Key Areas in Digital Marketing for 2018

We’ve been discussing the need for a proper strategy to streamline our digital marketing efforts and we’ve passed Q1 just in discussion Before we know it the new year will be upon us and we’ll have to reassess our plans and shuffle around like a bunch of headless chickens because we forgot to strategise for the new fiscal year and now we have no plan and don’t know how to move forward which in itself spells doom for your business. In order to avoid the chaos and confusion that ensues from not planning in advance let’s try to come up with a strategy along with a budget now to follow in the next year, and before we start off it’s necessary for us to know what exactly our focus should be on. In that interest, we’ve compiled a list of the key areas that you account for and include in your digital marketing strategizing. These elements like personalisation, expertise in micro moments, videos that are moving and analysis of authentic data, when included in your strategising will help in acquiring leads and turn them into conversions, will better your engagement with the customer and help in improving your connection with the customer too.

1.    The importance of Visualisations:

Of all the interesting things that the Internet has to offer, a good video is one that will usually end up taking the cake. People tend to connect more with a visual than with content, so the acceptance level is higher with videos and so is the level of attachment. A back story that is compelling combined with an interactive and visually rich element that adds to the message or story being depicted will tempt the audience to take considerable action in the form of likes, shares etc. Social media works like a charm in this particular field and brands that have recognized and tapped into this potential have introduced highly engaging videos on their products and businesses.

2.   Become an expert in micro moments:

But what are these micro moments? It’s quite simple actually, a micro moment happens when we turn to our electronic devices or phones, smartphones specifically to learn, do, watch, discover or buy something. These moments are rich in intent which influences decisions which have to be made or shape preferences accordingly. For example: If you’re drinking coffee early in the morning and have a sudden craving for doughnuts to go with it, you’d immediately reach for your phone to order them.

However big or small the goal, from buying a car to shopping for shoes the impulse to reach for our phones hit us first even before we start off on that goal. And the reason for this is those micro moments that we spoke about. Customers expect their needs to be taken care of by brands regardless of the time and location and for this, the brand needs to have reliable information and this is where micro moments come in, they act as highly evaluative reference points which is why they’re so critical to marketing.

A whopping 96% of the population picks up a smartphone to check or research on something and very few brands have learned the technique of studying and mastering these micro moments to correctly anticipate and address the needs of the customer.

The current generation is glued to their smartphones and watching videos is a part of smartphone usage which in turn has ensured a growth in popularity of online video.

If you haven’t yet realized the need for this to be a part of your strategising then get to it quickly.

3.   Ensure better visibility with native ads:

One of the most sought after marketing methods at present is the use of native ads in order to guarantee better visibility for that ad. Imagine you’re busy measuring ingredients to bake yourself a fabulous cake with the help of your phone and bang in the middle of measuring baking powder, you get an ad that covers up the whole page and more importantly is so irrelevant to you, and your frustration levels at the untimely interruption would be through the roof! This is a complete no-no for your customer and might sometimes become a deal breaker too if your website is riddled with advertisements or the untimely popping up of your advertisement when they’re browsing through some vital information. One way to counter this problem is to opt for a native advertisement that is unobtrusive and seamlessly blends into the background of the website ensuring that the user isn’t disrupted in any way. This method also ensures that the right information is presented to the customer when they are in need of it. And native ads also ensure better engagement rates on tablets and smartphones when compared to desktops according to research.

4.   Personalized content that is customer centric:

We can’t stress enough about how important this field of digital marketing is for your business. Content marketing is literally the backbone of any digital marketing project and needs to be your core focus when devising a marketing strategy and personalized content for each customer goes hand in hand with content marketing.

To ensure that every customer’s specific needs are perfectly catered to you need to steer clear of conventional static content and develop content that is dynamically rich. Create a unique experience for the customer by setting up a dynamic website and coupled with a smart marketing plan delivering brilliant content and this will be a perfect match to meet their specific needs and preferences. This is called smart content and for a client that has been doing business with you often now, this is what you should offer to them when communicating.

