The Top 50 Digital Marketing Trends for 2021

Advertising market trends

1.Programmatic Advertising

What is programmatic advertising? It means advertisers automate ad buying to target more specific audiences. This type of automation results in faster and efficient bidding. Advertisers then, have to spend less time and effort planning the ad bidding and buying.

How does programmatic advertising work?

Step 1 – a user clicks on the webpage

Step 2 – the publisher puts the ad impression for auction

Step 3 – the ad marketplace holds an auction where advertisers bid for the impression

Step 4 – the advertiser with the highest bid wins the right to display their ads

2.Marketing Personalization

If something we learned from 2020 is that to succeed at marketing in 2021 you need to personalize your marketing activities, including content, emails and ads. Great examples of personalization are Netflix and Amazon, with their tailored content and products suggestions.

The more personalized the content, the higher the customer engagement and loyalty.

3.Google Ads Smart Bidding

This system allows Google to manage advertisers’ PPC campaigns through Google’s AI system. The system then optimizes the advertiser’s budget to maximize their ROI. Advertisers can choose many criteria for their bid optimization, including device, physical location, remarketing list, ad characteristics, interface language or browser. Anti Ad-Blockers

Many websites have ad-blockers, preventing ads to be served to users. This causes serious revenue damage, which can range up to 40% loss from adblocking. Therefore, one of the trends we are seeing for 2021, is the popularization of anti-ad-blockers.

Anti-ad blockers are useful software solutions that bypass ad blockers. Not all the solutions work for all the ad blockers. You can also opt to work with an ad network that serves ads that bypass ad-blockers. However, not all ad networks work with all the ad blockers.

4.IoT Advertising

To be connected nowadays goes beyond, smartphones, laptops and tablets. There is a world of connected devices, from smart cars to smart houses. These type of connected devices are called the Internet of Things.

Companies have tried to use the Internet of Things for advertising. For example, including ads in smart cars systems, or include sensors in spirits bottles. As more connected devices are developed, more opportunities for IoT advertisement will appear.

Social media market trends

5.Influencer Marketing

What’s an influencer? An influencer is a person that, as a referent, can carry a brand message to their market. Influencers are not only celebrities, but Instagram or YouTube personas, that have their niche of followers. Their audience can go from a few thousand to millions. Influencer marketing has become more popular recently because of the following reasons:

  • It’s organic
  • It’s authentic
  • Connects with the customer

Many companies are leaving traditional advertising in favor of pairing with influencers that carry the word about their products or services. For example, GoodFoods, partnered with 60 influencers to produce content and recipes using GoodFoods products online.

How do you find the right influencer for your company is another story. Luckily, there are AI solutions that allow companies to rank and score influencers by niche, followers and ROI potential.

6.Social Messaging Apps

Messaging apps are not only for communicating with your friends. With more than one billion monthly users active on Facebook Messenger, companies are taking the opportunity to connect with their audience through messaging apps.

Social messages give businesses the chance to send messages to customers directly, answer queries, and conduct direct sales. It works as a live chat for customers to reach you, then you can provide assistance, remind them of abandoned carts, send event invitations, and more.

7.Stories on Social Media

Instagram and Facebook allow users to share stories, and since their appearance, they became really popular with users. Here are some statistics:

  • 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day
  • More than half of Instagram users become interested in a brand after seeing it in an Instagram Story.
  • Half of the users say that they are interested in purchasing a product because they saw it in an IS.

8.From Social Media to Social Marketplace

Social media platforms have added eCommerce features in 2020. The goal is to provide users with a seamless journey from discovery to purchase. We can expect the trend to grow in 2021, with brands using social media platforms as a marketplace. The next section explains what tools they will likely be using.

9.Social Commerce & Shoppable Posts

As mentioned above, social media platforms are investing in adding ecommerce features to social posts. For instance, Instagram shoppable posts:

How do you do it? You can add tags to the products on your stories or posts, the tags will take your customer to a page where they can purchase the product.

10.Facebook May Have Reached its Peak

According to the recent 2020 Facebook performance update, there is reason to think that the network is entering plateau.

The network is showing less monthly and daily new users. Why there are less users is not clear, but the network is completing its second decade, and there are other competitors appearing.

11.Focusing on the social media channels that work

With so many social media channels available, companies can feel overwhelmed to try to keep relevant on all of them. Therefore, reducing their social media channels to focus on what it really works for their audience is likely to be a necessity for 2021.

12.The rise of UGC (user-generated content)

User-generated content will become a central part of marketer’s strategy in 2021. Advertisers are using AI to create ads that work with user-generated content. Brands like Lush cosmetics use Instagram hashtags to drive UGC to work for them.

Another example that uses user generated content is Aerie. They usually #regram — taking a post from another user account and reposting on your own — as a social media strategy.

SEO market trends

13.Content Marketing Is Still King

Content is king, we are used to hearing. The reality is that search engines like Google, prioritize well-written content and useful links when ranking sites and presenting search results to users.

In recent years, the changes in Google algorithm prioritized, even more, the relevance of content for SEO. The effects on marketers were fast to follow:

88% of marketers are realizing that creating content that is useful to their audience presents their organization as a credible source.

Moreover, investing in content marketing can be a cost-effective way to attract customers to your site and engage them.  

“Content marketing has lower up-front costs & deeper long-term benefits than paid search, says @JuliaEMcCoy.

With search engines prioritizing well-written and useful content, it is safe to say that content marketing is a trend that will continue well into 2021.

14.Branding focus

Consumers are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options they have every time they research something online. With this marketing landscape, having a distinct, unique, and recognizable brand is key for success.

As most companies moved online last year, the problem of too many options is even worse. In 2021, you’ll see more companies focusing on branding strategies than on hard selling. One of the reasons branding is so critical now for survival is that search engines prioritize ranking brands over sites. More in the following section.

15.EAT

E.A.T is one of the most important criteria Google uses to rank brands and sites. It stands for:

  • Expertise: your pages need to have quality content written by an expert in the subject.
  • Authority: you need to build your brand’s authority on the subject.
  • Trustworthiness: your site needs to connect with other authorities on the subject.

These criteria measure the quality of a web page. It works because all websites need to have it if they want to get ranked in a search engine. The higher they measure in these three criteria, the higher the rank. E.A.T measures how a page fulfills the purpose of helping users. As Google says in their terms:

“Websites and pages should be created to help users”

16.A/B Testing for SEO

A/B testing is used across industries, not only in marketing. But it is safe to say that currently, much of modern marketing is about testing and analytics. Long gone are the days of measuring a campaign’s success by trial and error.

By applying A/B testing to SEO, you actually test the content beforehand. Then, you can identify which version of the site is generating more results.

What can you use A/B testing for? 

You can use A/B testing to experiment with:

  • Meta titles and descriptions
  • URL structures
  • Headlines
  • Calls to action
  • Sales pages
  • Product descriptions

17.Interactive Content

Interactive content is one of the trends that grew faster last year. With our lives moving online, consumers wanted to replace as much as possible personal interaction with the brands. Examples of interactive content include:

  • Quizzes and polls
  • Augmented reality solutions
  • VR ads

The key is engaging the user and offer an immersive experience. Online retailers, for example, let you know what is your exact size with online calculators. Beauty brands use AR to let you try hair color with a virtual assistant to check how a specific hair color will look on you. The possibilities are endless to make the experience more memorable for the user.

18.The Rise of the Featured Snippet

What is “position zero”? The term refers to the topmost position in SERP results. This position is usually occupied by the featured snippet. 

What is a featured snippet?

This is the useful summary of information Google presents first on the page to answer your query. Why is it important? Well, this coveted space answers a user query without the need to click a link. If you get to rank in this space, you found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Moreover, featured snippets are used to answer voice searches. Since a third of Internet searches are done using voice search, you can get your content to answer the question.

19.SEO Is Not Dead – It Uses Structured Data

The term structured data refers to any data organized so search engines can crawl and categorize it. Structured data can give your site’s SEO a boost, since your content will be more useful and easily to categorize. Structured data can get you in the coveted position zero, as a featured snippet or a Knowledge Graph Box.

Structured data generates “rich snippet results”, the snippets with images, pricing and statistics:

Rich snippets are great for driving traffic and clicks, especially with mobile users.

