Hey 2019! A PEEK AT 5 THINGS WE ARE EXCITED FOR…

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Well, Hello 2019.  Thanks for knocking.  I am not usually at a loss for words, but 2018 was a great one behind the Orange Door.
 
Last week, we took some time to reflect and recharge – skiing, reading and of course, enjoying our favorite shopping and eats in Burlington, VT.   Check out our Instagram stories for our goals and templates to share your own #tagustotellus. Bring it, 2019.
 
The five biggest things on our mind for the year ahead – take a peek.
 
 
INSTAGRAM
Is Instagram switching from a scroll to a horizontal tap?  In the last days of 2018, an update was accidentally released (and quickly pulled back) that had users living in a feed that was a single, giant Instagram story. Social stories have quickly resonated with consumers (they’re interactive, authentic and encourage direct engagement over passive consumption) so it shouldn’t really come as a surprise Instagram is testing this direction.
 
We are trying to wrap our heads around what this will me to our clients feeds and the way we use Instagram as a business tool. #savethescroll or #changeisgood? You decide. 
 
OPEN THE DOOR
In the meantime, we will see Stories grow as brands build social storiesexperiences that are mobile-first, not merely mobile responsive (they’re faster). Think about Instant loading call-to-action pages that deliver not only a stunning user experience, but yield increased conversions and collect data as well.
 
FLYWHEEL
If you’ve ever heard me speak at a conference or event, you have most likely seen the marketing funnel. Like every good marketer, I have my own version I’ve tweaked over the years to make room for different types of engagement and tactics to move a prospect through to the customer. Its drawn on scraps of paper in meetings, created for PowerPoints, customized for different audiences. Over the past few months, I’ve put the funnel to the side and been using the flywheel. I love how Hubspot describes the mindset shift “funnels lose their momentum at the bottom, flywheels leverage their momentum to keep spinning” The flywheel gives us a new way of thinking where customers feed growth (word of mouth is vital) rather than losing momentum with each acquisition.
 
OPEN THE DOOR
This doesn’t mean that email funnels are dead – exactly the opposite. In 2019, they will be even more important for keeping the flywheel spinning (and to collect data). Are you ready to go?  Personalization in place? The flywheel supports the need for great customer service as well. Stay tuned for more soon.
 
BRAND PURPOSE #noneutral
I recently read an interview with Carla Hassan, the chief brand officer of Citi. She sees 2019 as the year of brand purpose - a point in time where brands take positions on the issues that are important to their customers, clients, employees, and supporters.  Dig into the impact you have on the communities and clients you serve. Hone those story of progress to set you apart. Customers and supporters are using their wallets to show you it’s important for you to have a purpose.
 
OPEN THE DOOR
Take a stand, tell your story, show the impact. Seems like a great path forward.
 
ADDED VALUE
A whopping 70 percent of global consumers are annoyed when every company correspondence is about making a sale (Selligent Marketing Cloud global study). Listen with intent + offer added value = delivering better-than-ever customer experiences.
 
OPEN THE DOOR
A strategic marketing plan and content calendar make this an effective strategy to implement across multiple channels.
 
VIDEO KILLED THE INSTAGRAM STAR
There is no doubt that video is the workhorse of marketing. YouTube is the second most popular social media platform behind Facebook. Are you creating user-friendly advertisements, snippets, full-length reviews, and storytelling videos? Live video is projected to grow – on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram – get comfortable with a camera and give it a whirl.  Entertaining and useful videos will capture the attention of your audience every time.
 
OPEN THE DOOR
Vlogging is a great way to grow your audience and your business. It's relatable and affordable. Technically, all you need is your smartphone, editing software and a Youtube channel to give a peek into your life or the behind-the-scenes of your business to form a better connection with your audience.

The future is bright. BRIGHT ORANGE.

Allison Cohen