Best Practices for an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy

Best Practices for an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy

Marketing moves fast. And, with the internet and advances in technology, it’s moving faster than ever.

This is a crucial truth today’s businesses should take seriously—being left behind is no longer an option. Digital marketing opens new ways and avenues for brands to reach and engage their target markets better. It also levels the marketing playing field, so much so that SMEs can compete with the big boys in their field.

However, it’s not nearly enough to simply have a working website and post updates occasionally on your social media pages. You have to be strategic, fast, and efficient, and here are five ways to help you be just that.

1. Don’t Ignore Mobile Devices

Accoding to eMarketer, mobile devices will make up 72% of digital ad spend by 2019. This gives us an idea of just how important mobile marketing has become for businesses. Failing to realise this point puts you in a disadvantage. Your competitors are most probably already doing digital marketing on smartphones and tablets and enjoying the rewards, so why shouldn’t you?

It’s now a need and not just an option to make your digital marketing efforts mobile-friendly. This includes doing things such as making your website, online ads, and content easily viewable and accessible through mobile devices. Ads, websites, and other forms of content that render badly on mobile devices not only mean lost views and visits (and, possibly, lost leads and conversions), it’s also a big blow to your digital reputation.

Also, remember that people generally have short attention spans online. For example, if your website doesn’t load nicely or fast on mobile, chances are they’ll simply go to your competitors’ page. That said, they’ll also remember that your online portal isn’t mobile-friendly, which means they might avoid it entirely when they’re on their smartphones in the future.

2. Make it Data-driven and Customer-centric

Data-driven sales pages used to mean A/B testing, tracking through Google Analytics, and using heat maps to redefine the online browsing experience.

These are all still true. But being data-driven has come to mean much more than this. It now includes harnessing Big Data, for example, to gain customer insights across the buyer’s journey or to predict purchasing behaviours and using these to create personalised offers which you promote through digital marketing. Data-driven online marketing copy also involves research across multiple channels, tracking how and why online marketing materials and messages in, say, an Amazon review are effective.

In a nutshell, this means that using data to find out what your target market wants in terms of products/services, customer journey and experience, and after-sales service is now a key step that will boost your digital marketing campaigns. Behind the shift to data-driven decisions is a desire for businesses to keep their customers at the very core of marketing initiatives.

3. Email Click Rates are not Down—You’re Just Doing It Wrong

Email marketing company MailChimp recently found that segmented email campaigns have an open rate that is 14.32% higher compared to non-segmented ones. This is proof that proper email list building remains the single best way to monetise emails for SMEs looking to scale their operations, regardless of industry. What people truly mean when they say things such as “email open rates are down” is that there needs to be an improvement in email tactics. What used to work may no longer be viable.

On the content side of things, the way you title your emails is also a great way to improve email stats. For starters, coming up with the right title, one that elicits a reaction or attracts attention, should encourage more people to open your email compared to those with titles that are too boring or feels like it’s been automated.

It’s also important to encourage interaction and follow-up. For example, consumer credit reporting agency Experian PLC reports that “E-Commerce customers who receive multiple abandoned shopping cart emails are 2.4x more likely to complete the purchase than those who receive only one follow-up email.” These are the kinds of interactions that SMEs should be looking to capitalise on in email marketing.

4. Harness the Experiential Factor for Live Events

Social media marketing advice should include using the “live” aspects of various social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. With today’s mobile devices and with social media becoming more and more useful for marketing and advertising, taking advantage of live events is a step in the right digital marketing direction

Many brands and businesses are now employing live events, from simple Q&A sessions and podcasts to big time concerts and forums. This presents an opportunity to engage your audience in a unique way and promote your brand online. By banking on the experiential appeal of these live events, you’ll be able to stand out and become more visible in the online space.

Experiential marketing is on the rise, especially in markets that feature an increasing number of millennials. Why does this matter? Because millennials and their descendants have mostly grown up with social. They’ve already “seen it all” and they’ll be more likely to take notice of experimental events or unique marketing efforts that seamlessly blend into their online experience.

5. Experiment with Different Content Types

Much like choosing which tool to fix, say, your broken roof, businesses should also determine which type of content works best for them. This may mean experimenting with the different types, from blogs and infographics to podcasts and videos.

