ecommerce trends 2021

11 Emerging Omni-Channel eCommerce Trends to Implement This Year (Part 2)

*CONTINUING FROM PART 1

6. BEYOND FACEBOOK ADS – CHATBOT MARKETING

Facebook ads are an amazing tool for marketers but they are not the only tool in your toolbox.

Used correctly, chatbots can be a powerful resource for businesses, turning customers into life-long advocates… Without ever having to pick up a phone!

In fact, according to Business Insider (2018), nearly half of Americans (around 68 million people) have tried out chatbots for customer service or information on a product or service in 2017 alone.

There’s a reason why this is so huge.

It’s because consumers are moving their attention from desktop to mobile on a daily basis.

This means that by using chatbot technology to engage with consumers, you are giving them the information they need when they want it.

And when someone searches for a product on their mobile device, they are 2 times more likely to purchase than if they were searching on a computer!

But there’s more.

You can also use chatbots for lead generation and brand awareness campaigns too…

And because it’s all automated, you can scale up your lead generation and increase your brand awareness without breaking the bank… Or hiring people.

Recart (https://recart.com) is an amazing tool that can help kick your chatbot marketing into high gear.

A chatbot will hold a conversation with your consumers and will be able to provide them with the information they need in real-time.

It’s like your virtual sales rep!

With Recart you can also engage with current customers through Chatbot Messaging and Chatbot Voice Calls.

Think of Recart as a platform that will help you create all types of digital experiences.

In fact, it’s an all in one tool for success for both Facebook & Instagram Marketing and Chatbot Marketing.

So where do you start?

Check out their article HERE (https://blog.recart.com/messenger-marketing-for-shopify-a-comprehensive-guide/) .

7. THE IMPORTANCE OF 1ST PARTY DATA (DUE TO iOS-14)

Most of us know by now that Apple’s recent iOS update has changed the way consumers purchase products through ads.

They no longer get driven to “apps” (or “click-pages” or “landing pages”) in an ad but rather they are driven to iTunes.

In addition to this, if you go to your “purchased section” you will see if there are any products you have previously viewed and/or purchased.

Now Apple does say that if you want links in your ads (i.e. click-throughs) they will allow them but they also say that the links themselves are not linked to your name.

Now this is important for a few reasons.

First, it’s simple, as link tracking is fairly easy to do and most of the time it can be done for very low cost.

But more importantly, it’s because first party data can be used in a better way.

What do I mean by that?

Well, in an age of data privacy, first party data is a huge priority for consumers and brands alike.

Because Apple has your credit card information and has a record of what you have purchased in the past, it’s possible for brands to access this data.

By using tools like Jumptap (http://www.jumptap.com/google-analytics-integration/) it is possible to track this first party data with Google

Analytics and Facebook Pixel tracking.

This gives you the ability to better understand your customers so that you can create better quality content to reach consumers who are more likely to convert.

But there’s more.

Because you have the data available to you, you can now take it and do all sorts of crazy data-based marketing!

You can figure out what types of products that you are selling are popular in certain parts of the country and use that information to tailor your content and targeting.

For example, if we know that there is a particular demographic of people who are buying a product (for example, sweaters in New England) we can create content (say a video campaign) based on this data to target these consumers more specifically.

In addition to this, brands can identify their best customers and better target them with newsletters, discounts, offers and promotions.

This is the reason why it’s so important for a brand to have a first party data set that they can use to create content for these consumers.

So even if you’re going to be working with 3rd parties like Facebook & Google (Google/AdWords) you still want your own first party data set.

8. MULTI-CHANNEL ATTRIBUTION TRACKING

While we’ve talked about the importance of first party data, it’s only a piece of the marketing puzzle.

What you should know is that there are other ways to gather data and use it for better targeting your campaigns.

You can take a look at attribution tracking in Google Analytics.

What this does is help you understand how your content performs in relation to other content from various mediums.

If someone views an ad on Facebook and then goes back to your website they will see that they came from Facebook and not from your website.

But what if you want them to see your website as the source? Simple – just track where they arrived from – i.e. Facebook.

Now you can use this information to determine whether or not the viewer is a match for your audience, which will result in better ad targeting…

For example, when you sell products online, if someone comes from Facebook and not from your website you can create custom landing pages for that person.

Another thing that you can do is take a look at the landing page that the viewer is sent to after coming from Facebook.

If it’s a different website than your own, then don’t convert them into future customers.

And if it is another website, then convert them right away!

It’s pretty amazing how much value you can get out of just a few pieces of technical data from Google Analytics.

You can do the same thing in Facebook.

Here’s how:

  1. WHAT TO DO: Go into your Facebook Business Manager (https://www.facebook.com/business/development) and create a new campaign (the ones that are pre-made might already have your desired audience).
  2. HOW DEFINED CONTENT IS DETECTED: In order for Facebook to detect content you need to select one of the following options: Universal Brand Tags, Dynamic Products, Product Listing Ads, or AdWords Conversion Tracking amongst many others…
  3. YOUR CUSTOM AUDIENCE: Once you have selected the option that best fits your situation you will then want to define your custom audience.  Facebook does create a custom audience for you but it’s limited. You can use it as a starting point but if you want to be more specific, then you will need to define this yourself.
  4. TOP TEN METRICS: You also have the ability to select up to ten metrics (to track) when using Facebook Ads.  You can track conversion events and export them while also tracking offline conversions, website conversions, and even sales volume (or other metrics).

Now with this data it is possible to create content that targets the same audience but in a different medium…

This will help you to build a better relationship with your customer base over time.

You can use this information too, when it comes to selecting the right location (or location-based targeting) to target by using Facebook’s location feature.

This way your ads are shown on relevant pages and websites that are related to what your customers search for, which means more conversions!

9. CONTACTLESS TRANSACTIONS

One of the biggest problems with e-commerce is that a consumer can’t check out in store.

But thanks to advances in technology, contactless payments are now possible.

In fact, customers are more likely to use contactless than store credit cards.

This means that you can collect data on your transactions (such as whether or not your customer is a repeat customer)… While they’re still in the store!

For example, say you sell coats and have a mobile company and it would be awesome if you could use that data to create targeted content for those customers.

You could send them emails about the new coats you’ve got in stock and make sure they get one.

Why does this work?

It’s quite simple, really.

When you sell a coat to someone, you ask them to pay using a mobile device, which will then give you a bunch of data that you can use as a marketer.

Now because brands have the option to run programs like these at the point of sale, they have incredible opportunities when it comes to targeted marketing.

The challenge is not having access to this data… But rather how to interpret it and use it for better marketing.

And this is where you can use a tool like Zeta Global.

Zeta Global (https://www.zetaglobal.com/) is a tech-driven marketing platform that provides brand managers access to the tools they need when it comes to data management and reporting.

This includes, but isn’t limited to, the ability to easily interpret data from multiple channels, create unlimited audiences and custom templates for lead nurturing… And even automate campaigns.

It’s basically your all in one marketing platform all built into one application.

And, when it comes to getting all this data, you can even do it from your existing e-commerce software!

For example if you use Demandware (https://www.demandware.com/) then you can get all this data without having to hire any new people or spend any money on developing new software…

And of course, all of this is powered by the Internet of Things (IoT) where most of the development is actually happening right now.

You can think of IoT as just that: Everything interconnected and moving data around like there’s no tomorrow!

10. CUSTOMER SERVICE WILL GET AN UPGRADE

There’s been a lot of talk about customer service these days.

We’ve heard from the big guys that they want to transform their customer service experience in-store with mobile checkouts and self-service checkouts.

So while these new innovations might be great for consumers, they are also great for brands themselves!

The reason why is because you can really represent yourself in a better targeted way…

Let’s say you sell suits.

You would want to know everything about your customers—like where they live, how many suits they buy, and what kind of size jacket or shirt they wear—if you’re looking to offer them a deal.

One of the ways you can get this information is by using zeta global to find out what device they are using (for example, an Android or iOS smartphone)…

But this only gets you so far.

What you really want is where they live.

This will help you to figure out if they live near a store (like maybe in a mall or on a street) because it’s possible that these people are actually your target consumers!

