Along with Nadia & Nick, authors from the other INBOUND posts, I also attended INBOUND, an annual conference in which sales and marketing professionals from all business sectors (21,000 attendees) come together to get inspired, educated and connected to help expand and transform their businesses.
My focus at INBOUND centered on a central theme: building a trustworthy brand while remaining relevant by dominating digital marketing trends.
Building and Maintaining TRUST
Brands are no longer solely in control of their messaging, and this impacts how trust is earned for organizations by their audiences. . Traditional marketing and advertising limited transparency between consumers and brands. However, in today’s digital space, consumers have many choices for everything they want to purchase or do; whether it is where or what to eat, which brand bottled water to drink or which car to drive. Before the advent of Twitter, Instagram, Yelp and other social networking sites, it was more difficult for consumers to acquire information outside of what brands communicated through traditional marketing. Today, people are flooded with both options and an influx of information to influence their choices.
As a result, consumers have stopped trusting brands like they used to. “People love hearing from those they know and trust. They don’t trust brand messaging,” Mark Schaefer Today, brands need to work harder to remain trustworthy without becoming a nuisance with their marketing. 92% of consumers trust peer recommendations over any form of advertising. As a result, influencers have become the proxy for brands to access their buying communities. In order for brands to thrive in today’s trust economy, influencer marketing needs to be an essential component of a brand’s marketing program.
Brands have to evolve to stay on top of the ever-changing trends in the digital space. Personally, I love to follow brands that are able to stay ahead of the curve. How can I commit to a brand that can’t keep up? Staying ahead of the curve is tough, but necessary in order for a brand to stay relevant. Today, brands are leveraging video and user-generated content to build their digital following and engage their fans.
Video: By 2021, internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic. Now is the time to embrace a video culture and learn how to leverage it. Here’s a few knacks to follow:
- Square vs. Rectangle Video. Square video takes up 78% more space
- Silent video with text for the win. A noisy ad can lead to a disruptive experience in public. Consumers who watch videos on their phones tend to silence the audio. Create video without sound for mobile devices. Use text like title cards in place of audio to convey video messaging to users.
- Save the best for first. Consumers tend to watch the first few moments of an ad or video, therefore start with your strongest content/message.
USER-GENERATED CONTENT (UGC)
“A lot of future search is going to be about pictures instead of keywords” predicts Pinterest Founder Ben Silbermann. Those pictures that appear in the search results will more than likely be photos taken by other users - User-Generated Content. Many brands are already successfully leveraging UGC. Casual Fridays, a social media marketing company founded by Tyler Anderson, started using UGC (mainly photos) in 2010. Tyler credits all of the company’s success to UGC.
UGC is effective because 85% of web users find it more influential and engaging than brand content, according to Forbes. If used strategically, UGC can generate 6.9x higher engagement than brand generated content on Facebook. Brands that utilize UGC appear more trustworthy to consumers because the content is real; it’s engaging, it’s relatable.
Check back again soon for another post from our INBOUND series.
Here are quick links to the previous posts in case you missed them: