By John Rampton, founder of Palo Alto, California-based Calendar, a company helping your calendar be much more productive.
The digital landscape is ever-changing. With new products on the market daily, new platforms being created to market them and new trends always happening, businesses are constantly having to adjust their digital marketing strategies to keep up. Considering these things alone, marketing to consumers is a booming industry. Keeping up with the trends is a job in and of itself, let alone figuring out ways to use the trends in marketing. Needless to say, there are several — probably an infinite amount of — marketing strategies businesses can use. Here are just three of the many notable strategies every business should consider if they have not already.
1. Consumer Analytics
Consumer analytics is probably one of the most underrated and underutilized marketing methods. It may be something that is simply overlooked largely because if compared to keeping up with the competition, it seems less important to be prioritizing. However, by thoroughly understanding what consumers in your industry are doing beforehand, you will actually be ahead of the competitors because you will know how to better market to your consumers.
Strategic marketing, based on what you’ve learned about your consumer through analytics, will go much further than just keeping up with the trends and regurgitating a basic marketing strategy. There’s a fine line between truly marketing to consumers and keeping up with competitors. Keep your strategy consumer-focused by actually learning about what they want through surveys, polls and feedback. Additionally, analytics can tell you how consumers have responded to your ads and can even show you which marketing methods on your website, or your brand as a whole, have gained the most traction with consumers.
2. Content Promotion
Promoting your brand is so much more than just a simple ad or a video briefing consumers on your product. Having unique, high-quality content on your site — and promoting it — is a great way to build brand credibility with your consumers. You can promote your content by sharing it on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Medium, Twitter and many others. Having a business profile on some kind of social media is not uncommon today. In fact, it’s actually more uncommon to not have some sort of business social media presence.
This is because social media, in most cases, is more helpful to consumers since it gives them easy access to your brand’s site if they have not yet visited it. Not only will a business page with regular social shares encourage them to read more by visiting your site, but it will also motivate them to dive deeper into more information about your brand. Whether you share blog content, an informational guide or promo videos, sharing various forms of your on-site content to social media typically performs better than that pesky ad or banner no one wants to click.
3. Location-Based Marketing
Location-based marketing is especially useful if you have an in-person location that consumers can visit. This type of marketing is helpful to consumers when they do a search for something in their area because Google uses their location to give them the information they were searching for. For example, when we search Google for “hair stylists near me,” do we hope to get something on the opposite side of the country? No, we want something local, of course. This is why local marketing works — it displays businesses in their city that offer the products or services they are searching for, leading the consumers straight there.
Like most other online marketing techniques, location-based marketing comes with a price. While local marketing can be good for your brand, just keep in mind that search-based algorithms have after-effects that are out of your control. Even though your original intention may have been to just bring in some local customers, algorithms will naturally take that a step further, whether you want them to or not. This is because even though someone may have all location services shut off, it is always possible for Google to track them through their search history. These days, it is virtually impossible for the users to escape the ads that inevitably follow, in the form of ad-riddled internet browsers and social media homepages containing near-exact ads for what they searched for.
Ads can be extremely useful for businesses, but they can be equally as annoying and frustrating for consumers when they have to see seemingly endless ads on what they searched for. In the long run, this could end up causing more harm than good if consumers get annoyed with the excessive, and possibly irrelevant, ads that follow.
There are always going to be some disadvantages to any strategy you try. Be sure to weigh your options and decide which ones are worth trying based on thorough research on the current digital atmosphere. Whether you utilize consumer analytics, content promotion, location-based marketing or another strategy, the end result is always relative. What works for the closely related competitor might not work for you. There are many digital marketing trends to keep on your radar, so do your best to make an educated and data-based decision for the competitive strategy your business chooses.