Now let’s take it one step further… And say that they aren’t located near a brick and mortar store.

This means that you can use your technology to reach out to them and tell them about their unique opportunity to come to your store.

You can send them an email with a good deal and then follow up with them until they come to your store.

And if they do, then you can give them an offer that is 10% better than what they would have gotten at the store.

Now these consumers have grown accustomed to these offers on the Internet so it shouldn’t be too hard for you to give them something even better!

The point is that better customer service and tracking will help brands move towards a new marketing reality where data is king.

The challenge for most brands is figuring out how to use it!

11. PERSONALIZATION IN RETAIL THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

Brands are using social media to connect with their customers and find out what they like.

But what they are doing is a bit different and can be segmented into two different types of social media for retail:

1. Social Media as Portals (HUMANIZATION IN RETAIL)

The first type of social media (portal-based) that we will talk about is the idea where a brand will use a social networking site to direct consumers to more information about themselves.

If Nike wants to pitch running shoes to someone, it might use the various social media channels to present its message.

In the same way that Nike can do this, you can also do the same thing with social media.

The difference is that you won’t be pitching a product (or service) to someone based on their demographic.

You will be doing it based on their passion for something and targeting them in a more customized way… Which is when we get into the second type of social media related to retail.

2. Social Media Advertising (BRANDING)

Another way that brands can connect with their consumers is to do so through advertising.

Now if you have a customer that likes a particular brand, then what you can do is directly target them with certain offers and promotions.

Let’s say you are a coffee company and want to sell your product to someone in the United States based on the data that you have already collected.

You might create a Facebook ad for your coffee to promote the product… And let’s say that there are several other coffee companies competing for this same consumer.

Because of this, you’ll need to find a way to make yourself stand out from the competition.

Well, you can do that by using social media advertising to highlight your brand rather than just selling your product.

What really sets you apart from the competition is not necessarily what you have but how you implement it.

If you sell shoes then maybe the biggest benefit that people receive from your product is comfort… And not price!

But then again, no one cares about comfort if they don’t like how they look in your shoes.

So while this is a different way that brands are doing advertising, they are still using social media to reach out to their consumers.

They just use it in a different way in order to serve them better.

The benefit of these two types of social media for retail is that both allow you to engage the consumer and create affinity… Which means that your message has been received by someone who cares!

There are some drawbacks however, which will be discussed later in this book.

In addition, the best bet for most brands when it comes to social media is using it as a portal rather than an advertising avenue because if you do then you will have far more control over the type of information that your consumers get.

SUMMARY

This guide talked about the various types of social media available for brands to use in order to engage their target customers.

It also touched on the three ways that brands can connect with their audience and the benefits of each.

We also concluded by addressing what social media is all about: How brands should integrate it into their marketing plans and how they should be using these different platforms to do so.

And to be more omni-present.

With Sprague Media we help brands open up their campaigns to the success of omni-channel, by using social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Our expertise in social media, analytics, customer acquisition and data allows you to find the right audience and inform them at the right time.

Emerging Omni-Channel eCommerce Trends

11 Emerging Omni-Channel eCommerce Trends to Implement This Year (Part 1)

Omni-Channel…

“This is the Way” [Mandalorian voice].

Siloing channels is a mistake, and you will lose so much in the long run.

Consumers are engaging with content across all platforms and your brand should be no different.

With the rise of TikTok garnering so much attention from consumers, other platforms (like FB & IG) are quickly trying to jump on the band wagon of quick, catchy, social media videos.

With Instagram Reels, IG TV, FB Stories, and IG Stories, these are all examples of where the future is headed.

That said, we are not seeing an abundance of people choosing one over the other.

In fact, the inverse is true.

When creating content for one platform, people are posting across their entire network.

Showing us the real importance of being omni-present as brands.

WHAT IS OMNI-CHANNEL ECOMMERCE?

Seems like a made-up term, right??

Well, it’s pretty self-explanatory…

“Stores selling both online and offline — likely also selling through multiple online channels (i.e. on Amazon, eBay, Facebook, B2B). We’ve also been referencing the importance of listing your product wherever consumers are already spending their time. This is increasingly known as contextual commerce, a more strategic take on the overarching omni-channel term.
” – Big Commerce

Be everywhere – sell your products everywhere.

Now that we’re on the same page, let’s dive into the fun stuff!

1. OMNI-CHANNEL: THE NEW NORMAL

As 2020 has come to a close and 2021 has begun, albeit, a bit better then where we left off last year – the transition hasn’t exactly showed itself yet.

We are really starting to see the results of working across multiple channels vs just a single channel.

Back in 2016, you could’ve scaled an eComm brand to $10MM+ just off FB alone!

Nowadays…

Not a chance!

Why is this?

Because attention has been garnered across multiple channels.

You might feel, “…damn, wish I could’ve done X”.

Of course!

We all do… Hindsight is 20/20.

That’s the past, this is the present.

And as we look at our strategies, we need to consider the past, present, and future.

So, the “New Normal” has quite the meaning here in 2021, in more ways than one.

What we’re talking about today though, is marketing & advertising.

As newer platforms, such as TikTok, have been created and promoted we haven’t seen a decrease in active users on other platforms.

In fact, we’ve seen the opposite.

Active monthly members continue to increase on every platform.

The reason for this?

In today’s attention economy, if someone posts a video on TikTok, they’ll also post it on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.

This also means that people are more likely to see your brands message if it’s also on multiple channels.

Because what we do, Social Media Advertising, is based on performance, numbers like this excite us.

By simply running ad campaigns on, at least, three or more channels, you increase your purchase rate by ~3x!

Image Link: https://www.omnisend.com/blog/ecommerce-trends/

Does this seem too difficult to do?

It shouldn’t, but if you’re already not doing this, it could feel overwhelming.

Well fear not!

It’s simple.

As simple as this (follow these simple instructions):

  1. Create a video – this could be an amazing piece of work or could simple be a slideshow video, showcasing your products. You can do this right inside the Facebook Business Manager if you don’t know how.
  2. Run that video in a campaign on Instagram.
  3. Then download that video and run a campaign on TikTok.
  4. Repeat with Snapchat.

It’s really that simple.

There are a handful of other things you are going to want to do, but in essence, it’s that easy to get 3-campaigns up and running today.

2. BUY NOW, PAY LATER

Financing eCommerce purchases is on the rise.

Brick and mortar department stores have been doing it for ages!

Getting you to sign up for a credit card and having that card cover your purchase.

Remember?

Back in the day when you would go “inside” a store (pre-pandemic).

Now you might ask…

Well, what does have to do with omni-channel?

Great question!

It’s all about conversions… And at the root of it, Omni-channel is all about conversions.

In the US, around 70% of shoppers abandoned carts.

Abandoned carts equate to around $34 Billion in sales left in carts.

With a Buy Now, Pay Later app like Klarna, we see an average of:

  • 58% increase in average order values (AOV)
  • 30% lift in checkout conversion rates

These are staggering numbers and a definitive factor in creating success for your marketing & branding campaigns.

And as I previously mentioned, buy now pay later isn’t new.

It’s just now entered the digital age.

That said, there is still risk involved with consumers falling behind in payments and, in their minds, your brand affecting their credit score.

However, what this really opens up is that Gen-Z & Millennial trillion-dollar market.

Allowing for the ease of conversion.

3. MORE CONTENT – INFLUENCER-BRAND PARTNERSHIPS

Now that the age of Omni-channel is upon us, we must also step up our content game.

I understand this is what marketers have been saying for years, but it’s really hit its zenith (so far).

Because consumers are on all these different platforms, as brands, we must also be on all these platforms.

It is as simple as that.

But how does one go about creating all this different content.

Well, there are a few ways to do this.

  • Repurpose old content.
  • Make a single piece of core content (longer form) per week and break it into chunks (short form) for distribution throughout the rest of the week.
  • Get influencers to create content for you.

You ever scroll through TikTok or Instagram and wonder how these seemingly nobody influencers are advertising products?

It’s all due to the need for more content.

