Remember when wall backgrounds on Instagram images were popular? People have moved past that trend, less than a year down the line! That shouldn’t be surprising because the digital world moves with speed. It swings like a pendulum, and what’s fashionable today may be outdated tomorrow and vice versa.
It is important to take note of what’s working and what’s not working to avoid wasting resources. Staying up to date with trends and reading popular blogs is one great way you can do this. This one will not only acquaint you with the latest digital marketing strategies that you need to follow to stay at the top of the game but will also tell you which ones no longer create an impact and need not be tried.
Digital Marketing Strategy – What’s Hot?
Given below are few digital marketing tactics to keep you current so you don’t fall into that trap!
Backlinks still retain their top spot as an important search engine optimization tactic used by Google to Index and rank websites. Google will give your website a top position in search results if many websites link back to your website. Initially, the more backlinks a website amassed the better. As a result, SEO experts would use software to create multiple backlinks, without paying attention to quality.
However, algorithms changed and having numerous backlinks stopped being as effective. Today, the quality of your backlinks matters more than the quantity. Google uses the Domain Authority criterion to award marks. For instance, very popular websites like Forbes, Huffington Post or Business Insider have a very high Domain Authority. Therefore, earning one or two backlinks from such sites may get you at the top of the search engine results faster than acquiring a thousand backlinks from small unknown websites with a low Domain Authority score.
Quantity Over Quality Content
Content marketing is undoubtedly a vital means of earning inbound links. A nice blog post will definitely drive traffic to your website. However, publishing a blog post every day may not necessarily earn you organic traffic from search engines.
The internet is saturated with content. Unfortunately, most of the blog posts floating around are a regurgitation of existing content. People simply surf the internet, read a few articles and come up with a spun version of existing content. Such blog posts are considered as low quality and unhelpful to readers.
Search engines are therefore working hard to sieve the chaff from the wheat. Google’s Panda Algorithm, for instance, was created to improve users’ experiences by showing quality content at the top. Therefore, websites with low-quality content were pushed to the bottom of the search engine results pages (SERPS).
In a nutshell, if you rely on content marketing as a digital marketing tool quantity will cost you time and resources, but it will not earn you the desired results. It is the quality that you need to focus on.
You may have heard a lot about predictive marketing and how businesses have been making use of it to boost their sales.
In case you aren’t aware, predictive marketing is a technique that includes collating data and observing data analytics to assess as to which marketing strategies are likely to work for different segments of customers and result in bringing businesses. The research and analysis involved in the process can be quite time consuming. Creating digital marketing strategies based on the analysis can be all the more challenging. This is the reason why many businesses refrain from the whole process. However, as tedious as it is, the strategy is equally effective. It can work wonders for your business. So, if you haven’t given a thought to it, it is time you do it now. Applying this strategy to take data driven decisions is a sure way to boost sales and establish a name in the market.
Moreover, chances are that your competitors haven’t inculcated this strategy yet. So, adopting it can help gain an edge over them.
Collaboration with Micro Influencers
Influencer marketing has proved to be an effective digital marketing strategy since years. People look up to popular social media influencers. They follow them and try to imitate their style. Businesses that collaborate with these professionals see a remarkable increase in demand for their products and services. While these social media celebs continue to draw attention and witness an increase in their followers thereby benefitting the brands they are associated with, there has been an inclination towards micro and nano influencers in the recent past. This admiration and trust in micro influencers is growing by the day.
Micro influencers are said to be those with less than 50 k followers and nano influencers are the ones with less than 10 k followers. Several users are turning to these influencers to view the things they recommend, the style they follow and more. A suggestion coming from micro or nano influencers seems more authentic. People can connect better with them compared to the larger than life celebrity influencers. Studies reveal that 92% of people trust recommendations by other consumers rather than corporate advertising. Micro/ nano influencers appear like commoners and hence there seems to be a greater belief in their suggestions and recommendations.
So, joining hands with couple of micro/ nano influencers is a good idea for businesses. It is a good way to bond with the customers without digging a hole in the pocket.
