Digital marketing strategies have changed drastically in the last decade. Some questionable techniques like black-hat SEO, deceptive advertising, mass emails, content scraping have been removed to avoid legal consequences and being penalized by other digital platforms and search engines. The year 2020 demands an omnichannel approach to marketing.
Digital marketing is the strategic use of some select digital channels to reach the marketing objectives of the company. The digital channels include content marketing, SEO work, social media marketing, email marketing, digital advertising, etc. A strategy is a proper plan that covers how the digital marketing channels will be used in the marketing funnel or how a specific channel action plan can support the primary strategy.
A well-designed marketing strategy helps lucrative prospects navigate the buyer’s journey. It helps organizations to connect and influence users at all the contact points. A digital marketing strategy helps to drive better results for businesses.
It helps to give a personalized experience. It has been found that 53%of customers expect personalized offers and 63% expect brands to anticipate their needs. It made AI(Artificial Intelligence) essential for companies looking for a better customer experience. Digital marketing channels allow us to segment our target audience based on demographic, psychographic, and geographic features. Segments can also be defined based on buying patterns, interests, and product usage. This refined selection and segmentation allow a company to deliver a personalized experience by email marketing. And digital advertising is though not as personalized as email marketing but it allows the message to be conveyed to the right audience by methods such as remarketing and lookalike audience.
It allows us to track ROI accurately. Earlier businesses would have to spend a mega-budget on print, radio, and billboard advertising without having the surety of profits. But now the digital marketing platforms have evolved a lot, becoming sophisticated to help you evaluate the amount of revenue each platform is contributing. The medium of digital advertising is especially useful here as it offers many metrics to track the spend ad scenario.
It gives the flexibility to tweak a business’s activities. Digital marketing is flexible as you can scale up and down the marketing activities depending on the output. If the revenues with the better grading are optimized, the expenditure can be managed efficiently performing all the tweaks and turns. An International social listening and analytics firm Talkwalker analyzed digital marketing campaigns and enlisted the best and worst out of them.
CONTENT MARKETING AND SEO STRATEGY SETUP
Both content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand to a certain extent. These strategies can benefit a business in both these fields-
1.TARGETING POSITION ZERO–
Position Zero is a featured snippet on the first page of Google’s search engine result page(SERP). It appears at the top of the page before any listings. If any content ranks for position zero, the Click-through-rate (CTR) will rocket out. One may find tough competition here but following certain ways, it can be beneficial. One must create enriching material for queries like what, when, why, who, where, how, and form headlines accordingly. One should also make instructional how-to-content and rightly structure it in a list format. Then one should also answer frequently asked questions of their respective niche areas. Then conversational content must also be created as the voice search tool has become quite famous.
2.CONTENT MUST BE CREATED FOR ALL STAGES OF THE FUNNEL-
It sometimes happens that content ranks well in SERPs but may face a high bounce rate or low average session duration which causes mismatched expectations. The person landing on your website has an intention but a company’s content does not meet his expectations. It’s because marketers spend more time creating top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) content but ignore the middle and bottom of the funnel content. One needs to diversify the content matter in different formats and topics. For that one should dig deeper into concepts of infographics, videos, podcasts along text to enhance the extent of content marketing efforts. And queries not restricted to TOFU must be addressed. Such in-depth content must be created which will change visitors into prospects and then into customers.
3.THERE MUST BE MORE CO-BRANDED PRODUCT AND CONTENT–
Co-branding is just a brand collaboration to publish a content piece. With it the contributing brands showcase their talent to create brand awareness. Comprehensive research reports or topic primers, webinars, videos, or podcasts can be created. To target the last two stages of the funnel, co-branded content can be helpful. If the purpose of the content is edited, it can amplify the content creation process for various digital marketing channels and assist in distribution efforts.
SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES
Social media arrived around two decades ago and it has changed many things including the way we connect with others. The social media experience has been delightful with stories, social commerce, and video features. Some strategies to go for this year are-
1.BUILD COMMUNITIES, COME TOGETHER-
The organic reach on major social media platforms has deteriorated over the years. Big organizations with wider financial margins can manage social media advertising but this pay-to-play visibility model does not work for smaller organizations. A good solution to this problem is to build communities on these platforms using native group features. As these communities are basically close-knit, it gives a sense of exclusivity to its members and allows brands to engage on a one-on-one level. Brands can also create slack channels to bring together like-minded community members to continue the dialogue.
