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The Top Trends And Developments In Sales And Marketing, And How To Capitalize On Them.
Marketing is an ever-evolving field, and keeping up with the latest trends and developments is essential for businesses looking to stay competitive. With the rapid pace of technological advancement, there are always new ways to reach potential customers and improve brand recognition. However, it’s not enough for businesses to simply be aware of new marketing techniques; they must also be able to implement them effectively. In this outline, we will explore some of the top trends and developments in marketing and provide insights on how businesses can capitalize on them. By incorporating these strategies into their overall marketing plan, businesses can gain a competitive edge and maximize their reach to potential customers.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are becoming increasingly prevalent in marketing, and for good reason. With AI and ML, businesses can analyze vast amounts of data quickly and efficiently, gaining valuable insights into consumer behavior and preferences. This can help businesses tailor their marketing efforts to specific target audiences, creating more personalized and effective campaigns.
To capitalize on the benefits of AI and ML, businesses should consider implementing tools such as chatbots, which can provide 24/7 customer service and support. They can also use predictive analytics to anticipate customer needs and provide tailored recommendations. Additionally, businesses can use AI-powered ad targeting to reach potential customers who are most likely to convert, improving their return on investment (ROI). By embracing AI and ML, businesses can streamline their marketing efforts, increase efficiency, and ultimately drive sales.
Video marketing is becoming increasingly popular as a way to reach and engage with audiences. With the rise of social media and mobile devices, video has become one of the most effective ways to communicate a message to potential customers. There are several ways to capitalize on the trend of video marketing, including creating high-quality, engaging videos that showcase your products or services, using live streaming platforms like Facebook Live or Instagram Live to engage with your audience in real-time, and utilizing video ads on platforms like YouTube and Facebook to reach a wider audience. It’s important to ensure that your videos are optimized for SEO and mobile viewing, and that they have a clear message that resonates with your target audience. By incorporating video into your marketing strategy, you can increase brand awareness, improve engagement, and drive conversions.
Influencer marketing is a type of marketing where brands collaborate with influential people on social media to promote their products or services. With the rise of social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, influencer marketing has become increasingly popular. It’s an effective way to reach a wider audience and build trust with potential customers.
To capitalize on this trend, businesses should identify relevant influencers within their industry and reach out to them to create sponsored content. It’s important to ensure that the influencer’s values align with those of the brand and that the content is authentic and engaging. The goal is to create content that feels natural and not overly promotional.
In addition, micro-influencers (influencers with smaller followings) are becoming increasingly popular for their ability to reach niche audiences and their relatively affordable fees. Businesses should consider working with micro-influencers who have a genuine interest in their product or service and whose followers are likely to be interested in their brand.
It’s also important to track the success of influencer campaigns through metrics such as engagement rates, click-through rates, and sales. This will help businesses determine the ROI of their influencer marketing efforts and make adjustments to their strategy as needed.
Personalization is another trend in marketing that has gained significant importance in recent years. It involves using customer data and insights to create personalized experiences for each customer. This can be achieved through various means such as tailored messaging, customized product recommendations, and personalized email campaigns.
To capitalize on this trend, businesses should invest in data analysis and customer insights tools to gather and analyze customer data. This can help businesses create targeted campaigns that speak directly to the needs and preferences of their customers.
Businesses can also implement technology that enables personalization, such as AI-powered chatbots that can provide personalized recommendations to customers in real-time. Providing personalized experiences can lead to increased customer loyalty, higher customer satisfaction, and ultimately, increased revenue for the business.
One of the emerging trends in marketing is the rise of voice search optimization. With the proliferation of smart speakers and digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri, more and more people are using voice search to find information, products, and services. Here are some ways to capitalize on this trend:
Optimize your website for voice search: Make sure your website is optimized for voice search by using natural language keywords and phrases that people are likely to use when speaking to a digital assistant.
Use long-tail keywords: Voice search queries tend to be longer and more conversational than text-based queries, so focus on using long-tail keywords that reflect this.
Provide concise answers: Voice searchers often want quick and concise answers to their questions, so make sure your content provides clear and concise answers to common questions in your industry.
