7 Ideas for Your Digital Strategy
So far in the Power of Digital series, we’ve highlighted digital’s general power and presence in today’s world, and shared key tips and tricks to plan, execute, and get the most out of your digital marketing campaigns. This week, we’re shifting gears a bit to take you through 7 unique and effective ways you can use digital in your next marketing campaign.
1. Content Marketing
Content is key and king, and that will most likely never change. Especially on digital platforms, content can make or break your marketing campaign. Almost every channel can benefit from content marketing, but those that benefit most are websites, blogs, e-books, white papers and one pagers, infographics, online brochures, social media, and digital advertising. You can expect about 67% more leads every month if your brand has a blog (compared to those who don’t). Digital content marketing can help you get noticed, help customers find you, and build brand reputation – and high-quality content can make you a subject matter expert, thought leader, and front-runner in the industry. A good online presence created through valuable content can earn your audience’s trust and influence prospects to take action, especially if that content includes an effective call to action.
2. Social Media Marketing
As widely used digital marketing channels, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, can help you expand your digital audience and reach (and connect with) people in several areas of the internet. Social media is an excellent, easy, and often free way to promote your business through visual and valuable content that can be uploaded in seconds – whenever and from wherever. Like we said, social media is a great place to reach, interact with, and communicate with customers. It’s a place where customers know they can reach you quickly, get instant gratification, and grow to feel more personally connected to your company. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are useful for sharing announcements, blogs, landing pages, and more, and all of this content can also be shared, liked, and commented on by your customers and interested prospects. In fact, 53.6% of the world’s population uses social media, so take advantage of the crowd.
3. Video Content & Advertising
If you’re not already taking advantage of advertising with online videos, the time to start is now. According to Optinmonster, video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year. Video is an effective, memorable, and authentic way to share company messages. It can be inspirational, entertaining, thought provoking, surprising, educational – you name it. It’s a great way to tell a product story, make announcements, or show the faces behind a company. Just make sure when you’re making video content that you know your intentions. What do you want to tell your audience? What do you want to show them? How do you want them to feel? And maybe most importantly, what do you want them to do? The best channels to post your video content are YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin – but video content can be posted pretty much anywhere, and can be broken up and used on several different platforms to target audiences in different stages of the buyer’s journey and acquire varied results.
4. Audio Content
As consumers are settling into their new routines of life at home, consumption habits are dramatically shifting across digital mediums. Podcasts are all the rage these days, and for good reason. Businesses, influencers, and thought leaders have started to realize that no matter what someone’s schedule, while they may not have time to watch, they’ll often have time to listen. Whether it’s on the traditional radio or via a podcast, audio has become an extremely relevant medium to offer on-demand listening for your busy audiences. Even better…audio marketing can often be easier and cheaper to produce and distribute highly tailored content than other forms of marketing.
5. PPC Advertising & SEM
PPC (Pay Per Click), advertising and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) efforts can draw a ton of traffic to your website. PPC focuses on driving search traffic with direct commercial intent. Pay-per-click ads through the Search Network help ensure you’re fully visible and front and center on an SERP when users submit queries that are relevant to your brand offerings. This digital marketing tactic varies in its cost, because the advertiser pays the publisher depending on how often their ad is clicked. Yet, the more you pay, the more possible prospects you’re likely to get. This type of advertising’s a great way to show off your brand to individuals who are actively looking for products and solutions that your brand has to offer. 65% of B2B companies have acquired customers through LinkedIn ads alone, just one of many places these advertising opportunities exist.
6. Digital Display Advertising
This subset of SEM efforts is also a great way to reach new customers using text, images, banners, rich media, interactive imagery, and video. Digital display advertising presents you with the opportunity to showcase your brand in a wide variety of ad formats. Display advertising is an excellent way to build brand awareness and get clicks, conversions, and sales from users who have an interest in your business and have found your display ads to be relevant to the solution or product they’re searching for. Digital display ad messaging can be easily customized based on your customer’s interests and shopping behaviors, but before getting into display advertising, make sure you choose an expert to work with to get the most out of your efforts and obtain higher ROI.
Lastly, SEO is a good digital focus for your company to have if you’re looking to increase organic search rankings for your website. The higher your pages rank on Google’s SERP, the better chance you have of growing your business and brand awareness. Having a high ranking also builds consumer trust and company credibility, and betters user experience, making it more likely for customers to become repeat buyers. The mediums that most profit from SEO auditing include websites, blogs, and infographics, but almost every channel can benefit from improved SEO.
