Digital marketing is defined as the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, which includes mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium. As a result, developing an effective digital marketing strategy is something that many businesses are starting to allocate a lot of resources towards, and rightfully so. According to Statista, 1.79 billion people worldwide bought goods or services online in the year 2018. Furthermore, this number is projected to increase to 1.92 billion in 2019.
As you can see, many consumers are now purchasing goods or services online, and the number of people who are doing so is projected to increase each year. In order for businesses to keep up with these consumer trends, they must develop an effective digital marketing strategy. In this article, I will be discussing four techniques that you can use for your business in order to develop a smarter digital marketing strategy.
In order to develop a smart and effective digital marketing strategy, you must first develop a mobile strategy. According to Statista, 39.6% of all retail e-commerce sales in the year 2018 were through mobile. Furthermore, this number also is projected to reach 44.7% in 2019, and by 2021, over half of all retail will come from e-commerce sales on mobile.
The following should be done in order to implement an effective mobile strategy.
After you have developed and implemented a mobile strategy for your business, the next thing you should do is use social media to your advantage. The benefits of social media for businesses are endless, but here are three of the most important ones:
Using social media is a very effective way in which you can market your business on digital platforms. However, if you want to take it a step further, you begin working influencers on social media. Influencers are people who have a huge social media following. Because they have such a huge social media following, it would be wise for businesses owners to get influencers to market their products for them. Generally speaking, working with influencers is less expensive than other traditional marketing strategies, easier to implement, and builds trust for your brand. Customers are more likely to engage with your brand due to the authenticity of influencers, and that is why you should be working with them.
The use of artificial intelligence is something that many businesses are starting to implement in their digital marketing strategies. Artificial intelligence allows you to send out more personalized ads to consumers based on the information that they are able to gather. By sending out more personalized ads, you are making the customer feel like they are special, and that you are their peer as opposed to a business just trying to sell a product or service. This will ultimately increase the likelihood of said customer engaging with your brand.
In summary, digital marketing is becoming increasingly important in today’s business world due to consumer trends. More and more people each year are purchasing products and/or services via the internet, which means businesses need to adjust and develop smarter digital marketing strategies. As long as you follow these four techniques, your digital marketing efforts will pay off!
A business blog is an inexpensive way to connect with your target audience. Small business owners often realize a blog is an integral part of an online presence, giving them content to share on social media and offering value to those who land on their website. But knowing exactly what types of content to add, and when to add it, is a different matter.
In a survey of 1,117 bloggers, researchers found that content quality was rated as the most important element in running a successful blog. If you’re going to add a blog to your business website, you must make sure the items you publish are of high value to readers and reflect positively on your brand. A blog provides content for your site visitors, gives you something to promote in a newsletter and provides posts for social media accounts.
If you want to compete in a global economy, your website needs a blog. However, there are some very specific things you must consider as you consider your content strategy.
Although most businesses have a specific buyer persona they cater to and they know that audience well, there are times when you want to reach a new target market. The content you add to your blog can help attract a specific type of buyer. Start by studying the new audience, just as you would any target market. Make a list of the types of topics related to your business that person might search for. Then, answer those questions with videos, articles and infographics.
Ring offers a blog and uses topics that might attract new audiences, such as the military or those looking to create a greater sense of safety in their neighborhoods. However, they still cover topics aimed at their target audience of homeowners looking to add security features to their houses.
Today’s consumers have many different things clamoring for their attention — text messages, the latest television show, social media posts and so much more. The only way you’ll grab and keep their attention is by entertaining them. The content you provide needs to have a unique tone and show off your brand personality. Use good writing practices, such as a strong headline that grabs attention, and keep content skimmable so users can read through it quickly even if they only have a few minutes to spare.
The art of story goes back to a time before humankind had a formal written language, when stories were shared via pictures drawn on cave walls. People are naturally drawn to a good story. Cognitive psychologists suggest people are about 22 times more likely to remember facts when they’re told in the form of a story. If you remember to tell a story and hit on all the points that tap into user emotions, visitors won’t just land on your page and bounce away — they’ll hang around and read your offerings.
MECO highlights stories about their workers on their blog, which gives site visitors insights into the company and a peek behind the scenes. For example, they highlight one of their manufacturing engineering managers and share information about what he does for the company and how long he’s been there. There are many different ways to share a story, including tapping into why the founders started the brand and unique elements of the business.
Videos have a huge impact on site visitors, and your blog is a perfect platform to embed videos about your products and services. About 90 percent of survey participants indicate product videos help them decide whether or not to buy.
