Traditional Marketing Tactics Evolving With Technology
If your company deals with certain products and services, it is obvious that you need to do extensive marketing to promote and sell those. Different marketing techniques have been applied since time immemorial. Traditionally, marketing techniques include advertising in newspaper, magazines, television, radio, and billboards. However, nowadays, one of the biggest trends in marketing the products and services of a company is to use digital technology. Digital technology mainly revolves round the Internet. This technology has been proved to be one of the most effective forms of promoting products and services and expanding the reach of the company to the maximum number of potential customers. In the digital space, social networks, website banner advertisements, and website promotion are done largely to promote a product or service business. There appears to be some difference and overlap between digital versus traditional marketing tactics.
Differences between digital and traditional marketing
Given below is a list of differences between digital and traditional methods of marketing:
Communication: In traditional marketing, communication has a one-sided flow. This one directional flow is from the company to the target audience. However, as the users cannot communicate with the company or between themselves, communication is not as effective as in the case of digital marketing technology. With Internet marketing techniques, communication can be multi-dimensional. There are various digital channels through which companies and customers can interact with one another.
Another major difference between the traditional and the digital communication is that the former is better planned and generally takes longer than the modern techniques. This is because publication through mass media takes longer to execute. In digital marketing, communication is instantaneous and occurs in real time. This means that it is possible to reach a large number of customers at the same time and the potential customers can respond immediately and join in conversations with the company.
Flexibility: the way advertisement campaigns are planned and scheduled makes traditional and digital marketing different from one another. Traditional marketing takes time to plan. The campaigns are well planned and follows a specific schedule. There is not much scope of changing plans and making changes in the campaign plans in the middle. However, in digital marketing, there is a lot of scope for changing plans and adjustments along the way. These schedules are based on the behavior of the target audience which in turn will depend on the reactions that the target customers are showing towards your newly launched products. In digital marketing, there is a heightened participation of the customers in the launch and promotion of a new product or services.
Availability and response: In digital marketing, a company is always approachable to the customers through various means. The customers are happy to be able to reach the company 24/7. Whereas, in the case of traditional marketing techniques, response from the company would come either on weekends or during the working hours only. The customers would have to wait for responses from the company.
Advantages of digital marketing strategies
One of the major differences between traditional and Internet marketing is that Internet marketing is fast and more effective. Traditional methods are time-consuming processes and require a substantial amount of time for the results. However, in the case of digital marketing, the result is immediate and you can measure the behavior of your target customers.
2. Cost effectiveness
These days, most of the companies are opting for Internet marketing services to help them promote their products and services.One of the benefits of choosing digital methods for marketing of products and services is that it is cost-effective. Unlike the traditional forms, the Internet is a cost-effective medium for promoting the products and services of a company. The money you spend on marketing produces predictable and effective results!
3. Digital marketing is measurable
You can definitely count the number of people visiting your website and the number of customers you are getting (conversion rate) from Internet marketing. However, this is not possible in the case of traditional form of marketing. It is not possible to calculate the number of people who checked out your banner advertisements or the number of potential customers who have watched your television advertisements.
4. Better brand development
Digital marketing is better for developing a brand. A business that is regularly updated with valuable content on a well designed website can establish a brand and sell the products and services. Creating a website is one of the best brand-building investments that you can make, if you are planning to promote the goods and services of your company. Be sure to contact professional web designers to create a user friendly and responsive website to showcase your company.
Although there are various benefits to digital marketing, it is most effective when used in conjunction with traditional forms of marketing. This is because the audiences for traditional and digital marketing are different and your company may target specific demographics of the population. Maintaining a balance between the two and knowing what to spend on the most cost effective methods is the challenge.
By the time marketers catch up with consumers, the consumers are already ahead. Digital marketing is as fast paced as it is fragmented. When a channel or device of digital marketing is trending, marketers should plan a few steps ahead. Social media became an avenue of that constant trend. Many companies are increasing their investment in social media marketing, simply because it is the trendy/prescribed thing to do. After all, marketing gurus and blogs such as this one sing the praises of social media marketing.
The fact is: social media marketing can be very effective when it is done strategically and measured for results. Every company should know their social media marketing metrics, be able to see how social media can amplify their content marketing and work towards their financial goals.
As the saying goes, “There is nothing permanent in this world,” marketers should plan for paradigm shifts in digital marketing. The emergence of wearable devices, virtual reality and real time marketing can change many aspects of social media marketing as we know it today.
10 ways social media marketing will change in 2018 and beyond
Social media platforms are changing all the time. Emarketer even predicted that social network ad spending will reach $35.98 billion by 2017. Social media channels are bridging the gap between the ecommerce store and a social media profile.What are the other social media marketing changes we can expect in 2018?
Social media marketing thrives with mobile and faster Internet
With a mobile device at hand, social media users can readily access content and real time conversations. These days, trending topics on social media is the fastest way for news to get around. Faster broadband may become a fundamental right for people and companies will be able to reach many millions of consumers with their content. The ease of access and speed of access to social media platforms will make it the first choice for distributing your company’s content.
Social media will showcase brands like never before
Social media marketing can generate conversations about a company/brand; it is like word of mouth marketing on steroids! In 2018 and beyond, social media marketing will be unparalleled in creating buzz. Satisfied customers will spread the word about their favorite brands and products will divide people more than ever. Of course, this kind of 24 hour PR has its downside: companies will need to monitor conversations on social media 24/7 and respond quickly.
Visual competition on social media
With the influx of visual content on social media, it can make 2018 the year for companies to prioritize images in their content marketing. Customers recall visuals better, respond to and share visual content . Forms of visual content such as GIF, rich media, creative videos will become trendier in 2018 and beyond.
Video content will get even bigger on social media
Facebook and Youtube will dominate as the social networks for your video content. More companies will invest in video marketing when they realize the reach and value of social media channels. Optimizing video content for search engines is necessary for every company’s digital marketing strategy.