The trick here is to study what your market may be more interested in and what your business offers and aims for. For example, if you’re a company that sells hardware for home design or renovation, you may want to write featured blogs that offer evergreen content on things such as how to properly upgrade your house’s flooring or ceiling. You could also create how-to videos on related topics. You can then include branding and promote your products in these blogs and videos (but don’t hard-sell so the focus is still on what you can give to your audience).

The idea here is to find the balance between what your audience wants more and what your brand needs. Remember that some types of content won’t work for certain businesses—finding this balance is key to being more efficient and cost-effective and avoiding wasted effort and resources in your content marketing efforts.

The thing with digital marketing is that it’s constantly changing and evolving. If you want to keep up, we recommend partnering with an expert. Here at Curate Bee, we’re more than willing to help you enhance your digital marketing efforts and make things easier for you. We offer different products and services, from social media management and online ads to content creation and marketing, that will put your company on the map, and build for you a solid online presence that will result in more leads and conversions. Contact us today and know how we can make digital marketing work wonders for you.

Social Trends Marketers Won’t Be Able To Ignore in 2016

The advent of the New Year means one thing for those in the digital realm – newer trends to keep track of! The year 2016 is poised to be one of the best years on social media and we’ve rounded up some of the trends to keep a watch on:

1) Time for brands to go social

There has been a shift in the behaviour of consumers looking to buy new products or signing up for new services. Instead of researching about a product or service on a search engine, consumers are now turning to social media. Think about the last time you checked out a review of that gadget you were thinking of buying, or that restaurant you were thinking of going to. Was it a post by a friend or perhaps you read reviews from a blogger you’re following?

The advantages social media offer cannot be ignored – it allows consumers to get a visual representation of the product, user reviews by existing customers and visual media instead of text heavy information.

2) Go mobile with apps

Until recently, a mobile app came as an afterthought of a desktop site. With the increase in mobile users over the last year however, several companies are shifting to the mobile-first approach. In fact, several e-commerce portals have decided to bypass the desktop site altogether and focus on building a user friendly app. Studies have shown that 85% of today’s consumers prefer mobile apps to mobile websites as apps are conceived as faster, easier to browse and more convenient.

3) Video ads are the new fad

Given the expectation of online ad revenue to touch $5 billion in 2016, nearly double that of 2013, it comes next that marketers would want to know the digital ad formats that produce the best results. According to a report by BI Intelligence, video ads receive three times more clicks than other digital formats, and with a click-through rate of 1.84%, makes it the highest and most successful digital ad format among others like mobile, display and flash.

Source: BI Intelligence – Video ads have the highest click-through rate when compared to other digital ad formats

Source: BI Intelligence – Video ads have the highest click-through rate when compared to other digital ad formats

4) Living in the moment updates

While social media in general is pretty dynamic in nature, the popularity of apps like Periscope, Snapchat and Instagram now allows a user to post live video or photo updates. Compared to other platforms that require you to post already recorded videos or photos, this new trend gives a whole new facet to the term ‘immediacy in social media’. What this means for brands is the shift away from marketing predictability to marketing in a personalized manner as if living in the present, just like how the individual consumer like you and I use social media.

5) Buy on demand

Over the last year, Facebook and Pinterest have introduced the buy features for their advertisers and users alike. This means a user can buy any product they like from a sponsored link without leaving the mobile app. It is expected that this year, all other social media platforms will follow suit and naturally integrate the buy option as a part of their advertising campaign. This buying process becomes a breeze for consumers, leading to more expenditure, which translates into substantial benefits for companies.

6) Scaling down aggressive advertising

After high profile security breaches like that of Ashley Madison, there is a rising concern over secure lines of communication and stronger privacy measures. Apps like Snapchat allow for total privacy for its users and platforms like Facebook and Twitter constantly update their privacy settings to ensure all data is well protected. For companies, this means scaling back aggressive or intrusive forms of advertising.

Social media marketing has come a long way since the early days when seasoned marketers were on the fence about its ability to be able to sell ideas to customers. Today, it is constantly evolving alongside new technologies that never cease to amaze. 2016 could very well be the year that shapes the importance of social media in a marketer’s blueprint.