Implement structured data: Structured data can help search engines understand the content of your website and display relevant information in voice search results.
Use local SEO: Many voice searches are for local businesses and services, so make sure your website is optimized for local SEO by including your address, phone number, and other relevant information.
By optimizing your website for voice search, you can make sure that your business is visible to people using digital assistants to search for information, products, and services.
If you work in marketing or dabble in it, you are aware that trends are continuously shifting and evolving. It might be difficult to keep up with new technology and crazes, therefore in this post, we examine the 11 top marketing techniques for 2022 and beyond. What can marketers anticipate? And, in the next few years, what new marketing strategies will be the most effective? Continue reading to discover about the best digital marketing trends and how to use them in your business.
So, what exactly is conversational marketing?
It is where users interact and converse with brands using chatbots and voice assistants. It is also widely employed in online marketing campaigns, with click-to-messenger being one of the most popular paid advertising alternatives. Conversational marketing is powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning.
According to IBM research, 70% of customers demand rapid answers to their concerns and enquiries. From the perspective of a marketer, it’s a powerful method of increasing engagement, which enhances conversion rates and increases return on investment (ROI). Chatbots may pre-screen prospects and send only qualified leads to the sales team, making the sales process more agile. Conversational marketing also aids in the collection of a greater range of audience information in the age of data-driven digital advertising.
Conversational marketing helps consumers create trust and improves the customer experience. According to a Salesforce poll, 42% of consumers do not trust brands, and this is often due to a lack of responsiveness.
To take use of conversational marketing, a variety of techniques are available. Click-to-messenger is a great approach to start discussions with customers on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook. Live chats and WhatsApp messaging buttons are prominent conversational marketing tools on websites.
What exactly is a highly customized content experience?
It is, as the name implies, content that is personalized and adapted to each particular user. Well-known firms that efficiently tailor content to each user include Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, and Facebook. When you visit Amazon, the home page content presents products that are likely to be of interest to you based on previous purchases and browsing behavior. Netflix recommends movies and TV shows based on your viewing history and favored genres, whereas Spotify does the same with music. Facebook, for example, employs algorithms to select what type of information to display in your newsfeed.
Following the Covid-19 pandemic, lockdowns, and increasingly virtual living, highly tailored material is more popular than ever. According to Hubspot research, 74% of internet consumers are annoyed by information that appears to have nothing to do with their interests. Experts claim that the amount of time spent on gadgets consuming content during the 2020 lockdowns has rendered society “immune” to content.
Brands can stand out and speak to their ideal customers in a way that is relevant to them by personalizing content. Hubspot also examined data from nearly 100,000 call-to-action (CTA) buttons over the course of a year and discovered that tailored CTAs garnered 43% more clicks than generic ones.
Businesses must be proactive in acquiring consumer data and have powerful data analysis, AI technologies, and CRM systems in order to create highly tailored content. Brands develop closer relationships with their audiences by personalizing content, which increases engagement and conversions.
What is experiential marketing?
As the name implies, experiential marketing is a trend that focuses on generating a brand-based user experience rather than merely a product-based one. Experiential marketing experiences differ depending on the company and industry, but corporate events, webinars, and competitions are some of the most typical examples.
Let’s take tech giant Apple, a brand often regarded as a pioneer in this type of publicity. They’ve recently been running their famous “photo walks” in which an Apple employee guides consumers around a neighborhood and teaches them how to take photos with their iPhone. The brand also runs its annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference, its biggest event of the year, in which it brings together thousands of programmers from across the globe to discuss the latest trends.
Customers engage with the brand and experience its values and personality, rather than just the product, through experiential marketing. According to a salesforce study, 84% of customers like to be treated as individuals rather than numbers. Brands build the human link between product and emotion by generating memories, which increases brand buy-in and conversions.
Experiential marketing should be a part of any brand’s marketing strategy, regardless of size. Small businesses, of course, may not have the budgets to host major events like Apple, but it does not mean they cannot develop unique experiences for their target segment. Experiential marketing is commonly used by SMEs and startups through small-scale local and online events.
Businesses must know their audience and create clear and measurable objectives for their experiences in order to be successful with experiential marketing. Experiential marketing goals include growing email subscriber lists, increasing social media followers, and increasing revenues.