20.Cumulative Layout Shift

This metric measures how visually stable your page is. To put it simple, the CLS score helps you understand how likely your page is giving an unpleasant visual experience to users.

According to Google, a good score for mobile and desktop pages is less than 0.1. A score greater than 0.25 is considered not good.

What can cause CLS?

  • Many different fonts in the page
  • Ads that shift the content

Why is it important? Unsurprisingly, a high CLS causes conversion rates to drop and bounce rates to rise. After all, few users will stay and purchase on a site that gives a rugged experience. That’s why we are likely to see more sites analyzing their CLS in 2021.

21.Pillar Content

Unlike what you may think, in 2021, the usual under 1000 posts won’t get you anywhere. According to experts like Neil Patel, posts that are around 3000 words long attract the most traffic and engage more readers. The length offers readers the opportunity to explore subjects in-depth. A content creator that produces long-form content regularly can establish itself as an authority on a subject.

A study found that long-form content helps more with SEO, as gets three times more backlinks than short articles. Want more proof? When you search a query on Google, chances are that the top 10 results are longer articles. Some benefits of pillar content include:

  • Longer time-on-site
  • Reduced bounce rate
  • More backlinks and social media shares
  • Higher Google ranking

22.Image and video SEO for visual searches

This was a game-changer. Instead of trying to describe what you want to search, you can upload an image and get more specific results.

You just upload the image of what you want to look and Google offers similar images:

Visual search is so convenient and useful that many companies jumped into the trend. One example is Pinterest Lens, a visual search tool that lets you take a picture of an item to search for similar products, view pin boards about it or find out where to buy it online.

The success of this tool shows how much visual search is engaging users. Since the beta version, Lens recognizes 2.5 billion home and fashion items and it drove Pinterest searches to skyrocket.

But not only Pinterest is taking advantage of this, Google and Bing also launched similar visual search engines.

23.Semantic Keyword Research

All content writers have heard it: Write for people, not for Google. A blurb of 4000 words won’t get the results you want if it is not matched to user intent. When Google analyzes your content to check if it matches a specific query, it doesn’t take only into account lone keywords.

The engine makes a semantic analysis to discover what exactly wanted the user to achieve with this question. When you write with the user intent in mind, these semantic keywords give Google a better idea of what your content is about and how it can help users.

24.More Investment in Analytics

As we explained before, today’s marketing is all about metrics. Therefore, more companies are investing in better analytic tools that go beyond the basics of Google Analytics. Better analytics result in better business intelligence and support decision-making.

25.Increased Security

As more people conduct activities online, the need for more security to protect the websites is greater. A secure website makes a user feel safe to hang around.

Data breaches happen to everyone, small and large websites and platforms. Therefore, most consumers think that how you manage their sensitive data can be a deal breaker when consuming your content, products or services. In 2021, increasing web security is not an option.

26.Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

You have responsive sites that work on mobile as well as on desktop and you have mobile apps. Now, this new trend, Progressive Web Apps, is basically websites that work like mobile apps. For web developers, this can be a one-in-all solution to have a website and an app all in one.

As the number of mobile users increase, more companies will leverage this type of web app.

other engines have appeared with the intention to provide users with more privacy. One such example is Privado.com. This engine focused on private searching, gives the users the possibility of searching without being tracked. The engine doesn’t store personal information, nor uses cookies or any means of tracking. The goal is to provide the user with an absolutely private search experience.

28.Artificial Intelligence

Back in 2017, Gartner predicted that AI would be in almost every software product by 2020. And they were right. The artificial intelligence market is expected to reach $190 billion by 2025.

AI can collect and analyze data from social media and customer interactions to evaluate customer’s behavior. AI searches patterns, allowing you to understand your audience preference.

29.Chatbots and Conversational Technology

Last year, conversational technology exploded as a contactless way for consumers to connect with companies. According to Gartner peer insights, the conversational platforms that are driving trends include:

  • strong Natural Language Processing capabilities,
  • supports voice and text input
  • Use personalization for natural conversation
  • Allow media and document sharing
  • Provide dialogue management
  • Multiple chatbot orchestration
  • Data maintenance

Why chatbots?

  • 24 hrs service
  • Provide an instant response to customer queries
  • Allows to triage and solve simple issues.

For example, Olive, the assistant of Woolworths, Australia’s supermarket chain, lets you order and upgrade your mobile SIM card.

Brands, like Sephora, are leveraging on chatbots to provide help and product recommendations to potential customers.

30. Big Data and Deep Learning

Big Data and deep learning will continue to grow in 2021, according to a report. More importantly, more companies will use big data analysis to improve their business efficiency and drive innovation.

One downside is that while more companies are using big data, the requirements of protecting the management of consumer data increase. More regulations like the CCPA and GDPR entering effect.

31.Augmented Reality (AR) & Immersive Technologies

Companies like Facebook are diving deep into the use of augmented reality to enhance the customer experience. Facebook Oculus gives users the opportunity to play without pushing buttons, transforming the gaming experience into an immersive virtual reality one.

Marketers can take advantage of this technology to provide immersive experiences for their customers. Some brands, like IKEA, Tom’s shoes, Patron Spirits, and even Marriott International, are already giving customers a VR experience.

Other ways you can use VR to provide meaningful experiences to your audience:

  • Augmented Reality ads – for gaming and consumer products
  • 360-degree videos – for real estate, tourism.

32.`Predictive & Augmented Analytics

Predictive analytics consists of the combination of data mining, predictive modeling, and machine learning to identify patterns and come with forecasts. More digital marketing companies are using predictive analytic tools to predict consumer behavior and identify trends. 

Gartner defined augmented analytics in 2017, claiming it to be the future of data analytics.

Augmented analytics is the use of enabling technologies such as machine learning and AI to assist with data preparation, insight generation, and insight explanation to augment how people explore and analyze data in analytics and BI platforms. It also augments the expert and citizen data scientists by automating many aspects of data science, machine learning, and AI model development, management, and deployment.”(Gartner)

Putting it simply, augmented analytics use machine learning to deepen the understanding of the data and take even larger datasets.

33.Live streams (TikTok anyone?)

Streaming is every day more popular, and the explosive growth of TikTok confirms it. With Instagram adding Reels with in-video shopping capabilities and Tik Tok on the way to do the same, it won’t be longer before live streaming in social media turns into a real-time marketplace.

34.Companies pivots may stay that way

2020 changed the digital landscape for good. It is unlikely we will come back to pre-2020 conditions. Consumers are enjoying the convenience of online commerce. Hence, companies that pivoted to adapt last year, may find now their customers expect them to continue on the same line.

35.Purpose-driven campaigns

Last year marketing campaigns were tinted with a purpose: helping customers overcoming the pandemic as much as possible. Purpose-given campaigns will be still relevant in 2021. These campaigns promote social activist themes, for example, the campaigns about Black Lives Matter. The issues resonate with customers and increase engagement with relevant audiences. These campaigns are effective because customers identify with the same social issues the brand cares about.

36.Voice search

Smart speakers and voice assistants are no longer a trendy item to purchase. Statistics predict over half of American homes will own a smart speaker (Google Home, Alexa, and others) by 2022. People use the voice assistants not only for routine activities but for voice shopping. The voice shopping market is expected to reach $40 billion in 2022.

37.Virtual events are here to stay

In 2020, companies and individuals shifted to virtual events out of necessity due to the pandemic. Chances are that in 2021 many events will continue to be virtual because of the benefits it brings to companies. Virtual events can reach a wider audience and allow for higher attendance. So in 2021 we will continue seeing more virtual events.

38.Monetization marketing

If 2020 saw a growth in online activity, it also gave a lot of opportunities for companies to make money from their digital properties. Display ads, search monetization, and in-app advertising are some of the monetization trends we may see growing in 2021.

39.Growth of Geo-Fencing

Geofencing is a marketing approach where you put a geographic limit around a point of interest. If a user’s mobile enters the area, the geofence triggers an alert and delivers relevant ads. Here are some of the benefits of geofencing:

  • Mobile ads with geofencing have double the click-through-rate
  • It is compatible with most of the smartphones.
  • 53% of consumers visited a retailer after receiving a message that is location-based

40.Conversational Marketing

Conversational marketing is the use of conversational technology for marketing purposes. For example using chatbots as “sales assistants”, or SMS marketing to communicate with customers. Several big names are using this technology: Domino’s, Sephora, 1-800-Flowers.