While you, as a brand, can always create your own content, if you’re wanting to step up your game you add influencers into the mix and bump up your production 10x.

Even with the influencer phenomenon some major brands are still having trouble creating enough content in this noisy internet-atmosphere we’ve created.

But that’s okay, even is you’re a small business.

As there are many micro-influencers looking for work. And frankly, they’re way more appreciative about the opportunity than the big guys are.

The best part about getting influencers to make your content for you?

It’s a double-whammy.

What does that mean?

Not only are you getting content but they (the influencer) is also sharing said content with their own followers.

Even if they only have 1,000 followers, they tend to be 1,000 true fans.

That’s a big deal because it means that it is easy for them to get their content seen by those 1,000 true fans.

It’s a relatively simple process.

So what are you waiting for?

Get out there and find some influencers to help promote your content!

Think of it as a budget-friendly way to get your content out there.

4. SOCIAL SELLING THROUGH SHOPPABLE VIDEO

Shoppable video has been around a while.

Previously, making you go in-store to purchase your products.

What we’re talking about here is the rise of Shoppable Video.

But unlike old days, where one would only be able to rely on their store to get them into the store, now they can also rely on a video (with a shoppable element) to get consumers to buy on your brands website.

Now you’re no longer relying on store traffic.

In fact, you could even run your campaign on Instagram without posting it to a storefront.

Shoppable Video is the new way for shoppers to shop on-the-go and is the most common type of video that consumers are watching today.

Which means…

You can potentially get them to buy online!

This involves integrating your app into all of the major ecommerce platforms – i.e. Shopify, BigCommerce, etc…

However, there are two major challenges to this.

The first is technical in nature.

The second is budget-friendly.

Since this isn’t something you can just do through shared ads – this requires a certain level of capital to get done properly.

But it’s worth it, as Shoppable Video is the future of video marketing & eCommerce.

5. DTC ON SOCIAL WILL MEAN MORE THAN JUST PHYSICAL PRODUCTS

DTC (Direct to Consumer) continues to be an important strategy in eCommerce.

This is because of the ease of which consumers can purchase physical products.

However, as time goes on, we are seeing social selling evolve into Social Sharing & Referrals.

This is when your customers share your product with their friends, family, colleagues, etc… Which leads them back to you for more.

A new approach to this would be creating a community based platform with exclusive content from influencers who want to create DTC campaigns themselves.

Think of it like a “Product Hunt” but instead of discussing the newest tech gadget or app, it’s clothing and accessories.

The clothing industry is slowly becoming more and more social.

But it still feels like there’s a gap between the influencer community (Facebook & Instagram) and the real world.

That said, if your brand creates video campaigns that showcase influencers promoting your products this could be an opportunity to bridge this gap.

And with that, we would be able to truly say that there is a “little bit of the digital” in your physical store now too.

So don’t worry!

This isn’t some big leap.

It’s merely taking the modern-day digital approach to physical product sales.

On top of that, we’re seeing a trend that goes beyond physical products.

Whether you’re in the automotive industry, housing & real estate, or even digital products, we’re seeing a huge surge in these types of companies focusing their strategies on DTC.

This trend will continue and increase as CPMs remain low and results fly in.

advertising on pinterest

How to Advertise on Pinterest: 5 Tips to Get You Started

Developing a comprehensive digital marketing strategy is essential when it comes to maximizing your company’s performance. But, many people tend to lock themselves into certain methods.

For example, entrepreneurs often assume that Google, Facebook, and Instagram are the only platforms you should focus on. In reality, Pinterest is a solid contender that can easily help you expand your marketing efforts.

We’ve put together a brief guide on how to advertise on Pinterest. Let’s take a look.

1. Create a Business Account

Before you can move forward, you’ll need to open a business account on Pinterest. If you already have an account, you also have the opportunity to upgrade your existing one to a business account.

Regardless of which option you choose, it’s a relatively straightforward process to complete.

2. Map Out Your Campaign Objectives

Every successful campaign begins with clearly defined campaign objectives. In the context of using Pinterest ads, though, there are four primary ones you can pursue. These include:

  1. Driving traffic to your site
  2. Accumulating views on your videos
  3. Convincing your audience to download your app
  4. Cultivating brand awareness

When building awareness through conventional Pinterest content or video views, you’ll pay for every 1000 impressions. When driving traffic or app installs, though, you’ll pay for every click.

3. Identify Your Target Audience

As you might expect, you’ll need to have a strong understanding of your core demographic if you wish to target them appropriately.

Interestingly, though, Pinterest allows users to implement a broad targeting strategy in addition to choosing specific values for certain targeting criteria. To elaborate, you could target users who browse Pinterest on specific devices, or you could target users who browse with any type of device.

The same goes for age, geographic location, spoken language, etc.

4. Configure Your Campaign

Afterward, you’ll be able to begin configuring your Pinterest campaign. One of the most important decisions you need to make is deciding between ‘Browse’ placement and ‘Search’ placement.

As the names suggest, these categories determine where your ads will be placed. Through Browse placement, users will find them as they navigate through Pinterest. This makes them ideal for broad campaigns.

In contrast, Search placement will allow users to find ads when they look for certain keywords. From here, you can choose the keywords you’d like to target, determine your budget and schedule, and set your maximum bid for your chosen Pinterest ads.

5. Keep Track of Your Analytics

In order to ensure that your campaign is as successful as possible, it’s imperative that you keep track of your analytics.

Fortunately, Pinterest’s Ads Manager interface makes this a streamlined process. You will have access to information like your overall impressions, engagement rate, the total amount you’ve spent so far, etc. You can use this info to capitalize upon strategies that are working or revamp those that aren’t.

Understanding How to Advertise on Pinterest Might Seem Difficult

However, the above information will make the process far smoother.

From here, you’ll be able to ensure that you have a comprehensive grasp of how to advertise on Pinterest and make the most of the utility that it offers.

Want to learn more about what we have to offer? Feel free to reach out to us today and see how we can help.

Brainstorming process. Photo young business crew working with new startup project.Notebook on wood table. Idea presentation, analyze marketing plans. Blurred background, film effect.

5 Ways To Tackle Social Media Advertising Like a Boss

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More than half of the planet is expected to use social media this year. That’s over 3.8 billion social media users.

Social media has never been more relevant for businesses, especially in a world impacted by COVID-19.

Is your social media marketing campaign up to par?

Keep reading for 5 tips for tackling social media advertising like a boss.

1. Research and Understand Your Audience

Before you even start posting, you have to take a step back and analyze your target audience and your goals. Then you can come up with a game plan.

Some social media platforms, like Facebook, have built-in tools to help you analyze your audience and control where your marketing efforts are focused. Taking the time to develop a thought out strategy can save you time and money in the long run.

2. Create Engaging and Informative Content

Research shows that social media audiences respond best to visual content. Using eye-catching images and compelling videos in your social media marketing campaign is the best way to capture and keep your audience’s attention.

Social media is an excellent way to build a community around your brand. Your posts should encourage your audience to engage with you by leaving a comment, sharing their experience, or even sharing your content with their own followers.

3. Avoid Being Too “Salesy”

Content should be focused on providing useful information to your audience without asking anything of them in return. Doing this helps foster a positive relationship with your brand.

If your content comes off as an obvious sales ploy, your audience will be turned off.

Focus on creating content that is useful for your target audience and they will want to become lifelong customers. You don’t have to constantly remind them that you want their business.

4. Create a Cohesive Marketing Strategy

One of the hardest, yet most important parts of creating a successful social media advertising campaign is creating a flow across multiple social media channels.

Social media is constantly evolving with new platforms like Tik Tok bringing new challenges for marketers. It can feel like as soon as you’ve mastered one platform, another one is thrown into the mix.

This is one of the biggest reasons businesses consult professional social media advertising agencies. The pros are always up to date on the latest social media trends.

5. Track Your Results and Make Adjustments as Needed

Managing your social media marketing campaign is a continuous process. Many businesses make the mistake of setting up a social media campaign but never evaluating how well it’s working.

There’s always room for improvement, even if that simply means seeing what is working and implementing more of that.