E-Currency will take social media marketing to another level
E-currency such as Bitcoin and Litecoin are already adopted by many ecommerce merchants. The ease of payments using e-currency makes this an appealing way to settle the bill. 2018 may still be too early for a widespread integration of e-currency with social media but it seems to be heading that way. Paying bills on social media, booking hotels and impulse purchases may just become the norm in the next few years. Marketing on social media will encourage instantaneous purchases using e-currency.
Social media marketing will be more strategic
In 2017, many companies are still coming to grips with social media marketing. Learning how to use the different social media platforms and what content to post on them is a daily challenge. With a better understanding of what social media users want and the social media marketing metrics, companies will be able to post and engage on social media in a more strategic way. Social media marketing will be geared towards ROI and improved relationships with consumers.
More personalized content on social media
Customer satisfactions tend to travel faster than advertising media. Firms that have loyal consumers surely stay on the market. Making all the possible way of dealing more personally with the needs of the consumer will surely assure satisfaction that guaranteed loyalty. Content that are more personalized can reach its potential because it can get what they really want. The more to get in touch with what the consumer really needs, the more it can attract and get a deal.
A new social media platform will gain traction
The stage is set for a new social media platform to emerge in 2018. In order to gain traction, the new social media platform will need a lot of users within a short frame of time to make it valuable. Businesses have to keep an eye on their consumer’s behavior and adapt to new social media platforms that their consumers use.
The development of the digital assistant
A digital assistant retrieves information and provide customer service to social media users. Facebook is ready to launch M on the Messenger App; this strategy tends to have more opportunities in dealing with the consumer in just one platform. It is reaching farther to what is expected. Marketers will need to work with digital assistants for their content to be found. They will need to create content that answer queries addressed to digital assistants.
Privacy is tightened in social media marketing
Privacy online is a concern for Internet users: results from a TRUSTe research found that 89% of British Internet users are worried about their privacy online. The demand for social media also creates a demand for increased online privacy. The most enduring social media platforms will be the ones that offer the most security for users; marketers will need to prioritize security in their social media marketing as well
Social media marketing will continue to grow and flourish in 2018. The trends of tomorrow will be focus on increased social media privacy, greater levels of user engagement and personalized social media content. In order to remain competitive in the digital space, marketers need to be aware of consumer’s behavior on social media and adapt to social media marketing change. In particular, the focus should be a better user experience for consumers on social media. As a form of outbound marketing, social media is indispensable.
Search engine optimization encompasses a lot of processes and information. At the same time, these processes are never fixed for long. Search engines tend to bring out new algorithms and release new guidelines on a regular basis so as to serve their users better. New SEO tools are also created to make the processes easier.
Due to the rapid changes that take place and the copious amount of information on SEO, it is easy for misconceptions to form. Such myths make it difficult for everyone concerned. In order to get the best results or hire the best SEO services, you must be able to separate the truth from the mountains of misinformation available. Given below are some of the more common misconceptions about SEO.
SEO Myth 1: Meta tags should be ignored because it is not a ranking factor
While it is true that Meta tags were once used by search engines as a ranking factor, it is no longer the case. Search engines do not even index these tags anymore. In fact, Google has publicly stated that Meta tags are not ranking factors anymore. Meta tags are used to display information about the website in search results. Therefore, they can still be important as it gives you an opportunity to attract the interest of the customers by writing an appealing copy. However, do not expect them to affect your rankings.
SEO Myth 2: More inbound links is better than less
This is quite a common misconception about inbound links. Google has made it abundantly clear that it gives preference to quality. As such, it has taken steps to ensure that a higher rank is given to webpages that have inbound links of a high quality.
Earlier, people used numerous inbound links of any quality to increase the ranks of websites. However, Google has ensured that such pages do not get higher ranks anymore. Instead, it is likely that the webpage will be penalized and marked as spam due to the high number of links in it.
You should, instead, strive to ensure that the inbound links you are using are of a high quality. Limit the quantity but increase the quality of the links in order to get a good rank.
SEO Myth 3: Anchor text should be scrapped
The importance of anchor text as a ranking factor has certainly decreased over the last few years. The newer algorithms of Google do not assign a lot of weight to this factor. However, this does not mean that anchor text is no longer useable in SEO. In spite of the lowered importance of anchor text, it is still quite useful. The correct placement of anchor text can increase your chances of getting a better rank which is certainly helpful for the overall SEO campaign.
SEO Myth 4: XML sitemaps is a ranking factor
XML Sitemaps are an important part of any website. However, they have absolutely no bearing from an SEO viewpoint. The sole purpose of these items is to help the search engines locate the content of your website and get it indexed faster. They are not considered as a ranking factor by Google.
SEO Myth 5: You will see the benefits of SEO in 6 months
This is a major misconception. It is impossible to run a successful SEO digital marketingcampaign by optimizing your website and content only once. Search engines keep updating their algorithms on a regular basis. Therefore, the processes you have used to optimize your website and gain a higher rank might be rendered useless or less effective. At the same time, your competition will be optimizing their websites and they may overtake your rank. Therefore, you must ensure that your SEO services are continuously keeping up with the changing times and ensuring a steady and high rank.
SEO Myth 6: Guest blogging is not effective
The fact is that marketers and experts often contribute blog posts and articles for a variety of reasons such as knowledge sharing. They are not always looking to promote themselves or create links. This behavior is taken into account by Google. Therefore, if you use guest posts, your website is not going to be penalized.
On the other hand, it is important to ensure that the frequency of contributions is moderate. Contributing too many posts in a short period of time may raise flags and attract a penalty from Google. You should also ensure that your posts do look like spam. In other words, your posts should be devoid of keyword stuffing or extensive usage of anchor links.