41.Video Marketing

This is one of the most important marketing trends today. Here are some statistics that show why you should incorporate video marketing to your strategy:

  • 86% of companies are using video as part of their marketing strategy.
  • 93% of these marketers say that video is an important part of their marketing strategy, from a 91% in 2019.
  • The videos with most success are explainer videos (73%), followed by social media videos (67%)..

42.Personalized Email

Email personalization uses personal information from subscribers to produce tailored emails. It allows you to send highly targeted email marketing campaigns. Why should you use email marketing personalization?

  • 82% of marketers report an increase in email open rates because of email personalization.
  • Personalized promotional mailings have 29% more open rates than non-personalized.

43.Browser Push Notifications

With the boom in online commerce, push notifications rose, with most online stores using some type of push notification. They tend to be more effective than a newsletter. You can send abandoned cart reminders, product suggestions, and more. Because of that, we’ll probably see more companies using personalized push notifications in 2021.

44.Omnichannel Marketing

You probably heard about omnichannel marketing in 2020. Is an approach of marketing that uses multiple platforms (for instance, social media, blog, email marketing) to connect with leads. It gives the benefits of providing a cohesive brand message across channels. Omnichannel marketing tends to show higher engagement rates and conversions than using a single channel. Simply put, you broaden the number of touchpoints.

4 5.Neuromarketing

Neuromarketing is not new. Back in 1999, Harvard scientists conducted the first MRI research as a marketing tool, starting the neuromarketing field. This is a research field that analyzes people’s brain activity through head scans to find out the type of content they like. The first studies were conducted for retail marketing. One of the results of neuromarketing is the eye-maps, which measure the interest of a viewer on a website according to where they look on the page. Companies use this information to optimize their content and strategies.

46.Blockchain Technology

A blockchain is a connected series of data records. The records are stored in immutable blocks, secured and connected to each other via cryptography in a neutral computer.

According to Investopedia, “the blockchain is copied and spread across a network of computers, not storing any of its information in a central location”. 

Although usually associated with finances and supply chain transactions, it is starting to get implemented in digital marketing. Since Blockchain eliminates the intermediary, we may see digital marketing companies using blockchain to track media buys, verify online identities or protect personal data.

47.5G Technology

This trend, the fifth generation of mobile technology, will bring many changes to digital communications. Telecom companies aim to achieve a fully mobile connected society, bringing high-speed data transmission to far-reaching areas. Yet, it is more than that, it will give way to more integrated technology.

48.Privacy Marketing

Privacy protection is not only a way of protecting data. These days, with data breaches happening every now and then, consumers need to know they can trust companies will keep their data safe. Thus, marketing teams need to focus on gaining the trust of their audience. One of the ways is protecting the privacy of users by not saving personal data in records. This ensures that in case of a breach, an attacker won’t have sensitive data to steal.

49.Gamification

Keeping your customers engaged can be a challenge. Companies like Starbucks use gamification techniques to connect with their customers. The app uses purchase history and location data to personalize the customer experience and encourage the use of their loyalty program. The app increased their revenue to over $2 billion.

Digital Marketing Landscape

Here are the key statistics you need to know to understand where the digital marketing landscape is heading for 2021.

  • Spending on digital marketing decreased in 2020.

2.Spending Is Recovering

Digital spending is recovering, and it is expected to reach $389 billion in 2024, from $332 billion in 2020. The increase is driven by the market bouncing back and trying to tap into the customer’s increasing online activity. The trend doesn’t stop there, with an expected growth of  $525.17 billion by 2024.

  • LinkedIn ads spending grew 40% during 2019-2020

LinkedIn ad spending reached $1 billion in the US, establishing the network as a solid advertising channel for B2B marketers (eMarketer).

  • Personalization is going strong

Most marketers would focus their personalization efforts on improving the customer experience through service and product recommendations.

From the consumer’s side: 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experiences. (Instapage)

Digital Marketing Basics

If you want to succeed in digital marketing, there are a few basic pillars that you need to master: digital presence, branding, and relationships. These three core concepts can help simplify what may be a multifaceted field.

Digital Presence

This is the key to any digital marketing you may start. These days, a digital presence is equal to having a presence at all. It is not enough to have a website or a social media page. You need a clear strategy that drives how and where you should build your presence.

Unsurprisingly, it all starts with your audience. Here are a couple of questions that can give you direction when building your digital presence:

Where does your audience spend their online time? 

The golden rule of marketing is to know your customer. So, if you want to reach your audience, first find out where they spend their online time. What type of content do they consume? What social networks do they spend time on? What search terms do they use? This will help you define which channels are the most effective to build your presence.

What’s the purpose you want to achieve with your marketing strategy?

Ask yourself what you want to achieve with your online presence. Do you want to raise brand awareness? Here, your strategy shouldn’t focus on the hard-sell. If your goal is to increase conversions, then landing pages can help you close the deal with clear direction and calls-to-action.

Branding

Your brand encapsulates what your company stands for. It includes everything, from your company name, color scheme, mission statement, slogan, logo, and more.

To stand out on a sea of brands, your brand needs to showcase what it makes it unique. Keeping strong brand awareness is one of the most critical ways to differentiate yourself from the competition. Yet, it is not enough to stand out in the marketplace, but you need to stand out online too. So, refine your online branding strategy in a way that search engines recognize your brand instead of your site. In fact, the Google algorithm considers a strong brand one characteristic of a “good quality site”

Relationships

Your digital marketing strategy should not be limited to trying to appear on Google’s first page. Social networks, blogs, forums, social apps, and other similar platforms can help you build a relationship with customers online.

When we talk about marketing, relationships will always be the foundation of good business. Building an online presence will get you noticed, but creating a relationship with your audience will get you conversions.

To form effective relationships with customers, you need to be personable and personal. Using social media and good content, you can connect with your audience and let them know your brand message.

 5 Challenges for Digital Marketing in 2021

  • Less spending in marketing 

Marketing budgets took a hit in spending in 2020. While marketing companies are recovering, the spending is not yet at the levels we expected before 2020. Although the e-commerce ratio increased dramatically, companies have yet to catch up with the new needs in digital marketing.

  • Driving engagement across multiple channels

In 2021 it will become even more relevant to connect with customers where they are. Creating engagement will become more challenging, via adopting mobile messaging channels, and leverage personalized and dynamic content to improve the customer experience and customer loyalty.

  • Mobile-first strategy

More people are browsing and shopping from their smartphones than ever. A mobile-first approach allows your customers to consume your products/services on the go, anytime and from anywhere. So, when creating your marketing strategy for 2021, think about a mobile-first approach.

  • Establishing Omnichannel Marketing

Customers are active on multiple devices and platforms. Marketers need to combine online and social media strategies. This aims to make it easier for your audience to reach you wherever they are. Omnichannel marketing allows you to focus on the platform where your audience is most active. The key is to provide your customers a smooth customer experience when they change from a channel to another.

  • Complying with Privacy and Data Sharing Regulations

Marketers will need to adapt quickly to evolving privacy and data sharing regulations. Since many of the regulations target across frontiers, marketers need to take that into account. The phasing of third-party cookies compounds the challenge for marketers to understand a customer’s purchase intent.

The future of Digital Marketing – top 3 predictions

After analyzing the major trends for 2021, we explored the top predictions for 2021:

  • From digital marketing activities to experiential events

When the pandemic hit, customers pivoted to use new technologies and performing activities online. But in 2021, many people are already exhausted from living their lives online most of the time. Keeping customers engaged will depend on how rich is the customer experience they provide. Marketers should evaluate their digital experience and refine engage customers without producing “digital fatigue”.

  • Customer experience integrates with other functions

In the report, Gartner predicts that by 2023, a quarter of organizations will see marketing integrated with sales and CX into a single function. The goal is for customer-focused functions to work together with synergy.

