy. The public is used to being told a story since the beginning of human existence, and storytelling in the digital age is no different in wanting to elicit an emotional connection. However, in today’s world, businesses are relying on data to inform them as to what resonates with consumers and what is falling flat. Your company or organization can create short video ads on platforms like Facebook that tell a story, deliver value and peak interest.

Original Media Series

Communicating with consumers now is about entertainment. People are pulled in thousands of directions, and everyone is vying for their attention. So, one of the best things you can do is to develop a series and keep them coming back from one part of the story to the next. If you’re looking to create an original and entertaining media series, consider various platforms since your audience will be found in different media. You can think of podcasts and social media channels, and you should also think about creating content that is delivered in multiple ways, such as text, audio, and video. Once you decide the strategies, you will be using, create custom content, and get creative. You can even develop a fictional series with characters that help convey your work in a fun and engaging way. One of the reasons to do a fictional original media series is that it can remain relevant even for an extended period after publication.

Personalized Website Experiences

The power of data, AI and algorithms mean that consumers are used to a more personalized and interactive experience. When consumers enter into your website or digital storefront, it’s all about the experience. Your site has to reflect who you are, but it also has to ensure that they have a fantastic experience. It is now essential for your business to greet your customers and audience in a unique and in as much of a personal way as possible. You can achieve this by having live contact and information forms, members-only sections to your site or even ways for customers to experience your products or services.

Third Party Entry Points

Businesses have started to offer value-add and their products on platforms that are not associated with their companies. Partnerships between companies that have a natural alignment are serving as platforms to leverage and amplify marketing opportunities. For instance, when a consumer purchases a product or service, they may receive a call to action about a partner. Or a partner will provide a bundle of information of another company free on their site or a discount for another company’s products or services. Both businesses have an opportunity in this way to broaden their reach and expand their audience base.

One-Click Payment Options

Customers are seeking to have the most fluid experience possible with websites they visit. Therefore, businesses, particularly with more expensive products and services, are creating experiences that invite consumers to join a membership program. For instance, input all of their information–including credit cards–and then have the opportunity to purchase what they want and when they want it with a single click of the button. One click financing integration is not only beneficial for the customer, but also for the business it will lower the incidences of fraud and charge-backs.

10 Tips About How To Successfully Write Your First Business Book

You have started a company from scratch and journeyed from a one-man operations to having a significant number of branches around the country. You have developed a trusted brand with a big group of loyal customers.

But you are now interested in taking a backseat and need a successor to your business empire.

You are advised that it will be an opportune time to put on your thinking cap and write a business book to give readers clear glimpse of your corporate journey and hope that this book will attract more candidates to come forward and be the next leader of your organisation.

You start to have doubts because you have not written a book before and you are not sure about how readers will react to your writing.

Well here are some clear tips about writing your first business book.

Tip 1: Be Truthful

You do not want to write a book of corporate fiction because the business book will be your legacy after you leave the organisation. Your successors will use it for guidance and inspiration. Also. your shareholders will read it and solidify their faith in buying your company’s shares.

Tip 2: Do Not Be Arrogant

It is so easy to write a business book and use it to loudly broadcast about your achievements through the years. This is a short-sighted attitude. Do remember to thank different people who have guided and mentored you by name. Running a successful business is definitely a team effort.

Tip 3: Management Gems

Every reader willing to invest in buying your business book will want to get some precious takeaways. Thus do be liberal in describing some management gems that business students can reference in their own studies.

Tip 4: Legal Guidance

It is a good practise to run your finished draft with a legal expert in order to avoid revealing too much corporate private information that may compromise the future competitiveness of your organisation. It must be remembered that even your competitors will get hold of your business book.

Tip 5: Editorial Assistance

You have to decide if you need editorial assistance in getting your book finished. This may be the most preferable way because you have still to face the day-to-day running of the organisation to contend with.

Tip 6: The Path Of Self-Publishing

Your organisation may feel that self-publishing may be the best path forward in order to keep to the spirit of the book’s material. This may not be a bad idea and you may progressively invite your senior management to jump onto the bandwagon and write their own books under your company’s own publishing arm.

Tip 7: The Foreword And Reviews

It is essential that you choose a trusted name in your industry to write a foreword for your business book and a number of industry leaders to write their own reviews of your business book. Do not dictate how they should craft their reviews. Be totally transparent and above-board in this process.

Tip 8: Audio Format

It is not uncommon to do an audio format of your book. It will also be more personal if you are to read the entire book. However, do take note that you may need to get your book edited in order to make it suitable for this format,

Tip 9: Create A Workbook

As your business book is full of business wisdom, do be mindful of creating a workbook to complement it. A simple quide can be putting open-ended questions that reference to your main business book. You can also bundle books together and offer a student discount.

