What’s Trending in Marketing of March 2024

Step right into our March 2024 of “What’s Trending,” your gateway to the latest in marketing trends and insights. Stay informed and ahead of the game with our collection of marketing trends and reports for the 2024 year.

Noteworthy Marketing Trends and News

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Google’s Update and Latest Changes

In its ongoing quest to enhance user experience and maintain the integrity of its search platform, Google unveiled an important core update in March 2024. This update marks a significant shift in the way Google evaluates content quality and addresses spam across the vast expanse of the internet. In this update lies an effort to minimize the presence of “unhelpful” content in search results. By refining its criteria for assessing content relevance and usefulness, Google aims to ensure that users are presented with the most valuable information in responses. This not only enhances the overall quality of search results but also raises the bar for content creators, compelling them to produce more substantive and engaging material.

These changes mean marketers and SEO experts need to rethink how they do things online. As Google updates its algorithms, they have to update their methods to make sure their content gets seen. By keeping up with these changes and adjusting their strategies, marketers can stay successful in the fast-paced online world. Read more here.

AI in Online Shopping

To meet consumer expectations, AI has a huge impact in online shopping now. IBM’s research found that more shoppers want AI help when they’re shopping. They want it to help them find products, solve problems, and get deals. But, even though companies want to give them this kind of help, what they offer often isn’t good enough, which makes shoppers unhappy. Still, shoppers like the idea of using AI, especially things like virtual assistants and features that use augmented reality.

Making AI shopping help work well means using customer data responsibly to give people personalized help that matches what they like. Also, since shoppers want better online and in-store experiences, AI is becoming really important for stores. Brands need to focus on using AI to make shopping more fun for customers while also making sure their privacy is protected and that everything is easy to use, no matter where they’re shopping. Read more here.

Automated Pausing in Ad Groups

Google Ads has recently implemented a significant update that introduces automated pausing of ad groups exhibiting low activity. This move aims to streamline budget efficiency for advertisers by redirecting resources towards more productive campaigns and eliminating wasteful spending on underperforming ad groups. One of the key advantages of automated pausing is its ability to optimize budget allocation in real-time. By automatically identifying and pausing ad groups with minimal activity, advertisers can prevent unnecessary expenditure on campaigns that fail to yield desired results. This proactive approach to budget management enables advertisers to allocate resources more effectively, maximizing the return on investment (ROI) from their advertising efforts. Read more here.

Learning Marketing Trends and Ideas

Tailoring The B2B Sales Funnel To Meet Your Needs

The B2B sales funnel typically consists of three main stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. However, it’s not rigid and can be adjusted to fit specific business needs while still incorporating elements of these stages. By tailoring the sales funnel, businesses can more effectively identify where customers are in their journey and determine appropriate actions.

For instance, a modified B2B sales funnel may include five stages:

  1. Lead Generation: Introducing leads to the company and establishing authority through content and online presence.
  2. Lead Nurturing: Continuing to educate leads about the company and their pain points, while qualifying them based on their level of interest and need.
  3. Initial Meeting: Engaging directly with qualified prospects through various interactions like discovery calls or product demonstrations to build trust and establish a relationship.
  4. Closing: Finalizing the deal and securing commitment from the prospect to do business with the company.
  5. Retention: Nurturing the relationship with customers after the sale to ensure continued business and encourage referrals, thus enhancing customer retention and attracting new leads through referrals.

This modified funnel retains elements of the standard three stages while providing a more tailored approach to understanding customer needs and journey progression. Read more here.

man marketing papers

Modern Logo Design Trends of 2024

In branding, a compelling logo is crucial for creating a lasting impression and distinguishing your brand. Modern logo designs are essential for crafting a memorable brand image in today’s digital age. Trends in logo design include minimalist designs, bold typography, handmade elements, and dynamic logos adaptable to different platforms. Handcrafted and calligraphic logos offer authenticity and uniqueness, standing out in a digital world. While AI-generated logos may lack originality and understanding of brand values, professional expertise ensures a logo reflects the brand’s ethos effectively. When designing a logo, prioritize simplicity, versatility, and alignment with brand values. Embracing modernity in branding with a well-designed logo enhances brand awareness and loyalty. Collaborating with a professional designer is a strategic investment in creating a logo that captures attention and resonates with your audience. Read more here.

Using Hashtags on LinkedIn

Using hashtags on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook helps users expand their audience beyond their followers. Hashtags categorize content with relevant keywords, making it visible to users searching for those terms. While hashtags are often seen as casual, they hold value on professional platforms like LinkedIn. Here are ten tips for using hashtags effectively on LinkedIn:

  1. Follow LinkedIn’s hashtag rules and limit the number of hashtags used.
  2. Follow relevant hashtags to monitor conversations and discover content ideas.
  3. Research industry trends and competitor content for hashtag inspiration.
  4. Create a company hashtag to strengthen brand identity.
  5. Utilize LinkedIn’s suggested hashtags feature.
  6. Use hashtags in comments as well as in posts to increase visibility.
  7. Balance niche and popular hashtags for broad and targeted reach.
  8. Incorporate location-based hashtags to target specific audiences.
  9. Utilize event hashtags to highlight involvement in industry events.
  10. Reuse effective hashtags from successful posts to maintain engagement.