  • Content curation and moderation become more important

By 2024, Gartner predicts a third of organizations will consider moderating user-generated content a priority. Using software and tools that allow companies to monitor, moderate and manage user-generated content to prevent impact on their brands.

The bottom line

Hopefully, these trends we have aggregated and shared at CodeFuel will help guide your marketing strategy for 2021. Partnering with an expert in monetization can maximize your marketing efforts, and increasing the ROI of your strategy. Start monetizing today with CodeFuel.

Source: The Top 50 Digital Marketing Trends for 2021 – CodeFuel

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References

Kim, Angella J.; Johnson, Kim K.P. (2016). “Power of consumers using social media: Examining the influences of brand-related user-generated content on Facebook”. Computers in Human Behavior. 58: 98–108. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2015.12.047.

7 Costly Mistakes That Can Be Avoided By Brand Research

Branding strategies can make or break an organization. There’s a lot that goes into developing a successful brand, and the best companies around the world put substantial time and effort into brand development and image. Creating a successful brand requires time and research commitment and is an ongoing strategy that can yield amazing results.

However, small businesses at the start of their inception can potentially create crucial branding mistakes during their initial stages of development that costs them a lot of customers, money, and time. Even major brands make big branding mistakes, like Nintendo’s Virtual Boy and Amazon’s Fire Phone.

Brand research services for positioning strategies, brand mapping, and perceptual mapping can help you, whether you’re a small business or a long-time market player, to avoid pitfalls and the costly mistakes of failed brand positioning.

Common Branding Mistakes by New Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Do you remember Nintendo’s Virtual Boy in 1995? You might not because it’s one of Nintendo’s biggest failures in the history of the company. It didn’t offer what it promised, a true VR experience, resulting in incredibly low sales and quick removal from the market. What about Amazon’s Fire Phone in 2014? It only lasted one year because of its limited availability and features that didn’t resonate with audiences. Even major companies like Nintendo and Amazon have to be careful about product or service branding that can tarnish their reputation and result in massive profit loss.

Even small branding mistakes can cost a company. Not only will your efforts and time spent towards planning to be lost, but you will have cost your business a lot of money and even potentially tarnish your reputation permanently, which can be completely devastating for the longevity of a brand.

Below are seven mistakes that you can avoid when it comes to brand positioning so that you learn more about them and avoid them altogether:

  1. Lack of Competitor Research
    You have to learn about your competitors if you want to be successful. How do they position their brand? What types of products and services do they offer? How are they perceived in their respective industry? How are they succeeding? Do you have a potential opportunity in the market where they do not? You don’t want to identically replicate your competitor’s strategies. But you do have to learn everything there is to know about the successes and failures of your competitors so that you know how to uniquely position yourself in the market.
  2. Brand Messaging Doesn’t Suit Target Audience If you can’t develop a brand message that fits with your target audience, nobody is going to buy from you. You have to learn everything about your target audience like demographics, what they like to buy, where they shop, what times of the day or times of the year do they make purchases related to your offerings, what colors motivate and drive them to make purchases, what parts of the world are they located, how does culture affect purchasing, and many more.
  3. Failed Market Study
    Effective market research needs to be obtained about how people are reacting to your brand, products, or services. Survey analysis can be obtained to further your market research and understanding, or a complex study of social media research and analysis can help you to understand how people review or perceive you in the market. If you don’t analyze feedback from your customer base, you will be making a costly mistake in your brand research initiatives.
  4. Association or Dissociation with Events and Motives Just because you want to create a product or service or build your brand around a particular design or niche space in the market, doesn’t mean it will be successful. You can’t just build and sell tablets just because iPad’s are popular, create a bottled water company because you feel people will always need to drink water, or design makeup and cosmetics because there is a popular trend in that space this year. You have to delve deeply into your brand research strategy to truly understand the reasoning behind purchasing decisions and product and service popularity.
  5. Inconsistent Corporate Identity Everything about your brand identity has to make sense, from the colors that you choose to represent your company, to the logo and fonts that you use throughout your campaigns, to the style of writing, tone and messaging that you implement to speak to and reach audiences. Everything has to remain consistent so that people understand your brand values and what you are offering them. If you fail, you could spend a lot of time rebranding and causing confusion to your audience and miss a lot of opportunities.
  6. Poor Product Packaging

    Product packaging is the first thing people see when looking at your brand, whether they are online or physically in store locations. Everything from materials, graphics, size, shape, and color all are important elements of packaging designs. You could spend a lot of money rebranding your packaging if your product performs poorly. On the other hand, you might spend money rebranding your packaging when it isn’t even necessary and have to revert back to the way it was. Effective brand research is going to help you understand the best elements and packaging designs that will help your company thrive.
  7. Making the Wrong Impression If you are selling premium services, you don’t want to use commodity branding. You will deter audiences from your brand. There is a reason why so many fast food restaurant chains use the colors red and yellow, like Burger King, MacDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Carl’s Jr., and software companies use blue and black like Intel, IBM, Apple, or Google. People associate certain attributes to particular products and designs. People won’t understand what you are offering them if you make the wrong impression. Pay particular attention to detail and use the right research and analysis to make a lasting impression that makes sense with audiences.

How Brand Research Can Help

Brand marketing research is integral to the success of organizations in the modern world. In fact, no business out there that is successful in today’s market leaves home without brand research.

Brand research improves your competitiveness, visibility, and messaging and can help your business take a strategic position in the market using proven data from effective research and analysis services. Here are some of the major benefits of effective brand research:

  • Integrated Metrics: You can see the impacts of your project decisions and forecasts with measurable and tangible results.
  • Allocate Market Spend: Understand how to make investments that will lead to successful outcomes.
  • Identify Competition: You can not only find out who your competition is, but you can find out how and why they are successful in the market, or even discover how to position your brand in areas where your competition is lacking.
  • Develop Accurate Strategies: Create informed decisions built on a foundation of research and analytics with a better understanding of market developments, pricing, and positioning.
  • Capture Target Audience: Better understand consumer behavior and create effective marketing and advertising strategies.
  • Brand Perception: Truly understand how audiences feel and react to your brand, products and services.

Effective Brand Research for Organizations Across Industries

Research Optimus (ROP) has top research and analyst specialists who are tenured in market research, business research, customer analysis, and brand research services that provide the required insights to take the appropriate steps towards building effective and long lasting business brand awareness, brand marketing, and positioning strategies. Apart from services like market research, product research, and risk analysis, contact our team today to jump start or further advance your journey into brand research and obtain the targeted insights you need to avoid branding mistakes.

By: https://www.researchoptimus.com/

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Decision Analyst

An introduction to brand strategy, and the tangible and intangible elements that make up a brand. And a brief discussion of the questions of to ask in order to focus and improve your brand strategy. Learn More: https://www.decisionanalyst.com/servi…

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Will the Rise of European Remote Work Lead to a Boom in Omnichannel Marketing?

With news of a Covid-19 vaccine bringing hope worldwide for an eventual end to the pandemic that’s left a trail of destruction across 2020, many workers are eager to continue working remotely. With a recent McKinsey & Company study suggesting that one-third of Europe’s major economies could continue their remote work, it may be time for marketers to consider their omnichannel marketing approach. 

While some bosses may be reluctant to allow their employees to work from home (WFH) when it becomes safe to return to office commutes, research indicates that many employers are seeing improvements in the productivity of staff while they WFH.

Major European economies have seen significant rises in remote work as Covid became increasingly prevalent. The UK, Germany, France and Spain were among the global leaders when it came to WFH, with potentially as much as 46 percent of workers going remote.

According to Harvard Business Review, the vast majority of countries that display the ideal infrastructure to facilitate WFH come from northern and western Europe, indicating that there’s plenty of potential for workers to continue operating remotely across the continent. 

Shifts away from high streets and brick and mortar stores to spend more time at home means that businesses will be looking to appeal more to audiences through the various digital platforms that they use. Omnichannel marketing, of course, aims to make the shopping experiences from online to mobile to over the phone to in-person as seamless as possible.

In an era that’s driven by digital engagement, we may soon see a boom in omnichannel marketing. But how will marketers look to use omnichannel to reach their consumers?

Marketing during the rise of remote work.

Remote work across Europe looks set to continue as the world transitions into the “new normal” period of recovery following the virus. Due to the development of remote technology and communications, this trend may never reverse. 

