New Year, New Direction – Finding Digital Marketing Value in 2018
With the end of the year upon us, you can reliably bet that Google’s search engine results pages are full to the brim with clickbait titles that promise “NEXT YEAR’S TOP 12 MARKETING TIPS” that are sure to bring your business to maximum potential over the course of the first two quarters.
These content-churners neglect to see the depth that true strategic marketing entails. Virtual reality, web applications, and custom photography are always top of the charts. The “pool of experts” so often sourced by these publications consistently disregard the full marketing picture in favor of superficial, flashy components. Instead of usable advice for businesses, we see gimmicks or flash-in-the-frying-pan campaign ideas.
In reality, a successfully run marketing campaign is rooted in understanding of target audience identity, strategic lead generation, and advocacy tactics. Among, of course, a number of other techniques and methodologies. As always, the primary directive for the average enterprising business is to provide value to your customers. In layman terms — Who’s your customer; how do you get their attention; and why in the world would they talk about what you do?
1.Influencer Marketing – Lead Generation ‘What’s with that kid that has all those followers?’
Yes, that 10k follower Instagrammer from next door can help share your content in a fun, enthusiastic way. This will be our only “flashy” tactic recommended for the new year. Though it used to be the new, modern approach to advertising — influencer marketing is becoming the preferred, reliable choice for marketers’ lead generation efforts.
In fact, companies exist now that connect B2C businesses with their target customers through influencers. Finding appropriate influencers will allow a business to connect to audiences that are already saturated with their ideal customers.
2. Selectivity – Social Media ‘We gotta be everywhere, right?’
As sports coaches across the country would tell you, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Many businesses are taking less of a holistic approach to social media profiles in 2018. Too often, marketers spend much of their time building out content for profiles that have no potential for traction or interaction. For the sake of efficiency, and the classic “quality over quantity” argument, focusing on one or two stand-out platforms for social media may result in higher engagement, a digital community to be proud of, and a much better use of your time.
3. Storytelling – User Pathways ‘I loved buying that!’
An attention to user pathways is perhaps the most potent of the recommendations that we have. With more of an intentional look at the customer experience, marketers in 2018 will be investing more heavily in the content that their leads need to be hearing now. Further than this however, is the need to create customer journey stories that revolve around experiences rather than material.
In a 2014 study, social psychologists determined that experiential purchases are more fulfilling for your average consumer than material purchases. In the end, the anticipation was more of an enduring memory than the object itself. By telling stories throughout the marketing process, leads can effectively choose their own “adventure.”
4. Conversational Commerce – Lead Nurture ‘Hey, did you hear about that new…’
So, what about execution? What does storytelling look like in practice? In short, it comes down to the short term daily conversational touchpoints. Each check-in that makes your webpage, social profile, or location a conversational hub turns your “visitors” into a community. After a while, that community will work their way from visitor to longterm, lifetime customers.
5. Transparency – Reputation Management ‘Why do I care what they think?’
Sometimes, transparency translates to simple things such as: more accessible content,, staying true to brand mission, and publicly broadcasting company stances and decisions. Otherwise, reputation management comes down to monitoring social streams and public relations efforts. Unfortunately, in recent years, many businesses have sacrificed their lead relationships for the pursuit of short-term profit.
6. Our Focus – Campaigns ‘If you build it, they will come’
At the end of the day, a lot can be said about the boutique-style agency mission. When the focus lies on the little things, on the details, the larger problems tend to fall into place. Though a broad picture goal is absolutely crucial to successful marketing and advertising, narrowing the focal point to individual campaigns has proven to be wildly successful. Those small wins can build the confidence and momentum that lead to large wins.
Consider any viral campaign you can think of from the last year. The marketing team behind Budweiser’s “Dilly Dilly” content was likely creatively attached for days or weeks at a time to the same original idea, fostering further ingenuity and allowing for new innovation to flourish.
Does your 2018 look promising? The intangible aspect of some of the concepts above can be intimidating to some, but rest assured each recommendation is achievable with strategic steps. At Mountain Mojo Group, every part of the support we offer is defined by strategy and creativity — let us know how we can help you attain your new year goals.
By Alex Carel