At somepoint in time, we have all fallen victim to trends that, in hindsight, have been...regrettable. Leg warmers, jeggings, man-buns, Crocs - I think we can all agree that we were blind to their incomprehensible trendiness. Luckily for us, following these trends only led to a few terrible school photos. Getting on board with the latest digital marketing trends, however, could have more...adverse effects.
Let's take a look at a few popular digital marketing trends that are now being questioned.
Frequent BloggingFor years, blogging has been touted as the ultimate Inbound Marketing tool - one that can improve keyword rankings and lead to huge success with search engines. It is (or was) widely accepted that the more you blogged, the more traffic your site would receive. Recently, however, one of the forerunners of the blogging trend, Hubspot, reported that the quality of the blog posts you publish is much more important than the quantity of posts you publish. It makes complete and total sense, but when looking at posts like this, it is easy to see why many saw the need to post over ten blog posts a month.
Gated content is another trend that is now under scrutiny. It is a tactic that has been highly recommended over the last few years when trying to start a conversation with a prospect. However, more and more, consumers are picking up on the fact that by submitting contact information, they have given full permission to be excessively contacted. Which means gating your content can lead to a counterproductive result. Prospects may visit competitors who don't use gated content sites when they encounter your form.
Social MediaSocial media was once all the rage, and any and every business that didn't sign up for GooglePlus, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Reddit, MySpace, LinkedIn...well they were simply missing out. The result has been that companies have multiple social media accounts and simply copy and paste the same information across each of these platforms. This is problematic because a monetary cost can be tied to all of that social management - and also a branding cost. Some users don't want to interact with you on every channel, some don't want to see your companies product photos in their feed - they begin to think that you're more interested in invading their space than genuinely connecting with them.
Trends go out of style. Most of us are pretty attuned to when a fashion trend goes out of style, but digital marketing trends can be harder to peg. Each of the trends above provided great returns when it was initially becoming popular, but since then, certain information has been uncovered about each to make us tread more lightly when implementing.
Some of us can pull of trends, others can't. You might be able to pull off a man-bun. You might look amazing in a pair of leg-warmers. I even bet one or two people out their look perfect rockin' business in the front and a party in the back. The fact of the matter is, however, not all of us can pull of these trends; in fact, most of us probably can't. The same goes for digital marketing trends. Blogging thirty times a month, making every piece of content on your website gated, and being present on every single social channel out there might work for your business. Just be sure that you are following them not because everyone says you should, but because you are seeing or believe you'll see real results for your business.
You should always make a trend your own. No one was ever labeled "cool" for being a blatant follower of a trend. And you won't be cool (in this instance cool means to generate ROI) if you don't make a trend your own. We can all still benefit from blogging, creating gated content, and being active on social media, but we have to make them our own if we want to see success. Blog at a frequency that works for your business, only gate content that is worth gating and that your customers are willing to "pay" for, only create social accounts for channels that your ideal customers are active on. If you don't you won't benefit from these trends regardless of if they are new or out-of-style.
The Cost of Following the Trend
Even after reading this, you may find it tempting to give every trend that gains popularity try, but remember that trying these trends costs money. Someone will need to write blogs, someone will need to create forms and landing pages, and someone will need to update social media content.
The best way to understand what you truly need is to understand your customers, your business, and your industry. See what works and why. From there, determine if it makes sense to go down the route of following a trend. Don't do it just because everyone else is doing it and don't do it because someone, especially someone with a vested interest, is telling you to. Do it because it makes sense for your business.
It can be hard to differentiate good trend from bad, out-of-style from fresh and new, and the perfect trend for you from the trend you should avoid. Luckily, you don't have to. Here at MINDSCAPE, we post valuable information to our blog twice a week, so you can stay up-to-date on the latest changes in the digital marketing world. Just click below to receive our updates.