5 Trendy New Marketing Skills to Add to Your Arsenal in 2017

2017’s right around the corner. The past year has been a chaotic one for marketers and there are no signs of it letting up.

Many marketing professionals will have the opportunity to secure their place at their current company, grow their careers, or move to another high-paying job in the coming year. As part of your new year, we recommend you keep your current marketing skills sharp–and add a few new ones that are in high demand but low supply.

Make a resolution in the coming year to round out your marketing stack and make yourself even more desirable to employers. Need somewhere to start? Try one of these hot emerging skills that employers want, but the marketing workforce hasn’t yet fully adopted:

1. Data Presentation

marketing analytics recruiters and staffing

Data collection, management, and analytics have been some of the hottest topics in marketing for some time, though we know there remains a huge talent gap in this field.

But everyone knows that already, and marketers in all specialisations are slowly acquiring the relevant skills to process and interpret data.

The next step is the ability to translate that information and display it in a way that makes immediate, meaningful sense to peers, management, and others.

For the first time, data presentation has broken LinkedIn’s list of skills in highest demand, coming in just a few spots behind actual data mining and statistical analysis skills.

As marketing has become more and more collaborative, it’s never been more important to be able to share information in a clear, concise manner with other business pillars it relies on: product, R&D, sales, customer service, etc. And accountability for ROI is at an all-time high; marketers are increasingly expected to prove their value and demonstrate their productivity. In both cases, strong data visualisation skills are incredibly valuable.

The good news here is that this is something that should come fairly naturally to many marketers. Conveying an important point in a concise, aesthetically appealing, and compelling manner is marketing 101. You only need to apply this classic marketing principle to your new analytics skills.

2. Omnichannel Native: What Advertising Recruiters Want

General ad blindness is growing, and adoption of ad blockers online continues at a steady pace. It’s getting harder and harder to get the attention of consumers through traditional advertising channels. Native advertising has proven to be one avenue to a way to consistently share a message with a target audience.

The job of a native advertiser was once (very briefly) straightforward: work with publications (mostly online) to place advertisements that are relevant to the readers and resemble the content typically published by that organisation.

It has since gotten much more complex as more and more media have emerged and more channels for native placements have become standardised. Native advertising is now available on nearly any channel imaginable, from traditional radio and print media to social networks, podcasts, and influencer outlets. Advertising recruiters want professionals comfortable with chasing native ROI through any channel necessary.

Finding the best bang for your buck is a challenging, but essential, part of this skill. Publishers have gotten wise to how valuable native advertising can be, and many have their own unique process and offerings available. Comfort with content development and optimisation is also important in finding success in the native environment of the near future.

Finally, developing relationships with influencers, who often don’t have a formal ad placement process like major publishers do, is key for a holistic native strategy. That requires a unique mix of people skills, social media savviness, endorsement deal best practices, and a healthy understanding of moral and legal disclosure guidelines.

3. Site Speed Tuner

SEO is back with a vengeance. Your website should operate with a particular focus on page load times and overall site speed. A fast, responsive site is becoming more and more appealing to search engines and users alike, especially as more and more web traffic goes mobile–where bandwidth and data are at a premium.

A fast-loading site not only improves rankings but improves bounce rate and conversions. There are a lot of factors that influence it, from your CMS and back-end plugins to the foundational code base of your site to the quantity and quality of the content on it. Trimming load times requires a combination of web design understanding, mobile development skills, coding aptitude, and more.

You need to ensure that if your site serves ads, they’re light and unintrusive–not bandwidth hogs. Adopting Accelerated Mobile Pages and lazy loading capabilities, while difficult, can be massively helpful on mobile SERPs. And you may want to look into enabling implementing lazy loading when appropriate.

4. Chatbot Development

While not a brand new technology, modern chatbots have recently caught the eye of marketing departments thanks to new developments in AI that have dramatically improved their sophistication and capabilities. A well-designed and supported chat bot has numerous potential marketing applications: customer service and support, placing orders and walking users them through your ecommerce process, collecting valuable data and proving an always-online for consumer feedback resource. An entertaining or useful bot can be an incredibly engaging piece of content that keeps your audience coming back, again and again, to engage directly with your brand.

You don’t have to be a coding wizard to work on refining a great chatbot (though that certainly helps). Instead, you can focus on aspects that have traditionally been more under the marketer’s domain: creative communication, user experience design, social integration, etc.