What is influencer marketing?
Similar to celebrity endorsements, It’s where brands use influencers for their marketing campaigns through social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram. It’s by no means a new trend but has gained significant traction in the past few years for its simplicity. Influencers (including micro-influencers) post content in which they interact with a brand, either by using one of its products or services or engaging with employees.
Influencer marketing usually yields better results than traditional celebrity endorsements given the “engagement factor”: people interact with influencers, and so are more likely to react to the marketing campaign. For example, Amazon subsidiary Audible, which specializes in ebook subscriptions, worked with photography influencer Jesse Driftwood. Although he has less than 100,000 followers on Instagram, Amazon saw he had loyal fans with high levels of engagement. Driftwood’s posts about Audible received high engagement rates, with users leaving comments like “That is a good idea” and “Can’t wait to give it a try”.
Influencer marketing also plays on consumer behavior and psychology, such as recommendations. Market research firm Nielsen found that 83% of consumers trust personal recommendations more than traditional digital advertising, so influencers are the perfect way for brands to create personal recommendations en masse.
Social media influencers also specialize in a particular niche and have followers with certain types of interest. For marketers, this means more targeted advertising, which helps reduce ad spend. For example, National Geographic recently teamed up with wildlife photography influencers for a social media marketing campaign. And of course, their followers will naturally be interested in the National Geographic brand as they’re interested in wildlife photography.
Brands should source influencers who post content related to their product or industry for the best results. Marketers can use hashtags to find influencers themselves through different social media platforms or work with influencer agencies. As with all marketing campaigns, brands should define their objectives and target audience before contacting influencers. Influencers posting photos and videos of themselves using a brand’s product or service is the most popular type of influencer marketing content.
What exactly is ongoing digital transformation in marketing?
It is the process by which businesses adjust their business models, products, and internal structures to new, digitally-driven consumer trends. In marketing, digital transformation involved organizations shifting their marketing mix to more digital platforms, such as social media, rather than print advertising. The term “continued digital transformation in marketing for 2021 and beyond” refers to how companies use new technologies to optimize their marketing efforts and increase consumer experience.
Continued digital transformation in marketing means more data-driven campaigns and optimization which leads to higher conversions, lower ad spending, and greater ROI – something that’s not possible with traditional advertising. According to research, 86% of businesses claim customer acquisition costs (CPA) have increased over the past two years. To help reduce CPA, brands need to focus on improving user experience and increasing customer retention.
Amazon’s Alexa is a prime example of customer-focused digital transformation. Let’s say you want to order your favorite variety of coffee. You no longer need to go online and search for it, you simply tell Alexa “Order my favorite coffee” and Amazon, through artificial intelligence-powered voice search, will take care of the rest. This is known as “headless commerce” and is a perfect example of how brands leverage technology to improve user experience and retain customers.
Continued digital transformation does not need to be as complex as Alexa. Marketers in smaller firms and startups have a plethora of tools at their disposal to continue digital transformation in their brands. Google Analytics, A/B testing, and customer data platforms (CDP) are all instances of digital marketing transformation.
Ad industry transformation
What are the new social media trends for 2022?
Video content and social selling are the most trending new features on popular social media platforms for 2022 and beyond. With the rise of TikTok, video, and Livestream have become more popular than ever. Indeed, Instagram launched Reels in 2020, in what many social media experts consider an attempt to counter TikTok’s dominance in the video space.
And social selling has been trending since Facebook launched Shops throughout its network in May 2020. Brands can now use social media like e-commerce websites, uploading the products to be purchased directly through the platform.
In the case of video, studies show that audiovisual content is 40 times more likely to be shared than non-audiovisual posts. And video is the most clicked type of advertising, receiving better engagement than text and image-only ads. And 80% of consumers prefer to watch videos rather than read content when considering a purchase. With stats like these, it’s clear to see that consumers engage more with video, so marketers can use this to their advantage when planning campaigns. Some social media experts even claim videos can increase conversions by up to 30%.
