The time when newspaper ads, commercials, billboards etc. were doing their job to get you the business has gone. Today, in this digital world, making your online presence felt has become an obvious task.
Digital marketing is something that requires constant re-evaluation of strategies to keep your business ahead of the competition. Trends keep on changing, and so the needs of your customers.
Social media platforms are already stuffed with feeds and there are possible chances that your post may get lost in the overwhelming gale of information. Only a mere online presence is not enough! More effort is needed to get your products to the target audiences.
So, the question is - while planning your digital marketing strategy, how will you prepare yourself for the fight?
Just being in the right place at the right time, won’t get the job done. You have to analyze the tactics and ideas used by the successful brands in promoting their businesses.
Here are the digital marketing strategies that you can use to expand your business in 2019:
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)/Social Media Marketing (SMM)/Pay Per Click (PPC) :
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the range of activities that help in ranking the webpages on the first page of the search engines, especially Google. While social media marketing focuses on use of social media platforms to market product / services.
They both are organic ways to increase website traffic. However, Pay-per-click gives you a temporary boost in traffic by displaying your product/service adds when user searches for specific keywords in the search engines.
Google gives preference to pages where the amount of time spent on the page is more, since it thinks that user has found relevant information that it is looking for on that page. A combination of SEO, SMM and PPC can help you achieve this.
Some of the important tips to get the most of these are as follows:
- Use Infographics: Infographics gives a lot of information. It is wise to include attractive infographics on the landing pages of your PPC campaigns.
- Better Navigation to reduce bounce rate: Give users information about related topics, so they remain on your website for longer.
- Focus on YouTube SEO: Make you videos’ title, file name, and description SEO friendly. This will push your website onto the first page on Google and get you traffic from YouTube as well.
- Make longer pages and longer video: Helps in keeping user engaged.
- Focus on Topics, not keywords: Consider what your users are looking for rather than coming up with different ways that users can phrase a search query.
2. Content Marketing :
At present, content marketing is on peek because of one simple reason; it’s what the customers want. Popup, banners and invasive ads are annoying; they are of no interest to the audience.
People nowadays are more inclined towards quality content, something that is relevant and gives them value, and not something that will just clog their inboxes.
It’s really important to understand your customers’ needs and wants, rather than what you want them to buy.
Hubspot, Zappos, John Deere, and AARP are few names that have excelled the digital marketing game with their content marketing strategy. Hubspot is a million dollar company; it listens to the audiences first and then plans its content strategy accordingly.
It has analyzed the issues / subjects / topics their visitors care about and is generating the in-depth blog posts about those issues. Besides this, it has adopted the following tactics to win the marketing game:
- Added eBooks to their blog posts.
- Used LinkedIn to send traffic to their Facebook videos.
- Developed an educational and content sharing hub (Inbound.org) to promote its partnership programs and certifications.
On the other hand, Zappos, a leading online shoe marketer, has set the standard in customer care. There is no reason to doubt their digital marketing success. Zappos provides 365-day money back assurance and also free shipping. Besides this, their policies are so appealing that they don’t have to do much to market their online presence; their consumers happily sing their praises to one another.
John Deere publication - The Furrow is one of the very old examples of content marketing. Itfocuses on the issues faced by their customers. It’s been more than 120 years, the publication is still growing. The AARP has won many awards for their magazine’s quality, design, and photography, yet there's nothing secretive about their success. All they do is, listen to their readers and use that information to settle on the topics which are most relevant to them.
3. Limit Self-Promotional Content :
Companies often make the mistake of promoting themselves too much and nobody wants to follow an organization that cribs about itself. A marketing strategy that involves only self-promotional contents and nothing of real value will lead to nowhere.
JetBlue, a popular budget airline, completely acknowledges this and instead of posting special discounts and discounted fares, they use their social media handles to provide easy and fast customer services. It has followed its main goal of "Inspiring humanity" and done all the possible things to stay on the track, not only through serving their customers but also in their marketing messages. That’s what helped it to have a strong hold on its core values. JetBlue campaigns such as FlyBabies, Flight Etiquette, and Human Kind a have set the bar high.
It’s crucial to manage self-promotional content with data which is useful for your followers and always be spontaneous in responding to users whenever they interact with your web profiles. This will improve your relationship and will bring more confidence to your consumer. There are two key points that one should remember while planning the self-promotional strategies: stop selling hard and always remain honest.
4. Do Benefit, Get Benefit :
While creating a viral digital marketing campaign, search the content that is already there, put a twist on it in a way that it will provide value to someone else and you will receive the same. Mastercard is one such big name who has achieved success by opting this strategy.
Mastercard is a king of ‘Priceless’revelation and has been named as world’s most ethical organization in the year 2016 and 2017. This financial service biggie is known for creating appealing experiences that agitate and keep hold of their customers.Being a sponsor of MLB, the organization needed to implement their ‘priceless’ strategy and take benefit from the Chicago Cubs who were playing inthe World Series for the first time.
Mastercard went out searching for the ideal method to execute their campaign and ran over an awesome piece of content: A player of the opponent team had blamed Cubs fans for lacking energy. This was an ideal issue to build a campaign on.
So Mastercard rana campaign titled the "Sound of Priceless." They developed a sound meter to measure the loudness of the fans, and after measuring the sounds, they developed a video content around the story. To make the most out of it, they released the film online and on social networking sites just as the Cubs won the last session of the World Series. The outcomes were priceless.
The key to winning in such a strategy is patience, wait for the right time to get the maximum out your content.
5. Visual Content Marketing :
Visuals are always effective; they help people process, comprehend, and keep hold of information more quickly. Visual Content is a powerful marketing tool, it increases brand knowledge, message alliance and elevates engagement.
Zomato and Shutterstock are two big names that have played this visual game very well. Zomato, a restaurant finder app, uses humor generously in its marketing strategy.
Zomato is aware of the temperament of its audiences. It connects with the customers by posting on trendy topics. Zomato creates engaging topics that its customers will share, promote, comment, and view it over and over again.
It uses topics that are in trend and posts images with the motive to interrelate with their online audiences. It’s a proven simple trick that is very effective. The company has millions of followers on Twitter and Facebook.
Shutterstock, another biggie in the business of images. People love the content it shares as they can relate to it.
6. Email Marketing :
Email marketing is not dead yet! If you can focus on personalization, it can bring results. Just don’t send out emailers to everyone, segment your email list according to buyers’ personas. Keep your branding guidelines intact in all the marketing campaigns.
Always keep mobile layout in mind while designing the template of your email marketing campaign. And last but not least, keep improvising based on reports!
Digital marketing strategies connect brands with their customers, increases revenue and brand awareness. Their planning requires time, effort, patience,and knowledge. It’s really important to regularly evaluate and assess your strategies, and keep yourself updated with the latest digital marketing trends to win this never-ending game.
No matter what you do, understanding what your audience wants is always the most important factor. A person, who might not be your present user, can become a customer if you have a strong content strategy. Moreover, you can always influence the peers of your customers that would eventually lead into more sales.
About the Author
M. Anas is a Content Marketing Professional and a Content Strategist. He has helped many brands to build their Brand Identity and differentiate themselves from competitors. He has more than 7 years of experience working in different industries including IT/Software, Digital Marketing, Media and Advertisement. Currently pursuing PH.D. in Marketing, his latest interest includes emerging technologies such as Blockchain, IoT and A.I.