When I returned from maternity leave after 9 months, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in the world of marketing, social media and digital marketing.
Apart from coming back to work and remembering how to write an email (to name but a few basic functions), I was apprehensive about the pace and would change be so great that it’s completely new and different. Would there be more social media platforms, would email marketing end, would automation define everything?
Thankfully, AI hasn’t defeated us yet and even though a lot of the basics are the same, there are some noticeable changes over a relatively short time, particularly with social media.
I’ve quickly identified what I think the current trends are, what’s changed and what’s not the big fad anymore.
One thing for certain is that it is important to keep ahead of the game.
Video is at the heart of everything! It has continued to grow and seems to be a big trend on social media.
However, as more and more people use video to get their story/message across, it’s important to make sure that your video is different, it’s not just about the views but getting people to watch your video in full and engage with it.
LinkedIn has taken a step to the next level for B2B marketing with targeted advertising and personalised ads. Although I find the inbox messages a little annoying, we have seen the success of targeted advertising for the benefit of our clients.
With recent algorithm changes, Facebook has continued to be quite ‘tough’ and the likes of Instagram and YouTube are increasingly popular as platforms for business.
Facebook isn’t going anywhere yet though and still appears to be a dominant platform. If done well, Facebook advertising can and has been successful for some of our clients especially with a B2C target audience.
Has twitter lost its mojo or is that just my impression? It’s a minefield where you have to make yourself stand out. It’s being used because people feel they must have a presence and although that’s true to a certain level, there’s no point in regurgitating and posting content if it’s not beneficial to your audience and you are not engaging or receiving engagement.
Twitter is still a strong platform for B2B, but it all comes back to producing and posting content that’s engaging and educational…think differently.
From the scare tactics last year to coming back and still receiving cold call emails, it seems that as long as robust internal policies are in place, with the relevant consents, website privacy notices and cookies policies - GDPR hasn’t really killed marketing.
Are we human?
It was all about the bots last year and perhaps we’ve taken it too far with the emphasis on marketing to be more human. Using bots and automation is still in the mix but using it properly is key. Don’t forget to humanise your brand, give yourself a personality and showcase who you are.
So how does this relate to the professional services sector?
After being away, I get the sense that professional services businesses are waking up to the value of marketing, including social media. As well as helping to raise profile and demonstrate industry expertise and thought leadership, social media reveals what’s “under the skin” of a business, particularly important for example, in recruiting the best candidates.
In my 9 months away, there has been a definite shift with firms ramping up their marketing especially within social media. The main challenge is that it takes time and people away from the day job and the all-important billing! That’s where we can help, devising a pragmatic strategy, generating ideas and putting them in place, allowing our professional services clients to get on with their day job.
In summary, from having babies to marketing, there has been change but good change. If things didn’t develop and move on, we would all become stale and when it comes to marketing, it’s important to be ahead of the competition and stand out.
I’m looking forward to using and implementing these strategies for our clients and our own marketing.
Oh, and I enjoy being able to get a cup of tea and go to the toilet in peace!
Cal Partners is an award winning, Newcastle based digital marketing agency and business development consultancy focused on helping professional services firms. Get in touch to find out if we can help grow your business.
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