Over the last 10 years marketing has constantly changed with its shifting trends and practices. It’s like a living art form that continues to evolve in new and unpredictable ways.
In a decade marketing has become more about creating exceptional customer experiences with written and video content, personalized websites, voice activated search; AI tools that give a more accurate insight of consumer behavior, and more.
The landmarks over the last decade:
- The evolving face of content marketing: Inbound marketing started to become prominent in the last 10 years replacing outbound. Customers wanted more informational content that answered their problems. And began to tire of reps calling them in the middle of their day. 10 years ago blogging was mostly a hobby and not a vital part of a content strategy.
- Buyers are changing: not long ago it was about who can sell the most, today it’s more about who can provide the customer with the most exceptional experience.
- Social Media: social media used to be only about looking at friends and families photos and statuses. In 2020, social media is a tool used by businesses to share original content, videos and more. TikTok has around 800M users a month.
If your business isn’t using it, it’s time to wake up and embrace it.
- Online search: Since the beginning of the “Age of Google” ( no it’s not an alternative music group) more people are using voice search.
- Personalization: At one time, personalization was manually writing someone’s first name in an email subject line to avoid spam filters.. In 2020, it goes much deeper. Although nothing like the predictions in The Matrix or Terminator movies. Instead,websites began to offer visitors personalized experiences, while the rising presence AI now means more accurate and deeper insights into consumer behaviors.
Businesses started understanding how to use CRMs so they can automate and analyze email open rates. Other things like Google Ads became more popular to generate targeted leads. Examples include Geo Ads to target customers living locally or in specific areas.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing involves creating and sharing blog posts, social media posts, and video in a way that both stimulates the interest and generates brand awareness.
What’s changed in Content Marketing?
A decade ago, content marketing was pretty much only blogging, while it still remains useful its utility is vastly different. The use of video content is growing: for the first time this year, video has become the prerequisite in content marketing strategies with blogging taking a step back. The future is bright for video as long as YouTube and other platforms continue to grow.
In 2020 the use of video is spreading. Marketers create case study videos and product reviews to assist and better inform purchasing decisions. Blogging still remains a useful tool to educate and inform. However, we’re living in the visual age where attention spans are shrinking; customers’ preferred choice is video content. It’s easier to digest and quicker to consume.
The Dominant Force of Social Media
In 2010, social media was just starting to gain momentum. Facebook had one billion users in 2012. In 2010, Instagram was born and nobody heard about Snapchat until 2011.
In 2020, social media is a foundation of our culture where Facebook has three billion active users.
Buyers have changed too
Marketing used to be about businesses' persuading their customers that they need something. Now, customers have grown frustrated by sales peoples badgering. In 2020, marketers' focus is on being available for people who already know they need a solution. The idea being marketed to, rather than being marketed at.
In 2020, customers are pursuing answers and information online. Businesses that create content that informs, entertains, and helps will enjoy more success. But it’s more than blog articles today. Businesses need to provide assets like downloadable content offers in exchange for customers leaving their information, a marketers most valuable asset.
For example, a CTA saying “ Fill in your details to get this content offer today”. Once a prospect becomes a lead, businesses need to go above and beyond their expectations before, during and after they’ve bought something.
Marketing, sales, customer service departments play important roles in being architects of meaningful customer experiences. In 2020, businesses focus is on building customers’ trust and increasing their confidence at every touch point throughout the buyer’s journey.
How Search on Google is Changing
In 2010, people were searching on Google using mobile phones, desktop computers or laptops. Things are a’changing in 2020 with more people performing voice searches. But that isn’t the only change in search behaviors.
People are now careful to read online reviews before they buy. They is also an increase in near-me searches for local businesses or services with 40% more YoY (Year-on- Year) than in 2019.
Search behaviors are also changing. People are now looking to explore. There has been an increase in “things to do” searches.
Research shows that 5B people around the globe have mobile phones, with more than of users using smartphones. Users now use their mobile devices to search on the internet. In fact, “mobile internet has grown 504% in daily media consumption since 2011. This contrasts with a decade ago where it was uncommon to search using your cell phone. And if you did have a browser, it wasn’t very effective.
Other studies show that 75% of all households in the US use smart speakers and microphones. This means that people are using voice search at least 50% of the time.
The Growing importance of Personalization
A decade ago or more, people included an email recipient’s first name in the subject line in an email in the attempt to increase open rates. In 2020, personalization is more complex. Today’s marketers recognize customers are more than just telephone numbers on a list, they are human beings, each with their own set of needs. This involves tailoring the right message to the right person in emails, blogs and videos. Today marketers are also using advanced tools and methods like predictive analytics and AI (artificial intelligence) to gain a deeper insight into consumer behaviors.
For example, you wouldn’t create the same blog for the owner of an auctioning firm as you would do a realtor. They both sell houses; one at auctions, the other on property listings. Nevertheless they are different. Businesses need to consider that and tailor content to meet the different needs of their customers.
Website personalization is growing. Each visitor to a website is seeking a different experience from the same company website. When prospects find a company website on Google, they want to feel like the experience is customized especially for them. If it is they will revisit the website, if it’s not they’ll find a competitor.
Our Bottom Line
In the last decade things have changed dramatically. There has been a shift from outbound to inbound marketing where customers are seeking solutions, rather than being coerced to buy. Other changes include how people are searching and why they are searching to find. In 2020, it’s about providing solutions tailored- made for customers’ problems, rather than providing solutions that customers don’t want