SEO Myth 7: SEO is dead because of voice search
There are many who claim that SEO is no longer useful. However, nothing can be further from the truth. The fact is that SEO is affected every time the algorithms are updated. If the SEO processes are not updated to reflect the changes, there will not be any effect whatsoever. This causes many people to claim that SEO is dead.
You should avoid believing these myths if you wish to make your digital marketing campaign successful. Research the facts and use the best methods to improve your website rank.
A relatively new form of marketing, many companies have made the transition to promotions in the digital space and many more will follow suit in the next decade. Despite the vast amounts of information about digital marketing, there are still lies circulating around about the methods, channels and ROI of digital marketing. As a result, people miss the vast opportunities available to them through digital marketing. This blog attempts to expose some eminent and common lies related to digital marketing so that people can reach their marketing goals sooner in 2017.
Debunking digital marketing for 2017 and beyond
It is easy for marketers to be misinformed about digital marketing practices. The conflicting views about digital marketing trends and the lack of information to back up statements make this very confusing for everyone concerned. A survey conducted by Adobe: Digital Distress revealed that 52% of marketers (in a poll of 1000) lacked confidence in their digital marketing skills. When the pressure is so great to show digital marketing ROI, only 9% of respondents were confident enough to say their digital marketing strategy was working.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to debunking digital marketing myths is the way decision makers measure marketing ROI. Linking digital marketing to financial performance may just be the biggest myth of them all. Digital marketing is not a ‘one time capital project,’ and measuring the ROI may not reveal the true value that digital marketing is bringing to the company.
Nevertheless, here are some of the most harmful digital marketing lies people should dismiss in 2017…
1. Digital is just social media marketing
Social networking and digital marketing are interconnected. Social media performs an important role in digital marketing but it does not all simplify down to social media. Many marketers like to think of social media marketing as the common denominator, but the fact is; it is only one channel of digital marketing. Basically, to attract a wider community of audience, digital marketing needs to be facilitated by social networks. With 2.206 billion global active social media users and 30% penetration, social media marketing is not an opportunity digital marketers want to miss. Social media allows for word of mouth marketing on a global scale.
If there was another way to reach the target demographic of customers via digital channels, marketers would pursue that. Despite the popularity of social media marketing, it is not suitable for every business. Niche businesses may not connect with users on Facebook or Twitter. Businesses many sabotage their reputation by some social media faux pas. In fact, many businesses don’t have, or need, a social media strategy to acquire customers.
2: Only some businesses need digital marketing
Digital marketing sets no limitation in terms of business size. Regardless of how big or small the business entity is, digital marketing serves its purpose in the digital age. In 2015, there are more than 3 billion Internet users around the world; 39% of all global Internet is high speed broadband and the share of web traffic via mobile devices has exceeded that of desktops. Regardless of the business size, customers are using the Internet to find businesses and increasingly through their smart phones.
Businesses have to adopt digital marketing because their customers find content on digital channels.
In fact, this strategy allows small entrepreneurs to compete with larger enterprises. Furthermore, major corporations often have a complicated process involving several departments in creating content or tweeting compared to small business owners who have more flexibility to do so. Breaking down the silos is an issue larger corporations face that smaller businesses do not.
3: Digital marketing doesn’t work for B2B companies
A notion that digital marketing doesn’t work out for B2B trade is a false assumption because all business institutions can use digital marketing tactics. Numerous B2B companies have content marketers and social media accounts as a proof that digital marketing strategy works in B2B sales. There is a great article by Jay Baer about the social media strategies used by B2B marketers. Every business, regardless of B2B or B2C, will discern who their intended customers are and implement their social media marketing accordingly.
The other myth about B2B companies is ease of content marketing. Because B2B have a smaller customer base, people think that there is less competition in creating great content. Content marketing for B2B companies is no piece of cake though, according to the survey of content marketing trends by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs:
This content marketing survey of North American B2B companies suggests that producing enough content to engage the audience is the biggest challenge for B2B content marketing.
4: Older consumers doesn’t respond to digital marketing
Digital marketing efforts are certainly not wasted on senior citizens because the Internet is no longer just for little whippersnappers who grew up with technology. According to the Pew Research Center, 59% of people age 65 and up are online, and 47% have high-speed Internet. Contrary to popular belief, older Americans are not still trying to get on AOL using a dial-up connection. Many of them are probably doing the same things you do online, like using Facebook Messenger to talk to their friends, and setting up profiles on multiple online dating sites.
There are elements in digital marketing such as UX design, SEO and PPC where older customers can benefit from attention to detail. Finding out how older customers use search engines and what size font is best can impact on sales. If your company targets an older demographic of consumers, then UX design, website content and knowing the optimal times to post is imperative. Tools such as Google Analytics will provide data on when your target customers are online and most likely to see your content.
5: Digital marketing is too hard to measure
According to Forbes, some of the main digital marketing metrics you should be keeping track of are website visits, bounce rate, customer’s retention rate, conversions and cost per lead. Keeping track of everything is hard to maneuver and a daunting prospect if you’re among the 20% of B2B marketers who don’t measure their marketing ROI.
Be that as it may, you can still measure your digital marketing effort. By doing so, you already have a competitive advantage over the 87% of senior marketers who say they don’t feel confident in forecasting the sales as a result of their marketing. Even if you use a few marketing metrics, this is better than no metrics at all. When you invest your time into strategic digital marketing, with goals in mind, this can help position your company for success.
6: Digital marketing should completely replace traditional marketing channels
Both traditional and digital marketing plays a valuable role in industries that revolve around consumer’s preferences for effectiveness. Most organizations still need a mix of marketing tactics and channels, but that mix may vary. Your “blend” may be 50 / 50 traditional and digital marketing or it may be 80 / 20 depending on your organizational culture, your customer preference, your sales cycle and more. There is no one-size-fits all mix when it comes to how much you spend on digital vs. traditional marketing. There can be such a thing as “too much” for just about everything, and that includes digital marketing as well.