For social selling, market research shows that 87% of consumers believe social media helps them make buying decisions. Typically, consumers would research products through social media, looking at reviews and content, before proceeding to purchase on a company’s website. With new shopping functionality on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, consumers can purchase products directly through the platform. This makes for an easier and more streamlined customer journey, which in turn increases conversions. In China, statistics show that 70% of Gen Z consumers purchase directly through social media.
While there are high-tech cameras and clever editors, really anyone with a smartphone can record a video for social media. Marketers can repurpose evergreen content to create videos and make use of Stories, Reels, and Lives to drive engagement. Social media teams should analyze audience data to determine the best types of content and times of day to post for the best results. And avoid the common mistake of trying to be on all channels, and instead focus on the platforms most used by your audience. For social selling, marketing teams should go to their account settings to configure shops and upload their products for sale.
What are the new e-commerce trends for 2022?
We’ve already touched on some new e-commerce trends in this article: selling on social media, personalization, headless e-commerce, and conversational marketing. Other new trends include virtual reality, visual search, and shopping local.
Virtual reality is trending as it addresses a common objection to buying online: they fear the product will be different from the photos. Interactive 3D and 360° photos help users visualize the product better, while some retailers share user-created videos of their products to help boost conversions. Similarly, AI-powered visual search displays images of products when users enter search terms.
“Shop Local” has become a popular trend due to the devastating effects of the pandemic on local businesses. Consumers now increasingly opt to buy from independent retailers, as opposed to big brands to help support their recovery.
E-commerce boomed in 2020 owing to the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic and the closure of retail stores. In the UK, May 2020 saw a huge 61% increase in e-commerce sales compared to May 2019. Even with the world reopening, consumer behavior has changed and the penetration of e-commerce is expected to grow further.
Virtual reality and visual search are boosting conversions due to the simple fact that humans respond better to visual, rather than text, content. Google claims visual content receives 94% more clicks, while AI firm Vizenze claims 62% of millennials favor visual over text search.
65% of consumers now prefer to buy from brands that support sustainability, and local businesses tend to be more agile in this: they have a lower carbon footprint and energy consumption compared to big brand retailers.
There are a few simple changes businesses can make to boost conversions through visual content. Switching images from JPEG and PNG to WebP format will improve image quality and loading speed. Asking customers to submit photos and videos of them using products is an effective way of combining social proof with visual content to increase conversions. As for sustainability, businesses should support green initiatives like carbon offsetting and reduced packaging.
What is programmatic advertising?
In simple terms, programmatic advertising is the automation of buying digital advertising space. Traditionally, marketing teams would need to create proposals and negotiate and sign contracts. But through programmatic advertising, brands can bid for ad space within milliseconds, freeing up marketers to spend more time on campaign optimization rather than administration. Many brands are now assigning up to 50% of their ad budgets to programmatic advertising, and the trend is expected to exceed $100 billion in 2022.
Programmatic advertising facilitates real-time data analysis and audience targeting. Google used programmatic advertising to promote its search app and reached up to 30% more people with a 30% lower cost per thousand impressions (CPM). Through programmatic advertising, brands enjoy more agile and automated ad buying, which saves employee time and increases ROI.
Programmatic advertising works across a wide range of networks and ad exchanges, allowing businesses to increase their reach and target their audience with more relevant ads. This helps drive conversions and brand awareness.
To run programmatic ads, businesses first need to choose a demand-side platform (DSP) to set budgets. Popular DSPs include Media Math and Adform. Then, as with all digital advertising campaigns, marketers need to define their campaign’s objectives and KPIs, the creative format, and the target audience. Then once in circulation, marketers should use data to see trends and optimize their campaigns for better results.
What is automation in marketing?
Automation in marketing is the use of technology to automate marketing and advertising efforts. During the last year, the pandemic has accelerated the use of technology in the workplace, and automation has taken center stage in all business processes, not just marketing. It may sound technical and complex, but automation in marketing is quite simple. Automated email sequences in sales funnels, scheduled social media posts, and email order updates are all everyday examples of automation in marketing.