It can be time-consuming to focus continually on social media advertising, but this is the best way to get results. Hiring a professional advertising agency not only gets you better results, but it frees up time to focus on your own business.

Let Us Help You Nail Social Media Advertising Like a Boss

As a business owner or manager, effectively marketing your products or services in the digital age means keeping up with continuously evolving trends. The good news is – you don’t have to figure it out on your own.

Our social media advertising experts can help you develop and run a meaningful and effective social media marketing campaign. Click here to learn more about what we can do for you.

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Young girl using smart phone, Social media concept.

Types of Online Advertising Your Company Needs to Try

Do you want your brand to reach the corners of the Internet that matter?

With over 30 million business in the USA, you’re going to need all the help you can get. Failing to market your business will only result in it getting lost to irrelevance. It’s a surefire way to make your business go bankrupt.

What’s great is that simple advertisements can generate a lot of buzz and save your business from becoming irrelevant. The only things you need to worry about are the types of online advertising and what they can do for you.

Knowing which type of advertisement your business needs can impact your entire marketing campaign. It can be the difference that decides if you get the oomph you’re looking for or if the campaign fails. Read what’s below to know which type is better for you.

1. Display Marketing

Display advertising is among the easiest and simplest ways to advertise your business. They’re also the cheapest, making them the most popular choice for any business that wants to advertise their services.

These include banner ads, landing page ads, and pop-up ads on different websites. This means that it’s everywhere, and people may not notice them at all. You’ll need to create a good ad to make it engaging enough to get noticed.

A good way to do this is to use engaging visuals and colors in the ad. Certain colors make something stand out, and using them is sure to break the focus of the people browsing the Internet.

2. Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing is a type of digital advertising method that focuses on using search engines like Google and Bing to market your website. The goal of this advertising method is to put your business website on top of the search results. This is important because there are 3.5 billion searches on Google per day.

This means that there are at least 3.5 people on the platform at any given time. It means that there’s a high chance that people come across your ads when searching for something relevant.

What’s great about SEM is that it also increases your organic SEO score. This helps your natural organic search rate increase regardless of the topic of search. It’s a great way to appear higher on the SERP.

3. PPC Advertising

If you’re looking for a cost-efficient way to advertise your business, pay-per-click advertising is the best choice. As the name suggests, you only need to pay for each click that your ad gets. This ensures that you get your money’s worth when going for this type of advertisement.

All you need to do is pay for the ads upfront and leave it to generate traffic. It’s a great way to keep spendings low if still starting up as a business. It also helps with your ROI since only interested people will click on your ads to check your website out.

4. Social Media Marketing

If you want your ads to get lots of engagements, consider posting them on social media platforms. Most of the Internet’s population go online to check their social profiles. This means that any advertisement on the platform is sure to get noticed.

Any ad on platforms will appear as promoted posts or sponsored stories. This is to tell people that these are ads and not posts from other people. Other ads will appear on the sides of the platform as paid ads.

What’s great about this advertising method is that it allows you to engage with your audience. Social platforms have comment sections and sharing features to increase engagement. These will help you gain the loyalty of potential customers even before they do business with you.

5. Influencer Marketing

Another way to advertise it to have other people talking about your business. This is what people call influencer marketing, and it helps you extend your reach. This is because you will be hiring people to talk about your business to their own followers.

This makes it important to choose an influencer who knows a lot about your services and field of expertise. Doing this ensures that their audience will also find interest in your business. You wouldn’t want to hire a fashion influencer if your main service revolves around technology, after all.

6. Remarketing

Remarketing is a great way for you to advertise to people who already visited your website. This is an advertising technique that involves using cookie-tracking to become effective.

How it works is the cookie tracker follows anyone who visited your website all over the Internet. It will show more ads about your business as the visitor goes to other websites.

It’s a great way to make people interested in your services again. It makes it a good advertising tactic for services or goods that are repeatable. It’s also a good way to entice more people to go back to your website if they didn’t buy something the first time around.

7. Video Marketing

Videos are among the most engaging media today. This is because people find it more convenient to watch a video than read some text. They don’t want to strain their eyes to know about the service they may or may not find interest in.

The only thing you need to do to succeed in video marketing is to create an engaging intro. Once you get their attention, they’re hooked until the end of the video.

Regarding video length, try keeping your video short. People often click out when they learn that the video is more than five minutes in length. You can use formats like Instagram Reels or Tik Tok videos to deliver a quick message to your consumers.

Know the Different Types of Online Advertising Today

The different types of online advertising each bring an advantage to the table. Know which one works best for you and use it in your marketing campaign! Increase your business’s reach and watch it grow and thrive today.

Do you need help with advertising your company? With everything else you’re doing to keep your business afloat, you may not have time to create a good marketing strategy. Contact us here and we’ll help you in any way we can!

young girl in a straw hat white shirt black jeans and sneakers posing on a vintage scooter near green palms hotel in Italy stylish girl in fashionable clothes sunglasses and red lipstick on her lips

How COVID-19 Is Shaping the Future of Influencer Marketing

Almost 200 thousand people have died from COVID-19 in the United States.

Since COVID-19 hit America, there have been lockdowns, people are quarantined in their homes, and some businesses have closed permanently. In fact, more people are figuring out ways to do things safer, especially when it comes to shopping online.

Many businesses are having to change their approach when it comes to making it safer for the customer to shop at their business, particularly when it comes to marketing.

Other businesses are learning how COVID-19 is shaping the future of influencer marketing, changing how people buy things from businesses.

If you want to see how COVID-19 is changing influencer marketing, then this article will have everything for you.

How COVID-19 Hurt Businesses

A lot of businesses have shut down permanently due to COVID-19.

More people are staying inside due to the mandatory quarantine, and businesses were forced to close their doors because they couldn’t afford to stay open. Brick and mortar businesses were especially hurt by not having an online presence.

When businesses did reopen, they were still hurting because people stayed indoors. People were afraid of catching COVID-19.

As businesses still try to recover from COVID-19, it’s important that they remember how to build trust when customers. Influencer marketing can help build this trust with customers. Influencer marketing can help people see the authenticity of a business.

Here’s how influencer marketing will be different after COVID-19.

More Micro-Influencers

While influencers have a larger following on social media, micro-influencers tend to have a stronger relationship with their followers.

If you hire a micro-influencer, your business can benefit from followers who have a strong relationship with these influencers. Your business can benefit from followers who are real and will listen to influencers.

Some influencers, not micro-influencers, will buy fake followers to make it appear that they are more influential than they actually are.

More Transparency

Before COVID-19, social media influencers didn’t need to disclose a brand. They didn’t need to talk about what they were advertising. But now there’s more of a need to be transparent.

Influencers need to be upfront with what they are advertising in order to avoid false advertising. When an influencer is transparent with the consumer, more trust is being built.

Consumers want to know what’s being advertised to them. They want to know what the influencer recommends or what they recommending based on their relationship with certain brands.

More Video

One of the ways influencer marketing will change after COVID-19 is with videos. In fact, more videos will be shown since they have a higher engagement rate.

Videos are a great way to show the safety of a business and what is happening with a business after COVID-19.

More influencers will take advantage of video to talk about safety protocols, entertainment, or something else that will help engage consumers.

Relationships Matter More Than Ever

One of the most important ways influencer marketing will change after COVID-19 is the way relationships are built with consumers.

For example, when COVID-19 is over, people will need to return to businesses or they will go with a business that offers them the most trust. Influencers will have a major impact on what customers will do after COVID-19. They will influence people to buy at certain brands that offer safety and credibility.

That’s why influencers will need to improve their relationship with their followers. Consumers may be hesitant to shop at certain businesses given COVID-19.

One of the ways that influencers can improve their relationship with their followers is being consistent in their engagement as well as being transparent. Consumers want to know who to follow and who’s going to provide the most helpful tips and advice after COVID-19.

How Businesses Can Benefit

Businesses can benefit from influencers after COVID-19 because a lot of influencers will be looking to build a connection with certain brands.

Influencers want to help business brands recover after COVID-19, which is why they are looking to partner with them. However, if a business does hire an influencer, they should make sure that they are original and don’t buy followers.

