The business world has gone through a seismic shift these last few years – as technology has consolidated its position in our personal lives, companies have had to respond to this rapidly in order to ensure they are reaching their audiences before their competitors. The difference is, we aren’t talking about billboards and traditional advertising anymore.
Tech is playing a larger role in marketing than ever before, and it isn’t going anywhere. With the rise of social media, smartphones, smartspeakers, VoIP and SEO, CMOs are breaking the mould and developing new digital strategies to maximise their brands’ visibility. As with any new landscape, some are dealing with this better than others - emerging as thought leaders and trailblazers while others lag behind. So, is your digital marketing strategy solid enough to keep up?
1. Storytell on Social Media
As a marketer, social media is definitely one of the most important tools at your disposal. Not only is it free to use, but it’s the best way to engage directly with your target market and promote your brand. According to statista.com,there are currently just under 2 billion global social media users, with that number expected to grow to 2.5 billion the end of 2018. Social media has not only revolutionised social connectivity, but is also contributing to the dramatic rise of e-commerce. This isn’t only through adverts and influencer endorsements- by appearing on customers’ newsfeeds continuously, brands are pushing themselves to the forefront of customers’ minds like never before.
If you aren’t active on social media yet, there are two things to consider; firstly, have you been living under a rock up until now? Secondly, it’s probably time you started making use of it- you know what to do. But don’t fall into the trap of half-hearted social scheduling or sporadic posting.
Leading CMOs are making the most of storytelling media. It isn’t enough to simply post pictures or tweets. Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or Snapchat, good marketers recognise that video content is by far the most compelling amongst their audiences. With face-to-face contact between companies and customers declining, you should use video content and “stories” functions to make your brand personal and offer more exciting content. There is an appetite for it. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are increasingly popular amongst both Gen-Zs and millennials to communicate directly with companies - people are ready to engage with you. Also, Facebook users watch over 8 billion videos per day, so it’s wise to get in on the action.
2. Don’t just rely on banner ads
According to inc.com, 54% of internet users are likely to ignore and avoid clicking on banner ads because they don’t trust them. This isn’t to say that banner ads don’t have their uses - at the very least it’s a decent way to get customers to see your logo and become familiar with your name. But knowing that over half of the people who are seeing your ad will likely ignore it, front running marketers understand that it’s important not to focus your entire digital strategy around them, instead focusing on more captivating digital content, like videos, social media content and blog posts.
3. Write More Content to Increase SEO
Digital marketing is a two-way street, you need to offer something valuable to get a response from your audience. Successful digital strategies go one step further than to simply talk about their products. Write about best practice, emerging trends in your industry, offer useful advice and insights to engage more consumers with who you are.
High quality blog content which is posted on a regular basis has been proven to boost your SEO. There’s also a direct correlation between content length and dwell time on your website too, with the optimum content length being around 2000 words. Although word count isn’t the “be all and end all” of SEO ranking, it does mean you can make your content more valuable to the reader, as you have the opportunity to dig deeper into the subject you’re writing about and offer significantly more useful information for readers to implement. The higher the value, the more time your readers will spend on your website – ultimately boosting dwell time.
And it isn’t just dwell time- studies show that longer content has a much better chance of earning high quality backlinks, which are also a key SEO ranking factor. The below graph shows a very distinct correlation between content length and volume of backlinks:
If you can create stellar content and get people bookmarking your pages, watch how your keyword rankings dramatically increase.
4. Use data to inform your decisions
Excellent marketers know that nowadays, it is just as important to look at external data as well as internal data to help them make the most informed marketing decisions. This is especially important as things which were traditionally offline are now increasingly online. Let’s consider digitised media, job postings and contact centres as great examples of this.
It’s no secret that print press publications, particularly local and regional publications, are dwindling in circulation numbers as more news is being digested through online means. With the rise of employment search engines such as Indeed, Reed.com or Monster, gone are the days of popping down to your local job centre to discuss new openings or physically handing out your CV. As far as contact centres go, with 39% of complainers expecting a response within sixty minutes, it’s easy to see where the future of customer service is headed. (Hint: being kept on hold and being passed from department to department won’t feature).
Individuals leave behind breadcrumbs online, such as cookies and other types of data, which help companies understand their consumers’ behaviour. This allows brands to target consumers with relevant products that they think they’ll be interested in buying (which explains all those ads which seem to follow me around the web every time I Google “black dress”!)
I digress. But it’s not just cookies, there is a huge amount of data out there relating to the examples I mentioned above (and many more) which too few companies are taking advantage of to inform their decisions. For example, if you see that your competitor has started to hire salespeople in Japan, you can predict that increasing their footprint in Japan is on their agenda. Likewise, sophisticated media intelligence tools mean you can track editorial and social content, as well as other data sets, giving you insights into your own brand’s perception quickly, without having to trawl through tonnes of paper.
You can complement this too by investing in internal data tools which give you analysis on web traffic and understand how your customers are navigating your website. Cobrowsing and live web chat tools on your website means that you can analyse your customer’s journey to understand why your customers are potentially disengaging from your brand. By having a tool on your website which allows for instant communication, your customer gets an immediate response to their query, and your brand might have avoided a complaint on social media. Win-win.
There we have it- four great ways to shape up your digital strategy. With the constant evolution of tech in the industry, it’s super important that you keep up to date on techniques you use so ensure you don’t get left behind. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should disregard all your trusted golden-oldie techniques which have stood the test of time, but you do need to make sure you’re moving with the ever-changing tide of tech for your strategy to stay relevant.
And if you STILL aren’t convinced whether digital strategy is that important? Have a look on internetlivestats.com. It will give you some mind-blowing stats which illustrate the massive potential and opportunity available for you to drive your strategy. The question is, are you ready?
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