Marketing automation allows brands to scale their efforts to reach higher volumes of traffic. 30% of business owners claim the biggest benefit of automation is time-saving. Their marketing teams no longer need to waste time undertaking repetitive takes and instead can focus on optimization and content creation. Automation also allows marketing teams to streamline their omnichannel marketing into one platform, removing the need to upload content and engage with their communities on each different social media channel. This increases productivity, which directly correlates to increased ROI and conversion rates.
It also allows businesses to collect and analyze greater amounts of customer data much more quicker than a human could. This means brands can quickly build a panoramic view of their sales cycle and customer journey, exposing gaps and weak points in the process.
To get the most out of automation, marketers should map out their customer journey and sales cycle and identify steps that can be automated. Once identified, brands should set SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timed) to determine the success of automation. Finally, try out different automation platforms, like MailChimp for email marketing, SproutSocial for social media, and Google Analytics for data analysis.
What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
AI is where machines and computers undertake tasks that require human intelligence, such as decision-making and speech recognition. In marketing and advertising, AI leverages historic sales and marketing data to predict the customer’s next step in the sales cycle. This allows marketers to optimize their customer journey, improving weak points and gaps in the process.
AI is increasingly being used to help marketers with creative tasks, such as headline and copy creation, logo designs, and email newsletter generation. It analyzes data from past customer interactions to “learn” how to carry out these tasks effectively and create relevant content.
As we’ve already discussed in this post, AI is the driving technology behind new digital marketing trends like personalized content and chatbots. You can read more about it in this post here.
Put simply, AI allows marketers to analyze, interpret and understand infinite amounts more customer data than humans can. This allows teams to have a far greater understanding of how their target audience behaves. By using this data to predict a customer’s next move, marketers can create new campaigns with more targeted outreach, which in turn increases conversions and ROI. A recent study by consulting firm PwC found that 72% of CMOs consider AI to be a “considerable advantage”.
AI and automation take care of repetitive and time-consuming tasks, which frees up marketing teams to focus on optimization and strategy.
The most popular marketing-related software these days leverages AI, so implementing it is a case of adopting the right tool for your business. And this depends on your firm’s goals and objectives. Chatbot software, AI-powered PPC campaigns, and AI content creation tools are all common examples of marketing software in use in 2021.
What is direct mail?
Direct mail refers to physical marketing material that’s mailed directly to a potential customer’s home, hence the name: direct mail. Examples include brochures and letters with special offers. Compared to the other points in this article, direct mail bucks the trend in the sense it isn’t digital but rather print-based marketing. However direct mail plays an increasingly important part in omnichannel marketing strategies in 2021, with research showing 70% of people engage with a brand online after receiving direct mail from them.
Postcards have become one of the most effective direct mail formats in 2021: with no envelope and short content, they’re much more likely to be read than letters and brochures. It’s also more cost-effective than sending traditional mail. Short copy is another trend, with research finding that direct mail has on average 62% fewer words in 2021 when compared to 2014. The average word count for direct mail in 2021 was just 500 words.
Direct mail is making a comeback due to changing consumer behavior. With the content marketing boom and remote working becoming the new normal, many consumers have become “numb” to digital marketing campaigns. Studies show that 70% of consumers value direct mail for its authenticity and personal nature which makes them feel valued. The same study also found that 56% of physical mail remains in homes for more than 28 days after being received and this naturally increases brand exposure. The sensory nature of direct mail also helps make it effective.
To run a successful direct mail campaign, marketers first need to define their objectives: increased sales, website visits, and social media followings are some of the most common goals of direct mail. It’s also important to define how it integrates with online marketing channels and where it would be most effective in the customer journey. Due to postage and print, direct mail is a costlier way of advertising, so marketing teams need to ensure they have the data and tools necessary to ensure its effectiveness. It’s a good idea to test out and optimize different direct mail campaigns on a small group of customers before targeting a larger audience. Consider using QR codes in your copy to guide the customer to your online channels.
In conclusion, the marketing landscape is constantly evolving, and businesses need to keep up with the latest trends and developments to stay ahead of the competition. AI and ML, video marketing, influencer marketing, personalization, and voice search optimization are among the top trends that businesses need to focus on to attract and retain customers. By capitalizing on these trends, businesses can improve their marketing strategies and ultimately achieve greater success in their respective industries