By Jonathan Schwartz, CEO, Bullseye Strategy
The collective spirit of self-improvement makes the New Year a good time to line up an action plan for success, whether it’s a personal goal or a business goal. At Bullseye Strategy, we’ve definitely got fitness on our minds; if you’ve seen us on Instagram this month, you’ll see we’re running races, mastering deadlifts and participating in other athletic antics. But like most marketers, we’ve also focused on making smarter decisions for our campaigns to help our clients ascend to higher levels of success. This is true whether the goal is increased store traffic, better brand awareness or making those marketing dollars stretch further.
Here are 5 areas for improvement we’re focused on in 2019.
Bullseye Strategy President Maria Harrison & CEO Jonathan Schwartz
1. Market to the Right People.
It’s now easier than ever to find your customers online. We’re committed to speaking to them specifically, with relevant messaging that will drive action, whether that’s a click to learn more, a purchase, or improved brand awareness.
Here’s how that works across different digital channels:
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest identify an advertiser’s audience via user information provided directly–in user bios or interests listed–or indirectly, with keywords, hashtags used and conversations users participate in. Our strategists can target these users with customized content.
This is important whether you’re targeting content about an event, retail, or business services. In fact, a recent Forrester study sponsored by Hootsuite found the following benefits when B2B companies targeted business decision makers on social media:
- Brands were top of mind.
- Better brand reputation.
- When the brand shared thought leadership content that was relevant to the user, it was more likely to be shared, amplifying the brand to the user’s followers.
Pairing audience data with ad inventory in real time is the benefit of programmatic advertising. It’s possible to drill down specifically by geography, household income, age, gender, lifestyle preferences, profession, and countless other criteria, using data coming from sources including credit institutions, data aggregators, and more, all within your DSP (demand side platform).
We are in awe of the cost-effectiveness of programmatic; you are only paying for ads delivered to the right people at the right time based on the characteristics you set. E-Marketer estimates that four out of five digital display ad dollars flow from advertisers to consumers via programmatic systems.
The latest frontier of programmatic is streaming “TV” content at home or on mobile devices. We know this as Over-The-Top. OTT television programming is delivered via the Internet, regardless of the device it is viewed on. We are embracing this opportunity to provide more personalized ads on the big screen to a hyper-targeted audience, yielding ads that consumers often don’t mind watching.
2. Don’t Just Talk. Listen.
“Content is King” has been the catchphrase of the decade, but it’s crucial that this content is created within the context of what customers want to learn more about. If you don’t know what those topics are, you need to listen; conversations about your company and its competitors are happening every single day on social media, and these insights offer the guidelines to an actionable content plan.
The gift of social listening is that you get an instant playbook on what kind of social media and blog posts your customers are most likely to engage with. Making listening the focus of your organic social media strategy will reveal how your business can position itself, on social media and via other advertising vehicles, as the solution to their problems.
3. Don’t Underestimate SEO.
We think search engine optimization (SEO) may be the most underutilized tool marketers have available to them. 77% of consumers research brands on search engines before making a purchase, so how high your website ranks can make or break whether it’s even considered.
Staying on top of a business’s rank in search results is challenging because there’s no published playbook for Google’s algorithm, which changes on average 500-600 times per year and includes 200+ ranking factors. Improving a company’s rank is a balancing act of legitimate links from and within your site, content, user experience, and technical site performance. Keeping up with SEO ranking contributors is our full-time job.
4. Invest in Advocacy.
This is the year to start using advocates to amplify your messages to their own networks of friends, family, and followers. The concept is to incentive your happiest customers and most devoted employees to share their praise on social media. This will create true digital marketing word-of-mouth amplification.
You can dip your toe into the water of advocacy marketing with UGC campaigns. Put user-generated content messaging on customer-facing materials, whether they’re packing slips or Instagram posts, and then engage with those customers who share content about your brand, rewarding them with coupons or freebies. “EGC,” or employee-generated content, works within a similar context. Offer employees Instagram-worthy experiences at the office and request that they tag their #workfamily in social media posts.
Take this chorus of praise to the next level by working with social media influencers, who might have 10x the followers of your typical customer or employee. An influencer campaign can reach millions of impressions in less than an hour, while it might take thousands of non-influencers multiple posts across weeks to reach that threshold.
Both influencer marketing and employee advocacy programs do require adhering to FTC disclosure regulations–so make consider partnering with an agency experienced in advocacy marketing to take on these projects at scale and make sure all i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed.
5. Embrace Change.
Digital marketing changes at the speed of ingenuity. We predict 2019 will be another wild ride, so jump on board!
Are you ready to make 2019 the year your business pushes past barriers? Contact us today for a free audit of your digital marketing strategy.