In just the past few years, the expansion of digital marketing has created a massive shift in the way businesses interact with current and potential clients. But 2018 has shaped up to be the year that businesses move away from the expansion complex to a more focused approach. Consumers’ interests are becoming more distinct, and companies must optimize their advertising strategies to meet those interests. Here are four of the ways businesses are rethinking digital advertising in 2018.
Concise email campaigns target specific audiences within a company’s pool of customers. This means that each email a customer receives is tailored to his or her needs.
- Communicate with clients on a consistent (non-excessive) basis.
- Continually optimize and retest your email techniques.
- Quality over quantity. Too many emails means more unsubscribers.
- Branding is everything.
- Optimize emails for mobile.
In 2015, $1 spent on email marketing yielded an ROI of $38 on average.
Every effective email campaign begins with the Welcome email — a thank you message and brief explanation of the service’s major features — sent to customers immediately after they sign up. Uber’s Welcome email, for example, offers customers three simple instructions: open the app, add a destination, and enjoy the ride. Uber’s second email provides more information, encouraging customers to take their first ride. During the holidays, Uber, like many companies, sends out referral and promotional offers, creating timely, action-oriented steps customers can take to improve their experience with the service.
Like email, video advertising emphasizes brand over product. Apple’s 1997-2002 “Think Different” campaign used visual tools of storytelling to refine its brand. Although it’s been more than a decade since the “Think Different” ad, one thing still holds: video advertising attracts more consumers and drives action. The expansion of video platforms — Facebook Live, YouTube, Snapchat — means that businesses can no longer be competitive without video advertising.
According to Forbes, more than 500 million people per day watch video on Facebook…
… and almost 50 percent of internet users look for videos related to a business or product before going to the store. It’s an attractive way of explaining who you and your business are to your audience while increasing your content portfolio, driving more people to visit your business’s site.
Instagram stories have become popular modes of video advertising. When creating your stories, it is imperative to incorporate action and color in the first few seconds of the video. Instagram users will likely click through stories, so the first moments must capture their attention. For better reception, Instagram story ads should also look less like ads and more like natural Instagram stories, according to Natalie Athanasiadis, head of digital at Digital Visibility Group. Try using Facebook Ads Manager to run your Instagram story ads. The platform allows you to choose your advertising goal, set your budget, and view how your stories perform among your audience.
Successful businesses learned to optimize their websites for mobile years ago, but many are still hesitant to incorporate other mobile strategies in their digital marketing campaigns. Text messages can be used to remind customers of a service or update them on an order. Consumers are more likely to engage with a brand when information is at the tip of their fingers; this goes hand-in-hand with a strong social media presence. It was once OK for businesses to use either Facebook or Instagram or another social medium. Now, companies must distinguish themselves on every popular social channel.
Clients value honesty. While business-generated content yields results, passing off your product to an influencer and encouraging consumers to review your business can influence others to try your product. Two examples, for instance, include blogging and vlogging. That content is then shared with friends, who share it with their friends, and so on. It’s a relatively simple way to increase brand awareness, improve credibility, and expand your audience. When consumers are given outlets to share their experiences, they feel better connected to the brand, creating a domino effect of positive feedback.
74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide their buying decisions, according to ODM Group.
A free and easy way to begin gathering user-generated content is through the creation of a hashtag. Develop a hashtag with which your customers can connect; promote it on your social channels, website, and emails; and encourage your audience to use it. Set up a hashtag monitor and feature user posts on your company’s social media.
Here’s the truth: successful businesses are created out of creative marketing. While these four techniques may get you closer to your goal, whatever it may be — larger audience, increased awareness, etc. — you must take your digital marketing campaign one step further. Constantly evaluate the technology landscape. Assess your consumers’ dynamic interests. Refine your brand.
And don’t be afraid to change with time.