A couple of weeks ago we looked at 3 smoking hot marketing trends that you may want to be fully-prepped on before year-end so you can come catupulting into the New Year over-achieving all of your targets, being seen as the marketing rockstar that you are by working marketing magic on a limited budget. Not to mention becoming the darling of the sales team, who have a steadily increasing stream of steadily increasing quality leads. Here then are the final two hot marketing trends to watch for:

4. Press Releases

“It’s better to be talked about than not talked about.” Oscar Wilde realized this about 150 years ago, and PR companies have held true to this ethos ever-since. So how exactly is this a new trend? Well, press releases themselves clearly are not, but the way they are formulated and distributed is most definitely changing. I recently listened to a HubSpot webinar entitled The Science of Press Releases, which if you haven’t already listened to, you should. Why? Because the webinar shares some enlightening data that will help you boost the number of total views of your press releases as well as how to get more people to engage with that release. For example, did you know that press releases with the highest total number of views are generally released on a Saturday or Sunday, as well as those that go out really early in the morning (1–2am)? Similarly, releases that have titles of between 100-140 characters are more likely to be viewed and shared than those shorter or longer – makes sense when you think about Twitter’s maximum number of characters per Tweet, right? Another key take-away of the webinar, was make your press release visually stimulating. There was a positive correlation to total views for press releases which included photos or video, versus those that did not.

So get creative: spend more time thinking about your PR title and what photos or rich media elements you are going to include, and less time trying to word that perfect quote from your CEO.

5. Closed Loop Marketing

This ties in closely to Trend #2 and basically means the ability to tie back every marketing dollar spent (or time taken to launch a social media campaign) back to revenue and more importantly ROI generated or the company as a result of said campaign. If you do not already have a marketing automation system and are in the process of evaluating one, you need to make sure it includes the following three things:

  1. Advanced  and customizable reporting on all data related to your social media, paid search, email marketing, blog traffic, and ability to enter offline marketing campaigns such as tradeshows to calculate both the effective cost per lead and cost per sale of that campaign. This data will tell you loud and clear which campaigns to nix altogether, which to tweak and optimize, and which to pour more marketing dollars into because either the cost per lead/sales is so low, or the volume is so high (and you are still making a healthy margin), or preferably both.
  2. Integration with your CRM – it’s hard to get truly closed loop data unless your marketing and sales force automation tools are speaking to and are tightly integrated with each other. HubSpot and Salesforce.com realize this and have formed a close alliance to help marketers seamlessly bridge this gap.
  3. Easy-use-interface and prompts on how to improve your metrics (either within the software or by having a dedicated account specialist who can help you get better numbers). Let’s face it, most marketers are left-brainers and staring at a bunch of reports and spreadsheets without knowing which data is important and how to present it in pretty chart or graph form using the Excel to PowerPoint function, quite simply gives us a major headache that can easily be avoided with the right Marketing Automation tool.

Don’t Be Late to the Party!

Marketers are feeling the pressure more than ever to help sales meet its targets often while its budget is being cut. This means we have to use our creative brains even harder, continue to think outside of the box, and initiate campaigns that produce ROI before our competitors do in order to gain that all important edge.

What Have We Missed and How to Learn More?

I’m sure we have missed a bazillion hot-trends that you can think of, so please feel free to talk about these in the comments section below. From everyone at Angled End, we wish you a relaxing holiday season, and prosperous New Year. If you would like to discuss an upcoming on or offline marketing campaign, please click here to start the conversation!

Sandy GansSandy Gans is Director of Sales and Internet Marketing at AEI. Feel free to contact Sandy with any questions, or to get a quote for a design or internet marketing project – sandy@angledend.com.