You're likely well aware of how quickly digital marketing changes. Even today, new strategies continue to emerge, while existing platforms and well-established approaches gain renewed interest.
This has opened a Pandora's box of marketing solutions, those that simplify how businesses reach their target audience and others that help to reduce the costs of lead generation and customer acquisition. What digital strategies should your marketing department take advantage of?
Yes, videos have been a constant presence online for years, and no, they are definitely not new. However, what is new is how today's search engines index videos and video advertisements, and the role both play in search engine optimization (SEO). How do search engines index videos when they can't define or track what you say or show in the video? Simply put, they don't need to. As long as you follow some simple and straightforward SEO strategies, your videos will be found.
First, use highly descriptive keywords and colloquial phrases within your video's title, and don't be too concerned about how well your video is produced. You don't need a professional studio to make an engaging video your customers will appreciate.
Second, make sure each of your videos includes a thorough description. This is the part that gets indexed by search engines. YouTube provides a section where you can input various keywords, and also allocates a separate section for you to write a detailed description. That outline should define who your videos are intended for, what they're about, and what you're showing and discussing in those videos. Again, use well-researched and highly sought-after keywords, and make sure your description is about 450 to 500 words in length.
Third, make sure that video is easily accessible across all of your online strategies. This includes leveraging these videos on social media, across your entire network, and on your company's website and blog.
Fourth, make sure your videos are available on video-sharing such websites as YouTube, Vimeo, and DailyMotion, in addition to unconventional video-sharing sites like MetaCafe and others. There are all kinds of video-sharing websites that appeal to different audiences and market segments, so be sure to take advantage of them.
Finally, embed links within your videos to different landing pages on your website or company blog. This allows you to put together a customized video that appeals to different demographics, audiences, or buying groups, while also ensuring that you send those prospects to unique landing pages.
2. Apps Are Great Brand Builders
Why are apps increasing in popularity? Well, just think about all the services that apps provide everyday consumers and business professionals. These customer-facing tools are front and center on mobile devices. They build your brand by keeping your customers updated with recent events, news, and trends, in addition to giving you a platform to promote newly launched products and services. They operate in real time and are highly valued by brand evangelists.
The most important reason you need to invest in apps moving forward is that most search engines are starting to index apps. It's not just the apps themselves that get indexed, but also the pre-roll video advertisements that appear alongside the apps. These represent a new way to reach a mobile marketplace and should be investigated moving forward.
3. Twitter Video Advertising
Twitter's Amplify was launched in 2013, and while its introduction left much to be desired, the program has quickly established itself as an unmatched real-time video platform for enterprises who want to engage their audience anywhere, anytime. Initially, the pre-roll videos offered through Twitter's advertising platform could be no more than six seconds long, which made it extremely difficult for advertisers. That has since changed.
The new platform now allows for video advertisements to be 30 seconds or longer, which is ideally suited to companies with existing 20- and 30-second advertisements. With over 320 million monthly users, Twitter may just be a platform to deliver your next advertising campaign, and since there is an abundance of 30-second ads in existence, ramping up Twitter's inventory should be fairly easy, which in turn should increase subscriptions.
4. The Right Social Media for the Right Market
There's this misguided belief that not all markets and industries can be serviced by social media. Granted, social media is most often associated with consumer markets. However, that doesn't mean business markets and business professionals don't use social media; LinkedIn is the single largest professional social media website, and it's an absolute must for any business selling to other businesses.
Expand your horizons on social media. Don't just immediately assume that it begins and ends with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Ultimately, social media is defined as any online forum or website that allows people to share common interests, needs, and wants, while also helping groups benefit from collaborative efforts. Your customers use a social media channel. All you need to do is find out what channel they prefer and start building your reputation. It costs nothing to get started and little to maintain.
5. Webcasts, Podcasts, Free Downloads, and Network Building
Don't wait until you have a substantial network before you start to leverage webcasts and podcasts. The best thing about these platforms is that the customers who sign up to hear what you have to say are ones who have pre-qualified themselves. Each attendee represents a new opportunity for you to win business.
Free downloads are also a great way to gain instant contacts. Customers who choose free downloads must provide their contact details. They've expressed an interest in your offer and value, so don't pass up the opportunity to reach out to them.
6. Content Creation Strategy with Content Calendars and Cross-Promotion
People are claiming that content shock is taking hold, but it isn't. Yes, content is being produced at a rapid pace, and yes, customers get inundated with content. However, that doesn't mean there's too much. It simply means your content has to be more specific. Focus less on appealing to a global audience and concentrate more on your local audience.
Using a content creation calendar will help you plan out your content strategies throughout the year. You'll be able to combine internal company-wide resources with external resources in order to make sure your content resonates with your customer base. A calendar will help you plan your content ahead of time so you'll be better prepared for yearly events, holidays, trade shows, customer visits, and conferences.
Cross-promotion is another inexpensive solution. Cross-promoting your content alongside your entire network of partners, vendors, influencers, and stakeholders is a fantastic way to reach your audience and build your network. Cross-promoting content with companies that have complementary product and service offerings will help you reach different prospects. Exchange links, write guest blog posts, and offer to partake in any online discussion or social media group that helps you build a larger network.
7. Mobile Marketing Solutions: SMS Marketing
Companies targeting millennials have serious concerns on their hands. Unlike generations of the past, when 18- to 30-year-olds were getting married and acquiring wealth, this generation is actively avoiding large-scale purchases. Most importantly, they're immune to digital advertisements and take steps to avoid messaging and branding altogether. The most effective way to reach this and other age groups, when so many of today's mobile phone users are shunning advertising, turn to short message service (SMS) mobile marketing.
Why should companies invest in what many consider to be an outdated and somewhat intrusive strategy? First, it works because it is intrusive. SMS mobile text marketing typically has a 90-percent open rate, which means your message gets received and seen. Second, it's an opt-in mobile marketing strategy. This means the customers who have agreed to receive your text marketing messages have bought into your brand and reputation. Third, it creates a dialogue with customers. Fourth, it's an easy-to-track and easy-to-manage solution that simplifies how you reach mobile customers. Finally, it's inexpensive.
Your decision to leverage these aforementioned digital strategies comes down to your ability to define your target audience. This starts by outlining your buyer personas and understanding why they take actions and why they choose one company over another. Once you've outlined what makes them tick, then you can produce focused digital campaigns that increase targeted website traffic and drive up your conversion rates.