Look at how you can highlight your products and educate your audience in a fun way, such as an animated video showing the benefits of using your product or service. You can also highlight customers via testimonial videos. Videos are a nice break from reading text and allow visitors to grab information in short bursts.
About 32 percent of marketers say creating visual content is the most important form of marketing, even rising above blogging. However, blogging and visualizations don’t have to be two separate things. You can certainly add visuals as part of your overall content strategy and enhance your articles with infographics, data-based animations, charts and graphs.
Make sure the visual relates to the topic at hand. If you sell lemons, you might create content about why your lemons are 50 percent sweeter than other lemons on the market and add a visual showing the sweetness of each kind with yours in the center.
Styling You is a site and blog by Nikki Parkinson where she makes suggestions on outfits. One of her visuals shows a collection of different blouse styles that work well with jeans. The visual works perfectly, because it highlights the topic she’s writing about and gives users something to skim over and instantly understand what she’s talking about even if they don’t read every word there.
Writing a rich and engaging blog gives you vluable content for your social media channels. Followers on sites such as Facebook and Twitter don’t appreciate getting a hard sales pitch, but if you offer something of value, they’re much more likely to visit your site, follow your page and do business with you.
Let’s go back to the lemon company example. You write a blog post about your lemons being sweeter and then you follow up with another post with a recipe for lemon meringue pie. If you then share that recipe to your Pinterest account, you’re likely to gain new customers from that effort.
If you vary the types of content on your blog, you’ll also have videos you can upload, infographics you can draw images from and testimonials to brag about.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner
Use your business blog to drive traffic to your site, grab new site visitors and educate your buyers on your product or services. An engaging blog turns browsers into new leads and converts. Blogging is another form of marketing and one that is cost-effective and successful. If your business site doesn’t yet have a blog, adding one enriches the overall value of your site to visitors.
Most of the information you will find online about digital marketing is designed for companies selling physical products. If you want to run a bakery, you’ll find plenty of tips, and if you want to run an ecommerce-based business, there’s certainly no shortage of statistics. If you’re selling a product, though – especially if that product is software – the information out there to help you is few and far between. Here, you’ll discover some of the best ways to sell your software successfully in today’s digital age.
Your brand is more than just a reflection of your company. The global Havas study has shown that brands must accomplish three things to succeed: they must play a role in society, deliver what they promise, and improve people’s lives. According to some of the experts behind the study, brands simply aren’t trying hard enough to make a positive impact on people’s lives, and that’s where they continue to fall short.
When you take the time to create your ideal brand, think about how the software you’re selling was designed to improve lives. Does it save them precious time so they can spend more time with their families on the beach than at work behind a desk? Make that clear. Does it save them money that they can then reinvest back into other parts of the company or use to go on that vacation to the beach? Make that clear, too.
Think about your target audience. Is it mostly comprised of small businesses? Large corporations? Companies that are large, small, and every size in between? Once you have the answer to that question, you can start to pinpoint places where your audience is likely to spend its time online. Good options include online magazines written especially for small business, websites that cater to large business, and SMB portals.
Once you’ve found sites that seem willing to partner with you, consider offering them some sort of commission to help sell your product. If a partnership is out of reach, perhaps you could offer to trade services. Ask the website to put up your advertisement and offer to provide that site a free sample of your software if it could benefit from it. The possibilities here are truly endless, so be sure to consider them before choosing just one.
Another proven strategy for getting the most out of your software marketing campaign involves making sure you have it listed on several of the leading download and review sites. Some great options include CNET’s download site, Tucows, and others. This puts the software out into the public eye where people can pick it up, read about it, share it with friends, and perhaps even download it and try it themselves.
Be sure that you offer some sort of free preview, demo, or trial when you list your software on these sites. In today’s day and age, with so many companies offering week- or even month-long trials, failing to do the same with your software will likely have a negative effect.
Search engine optimization is vital to your overall success, and several case studies have proven it time and again. Once you have your software out there, you need to make sure your website is perfectly optimized so people can find it when they search software. There are several steps to optimizing your SEO. These include:
Here are some results you can see when things are done correctly.
Social media marketing is incredibly sophisticated these days, but it can only work for you if you use it. You can buy as many Facebook ads as you’d like, but if you don’t actually interact with the people who interact with your ads, then you haven’t really made much of a difference. Social media is all about the interaction, so take some time out of every day to check your comments, respond to them, and perhaps create a post with a link to your latest blog or article, a high-res photo, or even a video. These things expand your overall reach, and half of succeeding in selling software is letting people know it exists.
