When you cast your eyes around a train, bus or coffee shop, you’ll see that pretty much every adult (and many children) is armed with a smart device. If you haven’t already, 2014 is the year you embrace digital marketing and harness the capabilities within the technology that is never too far from your potential customer’s fingertips. It’s not merely a numbers game, where you roll out as many campaigns as possible, that’s already been done. This year it’s all about mindful marketing.

Creative Content Marketing

Digital marketing comes in many formats, so for your business’ efforts to thrive, it needs be making the most of the right platform. Do your customers need information and plenty of it? Good news, content marketing is set to flourish as the likes of Google+ and other content focused platforms continue to expand; rewarding high quality articles delivered regularly to eager readers.

According to Social Media B2B, companies that are making the most of blogging platforms, are enjoying a massive 67% more leads per month when compared to those that are not. It’s about more than words on a page, no one likes verbal deluge. A successful digital marketing strategy needs to ensure that each piece is informative as well as entertaining. Don’t restrict yourself to just one channel, embrace as many relevant ones as possible, so as to fully make use of the flourishing medium.

The potential of pictures

Competition will be fierce this year, so you need to make sure your approach is more sophisticated than that of your peers. Your customers want it all; beautifully arranged pictures hold huge potential. If you haven’t taken advantage of the likes of Instagram, what are you waiting for? It integrates seamlessly with Facebook and Twitter, so by establishing a strong presence you tap into a number of digital marketing platforms simultaneously.

Russ Meyer, Global Director of strategy and Insights to brand marketing giants Siegel+Gale, encourages companies to:

  • -Share a distinctive view of the world
  • -Cultivate a unique visual sense
  • -Capture things that are interesting to the brand and to the core target customer
  • -Train your eye to focus on what makes a great, provocative, engaging image

The joy of digital marketing is its capability to garner real time results that double up as research. Promotions that engage your customers through images will inform you of your target audience’s current focus. The next step for your brand would be to employ an effective analytic tool such as those on offer from BlitzMetrics or Curalate.

Image analytics are “able to track an Instagram post’s likes and comments, so that a brand can see how that popularity translates into added followers”, and most importantly how the brand can “capitalise on the popularity” according to digital media reporter Tim Peterson. Images can also provide a smart bit of SEO to your site if you make good use of ALT/Meta tags.

Tweet all about it

Where users were sending out an average of 360 million quick bites of social commentary a day, the last month has seen a 60 million daily tweet increase. Users are active with who they follow, interacting with news stories, celebrity updates and their favourite brands. As a stackable social media outlet, customers will join and carry on the conversation while whilst they watch TV, a film or attend a festival. Your brand’s digital marketing therefore, need never end.

As long as you keep it highly relevant, you can use trending conversations and hashtags to join in and increase exposure for your business and service offerings. If your company is hosting or present at an event, tweet all about it. Hashtagging is important, but you need to make sure it’s not overkilled. Leaving room for your customers to add their comments to your tweets will keep them engaged and the dialogue flowing; all the better for you to collect the much needed data you’ll need to analyse for future capitalisation.

Facebook’s News Feed

The popularity of Facebook makes it a platform that can’t be ignored. The development of its social media platform peers have forced the social network to up the ante. To keep up with the increasing traffic coming from mobile users, its looking to include native ads on Facebook mobile. Converting customers from adverts posted on their news feed will be a worthwhile challenge for your brand to undertake.

Your marketing strategy for this digital giant is sure to benefit from a comprehensive appreciation of your customer’s behaviour. Do you know what time of day is best for your brand to post to your people? It’s not a one size fits all, so make sure you’re researching when your fans are online, so you can truly benefit from the exposure. As you’ll be paying to advertise, it serves you and your customers to know both when and how to best reach them.

2014 is the year where learning from your customers will lead to increased revenue from them. Embracing a digital marketing strategy involves a keen eye scouring through data, translating it at every phase. What worked is only useful if you can understand why it worked. Shaping your promotions for the year to garner impressive results will involve a program that appreciates; the “ongoing analysis and implementation” of effective digital marketing strategies says Forbes’ Jason DeMers

Image: mkhmarketing