Don’t get stagnant in your marketing efforts! Many companies have created a lot of opportunity for themselves by pushing heavily into Google AdWords or some old-school E-mail marketing, but don’t get out when the rates start going up, or the open rates go down, and the methods are not as profitable as they once were. It’s crucial to stay nimble and swap out, or play down out-dated methods (within reason for your industry), and start experimenting with heavier marketing budgets in other areas.
Here are five areas where marketing budgets are increasing next year – reasons include: higher perceived ROI, more proof of concept from other companies doing it, and natural progression. Paid social for instance continues to grow, just because ad budgets that may have been spent on Google AdWords in the past may work better in the context of social proof and a more interactive experience.
If you’re not using video, nimbly, that allows you not to pay 1000s of dollars every time you put one out, you’re behind the times. A mid-premium video setup can be as little as $2000 bucks, and pay for itself ten times in the first three months if you have a clear strategy to make compelling videos regularly.
- The Camera: Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR – This camera allows you to flip the viewer towards the subject in case you’re filming yourself in tutorials or explainer videos.
- The Lens: Canon EF-S 10-18mm – This lens was suggested by someone doing a video about Casey Neitstat’s (master daily vlogger on YouTube) video equipment. It should allow you to focus on your face or other faces in automatic mode without knowing a lot about focus.
- The Stand: Joby GorillaPod Focus with BallHead X – This pod allows your camera to stand on tables, or cling to a tree branch, whatever you need.
- The Mic: Rhodes Video Mic Pro R with Shockmount – This mic allows you to get a focused audio signal on the go.
- The Backdrop: Simple White Muslin Backdrop – You’ll need something to give a consistent and decently clean feel to your videos, and this backdrop is an option.
- The Lights: Limo Studio’s Photography Softbox Lights – Decent lighting will require you playing around with different setups, but these lights are a solid option for under $60.
2. Content Marketing and SEO
Content Marketing is just creating things your clients, customers, and prospects would actually want! It’s the best form of SEO and will stand the test of time. Use these methods and tools to get the most out of your content marketing and SEO efforts.
- Persona planning template: “Make My Persona” by Hubspot – You’ll want to plan your objectives, and really dig into who your core audience is and what would be most useful to them. Who are the company’s ideal clients? What questions do they have? What resources do they need?
- Tool for keyword strategy: Ahrefs – Do the competitive analysis and find what kind of traffic different terms have.
- For monitoring search traffic: Google Search Console – Google Search console is invaluable for figuring out opportunities. It allows you to sort by impressions and to find terms you have a lot of impressions for but not a lot of clicks for – earn links and build out more content for these terms!
- For getting granular on all traffic: Google Analytics – Beyond just search engine optimization, monitor all of your paid ads, social traffic, and conversions in Google Analytics.
- Setting meta-titles, descriptions, and basic technical SEO: Yoast SEO – A great start for SEO, you’ll want to de-index slim content, write meta titles and descriptions, and get your site in order in a general way by configuring Yoast SEO based on your keyword strategy.
- For planning content in context: Editorial Calendar Plugin – If you have more than one person in your content team, this plugin can help you coordinate the different components, and plan content in a calendar form.
3. Paid Social
People are still mourning the loss of “free” marketing, as organic social media reach has gone down to almost nill for many brands, Facebook and Instagram are still crazy effective for brands if you’re willing to pay. Whether by promoted posts, video ads, or just straightforward offers – you want to save this for the best shots you have. Here are some keys to making it work.
- Social Ad Template: Customer Magnetism – Get your ad sizes right!
- Ideas for writing social ad headlines: Formula’s and Strategies – It takes persuasion and finesse with the words you use to make these ads truly effective + and offers that have an emotional resonance with your ideal customers.
- Ad Refiner/perfector: AdSpresso – This tool helps you put your images, headlines, and demographics in and tests them all in random combinations and then refines them based on what works over time.
- Regular posting tool: Buffer – You need something to schedule your posts at regular intervals and ideal times – Buffer is perfect for this. Then you can go promote ones that get better organic traction.
- Social Media Analytics: Sprout Social – For monitoring what’s working and reporting on trends.
- Social Designs on the fly: Buffer’s Pablo – Even if you’re not a designer, Pablo allows you to create nice-looking images for social media, and schedule them on Buffer quickly to go out to all your social accounts.
4. Strategic Use of Influencers
If you can find people that own your audience’s attention (in any situation, not just social media), it makes absolute sense to collaborate with them to reach those people. This method has been growing over the past couple years – but it will reach a pinnacle this next year as companies have started to learn how to do it well.
- Ways to reach out to bloggers quickly: Pitchbox –
- Knowing what to charge for Instagram Influencers – 6-12% per post engagement. 10 cents to keep it simple. So if your influencer usually gets 5,000 likes? $500. You’re going to pay less for younger influencers, and more for influencers over 25, and much more for influencers over 35 according to this white-paper.
- Platform for Social Influencer Connections: Revfluence – Need to connect with influencers? Here’s a way to scale that and do it quickly.
- An actual influencer plan: Klear’s Influencer Marketing Template Plan – Klear suggests influencer marketing yields an average of $6.85 worth of earned media value, for every $1 of paid media.
5. E-mail Marketing and Marketing Automation
One of the third highest perceived positive ROI marketing strategies (the other two are SEO and Content Marketing). E-mail marketing and marketing automation can be wielded well with practice and experimentation.
- Something to handle your main e-mail list: Mailchimp – Your main e-mail list needs a home, MailChimp is perfect for this and easy to setup.
- Something to fill your e-mail list regularly and systematically: Sumo – Particularly the welcome mat, and ‘exit intent’ popups are extremely effective in getting more e-mail signups.
- Tracking your leads: Hubspot Marketing – Another great way to fill your e-mail list (bottom right popout works great.) But it also can capture every lead your site gets for review and another rake to make sure you have attribution around your marketing
- Way to segment and create trickle out e-mail campaigns: InfusionSoft – Not crazy intuitive to get started on, but InfusionSoft is insanely useful for creating e-mail funnels and drip e-mail campaigns.
- Ways to find people quickly and outreach to new e-mail lists: Ninja Outreach– For guest posting, roundups, and your best content promotion Ninja Outreach is perfect.
I would be silly not to mention offline marketing methods that are growing as well. Brand activations, experiential marketing, and use of VR, and content producers are also going up as people recognize that there is some arbitrage in getting in front of people at the right moments. These methods are particularly effective when you have a captive audience at a trade show, a big event where a lot of ‘early adopters’ show up (like South by Southwest in Austin) or other places where tastemakers often show up looking for the latest and greatest.
But yes – digital marketing and digital related marketing is on a steady rise.
These methods are growing because:
A. They Work
B. People are using their own understanding of where things are moving to slowly increase digital marketing budgets up to 40% (!) this year, up from 36% just a few years ago.
Slowly but surely marketing budgets are increasing. If you don’t find out where the ‘arbitrage’ (the best deals for the most effect) are until other people all have their budgets there as well – you will simply be fishing in a pond with all your competitors. The trick is to find a completely blue ocean (not one red with blood with all the other sharks around) and dominate entirely.
Keep your eye out for marketing methods that involve less competition.
Thanks for reading about where marketing budgets are growing this next year!