Micro-influencer marketing is starting to boom as customers now give preference to trust and expertise over clout. Brands have also realized that it’s better to invest in running micro-influencer campaigns. For example, a big, smartphone company may collaborate with a commoner YouTuber to work and improvise better ideas as that YouTuber is more work and no pomp unlike average-minded celebrities with just too much needless showoff. Micro-influencers are well-known experts in their niche and are seen to be trustworthy. And if the product and influencer are from the same niche there is bound to be no mismatch between the audience and the intended message. And they are cheaper than the high-cost-low show celebrities. And as brands now go after user-generated content their reach will expand.
3.MORE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS–
Major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin have now blown over being saturated. Organizations need to diversify their social media list by evaluating similar platforms and how they can benefit from them. Eg, TikTok may not be an ideal platform for a brand but it can engage with influencers to run a TikTok-specific campaign. Brands can create their own servers and invite users to join them to create a niche social media platform.
DIGITAL ADVERTISING STRATEGIES
Digital advertising is the most dynamic aspect of digital marketing. Some strategies for the same are-
1.CONTEXTUAL TARGETING SHOULD BE PREFERRED TO PLACE ADS–
In contextual targeting, the ads appear in accordance with the content on the webpage. This targeting way makes sure that the business is grabbing the hands of those customers who are already interested in it’s products and services. The age-old contextual targeting is keyword-driven. But because of machine learning-based targeting, semantic targeting evaluates the meaning of the webpage rather than just keywords while placing ads thus increasing the relevance of the ads.
2.VIDEO ADVERTISING IS DEPENDABLE–
Facebook and Google are two mammoths in the arena of digital marketing space. If we mention video marketing, Facebook has itself and Instagram and Google have Youtube. Brands according to recent surveys dedicated 44%of the ad budget to Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. Seeing the popularity and influence of video watching it is not going to disappear soon. And so marketers should prioritize video advertising.
3.EXPERIMENTS WITH PROGRAMMATIC AUDIO–
The rise of podcasts and audio streaming apps has given marketers another way to connect with their audiences. Programmatic audio helps to place ads automatically in audio files like podcasts or other digital audio streaming programs. Companies like Google, Rubicon Project, SoundCloud, BBC currently offer programmatic audio advertising features.
EMAIL MARKETING STRATEGIES
It is still a very efficient channel to reach out to a target audience. It’s features of segmentation, personalization, automation allows to enhance customer interaction and experience.
1.DESIGN MOBILE-FRIENDLY EMAILS–
In 2020 there are 4 billion email users and 32 billion smartphone users in the world. If emails are not compatible with a smartphone device it may lead to a negative impact on the marketing efforts. A mobile-friendly email is not restricted to a particular pattern and design. The words in the subject lines must be arranged considering clicks on it. So for that, the more dominant words should be placed at the beginning of the subject line. A minimalistic approach can be tried and content hierarchy must be maintained. The main information should not be sidekicked but should stay in the focus centre. The call-to-action button(CTA)should be well placed so that it is not difficult to find. The emails should not be too stuffy with content.
2.THE BIMI EMAIL STANDARD–
BIMI stands for Brand Indicators for Message Identification is an email standard to authenticate and verify the identity of your brand. It is a text file stored on the sending server. It’s purpose is to help users differentiate legit emails from spam ones. It does so by showing the brand logo next to the email in the inbox. Many brands have now started using this BIMI standard. A Verified Mark Certificate(VMC)from a Mark Verifying Authority like Digicert is needed to get this standard working. But the companies wanting to implement BIMI should have proper reputation and other email authentication standards like SPF, DKIM, DMARC, AND ARC.
3.USER INTERACTION WITH EMAILS TO BE SUPPORTED–
Email marketing should be an active channel and brands need to think positively about email interaction to boost email management. The emails can be interactive by the introduction of surveys, polls or by shortening the length of emails by the use of carousels.
Some of the emerging technologies that marketers need to consider implementing in their digital marketing strategy are-
INTERNET OF THINGS(IOT)–
IoT has shown a lot of potential for retail marketing by improving the personal aspect of shopping. Marketers can benefit from IoT via geofencing marketing.A simple smartphone too can be effective to use geofencing targeting.
AUGMENTED/VIRTUAL REALITY COMBO–
The AR/VR technology gives a deep experience to users and has been adopted by brands to improve customer experience. Social media platforms have used AR to make filters and lenses to keep users hooked to the platform.
Digital assistants and chatbots are not a new phenomenon anymore but still many brands are not using them to improve their marketing status. These are able to deliver content, helping users with purchases, giving customer support. And now conversational AI tactics are also being introduced in the marketing strategy.
One needs to think Omni and not multi channel. One needs to think about how the convergence of these strategies can give a cohesive customer experience at every point of the growth journey. The digital marketing strategies should be flexible. They help brands reach majority numbers and also be budget-friendly.