According to the European Employer Covid-19 survey Report, nearly 70 percent of European employers plan to continue remote work for employees unless their jobs require them to be in the workplace. While 80 percent of respondents are requiring or considering to recruit more employees to WFH. 

Respondents say that they’re considering these shifts to achieve more productivity (41 percent), address the difficulty and price of introducing new safety measures (38 percent) and to allow for the closure of offices (25 percent). This may mean that the future of office spaces may change from a place to get work done to a place to meet for performance reviews and client discussions. 

The implications of closing offices and fewer opportunities for workers to leave the house will have huge ramifications for other industries, and marketers will need to adapt quickly to the rise of remote work by creating better engagement opportunities for users within the places they’re most likely to consume their media. 

Let’s take a deeper look into how omnichannel marketing methods can help businesses to reach more potential customers at home:

Understanding the changing journeys of customers.

The first thing marketers will need to understand to adapt their post-pandemic campaigns is how customer journeys are shifting. 

Where traditional journeys revolved heavily around physical store visits and platform-based eCommerce, Deloitte notes that this pattern is moving towards a ‘life on the cloud’ diversity of co-existing models, with fully integrated eCommerce, social media, live-streaming, influencers, vertically-integrated platforms, official brand websites and private traffic. 

Significantly, the reach of marketers looks set to change to focus heavily on social media, digital entertainment and eCommerce platform campaigns.

While pop-up stores had been a popular way of engaging audiences over the past decade, the pandemic appears to have forced marketers to adapt to more digital platforms to continue to find customers. 

Understand where your audience is

It’s vital to gain an insightful view of your customers to gain a full picture of what they like and don’t like — as well as their purchasing habits, preferences, and how they behave across all channels. This data can help you to create a more enhanced customer experience.

By collecting and analyzing relevant customer data, a brand can establish the personality of their target audience which helps them to use the right tools and technology at the right time in the buying cycle. It’s also important for businesses to test out their buying experience offered through the eyes of their customers. This can help to make the experience seamless, more user-friendly and free of any barriers.

Different businesses have customers who behave differently online. While customer behaviour tools like BrandWatch and Heap can provide strong insights into who your audience really is, a strong level of customer research can still be conducted manually. 

By learning more about the social networks your customers use and the type of entertainment platforms they use, it’s much easier to build campaigns to not only suit their tastes but also to appear where they’re most likely to see them. 

Reapproach your content.

Like with all campaigns, your content will be the foundation of your omnichannel efforts. You can begin by surveying your existing content to collect assets that align with the needs and interests of your target audience at different phases of the buyer’s journey. Here, it’s important to remember that the best content always attracts, informs and engages your audience while still promoting your brand. 

Be sure to adjust the format and presentation of your content to fit the context of each channel that you’re working in. Each piece of content needs to stay relevant to the channel it appears in while maintaining a consistent experience across channels. This will help to smooth out the experience for users across channels and devices.

Despite the need for adapting your content across channels to suit their respective audiences, it’s still worth repurposing content from its core message and meaning across all the channels you operate in. This process isn’t too time-consuming, and condensing ebooks into whitepapers or taking infographics from webinars can help to generate significant traffic for existing work. 

The necessity of digital analysis.

Because of the significance of shifting your marketing operations towards omnichannel campaigns, it’s vital that you track your progress using analytics to help you recover quickly if setbacks occur. 

Platforms like Google Analytics and Finteza are effective ways of keeping track of how traffic arrives and interacts with your pages. If some channels are creating lower volumes of visits, it’s important to reconsider your approach, or the type of content you’re creating, or even checking whether you really do have as large of an audience to connect with via this form of marketing

Covid may have caused widespread disruption to a range of industries across the world, but in remote work creating more digital audiences for businesses to connect with, there may be an opportunity for marketers to create more effective and adaptable campaigns that can spread further across channels and reach larger volumes of people. 

With more research, multifaceted content, and time taken to analyse progress, businesses could yet turn their shortcomings from the pandemic into a significant opportunity for the future.

Dmytro Spilka

By: Dmytro Spilka Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP CEO and Founder of Solvid and Pridicto

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Professor Wolters

Omnichannel marketing is the ubiquitous nature of today’s marketing. Marketers need to be on all platforms as they never know when customers will be looking for information on products and services. #marketing#omnichannel#principlesofmarketing​ Topic 4: Digital & Social Media Marketing YouTube Advice Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list…​ Help Support Marketing & YouTube education and become a Patron at http://www.patreon.com/woltersworld​ Grab some of the gear we use to film our Professor Wolters videos. Grab one of Professor Wolters shirts or other merchandise at http://www.woltersworld.store​ Microsoft Surface: We travel with a Microsoft Surface everywhere we go. I edit my videos on it & use it to backup my pictures and vides while we travel. It’s light and the best travel laptop on the market in my opinion. https://amzn.to/2L55pDR​ Lights: Mount Dog 18’ Ring Light Kit. It will light up your filming space so your videos will look clearer and film better. We started using it and it makes all the difference. https://amzn.to/2YEIQ0J​ Sony Alpha Camera: We use Sony Alpha series cameras to film our videos. They are compact so you don’t look like a super tourist when you take great pictures and videos while you film on location. https://amzn.to/2WbTNFH​ Manfrotto Tripod: We use Manfrotto Tripods. They are compact, travel well, and honestly I would not use another tripod for my nice cameras. https://amzn.to/35AWqUs​ Follow Us at: http://www.facebook.com/professorwoltershttp://www.instagram.com/professorwol…http://www.professorwolters.com

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Planting Seeds http://www.linkedin.com – April 5, 2019[…] #PlantingSeeds #Gardening #Business #Building #Networking #Marketing #Advertising #Growing #Share #OmniChannelMarketing #Connections #Growth

How B2B Brands Can Identify Their Target Audience

How well do you know your brand’s target audience?

Or, how well do you think you know your target audience?

We find that many brand managers in Europe assume they know their audience very well indeed. They might even have a very clear image in their head of the type of individual they are trying to target with all of their advertising and marketing strategies. 

What is often the case, however, is this image in their heads isn’t always completely correct. When it comes to targeting your audience in Europe and motivating them into making a purchase, you need to ensure that your understanding of this group is bang on. Any slight differences between what’s in your head and your audience could result in some of your targeted work falling flat.

If you know that you have this problem in your business currently, here are steps to take to understand your target audience better. If you follow them through, you’ll know how to discover your target audience and start fine-tuning your aim for them in all your campaigns.

Brainstorm your target audience.

The first thing you should do is sit down and brainstorm what you already know about your target audience. Think about the characteristics that all of the individuals who are most likely to buy your products will share. Are they in the same age group? What is their job title; what kind of salary do they earn? You should also look at the common challenges, needs, and objections that this group of people might face in their life.

One great tip is to take a look at the audience that your competitors are targeting. How does that group differentiate from yours? Examine the data-driven insights using the right tools to understand the entire funnel, and how you can leverage this data to incorporate your USP to retarget.

Take advantage of brand trackers.

Use a brand tracker to get measurable and actionable data on your audience. This data can give you various, but specific insights. For instance, tracking brand awareness will tell whether or not your ideal target audience actually knows about you. As well as that, tracking brand consideration will show if they would consider using your brand. You can also track this data for your competitors and compare how your brand fares against them. 

In addition, you might even discover that this isn’t actually the best audience for you to be targeting. By digging deep into all of this brand tracking data, you might see new audiences appear that you had never previously considered. Just make sure to choose a brand tracker that caters to niche audiences.

Develop a persona for your target audience.

Now it’s worth creating a persona of what the quintessential member of your target audience is like. There are so many benefits from audience personas, so why not use it?

For example, if you target the millennial generation, go beyond a generic idea of a millennial and think more closely about who you are selling to. If you find that millennial females who live in urban areas and work in the tech sector buy your product more than anyone else, then their defining features and characteristics should also be those of your audience persona. 

Once you have made a persona, it’s important that you inform everyone on your team. To keep everyone on the same track with all their strategic work, you all need to be targeting the same persona.

Start targeting.

Now that you know who you are aiming at, it’s time to start trying to reach them. In order to target your audience, focus your efforts on the channels they use most often. 