In addition, when a business does hire an influencer, they can quickly rehabilitate its brand image if it took a hit during COVID-19.

Another benefit for businesses if they hire influencers after COVID-19 is that they can reach their target market. You can have an influencer talk about your business and how you are recovering during COVID-19.

When you have an influencer talk about your business because of the relationship you’ve built with them, it can help create a deeper connection with your target audience. Your ideal customer will understand what happened to your business during COVID-19 because of what the influencer conveyed to them.

Overall, when you have an influencer you partner with and who cares about your business, it can help boost your business because you’ll attract more followers. More people will find your business and understand what you are going through.

Now You Know How COVID-19 Is Shaping the Future of Influencer Marketing

Learning how COVID-19 is shaping the future of influencer marketing is critical to know if you’re an influencer or a business. You need to know what strategies to incorporate and what to do after COVID-19 is over that can give you the best chance at success.

However, the most important thing to remember about how influencer marketing is changing is that there’s more of a focus on relationships. More people want a worthy influencer to trust when it comes to safety and where to buy.

If you want help with your marketing strategy, you can contact us here.

pinterest advertising

6 Tips for Using Pinterest Advertising & Marketing to Promote Your Company

Are you interested in incorporating Pinterest advertising into your marketing plan to reach new audiences?

Pinterest can be a great marketing tool, but it’s best to know how to use this platform to get the best results.

To learn more about how to advertise on Pinterest, keep reading.

In this guide, we will go over some tips and tricks that will help you make the most of your Pinterest advertising efforts.

1. Create Captivating Content

Because Pinterest is a highly visual platform, you will want to make sure you create captivating content that will stand out.

Not only is it important to make sure your content will catch viewers’ eyes, but you also want to make sure these visuals are paired with compelling copy.

Tastefully branding your content can help to build some brand recognition.

Infusing your ads with great storytelling elements can help to hook potential customers.

Try tactics like adding multiple images within one pin to make your visuals more dynamic.

This can be especially helpful when posting DIYs and other guides.

Including text in your pins using a text overlay, headline or description makes it easier for Pinners to know what your pin entails and is also easier for Pinners to find and come back to later.

2. Keep it Consistent

To keep your audience engaged, it’s important to Pin consistently.

Rather than filling up an entire Pinterest board at once, Pin to it at least once a day to reach a wider audience.

Use a scheduler to plan out your content so that you can keep things consistent, relevant, and organized.

Stay on top of seasonal content by planning ahead and keeping your content in line with popular topics.

3. Use Boards to Connect to Your Audience

Building effective boards can help you create useful content that can create a connection with your audience.

Give your audience a reason to follow you and keep up with your content by creating boards that can entertain or benefit them.

For example, you could create a board with tutorials or DIY’s that highlight or include your product.

Not only is this content helpful for your audience, but it also works to show current and potential customers how they could use your products to benefit their lives.

Create a board where you include user-made content to encourage others to post videos, blogs, and photos of how they use your products.

This allows you to create a community around your brand that can boost engagement and grow your following.

4. Use Targeted Ads

Utilizing targeted ads on Pinterest can help you reach the right kind of Pinner.

Use focused keywords, as well as focused demographics such as interests, age, and location to create ad campaigns that will reach your target audience.

Narrow in on your target audience using your brand’s buyer persona.

This will make it easier to find people who are more likely to be interested in your products and have an increased likelihood of following you.

This will help you boost the number of followers that you can convert to customers.

Expanding your targeting can help you reach new audience’s as you continue your Pinterest marketing journey.

You can do this by adding more related keywords and interests along the way.

Utilize the audience targeting feature in the Ads Manager section of the platform to target those who engage with your pins, as well as Pinners that are similar to your current following in terms of online behavior.

5. Make Shopping Easy

In a competitive market where convenience is everything, making it as easy as possible for customers to shop with you is a must.

Make it as simple as possible for your audience to shop with you on Pinterest using tools like Shop the Look pins.

This allows you to streamline the online buying process by taking shoppers straight to your product page from your pin.

This allows your customers to purchaser immediately if they wish, cutting down on cart abandonment rates.

Make sure you’ve switched to a business profile to utilize tools like the Shop tab.

This allows your followers to shop your pins and products all in one place.

6. Optimize Your Copy

If your pins link to a blog post on your web page, make sure that this content is keyword rich for the best results.

The more optimized your content is, the easier it will be for searchers to find it.

Make sure that your copy on both your pin description and blog post is as captivating as possible to increase your click in rate.

While you want to grab your audience’s attention, it’s important to steer clear of promotional or salesy language.

Figure out ways you can market to audiences on this platform without being too obvious as it will appear scammy.

Instead, include helpful descriptions and provide a positive sentiment while still encouraging a call to action.

Pinterest Advertising and Marketing Tips

To make the most out of this platform, keep these Pinterest advertising and marketing tips in mind to promote your company.

Utilize these marketing techniques to grow a following and a community around your brand.

This is a great way to build brand recognition and loyalty that can convert followers into paying customers in no time.

Are you looking for a team of specialist that can take your digital advertising efforts to the next level?

Contact us today to get started on increasing your online conversion rates and boosting your sales.

Social Media Branding

The Benefits Of Small Business Branding

What do you think of when you think of a brand?

If that immediately makes you think of big name companies — things like Apple, McDonald’s, or Starbucks — you’re not thinking of it the right way.

According to the Business Dictionary, a brand is, in part, “Unique design, sign, symbol, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors.”

Does that sound like something that only big companies need?

In truth, all businesses can benefit from strong branding, no matter what the size.

But when you’re a small business, it can be hard to really wrap your head around what a brand means to you, and how you need it.

This is where we come in.

We work with plenty of small businesses, and we know the importance of small business branding. Here are just a few benefits that you can get from it.

Branding helps you manage your reputation.

The first step in understanding why small business branding is important to you is changing the way you think about branding in general.

One expert, for example, suggests that you replace the word “brand” with “reputation.” By doing that, you more clearly understand what branding can do for you.

By focusing on your brand, you take control of your reputation. You can help shape the message and discussion around your company, turning it from something vague and forgettable to something that resonates deeply with people.

If you don’t do this, then your reputation is only what people say about you, and nothing more.

This can be dangerous, because a lot of the time, people will only talk about you when they have bad things to say. It’s simply human nature. Think of the last time you went out of your way to leave a nice review!

But by having a strong brand, you can take control of that talk and turn it into something positive.

You do this by not only putting out your own message but also by engaging people and encouraging those who were happy with your service to talk about you.

This leads us into our next point …

A brand turns you from a faceless entity to a relatable presence.

The reason that most people don’t talk about a company unless they have something bad to say is simple: they don’t relate to the company.

A company that simply provides a service is seen as little more than a machine by most consumers of today. They don’t really consider that their positive reviews can have an effect on it because of that.

When you have a strong brand presence, however, that changes. Suddenly, you aren’t just a machine. You’re almost like a friend — you have personality. And that makes you relatable to consumers.

This makes them want to help you out.

If your brand is personable, they’ll treat you like a friend. And that means that they’ll be more willing to help you out by spreading the word about how much they like you.

It also makes them more likely to share your promotions on a practical level.

Brand voice lets you put a fun spin on what would otherwise be boring promotions. And that means more people will want to share them, especially on social media.

Small business branding lets you put a fun spin on things, making you more relatable to your potential audience.

You learn new things when developing your brand.

When you’re developing your brand, there are a lot of things you need to consider. You’ll need to ask yourself questions like:

  • How do I want to be seen by my audience?
  • What is my company’s mission?
  • What are our values?
  • What is our culture?
  • What do we pride ourselves on?
  • How did we start?
  • How have we changed over the years?
  • How do we approach work?
  • Do we focus on professional or fun?
  • Why are we in the business?
  • What do we want to leave our customers with?
  • If we could pick how our customers described us, what would we want them to say?

A lot of these questions are probably things that you’ve never even considered — at least not consciously. But knowing these things can drastically change the way you approach your work.

Suddenly, your business isn’t just about selling a product. There’s a deeper meaning — a mission for you to complete.

