It’s 6:00 a.m. You wake up and walk into your kitchen. You know it is going to be a long day in the office, so you click a button that brews you a hot cup of coffee to kick-off your day with energy. While getting ready for work, you open up Facebook, and the first thing you see is the jacket you abandoned in your Nordstrom cart last night. Your stomach drops. How did they know that I was just looking at that jacket?
What is Digital Marketing? And Why is it Important?
Digital marketing has never been as important as it is right now. But what is it? Marketing digitally, right? Yes, but so much more!
Because the internet has thrust itself into everything we do, digital marketing is more powerful than ever. Each day, consumers are surprised by the new tactics that businesses are using to make customers' online experiences more relevant. In the United States alone, we can access about 79% of the population through social media. Because of that large percentage, businesses should use the most effective digital marketing techniques to communicate with consumers in order to build and maintain a relationship with their brand. Digital marketing trends change every year, but we can expect these trends to be prominent in 2020.
Steer your marketing strategy in the right direction.
Our Ultimate Guide for Small Business Marketing will lead the way.
Digital Marketing Tactics for 2020
Having a business is all about growing and who better to help you grow than your customers. Your customer’s experience is what makes you stand out. “Customer experience is the new brand,” as Forbes would say. With all the ways available to communicate with a business, the amount of work that needs to go into the connection and relationship is huge. In 2020, customer experience is where you need to focus your efforts. Here are 3 sub-trends to help you create a better customer experience.
Everyone wants to feel important! With personalized digital marketing communication, you want your audience to feel as if your content is created for them. (Shh… don’t tell them I told you that.)
Personalized marketing is creating customized content for your buyer personas to help build a stronger relationship based on their needs, interests, and position within the buyer's journey. Accumulating data such as location-based media, purchase history, links clicked, and audience needs will help you create strong customized content. It's not just adding their first name or company name to your mass email. It's making sure every piece of content and message they receive from you aligns with their specific wants, needs, and pain points.
To do this, you need to build personas for your target market, clearly define their customer journey, and match content to each stage in that journey. Then you need to build out your execution strategy to ensure your market is receiving the right message at the right time.
Not all digital strategies exist only online. Omnichannel marketing is an approach that provides customers with an integrated shopping experience that can include an interpersonal component. The main idea of Omnichannel marketing is to make the customers feel, by the end of the purchase, that it was seamless and easy.
To get a full understanding of what precisely omnichannel marketing is, take a look at Sephora, a well-known beauty company that has mastered this technique and established an experience that customers love. To help make the purchasing process more manageable, Sephora:
- Connects their online shoppers' purchases to their in-store purchases.
- Gives access to in-store tablets to access their own "Beauty Bag."
- Allows customers at home to virtually try products using digital software.
- In-store complimentary makeovers by Beauty Experts.
Sephora acknowledges the variety of beauty options they offer to one individual. Through the Beauty Bag feature and in-store communication, they are able to help narrow customers' options to make an intended purchase through omnichannel marketing.
Now, you may not have the same access to capital that Sephora has, but you can still create a compelling experience for your customers. Think of how you can create a consistent and integrated experience for your customers across all channels. Does the messaging that your sales team is using align with the marketing messaging your prospects or customers are receiving? Does your website reflect this message? Those are good places to start, but it’s important to audit all your customer-facing channels to start fresh in the New Year!
The focus on targeted accounts is important when it comes to marketing. Different accounts have unique pain points and will identify with different content, ads, sales tactics, etc. With account-based marketing, you target specific content towards those accounts. It’s highly personalized based on the challenges and solutions that your company could offer to those accounts.
Website personalization is huge in account-based marketing. With this, you can make your audience feel like the content is tailored for them individually and encourage them to look further into your company. Website personalization is when the content on your website changes based on the viewer that is on it. You can leverage your CRM data or the history of your visitors' engagement (e.g., downloaded an industry-specific piece of content) to surface a more relevant experience-based. It allows you to tailor the creative messaging and images on a website for each of your target accounts, just like Citrix has done below.
