In a little over a week, Jorge and I are heading back to Spain for the month to reunite with the other half of our team and family and to celebrate the holidays. Spanish style.
While we’re sipping on glasses of Rioja, filling up on Manchego cheese and waiting for the 3 Kings to show up, we hope you’re also having a warm and relaxing holiday season.
But, before we hop on a plane and change our language configurations to Spanish, I have something very important to share with you before we all wrap up the year and start thinking about 2017.
A few weeks ago, we had the amazing opportunity to attend HubSpot’s infamous marketing extravaganza, INBOUND in Boston this year. That’s four days of keynote speakers (like Gary Vaynerchuk, Anna Kendrick and Alec Baldwin), breakout sessions (like “How to Swear in Your F*cking Marketing and “Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss without Losing Your Humanity”), networking and partying.
After 4 nearly 12-hour days of event goodness and 2 notebooks worth of notes and reflections to sift through, we've compiled our biggest takeaways to start implementing in the new year.
Top 6 Ways to Market Your Business in 2017
1. Get out and get moving
Seriously, if you are not moving and shaking then you are standing still and slacking.
If you spent 2016 under a rock, poking your head out from time to time in Facebook groups hoping a client would magically find and like you, then it’s time to come out of hiding and start flaunting it in 2017.
If attending networking events on the reg isn’t already part of your marketing strategy, add this to your priority list for 2017. Get out and start talking to real life people and building meaningful connections. Search for the best networking events in your area, reach out to guests online prior to going and most importantly, go!
2. Hang with the right people
Getting out and showing your face is just the start. It can be a daunting task, terrifying even, particularly if you’re an introvert or an entrepreneur that suffers from any sort of social discomfort caused by large groups of people. But, if Inbound taught us nothing else, it taught us the importance of surrounding yourself with the brilliant minds that are going to question, reflect and motivate you to continuously improve. Even if that means forcing yourself to attend an event where 18,000 people are roaming around. Find events and opportunities where your story and values are celebrated, connect with people and businesses that align with and complement you and what you do.
3. Share your story
There are a humbling 120,000 digital agencies across the U.S. alone that offer services similar to ours. So what do we have to offer that they don’t? Our story. Our why.
Find your story. Find your why. This is your driving force, your sales pitch and what should fling you out of bed in the morning and ignites, and maintains, a fire under your ass.
4. Invest in paid advertising.
Brands are severely under-utilizing paid advertisement and video on social media.
Gary V. calls this time, “The Golden Era of FB Marketing.” The average PPC right now is between $3-$5. Still wondering if it’s worth it? The prediction for 36 months from now is that Facebook PPC ads will cost 30 times what they currently do. If you were on the fence about using Facebook ads, the time to invest is now.
5. Make & share VIDEO.
If you noticed video gaining popularity in 2016, expect it to explode in the new year. With schedules that are always getting busier, attention spans on the decline and more content out there than ever, consumers are changing how they absorb content. And it’s not just about making any video and throwing it onto the interwebs hoping it will stick. 80% of video content is watched on mute, which means if you are making video a part of your strategy (as we all should) make sure you’re designing them optimally without sound.
6. Put yourself out of business.
Gary V. advises, “Put yourself out of business. Do not get put out of business by others.” He spoke about the greatest startups of our time: Uber and AirBnB and how these companies should have been created by the taxi and hotel companies but by not looking forward, they’re allowing the young and hungry to put them out of business.
If you’re an expert on anything then you know you’re an expert on nothing.
Invest in your business and invest in yourself. Never stop learning. If anyone puts you out of business, it better be you.
And finally, on the rise to look out for as a new year and uncharted territory approaches:
Virtual Reality and machine learning
Get your team thinking about the value your company can create and offer to your clients through Virtual Reality (360 videos with an interactive experience). Brands that are combining storytelling with virtual reality are ahead of the curve. Check out Patron’s virtual tour that features 360° of amazing views and an inside look into their handcrafted process so you can make your way through the agave fields with a bee as your guide.
You can start enjoying the VR experience with as little as $15 with Google cardboard V2, which Jorge swiftly purchased to play around with as soon as we got back from the conference.
Be on the look out for the new chat bots that are coming out, with 24/7 live chat, as well as an increase in Facebook messaging. Imagine: questions, concerns, even updates, handled without you or anybody having to be there physically to respond. Talk to your web developer about adapting your web HTML with Google Schemas to make your content easier to access and help Siri, Ok Google and Amazon Echo to create voice answers. Because with so much technology on the rise, who the hell is typing anymore when the answer to your question is only a simple command or chat away.
Recap: Marketing must-haves for 2017
1. Get out and get moving
2. Hang with the right people
3. Start with your story
4. Invest in paid advertising
5. Make and share videos
6. Put yourself out of business (a.k.a never stop learning)
Where will your main focus be in 2017? Comment below with your new year’s marketing resolution.
For us, you can expect to see a whole lot more of storytelling, video and us hardcore geeking out over virtual reality.