Even if your software is every bit as amazing as the ads claim it to be, there are other factors to consider in terms of delivery. For example, if you promise quick-response customer service (for example, emails will be answered in one business day or less), but it’s taking you far longer than you would like to respond, this will have a negative impact on the public’s perception of your brand. Make a list of everything your brand promises to deliver, then sit down and analyze whether your company is doing a good job of delivering those things. If not, create a plan to do better.
These are the things that matter the most to software consumers. Like any physical product, they want software that solves their problems, and they want it from a company that is active in their community and delivers what they promise.
There’s a very good chance that you’re aware of just how powerful a regular, well-written, informative blog can be when it comes to lead generation and driving traffic. If you aren’t posting your blogs to your Facebook page (or if you don’t yet have a Facebook page), you could be missing out on even better results. Here’s what you should know about creating and maintaining a relationship between your blog and your Facebook account.
Before diving into the best way to share your blogs with the world, it’s helpful to recap all the reasons why you should be writing and maintaining a blog on your website in the first place. Of the dozens of exceptionally good reasons, the most important include:
For the first several years after its inception, business Facebook pages were optional. However, this is 2019, and if your business doesn’t yet have a Facebook presence, you are cheating yourself out of traffic. A Facebook page for your business gives you the opportunity to put your brand in front of millions or even billions of people by sharing everything from status updates to photos and videos and even your blog posts.
A Facebook page gives you the opportunity to engage with your customers – or even your would-be customers – on a very personal level. The more interaction with your business posts, the more people who will see them, and the cycle continues. Facebook also gives you the opportunity to focus attention on a very specific action. Do you need to generate leads for your business? Ask people to subscribe to your newsletter. Are you trying to sell a backlog of stock? Announce a huge sale. The possibilities are endless, and Facebook is an excellent way to make yourself known.
Finally, if you are struggling to come up with ideas for your blog, your Facebook page is the perfect solution for this issue. You can simply ask the people following you what they want to know. Essentially, ask them what you should write about. When you follow through with their requests, not only are you building rapport with your audience, but you can be certain that your topic is trending with the people who matter most to your business’s success.
You should be writing a new blog for your website at least once each week, and you should be certain that your blog covers a trending topic that your readers will find interesting. Though it should be related to your business in some way, it is also important that it is relevant to your audience. It doesn’t always have to be about you, per se, but it should be related to your niche or industry. Each time you put a new blog on your website, head over to your business Facebook page and share a link there. You can create a short, simple headline to accompany the link, or you can create a call to action and help direct people to click.
When you share this link, Facebook will also show your followers the image that you selected to represent the blog post on your website to make your social media post more attractive to readers. Be sure you choose your blog images carefully so that they show up clearly and in the right size when you share them on Facebook.
Numerous experts – including our own – believe posting to Facebook twice a day, every single day, any time from late morning until mid-afternoon is the best strategy. This gives you access to 14 Facebook posts a week that you should divide evenly into photos, videos, questions, polls, and links to your blog. Making sure to create different types of social media content will cover all your bases and reach the largest number of people possible.
If you only write one blog a week, be sure that you provide a link to every single one. If you write two blogs a week and publish both on the same day, you can link to one of the posts on Facebook but tease the other in the caption or comment. If you publish your blogs on different days of the week, consider sharing up to three a week on Facebook if they are relevant, well-written, and informative without being pushy.
Just as not posting on Facebook at all can cheat you out of traffic and leads, posting too frequently can have much the same effect, so be sure to keep this in mind. For the best possible results, share no more than twice per day on Facebook. Otherwise, by the time you get around to sharing your blog links, people may not be as interested in hearing from you. What’s more, if you’re posting your links too early in the morning or too late at night, you won’t get the engagement that will benefit you.
In summary, you should post links to your blogs no more than three times per week to keep your reach as broad as possible. It is also important to post your links when your readers are most likely to be on Facebook and realize that by the 90-minute mark, your Facebook post has reached its half-life in terms of engagement. Pick the best three-hour window possible and share your link right at the start of that window to get the best possible results.
Spending a little extra time onboarding new customers shows them they made the right decision choosing your company and that you care about their experience with your brand, even after you’ve taken their money.
Most of the studies about onboarding relate to welcoming new employees into your company. Although specific research about onboarding customers is available, customer retention statistics tell us a lot about why consumers stick with a brand. In the United States, about 40 percent of revenue for most brands comes from repeat purchases. Spending a bit of extra time on a new customer ensures they understand your brand mission and make a connection with you that may last for years to come.
Just how can you onboard new customers without spending all your time on follow-up, though? Fortunately, there are some clear marketing techniques and tips that naturally lead to better customer retention. Here are eight of them.