7: Your digital marketing project can be done easily, quickly and cheaply
In digital marketing, there are three forces at work; the cost, time and quality. You cannot choose to have all three at the same time. Digital marketing services can be inexpensive but at the cost of time or quality. High quality/effective digital marketing requires time, and expertise in digital marketing is never cheap.
When you hear a digital marketing agency promising to deliver work on time, cheaply and with expertise; there are usually compromises on time, cost and quality.
8: Success in digital marketing has nothing to do with money
There is a common misconception that digital marketing is cheap. After all, signing up for a Google Analytics and social media account is free. Compared to traditional forms of marketing, PPC, social media ads and even programmatic marketing are cheap. Be that as it may, becoming a success at digital marketing can cost you extra money.
Learning about digital marketing and implementing an effective strategy requires time and money in hiring experts. According to Econsultancy, companies are increasing their marketing spend on digital channels. This should not be a surprise in light of the competitive marketplace and how customers behave along the buying funnel. To create an impact through digital marketing methods, a certain change and investment is required. According to eMarketer, the global ad spend on digital channels is 30%; by 2018 56.5% of all ad spend in the UK will be via digital channels and in China, 57.2% will be digital.
9: Everyone in digital marketing is a SEO expert
It is likely that all digital marketers have heard of SEO. Some have dabbled in it and others are more successful in practicing SEO. Expertise in SEO is not a prerequisite of becoming a digital marketer. There are so many peripheral techniques to great digital marketing that learning about SEO could just be one of them. These days, it is impossible to be effective in digital marketing without a foundational knowledge of how search engines work. Online visibility depends so much on search engines that any digital marketing method needs to work in synergy with the search engines.
Finding a digital marketing team with expertise in SEO is paramount to your company’s online success. Because of the changing nature of search engines and SEO, it is best to work with a digital marketing team that is up to date with SEO guidelines.
10: I don’t sell anything on my website; calls to action (CTA) aren’t important
Although a website isn’t transactional in the traditional sense, you should consider it a vital part of the conversion funnel. Calls to action are still relevant, even if they do not directly lead to purchasing something.
Calls to action brings attention to the purpose of your website. Even if you don’t sell any tangible product on your site, there are still things you would like your website visitors to do. You might need them to join your social media group, sign up to your newsletters or register as a member. Conversions does not always relate to sales. It can be a subscription or action you’d like your visitors to take. Calls to action are effective because they tap into the human psychology of expectation, curiosity and reward. Most people visit websites with the expectation of reward (valuable content).
11: Digital strategy and digital project management are the same
Bothdigital strategy and digital project management are considered skills within the umbrella of marketing but the point of view vary. Both skill sets can most definitely be held by the same person, but they really should be separated on small to medium digital marketing projects. When running a digital marketing team, there should be an appropriate staffing between strategy and project management.
The way a digital strategist and a project manager implement their tasks are different. Your digital strategist may plan on a different time scale and think about areas of continual improvement. Long term brand equity, market share value and client retention may be the goals of a digital marketing strategist. A digital product manager, on the other hand, will want results within budget and delivered within a certain time frame. Resource allocation and project functionality becomes a main concern. You can say that the digital marketing strategist thinks further ahead in time.
12: You can measure everything in digital marketing
From one extreme to another…
There are marketing tools available today that allows marketers to study all kinds of data collected from websites. Theoretically, it is possible to measure everything in marketing and put a number to it. However, there are shortcomings to every method used for measuring and this can affect your interpretation of marketing data.
Some parts of the customer purchasing journey is so intertwined; knowing what to measure is hard. And then, there is the issue of what to do with all the customer data? Everything can be measured, but should marketers bother? A consumer centric approach is to measure the effectiveness of digital marketing. Does the marketing effort deliver the solution to customers at the right time? When marketers measure the transactions taking place-such as a customer purchase, they want to know how this can inspire customers to make a purchase again in the future. Measuring transactions is the basis of real time programmatic marketing. Marketers have always wanted to measure what influences customer purchasing behaviors: relevancy, identification, accessibility, value and risk.
13: The same thing that worked for a competitor will work for me
There are many variables which affects the outcome of digital marketing campaigns. One size doesn’t fit at all in content strategy. Your competitor may have different organizational structures, target customers and reputation. When marketers compare their company with a competitor, they are assuming that all things being equal; they will achieve the same results. This does not work in reality at all.
Another problem is competitor data. Publicly available data about competitors only reveal a small glimpse of their digital marketing strategies. Even within the competitor’s company, most staff do not know the marketing strategy behind implementation. It is far more effective to conduct market analysis and test the methods. Companies cannot rely on what they hear; testing will produce a more accurate conclusion. When it comes to your competitor’s content strategy, it is useful to know why they are doing it rather than copy what they are doing. By monitoring your own metrics, you can improve the conversions with a strategy that is tailor made for you.
14: Digital marketing should be 100% outsourced
Outsourcing digital marketing is a way to save time and improve your company’s efficiency. However, it does not replace the need to know about your customers and what marketing metrics to measure. In order to gain the most from outsourcing areas of marketing such as email marketing, marketing automation and content creation, you have to be the conductor of the orchestra.
There are several practical reasons why outsourcing digital marketing may be a challenge. Firstly, outsource agencies in non-English speaking countries may have the language barrier in communicating with you. There may also be delays as a result of the distance. Secondly, quality control may be harder when your marketers are not nearby to discuss issues. Thus, finding reliable outsourced marketers is a must. Thirdly, there is a risk of copyright issues and security breaches when 3rd party providers have access to sensitive company information. Outsourcing can be a great business decision as long as the pros and cons are carefully weighed.