5. Social Pioneer

The social landscape is constantly evolving, and the preferred networks for consumers to seek out engagement and stories is changing fast.

Video-sharing network Vine, which enjoyed a brief but immensely powerful period of popularity, died off this year. The influence of social juggernaut Twitter, once the darling of marketers and the online community as a whole, may be fading. Facebook is going strong, but also making drastic changes to its advertising options and the way it shared published content.

While some networks are seeing tepid growth, others are rising to take their place. Right now, and perhaps through much of 2017, the image-focused networks of Instagram and Snapchat. Marketers would be wise to turn their focus there for the time being and adapt their story-telling strategy accordingly. But more importantly, you should learn from their lesson; no social network is bulletproof, and you never know when “the next big thing” will come along to capture the hearts and imaginations of web users. Don’t get complacent, look forward, and reap the benefits of being an early adopter of the next social disruptor.

Getting ahead in the PR and marketing space requires you to keep relevant and prove your value. As you evaluate your skill set and decide how you’ll approach 2017, know that we’ve got you covered.

 

This article was written by Olena Eaton from Business2Community, originally appeared in MarketPro, and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

5 Trendy New Marketing Skills to Add to Your Arsenal in 2017

2017’s right around the corner. The past year has been a chaotic one for marketers and there are no signs of it letting up.

Many marketing professionals will have the opportunity to secure their place at their current company, grow their careers, or move to another high-paying job in the coming year. As part of your new year, we recommend you keep your current marketing skills sharp–and add a few new ones that are in high demand but low supply.

Make a resolution in the coming year to round out your marketing stack and make yourself even more desirable to employers. Need somewhere to start? Try one of these hot emerging skills that employers want, but the marketing workforce hasn’t yet fully adopted:

1. Data Presentation

marketing analytics recruiters and staffing

Data collection, management, and analytics have been some of the hottest topics in marketing for some time, though we know there remains a huge talent gap in this field.

But everyone knows that already, and marketers in all specialisations are slowly acquiring the relevant skills to process and interpret data.

The next step is the ability to translate that information and display it in a way that makes immediate, meaningful sense to peers, management, and others.

For the first time, data presentation has broken LinkedIn’s list of skills in highest demand, coming in just a few spots behind actual data mining and statistical analysis skills.

As marketing has become more and more collaborative, it’s never been more important to be able to share information in a clear, concise manner with other business pillars it relies on: product, R&D, sales, customer service, etc. And accountability for ROI is at an all-time high; marketers are increasingly expected to prove their value and demonstrate their productivity. In both cases, strong data visualisation skills are incredibly valuable.

The good news here is that this is something that should come fairly naturally to many marketers. Conveying an important point in a concise, aesthetically appealing, and compelling manner is marketing 101. You only need to apply this classic marketing principle to your new analytics skills.

2. Omnichannel Native: What Advertising Recruiters Want

General ad blindness is growing, and adoption of ad blockers online continues at a steady pace. It’s getting harder and harder to get the attention of consumers through traditional advertising channels. Native advertising has proven to be one avenue to a way to consistently share a message with a target audience.

The job of a native advertiser was once (very briefly) straightforward: work with publications (mostly online) to place advertisements that are relevant to the readers and resemble the content typically published by that organisation.

It has since gotten much more complex as more and more media have emerged and more channels for native placements have become standardised. Native advertising is now available on nearly any channel imaginable, from traditional radio and print media to social networks, podcasts, and influencer outlets. Advertising recruiters want professionals comfortable with chasing native ROI through any channel necessary.

Finding the best bang for your buck is a challenging, but essential, part of this skill. Publishers have gotten wise to how valuable native advertising can be, and many have their own unique process and offerings available. Comfort with content development and optimisation is also important in finding success in the native environment of the near future.

Finally, developing relationships with influencers, who often don’t have a formal ad placement process like major publishers do, is key for a holistic native strategy. That requires a unique mix of people skills, social media savviness, endorsement deal best practices, and a healthy understanding of moral and legal disclosure guidelines.

3. Site Speed Tuner

SEO is back with a vengeance. Your website should operate with a particular focus on page load times and overall site speed. A fast, responsive site is becoming more and more appealing to search engines and users alike, especially as more and more web traffic goes mobile–where bandwidth and data are at a premium.

A fast-loading site not only improves rankings but improves bounce rate and conversions. There are a lot of factors that influence it, from your CMS and back-end plugins to the foundational code base of your site to the quantity and quality of the content on it. Trimming load times requires a combination of web design understanding, mobile development skills, coding aptitude, and more.

