Digital marketing is one low-cost way to attract an audience, acquire new leads, and open doors of communication with prospects. Over a period of time, digital marketing experts developed some dos and don’ts for speedy success. Some of the true and special digital trends have been: responsive web designs, emails, and videos, live chats, social media, monitoring and analysis, etc.
Despite the incredible changes in marketing over the past two decades, many businesses spend vast amounts of money on efforts that simply aren’t effective anymore. For example, cold calling new customers in volume is quickly becoming a dead art. New Google research shows that the average buyer consults more than ten different sources before pulling the trigger on a purchase. Cold calling puts younger generations on the spot and deprives them from doing this research. If you need to revamp your marketing strategy, here are the basics.
Social Media Marketing
The need to develop novel, collaborative frameworks to deliver a balanced brand message is strong in today’s market. Marketers need to regularly consult with their sales experts to understand clogs in the sales funnel and address any regularly occurring consumer concerns. Using this data, marketers can deliver meaningful, informed messages directly to customers using Twitter, Google+, and more.
This relationship between sales and marketing is important, because it sheds light on a new trend in the business world: the role of the salesman is becoming passive, while marketers play a more active role.
Sales occur through websites using responsive design, which include landing pages tailored directly to a company’s intended audience. If a customer calls salesmen about a product they are ordering online, it is usually to collect last-minute information or place the order. Typically, their decision to purchase was made before picking up the phone.
Conversely, social media means marketers need to engage directly with their audience on a continual basis. Customers will leave reviews on Yelp, complain on Twitter, ask questions on Facebook, and send snarky emails about your company’s products. Today’s companies operate under an intense spotlight of constant scrutiny, and poor marketing efforts can sink a brand. Representing your brand on social media is no longer an option; it is a consumer expectation.
The Important Marketing Trends of 2015
Companies today spend nearly half of their marketing budgets on digital promotion. Four in ten spend their entire budget on online marketing. There are five key areas that typically provide a high advertising ROI:
1. Video. Multimedia content is king, and video stands above infographics and images for customers. People love video, especially succinct, fun-to-watch informative pieces. Nearly 60% of consumers will watch promotional videos from start to finish, provided the video is less than a minute long.
2. Responsive design. More people use mobile devices than PCs to access the web and make online purchases. If your website is not responsive (optimized for all devices) your sales will suffer.
3. Email blasts. The best way to send out coupons to loyal clients, keep followers in the loop, and announce big sales is through email marketing efforts. Branded newsletters are also very popular.
4. Live chat support. Customer service today is rather tricky. Your customers do not want to call a customer service line and wait on hold, nor do they want to wait for an email response. Many companies have heard the complaints and switched to providing live chats with online reps using a text-based message system.
5. Social media and review sites. We already partially covered this in the previous section: customer interaction is a good thing. In addition to responding on Facebook, your marketing team should monitor review sites and address concerns for all to see. People will be more likely to choose your company if they know you care about them.
Conduct Regular Digital Reviews
Even if your website was redesigned in 2014, it does not mean it will stay relevant in 2017. It is important to regularly assess your digital assets. In other words, what images, videos, and internet content are on your website? Are there inconsistencies between information? Is any information obsolete?
Can you recall the last time the product descriptions were changed? What about the data? Are you sending email blasts to unused email accounts? It is important to continually refresh all data, facts, and stories about your company. Never be shy about removing outdated content. The average user can sense when a site feels stale.
Maintain a Consistent Brand Message
The worst thing you can do is confuse loyalists with an inconsistent brand. Many companies relax too much or stray too far from their branding on their site, social media, and within promotional materials. When this happens, customers might get the wrong idea about what your brand offers. Or worse, they might mistrust you.
While there are many parameters for correctly distributing your brand’s message, it comes down to telling a consistent story and following three major guidelines:
- Differentiate your brand from competitors.
- Always strive to improve customer recognition.
- Continually reinforce your company’s identity.