By developing your brand, you get to discover new things about your company, which could lead to you being more energized and invigorated.

By discovering your brand, you discover what your company really stands for. And that’s important, whether you’re a small business or a large one.

A small business brand makes you stand out.

This was stated in the definition at the beginning of the article, but it’s so important, we want to say it twice.

In today’s landscape, the noise is deafening. The typical user scrolls between 201 and 257 times per day — and that’s an estimate that’s based on switching from one page to another!

Most people do small, little scrolls as they go through social media. And as they do that, a boring or unmemorable post is likely to go right under their radar.

Think of how you scroll through Twitter or Instagram. What are the things that catch your eye the most?

Chances are they’re the visual, bright things. Or the interesting content. Either way, having a brand is key to having this be part of your strategy.

Part of small business branding is creating that visual content that sticks so well with potential consumers. Something as simple as having a logo can turn you from an ignorable company to an interesting one.

With today’s saturated landscape, you need all the help you can get when it comes to getting your voice heard.

Having a professional to help you craft the perfect brand is essential when it comes to navigating this landscape.

Branding gets results.

As you’re reading this, you might be thinking: all of this sounds great, but where’s the proof?

The truth is, most companies that do take the time to focus on the brand will see results that they never thought possible!

For example, our client PDX Pest Control wound up seeing a 378% lead when they used our services to help build up their small business branding!

And that isn’t all. If you listen to the testimonials from other small businesses, you’ll find time and time again that focusing on their branding gave them results that they didn’t even dream were possible.

It’s time for you to get those results, too.

No matter how much or how little you focus on branding, chances are good that you will see improved engagement and similar things.

But it takes a professional to turn that engagement into quantifiable results that lead to more business for you.

That’s why, when you work on your small business branding, it’s important that you don’t try doing it on your own. Some of the first steps — like figuring out your mission — can be done alone, but at the end of they day, you’re going to want a professional to help you develop it.

Branding is easier and more affordable than ever.

Back in the day, branding was more of a hassle.

It involved a lot of back and forth with media. A lot of money spent on television commercials, and a lot of work to try and get the data back that helped you to make your plan better.

These days, social media has completely shaken up the landscape.

Getting your message out there — and getting feedback on the effectiveness of your message — is easier than ever.

With social media, you get to entirely cut out the middle man and connect with your audience on a personal, one-on-one level.

Of course, with great power comes great responsibility.

If you’re not the best communicator, this direct line might seem a bit frightening. But if you hire a professional, we’ll be sure to help you craft your message and make it perfect.

Small business branding lets you connect in a world where everyone’s connected.

There really isn’t enough that we can say about what a great time this is for brand marketing. The industry is seeing new and exciting changes that make it easier for brands to connect every day.

Come be part of those changes. Work on your branding now.

Interested in small business branding?

You’ve heard us talk about small business branding. Now it’s time to start.

A great way to get your brand out there is through Facebook Ads. These days, you really do have to pay if you want to get anything out of Facebook.

Luckily, we’re here to help you out with them. We’ll help you put out the perfect Facebook ad that will help all the hard work you’ve done get out there.

If you’re interested in our services, we’d love to talk to you. Come schedule an appointment with us today! We can’t wait to hear from you.

understanding the paid social media impact on your business

Understanding The Paid Social Media Impact on Your Business

Using social media originally seemed like a gift from God for cash-strapped marketers. Here was a way to generate leads and reach new customers, all by posting content free of charge on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Simply having a profile was an easy way to make a social media impact in your industry.

Yet organic reach has plummeted as the platforms have become more popular. In March 2015, Facebook’s organic reach was a pitiful 2.6%.

Algorithms are weighted in favor of updates from friends and family. Unless you’re willing to buy exposure.

To get the kind of reach we saw in the early days, you need to pay for ads. While you might want to continue with your old organic tactics, it’s worth considering the social media impact of paid strategies.

Thriller author Adam Croft ditched the usual free social media strategies favored by writers. By leveraging Facebook ads, he earned around $1.4m in 2016 alone.

Now we’re not talking about paying for social media traffic. Buying likes or followers won’t help your business.

You need genuine interaction and engaged buyers. Not fake profiles. The paid social media we’re talking about is advertising, sponsored posts, or other forms of marketing.

So read on to discover how to use advertising to increase your social media impact.

Think about the cost effectiveness of your reach

Marketers sometimes shy away from paid social media because of the cost. Yet advertising on social media is actually very cost effective compared to traditional display ads.

In one case study, Google Adwords cost $1.49 per click, while Facebook Ads were just $0.38 per click. The Google conversion rate was higher, but so was the cost.

That makes the Facebook Ad the better option. It’s a lower investment and you can tweak the ad as you go to improve its performance.

If your advertising budget is modest, then try paid social media before you explore the expensive options like AdWords.

And if you attach your ads to a revenue stream, you can generate impressive ROIs. With lower costs, it’s easier to double, or even triple, your investment.

Paid ads let you track your social media impact through your ROI. You’ll be able to map how much you spend against how much you earn.

That’s particularly handy if your budgets aren’t high to start with.

Combining paid social with content marketing is also a winner. By using ads to drive traffic to excellent content, your visitors get the benefit of your content while you generate income from it.

Check out our guide to creating powerful content that resonates with your audience.

You can generate a social media impact on mobile.

There has been a shift away from desktop computers towards mobile devices in recent years. That means users are far more engaged as an audience on mobile.

By using paid social, you’re placing your ads where your potential customers are spending more of their time.

True, users searching for a specific product or solution on Google are more ‘solution aware’, and therefore more likely to purchase. But marketers on social can capitalize on simply being present where their customers are.

Native advertising, in particular, is proving to be a weapon of choice in the digital marketer’s arsenal. It perfectly suits mobile browsing.

Native advertising, in particular, is proving to be a weapon of choice in the digital marketer’s arsenal. It perfectly suits mobile browsing.

Native ads are less intrusive than banners or pop-up ads. And they blend seamlessly with whichever platform they’re on.

You’ll have seen sponsored posts on your own Facebook feed or promoted Tweets in your Twitter timeline. These are all examples of building a social media impact through paid ads.

You can even tailor Facebook Ads to desktop and mobile. Think about the language that you’re using.

Say your ad is only going to be on mobile, and you want a user to click the button. No one ‘clicks’ on a smartphone.

They tap.

So change your copy to ‘tap here’, or something similar. Small changes like this will make all the difference to the success of your ads.

Paid ads offer scope for precision targeting.

Still attached to your organic strategies? That’s okay, they still have their place. But answer this question.

How do you target your content to the right demographic?

It’s difficult, if not impossible. You can’t control who sees the content you post.

So you might be marketing organic dog food in Texas. Except your posts might be seen by cat lovers in Michigan.

With paid ads, you can generate a more specific social media impact by using targeting.

Facebook Ads offer laser precision in who will see your ads. You can specify a physical location, an age range, a gender, or even other Pages that they’ve liked.

By focusing your ads on people who are more likely to be interested in your product or solution, you’re more likely to get sales.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking everyone needs your product. They don’t. You need to reach the ones who do.

You’re also able to get around the problems caused by changes to a platform’s algorithm. Paying for ads puts you at the front of the exposure queue.

And once you hit on an ad formula that works, it’s easy to scale.

You can expand your audience to reach a new set of buyers. Or you can increase your daily spend.

Why waste time reinventing the wheel when you can easily replicate the success of a good ad?

You’ll also get more information on your audiences once you start paying for ads.

On Facebook, you can check how well your ad performed in different regions, or even at different times of day. You don’t have that level of data for your organic posts.

You can use this information to improve or tweak your ads. And it’ll be easier to target an audience demographic if you know that a particular group never click on your ads.

It also helps inform your organic strategy. Look at which paid content performs the best and use more similar content in your organic calendar.

You don’t have to neglect the ‘social’ side of social media.

Trying to grow an organic following is incredibly time-consuming. Building relationships with followers who may become customers or influencers doesn’t happen overnight.

With paid ads, you can increase your social media impact by distributing a single ad to hundreds, if not thousands, of users.