Augmented reality is not just for gamers anymore - it has expanded to everyday consumers. From buying products like makeup and glasses to building out wardrobes or even furnishing their homes, it has transformed the ‘try it before you buy it’ experience.
Many companies have been using augmented reality to create brand awareness. GlassesUSA allows customers to virtually try on thousands of different glasses to see which ones they prefer before having them delivered and returning unwanted pairs. The virtual experience provides a delight factor to the consumer and allows brands to stand out in the market.
Video isn’t new, but it’s getting real in 2020.
Instagram Live, Facebook Live, YouTube, Snapchat Stories – it seems like video is on every platform. As silly as it sounds, each of these platforms are all so important! Video content is simple, less filtered, and much more appealing to audiences. Google is ranking video content higher than text-based content now. If you are using YouTube, add a description, title, and tags that are SEO focused. Don’t be afraid to write a long description, almost like a blog.
And not only does Google love videos, but so do your buyers. In fact, 70% of B2B buyers research their potential purchases by watching videos.
When building out your 2020 content strategy, think about how potential customers can experience your product or service through video. With video marketing, you can share brand videos, product demos, “behind the scenes” of events, and so much more. Through the endless opportunities of video marketing, you can increase conversion rates and online purchasing decisions.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEM isn't so simple anymore, well, not like it was really simple before. In 2019, we have seen a profound change in SEM and the focus of what users are typing, saying, or looking up to access or find the content they need. Below we hit two topics that have been shaking the SEM world.
Smart bidding for Ads
Smart bidding is an option in AdWords that affords marketers to use Google’s machine learning to automatically pick bidding strategies that align with your goals. Google Ads makes use of machine learning to optimize your bids.
Smart bidding helps maximize your conversions by giving you:
- The ability to choose conversion action at the campaign level.
- The ability to set your bids to change automatically when sales start or stop.
- The ability to optimize bids over multiple campaigns with a chosen set of conversion actions.
Start letting Google do the work and save yourself time with smart bidding. Remember, I am here to give you tips and tricks on how to make your life easier.
As more people buy Alexas and Google Home, voice-powered search becomes more important. Now it’s not just about ranking for the queries people type into Google, but for the questions people pose voice assistants in regular speaking mannerisms.
As you start to think about your content for 2020, don’t forget to include snippets that will be used for voice assistants. VSO (Voice Search Optimization), the search is done conversationally through spoken voice commands that are processed via an AI platform. Having FAQ sections on your website, including clear questions you immediately answer and define in your blog, have become popular ways to start incorporating voice search into their content.
Neo Reach defines an influencer as “an individual with an online presence who has the potential to influence the opinions and behaviors of your target audience.” Although influencer marketing is typically thought of as a B2C tactic, businesses who are B2B are starting to use this strategy and see success. People will do business with people they know, like, and trust. Influencers bring this approach to their audience to help you generate leads.
Finding the right influencers to promote and sponsor your brand on their social media platforms will help spread brand awareness to a section of an audience you may not have been able to reach before. Small businesses work with micro-influencers because they know that their audiences already trust them.
LinkedIn, as we know it, is for professional use as well as self and business promotion. But did you know that people try to market on LinkedIn too?
Marketers, sales reps, and recruiters use personal messaging on LinkedIn to contact prospects that they have met or are targets to buy their products or services. You're not the only one trying to get a contact’s attention in their email inbox. A multi-touch campaign may be more successful for you. Start including LinkedIn messaging into your outreach strategy to get in front of potential prospects. This is also a great channel to leverage Account-Based Marketing campaigns.
Digital Marketing: It’s amazing.
I may be biased, but the digital marketing world in 2020 is going to be amazing! With the countless options, digital marketing techniques have to offer, you will continuously find new ways to target your audience and develop brand awareness, allowing your company to rise to the next level. The internet is always changing, make sure you can adapt and grow alongside of it.