Using hashtags on LinkedIn can attract more leads and engage clients and prospects effectively. Incorporating hashtags into posts can enhance visibility and encourage interaction, potentially leading to successful marketing campaigns. Read more here.

Recent Marketing Trends, Reports, and Updates

Blog Content Ideas

In March 2024, content marketers have a range of creative options beyond the typical themes of St. Patrick’s Day and college basketball. Instead, they can explore topics such as National Puppy Day, alternative “March Madness” activities, the transition to daylight saving time, spring fitness, and National Craft Month. These ideas offer opportunities to engage audiences with fun, informative, and helpful content related to various products and industries. For instance, content around National Puppy Day can appeal to pet lovers, while articles on adjusting to daylight saving time can provide practical tips relevant to different lifestyles. Similarly, focusing on spring fitness or National Craft Month allows marketers to offer valuable assistance and insights to their audience while promoting their products in a more organic and engaging way. Read more here.

Profitable E-Commerce Ideas

Several e-commerce business ideas cater to various niches and interests, offering opportunities for entrepreneurs. These include selling homemade pet treats, starting an educational platform, crafting handmade toys, and offering eco-friendly baby toiletries. Additionally, flipping thrifted goods, selling specialty foods, dessert boxes, brand-name fashion reselling, and online plant sales are popular options. Collectibles and natural cosmetic products present profitable ventures as well, along with home decor items like candles, rugs, and bedding. Each idea requires thorough research, compliance with regulations, and strategic marketing to ensure success in the competitive e-commerce landscape. Read more here.

AI in Writing

AI-aided writing, editing, and research tools, including ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, Grammarly, and others, have significantly advanced, making them invaluable for copywriters in tasks like brainstorming, research, outlining, and proofreading. While fears of AI taking over copywriting jobs persist, it’s unlikely to replace human writers entirely, as AI still frequently provides misleading information, termed “AI hallucination.” Despite its advancements, double-checking AI-generated content remains crucial to avoid errors. Read more here.

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Tailoring The B2B Sales Funnel To Meet Your Needs

When it comes to the B2B sales funnel, there are three main stages: awareness, consideration and the decision stage. The funnel represents the journey that the customer takes from start to end. However, the B2B sales funnel isn’t necessarily set in stone. It can be modified to fit your business’s needs as long as it contains aspects of the three main stages. By customizing the sales funnel to meet your company’s specific needs, you’ll be able to identify what stage your customers are in more effectively, thereby making it easier to determine who they need to be in contact with and what actions need to take place.

With all this in mind, the following is an example of how the B2B sales funnel can be slightly modified. While still retaining aspects of the three main stages, the following B2B sales funnel consists of five stages.

Tailoring B2b Sales Funnel Stages

1. The Lead Generation Stage

The lead generation stage is a part of the awareness stage. It’s during this stage that leads who may not know who you are or what you do are introduced to your company. They may not even know what their exact pain point is at this time. Presenting a solution during Lead Generation Stage stage of B2B Sales Funnel is premature. Instead, your goal should be to attract their attention and to establish your authority within your industry by producing high-quality content and establishing a presence online in the form of a website as well as social media pages.

2. The Lead Nurturing Stage

The lead nurturing stage is an extension of the awareness stage that ends up moving into the initial part of the consideration stage. It’s during this stage that you nurture your leads by continuing to educate them about your company and to inform them about the problem or pain point that they have. It’s during this stage that you will begin qualifying your leads.

Not all leads will be good prospects. Using lead scoring software, you can score leads based on actions they take during the lead generation and nurturing stages. For example, if they are spending a lot of time on your website, have returned multiple times, and have downloaded a free eBook and filled out a form, then you might want to qualify them as they have indicated a certain level of interest in your company.

When you qualify a lead, you need to make sure that they have expressed interest in one way or another, have a need for what you’re selling, have a budget to afford what you’re selling, and have the decision-making power within their company to actually make a purchase.

Read More: How Marketing Automation Can Improve Your Lead Nurturing Process

3. The Initial Meeting Stage

Once you have qualified a prospect, it’s time to engage directly with them. This is the initial meeting stage. Depending on how you structure your sales funnel, this initial meeting can come in a variety of different forms. For example, it could be a discovery call, a direct sales pitch, or a formal product or service demonstration. The idea is to establish the groundwork for a relationship and build trust with the prospect. They may not be ready to buy just yet. This B2B sales funnel stage is the second half of the consideration stage.

4. The Closing Stage

The closing stage is the stage in which you close the deal. It’s essentially the decision stage. At this point, the prospect should be making the decision to do business with your company. To ensure that you close, you want to align your priorities with theirs, secure their commitment, and continue to nurture the relationship with them until they make a decision.

5. The Retention Stage

Whereas standard sales funnels tend to end at the decision stage, your business with a new customer doesn’t end with the purchase. Remember, retaining the customer is of vital importance, which is why there should be a retention stage. Nurturing your relationship with your customers after the decision stage will help ensure that they continue doing business with them. Additionally, the stronger your relationship grows, the more likely they are to refer your company to other potential customers. This is a more cost-effective way to attract new leads since you’ll essentially be able to skip the first stage due to the referral.

This example shows how you can modify the standard sales funnel to create a funnel that better represents your B2B needs. As long as it retains some aspects of the standard three stages and the funnel is modified to help you better understand what part of the journey your customers are on and what their needs are, it should remain effective.