You need to ensure that if your site serves ads, they’re light and unintrusive–not bandwidth hogs. Adopting Accelerated Mobile Pages and lazy loading capabilities, while difficult, can be massively helpful on mobile SERPs. And you may want to look into enabling implementing lazy loading when appropriate.

4. Chatbot Development

While not a brand new technology, modern chatbots have recently caught the eye of marketing departments thanks to new developments in AI that have dramatically improved their sophistication and capabilities. A well-designed and supported chat bot has numerous potential marketing applications: customer service and support, placing orders and walking users them through your ecommerce process, collecting valuable data and proving an always-online for consumer feedback resource. An entertaining or useful bot can be an incredibly engaging piece of content that keeps your audience coming back, again and again, to engage directly with your brand.

You don’t have to be a coding wizard to work on refining a great chatbot (though that certainly helps). Instead, you can focus on aspects that have traditionally been more under the marketer’s domain: creative communication, user experience design, social integration, etc.

5. Social Pioneer

The social landscape is constantly evolving, and the preferred networks for consumers to seek out engagement and stories is changing fast.

Video-sharing network Vine, which enjoyed a brief but immensely powerful period of popularity, died off this year. The influence of social juggernaut Twitter, once the darling of marketers and the online community as a whole, may be fading. Facebook is going strong, but also making drastic changes to its advertising options and the way it shared published content.

While some networks are seeing tepid growth, others are rising to take their place. Right now, and perhaps through much of 2017, the image-focused networks of Instagram and Snapchat. Marketers would be wise to turn their focus there for the time being and adapt their story-telling strategy accordingly. But more importantly, you should learn from their lesson; no social network is bulletproof, and you never know when “the next big thing” will come along to capture the hearts and imaginations of web users. Don’t get complacent, look forward, and reap the benefits of being an early adopter of the next social disruptor.

Getting ahead in the PR and marketing space requires you to keep relevant and prove your value. As you evaluate your skill set and decide how you’ll approach 2017, know that we’ve got you covered.

 

This article was written by Olena Eaton from Business2Community, originally appeared in MarketPro, and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

CES 2017 Product Launches: What Did Social Media Have to Say? [Infographic]

If CES2017 this past week has taught us anything, it’s that we want our homes smarter, our bath time more productive, our cars more interactive, and our wearables seamless. With so many gadgets on the conference hall floor, it was hard to wade through the chatter to surface exciting products. So, we listened in on the social chatter, pinpointing brands and products in a few key categories. We put these products head to head in a competition for social media share of voice and positive sentiment.

In the car category, Ford and Nissan were content with committing to autonomous and connected vehicles, while BMW, Faraday, and Toyota brought their concepts to life on the conference floor. With cars, showing is always more impressive than promising, but since it was big auto promising and showing, we know we’re getting closer to autonomous cars for the consumer market.

We’re adopting smarter homes with Alexa integration into refrigerators that order items before they run out, ovens that decide on cooking temperatures, mattresses with the perfect adjustable firmness, and trash cans that read barcodes, ready to order groceries as soon as the packaging is tossed.

The launch of the Kérastase Hair Coach Powered by Withings “smart hairbrush” was baffling in the bathroom category. The novel nature of a wifi-enabled hairbrush was enough to gain the majority (83%) of share of voice to beat out Moen’s smart shower, a mirror that assessed your wrinkles, and a smart toothbrush. But it was another story with sentiment, only 7% of social media used positive words when mentioning the hairbrush.

In the wearables category, AR/VR glasses are hitting their stride; getting sleeker and more consumer friendly. While a wristband that monitors blood alcohol level by Milo has received a lot of buzz, sports wearables like Digitsole Zhor-Tech shoes are the clear winners. Consumers are already quantifying to improve athletic performance, so this is an eager market ready to integrate more tech into their fitness routines.

Innovation hasn’t left kids’ toys behind. The Lego Boost allows kids to program robots and though they dominated share of voice with 92% in their category, the muted positive sentiment was the result of the expectation that Lego would eventually have this capability. On the other hand, the more surprising Fisher-Price Think & Learn Smart Cycle received more positive sentiment, though its existence emphasizes the stark difference of parents who grew up peddling in their cul-de-sac with the possibility that their kids would instead have an augmented reality of peddling in place while gazing at a screen.

