Thursday, January 28, 2016

Marketing Trends To Look for in 2016

A new year means new trends in the marketing industry. Keeping up with new but proven marketing tools and strategies is a key to running a successful business. Keep reading to find out some of the top trends that experts say will be widely popular in 2016!

Use of Video. Businesses are hiring professional videographers to create video content for marketing purposes. In addition, quality cameras in smartphones allow marketing departments to create their own video for content, especially for blogging.
Promotional videos are key to attracting new customers. Compared to infographics or pictures, video content offers the audience an interactive look at the company or its products. Videos are more attention grabbing and entertaining, and have proven to draw in potential customers. According to Microsoft, 58% of consumers better trust companies who produce video content. According to Unbounce, using video on landing pages can increase conversions by 80%. Also, 59% of senior executives prefer to watch video over reading text, according to Forbes.

Mobile Marketing. Converting your company’s online presence so that it is accessible on mobile devices is crucial. In today’s society, people are obsessed with their smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Making your company’s website compatible for mobile devices ensures that users will have a readable, usable site, free of frustrations like having to zoom in to read the content! 
Additionally, a mobile-friendly website will increase your search engine optimization.  If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, Google’s search engine will penalize you which could impact your rankings.

Social Media. Creating a profile for your business on social media, whether it be Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, opens up entirely new channels to market your company. Be sure to create a social media strategy and plan that provides structure and a return on your social media efforts.  Also, continue to evaluate new social media. There are a few new social media outlets that became popular in 2015 that experts predict will be big in the marketing industry this year. Snapchat, for example, provides consumers with content in real time. After 24 hours, that content disappears. According to, exclusive content with an expiration makes consumers feel more connected and unique.

Retain Clients with Rewards. According to Microsoft, consumers love being rewarded for good behavior. For example, 37% of Millennials are “strongly motivated” by devices, apps, and companies that reward them with loyalty points. Giving your customers an incentive to take an action is always a good way to encourage them to get involved and interact on a more personal level. For example, try offering a coupon code or a discount on a product or service to anyone who tweets at your company using a hashtag related to a campaign you’re trying to promote.

These are just a few marketing developments to experiment with in 2016. Comment below the trends you think will become popular this year!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Need a Makeover in 2016? Five Ways to Refresh Your Marketing

by Guest Blogger, Michele Kelly, owner of GraphicWays Design

If you can't recall the last time your revamped your brochures, signs or website, you might not be properly conveying your message, product benefits or brand and missing out on valuable sales opportunities.

Savvy businesses realize that in order to attract more clients, contemporary, updated marketing materials that best communicate your products or services can give you an advantage.  While there might not be a budget for a total overhaul, a timely review of your critical marketing tools is a must. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

1. Logo
Is your logo still relevant and does it reflect your brand?
Are the colors and typefaces stuck in a time warp?
Is your logo geared toward your target audience?

2. Brochures
Have you added new products or services?
Does your current brochure look dated?
Is there a call to action in your sales material?

3. Website
Is your website mobile friendly?
Are you getting found in search engines?
Is your site optimized for a wider format?

4. Stationery
Has your company changed address or phone numbers?
Is your website listed on your letterhead?
Are your business cards impressive and unique?

5. Email Marketing
Missing an opportunity by not utilizing your email lists?
Do your emails end up in a client or prospects spam folder? 
Are you getting good open and click through rates?

Remember to review and understand what marketing campaigns have worked in the past. This will better enable you to recreate your marketing for the new year to wake up and re-energize your business!