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Asian Graphic designer working in office For Logo Design

The Modern Logo Design Trends of 2024

When it comes to branding, the importance of a compelling logo cannot be overstated. A well-crafted logo isn’t just a passing marketing trend. It serves as the cornerstone of your brand’s identity, encapsulating your ethos and distinguishing you in a crowded marketplace. As we delve into the trends of 2024, it becomes increasingly clear that modern logo designs are pivotal in crafting a memorable brand image.

The Evolution of Logo Design

The digital age has ushered in a wave of innovation in logo design, with modern aesthetics taking center stage. The shift towards simplicity and minimalism continues to dominate, as brands strive for clarity and instant recognition. Among the standout trends:

  • Minimalist Designs: The minimalist trend emphasizes simplicity, focusing on essential elements to create a strong impact. This approach removes any clutter, allowing the brand’s core message to shine through clearly, making a memorable impression on the audience.
  • Bold Typography: Modern logo designs are increasingly adopting bold typography to make a powerful statement. By utilizing unique and strong fonts, these logos capture attention and convey the brand’s personality effectively. This trend highlights the importance of typography in establishing a brand’s identity.
  • Handmade and Calligraphic Elements: Incorporating handmade and calligraphic elements into logo designs adds a distinct personal touch that differentiates a brand in the digital space. This trend celebrates the beauty of human touch and craftsmanship, offering a warm contrast to the often cold digital environment.
  • Dynamic and Adaptive Logos: The evolution of modern logo designs has led to the creation of dynamic and adaptive logos. These logos are designed to be versatile, easily adjusting to various platforms and devices without losing their essence. This flexibility ensures consistent brand representation across different media.

logo design process optionsThe Importance of a Distinctive Logo Design

A logo is not merely an image; it’s the first point of interaction with your audience. Modern logo designs serve as a powerful tool in conveying your brand’s values and mission at a glance. They foster brand loyalty and recognition, making your brand memorable in the vast digital landscape.

Why Handcrafted and Calligraphic Logos?

In an era where digitalization is ubiquitous, handmade and calligraphic logos offer a breath of fresh air. They bring a human touch to your brand, making it feel more approachable and authentic. These designs stand out for their uniqueness, ensuring your brand leaves a lasting impression.

Steering Clear of AI in Logo Design

While AI offers convenience and speed, it lacks the nuance and personalization that a professional designer brings to the table. AI-generated logos often miss the mark on originality and relevance, failing to capture the essence of your brand. Here’s why you should avoid AI for your logo design:

  • Lack of originality and uniqueness: Modern logo designs risk becoming indistinguishable when creativity is sidelined. A logo that lacks original elements fails to stand out, blending into a sea of competitors rather than carving out a unique identity in the market.
  • Limited understanding of your brand’s deeper narrative: A logo should be a reflection of your brand’s story and values. Without a deep understanding of what your brand stands for, a logo may fall short in communicating the essence and depth of your brand’s narrative to the audience.
  • Potential for generic and impersonal results: When logos are crafted without a personalized approach, they risk being perceived as generic and impersonal. Such designs do not resonate with the target audience, missing the opportunity to establish a meaningful connection and loyalty to the brand.

The Value of Professional Expertise

After exploring the latest trends in modern logo designs, it’s evident that professional input can elevate your brand’s visual identity significantly. A skilled designer can interpret your brand’s ethos and translate it into a logo that resonates with your target audience. They bring a strategic approach to design, ensuring your logo is not only trendy but also timeless and adaptable.

man using computerCrafting a Logo That Stands the Test of Time

As you consider refreshing your brand’s logo or creating a new one, remember the importance of aligning with modern logo designs while maintaining your unique brand identity. Here are a few tips to ensure your logo remains relevant and impactful:

  • Prioritize simplicity and clarity: In modern logo designs, simplicity is key. A clear, uncluttered logo not only captures attention but also ensures easy recognition. Striving for a design that communicates your brand’s essence, including your primary site colors, without unnecessary complexity can lead to a more memorable and effective logo that resonates with your audience.
  • Ensure versatility across various media: A versatile logo performs well across different platforms, from digital screens to print materials. When designing your logo, consider its appearance on various backgrounds, sizes, and formats. This adaptability ensures consistent brand representation, whether on a business card, website, or billboard.
  • Reflect your brand’s ethos and values: Your logo should be a visual embodiment of your brand’s principles and beliefs. It’s crucial that the design conveys your brand’s personality and core values, creating an emotional connection with your target audience. This alignment helps build trust and fosters brand loyalty among your customers.
  • Stay informed about emerging design trends: The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving, and so are design trends. Keeping abreast of these changes can inspire innovative logo designs that set your brand apart. However, while it’s important to be trendy, ensure your logo retains a timeless quality that won’t feel outdated as trends shift.

Embracing Modernity in Branding

The right logo can significantly contribute to your success by increasing brand awareness and brand loyalty. By embracing modern logo designs, you position your brand as forward-thinking and relevant. However, the true essence of a remarkable logo lies in its ability to tell your brand’s story compellingly and memorably. As we move forward, the collaboration with a professional designer becomes not just a choice but a strategic investment in your brand’s future, ensuring your logo not only captures attention but also encapsulates the very heart of your brand. Contact Us today to learn more or schedule a free consultation.

