Start a podcast. Create Instagram stories. Produce more videos. Incorporate voice search strategies in your marketing efforts. Do more local SEO. Adopt a new MarTech tool. Try ABM. Blog twice a week and never stop. Create a big piece of content; then break it up and use it throughout the quarter. In fact, why not have AI write your content for you.
If you’ve noticed anything from the first paragraph, it is that I’ve listed some of the top “trends” you “should” be doing as a marketer. We can all agree that knowing your trends is important. It’s what helps us gain a competitive advantage over our competition. But let’s be real, just because something is a trend, it doesn’t automatically require a knee-jerk reaction on your part to jump on the bandwagon and hedge your bets on something that may or may not work.
The Lure of Shiny Object Syndrome
As marketing professionals, we often fall prey to new trends. Like a new toy, we believe that the latest trend will solve all of our problems, whether it's to increase website traffic or generating more leads. Yet we fail to understand how it plays into the overarching marketing strategy, much less if it fits the organization’s vision or goal.
What’s the point I’m making? That you have to look beyond the trend and understand how it fits within your industry, niche, business, and service, and then decide if investing in the new trend makes sense.
Constantly jumping into the next new thing because Content Marketing Institute or some Forrester report says it’s the thing to do is a surefire way to get nowhere fast.
A Breeding Ground for Random Acts of Marketing
Random acts of marketing are those actions we undertake on the premise that it will help us quickly meet our goals and objectives only to be met with disappointment when our very actions lead to failure. The failure to produce the leads we want, the failure to generate ROI, and the failure on our behalf for poor campaign performance and results.
When we jump on the bandwagon without truly understanding how it fits and aligns with our efforts, we open ourselves to losing countless amounts of money. Random acts of marketing often happen because we let the fear of missing out guide our decision. We perceive that because our competitor has seen success with Facebook Live, for example, that somehow we should do it too. In the interim, you open yourself up for failure because you failed to understand how this tactic fits with your strategy and if it even makes sense for your brand to be on that channel.
Try this story out for size. We have a client that came to us because they weren’t getting the leads they wanted. They seemed to be doing all the things, such as running PPC and applying SEO tactics. And yet, they were shelling out exorbitant amounts of money on campaigns that produce nothing. No leads, no conversions, and no ROI.
Can you imagine this?
I mean, it seems crazy to continue to run PPC campaigns over the span of many months to come up with nothing. After we looked into the situation, it became obvious what was going on. While they had the right intentions with PPC and SEO, they had failed to account the roles that landing pages and the right keywords play in helping to attract and drive conversions. In their quest for more leads, they came up short because they failed to understand that widening their net is more complex than just selecting a few keywords and turning up some ads.
In fact, you have to do more research and take an integrated approach. You have to use a tool like Ahrefs, for example, to hone in on long-tail keywords that will yield the best bang for your buck. Still, this is not enough. To take it to the next level, you have to create a bullet-proof content program that will maximize the strength of your long-tail keywords while generating compelling content to fuel your PPC campaigns to see results.
Moral of the Story?
Not every trend is for you. My mom used to tell me that just because a particular style of clothing is popular, it didn’t mean that it was suited for my body type. You have to select the styles that best suits your body. This is not to sound like I’m body shamming anyone, but she had a point.
Your tactics and tools, like your clothes, are meant to frame you or your business in the most favorable light. If you’re not seeing the results you like despite industry research showing the opposite, take the time to delve deeper and ask why. Perhaps your buyer personas are not interested in learning about manufacturing or oil via an Instagram ad. It’s not that your buyer personas aren’t using Instagram, for example, but perhaps they don’t use that medium for that purpose.
Do yourself a favor and stop wasting money on fruitless endeavors and go beyond the surface of new marketing trends. Do your research before you make a hefty investment. Ask yourself why a particular trend worked for one brand and not another in the same industry. In fact, analyze why that tactic or tool worked for them to understand how you can make it work for you.
Asking the why, will ultimately help you understand how a particular new trend, tool, or tactic will fit within your marketing efforts and if it’s a worthwhile investment to make in terms of money, time, and resources. Sometimes, it’s not that the new trend won’t work, it could just be a matter of timing. Always ask yourself how the latest thing can be an asset for your organization and not vice-versa.
Nothing ever worth having was easy, so why approach your marketing efforts with that intention.