Digital Marketing Strategies – Digital marketing has been a part of recurrent conversations in branding and promotion for several years now and has become a key component of mainstream marketing channels.
That’s because the very definition of digital marketing—use of sophisticated digital marketing channels to connect with the target customer group—which details processes important to tread the success path in modern marketing.
Digital devices like smartphones, tabs, and wearable devices are now omnipresent all over the world, leading brand managers to devise unique strategies to hard sell their products and services.
With 2015 drawing to a close and 2016 just about visible in the horizon, it sure feels that we are standing on the threshold of the golden age of digital marketing.
Story after story has regaled us with tales of the rise in corporate advertisement buying, or how enterprise-level organizations are using digital media and content marketing for producing a wellspring of sophisticated and branded interactive content.
Brands, in fact, are fast becoming publishers, narrow-casting an overwhelming array of digital marketing campaigns, micro-targeting a specific audience segment.
Corporate’s, big or small, jumping onto the digital marketing bandwagon is, after all, not entirely without a reason.
According to a World Bank report, more than two million people enjoy internet access today, of which 70 percent uses it daily. And that has made companies invest an average of 15 to 20 percent of their annual branding budget on digital marketing.
But with a virtual panoply of seemingly awesome and amazingly intricate complex multi-million dollar digital marketing strategies abound, companies hunting for strategies to bolster revenues are often at a loss.
In an ephemeral and spontaneous industry, where constant changes usher in something new to feed user demands, brand strategists are often left scratching their heads at crossroads. There’s nothing to be ashamed if you are one of them. Your brethren could be equally clueless.
Towards that end, here are five strategies that will let you cruise on the digital marketing highway and take care of competition.
Digital Marketing Strategies Help Your Business:
Take fresh guard
Marketers and brand managers, far too often, tend to rollover the marketing plans year after year. They rarely take time off to step aside and get a fresh perspective of their marketing campaigns. You may like to believe a clean slate for 2016, unless you tend to revamp all your digital marketing programs, ground-up annually.
It’s never too late to take the marketing team out of your office for a strategic offsite planning session. Shedding light on your digital marketing strategy from a whole new angle and encouraging inputs from fresh sources could open up a whole new world.
Digital marketing—combined with evolving tools, trends, and behaviors—is a moving target. What has delivered results in the past may not prove worthwhile in the future.
On the contrary, strategies that you had once waylaid, could be worth a revisit. You can begin with an exhaustive audit of your existing digital marketing strategies (goals and metrics), overall online visibility, and competitive benchmarking to assess your position.
This way, you will get to know about your progress, or the lack of it. Never rely on ‘experts’ or third party research whenever in doubt. Examine new theories yourself. Allocate at least 20-25 percent of your digital marketing budget to testing.
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Particular areas that demand attention, comprises data and market segmentation and the evolving digital branding options. Regarding segmentation, break down your market and develop personalized calls-to-action and messaging that resonates with all market sectors.
Formats, tools, and inventory are constantly evolving on the branding front, leading to increased overall spending. The burgeoning social media sphere has vastly expanded and improved advertising options, revealing more ways for taking your money.
On a more relevant note, if you shy from increasing your spend this year, you may lose ground to your competitors sooner than later.
Scour new roles
Try adding new people to your digital marketing team. How can you taste success in the rapidly changing digital branding domain, if you continue to utilize the same people with the same job profile? A marketing team must keep pace with the evolving marketplace.
Here are some new roles to consider.
- Chief storyteller: One of the emerging digital marketing trends is the concept of “storytelling”. Rather than asking your public relations manager to take care of brand communication, why not recruit a professional storyteller for ensuring that your marketing messages are framed in a story-type format that reflect your brand? This person could come from a mass communication background, or from the media and film industry. What matters is that these people are keepers of your brand.
- Content curator: With the rise in content marketing, information today is generated at a record pace. With so much content around, who takes the responsibility to collect, organize, integrate and measure the content for your organization? Someone comfortable with content archiving, or having a reasonably good level of experience, can play a crucial role moving ahead. A retired librarian could be a good choice for the role, or anyone comfortable in collating content. Studies have revealed that customer testimonials, at 89 percent, have the highest rating of effectiveness in content marketing. So, who is taking care of your customer testimonials?
- Data evangelist: On the digital marketing highway, data is generated at every turn. From social media to website analytics to marketing automation, data is created at the drop of a hat. Unfortunately, all these data are collected by different teams across platforms and in most cases, are not properly managed or shared. A data evangelist ensures that all departments talk to each other and leverage their data for a greater insight. Get one for your company today, if you seriously want your digital marketing business to move ahead.