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Strategies for Website Redesign

Website Redesign: Key Strategies For Revitalizing Your Digital Front Door in 2024

Website redesign can be a pivotal step in refreshing your brand’s online presence. As you plan your redesign in 2024, keep these best practices and trends in mind to ensure your website is both modern and effective.

1. Learn from Your Current Website

Before starting a website redesign, it’s crucial not to disregard the wealth of insights your current site holds. Analyzing existing user data and feedback serves as a foundational step that uncovers the strengths and weaknesses of your website. This will effectively inform your redesign strategy. Delving into analytics to examine user interactions and behaviors is key. Metrics such as page views, bounce rates, and conversion paths shed light on what aspects of your site engage users and which areas need enhancement. Additionally, reflecting on past design decisions that may have fallen short is essential. Recognizing and learning from these mistakes ensures they are not repeated. This sets the stage for a more informed and successful redesign. This approach not only preserves valuable elements but also transforms insights into actionable strategies for improvement.

2. Understand Your Audience’s Website Needs

  • Investigate the reasons people visit your site: Understanding why users come to your site is crucial. Are they looking for information, a specific product, or service? Tailoring your redesign to meet these needs can enhance user satisfaction and engagement.
  • Ensure your redesign meets visitor needs and removes obstacles: Your redesign should focus on streamlining the user experience. Identify any existing barriers to conversion and address them. A user-friendly design encourages longer visits and more interactions.
  • Use the LIFT model: This model helps refine your website’s value proposition by focusing on clarity, reducing user anxiety, minimizing distractions, and adding urgency where appropriate. Applying these principles can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your redesign.

people walking towards target3. Focus on Customer-Centric Website Design

When designing, it’s important to prioritize the needs and preferences of your target audience over the temptation to solely highlight product features or technological capabilities. An overly product-centric approach can lead to designs that don’t fully resonate with users. To avoid overlooking crucial elements that matter to your audience, actively engage with them through surveys, interviews, and other feedback mechanisms. This direct interaction uncovers what users genuinely value and expect from your site. Incorporating insights gained from these engagements into your redesign ensures that the outcome is not only aesthetically pleasing but also functionally in tune with what your audience seeks. This user-centered approach to design makes for a more effective and satisfying user experience.

4. Integrate Copy and Design from the Start

  • Avoid a design-first approach: Integrating copywriting and design from the outset ensures coherence between your message and visual elements. This collaboration can lead to a more cohesive and compelling user experience.
  • Engage copywriters early: Involve content creators early in the redesign process to ensure the textual content aligns with design elements, enhancing the overall narrative and user journey on your site.
  • Ensure the copy is persuasive and complements the design: The right words can elevate a good design to a great one. Ensure your copy is compelling, clear, and effectively guides users toward desired actions or conversions.

5. Be Cautious with Metrics

When considering metrics, it’s essential to select those that meaningfully signify success. Instead of relying on superficial indicators like bounce rates, it’s beneficial to delve into metrics that truly mirror user engagement and satisfaction. Metrics such as conversion rates, average session duration, and user feedback are more indicative of the overall user experience. They can provide a clearer picture of how well a site meets its users’ needs. Prioritizing these metrics, which closely align with business objectives and user satisfaction, can offer valuable insights into the redesign’s effectiveness and its return on investment. This focused approach ensures that the metrics used are not just numbers but valuable tools in assessing and enhancing the website’s impact and performance.

website design SEO laptop6. Clean Up SEO and Enhance Accessibility During Your Website Redesign

  • Use the redesign as an opportunity to improve SEO and website accessibility: A redesign is the perfect time to audit and enhance your site’s SEO and accessibility. This ensures your site is discoverable and usable by a wider audience, including those with disabilities.
  • Consolidate content and use clear, keyword-rich URLs: Streamlining your content and optimizing URLs can boost your SEO efforts. It makes your site more navigable for users and search engines alike.
  • Ensure the website is accessible to all users: Compliance with accessibility standards is not only ethical but also expands your audience reach. An accessible site provides a better experience for all users, including those using assistive technologies.

7. Manage Tech Changes Carefully

If you’re thinking about making changes to both the design and underlying technology of your platform, proceed with caution. Undertaking changes in both areas simultaneously can result in user confusion or technical complications, potentially disrupting the user experience. To ensure a seamless transition, it’s important to maintain continuity in user-facing elements so they transition smoothly into the new environment. These user-facing elements include login credentials and personal preferences. To further mitigate risks, you might want to separate the implementation of design updates from changes to the backend or platform technology. This staggered approach allows for the isolation of issues, making them easier to identify and resolve, thereby minimizing the impact on users and enhancing the overall update process.

8. Prioritize User Research

Grounding your redesign in thorough user research rather than merely chasing the latest trends ensures that your website aligns with the real needs and preferences of your target audience. By letting user feedback and research insights steer your redesign efforts, you can tailor your site to meet the specific requirements of your audience. This focus on what truly resonates with your users can lead to a significant boost in engagement and satisfaction, making your site not just aesthetically pleasing but also highly functional and user-centric.