Here are the CES 2017 brands and products that social media was talking about and this is how they felt about them.

ces-infographic-final.png

7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2017

Every year, I make predictions about what the coming year’s potential developments in the world of social media marketing. And every year, I have to think back and chuckle at all the people who claimed social marketing was just a fad—as little as a few years ago.

It’s clear now that social media marketing is here to stay, and its massive staying power is attributable to one key characteristic—the fact that social media keeps evolving. It responds to new tech like mobile devices, constantly exceeds users’ expectations, and competes within itself to bring us more and better features.

So what does 2017 have in store for us social media marketers?

1. Snap’s Evolution Will Result in Interesting New Opportunities.

First up, I’d like to mention the enormous evolution Snapchat—now called Snap—has undergone, and where it may be headed in the future. Already, Snap has transformed user expectations and major trends in the social marketing world. It’s helped bring back a more moment-focused view of communication, leading to more in-the-moment and live content, it’s facilitated more mobile-centric app developments, and it’s introduced vertical videos into the mainstream. But now, it’s looking to develop products outside its main means of exchanging messages, introducing real-world glasses to help users capture first-person visual information. Expect big things from this recently-renamed company in 2017, and huge marketing opportunities to go along with them.

2. Twitter Fatigue Will Worsen.

Twitter isn’t doing so hot. People have been predicting the death of Twitter for the past few years, but I’m not here to say whether or not Twitter’s going to survive another year (it probably will). Instead, I’d like to point out one potential factor for the app’s decline, what I call “Twitter fatigue.” Twitter built itself on fast, bite-sized updates, but this leads to a barrage of both incoming and outgoing tweets. This was novel and exciting at first, but now users are starting to crave something different—bigger, more detailed, more interesting pieces of content that roll out slower, like once per day. You can see this trend taking hold already in platforms like Instagram.

3. Users Will Crave More Vicarious Experiences.

People are also starting to demand social media as a conduit for more vicarious experiences. It’s no longer enough to post your sentiments about an event; you have to show your users what it’s like to be there. You can do this with things like live video, 360 images and video, and even just more real-time posting. The idea is to make your users feel like they’re a genuine part of the experience, as it’s unfolding.

4. New Areas of Communication Will Emerge.

Historically, social media existed as a way for individual people to communicate online. When brands caught on, it also became a way for brands to speak to and advertise to consumers. But now, social media is evolving in new communicative areas. Some platforms are offering means of customer service, increasing the significance and interactivity of exchanges between brands and consumers. Others, like Facebook, are delving into more professional communication. Expect to see more diversity here as more brands catch onto the potential.

5. An Ad Renaissance Will Occur.

Organic visibility has been declining for a while now, as platforms try catering to individual users over companies and organizations. But the secondary benefit for social platforms is that it forces more companies to dabble in paid advertising. Increased competition and pressure to become (or remain) profitable have also forced social platforms to come up with more ingenious and creative advertising options for businesses. The combination of these factors may lead to a new resurgence in social media advertising in 2017.

6. Inspiration and Imagination Will Become Fashionable.

Practical posts get a lot of consumer attention. Emotionally charged posts have a greater likelihood of circulating virally. But inspirational and imaginative posts are starting to make their appearances as even stronger candidates for social media success. These are often artistic in nature, giving users something “pretty” as opposed to something pragmatic or reactive. It also forces a separation from any kind of company positioning or low-key advertising, giving users something truly valuable. In 2017, it will be valuable to forgo some pretense here, and just post beautiful images or sentiments.

7. Brands Will Choose Social Platforms According to Survival of the Fittest.

Every year, new social media platforms emerge to try and disrupt the status quo or find their place among the heavy-hitters of the social media world. But obviously, entrepreneurs and marketers can’t jump on every single platform that comes along. Instead, in 2017, we’ll see more of a trend toward refinement; rather than spending equal effort on five different platforms, more businesses will find one platform that works especially well for them, and narrow their focus on it. As a result, we may see greater stratification between the major platforms of our era.

These are some of the most important trends I forecast for social media in 2017. It’s going to remain a strong branch for any content or SEO strategy, and is a must-have for any business attempting to market themselves on a frugal budget.

You don’t have to incorporate all these trends into your strategy for the coming year, but there’s a good chance you’ll stand to benefit from at least dabbling and experimenting with them.

Then again, predictions in this field are tenuous at best—so we’ll just have to wait and see if these social media marketing trends are on the horizon.

This article was written by Jayson DeMers from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.