Quarter after quarter, business owners and CEOs dive into their business plans to see how they can improve their ROI and bottom-line.
Digital marketing continues to gain momentum and change the way companies do business. For this reason, it’s critical to know what your company should do to stay ahead of the curve. Online marketing continues to become increasingly analytical and more focused on a holistic marketing approach, encompassing search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and email marketing. Because digital marketing is always evolving, your business’s website and digital marketing strategy are more important than ever.
Did you know? Online ad revenue regularly increases globally by billions of dollars year-after-year.
If the word “trend” makes you nervous, you might be apprehensive about making changes to your company’s online marketing approach. That’s where we come in. We’ve nailed down a list of the most effective digital marketing channels that are poised to make the most significant positive impact on your business’s bottom line.
The Top 5 Most Significant Digital Marketing Channels
What’s in store for the digital marketing industry? The way businesses use digital marketing channels is constantly changing. As marketers and entrepreneurs, we need to keep up to date on the latest methods and trends. To better understand what’s ahead for the next quarter and beyond, we put together this list to show businesses of all sizes how to approach digital marketing. Ready to jump in?
1. Your Website
Your business’s website is the most important digital marketing channel, hands down. Your site is the first impression of your brand. And, if we’ve learned anything over the past few years, we know that everyone likes a fast website.
If your website takes longer than three seconds to load, you’re most likely losing half of your visitors. So, the faster your website is, the happier your customers are. This page speed trend is rolling over to mobile websites as well. Pages optimized for smartphones and tablets are critical since the launch of Google’s mobile-first index.
Google’s initial announcement of the mobile-first index blended user experience (UX) and SEO in an innovative way that is advantageous to local businesses.
We know that 52% of users who have a bad mobile experience are less likely to engage with a company. With SEO and UX playing for the same team, websites on desktop and mobile can deliver an amazing experience at every stage of the customer journey. As search engine algorithms continue to evolve, digital marketing agencies are using SEO and UX to drive leads and increase conversions on websites.
In fact, according to a report from the Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA), 77% of agencies believe that poor website UX is a weakness for their clients, the highest percentage of deficiency factors identified by agencies.
Netflix is a great example of how UX and SEO are continuously combining efforts. Netflix gives users the freedom to watch what they want when they want it. And, they use an algorithm to show you the viewing options that you are most likely to be interested in.
Navigation is also an important aspect of user experience (UX). Recently marketers began to move away from the “hamburger style” menu. “Card-based design” is becoming more popular because it allows digital marketers to show more information on mobile devices. Spotify has even scrapped their “hamburger” menu and implemented a new, tab-based navigation menu that appears on the bottom of the app.
Pinterest is yet another example of a card-based website design. Cards could include information such as a user name, picture, title, and various icons. These cards may include a small amount of text, like a product description. In a nutshell, cards are small, condensed web pages.
2. Email Marketing Campaigns
More than 205 billion emails are sent daily and this number is expected to rise every year by the billions.
But, just as your website becomes more personal, so does your email marketing. Digital marketers are now inclined towards creating more conversational and visually-striking email marketing and newsletters. Amazon is a great example of email personalization.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, is an email marketing genius. He says, “If you build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” And, that’s why more than 35% of all product sales come from email recommendations.
Personalizing your email campaigns goes beyond using the user’s first name. Consumers today expect brands to create an individual experience with relevant content unique to their needs. Here is another email personalization example from Airbnb.
After booking a trip, Airbnb sends a personalized email of things to do in your destination’s local area. As machine learning continues to grow, email marketers will be able to create more opportunities for personalization. The same can likely be said about email segmentation and its impact on email marketing strategies in the years to come.
Digital marketers are using creative segmentation methods more and more for email preferences. Search Engine Journal directs subscribers to a preference area where they can choose the frequency and the type of content they want to receive.
With the right email marketing strategy in place, your emails can deliver results with individualized content experiences. By harnessing the power of personalization and segmentation, you can track behavioral data to create relevant, targeted content for each individual.
The rise of voice search changes your SEO strategy. Keyword research needs to focus on long-tail keyword terms and natural language that matches the user’s intent.
Did you know? One out of five searches already come from voice queries.
Digital assistants like Siri provide users with quick, relevant answers to their questions. Your SEO strategy should help the algorithms provide the best answer. Voice search opens a big opportunity for brands to optimize their content for voice search. Content that answers questions directly will have a better opportunity to reach position zero.
The coveted “position 0” is where displaying featured snippets comes into play. According to Stone Temple Consulting, almost 30% of the test Google search queries show Featured Snippets. And, optimizing your featured snippets for voice search is going to continue to grow year after year.
But, let’s not forget about the basics. Google still uses your meta title and meta description. You want Google to display your metadata to get someone to click on your listing versus someone else’s. If you optimize your metadata with keywords using words and phrases that people want, as well as provide pertinent information, you can really win from a click-through perspective.
4. Social Media Campaigns & Presence
Experts predict each new year will see an even larger trend toward more sustainable social media practices. Video marketing has become a popular marketing trend. Online videos will likely make up more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic and continue to do so, as connection and downloading speeds are consistently upgraded. . Businesses will need to make sure the videos they are creating and posting align with company goals and can be tied to a real metric or quantifiable business value.
For example, Chobani uploaded a less-than 90-second video about how to make overnight banana berry oatmeal, a banana berry chia smoothie, a banana berry bowl, and banana berry pops to Tasty’s Facebook page. The video soon got 21.7 million views and 446,000 engagements. Chobani stayed true to its brand and values by helping customers create four healthy meals to enrich their daily lives.
And, with each new Facebook algorithm change announcement, we’re going to see marketers ramp up efforts for live streaming video. Digital marketers are also likely to see an even bigger push for live chat and messaging bots. Facebook Messenger has already amassed well over 100,000 bots.
Today, some businesses like Estée Lauder and AmEx are investing in chatbots to assist customers with making purchases. Estée Lauder uses a chatbot to match your skin to the most compatible foundation product.
With AmEx, cardholders can connect eligible cards to their Messenger accounts and enable purchases for items sold through Facebook pages.
It’s important to note that using social media platforms to promote your business online isn’t ideal for every model. Consider the products and services you seek out via social media.
For example, many of us are more likely to consult social media to find a new hair salon. Consequently, we’re also more likely to consult Google or Bing to find a roof repair contractor. Your digital marketing channels should reflect your business and target audience. Otherwise, you could be wasting time and money by putting your business in front of the wrong people.
5. Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Pay-per-click advertising, or PPC advertising, is a highly targeted approach to drive additional traffic to a website, online product, professional service, etc. Digital marketers help businesses define target audiences, keywords, and more. They then create ads and publish them through different sub-channels like Google, Bing, Facebook, and Amazon. This is also sometimes referred to as search engine marketing (SEM).
Businesses have a daily, weekly, or monthly ad spend budget. Each time an Internet user types in a search term and sees your PPC ad, then clicks on it, a part of that budget is spent. Algorithms and lightning-fast auctions determine whether a business’ ad is displayed to the user.
Google Ads is one of the more popular methods for pursuing an effective PPC campaign. However, other search engines like Bing are also important to recognize and take advantage of. Digital marketers are utilizing search engine marketing campaigns in order to enhance the effectiveness of marketing strategies. Such campaigns require in-depth research, patience, and strategic use of budget in order to grab the attention of select audiences.
Grow your Business’s Digital Marketing Channels in 2018
Thanks for reading. We hope you found a few new digital marketing channels to test in 2018. We would also love to know what new channels you’re trying in 2018? What new strategies are testing? We’d love to discuss with you!