Clark BucknerThis is a guest post from Clark Buckner from TechnologyAdvice. Clark hosts the TechnologyAdvice Podcast and covers news and trends in the tech conference scene. Tweet him a hello or connect with him on LinkedIn.

A new year is upon us, bringing with it new opportunities, challenges, and trends to consider in every industry — especially marketing. New technology has made it easier than ever to produce content and push it to an audience, which in turn makes it more difficult for brands to stand out and establish quality connections in a cluttered landscape.

As content & public relations manager for Mention, Shannon sees the challenges that many brands are facing. In an interview with me, she warned brands against sticking with the same old marketing strategies.

Change is a good thing in an ever-evolving industry, so Shannon offered five ways brands can retool their marketing strategies in the upcoming year.

1. Focus on clarity and convenience

The big challenge for marketers in general in 2015 will be figuring out the best way to share your message with the ideal audience in such a noisy environment. Your audience is busy, so many times they are not giving their full attention to everything being said. Clarity and simplicity in the message, as well as convenience in the way it is distributed are essential.

2. Identify & solve problems through social listening

Listening is vital to your success because it is the primary way to know the true interests of your customers. When you build your brand, you must know the specific needs customers want to solve, then you must clearly communicate how your tool or product solves that problem for them.

Social listening through tools like Mention or larger social media suites gives brands the ability to monitor online discussions in real-time and engage customers directly, therefore establishing better connections and offering immediate solutions.

3. Turn old content into new content

Repurposing content instead of always creating new content is something to consider more. While it may be fun to sit down and create new content, intentionally making yourself take a step back and look at what you’ve already created is very wise.

Ask questions such as, “How we can work that into a bigger project?” Sometimes a longer blog post has pieces of information that can be used in their own posts or content in other mediums.

It is completely acceptable to deliver the same message in multiple formats, such as webinars, slideshows, blog posts, or an email autoresponder. You must give people content how they want to consume it. However, it is incredibly important that the message fits the medium, so you can’t just cut and paste.

4. Use more analytics

What gets monitored, gets managed. With so many tools now available to collect a wide range of data on campaigns and audiences, you’d be foolish not to test it. There will be some trial and error to find what types of data are best for you, but using analytics will ultimately show you what is working and what is not working. Find your most popular posts and repurpose them, then find ways to create more posts that resonate the same way. Whatever is your most popular form of content, be sure to use it in your marketing automation.

5. Focus more on mobile

Mobile strategy continues to grow more important, so brands can no longer afford to ignore it or treat it as an afterthought. Consider making mobile marketing one of the primary objectives in your strategy.

Those who used analytics, saw the trends, and invested early in mobile, are ahead of the competition as customers keep consuming content when they want it, where they want it, and how they want it. That’s why it’s so important to always consider where your audience is, and be thinking of new places you can reach them in different ways.

Marketing is an incredibly creative and competitive space that requires forward thinking just to keep pace. Try new techniques and find new ways to connect with your audience. For more of Shannon’s thoughts and ideas on the marketing landscape in the upcoming year, listen to the full interview above.

What marketing efforts will you be focusing on in 2015? 

Clark Buckner is the Online Events Manager at TechnologyAdvice, an Inc. 5000 company that is dedicated to educating, advising, and connecting the buyers and sellers of business technology. Clark hosts the TechnologyAdvice Podcast, and also covers news and trends in the tech conference scene.

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