Marketing Transformation for 2020 and Beyond
How often do you click on banner ads? Or paid search results? How often do you pause to watch a commercial on TV or YouTube? If the answers are rarely or never, then you already understand the challenge facing today’s marketers. Businesses of all sizes need Marketing Transformation (MT) plans in place to stay relevant and keep pace with consumers’ buying behaviour.
On the flip side, do you remember where your latest obsession came from? That game, that fashion trend, that new cuisine. Did you feel like you discovered something amazing with your personal awesomeness radar? Or did you follow a path of obviously advertised breadcrumbs?
Now think about your last marketing campaign. Is your palm on your face? If so, then you’re ready for a change.
But change is scary, especially when you don’t know where to start. If your instincts tell you that overcoming challenges rewards your business in the end, keep reading. The answers are coming.
Overhauling Images and Ideas
Flat ads have been dwindling in effectiveness for over a decade, online as well as in print. All while quality video content is easier to produce, compelling, and engaging. But wait, didn’t we just say YouTube ads aren’t working? So, you need to make an original video and be the content that comes up in search, not the ad that gets skipped over.
“Video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic search results than plain text.” – Omnicore, 2018
Whether you create video content, selectively share it, or ideally, both, marketers need moving visual media the way carpenters need wood.
As a marketer, your job is to generate targeted traffic and qualified leads. And even when the traffic and leads roll in, you still need to stay on top of where visitors are coming from and how they behave. What do they want? Why? How can your brand be in the right place at the right time? Solutions are here, but they’re not cut and dry.
Take the example of promoting a Virtual Reality game. Although VR games have exploded in popularity, game marketers are still tasked with jointly marketing VR as a medium as well as an individual game.
A game like Pixel Ripped has the draw of nostalgia going for it, but still faces the challenge of conveying the idea of immersive gaming to a non-immersed audience. In this case, the story itself has a game-within-a-game element that instantly communicates a feeling of being drawn into a digital world. Was this element included as part of a Marketing Transformation strategy? It’s certainly possible. Either way, your brand can be strategic and reach your audience through new mediums you may never have considered.
Social Marketing Transformation
Pretty posters and carefully designed banners no longer have automatic credibility with the vast majority of consumers. Fortunately, collateral like printed handbills and rack-cards can be revitalized and threaded into social media through the magic of AR. This tech can be applied to packaging, signage, and more. So, you can now create printed material that can jump onto Instagram, seamlessly preloaded with clickable content. But your social strategy can’t end there.
Terms like ‘influencer’ and ‘viral’ and ‘authentic’ are in your marketer’s vocabulary for a reason. Because buying an ad is the low-hanging-fruit of digital marketing and you know that your strategies have to be more robust.
Many social media users report being drawn into Stories on Instagram or Facebook, watching this content often as a replacement for traditional television programming. Users respond to friends and strangers alike, expressing and entertaining themselves in equal measure.
So, your task as a marketer is to somehow join these discussions. Ideally, your product or service is the topic of conversation. But inserting a branded message into what looks like a closed social interaction – to achieve a positive reaction – is intimidating at best. Sensible marketers quickly come back to that ‘authentic’ word, knowing that content resembling a commercial isn’t always worth creating. So how do you do it differently without pretending to be something you’re not? You need expert intervention.
The idea of fusing planning and genuineness may seem contradictory. But in social arenas where businesses compete with individuals for the same consumer attention, a brand’s task is to walk a razor-thin line between authenticity and transparency. Sure, you need to start with keyword and hashtag research. But it’s more complicated than choosing the right compound word or phrase.
Your customers reject advertising more often. And when they do click on an ad or sponsored post, they’ll spend less time engaging with it. Every day, more of your target market gravitates to spaces resistant to brand-building. Being creative just doesn’t cut it any longer.
Only the best storytellers – with both amazing narrative and data-driven research that is on point – will survive this social revolution.
You need data about your target market, or better still, your current customers. Arm yourself with information before you decide what your content will contain, where you will share it, how you will engage with your audience, and when. But it’s never that easy.
Luckily, we can also now employ machine learning (AI) to help. And if you’ve ever struggled to translate Google Analytics data into an action plan for your PPC ad campaigns, you have a solid understanding of why handing data interpretation off to a computer program is a good idea. AI can elevate your ad segmentation efforts to laser focus on each demographic you deal with, making your content as relevant as possible. But you’ll still need a human touch fairly often, especially when it comes to customer experience and social media.
What starts on social must transcend the interactivity of a like or comment to achieve conversions again and again. Your content needs to be effective today and tomorrow in an environment that frustratingly changes at a rapid pace. Knowing you will need to reinvent your strategies more often than ever, Marketing Transformation is not just a project, it’s an ongoing operational standard which successful businesses need to embrace.
“Organic SEO is about 5.66 times better than paid search ads.” – New Media Campaigns, 2018
Figure out what your target market cares about most and how to rank in searches for that topic, and you’ll dominate your competitors. And when your strategy starts with the right data, you won’t be wondering about why it worked. You’ll be positioned for success with each new campaign, season after season.
Pro Marketing Transformation Strategies
We know you probably have at least one staff member dedicated to marketing. It’s a critical business area nobody can overlook. Maybe you’ve even got a small team laser focused on your brand and messaging. But if you’re reading this article, your marketing might be stuck in a bit of a rut. Consider working with a partner that can bring in new ideas and technology expertise.
A Marketing Transformation partner can take the place of endless experimentation and costly professional development. This same partner brings proven expertise to your campaigns, concurrently improving your own team’s performance.
A partner like Stambol is ready to dive in and provide innovative solutions for your brand, while jointly infusing your marketing team with fresh energy. Ask us how to get started and receive a no-strings consultation.
Feature Image Credit: Corona Borealis / Adobe Stock