9. Avoid Overhauling Everything at Once

  • Focus on the redesign without making drastic changes to other aspects of your digital presence: A focused approach allows you to monitor the impact of your redesign more accurately without the noise of other simultaneous changes.
  • Allow time to establish a new baseline: After implementing your redesign, give it time to settle. Monitor key metrics to establish a new performance baseline, which can then inform further optimization and updates.

Elevating Your Online Presence

As you embark on redesigning your website in 2024, remember the importance of building on past insights, prioritizing your audience’s needs, and integrating content and design harmoniously. By focusing on meaningful metrics and making informed changes, you can elevate your online presence and better serve your visitors.

LeadingAge Pennsylvania 2024 Annual Conference

WHO: LeadingAge Pennsylvania is a non-profit trade association consisting of over 380 exceptional senior housing, healthcare, and community services across the Commonwealth. Since 1963, they have dedicated themselves to helping their members advance the vision of healthy, affordable, ethical aging services. LeadingAge PA offers services in Life Plan Communities/Continuing Care Retirement Communities, skilled nursing communities, assisted living residences, personal care homes, and affordable senior housing.

WHERE: Kalahari Resort & Convention Center

WHEN: May 7 – 9, 2024

DETAILS:

The LeadingAge PA Annual Conference offers presenters an unparalleled forum for showcasing a variety of forward-thinking ideas centering on innovations in senior care and services, financial operations, reimbursement issues, current, and emerging trends, advances in technology, and updates on the current and future regulatory environment. Stevens and Tate Marketing has two speakers featured at this year’s show.

Digital Marketing Strategies to Build Website Traffic and Increase Lead Conversion: Tuesday, May 7th

Internet Marketing Director, Nicole Wagner will be presenting Digital Strategies to Online Lead Generation: How to Drive Demand. The session will discuss how to use the online media, your website and content development to build an online presence that attracts the right audience and converts them into quality leads. Attendees will analyze their current online marketing programs and assess the strength of these programs. They will learn how to create a content program and web presence that helps them reach the right audience with the right message.

Digital Strategies to Online Lead Generation: How to Drive Demand will be presented on Tuesday, May 7th at 1:45 PM to 2:45 PM. Click here to learn more about Nicole Wagner.

Learn more about LeadingAge Pennsylvania here:

Hashtags on LinkedIn

10 Tips for Using Hashtags on LinkedIn

Using hashtags on X, Instagram, and Facebook helps users reach an audience beyond their group of followers or friends. Hashtags mark content with keywords that are relevant to the message of the post. When users search those keywords, your content becomes visible to people who may not have known about your business previously. Hashtags are often viewed as a casual practice, yet they hold value on professional social platforms like LinkedIn. To make the most out of hashtags on LinkedIn, keep the following 10 tips in mind:

Tips To Use Hashtags on LinkedIn

1. Remember the hashtag rules

Hashtags can either be placed after your copy or embedded within it. However, you need to make sure that it’s relevant to your content. Additionally, do not hashtag every word in your post — doing so will just make it look like spam. LinkedIn allows you to include letters, numbers, and emojis in hashtags. The use of spaces and symbols within your tag will break the link. This means that you should avoid commas, hyphens, exclamation points, and apostrophes. You can use punctuation before and after you hashtag. Last, but not least, limit your hashtags to five at the very most. A string of hashtags in a single post can cause your post to be marked as spam by the LinkedIn algorithm.

2. Follow hashtags on LinkedIn

You can follow hashtags on LinkedIn. Adding hashtags to the Your Communities box allows you to monitor conversations and posts across LinkedIn that use the hashtags you’re following. This can be an effective way to monitor conversations about your brand, about your competitors, about your industry, and more. It can also help you identify influencers and leads. Additionally, following hashtags can help you discover ideas for new content.

3. Research hashtags to use

Pay attention to the content and posts published by other companies within your industry — or even those that you compete with directly. You can get a lot of ideas for hashtags to use from their content. You should also follow industry influencers on LinkedIn. If anyone knows how to use hashtags on LinkedIn correctly and effectively, it’s the influencers using LinkedIn.

4. Create a company hashtag

Create a hashtag that coincides with your company or marketing campaign in order to strengthen your brand identity. For example, WeWork asks both clients and prospects to use #wework on social media to share their personal stories. This creates a memorable experience for social media users and spreads the brand’s message through UGC.

5. Use the suggest hashtags feature

When you’re going through the process of posting something, LinkedIn has a feature that will automatically suggest a hashtag that’s relevant to your content. Check the hashtag they recommend and use it if you think it’s relevant.

6. Use hashtags in your comments

Besides using hashtags for the content that you post on your LinkedIn page, use hashtags in any comments you post on other published content or posts. This ensures that your comments will show up in that specific hashtag’s feed.

Popular hashtags are hashtags that use broad keywords that will help expose your content to a potentially large audience. However, you can target a more specific audience with less hashtag competition by using hashtags that are associated with niches. There’s no reason to forego one type for the other — they can both have a positive impact on your marketing efforts.

8. Use location-based hashtags

A large number of users on LinkedIn aren’t from the U.S. If you’re trying to attract potential leads within a certain area or you are posting about a certain area, you may want to use a geo-specific hashtag. For example, if you’re partnering with a local restaurant in Detroit, you might want to add a hashtag on your announcement such as #Detroitrestaurants

9. Use event hashtags

Most events, such as industry events and conferences, have their own hashtags. Use these hashtags to let everyone know of your attendance or involvement with the event.