You can place your focus on the relationship-building while the ads generate the attention for you.

It essentially splits the workload and lets you concentrate on fostering a community around your brand.

Remember that organic social media often only puts you in front of existing followers. Your social media impact is limited to people who are already aware of you.

Unless you use hashtags, you run the risk of never being seen outside of your small band of followers.

This is where paid ads come into their own. Your content will appear in front of your chosen audience – not just those who already know who you are.

And don’t worry if not everyone clicks on your ad. Even those impressions count.

After all, the user might not have been in the right frame of mind to buy the first time they saw your ad. But the second, or third?

Jackpot.

So you can even target your advertising to people who have visited your website before. It keeps you top of their mind and helps strengthen their awareness of your brand.

Stay ahead of the curve.

Surprisingly, fewer businesses are making use of paid advertising on social media. As more marketers begin using paid ads, those prices will only go up.

So by getting involved with it now, you can take advantage of those lower prices.

But where should you start?

Work out how to fit paid ads in alongside your organic content. After all, you’re not replacing your organic posts with ads. You’re supplementing them.

Start out using boosted posts on Facebook. Be strategic about which you choose to boost.

Only pick the ones that will generate the best ROI. That’s where you’ll make the greatest social media impact.

When you move into paid ads, make sure they’re high quality. Pixelated images, spelling mistakes or other errors will undermine any success your ad might have had.

Try our 4-step formula to creating winning Facebook Ads.

Don’t panic if you don’t land many sales. Often you’re better focusing on generating leads.

So promote webinars or lead magnets with paid ads. Woo your customers with your content and they’re more likely to buy later.

Don’t just stick to one ad. Try changing the call to action or even the color of the text.

It’s amazing how one small change can alter the success of your ad. Split testing will help you nail that ‘perfect’ formula for your business.

And that means reviewing your ads. Really get into the numbers and understand how your ads are performing.

Once you know what gets the best CTR and reach, you can create more ads like that.

10 digital marketing trends

10 Digital Marketing Trends You Should Be Following

Online marketing is one of the most important parts of a company’s advertising plan.  For many, the difference between success and failure is in the strength of their online plan.

Though once a trait of only large businesses, now even the smallest are able to create an online presence.  This allows many organizations to access markets they may not have been able to reach before.  Online marketing lets businesses — both small and large — expand into a global community.

The key to making your marketing plan work for you is knowing the digital marketing trends that matter most in 2020.  At Sprague Media, we have compiled a list of the ten digital marketing trends you should be following!

1.  Content Marketing:  The King of Digital Marketing Trends

It would seem almost foolish to begin a list of this type with any topic other than content marketing.  Referred to as “the King of Digital Marketing,” we expect content marketing to reign supreme once more in 2020.  However, despite being ‘the King,’ most companies admit that they don’t have a dedicated content marketing strategy in place.

Referred to as “the King of Digital Marketing,” we expect content marketing to reign supreme once more in 2020.

However, despite being ‘the King,’ most companies admit that they don’t have a dedicated content marketing strategy in place… in fact, only 32% of brands report using one!

‘Content marketing’ is the act of sharing material that drums up interest in your product.  But it’s important you try to keep that content brief and concise.

The old rule of thumb was to share no more than five minutes of content, but these days, most experts say to keep it under 3!  These days, there is so much going on, and many consumers attention spans are shrinking as a result.  Often, they’re skimming through your content at best, or they’re skipping it altogether!

If you don’t get to the point — and fast! — you can run the risk of your audience getting lost somewhere in the fluff!

Remember to keep your content unique and of high-quality if you want to stay competitive with one of the key digital marketing trends.

2. Video Advertisements

In today’s digital era, marketing is no longer restricted only to print.

YouTube and Facebook have been using video ads for years, and now Google has introduced them as well. Over the years, this has led to increasing acceptance of the format among common users.

In other words, online users now love to watch video content!

When using this method, try delivering content in entertaining, engaging videos. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of not attracting viewers.

Another good idea is to use professional writers and producers to increase quality. This delivers a higher quality product, which attracts more customers!

3. Influencer Marketing

When it comes to hiring outside professionals, you don’t have to stop at writers and producers. One of the growing digital marketing trends has been to hire influential people to promote your brand.

In fact, 84% of marketers say they plan to use an “influencer marketing plan” this year alone! This is a strategy that we know is about to take off!

To use “influencer marketing,” you first identify individuals with influence over your market. Generally, these individuals are celebrities with large followings. Partnering with these celebrities, they use their following to access a group you may not have been able to reach before.

This is a surefire way to increase brand reputation among desired audiences! The only downside is that, often, it requires revenue that small businesses do not have.

4.  “In the Moment” Content

While “Influencer Market” is set to take off, “In the Moment” Content is already big and getting bigger! Live streaming has been possible for over a decade but has only become huge in the last few years.

Periscope, Snapchat, Twitch, Instagram, YouTube Live, Facebook Live… these are all popular live stream services with dedicated viewership. Millions of users are accessing these services every month. This is where the people are, and this is where you should be marketing now!

A recent study shows users watch live videos for three times longer than recorded videos. This shows that “in the moment” content is a viable way to grab an audience’s attention, and hold onto it! But be sure your videos feel organic and not forced, or you’re unlikely to engage the audience at all!

We predict that, through 2020 and in the coming years, “in the moment” content will continue to grow to new heights.  Will your brand be one to grow from it?

5.  Social Media Advertising

“In the moment” content is just one of the digital marketing trends that social media offers marketers. With $35-billion directed at ad space in these markets, social media is where the audience is.

79% of internet-active Americans are on Facebook, and that number is rising yearly. By broadcasting to them, you can advertise your product to large audiences in their own homes!

There are so many good reasons to use social media advertising, we could write a whole article about it — in fact, we have!  But let’s break it down for you here.

This technique even allows you to specify groups of users to broadcast your service to. If you feel one group may be more likely to respond to your product, you only need to select them and go!

Another benefit of social media advertising is its ease of entry. Other trends need certain revenue or reputation to use to their full potential.  Social media advertising is accessible to even the smallest companies, providing heightened visibility.

6.  Purpose-Driven Marketing

In business, many brands are only concerned with the dollars and cents of their success. But many surveys are showing greater success for companies that have a cause.

It seems modern customers focus more on the ‘why’ than the ‘what’ when it comes to what you do. Because of this, more companies are now focusing on what customers care about to appeal to them.

Because of this, think about the ‘why’ that drives your brand and direction, and use that to appeal to new markets.

Studies show that over 90% of ‘millennials’ concern themselves with a company’s purpose. This is why, often, customers will pay more for a product if they know their money is benefiting a cause. For example, consider the ‘Toms Shoe’ policy of donating shoes to impoverished children.

If your brand can commit to a purpose and a cause, you may be able to bring in more customers and revenue than before!

When done right, these next three digital marketing trends can combine to create a positive customer experience. Blend them together to increase customer satisfaction and retention!

7.  Personalization & Automation

An easy way to increase customer satisfaction is to make customers feel important. By focusing on automated marketing, it is easy to advertise to individual customers.

You can access historical data, providing customers with product individualized suggestions and information. An automated ‘thank you’ email can provide a personalized message with no extra effort.

This also provides a greater understanding of your customers, which improves your future marketing.Personalization was one of the most successful techniques in 2016, and we expect it will be again in 2020.

Personalization was one of the most successful techniques in 2016, and we expect it will be again in 2020.

8.  Analytics

You can put in place all the various techniques you want, but a good marketer knows you need a way to gauge results. That’s where analytics comes into play.

If you want to see how your strategy is doing, focus on the numbers. A lot of novice marketers think likes and follows are enough data to review. But with Analytics, you can track even more. This will show you how many new customers you’re getting, and how many old customers you’re keeping.

More than that, analytics gives you a chance to solidify your strategy or make adjustments if you have to.

9.  Mobile Optimization

Ten years ago, it was fine for your website to only be accessible on a desktop computer. But as times change, so do technological standards, and what was fine before is sub par today.

A recent study shows that 67% of American adults have smartphones. Furthermore, 90% of those people have their smartphones with them most of the time.

