With the constant evolution and surges in popularity of communication and media platforms, digital marketing strategy requires regular updating to stay current and relevant. The pandemic impacted aspects of social media marketing in 2021, and 2022 continues the evolution. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, Consumer attitudes have shifted, becoming more selective and empowered, expanding their demand from pure product or service to brand alignment and engagement with personal values. This puts additional pressure on brands to employ various techniques to promote engagement and demonstrate connection.
What in the World is Digital Marketing?
The term digital marketing is also known as online marketing. It refers to the full range of marketing efforts through the internet, including business websites, social media platforms, email, text, and search engines. Businesses use these channels to engage with potential and existing customers with marketing content. Marketing content is designed to build brand awareness and trust and move customers down the path towards conversion to sales through engagement and education.
The recent trends in digital marketing emphasize authenticity and vulnerability. Consumers want to feel a personal alignment with the brand that goes beyond the product or service. They are looking for affinity on deeper levels, relating to issues like the environment, equity, or political affiliation. This may seem risky because it could alienate consumers who don’t share this affinity, but brand authenticity contributes to new customer acquisition and brand loyalty. Here are some marketing techniques and approaches that reflect this shift.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Website content segmentation is the practice of presenting your online content in a … manner specific to each of your website visitors … [to] improve your engagement, better differentiate your brand from competitors, and improve your content marketing effectiveness.” Segmentations structures the content on a business website to address target consumers based on hyper-specific criteria, allowing them to self-select according to their preferences. Layout, hyperlinks, keyword indices, and other techniques can help guide multiple consumer segments on a business website. Regular, explicitly targeted social media and advertising are additional techniques.
Conversational marketing is direct, personal interaction with a consumer, such as a web page pop-up offering immediate assistance. As consumers continue to increase demand for authenticity and connection, marketing has transitioned from product or service focus to making connections. As a result, conversational marketing has become a critical component of digital marketing strategy. There are a complex array of conversational marketing solutions, and selecting the option that best suits the profile of target customers for the business is essential.
Short, DIY Video
Video marketing continues to gain dominance as a means of successful brand engagement. Research has shown that the click-through rate for video is nearly 100% higher than for images and text alone. Some small business owners are reluctant to try video because of the perceived cost. Still, with today’s smartphone technology, it has become relatively simple to create video content without hiring a professional videographer. DIY videos have the added benefit of being more personal, making the viewer feel like they are getting to know the business on a more authentic level. When making a DIY video, remember these essential tips:
- Plan for your theme and write a script
- Use plenty of light
- Keep it short – 1 minute or less
- Leverage the content by cross-posing on your site and major platforms like YouTube
Get Real with Stories and Anecdotes
Just as learning styles differ, consumers assimilate information about a product or service in various ways. Not only is it important to utilize multiple media techniques, but the content also needs to meet consumers where they are. Storytelling helps consumers recognize the brand’s value by identifying with the story. They place themselves in the consumer’s shoes and visualize their problem being solved by the business. Storytelling can come in a variety of forms, including case studies (a more extended, more formal analysis of a particular client situation), or blurbs and anecdotes as added inset content on service or product pages. Detailed testimonials can also give insight into the business’s solution to particular clients, so it is worth asking a satisfied client to provide one.
With the ready availability of multiple digital marketing techniques, staying on top of the latest trends and implementing the most effective techniques can be intimidating. Working with an expert who can assess the business and advise on the best deployment of digital marketing can capitalize on the most effective methods to engage customers.