A big equation in customer experience (CX) is how well you communicate with your customers. Customers should feel that they aren’t just another face in the crowd, but a person your company cares about. Communication should be easy and available, such as adding live chat and engaging on social media. Notice how many of the top brands today spend time answering concerns on social media or giving a shout out to their top customers.
Long John Silver’s has a strong presence on Instagram, where they promote different foods they serve in their restaurants. In the post above, they offer a photo of their food and then add a comment about liking thick cuts, which references a popular song. People chime into the conversation, and LJS engages them by responding with a heart emoji or short replies. Responding to comments on social media shows new followers they want to start a discussion.
Part of your inbound marketing strategy should focus on creating specific content for different audience segments based on where they come to you from and the likely buyer persona. If you gain a lead from your Facebook page, you may know you’ve targeted a particular type of buyer on that social media platform and that they want a solution to one of two problems. You can then gear the content on your landing page to solving those exact problems for the user.
Be generous with your new leads by offering them something free. The more generous you can be, the better, and some studies show that those who receive something free then want to reciprocate by ordering from you or sharing your business with others. One example might be offering a free guide if they sign up for your newsletter, then following up a week later with a free bonus guide the customer wasn’t expecting. Offering more than expected shows you care about their success and want them to have all the information needed to move forward. You could also offer a free estimate or consultation to new clients.
New City Moving offers a free quote so potential clients can see exactly what services are included and get a ballpark price range for help with their moving needs. Once you submit your information about the number of rooms, where you’re moving and the date, the company responds by either phone, text or email within a day and gives you a detailed estimate providing everything included and info on any add-ons you might want.
Have you ever bought a product and experienced such excellent customer service that you vow to do business with that company going forward? Good customer experience (CX) isn’t easy to define — many elements play into the overall impression a person has of your brand. However, there are some clear things you can do when onboarding new customers to ensure they have a good experience.
First, ask them if they are satisfied with their purchase and if they need anything else. This simple question helps solve many problems before they become serious concerns. Second, reach out and thank them for their business and let them know you appreciate it. The fine art of a simple thank you has been lost in modern times, so letting your customers know you are grateful goes a long way toward goodwill. Finally, have a customer service rep follow up with new customers via phone call, email or text message. The contact should be personal and refer to the specific purchase made by the customer.
A progress bar encourages your new customer to continue the process of ordering or to sign up for an account. The user sees progress as they move along and an end to the information they need to input. A progress bar also helps them track where they are if they must leave and return at a later time.
Etsy’s process to help new sellers get a shop up and running uses a progress bar to show people where they are in the process. Note how the circles turn solid and gain a check mark as you finish that step in the process. You also know exactly how many steps are left to finish setting up your new online store.
People today are extremely busy. If you save them time and effort, they’re much more likely to stay with you for the long haul. Add features that save them time such as allowing them to hook their account into an already exciting platform, such as Facebook or Google. Linking up to popular platforms prevents the user from having to input basic info they already have saved and allows them to log in with a single click of the button.
For businesses offering a service, onboarding may be particularly important. The user needs to understand best practices and how to get the most out of their new registration. Draw attention to some of the most important details with pop-up messages, videos or a series of steps the user should take to become more familiar with the service. For products, onboarding may relate more to the use of the product and include videos and user manuals.
Wistia onboards new clients by offering a Getting Started With Video series that explains how to use their system and best practices. Even if you’ve never used a promotional video before, you’ll understand the basics of what you need to do once you complete the series.
If a customer reaches out to you via email, phone or social media and shares a positive story about their experience with your brand, celebrate that success. If you offer a service for other businesses, give their brand a shout out on your social media pages and invite people to check out what they’re doing and why they’re winning.
On the other hand, if you run a business to consumer (B2C) model and a customer lets you know your gadget saved them 15 minutes a day, take the time to send them a note and tell them how happy you are to hear that. It’s the little efforts that show customers you care about them and keep their business long-term.
Even though most of your new customers may need a walkthrough of the product or service features, some will be past customers who’ve come back or people who are particularly tech savvy and don’t need in-depth explanations. Let them skip steps that they already understand and avoid frustration.
Onboarding is a journey, and laying out the process of a customer’s journey from the minute they land on your page to after they make a purchase allows you to connect with your customers and develop lifelong relationships.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner
Neuromarketing is finally gaining some popularity and has taken the world by storm. More organizations and companies are utilizing the science of neuromarketing to enhance their marketing experience. Despite the attention of it gathers, neuroscience marketing is still a relatively unknown term among the majority of individuals.
As such, more than 70% of the world’s population especially business owners do not know what neuro-marketing is and how to utilize it effectively.