15: Digital marketing strategy is the responsibility of CMOs
These days, digital leadership from senior level executives is key to the company’s success. The CMO and CTO should work together to guide the digital marketing direction of the company; every member of the C-Suite has to have responsibility in digital. Forbes even predicted the role of C-suite members in 2017 and beyond. Formal responsibility has to be given to executives but a digitally led culture within the company should be nurtured. By raising the digital IQ of the organization from top down, marketing in a digital world can be more effective.
The obstacle to digital initiatives is the disconnection of roles between the organization’s members. By isolating digital tasks to only a few members, any digital initiative will be weakened.
16: Digital marketing campaigns can be executed without the support of the IT department
Every digital marketing campaign requires analytic data skills. These days, the interconnection between technology, data and marketing channels allows marketers to target consumers effectively. Programmatic marketing is an example of digital media informed by real time data. Companies are beginning to invest more in people with strong quantitative and data skill sets.
Data science, or the extraction of knowledge from large volumes of data that is structured/unstructured, is a skill that marketers will need to embrace in the next decade. Companies are collecting customer data from purchase transactions, CRM systems, supply chain systems and servers in order to gain a better understanding of what their customers want. With this data, marketers can do predictive modeling and tweak their marketing strategy. It is simply not enough to plan marketing campaigns based on intuition; insightful data has to form the backbone of all digital marketing campaigns.
17: Keyword optimized content is good enough
High quality content is the obstacle to many digital marketing campaigns. Sometimes, it is not a lack of intellectual capacity for content, but a misjudgment of what content the consumers want. There are many reasons why producing high quality content is not as easy as it seems. Most marketers misunderstand what high quality content actually means.
Let’s take Google’s Quality Rater guidelines, which has been leaked online, and talks about what constitutes high quality content. Firstly, marketers need to create content at an expert level-amateurs need not apply. Secondly, there is an emphasis on the user experience; a satisfying user experience is necessary for content to be considered high quality. Thirdly, Google recommends fresh content (frequently updated websites) with a satisfying amount of website information. This implies more, rather then less content. Lastly, Google recommends interactions with other authoritative sources to draw upon their expertise.
These days, content marketing can be in various mediums (infographics, blogs, white papers) and distributed along various digital marketing channels for different demographics of consumers. No matter what the content, content marketing has to be aligned with the marketing goals and this is a continual challenge in the changing digital landscape.
18: Digital marketing means getting millions of website traffic
In effective digital marketing, one must consider quality rather than quantity of website traffic. Attracting specific, and targeted website visitors has higher probabilities of conversion than thousands of visitors with no interest in the website. Marketers call this targeted traffic and there are many discussions ad nauseam about getting traffic to the website.
Large amounts of website traffic used to be considered an assurance of potential customers, but in reality, it is not an assurance of paying and profit-generating customers. The most successful marketing campaigns do increase website traffic but they also increase conversion rates at the same time. Large amounts of traffic without conversions is a vanity metric, and therefore meaningless. It would be to the greatest advantage of a particular business to have only 100 website visitors where most would convert into paying customers, instead of getting thousands of traffic that do not generate any profit at all.
19: SEO is dead
SEO is very much alive, although the digital landscape have changed. These days, people trained in SEO have to continuously update their practice with each search engine algorithm update. The major search engines such as Google are preventing bad content from being found by users. This means manipulative tactics (buying links, spamming, private blog networks) and poor quality websites are slowly being eradicated. When people say that certain SEO practices no longer work, this does not mean that SEO itself is dead. After all, most searches start from the search engines and this will be true as long as search engines are alive. SEO is simply becoming more sophisticated and less partial to manipulative tactics. Instead of wasting time in fooling the search engines, marketers should create better content that people will want to find.
20: “My competitors are not into digital marketing, so why should I?”
This is a notion wherein no action is being taken until there is an indication of attack. This attitude is a complacent one, trusting that their current customer will continue to patronize their businesses through traditional means and channels.
Much has changed in marketing and the behavior of consumers is the driving force. Consumption of content via digital channels mean marketers can no longer ignore their customer’s needs. In the competitive marketplace, consumers can quickly find a more reliable and up to date brand.
The marketplace decides the victor in their digital marketing efforts. Potential shifts in the digital landscape means marketers have to adapt quickly to new channels of marketing and technology. Digital marketing lies once had a grain of truth in them; the evolving marketplace does not care for that, only results. Businesses have to be prepared for paradigm shifts in marketing or they will be left far behind. What works today may not work tomorrow so businesses cannot hold onto the same marketing concepts for long.
These days there reputable tech brands that have started utilizing virtual reality technology. Top brands such as Sony, Samsung, Facebook, and Google, all have entered into the realm of virtual reality. By the end of 2016, more than around 15 million people have experienced the magic of virtual reality. And, experts claim that by the end of 2018, there will be around 38 million people who will own a virtual device of some kind. The adoption of the virtual reality technology is really fast, and there is a widespread acceptance of this technology.
What is virtual reality technology?
Virtual reality is actually a channel and not a device. Just like the smartphones, which were considered to be mere tools for digital communication, often the concept of virtual reality is misleading to consumers. However, the concept of virtual reality is fast taking off and this technology is going to make a great impact in the near future. Today, it is changing the way the companies are planning their digital marketing. Given below is a list of possible changes that the virtual reality technology will bring to the ways the companies do online marketing:
Facebook, one of the most popular social networking platforms has hired senior Apple engineer Michael Hillman to push the design and performance of VR headsets even further. The company invested millions of dollars in collaborating with the companies that are based on virtual reality technology. Facebook 360 For Gear VR App will allow users to view content in the optimal VR format. This move by one of the social media giants is an example that more and more companies will now ride the virtual reality bandwagon to promote their goods, products, and services in the digital world.
The Facebook acquired company Oculus VR is providing the users with new platforms to connect to each other and to exchange information. The virtual space can be used by the companies to build products, apps, and services built around the virtual reality technology. Just like the companies that have adapted well to the Internet and the app evolutions, it is expected that the concept of virtual reality will go in well with the brands and the companies doing online marketing.