10. Reuse effective hashtags from successful posts

Use your analytics tools to identify the most successful posts. This can refer to posts that had a significant amount of clicks-through, comments, or shares. Take note of the hashtags that you used on these posts and be sure to use them again when it’s relevant to do so (you don’t want to use hashtags that aren’t relevant as this will just annoy users).

Hashtags on LinkedIn attract more leads to your business by making your posts easier to find and giving clients and prospects an interactive way to engage with you on social media. If your LinkedIn traffic is slow or if you simply want to communicate with more people, think of ways to start incorporating hashtags into your posts. Perhaps your next great marketing campaign will begin with a hashtag.

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lasting impressions

4 Tips on How to Leave Lasting Impressions on Customers

If you want to leave lasting impressions on your customers, you have to do more than sell them a service. Making their experience with your brand comfortable and enjoyable keeps them coming back over and over again. Giving customers individual attention and making them feel like you truly care about their needs will help them remember your business the next time they need your services. When it comes to leaving positive lasting impressions, the job does not end once they’re loyal to your business. You have to continue giving them positive experiences every time you’re in contact. Keep the following four tips in mind when interacting with your customers.

4 Tips to Leave Lasting Impressions on Customers

1. Don’t be afraid to get personal

While it’s important to focus on getting business done with customers, you should also take some time to personalize your conversations with them. Instead of jumping straight into the task at hand, first try to find out more about them as an individual. Ask them about their day and see if you can find a personal connection with them. Creating this bond with a customer will help them feel comfortable coming to you with their business needs, rather than going to a competitor.

Making personal connections with customers also shows them that your company is genuinely interested in them. Showing them your authenticity and desire to connect with them helps establish a strong level of trust. Remember, this relationship is a two way street. Let the customer get to know you and your business while you get to know them.

personal connection laptop

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2. Stay in touch

You want your customer to keep your business in mind long after your last interaction with them. This means regularly following up with them. Some ways you can keep up to date with them include weekly newsletters, customer appreciation emails and social media updates.

Making yourself available on social media is especially important. It reassures customers that they can easily reach you if they have any questions or concerns. Interacting with customers on social media is another way to convince them that your business values its customers.

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3. Adapt to different styles of communication

Not every customer communicates in the same way. Some may be very straightforward and to the point, leaving little time for personal conversation or anything off topic. Other customers may prefer more casual conversation and want to chat on a personal level before addressing the business at hand. No matter how your customer prefers to communicate, you must be willing to adapt to accommodate them. If you talk to every customer in the same manner, they may struggle to connect with you and it might not leave the impression you’re aiming for.

4. Show customers you respect them

They say the customer is always right, but in some cases that simply is not true. When helping a customer, letting them know when they’re wrong in a respectful way shows you truly care about helping them get the best results. If you guide them to the solution, they’ll remember how helpful you were the next time they need your services. It’s crucial to be honest and direct with customers so they can trust your brand.

If it’s a matter of differing opinions, there may be no right or wrong answer. In this case, it’s important to respect the customer’s opinion, even if you disagree with it. Customers may not remember the exact topic you disagreed on, but they will remember if you treated them with kindness and respect. In the future, they may choose your brand because they know they can trust you to be authentic.

If you want to leave positive lasting impressions on customers, it’s essential to keep these 4 tips in mind. Personalizing your interactions and going above and beyond for each customer will help them remember you whenever they need your products or services. If you make your customer feel comfortable and respected, you can be sure you left them with the best possible impression of your brand.

 

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Types Of Advertisement Opportunities For Popular Streaming Services

For years, the only way to reach audiences was through traditional types of advertisement such as print, TV, and radio. While these types of advertisement methods are still available, new methods of reaching your audience have opened up online; for example, streaming platforms. If you haven’t looked into advertising on a streaming services/platform, then you should.

Advertising on Streaming Services/Platforms

Streaming services/platforms, such as Netflix or Spotify, are like the online versions of radio and TV. The only difference being everything is available on demand. Essentially, the programming is more customizable. This allows users to create a more personal experience in regards to what they listen to and what they watch.

Traditional TV and radio is limited to the number of people watching or listening to any given program.Streaming platforms have more data available when it comes to the individual user and their watching or listening behaviors. This means that advertisers will be able to leverage their buyer persona information to more effectively reach their target audience with different types of advertisement methods using streaming services/platforms.

Due to the nature of streaming, advertisers often receive more exposure as well. For example, instead of running an ad on a show that airs once a week, you can run an ad on a show that can be streamed at any time. Since many consumers binge-watch their shows, you can gain massive amounts of exposure, staying at the top of mind by advertising throughout an entire season or series of a show. You’ll also be able to target more niche shows, podcasts or musicians that you know your specific target audience is more likely to be engaged with.

Learn More:3 Ways To Use Targeted Marketing To Reach Qualified Prospects

The following are some of the different types of advertisement options available on some of the more popular streaming channels:

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is YouTube’s attempt to develop their own content streaming platform/service. It provides viewers with 50 live TV channels for a monthly fee. They’ve also made some innovations in regards to their different types of advertising options. For example, you can now target your ads to viewers that watch most of their TV online (also known as cord-cutters). You’ll also be able to use their DoubleClick Bid Manager. DoubleClick Bid Manager specifically targets viewers who are watching YouTube TV on their TV screens. This allows you to tailor different types of advertisements based on the environment in which they will be shown.

