Online marketing is now a cornerstone of successful marketing campaigns, but it still remains overlooked by many businesses. This is, in part, because of the rapidly changing and ever evolving nature of the channel. The result is that for many businesses it becomes difficult to distinguish online facts from fads.
Last month we discussed some of the earlier forms of online marketing such as email marketing, SMS (text message) marketing, and websites (computer and mobile) that have been around for 5, 10, 20, and in some cases even 30 years. But online marketing is intrinsically tied to technological advancements that move beyond these areas. New devices, websites, trends and technologies are constantly challenging marketers to refine their techniques.
The following are a few of the latest tools and technologies that will be supplementing and perhaps replacing, at least in popularity, some of the current tried and true digital marketing methodologies.
App development was once a privilege enjoyed exclusively by larger companies. Now, many small to medium sized enterprises use apps, and thankfully, the technology is more accessible than ever before.
Today, consumers spend 85 per cent of their smartphone time using apps, and 84 per cent of that time on non-native apps (i.e., apps that they have downloaded in addition to the preinstalled apps). Building your company’s app now is similar to building a website in the early 2000s – it is a growing channel that looks ready to explode.
According to Zubin Mowlavi with Entrepreneur, 52 per cent of global mobile users “say brand, product, or store apps increase their interest in buying.” Unlike standard forms of online content, apps provide an experience that is fully optimized for each and every mobile device, resulting in an enhanced customer experience.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing has taken off as quickly as social media itself. In Canada, 60 per cent of Internet users are on Facebook, 30 per cent are on LinkedIn, 25 per cent are on Twitter, and 16 per cent are on Instagram. Similar to search engines, which use targeted ‘organic’ and paid marketing techniques (SEO and SEM respectively), social media marketing can be broken down into the same categories.
Organic social media marketing relies on the same fundamental approach as SEO: quality content. Reaching clients and potential clients with quality content earns your brand shares, likes, posts, retweets or favourites, which spreads the content and your brand further.
Like SEO, it may take months or years to achieve a considerable amount of market penetration through entirely organic means. Paid techniques utilize PPC (pay per click) campaigns as well as other more traditional marketing techniques such as contests, prizes, and celebrity endorsements and can help to supplement SEO.
What’s new and trending
According to Karlyne Zovitsky, Digital Marketing Specialist at Conversion Advantage, “Consumers are not simply exposed to new products or services as they enter a store or browse the internet any more. Multiple devices, platforms and social media channels surround them daily, or if I must be 100% correct, hourly; even every minute. We are exposed to a digital world filled with exciting new products, services and digital innovations.”
This highly effective method of digital marketing allows you to identify a visitor to your web site and then retarget them with your message on a different site or sites that they subsequently visit. The trick is to ensure that the message you retarget them with is sufficiently compelling to bring them back to your site.
It was inevitable that something as popular as Instagram would take advantage of the commercial opportunities that popularity provides. Instagram ads are now available to all advertisers. There are several options you can take advantage of including a rotating ad platform and the ever-effective video ad.
Identity based PPC
This is a great example at how advanced and specific digital marketing is becoming. Adwords now provides marketers to target individual people with specific ads based on either their email address or phone number. Marketers can communicate with individuals in an effort to satisfy a particular need of that particular individual.
Snapchat – Ads with rapid expiration
Like Instagram, Snapchat, a video/photo messaging app, experienced rapid and extensive success. One of the differentiated ways they are commercializing this is to provide marketers with the opportunity to provide exclusive messaging like promo campaign introductions that last for only a few seconds. The appeal to the audience is in the exclusivity.
Meerkat, Periscope and Facebook – Live video streaming
Marketers can use Meerkat, Persicope or Facebook to live stream exciting events to your Twitter community as they happen such as a new store opening, a new product intro or a celebrity/authority interview. This has tremendous appeal for those that want to be in the know now.
Facebook Messenger for Business
Businesses can interact with the over 900 million monthly users of Facebook Messenger. In brief, this allows users to buy online through the app, receive purchase related notifications, and share info about their purchases with their friends without visiting the site they expect to buy from.
As you can see online marketing is constantly expanding and changing. Established marketing techniques like email, websites and SMS have been joined by newer methods like those summarized in this blog. All these online marketing channels are revolutionizing the way businesses sell their products and services and connect with current and potential consumers. We will continue to monitor this rapidly evolving space and keep you up-to-date with the latest and greatest.