As digital marketers have moved further into 2017, it has become clear that consumers are more widespread than ever. Thanks to the ever-present smartphone (seriously, more than 77% of American adults own one) consumers can be everywhere at once. With social media platforms, apps, websites, and so on, there are a myriad of ways consumers interact with brands online.
For digital marketers, this means more ways to engage in one-to-one interactions with these consumers. But, for every one consumer there are even more brands looking to break through the noise and truly hook consumers with engaging content.
5 Ways to Improve Your Digital Marketing Strategy
With this constantly changing environment, marketers should look to continuously update and refine digital marketing strategies so as not to become stale or lost in the noise. Here are 5 ways marketers can re-evaluate digital marketing objectives to maximize impact and results.
1. Focus on Conversion, Not Just Leads
One of the most important pillars of a winning digital marketing strategy is data. Data and metrics should influence every decision and action a marketing team takes. In today’s market, this means digging through the data to understand where potential customers are spending their time (which social platforms and websites), and then targeting them with specific content.
While B2C marketing teams traditionally take the approach of casting a wide net and hoping for the best, advances in big data and machine learning have made it possible to dig deeper and impact conversion rates on an individual level. By targeting specific demographics and audience segments with certain types of content, incentives, or product recommendations, marketers can go further in pushing the customer’s decision toward a purchase.
2. Set the Stage for Long-Term Value
While it may be tempting to shoot for short-term wins, marketers should always consider long-term value when making strategy decisions. Before pouring resources into a one-off campaign for a specific social media platform, marketers would be wise to perform due diligence and research to ensure the investment will pay off in the long term.
This mindset also applies to tools and solutions. When navigating the purchasing process, marketers should make sure the solutions are positioned to help the team succeed in the long run, not just solve short-term problems. While it’s not critical to have every detail of a multi-year strategy ironed out, it is a good idea to have a plan for growth and an understanding for how a tool will help make that plan a reality.
With technology changing at an exponential pace, there will always be ideas and trends that are ‘in’ or ‘the hot new thing’ in the industry. Marketers should take care to understand where the brand best stands to benefit from these trends before making any decisions that could impact long-term growth or revenue.
3. Double Down on Customer Service
Digital marketers may be thinking, “What does customer service have to do with me?” Although it’s sometimes easy to forget, every single interaction a customer has with a brand impacts their opinion of that brand, and is thus considered ‘customer service’. This is even more important for digital companies that must repeat brand-conscious customer service tactics across multiple platforms and channels. This is a critical component of achieving success with omnichannel marketing, which means ensuring a single customer has a seamless, integrated buying experience, no matter the platform or channel.
Even though the concept of customer service may feel like a more fundamental concern for brick-and-mortar stores than online retailers, many of today’s brands have shown the importance of stellar service in e-commerce experiences. Digital marketers play a key role in establishing a customer-centric reputation for the brand. Whether this is through personalized emails, welcome pages, or customized product recommendations, that personal touch can make a huge difference in the eyes of the customer. In fact, 56% of customers are more likely to buy from a brand that recognizes them by name. Consumers expect personalization because they expect superior customer service.
4. Create the Ultimate Buying Journey
As it becomes easier for marketers to understand their consumer audience in more depth, it’s also possible to refine processes and create the ultimate buying journey. Digital marketers can see exactly what content is most successful among consumers, and then strategically build upon that momentum for maximum returns. If, for example, a brand knows a majority of customers are coming to their website via social media, it can beef up social campaigns and design smoother workflows to help the customer from point A to point B.
Creating the ultimate buying journey for customers also means optimizing their online and mobile shopping experiences. As shopping moves online, and online shopping moves to mobile, brands must make sure their sites render well, are consistent with brand guidelines, and make it simple for shoppers to find what they’re looking for. After all, the smoother the buying journey, the higher the likelihood of a conversion.
5. Know When and How to Go Back and Refine Processes
While talking about refining processes is easy, it’s a little more difficult for marketers to actually get their hands dirty. If a workflow or process just isn’t working, it might be time to go back and re-evaluate where things went wrong. This is also a great opportunity to A/B test different campaigns and strategies. Marketing itself is a constantly changing landscape, and digital marketing is one of its most dynamic features. Marketers need to keep their eyes on the metrics and data to stay informed about the processes that are working, and where it may be time to refine.
As the world of marketing changes, so should your digital marketing strategy. It’s important to stay aware of the changing landscape and the new advancements in technology that can make digital marketer’s lives much easier.
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