Hulu

Hulu is a video streaming platform with over 17 million subscribers. It is unique as it offers multiple ways to target your audience, and has numerous customization options. For example, their Targeted Blitz ability allows you to target by demographics, geographic area, genre, content length, and more. Splash allows you to intercept almost every unique viewer on a single day. Additionally, you can align your brand with episodes of specific shows. Hulu will even help hand-pick shows based on thematic relevance to your brand.

Spotify

Spotify is the most popular audio streaming subscription service on the planet. It has over 650 million users. Besides running targeted audio-only ads, there are plenty of other advertising opportunities available on the platform. These include podcast partnerships, sponsored playlists, and more.

woman listening to music on a streaming platform

Pandora

Pandora‘s streaming platform is based on being able to create personalized radio stations. Roughly 78 million people listen to Pandora every month. Pandora allows users to customize their listening experience, giving them access to extremely valuable data. This data can then become leverage to target your audience. Pandora also only serves one ad at a time, which means your ad won’t get buried under a sea of running advertisements.

Google Play Music

Google Play Music is another popular music streaming platform that boasts access to more than 30 million songs. Their advertising platform provides access to both Lightbox ads and TrueView video ads; both of which are mobile-optimized and easy to set up. You will be able to use keywords, remarketing, and affinity audiences in order to target your audience at the right time. Google Music Play allows the use of Google AdWords to set up marketing campaigns.

DirecTV Now

DirecTV is a streaming service that provides users access to more than 25,000 on demand shows and movies. They currently have slightly over 20 million subscribers. DirectTV allows you to run your ads on the most popular shows and on demographically targeted networks. You can also lock into marquee programmings (such as season premieres and finales), and reach your audience across multiple devices. You can even run ads that viewers can interact with directly on their screens.

These streaming services/platforms have enormous audiences and can provide you with a great chance to boost your brand awareness. Additionally, they offer a variety of different types of advertisement options to help fit your brand’s specific needs.

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Mastering the Art of Integrated Digital and Social Media Marketing

Mastering the art of digital and social media marketing is no longer an option. It’s a must. Digital and social media marketing form the backbone of successful brand strategies, offering unparalleled opportunities for engagement, reach, and conversion. Let’s delve into how digital and social advertising work hand-in-hand. We will also explore the myriad ways they complement each other to amplify your brand’s online presence.

Combining Tactics

Digital and social media marketing are two sides of the same coin, each enhancing the effectiveness of the other. Here’s how they create a synergistic effect:

  • Content Amplification: The content you create as part of your digital marketing initiatives possesses significant potential. This potential can be magnified exponentially through social media platforms. By sharing content on various social networks, you can extend its reach far beyond your immediate followers. This allows you to tap into new audiences and spark conversations, which enhances engagement with your brand. It also drives traffic back to your original content, increasing its overall impact and visibility.
  • Data-Driven Insights: The rich reservoir of user data available through social media platforms is a goldmine for marketers seeking to refine their digital marketing strategies. By analyzing patterns in engagement, preferences, and user behavior, you can gain invaluable insights. These insights will inform the creation of more targeted and effective content. This data-driven approach allows for the optimization of ad placements, therefore ensuring that your marketing efforts resonate with the right audience at the right time. This maximizes ROI.
  • Brand Consistency: Achieving a harmonious brand voice and message across all your online platforms is crucial for building a strong and recognizable brand identity. Consistency in your messaging and visuals across digital and social media channels reinforces your brand’s core values and promises. It also fosters a sense of reliability and trust among your audience. This uniformity ensures that regardless of how or where a customer interacts with your brand, they receive a coherent and memorable experience. This experience will strengthen their connection to your brand.

Leveraging the Power of Social Media in Digital Marketing

To harness the full potential of digital and social media marketing, consider the following inbound and outbound marketing strategies:

  • Targeted Advertising: The advanced targeting capabilities of social media platforms allow for the delivery of highly personalized advertisements directly to specific audience segments. By leveraging detailed user data, marketers can craft tailored messages that resonate deeply with their target audience. Detailed user data includes demographics, interests, and online behaviors. This precision ensures that your advertising budget is utilized more efficiently, reaching those most likely to engage with your brand. Consider hiring specific social media influencers that can reach your desired target market.
  • Engagement and Interaction: Social media stands out for its unique ability to foster immediate and direct interaction between brands and their audiences. This interactive environment is perfect for engaging with followers in real-time, soliciting their feedback, answering questions, and even addressing concerns. By actively participating in these conversations, brands can build a loyal community and enhance customer satisfaction. They can also humanize their brand, making it more relatable and trustworthy to their audience.
  • Content Diversity: The dynamic nature of social media platforms makes them an ideal testing ground for a wide array of content types. From engaging videos and informative live streams to interactive polls and captivating stories, the diversity of content formats available allows brands to keep their digital marketing strategies fresh and engaging. This variety helps attract a wider audience. It also helps maintain the interest of the audience over time, therefore leading to increased engagement rates and a stronger online presence.

