The past year has shown just how important digital marketing is to any business. Across industries, brands have turned to digital advertising as the main avenue by which they access, entertain, and serve customers. Looking at adding budget and investing in digital can be intimidating, and we believe there are things you should do first to make sure you’re getting the most out of every dollar spent.
In one of my first client meetings with Q+M, I misspoke. Perhaps a little flustered and a little excited, I asked a client (we did end up signing them) what steps they had taken in the past six months to “cross their i’s and dot their t’s”. It was a somewhat perfect reminder that we can make mistakes or ignore the little stuff, the small details that add something like 10-15% of efficiency for free.
Heading in 2021, I’m still asking clients that question (except using the right phraseology) and discussing what that looks like in a year that is being billed as The Comeback. Many of these brands have already made some smart changes to the way they do business, changes that will most likely stick around well after the pandemic eases. In fact, almost every business I work wil has indicated that they’ll be prioritizing their digital presence forever; more online sales, more online network, and investing in a strong digital identity for the long haul.
There are still three things we’ve noticed get neglected. At the heart of these three efforts are access and communication. In the digital landscape, it’s easy to lose the customer. We try to remind people of what makes a brick-and-mortar experience valuable and apply as many of those traits to the digital sphere. In-person, a customer can browse, find their needs by department through an efficient organization system, and interact with a salesperson when needed. Online, all of these features need to be present.
Let’s Chat(Box). Maybe it’s because we’re all lonely from being stuck at home, but chatbots have only increased in popularity. Through automated responses or outsourcing communication, chatboxes are an important way to answer questions from customers. There are the perfect customers to invest in; they are already in a position to make a purchase!
According to ZenDesk, something like 30% of online businesses have some form of chatbox for customers to contact a brand during business hours. That leaves this platform ripe for innovation and investment, both structural and as a tool for brands wanting a chance to communicate directly with customers.
Social Media Is A Search Engine. SEO isn’t dead. Think of your own habits; your first instinct to learn anything these days is to search for it on Google. SEO is not a quick fix, but there’s no rush; digital marketing isn’t going anyway, and digital assets like websites and online stores are essentially rich libraries of content and search terms for your customers to access what they need.
Don’t overlook a similar role in social media, however. YouTube, for example, sees more search terms a month than Bing, Yahoo!, AOL, and Ask.com combined. The growing popularity of hashtags, too, has changed how people look up information on a topic, brand, or product, with the function essentially formulating the most up-to-date stories and opinions on any trend.
Spending time in formulating video titles, researching the best hashtags, and staying up on your site SEO are a part of the day-to-day landscape of all businesses in the years ahead.
Relatability. Influencer marketing has been hit or miss the past year. For a long time, industries have worked to find the right people to highlight their products. Especially in the US, attitudes about everything from health to travel to environmentalism have made influencers a somewhat difficult entity to correctly implement to a marketing campaign. Now is the time to focus on current customers and celebrate their positive experiences in everyday, relatable situations. For many of us working, playing, and existing almost exclusively at home, finding a more universal story to tell make more sense than any element of escapism that could draw scrutiny, criticism, or even resentment.
We’re working with brands across the country to refocus and retune digital marketing every single day. Want to get started? Let’s chat.