In simple terms, neuromarketing is an advanced form of marketing which involves studying the brain’s response to advertising and branding and getting a better response by making adjustments base on research data. With this information, companies and business organization discover why customers act the way they do and what part of the brain is responsible for such behavior.
Despite the procedures involved in Neuro-marketing been sophisticated, they produce a better result. It’s highly efficient in determining customer’s preferences for brands and products. As such, this data comes handy in making the adjustment to meet your customer’s taste.
However, this method isn’t meant to brainwash but rather hack into the mind of the customer. Like every marketing strategy, the aim of neuromarketing is to create a positive impact in the mind of the customer.
There are various means of using neuromarketing to maximize efficiency, in this article, we will be outlining its role in some marketing activity.
Customers certainly do lie, but the statistics do not. Even if customers are inclined to deny certain preference, they may struggle to relate this with their subconscious reasoning. As such, not all Ads increase sales and neither does it guarantee engagement.
Fortunately, this new marketing strategy can predict the effectiveness and performance of your ads and also provides better insight into optimizing.
Neuromarketing research ensures you save your time and money by launching effective campaigns. Obviously, when a brand launches an advertising campaign, they want to see results without having their budget go down the drain.
Neuro-marketing, therefore, leverages on brain activity and monitoring individuals behavior towards ads using methods such as eye tracking, and facial emotional encoding to know what customers really think when they see ads.
This method is sure expensive but also cut down losses. You will discover what works and doesn’t as well as d your campaign’s strength and weakness. Using all the information gathered, you’re rest assured of getting results from any ads launched.
Shopper marketing is simply marketing techniques designed to convert shoppers into a buyer, converting cold leads to hot ravaging buyers who are at the mercy of your product. However, with the intensity of competition, it’s increasingly hard to capture shopper’s attention before advancing to sales.
With neuromarketing, this process is becoming less stressful. Using research data, a detailed scientific understanding of an individual’s brain is achieved. As such, it’s easier to market to them in a way that connects with their psychology and forces them to make a sales decision.
From numerous research conducted, it’s been discovered that most sales decision are made with the subconscious area of the brain. In fact, the subconscious mind is often scanning for stimuli which decides if he wants the product or not.
From most sales observations, buyers respond to benefits more than features. As such, marketing decision is made base on what the shopper stand to gain. However, a term is known as “buyers’ trance” is so powerful that a shopper buys a product even when it isn’t useful.
Only later do the conscious mind discover buying the product was actually a total waste of time. To plant these desire retailers are left with no option than to manually trigger those emotional responses which will influence a buying decision.
Neuromarketing science revolutionizes the whole concept of marketing by tapping into the subconscious mind of buyers to discover what stimulates their emotion as well as capture their attention.
When first exposed to a brand, the mind is likely to create a memory for that exposure. As such, the memory connects to various elements of advertisement such as products and images related to a specific brand. Whatever element that are stored, they are assembled together to form the brands’ memory.
Whenever exposed to the brand again, the memory stored is updated and connections may be established between the brand memory and other memory patterns. As this event continues to unfold, the brands’ image is shaped in the memory and the meaning of the brand expands as well.
This process naturally takes place in the mind. Similar to how marketers struggle to identify what triggers buyer purchase decision, they also want to create a means of connecting brand memory with values and emotion. However, through marketing initiatives, sellers are able to measure various forms of recall.
If consumers can recall their previous exposure to the brand, a connection is formed but if otherwise, it’s assumed that the buyer has failed to connect with previous brand memory making the whole marketing initiative useless.
Using neuromarketing techniques, brand memories can somewhat be connected to other memory patterns which initiate a recall.
Setting a price for a product can be really tricky. Neuromarketing research explains why sellers will rather fix the price of a product at $999 rather than a rounded figure. This is because complex figures stress the brain, thereby convincing it that the more complex figure is somehow more logical.
It turns out that neuromarketing is effective in all areas of sales. They’re also utilized in determining various website layers and how they should be desired for proper conversion. Some elements which have been taken into consideration include colors, layouts, font size, and headings.
Findings reveal that horizontal layouts are less effective than verticals. As such they’re less likely to engage the brain.
There’s no doubt that Neuro-marketing is highly sophisticated and technical. However, companies and organizations who have utilized this strategy have seen results. Despite all it promises, its cost makes it a really expensive acquisition for small business owners.
When brands get creative, unusual strategic partnerships can blossom. Over the years we have seen marketers team up, and sometimes the novelty alone is enough to make a product stand out from the crowd.
Some favorite examples come from KFC, who have been successful with their fried chicken scented candles and Extra Crispy Colonel sunscreen. Not overly enticing, but who wouldn’t want to own one of these just for a laugh?