Virtual reality technology will be integrated with the wearable devices too. Just like the future of smart watches, which is not just a watch but can be used for so many purposes, the virtual reality will also get integrated with the wearable devices like phones, personal accessories, and glasses. Companies and brands that are thinking of doing Internet marketing for the connected devices, will benefit from the mass-market virtual reality technology.
With the advent of virtual reality technology, there will also be an increase in the number of applications for fashion and beauty. The technology of virtual reality has a lot of scope for beauty, fashion, and style. There will be opportunity for the customers to try out different things and evaluate what works the best before investing money in those.
There will be endless opportunities for digital marketers. Now, companies will exist in the virtual space altogether. Now, not just for gaming, the technology of virtual reality, together with the high-end graphics quality, its bandwidth, collaboration, and access to information will make virtual reality driven marketing exciting.
Brand placements in virtual reality: companies such as Advir allows brands to promote their content to VR users. They connect to ad networks and support video, display contents.
Remember, with the full-fledged use of virtual reality, there will be fewer instances of face-to-face meetings and conferences. The companies that are involved in digital marketing should be able to reach virtually and thus, directly to the customers. More than concentrating on the sale and promotion of the products and services, the virtual reality will lead to better relationships between the customers and the companies. The augmented reality will become an important factor in marketing and communication by the companies. There will be lots of opportunities to innovate with factors like deeper user control, social applications, and unlimited perspectives, as well as physical objectives being made virtual.
Uses of virtual reality technology for digital marketing
One of the main reasons for using virtual reality for digital marketing is that it involves a high level of engagement. If you want to improve your online marketing results, it would be better to integrate this form of marketing with the virtual reality.
You must remember that today, multi-tasking is difficult, especially in a situation where you are using too many gadgets for different purposes. The virtual reality will help you with an overall engulfing experience. Digital marketing with the help of virtual reality will actually benefit consumers. Now, the marketers will aim at solving problems, making information searching easier, and increasing engagement of the users. The virtual world will really become an extremely fertile ground for the creation of new digital content.
With the advent of the virtual reality technology, the brands will be able to create advertising campaigns that will be interactive and engaging. Branding could be integrated to gaming and thus, the power of virtual reality is realized.
Potential customers are getting harder to reach every passing day on fragmented digital channels and amongst the huge influx of content. How are you supposed to generate traffic for your website or convert leads into customers or even attract readers towards your blog? Content is nothing without an audience, after all. Plus, you need your target market to read all the information you have compiled for them so that they would know how valuable your offers are.
A very simple and yet not so simple way to grab the attention of your target audience is to let them think it is all about them. That is right, the best way to promote your content is to promote the interests of your readers. If this seems counter-intuitive to the idea of marketing, then think about why you want potential customers to pay more attention? The answer is because your product or service could potentially solve a problem for them. This works for every kind of online marketing be it content marketing, social media marketing, SEO, inbound and outbound marketing.
Ways to make your target market take notice
Here are five ways to really get the attention of your target market:
1. Use simple and familiar language
The first rule to keep in mind is that no one today has a knack for complex words, terminologies, and philosophies. It only works in quotes only because they are of two-three sentences. It is always best to keep your text simple and easy to understand. The language you choose to express can be strong and bold but make sure it is familiar. If no one understands what you are saying, then the whole concept of content marketing is lost.
You can rock this area by simply say how they (the target audience) say it. This will make you appear friendly and more reachable.
2. Make it relatable
To engage your target audience you need your content to be relatable. People should be able to really feel the emotions. This would get them to respond and react. This strategy works really well on social media as when so many people see what others are saying about the content created by a company they too get attracted, and so the process continues.
3. Reach your target market on a personal level
Personalize your posts and focus on the needs and expectations of a certain group of your potential customers. You need to create content that fulfils their needs and allow them to feel closer to the company. When you go on a personal level, people automatically find the post irresistible, and that is what makes the post clickable. Remember that you need to be unforgettable if you want to stay on top of the game.
4. Know your audience
To create highly focused and personal posts you need to know your audience. For this, perform surveys and research on the behavior of your target market. The trends and seasonal behavior of the customers of a certain location can prove to be extremely helpful in creating posts that are meant to be read.
5. Solve their problems
Remember that when you are writing on a certain topic it is for the benefit of your customer (or at least that is what you want them to think). Include this in all the parts of your content starting from the title, introduction all the way to the conclusion. This builds a positive feeling towards the content and helps the readers identify and recognize your content among several others.
Twitter is a busy place where many people have a lot to say throughout the day. A glimpse of the newsfeed every minute will confirm this. Twitter is without a doubt one of the best platforms for social media marketing for this very reason. When used properly, online businesses can gain the attention of their target market with the least amount of effort.
If you are reading this then you probably already know the benefits of tweets. You are posting, sharing, advertising and doing what everyone else is doing. However, what happens when you discover that your follower number is starting to slip? Let’s say that the last time you performed the measurements for your online marketing, you found out that you are losing followers and fast. Where did it all go wrong? Are the reasons simple or not?
Twitter is a busy place where attention spans are even shorter than the tweets.
It all comes down to “Twitter is a busy place.” When there are so many voices to be heard yours must be more compelling to prevent being filtered out. There are certain golden rules you need to apply here which are different from other digital marketing methods such as content marketing and inbound/outbound marketing. Here are four things you should do to mitigate your loss of followers.
Being unfollowed on Twitter: the reasons
Tweet regularly and often
With so much going on followers have a full newsfeed every day. For you voice to be heard over the rest, it needs to be strong and loud. It also has to be raised repeatedly throughout the day. Tweet regularly but spread out your tweets evenly so they don’t feel like an onslaught of spam! Tweets at least four times a day to remind your followers that you are active. You can let a digital marketing agency handle your tweeting activity or Twitter management tools to help you there.