Best Practices for Integrated Campaigns

For a seamless integration of digital and social media marketing, follow these best practices:

  • Unified Goals: It’s crucial that your digital marketing and social media strategies share common objectives. These objectives can be enhancing brand visibility, attracting more visitors to your website, or increasing sales figures. This alignment ensures that all your marketing efforts are pulling in the same direction, maximizing the impact of your campaigns.
  • Cross-Platform Analytics: Leveraging analytics tools to monitor your brand’s performance across various digital and social platforms is essential. This approach provides a holistic view of your marketing activities, helping you understand what’s working and what needs adjustment, thereby optimizing your strategies for better results.
  • Responsive Engagement: Promptness and authenticity in your interactions on social media can significantly boost your brand’s image. Being responsive shows that you value your audience’s input. Additionally, it fosters a positive brand perception, encouraging your followers to become vocal advocates for your brand.

Crafting a Cohesive Narrative

Your brand’s narrative should flow effortlessly across digital and social media platforms. It should tell a consistent story that resonates with your audience. Here’s how to achieve this:

  • Consistent Messaging: Maintaining a uniform message across all your marketing channels is vital. It’s important to tweak the tone and style to suit each platform’s unique environment though. This ensures your brand’s core message is conveyed clearly, regardless of where your audience encounters it, therefore enhancing message retention and brand loyalty.
  • Visual Branding: Employing a consistent set of visual elements such as logos, color schemes, and imagery across your digital and social media outputs is key to building a strong brand identity. This visual consistency makes your brand easily recognizable, fostering a sense of familiarity and trust among your audience. The obvious platform that can help you achieve these goals is Instagram.
  • Integrated Campaigns: Designing campaigns that effectively bridge digital and social media channels can leverage the inherent strengths of each platform, thereby ensuring a cohesive and impactful marketing effort. This integrated approach ensures that your campaign’s message is amplified. The amplified message will reach a broader audience and drive towards your unified marketing objectives.

Embracing the Future of Marketing

As we look toward the future of marketing in 2024, the integration of digital and social media marketing will only become more vital. Staying ahead of the curve requires a commitment to ongoing learning, adaptability, and a willingness to experiment with new technologies and platforms. By embracing the synergies between digital marketing and social media advertising, you can craft compelling, cohesive campaigns that captivate your audience. These campaigns will also drive meaningful results.

The interplay between digital and social media marketing is not merely a strategic advantage but a necessity in today’s digital landscape. By understanding and leveraging this integration, you can elevate your brand’s online presence. You can also engage more deeply with your audience, and achieve your marketing objectives with greater efficiency and impact. The journey towards digital marketing mastery is ongoing. At its heart lies the powerful duo of digital and social media marketing. The two work in concert to propel your brand to new heights.

Factors That Influence Consumer Purchasing Decisions

What Are Marketing Qualified Leads And Why Do They Matter?

How are you handling your marketing qualified leads? Once you have a lead at the top of the sales funnel, you can’t just stop marketing and hope that initial lead turns into a sales-qualified lead (SQL). You need to keep your eye on your marketing qualified leads (MQLs) as well.

marketing qualified leads sales qualified leads blocks

What is Marketing Qualified Leads?

A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is a type of lead in which potential customer will engage with your brand which you have provided to them through your marketing efforts.

Don’t Forget the Lead in the Middle

Prospects, also known as contacts and leads, are the consumers at the top of your sales funnel. They have an initial interest in your product or service and might provide an email address or first name, in exchange for a report or other premium offer. However, they are only at the browsing stage and are definitely not ready to make a purchase yet.

At the bottom of your sales funnel are your sales qualified leads, also known as SQLs. These leads are ready to make a purchase. This is when your sales people need to be in contact, ready to provide additional information and incentives to finalize the sale.

Now there is plenty of room between the prospect and the SQL. This is where the marketing qualified lead (MQL) sits.

An MQL has moved beyond the browsing stage and is seriously evaluating whether your product or service meets certain criteria. They are looking at your competition as well. This is when your marketing needs to shift. An MQL needs more detailed information on your products and services, and needs to know how you differ from the competition. Having a strong brand identity can help set you apart. This information will help the MQL move towards the decision-making point.

Read More: How to nurture leads with email marketing

How Can You Tell if a Lead is Marketing Qualified?

To tell when a lead is moving towards the MQL stage, you need to gather pertinent data from the lead and monitor his/her activity on your website. Then, compare this information to past sales opportunities to determine what direction the prospect is moving towards.

  • Demographic data from the lead, like location, industry, and business size makes a difference. Also, how much do they want to spend? Is your product within their budget needs?
  • What types of actions are they taking on your website? Frequent visits added with downloading whitepapers or other detailed information is a good sign they are in this stage.
  • How similar are they to your past sales opportunities? If your typical customers are established companies with a large budget, a start-up with a limited budget may not be a good fit. That doesn’t mean that start-up won’t make a purchase, it is just less likely to happen.

marketing qualified leads notebook

The exact definition of what an MQL means to your company is something only you can define. But, no matter how you define MQLs, you cannot forget them in your marketing process. Forgetting them means less SQLs which means less final sales. And that defeats the purpose of marketing in the first place. The next step is learning how to engage marketing qualified leads until they move to being an SQL.

Inbound marketing will help you grow your business by attracting website visitors, converting them into leads and closing leads into customers