Voice Powered Searches
Inculcating voice powered searches can benefit the businesses big time. In fact, this tool has become more of a necessity than a strategy in the current times owing to the increasing use of voice assistant. As per market research, 50% of all the searches conducted across digital platforms will be voice based by the end of this year. Research data also shows that 40% of the adults use mobile voice search minimum once a day. Likewise, 55% of teenagers use voice search every day. The demand for voice search devices is increasing drastically. Top companies such as Amazon, Google and Apple have come up with high end voice search devices that are selling like hot cakes.
So, if you haven’t included the voice powered search feature yet, it is time you do else you are going to miss out on huge business.
The good news is that many businesses are still unaware about the power of this tool and thus haven’t given a thought to inculcate it. You can clearly get ahead of them if you use it.
Social Media Stories
Businesses have been updating their social media handles with interesting posts and attractive graphics since years. These have caught the fancy of the consumers in the past and continue to do so. However, what’s really catching up these days, are the social media stories. Readers wait for brands to upload new stories everyday as they are curious to find out the latest they have on offer. It is thus time to focus on social media stories as a part of your digital marketing efforts. Research shows that one third of the most viewed stories on Instagram are the ones created by businesses. Now, you see the power of these stories.
It is a good idea to acquaint the customers with your products and services by way of these stories. Through these stories you can share the features of your products, the core values of your brand, the reasons why consumers must pick your products over others and so on. You must ensure that your stories aren’t too hard pressed on selling your products and services. The content should be informative. It should enhance the reader’s knowledge and help them make better buying decisions.
However, you need to understand that other brands are offering similar products and are also using this strategy. In order to draw more and more readers to your page, you must add fresh and innovative content with vibrant graphics. This is the only way to keep their curiosity alive and make them come back day after day. Businesses love this strategy because not only is it effectual but also quite cost effective.
Social Media Shopping
From creating brand awareness among the public to giving them the chance to click and purchase products right away– social media has come a long way. If you have been promoting your brand on social media platforms since years, it is time now to take your game a step ahead. You can now use Facebook, Instagram and other social media to sell your products right away without redirecting the customers to other sites. This tool has seamlessly been embedded in the social media platforms and must form a part of your digital marketing strategy. It is a good way to increase sales as it doesn’t give buyers the time to rethink or withdraw as they do while they are being redirected to different pages. Social media is a great place to impress, inspire and influence consumers. Promotional activities on these platforms coupled with the option to make a purchase directly have proved to be a good way to boost sales. The purchase can be done in few clicks. The process is hassle free and quick. Many brands have adopted these strategies and are earning profit as a result.
We see many websites with chatbots and several others that haven’t integrated this technology yet. Basic chatbots have become quite common. However, it is time now to move on to their advanced and enhanced versions. The use of smart chatbots is yet another digital marketing strategy every business must adopt for a better user experience. Advanced chatbots understand the questions put across by the users and are smart enough to search for their answers online. They quickly come up with the best possible answer for the query. They also help in faster resolution of complaints. Research shows that, as many as 70% of the millenials claim to be satisfied with their chatbot experience.
The chatbot technology is expected to improve further and we shall be able to see smarter ones in the times to come. Upgrading to the latest versions of chatbots is the key to make the most of this tool.
Use of Interactive Content for Greater Customer Engagement
Customer engagement has always been of utmost importance and the trend is likely to continue. It is just that the techniques used to engage the customers keep evolving in order to keep their curiosity alive. Running online polls, contests and quizzes has been an effective way to engage customers since long and will continue to be in the times to come. The idea is to come up with interactive content that encourages the readers to respond and converse with the brand. The latest examples of interactive content are infographics, augmented reality videos and shoppable posts. In addition to being more appealing to the customers, this type of content is also easier to share.
The use of infographics and other interactive content should form a part of your digital marketing strategy. However, digital marketers need to come up with really interesting and fresh content while using this strategy. This is because no one likes participating in similar kind of discussions and polls and viewing the same type of videos over and over again.
The content included here should be such that it adds to the reader’s knowledge and helps them gain prospective about something new. Since, the interaction is two-way, it is a good medium to get feedback from the customers and improvise accordingly.