If you know that your target audience spends a lot of their online time using Twitter, then it’s worth starting a campaign on that social media platform. However, if you are targeting an older audience who might prefer to spend their evenings in front of their TVs than tweeting, think about running some TV adverts.

Researching the channels that your audience use really can help you immensely — not doing so could end with you shooting blindly and completely missing. 

How does running marketing campaigns help find your target audience, you may ask. Well, how can you be positive that they are the audience for you unless you see if they work? And don’t forget…

Continue to monitor.

So you research your target audience well and then start to target them using suitable methods and channels. Job done, right? Not quite.

Sure, you’ve taken the right kind of steps so that the right kind of consumers will see your brand marketing. But how do you know whether that’s really happening once your adverts and promotions are out there in the wild? How do you know that they are helping your sales?

Keep your eye on the ball and monitor how your marketing efforts are doing. You can do this by tracking your brand guidelines and campaigns to make sure that they are hitting the spot. 

It’s also worth noting that target audiences can change or shift over time, so monitoring them is a continuous task for every brand manager. As long as you do make monitoring a habit of a lifetime, then there’s no risk of you ever being left behind by competitors. 

Those steps don’t sound too difficult, right? If you follow through with them, you should discover new things about your target audience that you might never have realized. And those nuggets of wisdom could help you polish up your marketing campaigns like never before. 

Not only that, but you can now carry out all of your campaigns confidently, as your target audience shouldn’t be even easier to reach.

By: Steve Habazin Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

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Adam Erhart

How To Identify Target Market | Target Market Examples Click here to subscribe: https://bit.ly/2HxjQRa If you don’t properly identify your target market then none of your marketing will work. Period. Not your ads, not your content, not your website, not your social media, nothing. It will all fail miserably. And I don’t want that for you. So in this episode I’m going to be breaking down exactly how to identify your target market and give you a few examples of what that might look like for your business. ***Marketing Resources: Work With Me: https://bit.ly/2FY2vzF Our Advertising Agency: http://aerh.co/1oVVeEc Facebook Ad Image Guide : https://bit.ly/2H9EPt9 FAST Content Formula : https://bit.ly/2JEu5kz 60 Second Video Ad Script : https://bit.ly/2GQF0Kl One Page Marketing Plan : https://bit.ly/2v6HPBp ***Let’s Connect: Website: http://adamerhart.com Click here to subscribe on YouTube: https://bit.ly/2HxjQRa Twitter: http://twitter.com/adamerhart Facebook: http://facebook.com/officialadamerhart Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adamerhart

4 Reasons Why Focusing On Community Is Your Best Marketing Strategy

Digital communities are quickly becoming the lifeblood of organizations as more companies turn digital and remote. A recent article by the Wall Street Journal found that adults in the U.S. are now spending up to 16 hours a day on digital media. With so many options, the one commonality that many people are looking for is genuine connections with people and brands that share their interests and values. 

The concept of a community is not always tangible. Communities can come in the shape of forums, social media pages, private groups or, in some cases, a mix of each. For brands that really get community right, this phenomenon could be fragmented and simply come down to offering a service that people genuinely love to associate with. The best communities are built organically over time and can act as a powerful and genuine marketing channel. 

For Binance co-founder and CMO Yi He, community has always been an important part of her career journey, as well as the driving force behind building out one of the most popular digital-assets exchanges in the world. In just three years, Binance’s business model, which includes executives interacting daily with the community, has helped it scale to more than 15 million users

Related: The Digital Dollar’s Global Potential For Entrepreneurship

Yi was kind enough to provide insight into her journey, along with practical advice that entrepreneurs can use to start growing a community for their personal brand or business. 

1. Community marketing is cost-effective and impactful

Community management and marketing is a mentality more than a strategy. It’s about focusing on users and developing activities and actions around it. Community marketing includes livestreams (AMA sessions), webinars and social listening and engagement. It is important to note that community building is not an overnight task; it takes testing and patience. 

Yi explains, “Building a community takes time and it’s worth it. Personal connections with a community is vital to ensuring continued growth. That includes responding to issues and taking feedback into action which require strong collaboration with customer support and product teams.” https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

This cross-functional effort might seem challenging, but it can be organized and is typically very profitable when done right. Yi adds, “It is significantly more cost effective to organize an AMA session with the CEO or executive, which allows customers to connect with the company and address issues or new products, than broadcasting noisy ads.”

2. Community engagement gives companies authenticity and loyalty

The best way to create a meaningful community is to remain authentic. Transparency builds trust, both between a company and users and within a user base, compounding to strengthen the community over time. 

Even more impactful is when a key executive is part of this plan. At Binance, CEO CZ (Changpeng Zhao) is famous for being extremely active on Twitter, where he interacts and responds with thousands of people. Yi says this interaction is vital and “allows customers to have a personal connection with a company that translates to higher engagement and loyalty.” 

For companies without a public-facing executive, focusing on micro-interactions helps humanize a company and its mission. According to Yi, “Community marketing requires knowing what your customers need and care about, and what they don’t care about too. Ultimately, focus on customers to deliver products and services they want, need and will like.”

3. Strong community marketing brings brand-activation and innovation

Strong community marketing activates a brand by bringing more awareness and more meaningful exposure and customer experiences. According to Nielsen, 92 percent of customers believe suggestions from friends and family more than advertising. This word-of-mouth marketing is the most powerful marketing tool a company can have as it comes from a user, not an advertisement or the company directly. 

In the world of digital-asset exchanges, competition is fierce, and users have no shortage of options. This is where brand activation can be the critical differentiator. Yi says, “When a brand is activated, customers are more engaged and become more long-term customers. Strong community marketing also brings more personable and emotional connections to its customers which helps activate brands.”https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Related: 8 Smart Ways to Analyze Crypto Token Before Investing in It

4.Timely community management makes great customer service

In 2019, Binance experienced a $40 million hack that set off panic amongst the entire industry. Rather than cower away, the company took proactive actions to quickly admit there was a security incident. Even more important, Binance had a contingency plan (#SAFU fund) in place that allowed them to cover the incident in full so no user funds were affected. 

Outside of extreme events like this example, communities are where customers often turn to for quick customer service. Entrepreneurs can use their community as a way of product iteration and improvement by monitoring common requests. As CMO, Yi is responsible for making sure the community management teams are actively engaged with product teams.

“When this approach is optimized, it ensures the delivery of community-driven products and services that cater a company’s core, its users/customers,” she sums up. “Great products and services are built by communities, not a one-directional approach.”

By: Jared Polites / Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Alyson Shane is a Winnipeg writer who has been publishing content online for 15 years. Growing up, she spent her free time in online forums and communities, which developed into a passion for social media and digital communication. In 2014, she started her digital marketing agency, Starling Social. Alyson has been recognized as one of Manitoba’s Top Social Media Influencers by CBC Manitoba and featured as one of Winnipeg’s Hottest Bloggers on Shaw TV.

She is the lead contributor to the MTS Business Hub and manages the National Film Board’s What Brings Us Here Instagram narrative about indigenous-led activism in Winnipeg. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

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Account-Based Marketing Isn’t Going Away Here’s Why

In 2019, George Debb, managing partner at Red Rocket Venture,s extolled the virtues of account-based marketing, writing, “If you are not using ABM marketing techniques today, you probably should reassess your entire B2B sales and marketing strategy and execution efforts.” 

Twelve months and one global health crisis later, the statement continues to ring true — and with even more intensity. When Debb wrote the article, “The Rise of Account-Based Marketing,” he couldn’t foresee a future in which in-person meetings, quick conversations over coffee, and industry tradeshows were nonexistent. This future didn’t rely on Zoom calls to communicate services and discuss the reasons a certain product outperforms another. Yet here we are. Adaptation is a must for survival, and account-based marketing is the path B2B companies must take if they want to find success in a virtual world.

But why the ABM route versus traditional marketing strategies? 

For starters, ABM brings marketing and sales teams in alignment.If there’s one idea even the most unfamiliar with ABM will know, it’s this: An account-focused strategy ensures sales and marketing are always on the same page, as it’s a tactic prioritizing a smaller number of high-value deals.

