It’s crazy to think about how different the world is from 10 years ago. No doubt, every decade is substantially different than the last, but since the advent of the Internet, every aspect of our lives in some way relates to the web. What’s fascinating about this technological shift we’ve experienced over the past decade is that many professionals are still unaware of new marketing capabilities that have the ability to tremendously increase ROI. Terms like SEO, geolocation, mobile optimization, and social marketing may as well be another language to those not up to date.
Evolving with the changing ecosystem can be extremely difficult. Business schools across the globe are facing the same difficulties as they struggle to evolve at the speed of innovation. Marketing professors are having to familiarize themselves with the new marketing world as techniques used in the past are becoming increasingly irrelevant. That’s not to say that traditional marketing is obsolete. Traditional marketing is absolutely still relevant, but it’s no longer enough to stay competitive.
A popular phrase used by marketers is “you need to be where your customers are”. It’s why you won’t find many ski shops in Florida or snow cone stands in Alaska. There is simply no demand, and rightfully so, because you aren’t where you customers are. Where you will find your customers, however, is on the Internet. In order to stay competitive, brands absolutely need a digital marketing strategy that works in sync with their traditional marketing strategy.
To help demonstrate the importance of adopting an integrated digital marketing strategy, we have provided a brief list of some of the top reasons why an integrated digital marketing approach is essential to the success of your brand.
Search Made Realistic
Last April, Google released an algorithm update nicknamed Penguin, that began rewarding sites that publish fresh and relevant content. It was a step to help humanize search results. It’s a reoccurring theme that is centered around transparency and authenticity. Digital marketing is effective in humanizing brands because it allows them to connect with consumers in a way that traditional marketing can’t. Brands that offer customers a look inside are more apt to build a stronger connection: the additional layer of transparency shows authenticity.
Mobile Internet access has changed society. We use our phones for just about everything, from shopping online to streaming music on the go. ComScore, a global leader in digital business analytics, predicts that by 2014, mobile internet usage will surpass desktop internet usage. The faster brands can adapt their services to cater to the mobile consumer, the faster they can capitalize on their investment.
Optimizing your site for mobile serves more benefits than you may think. Google and Bing are now recommending mobile optimized responsive design for web development. Responsive design can significantly improve your site’s user experience because it keeps your desktop and mobile content on a single URL making it easier for viewers to efficiently navigate through your site. Responsive design also makes it easier for Google to discover your content. If you plan on competing in search, taking Google’s recommendations to heart should be a no brainer.
Engaging The Masses
A study by Ruder Finn, one of the world’s largest public relations agencies found that 91% of mobile internet access is to socialize. That statistic alone is staggering, but if you consider the above statistic regarding mobile internet usage, you’ll see that an overwhelmingly large percentage of total internet usage is spent socializing. It makes sense when you think about it. We spend a majority of our lives offline socializing, so why should online be any different?
At a time when consumers have lost trust in traditional media, socializing is one way for brands to remind us that they are people too. Take Hershey’s for example. They have utilized their Pinterest account in a unique way that invites and encourages socialization. Each image they pin links to a recipe that contains Hershey’s chocolate. It allows followers to easily re-pin their favorite recipes and in doing so spreads Hershey’s content out to thousands of individual pages. It’s just one of the ways brands are using social media to engage consumers through social content.
Content Is King
“Content Is King” is a phrase coined by billionaire programmer, inventor, and philanthropist Bill Gates. After all, it’s impossible to engage the masses without content. An important point to make about curating content is that it’s not a Field Of Dreams scenario. Just because you have built it, doesn’t mean they’ll come. Building content just to have content won’t do much in relation to engagement. Engaging your audience won’t be successful unless your message is relevant to their individual wants and needs.
Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs is an industry thought leader when it comes to digital marketing. In regards to curating remarkable content she says, “Even when you are marketing to your entire audience or customer base, you are still simply speaking to a single human at any given time. Worry less about sounding professional and worry more about creating remarkable content that other humans can relate to”.
Building relationships is the key to establishing a real connecting with your customers. Building those relationships and gaining the trust of your customers should be the primary objective when integrating a digital marketing strategy. Prove to your customers that you’re an expert and they’ll treat you like one.