Brian painted a clear picture on how buyer behavior was shifting and shared these four recommendations as areas of focus in 2017 :
Invest in video.
Live in social.
Accelerate your content.
Automate your buying process.
The advice Brian shared in his article has proven very true. So, instead of repeating what he says, I’ll be sharing some of the great resources I've been usin to stay ahead of the curve and you can too.
1. Video as content
Video killed the radio star. How will it change the blogger?
As video proves to be a viable content distribution medium and, arguably, the best way to tell a story, expect to see more of it. If you’re a marketing leader, plan to use more of it.
Looking to understand how to create compelling content? The YouTube Creator Academy covers everything from using YouTube social media platform to the basics of filmmaking and content creation.
Vlogging, or video blogging, saw a huge rise in popularity in 2016 and I expect this trend to continue to accelerate. For marketers, watching how vloggers like Casey Neistat, Bradley Friesen, & Marcus Sheridan are using video to tell their story and engage their audience is a sure-fire way to get inspired.
2. Social Equals Human
Somewhere along the way, digital marketing became so calculated that its message started to resonate less and less. Because of this, their social media channels started to feel more like one-way conversations than human ones.
Well, a hand full of savvy companies saw this shift and saw the opportunity to use digital marketing to show their potential customers that they, too, were humans.
Drift is the only company that I open marketing emails from 100% of the time. Why? Because not only do they act like real people, but they teach marketers how to do the same. I’d be sure to take a look at their most popular posts from 2016.
The Sales Lion speaks modern buyer. It’s simple as that.
They understand how to communicate effectively using digital and their content shares a valuable perspective on how you can do the same.
3. PPC Meet Inbound
Inbound marketing and paid advertising were once used as antonyms. However, as they simultaneously reach a level of maturity, combining their forces is becoming a great strategy increasing the chances that the best content reaches the best audience.
Add the fact that social media platforms are emerging as a source of product and service information and 2017 is looking good for distributing content with paid advertising.
Considering that the CEO of HubSpot, Brian Halligan, highlighted this opportunity in “4 Things Marketers Should Do In 2017,” it’s no surprise that HubSpot is putting out great content on how inbound marketers can get the most out of paid advertising.
Think With Google is the one-stop-shop for information on digital consumer behavior. They’re masterminds of leveraging data to make smart marketing assumptions and their blog is full of great strategies for leveraging paid advertising.
4. Automating the Buying Process
Sorry, salespeople… Buyers just don’t need you like they used to and the best marketers continue to simplify more and more of the buying process for their consumers.
Bots and AI, Content Mapping & Sales Enablement are all ways of making the buying process more autonomous, buyer focused, and ultimately, easier.
Here’s where I get to recommend IMPACT; We’re focused on making marketers better and we understand that a major part of that is improving the experience they deliver their customers.
Not only can you expect to hear more about automating the buying process, but we’re planning on covering Brian's three other recommended areas of focus throughout the year.
How Do These All Relate?
To quote Brian again, “Supply is way up, and demand is relatively flat.” Essentially, there’s more out there for people to buy than there are people to buy it.
For marketers, that means we need to work more on focus. We need to focus on attracting the right buyer. We need to keep that buyer’s focus and we need to efficiently direct it on the most important information needed to make for them to make the right decision.
We also need to focus ourselves. Never before has there been so much information out there, but getting the right information is what leads to success. Hopefully, these resources help this year!