In 2014 digital marketing accounted for 25% of all marketing dollars spent, a number which is expected to rise to 33% by the end of this year according to a recent report by industry experts www.Gartner.com.
There is no denying the fact that part of this transformation and increased spend is driven by social media, and that increasing numbers of companies realise that they must have a digital and social strategy if they want to have a voice and market share in this increasingly cluttered market.
So what are the few tips or strategies which are worth adopting in 2015, and which should be reviewed and revitalised to make the most of their digital and social media marketing spend? Here are a few ideas:
- Email Marketing – forget the e-newsletter, create value added content
Customers are becoming increasingly savvy about handing over their email addresses, especially if the initial contact has been generated by list brokers. Not so long ago the idea of a newsletter by e-mail was considered to be enough bait, especially in the financial sector. Now, in order for customers to hand over their private details, customers expect to receive content of a perceived high value e.g. e-books, specialist reports, discount tickets and more. Adding inducements and teaser content will increase click through rates and data capture.
- Increase the Scope of Content Generation
The glass walls of the marketing department, and more specifically those responsible for SEO content generation, need to come down. Quality content does not and should not happen in a bubble. They should become the central hub for creation and dissemination encouraging every member of every department to become involved and engage in the process. A person from every department should be tasked with reporting relevant insights into customer behaviour, experiences, successes or competitor activity and the company’s reaction to this. In addition to this, it is possible that a member of the company could be involved in an outstanding charity activity and reporting on this could increase the company’s caring kudos and, if that person disseminates information about their activity to their charity network, it is also an easy win-win in terms of incremental branding opportunities.
- Content layering
A successful content strategy should be about producing genuine, engaging, first-rate original content, not just rehashing or compiling everyone else’s insights. It should also be multi-layered to engage with your broader audience. If all your content is only aimed at FT reading executives who sign the cheques or banal gossip with no market insight then it will rapidly find itself in the junk box. Content should be layered and rotated to make sure that the interests of executives and the procurement team who are actually responsible for the orders are considered as well as the end users of your products and services. If not, you run the risk of losing client engagement early on in the sales process. Creating content which captures the whole chain of sales influence is important.
- Social Media – the human factor
Social media is just that. It is human, individual and personal. People who engage with social media do not like to feel that they are constantly being sold to by other companies, and it is very easy to “unlike” a company who continually bombards you with sales material. However, brands that build a community feel and a sense of engagement on a personal level, with some subliminal branding will remain. In a recent report carried out by Social Media Examiner, (https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/) 92% of the 2,800 marketers surveyed said that Social Media was a vital component of their marketing strategy; however a staggering 44% said that Social Media had only been a component within their marketing mix for 2 years or less. It has always been the case that people buy products and services from people and that personal recommendations are an integral part of that. Social media has made it far easier to establish personal relationships with brands at a relatively low cost. Assuming the content on the social media platforms is engaging and human focused, rather than trying to use social media as a pure sales portal, this marketing activity can clearly win business. If you’re unsure how to start a social media campaign contact a reputable performance marketing agency to find out how they would help you achieve your goals.
- Get socially mobile!
Often, the forgotten first step is to consider the path used by the user. Although less common, people still forget this first step. The focus is often about generating the right content and posting it onto sites, followed by social promotion of activities. However remembering what type of devices people use to read the posts can be overlooked. Do not forget, a significant number of your followers, probably the vast majority in some cases, will be accessing your content by mobile devices. When generating captivating images and enticing headlines on social media with the aim of delivering viewers to your website, make sure it is a mobile optimised site.