In today’s wired world, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of digital marketing to the success of your business. Strong, successful companies are carving out virtual space to respond to customers, to create connections with industry leaders. Digital marketing offers the invaluable opportunity to assess which elements of your strategy are working - or bombing - in real time.
Here are five new marketing tools and techniques to help you get started.
Content marketing techniques
One of the most frequently dropped buzzwords in digital marketing, content marketing is essentially storytelling for your brand. “Content” can be virtually anything with a clear message: a series of attention-grabbing images, videos, blog posts, or news items. Content marketing differs from traditional marketing tools in its resistance to overt calls-to-action or purely product- or service-based ads, and smart consumers have developed a nose for sussing out quality content from gussied-up advertising. Like a good story, good content is original, dynamic, and shareable.
Tools for social networking
You’re likely already using at least one form of social media as a way to connect with your customers - and if not, what are you waiting for? Social media is one of the best marketing tools for humanizing your brand and connecting with your customers in real time. A strong digital marketing strategy incorporates all social media forums appropriate to your organization, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram.
More and more of us are accessing information on-the-go. Having a website that uses responsive design for various mobile formats - smartphones, tablets, etc - gives your company a competitive edge. Many marketers are now taking mobility a step further by using location data garnered by customer check-in tools like Foursquare or Facebook, or data provided by Adwords and GPS, to target marketing campaigns and build an ever more complete picture of who your customer is, where she goes, what she wants, and when she wants it.
One of the most interesting new marketing techniques, retargeting (or remarketing) tracks customers through cookie placement and continues to show them ads for products they’ve viewed in the past across a network of websites. Since only 2% of traffic converts on a first visit, retargeting is a simple, powerful way to keep your brand and product in the minds of potential customers and requires little effort on the part of the company.
The common thread in these best new digital marketing techniques is the need for brands to cater to the desire of consumers to be seen as individuals, and not just as a number. Consider the recent viral west let campaign that secretly fulfilled fliers Christmas wishes. With this campaign, WestJet managed to give an airline a warm & fuzzy personality (no easy feat) and to demonstrate responsiveness. Brands need to prove a genuine interest in the personalities of their dynamic customer base and to treat communication as a way to build an authentic, like-minded community.
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