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What Works in Digital Marketing in 2018

We at TEEM are pushing deeper and deeper into digital advertising (as are most agencies).  And as we do so, we are continually learning which tactics are most effective. It’s an ever-changing game. So we wanted to take a moment, to sum up what works in digital marketing these days, according to our own experiences.

Marketing Automation

More and more of our clients are deploying marketing automation technology: software platforms designed to more effectively market on multiple digital channels (i.e. email, landing pages, social media, etc.) and automate repetitive activities and repeat consumer touches.  

According to 2017 stats from EmailMonday, 51% of companies are currently using marketing automation and 58% of B2B companies plan to adopt the technology in the coming year.  

These platforms help meet the demand to be everywhere, never miss a touch, and track metrics on everything you do.  And metrics may be one of the greatest gains with marketing automation. Over time you are able to “follow the breadcrumbs” and adapt your plan to maximize what is working and eliminate unproductive activity.

Some of the primary benefits of marketing automation we see are:

  1. Track prospect behavior and send automated messages, content and offers based on that behavior.
  2. Sort prospects and customers into aligned groups for more personalized offerings and communications.
  3. Save your team time by automating common functions, aggregating reporting, and pre-scheduling repetitive tasks.
  4. Understand what is effective and adjust based on performance as opposed to guesswork.

Patience is important in the marketing automation adoption cycle.  It takes time to build, launch and optimize campaigns and hone in on tactics that create engagement and drive conversion.  But patience pays off. 79% of top-performing companies have been using automation for more than 2 years.

Remarketing

I know, I know… those ads that stalk you around the internet are creepy, right?  But when we are talking about what works in digital marketing, remarketing is something that cannot be overlooked. Because, regardless of whether you like remarketing or not – it works.

According to the Search Engine Journal’s 2017 State of Digital Marketing report, 68% of respondents utilize remarketing campaigns and 66% find remarketing to be effective.

But here’s the good thing about remarketing: you are being presented an ad for something you’ve already shown interest in.  It’s a good thing for advertisers to put offers in front of you for things you may actually want.  

Most people who view a product or spend a reasonable amount of time on a web page are interested, and may just not be ready to buy.  So consider working remarketing dollars into your budget this year. Come on… give ‘creepy’ a try!

Serious Content

We’ve seen a real uptick in the effectiveness of serious content vs “fluff”.  Only a few short years ago content marketing was young and fresh, and almost anything you created would find its way to interested parties.  Not so anymore.

An incredible volume of irrelevant, cheap, regurgitated content is generated and pumped online every day.  So companies who are willing to invest more in quality content with strong appeal are winning the content war.

At TEEM, we are encouraging clients to establish landing pages and collect contact information in exchange for robust content that is in high demand.  Most often, this content comes in the form of ebooks, rich infographics, and whitepapers.

On the subject of landing pages… you should have them.  Probably a lot of them. This Hubspot article shares a lot of stats about landing pages, but one of the most telling is that companies with over 40 landing pages generate 5 times more leads than companies with only 1-5 landing pages.  This demonstrates the power of diversity of content, A/B testing and offering A LOT of good stuff to prospects.

Video will be more important than ever

Although video is not yet heavily used on landing pages, we anticipate this content trend will escalate in the coming year. Cisco’s Visual Networking Index uncovered that by 2019, video content will be the driving factor behind 85% of search traffic in the US. That is a staggering number, and it reinforces the powerful boost in engagement earned through video content.  (In fact, that nifty little white paper by Cisco is a perfect example of serious content at its best; put real work into insights or entertainment that people are interested in and leverage it to earn attention.)

Whether you are creating an ebook, a white paper or a compelling video, highly persuasive and valuable content can be the key to unlocking engagement with potential customers and can amp up the effectiveness of every stage of your digital marketing funnel.

Great digital advertising is about more than generating ad views.  It’s about truly translating what is best about effective traditional marketing into the digital space while maintaining the human component. Compelling content that generates real interest from your target audience, combined with meeting people where they are without interrupting, that is what works in digital marketing and will make your digital campaigns a rousing success.