Long-term partnerships increase brand loyalty, and Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have been a team since 1955. High-end fashion has landed on the streets, as top designers, including Victoria Beckham, have created budget-friendly lines for Target.
Here are some other unusual brand partnerships that work:
While Google has a wide range of product offerings, a partnership with the jean company, Levi’s was an interesting collaboration. The idea behind Project Jacquard was to turn clothing into wearable technology and sync your physical actions to your devices. This may seem like an unlikely duo, but it makes sense as tech giants look for new ways to integrate wearables into our daily lives.
This might not be an entirely unusual pairing, but Covergirl let Katy Perry put a spin on their makeup with her Katy Kat line of cosmetics, complete with cats. It makes smart marketing sense to collaborate with a celebrity (or influencer) to help boost a brand. This is a win-win scenario where both parties can offer value to one another.
Who would have thought a car company and online dating app would hit it off? Apparently they were a match because Ford and Tinder are a thing. Swipe right for the 2019 Ford Figo for a chance to win an all expenses paid date and be featured in a video with the new car. This isn’t your typical couple, but the two brands have used innovation to make it work.
Lifelock is an identity theft protection service, and like the other brands on this list, they have put real thought into who their partners should be. Vivint is a smart home security company and the two have come together to enhance the safety of consumers, both in their homes and on their devices.
A tennis champion and a mattress company may seem like a bit of a stretch, but Serena Williams is the face of Tempur-Pedic Beds. The line is “sleep is power” and one thing is for sure, Serena has a powerful 120mph serve. This is an unusual partnership, but when you think about it, athletes and health go hand in hand. And, this all starts with a good night’s sleep!
Back in 1975 something magical happened. Lip balm brand Bonne Bell added to their range of flavors with Dr Pepper. A shiny lipgloss that resembled the taste of the “love it or hate it” soft drink, this was a newsworthy choice.
Everywhere we turn, brands are collaborating to enhance their marketing efforts. Whether it is having a unique face for the company, or mixing it up with a fun product offering, it has to be shareable. With the goal of going “viral” being so important to many modern marketers, thinking outside the box and being a little bit different is worth the risk.
Social listening is one of the most powerful ways to observe the market firsthand. It can help savvy marketers develop a marketing strategy based on people’s real online actions and behaviors. While it might seem like a daunting or time-consuming task, the process has become (and continues to become) easier all the time.
One of the biggest struggles marketers face is developing a clear understanding of the customer. An ideal avatar (aka buyer persona) can tell quite a bit about the type of customer the brand is likely to attract. Finding actual people and knowing how to market to them is, however, an entirely other proposition.
Social listening provides the ability to confirm what is already known about the buyer persona with the added benefit of verifiable data that proves the marketer’s perceptions of his customer. In many cases, social listening reveals things about the ideal customer that were never considered when developing his or her avatar. The data gathered can mean the difference between keeping up with the competition and falling too far behind to recover.
In simplest terms, social listening involves monitoring digital online conversations with the intention of understanding what customers and leads have to say online about a specific industry or brand. Marketers use social listening primarily to identify pain points and respond to questions, comments and complaints. It is also used to discover organic feedback that helps shape the face of a specific brand. That feedback is then used to create product and service offerings that have a greater appeal to the target audience.
How, then, does an informed marketer use the information gained from social listening to advance his or her brand? Let’s look at six ways marketers are using what they learn through social listening to elevate and improve their brand images. How many of these have you tried? Which ones could use a bit more attention?
Monitoring the use of your brand’s name is the foundational element to effective social listening. Unlike social media (that only informs page owners when they are @mentioned or tagged), social listening shows where and how people are using the name of the brand in organic conversation.
It might sound a little involved, but it really is as simple as creating a search for the specific brand name using one of the tools linked above. This part of the process helps identify customer service problems, threats to the brand’s reputation, and unique opportunities to personally weigh in on questions, comments, or concerns. Once a search has been created, alerts can be set up to capture and report on any and all new mentions of the brand name. It is then up to the marketer to determine and implement the best responses (should any prove necessary in context).
Successful social listening starts with creating focused, brand-specific content that stands out amongst competitors and encouraging conversation about it. Content marketing is the most successful marketing strategy in a majority of cases and across virtually all industries.
Savvy marketers also enlist the aid of reliable writing services to create, proofread, and even publish their content. The more authoritative the content, the better the feedback about the content and how it relates directly to the brand will be.
Another effective way to use social listening is to identify social selling opportunities. Some of the more common ones include:
Some social listening tools do these things automatically, but manual searches will always be necessary to reveal more pointed information. Research currently relevant keywords from within the brand’s niche. What specific keywords are people searching right now to search for similar products or services? Any common keyword tool or planner should reveal the type of information needed.