Make it a mix of things
What good is an influencer if he/she can only talk about a certain topic? People get bored easily and are bound to block you out for this very reason. Make sure you offer a variety of tweets on your Twitter account before the attention of followers start to waver. You can share tweets about the recent books, movies, restaurants and beautiful places you visited recently. You can also share tweets about events and shareable quotes from other Twitter influencers.
It is not marketing if it is obvious
Let us make it a point that whatever you are doing on your Twitter account is for the benefit of your business. You need leads, traffic, customers and repeat buyers for your company. You need people to acknowledge your presence and refer you to other potential buyers. For all this to happen you need marketing. However, tweeting day in and day out about your company and products will get you nowhere with the community on Twitter. Studies have indicated that your social media is more effective if you share about your business services/products only 10% of the time.
Make your followers feel your presence through conversations
Social media is all about socializing. Engage your followers in conversations about different things they are interested in. That way you get to know them on a personal level, discover what appeals them and what are their concerns in this world. This way, you can create more effective and attention-grasping content to keep your account alive and healthy.
One of the attractions of setting up a business online is to have a stream of revenue without needing a lot of capital to get started. Social media accounts are free, and content creation is cheap. In theory, your business should be able to gain the attention of your audience in the cheapest way possible and convert them all into loyal paying customers for life.
Why doesn’t it always go to plan?
Everywhere you look, marketing articles are telling you to create interesting content for your products. The rationale for creating content is to engage and enchant your audience into buying your product. What they don’t tell you is how labor intensive and tricky it is to get the content marketing right. As easy as it may seem, things can go horribly wrong with one unwise move.
Challenges in content marketing and how to overcome them
A good marketing strategy can get you hordes of customers while a bad one will lose you the ones you already have. Here is Joe Pulizzi on good content marketing:
Mediocre content will hurt your brand more than nothing at all.
Here is a list of 5 top challenges that business all over the web are facing in the way of content marketing.
1) It takes too much time and you simply don’t have it
Once you get started, there is no time for anything. There is so much to organize, to deal with and to plan for. You understand the value of marketing but do not find the time it requires. High quality content created everyday and distributed across your social media channels sounds wonderful, but who has time for that?
One way to overcome this challenge is to get the help of an online marketing agency. You can hire experts who can manage the content, polish it with some good SEO, and may be even use social media marketing to give your business some extra boost. The gist is: you can’t do it all by yourself-you need specialized personnel to help you.
2) It’s burning through your marketing budget
True enough. Marketing is never inexpensive but the results it yields are always worth the money. Likewise, content marketing will require a good big chunk out of your budget. What you can do is search out the businesses that complement yours and you can have a co-creation team that will link both of you with interconnected content.
3) Content is not sufficiently engaging
With so much competition you need to come up with loads of engaging content for your business. That’s right, on top of creating so much content, they have to be interesting as well. Since you cannot juggle so many tasks at once, you can hire a video production team or niche content marketers to help plan and create content your competitors wouldn’t think of.
4) Content is not converting prospects into customers
Information rich content is what you need to attract customers. No, not really. You need interesting and helpful content, not boring facts. Customers today do not even bother looking at long contents, they want easy and quick to read information. Learn the customer psychology before wasting your time on content that will bring you no benefits.
Re-evaluating your content strategy
Do you know what’s wrong?
This can be a dilemma for most new business owners. Check the points mentioned above and see if you have those problems. If not, then check if you are focusing on inbound and outbound marketing properly or not. Use all the options of digital marketing available and see which one works best for you and then focus your attention on that one. Be very clear who your target audience is and what they are looking for, then give them just that.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and so many other social networks have made it extremely easy for small business owners to capture large audiences. It was impossible in the past to attract such huge numbers for any small online business owner. Today however we all feel blessed that an army of people likes to spend most of their time on social networks to “stay connected”. This opens up a vast door of opportunities for the marketers.
However, this means that with so many accounts to manage the marketers are always short of time and lag behind their schedules. Let us see how you can effectively manage all of your accounts without compromising on the quality of the content.
What you should know about business on social media
What does it mean to have a social presence?
For any small business, it is essential to have a constant social presence. It gives them brand mentions, leads, new customers and repeat buyers. It is simply impossible for new businesses to attract sufficient traffic towards them with so many giants in the online world. Social media provides them something they can use to overcome this obstacle, and that is social presence. It is easy to start, but it gets tougher to maintain it with the passage of time.
What things should you have in your routine table?
Like other marketing strategies such as content marketing, inbound marketing and outbound marketing, social media marketing requires the strategy. Digital marketing or online marketing is so cheap it tempts you to go do more and more. So much, so that you go overboard, only to realize that there are time constraints. Therefore, make a schedule before diving in.
This schedule should include how many posts you want per day, how much time should content finding take up per week, how many hours a day you want to devote, how many days you can be available and similar things. You can always set goals for yourself and decide the total amount of time you can spare for your social media campaign. Then, you can dedicate time for each task accordingly. If you are having trouble organizing stuff, consider taking help from a social media marketing agency.
How often should you access your social account?
It depends on the amount of time you have, the amount of work you have, the nature of your business, the set goals, the targets you wish to achieve etc. Organizing social media account take up time, efforts and dedication so be sure you have enough of these before starting any quest.
The most important part of having a successful social media strategy is the amount of time you spend in measuring its effectiveness. Make sure you give it at least an hour per week. You see, this is the gist of all your hard work. If you keep on working on posts and comments and shares without measuring how many leads were generated from a certain network you are wasting your time and efforts. Always ask yourself “ How will it help my business?” before you get involved in any activity on your social account because time is money in business.