Many businesses have already started using this type of content to draw the attention of their prospects. The ones that haven’t are likely to go for it soon owing to the various advantages it offers.
Video marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies in the currents times. Reportedly, 91% of buyers seek interactive content online. Statistics reveal that 58% consumers believe in brands that provide video content. Videos that share product description and features contribute a great deal in their buying decisions.
It is a good idea to optimize video ad engagement on your website as well as social media platforms for maximum reach. It has been observed that adding live videos on Facebook live and Instagram live fetch greater attention. These are watched much more compared to other video ads. The trend is likely to continue. Thus, focusing on this area can benefit your business.
The video content should be informative and interesting at the same time. You must also invest in interactive videos. This is a good way to capture the interest of the consumers and keep them coming for more.
Use Digital Platforms to Establish Transparency
It is essential to ensure transparency in your dealings in order to established trust among users and win them over. This should form a vital part of your digital marketing strategy as you can achieve this via digital platforms. Research reveals that companies that maintain transparency and offer information that appears authentic rather than being too over the top have a chance to retain 94% of the consumers. Digital platforms offer a great opportunity to connect with the consumers and ensure transparency. Here are few tips on how you can do so:
Establish your core values and share the same with your consumers through your website as well as social media handles. Subsequently, make sure you stick to these values as you deal with your customers.
Another way you can establish transparency is by telling the customers as much as you can about your organization and team. This will give them clarity about who exactly they are associating with. You must also encourage two-way interaction so that they can easily put across their questions and clarify their doubts regarding your brand/ products/services. You must address their queries quickly in order to clarify their doubts at the earliest and offer a better customer experience.
Digital Marketing Strategy – What’s Not?
Let us now have a look at the digital marketing strategies that are diminishing and don’t work anymore. In fact, these may do more harm to your business rather than good. So, have a look below to know the strategies that you need to avoid strictly in order to be in the good books of search engines as well as the public:
Use of Backlinking Software
In addition to all of this, using backlinking software is some form of Black hat SEO. This means you’re trying to fool search engines to earn a spot at the front page. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t like cheats. If it detects this, you’ll most definitely earn a penalty, thus reducing your Domain Authority significantly.
Testimonials are some sort of social proof. They work in a manner similar to word of mouth. Potential customers are more likely to make a purchase after reading positive reviews about a product. Sadly, however, businesses have gone rogue and they’re publishing numerous fake testimonials to show that they’re popular. This tactic used to be effective before everyone started using it. Then Amazon cracked the whip on more than a thousand freelancers on Fiverr, writing such testimonials. It then became clear to the customers that testimonials are not to be trusted.
Today, testimonials with common names like Mary, John and Paul do not have much convincing power. Customers want to see real testimonials from verified purchasers or those with images of the customers and their position at a known company. Therefore, if you publish fake testimonials without such information, you’re probably wasting your time.
Organic Facebook Reach
There was a golden era when all you needed to do was create a Facebook page, post content and you would automatically gain followers as your content is exposed to other users for free. Sadly, that era has gone as Facebook morphed into a business.
Today, organic reach on Facebook has dropped significantly and businesses have to pay if they want followers and exposure. It’s no longer uncommon to gain only two or three followers after a few months of posting content regularly. Therefore, relying on free organic reach on Facebook as a digital marketing tactic will most likely lead to disappointment and frustration.
Digital marketing is constantly evolving. This space is controlled by the consumer, search engines, social media platforms and businesses. With so many stakeholders holding nearly equal power to spark change, trends change faster than the climate. Tools that worked yesterday may be outdated and ineffective today. It is therefore important to stay informed if you want to avoid wasting time, money and energy.
In addition, pay attention to analytics. If your traffic drops suddenly, take time to find out why. It could be a new wave of change. Following conversations on relevant platforms and signing up for newsletters on your favorite digital marketing blogs may not be such a bad idea if you want to stay updated. While as a businessmen/ professional trying to make a mark in the digital space, you should stay abreast with the latest digital marketing strategies and tools however in order to handle the task proficiently we suggest you to seek professional help. It is a good idea to hire a reputed digital marketing company in Pune, Hyderabad or Delhi for this purpose.