The digital world is changing fast. To keep abreast of developments, digital marketers should adopt these seven habits in the year ahead.
The digital world moves faster than Usain Bolt on the track! Savvy online marketers need to keep up to speed with what’s happening to ensure they’re fully engaging with their customers. Luckily we’ve done the groundwork for you, so here are the new habits you need to embrace in 2014.
1. Produce good quality content
A recent report saw that 56% of marketers surveyed had seen their sales boosted by content marketing. However, it’s not enough to cram your web pages with relevant keywords – your content also needs to be useful and of a high quality, particularly in order to rank highly on search engines thanks to varying new algorithms.
2. Go visual
While words will never die, the image plays a more important role than ever before online. Some of the fastest growing websites around are all heavily visual, demonstrating the potential of shareable image-led content. People are bombarded with so much information that most don’t have time to take everything in. It makes sense, then, that pages or emails that look visually appealing will engage more with customers, as images are much easier to absorb when scanning than pages heavy with text. This doesn’t mean that all your digital offerings should become predominantly image-led, but it does mean thinking about stripping your marketing back.
3. Allow for flexibility
While it’s essential to have a proper plan with measurable objectives, it’s also important to incorporate some flexibility into your workload. People consume digital media in a very different way now – tablets and smartphones mean they can access the web anywhere, anytime – and they expect to be kept up-to-date with everything in real time.
4. Think cross-platform
By 2014, mobile is expected to surpass the PC as the most popular way to get online. This is a huge change in how we consume the web and it means that companies will have to adapt content to be viewed across various platforms. Say hello to your new digital best friend – the responsive website. They are designed to resize automatically to the screen they are viewed on, ensuring your customer gets the full potential of your site.
5. Take social one step further
More B2B marketers are jumping on the social bandwagon – 83% of marketers are now using social media to distribute their content. It’s no surprise why they’ve chosen this powerful medium. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. Advocates have been shown to drive ten times more action than that of paid-for impressions, proving that not only are social sharers a powerful marketing force to be reckoned with, but that they are also extremely cost effective.
6. Go big on data
The latest buzzword in the digital marketing world is big data, but what exactly is it? Big data refers to the massive amounts of data that collect over time – including business transactions, emails, photos, videos, activity logs, unstructured posts such as blogs and social media etc – which is impossible to analyse and handle using common database management tools: a big data platform is required.
Big data isn’t new data – it’s your current data unified in one place. Implementing a big data platform can be expensive, but instead of tracking website traffic separately from financial data, and newsletter data separately from social media information, it actually makes sense to take a holistic approach and look at this information side-by-side. You’ll learn so much more about your customers this way, and these insights will help you offer a more personalised service.
7. Tap into your intuition
While big data can take us one step closer to understanding customers, a really successful marketer remembers that that those leads/page impressions/clicks are actually people. Successful campaigns require a personal understanding of your audience. Sometimes you need to step away from the data – big or small! – and put yourself into the shoes of a potential customer.
With decades of experience and a proven track record in digital, we can help guide you through the next era. Drop us a line and find out how.