It is also advisable to monitor competitors’ brand names and what is being said about them. This is an effective way to do pointed market research and identify issues and problems to avoid. Never making the same mistakes competitors do can expedite the process of reaching the right leads and avoid some of the things that generate negative conversations.
While this concept drastically predates social listening, it is enhanced by the process. Much more data can be gathered and analyzed in a shorter period of time using common online search tools. All of the above advice can be applied to this part of the process. In fact, it is every bit as important to mine as much data as possible about the competition as it is for your own brand.
What influencers and thought leaders have to say about an industry or niche matters. What they say about specific brands matters even more. Once key influencers have been identified, familiarizing them with your brand can have a huge impact on the reach and growth of the brand. Use outreach campaigns and personal engagement on the influencer’s social channels to promote positive branding and conversations about the brand itself.
As mentioned, having a clear image and understanding of the ideal buyer is crucial for success in any marketing initiative. Social listening teaches everything the marketer needs to know about his or her audience, including:
Once these things have been identified, monitor conversations in key groups on all relevant platforms. Interact directly with group members and participate in conversations. This is a great way to increase brand awareness and visibility. Do not, however, hijack conversations or attempt to sell anything. The goal here is to listen and learn so be sure to do both through this process.
The information and advice in this article represent just a small peek at the potential of social listening. Apply all of the above to both your own brand and any relevant competitors. Be sure that this is an ongoing effort and not just a one-time thing. The market and it’s needs change constantly. There is no better way to keep up with those changes than through social listening.
About the Author:
Jilian Woods is a freelance journalist and a contributing writer having more than two years of writing experience. As a writer, she sees her purpose in producing and sharing relevant content with people who are willing to expand their knowledge base and learn something new for themselves. Apart from her day job, you may find Jilian engaged in volunteering or doing yoga.
My Facebook page: https://facebook.com/jilianwoods94
Digital technology has advanced more in the last 10 years than anyone might have imagined. Trends emerge every year, and some stay while others flop. One trend that’s been around a while now is the use of motion graphics, where designs combine elements such as beautiful typography, images and video, and create movement that is realistic and animated at the same time.
The average motion designer makes $62,000 per year. Adding motion design to your resume seems like a smart move, especially for freelancers who work fewer hours and make about $3,000 more per year than their company-employed counterparts.
In addition to the potential for higher earnings, adding motion graphics benefits your designs and your clients in a number of ways. There are many advantages of using motion graphics in your designs.
By 2020, 80 percent of all online traffic will be people watching videos. When you stop and think about the billions of people online, with the vast majority of them viewing videos, the choice of enhancing your website with this emerging trend makes sense.
When you add motion graphics to your videos and on your website, visitors instantly engage with the site upon landing there. Your bounce rate will likely go down, and users are more likely to pay attention to your message.
The trailer for the video game “Wide Sky” uses motion graphics to illustrate some of what the game is about. The technique grabs the user’s interest because the background appears authentic while the motion graphics look animated. The use of animation lends a fun tone to any website or video. Since the video promotes a game, it makes sense to keep it fun and whimsical through the use of animation.
One of the most important parts of branding is creating a cohesive message users identify with your company. You likely have a presence across many different platforms, both online and off. Adding branding to each of those elements isn’t an easy task. However, with your videos, you can easily share motion graphics with your logo and brand name in the same spot and with the same style in every video you release.
Motion graphics don’t always have to appear in a long video. Smaller elements, such as a moving logo or other moving pieces on a website page, grab user attention and set your site apart from your competitors. You can also make just a portion of your logo moveable and leave other elements static. Apply the concept to any part of your site where you wish to draw user attention.
SuperShuttle adds motion graphics to its website and captures user attention from the moment site visitors land on the homepage. A shuttle looks as though it is driving as the background changes and the van passes various buildings and trees. The effect is simple but striking.
Designers should pay attention to the way the logo grabs attention but should also ensure it loads quickly. Vital motion graphics must be optimized for all types of devices. If the moving parts stall or crash a mobile device, they aren’t sufficient for half or more of your audience.
When people see and hear information, they are much more likely to retain the facts. The human brain processes images faster than words, so motion graphics get your point across much more efficiently than words alone. Picture elements of an infographic that fly in as a spokesperson explains the mission of your brand. The viewer is much more likely to retain the information than without visual illustrations.
Around 79 percent of people skim over what they see on the internet rather than reading in depth. You’re competing with thousands upon thousands of other companies clamoring for notice. When you tell a story, though, you connect with people on an emotional level, and suddenly they stop and listen.