- Customer service market liaison: Today, the line between customer service and marketing has become blurred, particularly after the marauding advance of social media. While customer care representatives (CCEs) are usually the ideal people for customer interaction on social media, they are unlikely to have the sophistication or experience of marketers, when it is all about fully exploiting the social media tools. Both departments must benefit from the close collaboration and interaction of marketing liaison services. The person responsible for the service should be able to speak in the language of both marketers and CCEs alike and understand how the two can work in unison and be more effective.\
- Social media marketing evangelist: The role of such a professional is more strategic than the typical social media manager. If your company is yet to upgrade or reorganize the social media team, consider creating a job role for such a professional, so as to leverage horsepower and then push the needle on virtual connectivity.
Get deep with personalized content
Content is king. Period. In 2016 and beyond, content will take new forms, meaning, and have an impact on marketing. The Google Hummingbird algorithm rewards deep content with improvement in semantic search. You now don’t need to grudge about burying highly detailed or technical content deep into the website architecture. Google will hunt and move it up the search results, with due focus on contextual relevance.
Incorporate deep content in your website. Ensure that all useful information is easily accessible. Balance the need for creating value in your marketing automation apparatus, keeping in mind that prospective customers are just a click away from finding their information elsewhere. Tear down the walls. You’ll get immediate results.
Google, beyond the accessible and immersive content, loves multimedia content. Companies using audio, video and images along with the usual textual content on their websites, have been rewarded with better engagement and visibility.
Social posts attract 93 percent more hits when some multimedia content is utilized. Consider increasing the number of live engagements with your visitors, including webinars, chats, and click-to-call apps.
Over 77 percent of all chief marketing officers (CMOs) believe that the future of marketing lies in customized content. Developing such content involves significant investments, but the rewards are encouraging.
Personalization (targeting) is a major component of custom content and is expected to become more mainstream with tools becoming more affordable and return on investments visible.
For those not “jiggy” with it, Go SoLoMo means go social, local and mobile. Many brand strategists will claim that they are already there, but that may not be entirely true.
More than 92 percent of digital marketing experts say that they are already using the social media space for business. But using and maximizing are different engagement levels, and you need to know on which end of the spectrum you are.
In 2016, go for a more balanced social media management. From overall awareness to content generation to engagement and conversion, make sure that you are thoroughly committed to the six biggest platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google plus and Pinterest.
Evaluate other platforms as well, like Instagram, SnapChat, iTunes, Vine, and Foursquare. Each social media profile must be properly integrated on your blog, website, and email newsletter. Social media sharing steers the web and influences rankings.
Double-down on digital branding
No matter how much tutoring you received on “owned” and “earned” media, “paid” has its own place in branding. And more now than ever, it is at the left, right, and center of digital branding.
Though all studies have predicted bigger investments in digital marketing in 2016, there are enough hurdles to overcome and achieve optimal return. It requires more than creativity.
Sample this: A whopping 54 percent of online advertisements are not seen by the indented audience, and 50 percent of all web commercials go entirely unseen. There’s hope nonetheless.
With 4G speeds increasingly available on all major mobile networks, video has become more variable as a medium for branding. Video advertising is likely to become less personal and more contextual in 2016 and after, which means your ad buys will become more strategic than ever.
Regarding creativity, the innovative noise-cutting commercials from Dodge, Old Spice and Pepsi have been really impressive. Dodge partnered with Will Ferrell on a series of Dodge Durango commercials.
It boosted sales of the SUV and visibility of the film. The recent Pepsi halftime commercial was meant for the Grammys and not the Super Bowl. Old Spice, on its part, is now back with series of web-based products that requires an “internetervention”.
What creative method will you deploy to cut the noise in 2016 and later?
So, in a nutshell…
Even with no predictive analysis or multi-touch attribution measure in place, you should still have mastery over all your marketing channels. Consistency in messaging among all these channels is imperative.
Conversion optimization will be a continued area of investment in 2016. To remain relevant and competitive, you have to maximize online conversions. The best way for achieving that is through frequent testing.
Landing page optimization is the commonest form to achieve this goal. Landing pages that include videos see an 87 percent rise in conversions.
And, at the end of it all, consider new methods for measuring social media and brand impact of digital marketing. December 2015 is almost over.
What are you doing to seal to stamp your success in digital marketing? The above strategies can see you home and optimize your return on investments.
The market, each day, is throwing up new competitors that are on the prowl to whisk your customers and eat into your revenue pie. Engaging with your audience is of supreme importance here. It’s only on the online platform that you get instant customer feedback. Get to know what they want, or better still, what more they want.
Brand management and advertising companies have also evolved with the advancement of internet. While videos will be the mainstay of all commercial campaigns going forward, content marketing is no less important.
Remember, sales rake in revenues that fuel growth. With smart devices being spotted in everybody’s hand, your target customers can replay your digital marketing content if they like it, something not possible in any other medium. Your brand recall then gets a shot in the arm.
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