Ready to enhance your next digital campaign? Contact us. We’ll help you brainstorm and execute, and make sure you get the most ROI for your digital marketing efforts.
How to Digitally Reach New Movers – First
The Digital Age
Year after year, communication and information gets increasingly more digital – and connectivity through devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets grows more and more. Although this connectivity is amazing and progressive, especially right now, when we’re forced to solely communicate behind a screen to combat Covid-19, this digital world also comes with its challenges. Marketers like us have so many avenues to connect with current and potential clients, but those clients also have just as many avenues to miss, ignore, or reject us. “The amount of information available makes it difficult for us to focus on one thing,” making it hard to catch the attention of potential customers.
That being said – even when a customer is trying to focus on one company or objective, they’re often bombarded with other advertisements, notifications, and messages. Sometimes, “our own technology gets in the way of us creating that meaningful bond.” Our need for instant gratification can sometimes take us away from what we really want or need, and all of these different avenues of communication can cause an extreme lack of focus. On the other hand, customers are able to find out so much information, when and where they want to, at the push of a button.
Digital’s Effect on Marketing
This digital age has, like we concluded above, had a significant impact on the way we market to potential customers. Today, there’s a lot more to think about when it comes to reaching the correct audience, where and when it’s best to.
Before the digital age, marketing was simpler. Customers were targeted in a more generalized manner and only at times that would make sense to market to them. They were watching TV? They’d see an ad. They were on the train? There’d be a sign in front of them. They were driving? They’d pass a billboard. Different than now, they weren’t as constantly bombarded with information. They could choose to stay away from it entirely, really, if they wanted to.
Back in the day, companies marketed their “manufacturing prowess” – their skill at creating their product. There was no need to create a brand identity or use trendy messaging, because their product worked (and worked well), and that was all it took to convince customers. Companies also worked to reduce costs and limit choices for their customers. And the bigger the better – the more “well known” and big-business you were, the more trust people had in your company.
Fast forward to today, and things are a bit different. Now it’s all about “reducing friction” – making sure that it’s easy to understand, acquire, and/or sign up for your product or services. We’re still all about reducing prices, but not at the expense of quality. Marketing today is less about big companies and large corporations, and more about establishing a brand, a mission, and a community of customers and/or users. Lastly, it’s all about the two-sided network effect: “the effect of an improved user experience creating more demand, leading to more supply and more supply facilitating more demand — a staple of the digital age.”
As we said before, in this new age, consumers and companies can tap into and understand each other far more than before, through research, online tools, social media, analytics, and more. This, along with convenient and common communication platforms, creates a better experience for both sides, for the most part. Because of instant gratification and constant connection with technology, customer service is always on. Customers expect your company to always be available, at a rapid speed, no matter what hour of the day, and if you are or not, they’re bound to leave a review that lives online forever.
Digital hasn’t only given the customer greater access to you – but you greater access to your customer. You now have the ability to meet them with digital ads and other messaging on specific channels you know they’ll be.
Digital for the New Mover Market
Since it’s become a more exact science to meet your customers exactly where they are, meeting a large potential market – in their new homes – can be more accurate than ever before. New residents are in such a unique stage as potential customers, actively looking to establish brand preferences. Statistically, 70% of new movers make a decision on a company within 2 months after they’ve relocated. With this small window, it’s as important as ever to send them the right ads, messaging, and other digital communication to reel them in. In addition, “new movers are 2.8 times more likely to search for ‘How To’ articles after moving.” Make sure your digital messaging and communication is rich in content and out there for these new movers to find. Producing informative and unique content, whether it’s on social, in blogs, or in other online articles, establishes a level of trust that other companies may not be able to provide.
Additionally, you’ll want to make other digital connections with these new movers through social media, online assistance, digital display ads, and loyalty program offers. Try to stay “top-of-mind” without overwhelming them. Especially right now, when face-to-face interactions are extremely limited, ensure they know you’re there for them through reliable communication, and remember that there’s a human, not just an “additional customer” or number, on the other side. Create authentic, memorable experiences for potential customers, like gifts, unique social media communications, and more. Consistently target these possible customers through unique and eye-catching digital ads to slowly but surely establish brand presence. Lastly, let these potential customers digitally “get to know” you and your team by providing an “about us” page and/or personal bios.