It’s no longer good enough for your website to only be accessible by a desktop computer.

As of 2015, Google’s search algorithms give precedence to websites that mobile friendly. The message is clear… in today’s digital world, websites need to be accessible by smartphone and tablet.

Investing in mobile optimization can keep your brand’s site from getting phased out.

10.  Wearable Technology:  The future of Digital Marketing

In what may be a unique update to the marketing scene, a new platform has been coming into the market… wearable technology! From the Apple Watch to the Google Glass to the Fit Bit, it seems wearable technology is here to stay.

Even Pokemon Go has a wearable device which can connect you to their app without using your phone.

How does this apply to marketing trends? Well, as new devices come out, we need to find new ways to market to those devices!

These products are some of the hottest today, so they come with a large group of consumers you can market to.  In fact, experts predict that the advent of wearable technology could completely revolutionize the way marketing approached personal devices, in the same way the iPhone did in 2008.

The Bottom Line on Digital Marketing Trends

These were only some of the many trends you can use to make your digital marketing plan work for you. If you make use of all (or even a few) of these, you’ll likely see an increase in your plan’s success in 2020!

But remember… digital marketing trends change fast, and what works today may not work tomorrow. But for today, these trends are still working, so it’s best to start now!

Schedule a time with us today to learn more about digital marketing trends that can help your business.

Social media concept

Social Media Trends For Local Businesses In 2020

When it comes to social media trends, things change fast and you have to be quick.

Is your strategy relevant or are you still in the dark ages?

Social media is young and it can be hard to keep up with the trends that come with it.

Consumers expect different content on each platform, so you need to have different strategies and some social media trends only work on one platform. You also need to produce different content for the specific platforms.

It can feel impossible to stay relevant with your media marketing, but we have some suggestions to make it easier. The goal is to engage consumers and approach marketing as a group activity.

Here’s a look at the top social media trends of 2020.

Videos

2020 is going to be the year of videos, with the majority of social networks developing and debuting live-video tools.

Videos are the new trend because consumers are showing preferences for visual stimuli. Those who don’t do video marketing this year are going to get left behind.

John Carroll who works at Yelp agrees that the video trend will be huge this year. In a new article, he suggests that the more immersive and interactive the video the better.

Classic advertising involves the brand showing the consumer how great their product is. Now we’re learning that customers want to engage with brands instead.

To be successful, Carrol says, brands need to, “bring audiences on the journey with them. . . ” The customers need to feel engaged. Social media marketing is your opportunity to show consumers the people behind the product.

Immersive and engaging content will help you build your brand’s personality. It will also help your content show up in organic searches, as more people engage with it.

A boost on organic search listings is wonderful, but that is not the only perk. The more people engage with it, the more organic engagement it will generate. People trust what others like more than they do something in a paid search.

How to Make Video Content

You can cash in on this craze too with no fancy camera needed. All you need is a recent smartphone to use Facebook or Instagram’s live video features.

Facebook notifies followers when you’re live so you have an audience built in. The simplest things can make good engaging videos, so don’t be intimidated.

For example, if you run a pizza restaurant, live stream one of your pizzas being made from start to finish. Keep your videos quick and respond to people’s comments as they come in real time.

Customer Content

People trust other people more than they will ever trust your brand. That is why it’s important to always be authentic in your marketing. Though this may seem difficult, it can be easy and it serves a double purpose.

The best way to get authentic content is from your clients. Using your client’s stories and photos (with permission) has multiple benefits.

  • The original content creator will be happy with your brand
  • They will speak well of you within their networks
  • It will impress other clients that you pay attention to what your customers submit
  • Trust in your brand will increase as people trust consumers more than companies

Another perk of user submitted content?

Less for your marketing team to do.

This way, they can focus their efforts on quality over quantity when it comes to marketing content.

Types of Customer Content

It’s important to ask for permission before you share consumer content. With permission, anything public can be up for grabs.

Tweets, Instagram’s, pictures with relevant views, positive reviews, the world is your oyster!

You don’t want to overwhelm your clients with content, but you still want to stay relevant. Consumer content is a great way to walk that line.

Retweet things, share photos sent or posted on social media or thank a customer for a review they’ve written. Keep it positive and engaging with customers is a win-win.

Consumer content can serve as a boost to your advertising campaign. It also makes the customer feel like they are seeing organic, unscripted, social media content.

Break Barriers

Your brand isn’t just about your products. On social media platforms, your brand needs to have a personality.

Now, your brand personality needs to involve more than your products and who you are as a company. It also needs to include the people who use your products and the contexts they’re used in.

It’s like knowing your audience, but you have to show up at the other events they go to as well.

Chiquita Banana’s Instagram is a great example. While their product is in every post, they aren’t shamelessly promoting it.

They know that their customers like to make healthy choices, so they use that to drive their content. Recent posts include easy recipes and health tips that are relevant to their audience’s lives, while subtly promoting their product.

Posts with purposes other than only promoting a product are friendlier. Friendly-feeling posts will generate more engagement and be more welcome on clients timelines.

The goal is for your clients to feel like your content is a two-way conversation, rather than a monologue.

How to Break Barriers

You have to know your audience if you want to break the product-brand barrier. This social media trend takes a lot of work, but the payoff is high.

Find out how consumers are using your product and in which contexts, then base content off of that. Your posts should engage clients while still including your product.

Once you find out what is relevant to your clients, it will be easier to edge into their social interests. To stay relevant on their timelines, you have to keep up with social media trends.

Also, paying attention to what your clients like will help you know where to place relevant Facebook ads. 

Influencers:

Kylie Jenner is the queen of social media trends, but not everyone can afford to get an endorsement from her.

The influencers you’re looking for are sitting about 10 feet from you. Your employees are an untapped group who can post organic content at no net cost. Assuming your employees are game, there’s no reason not to try this social media trend.

Clients trust employees and client opinions more than brand executives. If you employees like your product, consumers see that as a good sign.

How to Use Employees for Organic Social Content

To get organic social posts written by your employees, they have to be happy. Unhappy employees will generate zero press, if not bad press.

Get your employees excited about projects you have coming up. Encourage collaboration and engagement. People will be more excited about something they had a part in than something they heard about via email.

Let your employees know that it’s okay for them to post things about these projects on social media as well. No one is going to share anything if they think they might lose their job or break company policy by doing it.

Imagine how much more powerful your strategically placed Facebook ad would be if it was preceded by organic content.

People who see the ad after the organic content will be more likely to engage further.

Your goal for employee posts is to start organic conversations within the community.

Engagement through Conversation

It can feel hard to keep up with social media trends, but this next one is easier than you think.

Your number one goal for your social media accounts is not to increase sales. Your number one goal should be to start and maintain conversations with clients, says Santosh Kanekar. 

We know from research on marketing, that people join people. This is why engagement with consumers is so important. You want consumers to see your company as a friend they can engage with.

This trend doesn’t need to be time-consuming. Long responses aren’t necessary. In fact, the quicker you respond the better.

Thank consumers for sharing or answer their questions. Retweet their tweets or respond to them, like content, and comment on Instagram posts.

Make your clients feel appreciated for interacting with your brand in positive ways.

Conversation Speed

Lighting fast responses from companies is going to be the reality by the end of this year.

Responding quickly to consumers could change your customer’s opinions big time. Up to 71% of customers who get quick responses will recommend that brand to their networks.

Fast responses aren’t limited to questions asked by consumers. You can reap the benefits by engaging on any social media.

Spending time responding to your customers will be a great return on your investment in the future.

Social Media Trends Going Forward

The social media trends we’ve discussed are relevant now but they might not last the year.

There’s no way to know what things will look like in six months or a year on social media. We’re willing to bet these social media trends will boost your payout until then.

When it comes to relevant and up-to-date social media trends, the goal is to engage.

As a business owner, we know you have a lot of things to juggle. We want to make your life easier and your business more successful with our strategies.

Let your marketing department keep up with social media trends. Let us take the guess work out of your Facebook ad campaign by scheduling a strategy session today.

Did you try any of these social media trends?

Which one is your favorite?

Let us know!