After the celebrations are out of the way, each year, a third of Brits make New Year’s resolutions. But as we near the end of the month, the majority of these have already gone astray.
To save your marketing efforts from going the same way as your gym membership, our expert digital marketing consultants Rob White and Mitch Brown have put together six essential (and achievable) digital marketing resolutions for 2017.
Digital marketing personalisation has come a long way over the past few years. From simple steps like automatically pulling customer names into email campaigns to completely overhauling how a website looks depending on who is visiting it.
In 2017, personalisation will be key to connecting with your audience. There are a number of benefits to getting to know your customers in greater detail. From increased conversion rates and customer retention to actually making your content more relevant and timely.
In essence, marketers should invest time in giving the right information to the right people at the right time.
Rob’s tip: Understand the needs of your target audience and create content that addresses the problems and challenges they face.
Mitch’s tip: When solving your customer’s problems with valuable advice, make the most out of this touchpoint. Entice visitors to give their details with a more in-depth ebook or white paper.
Simplify your message
Just because your products or services are complicated, that doesn’t mean your marketing message should be. Too many companies think about detailed specifications and industry jargon, when they should really go back to basics.
Think from your customer’s perspective. What do they want to know? What problems do your products solve?
As the classic marketing saying goes, ‘sell the sizzle, not the steak’.
By simplifying your message, you’re more likely to connect emotionally. This is crucial in piquing interest with your audience and creating long-lasting connections.
Rob’s tip: By simplifying your marketing message and focusing on your customers’ pain points you can connect emotionally and educate your customers to buy your products and services.
Mitch’s tip: Get the key messages that your customers care about – not what you care about – and strategically deliver these to an audience that is most likely to convert.
Treat mobile and desktop differently
Last year, mobile web usage overtook desktop for the first time. Being mobile-friendly or responsive is no longer a benefit – it’s a must.
However, you do need to look at mobile and desktop as separate entities, with different sets of user behaviours.
For example, mobile activity usually peaks during mornings and evenings, with users more likely to be looking for a specific answer to a specific problem, rather than aimlessly browsing online. Another reason to focus on problem-solving, rather than feature-gloating.
Mobile users are also more likely to lack patience, with 40% of people abandoning a mobile website that takes more than three seconds to load.
Rob’s tip: Think about where your customers are based, are they business professionals using the Tube and public transport? If so, mobile needs to give your customers a quick message of why they should enquire or buy from you.
Mitch’s tip: Consider site speed, ease-of-use, clear calls-to-action and how these can be optimised for mobile and desktop. Make sure you are analysing the metrics that matter and understand that these may be different on mobile compared to desktop.
Research more natural search terms
With an SEO strategy, you should already know your target keywords like the back of your hand and this should come into every aspect of your digital marketing.
But in 2017, there will be a shift towards more natural search terms. Brought on by the prevalence of voice search, marketers should target longer terms and more natural phrases.
Without even being conscious of it, people will always alter search phrases between voice and text. Consider this the next time you use Siri or Cortana. We all do it.
However, this isn’t an overhaul – your current keywords will still need attention – but it’s important to plan ahead for more natural phrases.
Rob’s tip: We mention it a lot, but look at ‘problem’ or ‘pain’ keywords and see how you can deliver targeted and informative content to potential customers.
Mitch’s tip: For years we have updated our behaviour to use search engines like robots. We search ‘Restaurants London’ instead of ‘What restaurants are in London?’. With voice search continuing to grow, consider using broad-match types and long-tail keywords within your content and advertising campaigns.
Keep your eyes on Bing
Google is no doubt the more prominent search engine, but that doesn’t mean you should be dismissing Microsoft’s alternative.
The search platform is growing at a steady rate, with reports indicating that Bing has surpassed 20% market share – increasing from 8% in December 2014.
In fact, many digital marketers have suggested that Bing provides a more economical and effective solution to Google when working on advertising campaigns.
With Bing powering more than one in five searches in the UK, this isn’t a channel to dismiss.
Rob’s tip: Bing is a search engine that is massively on the rise, with lower cost-per-clicks on Bing Ads, you can covert new customers cheaper than using Google advertising where there is much more competition.
Mitch’s tip: A lot a people fall for this… Facebook and LinkedIn are social media networks, however, you don’t treat them the same. Bing and Google are both search engines so treat them completely different as well. Tailor your ads, content and strategy for what the users are dong within that platform. What works on one won’t necessarily work on the other.
Develop a video strategy
Video has been widely accepted as the rising star of digital marketing.
Last year, video moved from the next big thing to a marketing must-have and investment from internet giants demonstrated just how powerful the channel can be.
The biggest concern we hear is budget – but the idea that video marketing needs to break the bank should be quashed in 2017.
Delivering leads, brand awareness, social engagement, search engine optimisation and a host of other benefits, video marketing is a channel that demands investment. If any other marketing channel delivered these kinds of results, MDs would invest in a heartbeat.
Rob’s tip: YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the world, if you have a well performing and optimised YouTube channel you can target audiences globally who are interested in your brand.
Mitch’s tip: There are so many strategies you can go down with video. Increase conversions, time on site, brand awareness campaigns… However, it’s important to use the video on the right platforms to achieve its highest potential.
If one trend runs through all these tips, it’s the importance of thinking like your customers.
Being aware of exactly who you are trying to reach is becoming more and more important to everything you do in digital marketing. Your audience comes first.
But how often do you really think about your customers when piecing together your online marketing? How well do you know your target audience?
At Purpose Media, we see the world through your customers’ eyes. We love helping businesses understand the benefits of delivering memorable customer experiences.
Interested in teaming up in 2017? Let’s talk.