Jumping from trend to trend can be disastrous to a multi-touchpoint marketing campaign. However, sacrificing experimentation of new marketing channels is just as detrimental as new media channels can often lead to leaner processes, increased exposure, greater accountability, and potentially greater ROI. Keeping your pulse on what’s going on in digital marketing is key to enhancing current campaigns and discovering new ways into your market. Below are three trends to experiment this fiscal year.

Native Advertising

Native advertising is an ad or series of ads (articles and videos) that hide amongst the real editorial content of a site, “influencing customer behavior rather than shouting for sales.” Often hard to define, there is a heated debate surrounding the ethics of using advertorials/sponsored content in traditional media to drive customer leads.

Sites like Buzzfeed or Forbes provide numerous examples of brands successfully experimenting with native ads to market products, raise awareness, and shape influencer behavior. Researching these examples can inspire your own native ads and help your team identify tactics to test on your target audience. Choosing a relevant publisher is fundamental to kicking-off a native advertising campaign. Secondly, creating topical or ranked lists that appeal to a publisher’s current audience (Top 10, Newsjacking, How-to’s) will increase reach via social media sharing and reader comments. Lastly, powering your article with a punchy or controversial headline similar to other headlines on the site can help your ad “blend in” to the online ecosystem.

Native Advertising

Facebook Custom Audiences

Many advertisers were upset when Facebook announced they were moving towards a “pay-to-play” model, reducing the organic reach of branded Facebook pages. One positive outcome of the change, however, is that targeting specific audiences on Facebook is now more sophisticated. Specifically, Facebook conversion pixels and custom audiences have increased the ability for marketers to better track engagement levels of promoted content, create segmented audiences, and discover audience segments they might not have targeted with the old structure.

Facebook Custom Audience

Millennials and Mobile

A solid mobile strategy includes creating content and a user experience that adapts to the needs of a cross-device mobile user. Institutions need to address the type of content users want as well as how users prefer to digest content. For example, in a recent Nielsen survey, results show that more than 85% of Millennials own smartphones. Moreover, 53% of Millenials owning smartphones increased their consumption of digital videos from 2013 to 2014. What does this mean? There is opportunity for institutions to quickly and effectively reach traditional students through video that is both easily streamable and consumed (short video clips, load time, straightforward information like deadlines or upcoming events) via your website, landing pages, or social media profiles.

Cal Poly Millenials Video


Visit the Resource Center