Strata’s Digital Connection to New Movers
Strata knows how important it is to digitally reach new movers, first, and create lifelong, loyal customers. SmartMove Lite quickly establishes connections and makes a first and lasting impression. We do the work on the back end to establish who, where, and when you’re targeting these customers to ensure that you’re reaching them before the competition. Then, all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the results.
So, are you ready to start turning your new movers into new clients? Contact us to start brainstorming your new mover digital strategy.
How to Tackle Display Ads, Correctly
Simply leading a handful of players to the football field and saying “give it your best!” isn’t enough to win the game. Quality players in the right places – and a strategic game plan to back them – both go a long way.
The same idea can be applied to your display ads. You might have a few ads displayed in various places online, but if these ads are poorly placed, lack information, and are missing cohesive call to actions, visuals, and strategy, they won’t have the impact you’re hoping for. In other words, they’ll likely go unnoticed, and you won’t win over prospective customers. Whether they’re on a computer, tablet or mobile device, when set up and designed correctly, display ads can get your brand front and center quickly, with minimal effort and spend.
Game Play Stats
Generally, if display ads aren’t in your playbook, you may want to do a bit of re-strategizing. Over $500 billion is spent globally on advertising each year, and, not surprisingly, a large portion of that spend is used on the tried-and- true display ad – because it works. Currently, 84% of marketers are investing in display ads because they’re almost always within budget and can accurately target your specified audience (if you’re utilizing “good data”). According to SEMRush, Google’s Display Ad Network reaches 90% of global internet users and mobile advertising spend (which consists primarily of display ads) is now higher than TV advertising spend. Additionally, if you’re looking for lead conversions, retargeting ads are your best bet, with 53% more views than general display ads and 70% more likelihood of conversion.
So, now that your eyes are on the end-zone, here are the key players to you should consider when creating your high-scoring display ads:
The Path to Touchdown – Include Eye-catching CTAs
The single most important thing on your ad is a relevant CTA that ties in directly with the creative. It can do wonders for your CTRs and provide a better sense of the info users can expect to see once they click on the ad. Most importantly, don’t overthink it. A simple button can get the job done.
Remember the Offensive Line – Design with a Mobile First Perspective
Did you know 70% of all ads are shown on mobile devices? That’s why we recommend designing your mobile ads first, then you can scale up into other sizes for desktops & laptops. Keep in mind that no matter what size you’re working with, brand logos and colors should be prevalent, each asset should have its own space, and you should avoid overlapping whenever possible.
Don’t Overcomplicate the Play – Keep Content Short & Sweet
While there are no strict limits, a general rule of thumb is that less is more when it comes to copy. Wordier ads can be harder to digest, especially if they’re viewed on smaller screens. And when in doubt, mirror your favorite billboard (or sideline) ad – short headlines that can be absorbed in just 1-2 seconds.
Recs & Specs
Although you may be tempted to utilize a trick play, it’s usually best to stick to the playbook. Here are the most common display ad sizes, with “leaderboard” size being the most popular (and we’re not surprised!).
And of course, along with leaderboard ad size, there are a few more MVPs. As a general rule, you should include the following sizes within any campaign:
Other Things to Consider Before Kickoff
While we’re not telling you to call an audible at the last second, there are still a few things to consider before kickoff. To eliminate the chance of a fumble, keep these practices in mind when finalizing your ads:
- Acceptable file types include JPG, GIF or HTML5
- Your max file size should be 150KB
- Ads should be static or animated, non-expanding, non-rich media
- JPG or GIF back-ups are required but shouldn’t be larger than 120KB
- JPG or GIF back-ups must be submitted as files vs. embedded tags
- 1 pt. borders are required and must be a color that’s different from the creative
- Stay away from transparent backgrounds and anything that blends into screen content
- GIF ads with partially black or white backgrounds need a border that’s different from the background
- Strobing, flashing, or other distracting backgrounds are discouraged
- Animation length should be 30 seconds or shorter
- Animated GIF ads must have a frame rate of 5 frames per second or slower
Additional Draft Picks
Just like a good trade adds to an already prosperous team, display ads are even more effective when combined with omnichannel tactics like direct mail and/or email. In a study conducted by USPS, research showed that when combining direct mail and digital ads, 68% of industry professionals saw increased website visits, 63% noticed increased response rates, and 60% observed increased ROI.
The Hail Mary
In case you still need some visual representation, here are a few examples that follow the rulebook to a tee.
Ready to see your digital ad strategies cause a real spike in sales? Contact us to see how we can help with everything display ads, from creation to implementation.
Oh, and P.S…Go Eagles.