As the world becomes more focused on technology, more consumers are moving online. This is now where you most need to reach your potential customers, but it is an increasingly hard market to stand out in. With more competition, you may find yourself struggling to get the recognition your company deserves. All this means that when it comes to digital marketing, it’s vital to keep up.
Online marketing is constantly changing and the paradigm is always shifting and what worked for you last year won’t work now. You’ll need to be constantly reevaluating, evolving and developing to make sure your marketing is still relevant to a modern audience.
This week, I’m giving you my top tips to make sure your digital marketing is standing out in 2018, ensuring you’re boosting your brand’s awareness.
Know your enemy
It’s often said that marketing is a spectator sport – and I believe this is completely true. It’s impossible to set up a marketing campaign in complete isolation. You must have some idea of your competition to understand what is working – and what isn’t – for your target audience. Boosting your brand awareness requires you to make yourself stand out from your competition.
For digital marketing, it’s best to know that you are part of many companies advertising in the same sector. Use what your competitors are doing as a useful starting point for shaping your next marketing campaign.
How to do this: As a key starting point in any marketing planning, you’ll need to establish the competitive position of the business. It is difficult to succeed in business without recognizing and understanding the alternatives that your customer is considering. This means that the first step you’ll always need to take is identifying your competition. Look for brands that offer a similar service to you. While it’s good to identify brands with similar budgets and company sizes to you, don’t be afraid to aim higher. Big businesses can give you big ideas.
By doing this, you’ll be able to shape your marketing campaigns for the current market. This allows you to judge what is popular with your target audience. There are many techniques you can use to do this, but often this simplest way is the most rewarding. So how can you do this?
- Look at their websites
- Follow them on social media
- Google them
- Read their reviews
- Examine their ads
- See where they advertise
- See what they advertise
- Sign up for their email newsletter
By keeping an eye on your competition, you’ll gain three important answers: what your competition is doing that is better, who is getting more traffic than you and what you can do that no-one else is doing.
Who’s doing this well: This year’s Super Bowl brought with it many high-profile – and expensive – marketing campaigns. While the car company Volvo wasn’t one of these advertisers, they certainly benefitted from the event.
With a promo called “The Greatest Inception Ever”, Volvo asked fans to tweet its hashtag, #VolvoContest, during other car brands’ Super Bowl commercials. Participants in this then nominate a friend or loved one to win a new Volvo XC60 luxury crossover. The idea being this is that the company wants to focus on real people rather than its own marketing message.
In doing this, the company diverted attention from the brands who had spent big money on advertising. The Twitter hijack made mileage out of other brands’ TV ads, ensuring that customers were focused on Volvo rather than their competition. And it worked. The company saw a nearly 70% sales lift attributable to the effort, according to data published by AdAge.
The lesson to learn from this? Know your competition and be prepared to use their big campaigns against them. You don’t have to spend a lot, just give your potential customers a reason to choose you.
Being everywhere is an incredible skill. Through extended exposure, you’re more likely to reach a wider range of people. Put simply, by being everywhere, your business is more likely to be remembered and used. Spreading your brand message as far as possible is an incredible feat, and can push you ahead of your competition.
How you can do this: Firstly, you’ll need to define how far you can go. In marketing, being omnipresent to your audience isn’t about appearing everywhere to everyone, as this is both expensive and pointless. Rather you should be aiming to appear in front of those leads most relevant to you. In turn you must be relevant to them. This combination assures that you are top of the mind in your target audience’s brain for certain sectors. This ensures that your customers know, like and trust you.
Being omnipresent essentially means that you’re reaching your customers every way possible. From print advertising to online and even word-of-mouth through influencers – online personalities with a big following- you need to be constantly reaching your consumers.
Who’s doing this well: When you think of soft drinks, Coca-Cola automatically comes to mind. As it stands, it is number 5 on Forbes’ list of the World’s Most Valuable Brands, far and above any other beverages company. Its only outranked by technology brands. Despite this, Coca-Cola still has one of the world’s largest budgets for marketing. According to data released by the company, 2016 saw them invest $4 billion. Although data for 2017 is yet to released, we can expect this figure to be even higher.
Despite this large amount, there is undoubtedly a payoff. Management at the company cited advertising support as a key reason why organic revenue growth accelerated to a 3% pace in the second quarter from zero in the first quarter of 2017 in a July press conference.
Furthering this success, Coca-Cola plans to introduce over 500 new products this year, spending billions of dollars to communicate these adjustments to consumers in over 200 countries. The beverage titan’s marketing abilities are one of its core competitive advantages, and they have helped it build one of the most recognized brands on the planet today. Looking to Coca-Cola, we all can learn to constantly push for better and more expansive marketing, no matter how big our company is.
Through Coca-Cola’s ongoing investment into being omnipresent through heavily advertising, it remains the world’s number one beverage brand.
One platform is not enough
If you think dominating on a single platform is enough, it’s time to think again. There’s a wide range of platforms on offer, each with a different role – and opportunity for you. Your leads on Facebook may not be on YouTube, and those on YouTube are could be different from those on LinkedIn. The key to a successful marketing campaign is one that spans your different audiences. Your company should be repurposing your content across multiple relevant platforms.
How you can do this: While this may have been difficult and time-consuming in the past, it’s now a much simpler process. You can take a single piece of content that you know is going to be successful with your audience and evolve it for different platforms. If you’ve made a video, it needs to be well-edited to do well on YouTube. From here, it can be repurposed in several ways. For instance, you should be splitting this video into several shorter videos that are appropriate for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
But it shouldn’t stop here. You need to repurpose this core piece of content into other in-depth and high-quality pieces. These can involve:
- An article you submit to a third-party site
- A blog for your personal site
- A guide, blueprint or additional resource
- Social media images or quotes
- A series of content-driven emails
This means that you can take one idea and repurpose it into as much content as possible. By doing this, you are creating a wide range of content that is suitable for all platforms, without too much extra work. The biggest bonus – there’ll be a sense of cohesion across all your networks. No matter where you’re reaching your potential customers, they’ll all be getting a similar – and platform-appropriate – message.
Who’s doing this well: Seamless, an online food ordering and delivering company, is mastering a wide range of online platforms. Operating on all major platforms – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube – the company is benefitting from a strong and visually appealing brand identity. Most importantly, their message is perfectly adapted for each individual site. Consistently, they advertise you they are, what they offer and why customers need their food delivery service.
Using a mix of casual, friendly and contemporary voices, the company resonates their core marketing campaigns across social media channels. On Twitter, they’ll publish simple funny messages, while on Instagram, customers will find colourful and inviting imagery. On Facebook, they’ll keep the same tone alongside pictures and giveaways.
Through this, Seamless is presenting a consistent message throughout their different platforms. They are always promoting how their business functions and the need for it in customers’ lives, but are careful to tailor it to individual audiences.
When it comes to your digital marketing, be aware to keep up with the current trends. This is a fast-moving sector that requires you to participate. By mastering the basics and keeping an eye out for the latest trends, you’ll be helping your company stay relevant. Through hard work and great planning, you can boost awareness of your brand to stand out in a competitive field.