Digital marketing is not all about making things viral. Converting leads to customers and then retaining them is a serious challenge. Digital marketers have to constantly adjust, adapt, and eventually conquer evolving trends in the digital age, such as SEO value and ranking, social media management, and optimizing mobile experience. In between, you have algorithms, key indicators, leads, engagement, and reach, among many others to worry about. The perceived horrors of the digital age are also the ones that make up the very best thing about it: it keeps evolving. You can see it as a problem or you can see it as an opportunity.
Digital investment continues to grow. A 2015 report by E-consultancy and Oracle found that 77% of companies are increasing their marketing budgets, with focus on cross-channel or multi-channel campaign management to benefit customers. This shows just how much companies and brands are counting on digital marketing to deliver them the goods. Traditional marketers may argue that digital marketing is fairly easy. Unlike the good old days when marketers had to run ads in newspapers, media campaigns, and depend on word of mouth, digital marketers essentially just sit there in front of a monitor or smartphone.
Well, that really isn’t fair. From speed of technology to adaption, the digital age presents unique challenges. They are the things that digital marketers are afraid of, but nothing that they can’t prepare themselves for. Here are some digital marketing challenges that marketers need to be aware of and get ready for.
The platform problem
One thing is sure: you can’t depend on one platform or channel alone. Facebook may be the most popular social networking site, but that doesn’t mean you put all your eggs in one basket. Find out who your market is and understand their lifestyle. What do they search online? What time are they online? Re-create your content to suit different channels.
At the same time, your market uses multiple devices to gather information, engage, and finish tasks. A research by Forrester showed that 90% use three or more gadgets to complete a task. The second-screen phenomenon is here to stay, for as long as technology giants keep producing them, so make sure you satisfy all channels.
Consistency of Content
Which platform you use to market your brand is important, but knowing what types of content to publish in these platforms is even more crucial. Even established companies fall short in coming up with content for a more targeted digital marketing campaign. Consumers are bombarded with thousands of data and content every day, and some marketers resort to creating more content so they won’t get left behind. For example, 70% of marketing organizations created more content in 2014 than in 2013, and publishing more engaging content remains to be their top objective.
There is nothing wrong with creating more content. But the key word there is “engaging.” Digital marketing is all about engagement, or getting your audiences to care. Understanding your audience demographic is very important in this respect. If you have no idea on who are consuming your content, then you are in trouble.
Go ahead and create more content but be careful with the content that you produce. Make sure they are consistent with what your brand stands for. Make sure they have one tone and personality so that audiences can identify you quickly. With consistency of content, you can be assured that your market will know who you are, what you are trying to tell them, and if you are lucky, they will stay.
Rules and restrictions
Google has rules, so does Facebook and Twitter, and basically all of the search and social channels that matter. Restrictions pose problems in digital marketing that companies, brands, and marketers have no control over. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop.
Read about the rules, and follow them. But more importantly, build your strategy around them. For example, Google rolled out a mobile-friendly algorithm. To be able to keep up, mobile-first strategies must be reviewed and upgrades must be implemented.
Small business = small budget
Search algorithms can be a little biased towards established brands. So if you are promoting a small, new business, how do you get yourself out there? Start a spark by segmenting your audience. Make use of social media sites and target your audience well. Local listing sites will also help you get more organic leads. Focus towards creating link baits. Backlinks remain to be one of the most effective SEO strategies for years, regardless of the digital marketing trends that pop up every now and then.
Adapting to changes
Trends in the digital age can be tough to navigate at the start. But they exist, and digital marketers pretty much have no choice but to adapt. Changes, in general, can be a bit off-putting and scary. In 2016, Google is finally getting on board with video ads, digital assistants will take over search queries, and mobile will be even more aggressive. Are you ready for these trends?
In the digital age, trends evolve really quickly. Technology, after all, is not slowing down. The important thing here is for marketers to give these trends a chance and see how they can help your initiatives. But while trends come and go, never lose sight of what your brand is about. The trends may change, but who you are shouldn’t.
Marketers are constantly faced with the horrors of the digital age. Success in digital marketing does not happen in one day, and in fact, even measuring success is a challenge on its own. But marketers should not become complacent and instead find a way to be more proactive. Digital marketing challenges may be tough, but not impossible. Turn horrors into opportunities to turn things around and you will be just fine.
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