Can you gain high quality leads with social media marketing? The answer is yes: absolutely you can. It is no secret that the social media landscape is shifting and with it comes many opportunities for businesses. Over 75% of internet users have social media profiles; that is 2.207 billion active social media users and 1.968 billion social media users accessing their profiles via mobile devices. The potential, therefore, for acquiring leads through social media is huge.
Every week, a marketer will spend around five hours on average on social media networks. Of course, measuring the actual returns on investment in social media networks can be challenging. There are many variables and metrics to consider. Nonetheless, the fact remains that social media can become a vital part of your digital marketing strategy.
How do you identify the opportunities and grasp it to acquire more leads with social media marketing? Given below are some of the tried and tested ways businesses have developed their brand and generated leads using social media networks.
1.Paid social media ads to gain leads
There is organic social media marketing and then there is paid social advertising. There are many great reasons why you should maintain a balance of organic and paid social marketing; organic reach will help you build deeper connections with audiences and paid will generate more traffic quickly. Here are some astounding case studies showing the efficacy of paid social marketing alongside an organic approach.
The bottom line is, you need to buy attention. Social media networks are saturated with content (see our blog about content shock and sustainable content marketing), and you need a short cut. Here is what happened when North American motorcycle company Castrol Moto used a highly targeted paid social media campaign for 6 months:
As a result of their paid social media campaign, Castrol Moto acquired more leads and increased their engagement rates/fan base. Money talks in social media marketing.
2.Niche down your social media platform to acquire leads
Acquiring high quality leads requires a targeted social media strategy. Everyone seems to be a member of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, but what about the niche platforms? Reddit forums, small business forums and Pinterest may just be the niche social media platforms for your business. If you are able to establish authority there and connect with users, a conversion may be more likely. Many brands opt for a combination of mainstream and niche platforms to maximize their lead acquisition.
Research the social media platforms your target customers are likely to be active on and tune in to their conversations online. Commerce related chat rooms may also bring opportunities for leads; you will be answering their queries/providing solutions there and then.
3. Focus and adjust the content
Using social media tools or Google Analytics, you can adjust your content to reach your marketing objectives. The key to generating targeted leads can be through your content. Through data, you can discover what type content receives the most views, engagements and click through rates for your website. You must make plans to ensure that high quality content is provided on a consistent basis to the audience. It is also important for the content to be displayed on the various mainstream and niche social media networks you are using.
Plans for making and using content can be simplified by social media calendars, tools and outsourcing the work. Many brands simply create a lot of content on a single topic at the same time. This is bunching and an efficient way to save time. The content can be developed in series so as to attract the targeted leads. For instance, you may create a series about how to use your products; offering tips and video tutorials. Of course, the content should be relevant to each social network you are using. It should also be easy to digest. Content marketing is an essential aspect of any form of digital marketing.
4. Become an authority or influencer on social media
A common denominator of all brands that have found success with social media networks is that they have established themselves as the authority in their chosen field. You need to showcase yourself as an expert in your chosen field. This will build trust with audiences, increase your brand’s credibility and reputation with time. People love to buy from people they trust; being trustworthy can help you gain more leads in the long run.
What are some ways to showcase your trustworthiness and expertise? Here are the top 5 ways:
Sharing genuine user generated content about your brand. Show off positive reviews and content created by your fans/customers. The most successful brands have many advocates generating a lot of positive content.
Build relationships with social media influencers. Connect and offer to help them with promotions. Influencers can provide a mutually beneficial relationship that offers many advantages. You will get more leverage from their large social media follower base, expand your reach and build a strong foundation for your brand. You cannot do it alone in social media marketing-win the support of social media influencers and strive to become one yourself.
Share content that adds great value to your audience’s lives. Video content, tutorials, guides, blogs and infographics that are relevant to your brand and audience will add more value on social media. You can find the social media platform that performs the best for your content and audience. By focusing on one or two social media platforms you can establish your authority better.
Give away high quality content for free-your time is very precious and by using it to create the best possible content, you are communicating to your audience that you care. Your expertise will be evident in the content you produce and the interactions you have with your audience. You can also create free videos and ebooks for your subscribers-many brands do this to build trust.
Live interactions with your audience-the emergence of live video platforms such as Snapchat, Blab and Periscope has made it easier for your audience to ask questions and connect with you. This is a great opportunity to show them your expertise and win new followers.
Establishing authority on social media requires time but is an effective long term marketing strategy. It will generate many leads in the long run as your reputation grows.
5. Think like a customer
Successful businesses cannot do enough for their customers and you should take a leaf from their book. Lead acquisition would be impossible without providing a solution to your customer’s pain points. Do you have what it takes to solve their problems?
If you were a customer, how would you like to be treated and spoken to on social media? Will you expect a timely response to your queries and aftercare? Consumers love using social networks to connect with their favored brands on a more even and personal level as such interaction is not possible elsewhere. As such, consumers are not afraid to voice their opinions and feelings on these platforms.
If you can handle customer complaints sensitively and work around the clock to make them satisfied with your products/services, you have the formula for lead acquisition. Consumers gauge from social media conversations your level of care, customers service, professionalism and authority. They will switch off if you make a hard sell the moment they become part of your network.
It is through conversations that you can help your customers get to know more about your business and brand. You can answer questions related to your business that have been posted on forums or social media networks. Always ensure that you answer the questions truthfully. This will help boost your credibility in the long run. You should not stop after answering the questions; ask them if you can help in any other way. Customers who receive such attention will be more likely to be grateful and this gratitude shows that they have become viable leads.
6. Timing is key
In order to generate leads successfully, you need to provide the right information and at the right time. You need to gently nudge the customers at the correct point of the sales cycle so as to convert the leads.
Once you know how to make use of social media networks, you will find lead acquisition to be a breeze. Alternatively, you can always hire a digital marketing agency to take care of all of these tasks. Be that as it may, harnessing social networks can become the key to your success.