Tip 10: Speaking Circuit

After publishing your business book, it will be a good time to go on a speaking circuit or be part of a TED Talk. This will enable you to promote your book and to answer questions from your readers.

Infographic Communication

Everyone loves a good business story but what do you do when you’re pressed for space or time and can’t write at length. This is where infographics come in.

Infographics are graphic representations of data, information or knowledge, pertaining to an organisation. Its purpose is to present data promptly and comprehensively.

It’s a proven fact that human perception works better with visual aids. Images, illustrations and graphs make written text attractive. They also provide a welcome visual break to an all text narrative.

Infographics are used as an all-encompassing, self-explaining and visually pleasant tool to explain technical (sometimes tedious) business stories. Lately, they have been used as a means of mass communication, because of their simplistic design and ease of understanding.

Infographic communication has been around for years. It was, previously, used to accompany reports and records, as additional information. Nowadays, they are utilised as self-interpreting visual aids, which can explain extensive business text in few infographics.

People’s’ attention spans tend to shift. It’s incredibly difficult to focus on an all-text format, especially when confronted with a lot of information at one stretch. The written word is indispensable and, at times, rather monotonous. Infographics provide a welcome respite to all that.

Infographics are a powerful instrument, that allow people to grasp complicated information, with the help of visual data, judicious use of appealing colours and statistical / graphical figures.

There are 8 types of infographics:

Data Centric.
Photo-Based.
Flowchart.
Timeline.
Comparison.
Geographical.
Hierarchical.
Anatomical.

Using something as compelling as infographics is the best way to grab the attention of the target-audiences. This style of presentation, combined with great designs and eye-catching characteristics, help you present a captivating business story and an awesome visual experience.

Infographics can also help you with your content marketing efforts. Content marketing, being an important part of digital marketing, really benefits from graphs and charts. It can really make your content go viral. Statistics show that content with infographics receive 95% more views, compared to simple text.

Communicating via. Infographics also helps you increase the volume of followers or subscribers on social media channels. It has been observed that, well-made graphs received more likes and comments and typically, generate more followers.

Intelligent infographics can also enable you to appear as an expert in your domain because it is evident by the graphical representation of the data, that a lot of research and analysis went into building them. It gives the appearance of Subject Matter Expertise (SME), on the part of the designer.

There is an overflow of both raw and processed data, in the world. There is no such thing as ‘too much information’ these days. It is a little overwhelming to decide which piece of information to act on, or to leave out. Infographics can make this great influx of information, relevant, interesting and educational in nature and design.

Five Signs You Need Automated Marketing

Over the years, marketing techniques have increased in their sophistication and effectiveness. Rather than contacting complete strangers via cold calling or mass emailing to purchased lists of email addresses, you can draw leads to your landing pages with enticing content.

From there, you can slowly nurture them until they’re ready to buy. Techniques such as list segmentation and personalized emails dramatically increase conversion rates. However, there is one problem with this kind of marketing. It’s both labor intensive and time-consuming. If you can agree with any of the following, then you need automated marketing:

You’re Overworked and Exhausted

You find there isn’t enough time in the day to get your marketing work done. Even with help, you can’t stay on top of your social media, email, and search engine marketing campaigns. You know what needs to be done, but your to-do list has become an unfulfilled wish list. Perhaps you have lots of good leads, but their numbers (and your limited time) prevent you from following up with all of them.

You Use the Same Marketing Message With All of Your Leads

This is symptomatic of not having the time to properly segment your leads and personalize your communication with them accordingly. That is, you’re resorting to the mass marketing techniques of the past out of necessity.

You Do Too Much Repetitive Marketing Tasks

If most of your marketing work makes you feel like a robot and leaves you with too little time for planning and creative work, you need to turn the work over to automation software.

You’re Using Too Many Tools That Don’t Work Together

Perhaps you have tools for your different marketing tasks, but they don’t “talk” to each other. This requires you to take the output of one and manually input it into another tool. This in itself is time-consuming and prone to error because of all the manual data entry you’re doing. What you need instead is a single automated marketing software that performs all the tasks you do with your different tools.

Too Few Leads Are Converting

Because of your manual methods, you can’t keep up with, and properly nurture all of your leads. This causes too many to lose interest and move on.

Keys to Be Successful in Business Marketing

Business marketing is when a business markets and sells its goods and services to other businesses or organizations. These other organizations may resell these goods and services or use them in their own business to support their operations. Business marketing is often called as industrial marketing or business-to-business (B2B) marketing.