This Apple Watch video tells the story of what the product does for the user. Motion graphics highlight some of the features of the watch face and add bright colors to highlight the narrator’s words. Designers should take note that the motion graphics used in the video highlight the product and draw attention to the words from the script.
One of the most significant benefits of motion graphics used in videos is repurposing the potential of videos. Since so many people watch videos online, adding your engaging clips to social media sites or sending out a video in an email engages users and encourages sharing with others.
Social media posts with videos get shared more frequently than those with text only. Educate or entertain your audience, and they’re likely to tell others about what you’re doing.
Adding motion graphics to your website doesn’t have to involve a lot of time or money. Start small with your logo or a moving element in an infographic. Then, as you find what works with your particular target audience, move to more extended content such as videos with motion graphics.
Motion graphics are another tool every design professional should have. With the addition of animated elements, your website will stand out from others and become more engaging and shareable.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner
For years now, digital marketing experts have predicted that someday soon, digital marketing would overtake traditional marketing on television and in print. As it turns out, someday has arrived. In 2019, the digital marketing giants known as Facebook and Google will officially surpass TV, radio, and newspaper advertising, leaving it in the virtual dust.
Per estimates released by eMarketer, advertisers across the United States are slated to spend $129 billion this year on digital advertising, which overtakes the $109 billion they plan to spend on traditional means of advertising. This is the first time in history that this has occurred; in fact, it’s the first time that more than 50% of the market will be dominated by the US digital ad business. The same source predicts that with each passing year, the gap in spending will continue to increase. In fact, by 2021, it is expected that advertisers will spend some $172.29 billion on digital ads compared to only $104.32 billion on traditional ads.
There’s little denying that Facebook and Google have driven these numbers forward for several years. Both multi-billion-dollar companies operate internationally. Surprisingly, back in 2015 (only four years ago), the digital advertising market was only about half the size of the traditional market, and most advertisers still preferred television commercials, print ads, and even radio ads to paid ads on sites like Facebook or Google. Since then, though, these two companies have played a tremendous role in those numbers creeping closer and closer together, and they are hugely responsible for this tremendous shift in the American marketing dynamic.
Though it is an exciting time for advertisers, this number also spurs some fears among businesses that could be considered Facebook or Google competitors. Just last year, both Google and Facebook’s CEOs found themselves before Congress defending their companies’ ad businesses. Many believe that both companies will inevitably face some heavy regulation both at home in the US and abroad, their ad business was left untouched. In fact, in 2018, the two massive companies generated $65 billion in revenue between them.
This means that these two single companies generated more than 60% of the digital marketing revenue in the country last year – and this worries some. For 2019, their combined revenue is estimated at some $77 billion despite losing a percentage point or two of the overall market share. Smaller companies struggle to compete, but it’s the traditional media companies that are truly paying the price for Facebook and Google’s quest for world domination.
Back in 2015, Amazon only had 1.2% of the digital ad market in the country, but the same eMarketer estimates claim that this number will climb to 8.8% in 2019, making the retail giant a distant third competitor – but one that is closing in. The next two biggest contenders – Microsoft and Verizon – are actually slated to lose some of their market share next year. Microsoft’s share will fall from 2018’s 4.1% down to 3.8% while Verizon will fall from 3.4% down to just 2.9%. Believe it or not, Google’s share is expected to fall, too, if only very slightly. Their 38.2% market share for 2018 will likely be higher than the anticipated 37.2% for 2019.
Consumers, for the most part, understand that advertising is just a part of being online. Companies pay the websites hosting the ads for the right to the space, allowing those companies to get their ads in front of the people who might
find them relevant. Recently, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, spoke with a Harvard law professor and backed his long-time claim that Facebook must be free for users in order to connect the world. He also acknowledged some users’ concerns (and annoyances) with Facebook ads, but he made it clear that an ad-free Facebook experience is not likely to happen – at least not soon – since those ads keep Facebook funded.
This means that Facebook (and Google, and likely Amazon) will only continue to take on more of the digital marketing share in the US and around the world. Though consumers may have some power over which ads they see, and while continuously-evolving algorithms get better at predicting the sorts of ads that specific users should see, there remains a fine line between benign data collection for ad relevancy and invasion of privacy – something that Zuckerberg has promised to rectify with his social media platform by giving Facebook users more control over their experience.
2019 is slated to be an exciting year for advertisers, companies like Facebook and Google, and consumers alike. The ability to collect and advertise data in such a way that ad relevancy has skyrocketed in the last few years will continue to drive these huge companies forward, even though concerns remain about these same companies taking over the world, so to speak.