ABM runs horizontally and vertically within a company; it involves communicating the company’s common goals, sharing all available customer information, and keeping team members updated as an account move down the sales funnel. A coordinated team results in greater brand awareness and higher average deal size. Even before March 2020, this was understood as a universal marketing truth.

Related: 3 Reasons Marketing Is The New Sales

To take it to a more granular level, many account-based marketing platforms provide reporting dashboards that are easily accessible for everyone from sales executives to the C-suite. When all of your account data is in one place, there isn’t any confusion in campaign performance or marketing spend. As Izzie Rivers, Merkle’s Chief Strategy Officer said at LinkedIn’s 2020 I Heart ABM conference, ABM platforms “build that trust between departments so people can see what’s working, what isn’t, and how to pivot.”

Resources are limited, use them wisely

The economy continues to swing; stocks fall, rise, then fall again. “Furlough” and “lay off” became a reality for more than 20 million Americans. And marketing budgets have been slashed across the board. But that doesn’t mean business can stop; it simply means money has to be used sensibly to achieve the best ROI possible. 

Account-based marketing is all about efficiency; in fact, 84 percent of companies using ABM report a higher ROI than other marketing strategies. This is something every CFO—from SaaS to transportation to retail—wants to hear. With ABM, every dollar spent can be accounted for. Every targeted account has been vetted to certify it has the potential to bring in a high-value sale.

The marketing and sales teams have already done the research on the buying committee for a particular company; they know who’s in charge and who will have final signoff on the purchase of a new service or product. They won’t make the mistake of spending money directing content toward a CMO who just recently left that company and hasn’t updated his or her LinkedIn.

And with the right reporting structure, real-time data is delivered to stakeholders, conveying which aspects of the campaign are working and which need to be adjusted based on performance. Account-based marketing campaigns are dynamic—an important trait in a world that changes nearly every day. 

Business is virtual, but strong relationships fuel a longer sales cycle

A virtual world doesn’t mean everyone and everything will move quickly and without hindrance. In actuality, it can be quite the opposite. A one-off email requesting to show a 15-minute demo can easily get lost in an inbox; a faceless phone call on a Friday is forgotten by the following Monday. For businesses with longer sales cycles, this is where nurturing high-value accounts is more important than ever. 

Related: The Two Marketing Meetings with Gary Vaynerchuk That Changed My Life

Account-based marketing is basically the new “wining and dining.” With this marketing strategy, personalized content is the key to engaging an oftentimes complex buying committee. These are the type of deals that aren’t achieved with one email and one click. They require weeks, sometimes months, of increasing awareness and building a trusted connection between the seller and buyer.

And as an account moves from the general awareness stage (“What does this service provide?”) of the buying cycle to the evaluation stage (“Why is this service the best for my company?”) the channels used and content delivered will differ accordingly. For example, delivering a white paper on the merits of your service in the operations space via email marketing is far more interesting to a Director of Ops than it is for a CEO, who is more likely to engage with a podcast interviewing one of her peers. 

Related: How to Know if an Online Marketing Expert is Actually Credible

Nothing is stagnant in the B2B marketing world. New platforms are developed, new strategies are created, new channels are used. But if you want to stay flexible and affect real change for both your customers as well as your sales and marketing teams, account-based marketing remains the best option.

By: Vincent DeCastro / Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

What is “Account Based Marketing”? It’s what I consider a legendary marketing strategy that allows you to laser focus on the Ideal Accounts you want to work with & sign them as clients. I’m talking about “Ideal High-Ticket Clients” Our agency is about to run a “Pilot” targeting 100 Ideal accounts to test this marketing strategy over the next18 months.

Our goal is to sign 5-10% of the 100 accounts in the next 12-18 months ( hopefully sooner ) It’s a long term play. I hope you find this video valuable & let me know your feedback in the comment section below. Some great tools you can use for measuring your ABM campaign success is the following: https://www.engagio.com/

https://www.leadfeeder.com/

https://taylorbenterud.com/case-study

Launching a Direct to Consumer Brand? Here Are the 8 Success Secrets

One of my favorite aspects of my job is helping founders bring their vision to life and launch their brands.  Yes, it’s absolutely exciting to work with a brand when they’re already established, but being in those first meetings developing a go-to-market strategy for a brand that’s so new you can still smell the adhesive on their package just hits different. You can hear the heart of the brand beat with every new headline, and watch the founding team grin from ear to ear with each product shot you present.

But all that excitement tends to get matched with the anxiety of a successful launch. There have been months if not years of research and development, trial and error, and highs and lows that lead up to the moment that everything goes live. Everyone’s standing by waiting to see just how well the brand is received — and if people will actually buy it.

Over the last few years, I’ve learned a thing or two about launching brands and products, helping startups get their legs and well-established brands get to acquisition. And although there are many different strategies to get a brand off the ground, there are some things that I believe are essential to a successful launch.

Related: 10 Skills to Master Before Launching a New Business

Identify your ideal customer

The most successful brands know exactly who they are, what makes them appealing, and most importantly who will care. If you’re thinking your brand is for everyone — and it might be true — your messaging can’t be for everyone. Of course, understanding your target demographic is a foundational strategy, but let’s take that a few steps further. Name your ideal customer, understand their pain point, define which other brands they might be loyal to, and create your messaging specific that person in all of your marketing initiatives. It seems pretty basic, but too often do we see brands that fail to connect with an audience because of copy that doesn’t connect to an individual. 

Activate social and collect data

One of our most successful launches was Winged Wellness, a female-focused lifestyle brand.  We strategically activated our social campaign 3 months before the projected launch date to begin growing an audience on social channels with our female-empowerment quote cards and lifestyle images (we didn’t actually have the final product yet) and drive traffic to the brand’s landing page. Why were we driving traffic to the site with nothing to sell? So we could start creating custom audience data for social ads later down the road.

Create a pre-launch interest list

Speaking of driving traffic to your website pre-launch, it’s a good idea to start building your email-interest list for a successful launch date. I’d much rather be reminding consumers about a brand the day that I’m ready to sell my products than be introducing the brand. Keep your interest list engaged before your launch by planning a newsletter sequence highlighting your progress, and “alternative” solutions to the problem that your brand will be solving. For example, if you’re launching a skin-care brand, consider sharing content on food that might help someone’s complexion.

Pro-Tip: Consider a pre-order campaign so you can gauge how much inventory you’ll need to have on hand the day of launch. 

Related: Effective Email Strategies for Startups Marketing on a Budget

Prepare your influencer marketing blitz

Look, I get it. You might be burned out on the idea of working with influencers but at the end of the day, you’re getting reach, targeted engagement, testimonials and really great lifestyle content with each one of your partnerships. The trick is to be strategic about who you’re partnering with. Take a look at who’s following them, the sincerity in their engagement, how often they’ve partnered with other brands and what their audience interested in by using a 3rd party data aggregator.  Please do not just spray and pray based on follower counts — by planning your influencer partnerships as you would any other aspect of your go-to-market strategy, you’ll give yourself the best shot of making them a profitable arm of your marketing campaign.

Related: 4 Influencer Marketing Secrets Entrepreneurs Need to Know

Be strategic about social ads

Since you were already going to be launching social ads, here are a few pointers: start your prospecting with broader targeting optimized for traffic to gather your interest data before remarketing with your offers, ideally before the launch of your product. Think of it like how movies gain interest for their launches. Trailers are launched months, if not a year, ahead of time stating “Coming Next Summer,” getting audiences hyped and thus helping the movie have a big opening weekend. One of the big mistakes I constantly see is brands launching ads optimized for conversion to cold audiences. That’s a sure way to get your metaphorical movie to flop on its opening day. 

Do consider the press

You might be thinking that PR is a thing of the past, but a few of our managed brands depend on press releases for a quick hit of massive reach and establishing themselves as a leader in the industry. And each time a brand gets a good press-hit, there’s almost an immediate spike in sales. Nothing screams “must-have” like “As Featured On…”.  But don’t worry, you don’t have to get on Allure’s Reader’s Choice list to make a meaningful impact on your launch. Even a mention in a trust-worthy digital publication can give your brand the reach and credibility to convert readers into loyal customers.