The perfect example of Business to business marketing is the automobile industry. Automobile companies buy various spare parts such as tires, batteries, electronics and door locks which are manufactured independently by other businesses and sold directly to automobile manufacturers to assemble automobiles.

Even the Service industry is also engaged in large number of business to business transactions. For example Companies specializing in housekeeping provide services exclusively to other organizations, rather than individual consumers.

Business-to-customer marketing is when a business markets and sells its goods and services to retail consumers for personal use. While most companies that sell directly to consumers can be referred to as B2C companies. The business-to-consumer as a business model differs significantly from the business-to-business model, which refers to transaction between two or more businesses.

Business market (B2B) vs. Consumer marketing (B2C)

B2C marketing differs from B2B marketing in a number of key ways. A Business market has very few customers as compared to a consumer market which has large numbers of customers. A business market usually sells a customized product where as a consumer market sells a homogenous product. A Business to business transaction is a huge value transaction as purchase quantity is very high where as business to consumer transaction is a small value transaction. Price can be negotiated in business markets where as price is usually fixed in consumer market. Business markets have lengthy and complex selling process with multiple decision makers but in consumer market buying decision are simple and are made by individuals.

Keys to success in Business markets are:

1) Value creation & Customer satisfaction

Business begins with value creation. It is the prime objective of the business to create and deliver value in an efficient manner which will ultimately lead to profits. Value leads to customer satisfaction. Customer experience is an integral part of B2B marketing. The customer experience is the key brand differentiator, even more than the price and product.

2) Social media marketing

Social media marketing is when a company uses social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to market its product or services. Social media marketing is one of the best and efficient platforms for marketers. Most social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools which enable companies to track the progress, success, and engagement of ad campaigns. Companies address a range of stakeholders through social media marketing including current and potential customers.

3) Mobile marketing

Mobile marketing is a digital marketing strategy whose aim is reaching a target audience on their Smartphone, tablets, and other mobile devices through email, SMS and multimedia messages.

Smartphone usage has increased multiple times during the last few years, app usage has also highly increased. Therefore, mobile marketers have increasingly taken advantage of Smartphone apps as a marketing resource. Marketers aim to optimize the visibility of an app in a store, which will maximize the number of downloads. This practice is called App Store Optimization (ASO).

4) Multimedia Content Marketing

Marketing using Multimedia content attracts more customers. B2B marketers are widely adopting this trend. The primary driver is the desire to make content more engaging, compelling, and shareable than just the traditional modes. The most common forms of visual content include 360-degree videos.

5) Effective Personal selling & Executive Branding

Distribution channel is the path through which the product reaches the final customer. Personal selling is the most preferred form of distribution and promotion used by B2B marketers The sellers promote the product through their attitude, appearance and specialist product knowledge. Executive Branding is when an executive showcases his professional strengths as a way to attract the customers. Executive branding is also known as reputation management. Especially in B2B environments, executive branding is now considered a necessity. Senior management must create and develop their personal brand image to attract new customers.

Voice Overs and Your Business

Videos are one of the most important marketing tools that you can use for your business, and informative compelling voice overs are one of the most important tools for your videos.

Videos are everywhere you go and because of the latest technology, you can watch them on the go as well. This is huge for any business that wants to keep their customers informed and to keep them coming back. Not to mention attracting new customers.

All these videos have one thing in common a voice over. Every time you turn on your tv or your laptop or mobile device or pc you’re looking at videos with voice-overs. You hear them for movie trailers, commercials, an intro and outro for podcasting, power point presentations and pretty much anything you can think of, of course, your competition is using voice-overs as well.

If your not using videos with a voice over you very well may be missing out and leaving money on the table. One thing to think about is that the way the world is connected now, you have control over who sees your video and has the very real possibility of being seen by millions of potential customers.

And on that note, it use to be location, location, location which of course does make a difference if you have a brick and mortar business, until now, now you can have a thriving business in cyberspace or what they call the internet.

Wow what an invention the internet has created and changed so many lives and turned many people into millionaires.Why do you think that is? Exposure and marketing your business is a whole new ballgame now because of the internet.

Marketing strategies have gone through the roof with endless potential and possibilities.

But maybe your not a global company maybe you’re a small business in your hometown such as a flower shop or a pet store or a mechanic, it doesn’t matter the idea still applies. Get your business known and out to the public. Especially if you’re just starting out you want and need to get that exposure.

Of course, you’ll want to have a voice over to convey what your selling in a professional manner, it could be humorous, or serious or the guy next door type of reading. The possibilities are endless.

You don’t need to take my word for it though, do some research on your own and you will find out just how powerful videos with voice-overs can be. You don’t have to look very far just look at what your competition is doing.