Top 5 Trends in Today’s Marketing Industry

Beverly Jackson, Vice President of Social & Content for MGM Resorts International, kicked off the #DSDC event.

I recently attended the 2016 Digital Summit DC in Washington, D.C., where some of the top digital media and marketing leaders in the country converged together to share ideas, discuss trends and exchange best practices.

Janelle_ScudderI’ve loved attending #DSDC because it is an awesome way to see what DECA Inc. is doing right, and what we can work on in the upcoming year. From content marketing and email optimization, to social media integration and video trends, there were certainly some standout sessions and takeaways from my two days in D.C.

Since DECA is all about preparing the next generation of leaders in marketing, communications, management and entrepreneurship, I figured I should share with all the readers what I found to be the top five marketing trends at #DSDC:

1. DJ Khaled Should Be Your Snapchat Idol

When you think of a marketing conference, you may immediately picture lots of boring PowerPoint presentations and metric reports, but #DSDC is totally not that. Take Carlos Gil’s “Snapchat for Business” session, where he shared his top tips for how brands can find success using Snapchat. His prime example was none other than DJ Khaled.

What can big and little brands alike learn from DJ Khaled?! “He has created a community on Snapchat,” Gil shared. DJ Khaled’s Snapchat followers feel as if they have all joined in on his crazy lifestyle and are now part of his #MAJOR🔑 squad. Your brand should be doing the same. Share behind-the-scenes content, introduce your staff, provide sneak peaks and create a sense of community that will keep followers watching your snaps over and over again.

2. Content Marketing Is More than Starting a Blog

It is easy to hear the buzz word “content marketing” and decide that your brand needs to throw together a blog, but Melissa Joy Kong from Iceberg Content Marketing Agency wants companies to be more thoughtful about the content they’re producing. One of her best points was that if you took away your brand’s logo, would you still want to read the content you’re creating and sharing? Without the fancy graphics, does your content still add value to the consumer?

This is one of the reasons why I love Not only is DECA Direct helping DECA share it’s story (another great point from Kong) but it’s adding so much value to all its readers, whether they’re student members who wrote the articles, or chapter members learning new and creative ideas that they can implement into their own school.

3. It’s Ok to Be Funny

It’s true that certain industries have a little more wiggle room when it comes to the tone of their content. While some companies can get away with using off-the-wall language, others may not have such freedom with their copy write. The point that #DSDC keynote speaker Ann Handley made during her incredible presentation was that everyone can at least try to make their content, “bigger, braver and bolder.” Don’t just recite the same mission statement that all your competitors use, or end your emails with the same generic footer text. Think outside the box on what makes your organization unique, and use that to create content that will make people remember you. Handley’s best method do this is by following the, “Rule of FIWTSBS: Find Interesting Ways to Say Boring Stuff.” Master this and you’ll be set for success in the world of marketing!

 4. Your Videos Need Stopping Power

Megan Dorward from Twitter shared some awesome tips for making videos with “stopping power,” the thing that makes someone reverse their scroll to go back and watch your content. Her formula for what the first 10 seconds of any successful video needs to have is a hook + people + branding. You want something that will first grab the viewer’s attention, then humanize the video with shots of people, and lastly include some branding whether it’s a logo or product.

Megan also shared a point that I really loved. It’s been found that videos on Twitter perform better than videos on other platforms, because a user has already selected that company or brand to be part of his or her curated feed. There is already a trust factor in place between the user and the brand, and the user has a stronger inclination to stop and watch the content they find in their feed.

5. It’s Time to Get Rid of the Friction

Michael Barber (who was a DECA member in high school) held an awesome session all about reducing the “friction” in your marketing. What’s friction you ask? Think annoying pop up ads asking for your email before you even get onto the website, or when text too tiny to read on mobile devices. As Michael put it best, “Why do we make our customers work so hard to get the information they want? Easy always win.” Michael shared some awesome solutions to help get rid of the friction that all emerging marketers should take to heart.

Overall my second #DSDC experience was just as wonderful as the first, and I am excited to implement some new ideas into DECA’s marketing and communication strategies this year. If you want to see more of the awesome ideas shared at Digital Summit DC, check out the #DSDC Twitter feed.

Want to learn more about the Digital Summit Conference Series? Check out their website at

Follow Janelle on Twitter @jjarrighideca.

Categories: Business, Career Advice, Entrepreneurship, Industry Trends, Job Advice, Marketing