If having format difficulty, click here to open in a browser
Research Triangle Business Advisors
July 2015 Newsletter
A successful marketing strategy may seem like a constantly moving target. And, in the current digital marketing environment an impulsive, erratic, and volatile industry adds complexity to the problem of focus. Sometimes it seems that just as soon as we put our new plan in place, the rules have changed. Those feelings are well founded.
But, don’t give up and don’t stop working on improving your strategy. Yes, you have to keep up with the current marketing trends so you don’t look and act “dated.” For example there was a time that the marketing strategy focus was “Integrated Marketing.” Today, it’s “Content Marketing,” and, finding the best place to show your “Content.”This month we look at marketing strategy and what you should consider for your strategy in the context of digital, marketing content delivery.
Bob De Contreras
Marketing Strategy –
With a Content Marketing Focus
1. Electronic or Digital Marketing Advantage
The days of “Direct Marketing” (snail mail) and “MarComm” (glossy brochure marketing communications) are behind us. Today we see instantaneous digital delivery with content tailored to the user. Take Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines for example. When you request a brochure on their web site they first ask you to choose a specific cruise and date. Then you are able to download a full color electronic brochure tailored to the specific cruise itinerary, cruise ship, and shore excursions scheduled for the date of your selected cruise. Gone are the days of one size fits all. And, in terms of content marketing, this is tailored content delivered to address the specific needs of each individual user.
More and more, companies are paying more attention to customer experience and create content in a more useful, client-oriented way – content marketing. Companies using content marketing are expected to generate 67% more leads per month than those organizations that don’t. High-quality and relevant content is key to digital marketing today.
2. It’s a Mobil World
If your web site, blog, webcast, etc. is not optimized for mobile devices, you are not reaching your market. Mobile devices and our addiction to them are an indication of modern society and the current marketing environment. This is a fact that leads you to make sure you focus your marketing delivery on the mobile devices that are used by over 90% of your buyers to find information, products and services.
3. Videos Allow a Powerful Experience
During the last few years, the use of videos for digital marketing purposes has been steadily growing at 40% each year. Videos are perfect to show how a service or product works in a way that is impossible to achieve with text or images. A properly created video presents a story that shows the value of your product or service without talking about the product or service. This is experiential marketing at its best. For example consider the cooking video that shows the chef using the double ovens, gas stove and food processor to prepare an epicurean delight of a meal. The content is the recipe, how to cook the meal and the meal presentation. The products being marketed are the oven, stove and food processor. Companies are creating more so-called “explainer videos” and giving them a prominent role in user experience tactics – experiential marketing.
4. Visual Storytelling
Due to the increase in competitive noise, marketers need to use a medium that helps their message to stand out from the crowd and that is visual storytelling. This is perfect for engaging and nurturing engaged buyers. Visual storytelling is employed to communicate the brand’s philosophy and aesthetics.
Together with increased use of videos, visual stories crafted for marketing purposes are able to spark movement and inspire emotions, sending a clear message about the brand to its buyers and helping to define it against the surrounding surge of competitive noise.
5. Online Ads
The web is a place, where people spend their time during work and free time, giving marketers a wealth of great opportunities for targeting, segmentation and tracking options that are simply unavailable in traditional print advertisements.
Internet advertising is predicted to rise by 30% a year. Furthermore, mobile ads are expected to grow by 48% this year. If you are not taking advantage of this advertising approach, you are missing your market because you may not be keeping pace with your competition.
6. Marketing Analytics – Measure Results
Companies already use analytics tools in order to evaluate how customers interact with their products or services. And, these companies also collect analytic data on their digital marketing programs. However, often the analytics data are not evaluated, nor used to tune marketing programs.
The fact that companies are expected to increase their use of digital marketing analytics data spending by 60% indicate that this is an important marketing success focus. These companies are also making investments in marketing automation technologies to evaluate the analytics data acquired from their marketing programs. This allows deep market penetration, through the focus indicated by the analytics.
7. Advertising Services Handle the Dirty Work
There was a time when you could get digital advertising for pennies, but, today whether you like it or not, you’re going to need to pay more for advertising spots. And, you may need to consider using a service that charges a fee to get your content to the buyers in your market. These services automate the marketing delivery and also track results (analytics).
8. A Diverse Mix of Content
A necessary ingredient for successful content marketing is having a diverse array of content marketing approaches. You are competing for peoples’ attention, and those attention spans get shorter and shorter every day because of marketing information overload.
Unformatted text won’t cut it anymore. You need to deliver entertaining and informative content to your audience, while also keeping it succinct and making it appealing to the eye. You must provide an experience to remember:
- Text with rich images, and no jargon
- Compelling infographics that highlight compelling information
- Value added use information
- Web links to relevant, related content
- Entertaining and informative videos (entertaining translates to remembered)
- Downloadable brochures, guides, specifications, examples of user stated uses, etc.
- Vivid and colorful ebooks
- Case studies and white papers when you need to be a little more detailed with content
9. Content Marketing Requires More Content Creators
Content Marketing is not about presenting the value of your product or service, but rather providing added value to the buyer. For example, when you search the Home Depot web site for a toilet water inlet valve, you will also find a link to installation instructions, a link to contact an installer, and a link to buyer evaluations of the valve. Those links can be considered “content” and provide marketing value to the buyer.
Content is so essential to digital marketing that it can’t be dismissed as a “trend.” While individual publishers may be overextending themselves by publishing too much, it will always be important.
Therefore, there will always be the need for great content creators, including writers, developers, video producers, podcasters, and speakers. It’s not sufficient to find one of these content providers. You need to find a provider who knows your niche, and possesses knowledge, ideally experiential knowledge, of your products, services and market.
10. Track Your Conversion Rate
Conversion rate optimization is the process of maximizing the number of site visitors who “convert” or make a purchase, by tracking marketing changes and conversion rates. With this data, marketers can determine what elements of marketing programs will produce the highest number of conversions.
The process pays off. Instead of paying big bucks for ad placements and organic traffic, marketers can instead funnel more of their existing traffic into sales.
11. Social Media Data for Target Marketing
People who use various websites leave their interest data on the web – for example, Facebook and Twitter act as repositories of data about their users. Access to this information allows marketers to target niche audiences and use targeted advertising more efficiently than ever before.
In general, there is user acceptance for the use of data for online advertising – perhaps more than you would expect, since only 47% of consumers opposed a law that limited the use of data for this purpose. Targeted ads are twice as effective as non-targeted ones and one study demonstrated that a retargeted display ad will inspire 1000% more people to search for the advertised product.
12. Going Mobile All The Way
The importance of mobile will grow in each and every aspect of business, online marketing included. People use mobile devices all day long and in various contexts, allowing marketers to target them in a longer stretch of time and during different phases of the day – at work, during rest or play.
Mobile web has become bigger than desktop usage, and therefore spending for mobile ads is growing fast. Popularity of mobile devices is driven by smartphones, tablets and wearable technology.
In order to stay effective, online marketing strategies should immediately respond to the preferences and behaviors of their targeted audiences and follow consumers in their daily use of the web as shown in this article. There’s no doubt about one thing – marketers will find the next few years challenging as deep changes in the ways in which consumers interact with online environments evolve.
You’ll never know the upside until you give one or two of the focuses listed in this article a try.
Cary | Raleigh | Research Triangle Park |
Greensboro | North Carolina