5 Digital Marketing Tips to Keep in Mind for 2016
Throughout the month of January, the Chamber hosted its first-ever Digital Marketing Series, which took a new spin on its annual social media seminar series. It allowed for a more comprehensive look into the latest digital marketing tools and strategies available to businesses.
The series featured four local digital media experts:
· John McCulley - Digital Media Manager, Moxley Carmichael
· Demming Bass - Regional Development Manager, Constant Contact
· Jimmy Delaney - Assistant Athletic Director for Sales & Marketing, UT Athletics
· Laura Spica - Founder, Spica Communications
As a communications professional myself, I decided to attend the seminars to see what tools and strategies I could apply to the Chamber’s digital marketing initiatives. The talks were informative and engaging, and I left each seminar with new perspectives and inspirations.
From the entire series, I internalized some key takeaways and have created a list of five marketing tips to keep in mind for this year (according to local industry experts).
1. Get social & spend money on it (your competitors already are)
Maintaining an online presence on social media doesn’t only mean posting regularly anymore. Your followers in 2016 are going to be looking for some meaningful engagement. This means creating real relationships and taking customer service seriously.
Although many professionals break out in hives at the thought of spending money on boosting social media posts or Facebook and Twitter ads, it is going to be a necessity this year. According to Adweek, 70 percent of companies with a digital marketing budget plan to spend even more this year. Your competitors are doing it, and it’s time you make the same investment in your digital marketing.
2. At its core, marketing is about getting results
Marketing means defining your audience, reaching out to them with a message that is specific to that audience, and getting a physical and measureable response. These responses are the results you want and need your business to get. Examples of physical and measureable results include: clicks or downloads, visits to the store or office, reservations or appointments made, and phone calls.
These actions are human responses to what your business puts out there, and they must be measurable. Don’t forget that your responses should support the underlying goal of your business – to generate revenue or donations. If they aren’t supporting that goal, it’s time to re-evaluate your marketing tactics.
3. Design for the customer, device, and channel
Cookie-cutter marketing and advertising will not cut it in 2016. It’s time to get creative and produce unique designs and messages for your various audiences and channels. Advertising on Facebook is completely different than advertising on Pandora, which is completely different from traditional print advertising. Know your channels and the types of advertisements that work for them.
“Go where your customers hang out.” There are affordable advertising options for key channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pandora, as well as regional/local options like print news and television. Make unique ad designs for each channel – don’t copy and paste!
4. Speak in a consistent brand voice, and be authentic
It’s important for your brand’s voice to remain consistent across all channels. You want it to be recognizable amongst all the noise and clutter online. People are constantly bombarded with information online, and you want your brand to be a memorable and consistent force in their minds. You need for your customers to recognize you regardless of which online channel they are using. One way to stay memorable and relevant is to remain authentic. Stay true to who you are as a brand - your customers will appreciate the consistency.
5. Don’t get too comfortable - marketing trends are always changing
Marketing trends are constantly evolving with the introduction of new tools and strategies, which means your digital marketing plan must evolve as well. Your plan for this year will not be your plan for next year, and it shouldn’t be the same as your plan from last year. Be flexible, embrace the changes, and get creative!