Consider this example –

You have two different sets of communication for a new visitor to your website and a regular visitor or a repeat client. The new visitor will be happy with your standard message on your products and offers on them; the engagement with this customer is set. But for the repeat customer you can’t read the same spiel, a personalized message that is relevant to their specific needs along is the need of the hour and with an offer for any new product on your brochure will act as an incentive to engage with your company.

5.   Content Developers

Just hiring a content writer who can just magically weave his fingers across the keyboard and create riveting content on a plethora of subjects to attract a large enough audience across a variety of industries isn’t going to cut it. Creating and promoting content that will retain existing clients and encourages them to come back for more as well as promote the brand through positive reviews should be your game plan. Playing with words to create an effect where there was none is the writer’s job whereas the developer with the help of case studies created relating to your brand will help the customer connect with your brand on a more personal level. Have an editorial or content team whose objective is to weave an attractive yet authentic story with facts to back it up as part of your content to facilitate a healthy conversation with the audience and get them to trust you.

6.   Your Influencer team:

It’s not always necessary to have a famous celebrity or a team of micro influencers to get your business flowing. Depending on how satisfied a customer is with your brand and the service, they can act as your brand’s influencer. A positive word of mouth reference from a client will help immensely in drawing more customers to your business.

But transforming a customer into an influencer isn’t as easy as it sounds on paper, but the roadmap is the basic one and will always remain unchanged: the customer is king and your job is to acknowledge and cater to the needs that your customers are looking for. You need to ensure that they stay loyal to our brand. So the snowball effect comes into play here, depending on your brand’s performance and ability to provide for a customer’s needs and their satisfaction, they will promote your business everywhere causing a chain reaction of positive word of mouth references and impressing on new people to try your brand and spread the message further promoting your company and keeping the cycle thriving. And moreover, you save a ton of money in the process.

But the word of mouth cycle can be tricky and completely out of your control, one disgruntled customer for even the most mundane reasons can stop the chain and all the dominos will fall in one big heap at your feet and you’ll have to start from scratch. So to avoid this you can use the alternative of hiring micro-influencers or if you have the budget go ahead and hire a reputed brand ambassador like a celebrity endorser. You’ll have a definite return on your investment and also spreads positive brand awareness to the public.

7.   Capture correct data to measure success

The trend of providing real time responses is becoming essential and it is vital to have the right tools associating with the data. With the right data, your in house digital marketing professional can deliver the best efforts based on an understanding of the exact customer behavior. You need to capture the right data in order to measure success and current or future campaigns can be improved based on that. Insightful and actionable metrics are what you should keep an eye out for, meaning: traffic, conversions, and revenue.

  • The traffic data will tell you how customers experience your campaign so an accurate view of traffic across all channels is a must. Traffic that is converted to leads and sales are what conversion data is all about, understand how and why they converted and build a profile for each customer mapping their journey from conversion to sales, what they bought and why so you can use it in our personalization campaign later. And also it ensures that the target customers are reached through the right channels and at the right time too. Revenue data includes the Return on Investment (ROI) and Cost to acquire a customer (CAC). There are several different metrics that you can capture and assess but it is best to focus on a few key metrics which will help you identify and change any issues in your digital marketing strategy.

8.    Bigger Brand Experience

In the coming years a customer’s focus won’t just be on the product you have to offer but the overall experience with the brand and its services. So again individualization comes into the picture and you should focus on how the lifestyle and work needs of the customer is enhanced by your service or products. Zero-in on the desires, aim, and values of the consumer, this will be the fundamental guiding force that defines everything. And again the cycle of promotion continues depending on the kind of experience your brand provides to its customers. And for this marketing can’t just be a separate thing but a part of a whole consisting of a support, sales, products, CRM and in-depth R&D.

Finally, Digital marketing is becoming sophisticated and on the verge of global acceptance and usage, so there is a lot of scope for how different brands can interact and engage with their target audience. These tactics that we’ve mentioned above, when incorporated into your plan for the future can lead to efficient conversions, which is the intent of any digital marketing strategy, so goal achieved!  You might have your plan ready or not and you might be about 6 or so months away from actually implementing and executing this strategy, planning it now and being ready will make you stronger and evaluate it for any loopholes and make it stronger. Though it s prone to abrupt and constant changes, in today’s digital era the only choice is to adapt and move forward or step back and watch others take over the tech driven marketing world.