Get your feedback as soon as possible

Once your product finally gets in the hands of your customers, be sure to ask them for a review on your website as soon as possible. In fact, it might be a good idea to leverage package inserts to help remind your customers to give you some love on your site, if not through an automated, product-specific email upon delivery. During your launch phases, reviews on product pages can be especially useful in increasing visitors’ intent to buy and decreasing your initial cost-per-acquisition through paid traffic. A study by Spiegel Research Center shows that the purchase likelihood of products with five reviews is 270% greater than the purchase likelihood of a product with no reviews.

Think: retention

Getting your first customers is just the beginning of their story with you. After working with numerous founders who know something about DTC launches, the focus of conversations as of late have been about customer acquisition cost (CAC) and return on ad spend (ROAS), which in my opinion have effectively become the buzzwords of 2020 digital marketing. And while these metrics are essential to consider, I’d venture to say that improving your customer’s lifetime value (LTV) is even more crucial. Think about it, the cost of acquiring a customer bites deep into your profit margins, so repeat purchases and cross-selling are critical to your business’s overall profitability.

So how do you do that? You can begin with email campaigns that reinforce the use of your product like Truff does by regularly sharing recipes that go well with their truffle-infused hot sauce. Creating exclusive Facebook groups and cultivating an engaged community that experiences your brand through webinars, Q&As or panels is another way to keep your customers in your eco-system. And of course, don’t forget that a great brand starts with a great product.

By: Mikhail Alfon / Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

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How Instagram Helps Marketers and Work-From-Home Professionals Increase Their Influence

Sixty-two percent of Americans were working from home as of late spring, according to a May 2020 Gallup survey, making ecommerce even more critical to any successful marketing campaign. Social channels are especially helpful in encouraging customer demand, which offsets risk amid a deep recession.

Instagram in particular is one of the most profitable sites for promoting goods and services, especially if you operate in a niche — think fashion and beauty, travel, health and fitness, food, consumer goods, home and decor and digital services — that makes heavy use of multimedia content. In fact, ecommerce makes up 15.8 percent of total interactions on Instagram, according to a January 2020 report by Socialbakers.

Here’s how marketers, independent contractors, freelancers and small-business owners can expand their reach and acquire new customers on Instagram.

Create a business account to draw inbound interest

Instagram has 120 million U.S. users, according to analytics firm NapoleonCat. More than 200 million global users visit at least one business profile daily, according to Instagram, and 60 percent of people say they discover new products on the platform.

“Create a business account so the Instagram marketplace knows that you exist,” advises Tony Noskov, founder of Snoopreport, a firm that developed Instagram Activity Tracker for individuals and businesses. “An Instagram business account lets you see real-time metrics on engagement so you can adjust strategy, interaction and content to attract inbound interest on goods and services. A business profile enables brands to publish location, store hours, website and phone number. Put a call-to-action button that moves consumers along the sales funnel to possible conversion.”

Thirty-seven percent of U.S. adults are Instagrammers, and 63 percent of them visit the site daily, according to Pew Research. Noskov’s Instagram Activity Tracker lets anyone monitor a public user’s likes, comments, follows and other activities.

For businesses, the tool is helpful for building a list of influencers and for benchmarking competitor strategies. Instagram also comes equipped with native tools that allow users to optimize photos and videos without having to pay for additional software or services.

Related: 10 Marketing Strategies to Fuel Your Business Growth

Make time for social outreach

Between March 1 and July 10, 132,580 businesses closed around the country, according to Yelp’s Economic Impact Report. Social marketing can mitigate economic risks by unforeseen forces. It’s prudent to seek deep-pocketed clients or customers who refresh the work pipeline so you can better sleep at night. Allocate one day per week to be actively engaged on social channels or with online promotion.

If you’re busy with current projects, you should still commit at least 10 percent of your workweek to marketing. You may find higher-paying gigs that come with less headache. Delegate by hiring a low-cost intern who won’t mind earning money and class credits to use Instagram for business.

Define the target audience

An effective approach when using Instagram is to first define your target buyers. Businesses can define market segments in several waysm including demographics, values and lifestyle, consumer behavior, disposable income and geography. By identifying their ideal buyers, marketers can customize messages and offers, as well as concentrate on a smaller group of consumers who benefit the most from a product or service.

Companies are in a better position to optimize marketing efforts, pricing, product design, shipping and other aspects of their businesses when they better understand their customers. This can lead to improved key performance indicators (KPIs) like click-throughs, conversion rates, profit margins, customer satisfaction and other important business metrics.

Who is your ideal client or customer, and how do they interact with your Instagram content? What keywords, hashtags, photos and videos do they respond to? What communication styles best resonate with them? One helpful approach is to create a buyer persona — a fictional representation of a few ideal customers based both on experience and data. By knowing who specifically you’re targeting, you can improve content, sales and marketing, product design, delivery and other aspects of customer acquisition.

Related: How to Land the Digital Marketing Job of Your Dreams

Benchmark top performers

An Instagram strategy shouldn’t be set in stone; it should be liquid. You must continually optimize methods based on new preferences and trends, but once you’ve gained actionable insights from top accounts, you can begin to create aesthetic visuals for your brand.

The key is to capture amazing photos and videos and to tell stories that spark lively discussions from people who will like, comment and push your brand. Write compelling captions that convey the essence of your craft, i.e. what makes you tick and why you’re the right person (or product) for the job. Display client stories or give audiences a behind-the-scenes look at how things operate at your place of business.

The end strategy you settle on will depend heavily on your industry and target buyers. That’s why it’s important to observe and understand why top performers are converting the way they are. Something in your approach resonates with them and aligns with how they consume and engage with your Instagram content.

Once you’ve found a good fit, keep your foot on the proverbial gas pedal.

By: Lucas Miller / Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

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Survey Shows 65% of Central Banks Actively Researching Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC)

1

  • A CBDC survey conducted by a London-based journal revealed that 65% of the respondents are researching about Central Bank Digital Currencies.
  • 71% of the respondents prefer DLT-based CBDC.

A London based international journal of Central Banking revealed in a survey conducted on CBDC that 65% of the central banks who participated had researched about digital currencies. The survey included 19 central banks based in Europe and 27 central banks from the other parts of the world.

57% of those exploring CBDCs are still in the initial stages of the research, while 25% have already developed the Proofs of Concept and another 13% has propelled to the pilot stage of the project. The survey further revealed that a close majority of the respondents preferred a token-based model to an account-based design. A token-based model was preferred because most participants would rather want the design to resemble cash – depending on the local policy requirements.

Some banks are focused at widening payment options to counter the reduced cash usage, while the others want to reduce the cash dependence of the public to do away with the distribution challenges and the expenses borne.

A whopping 71% of the banks prefer a DLT-based CBDC. However, only one respondent stated that it would consider blockchain – a type of DLT.

By Muskan Bagrecha

Source: https://bitcoinnews.com

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In 2013 the price of Bitcoin surged to over $1100 causing central banks around the world to take notice. Four years later, the price of Bitcoin is twice as high as its previous peak and central banks around the world are exploring the benefits of issuing crypto-based digital representations of fiat monies, more commonly known as central bank digital currencies. Rod Garratt, UCSB Professor of Economics, describes his work on a project to build a proof of concept for a wholesale interbank payment system that facilitates payments of central bank digital currency using a distributed ledger. Recorded on 07/17/2017. [11/2017] [Show ID: 32757] More from: GRIT Talks (https://www.uctv.tv/grit) Explore More Business & Careers on UCTV (https://www.uctv.tv/business) From entrepreneurship to economic policies these programs introduce you to leaders and issues in the business community.
UCTV is the broadcast and online media platform of the University of California, featuring programming from its ten campuses, three national labs and affiliated research institutions. UCTV explores a broad spectrum of subjects for a general audience, including science, health and medicine, public affairs, humanities, arts and music, business, education, and agriculture. Launched in January 2000, UCTV embraces the core missions of the University of California — teaching, research, and public service – by providing quality, in-depth television far beyond the campus borders to inquisitive viewers around the world. (https://www.uctv.tv)

How Digital Transformation Is Revolutionizing Government

Infrastructure modernization has become critical for governments looking to serve citizens in the digital era. To provide services and programs that improve the lives of their constituents, local, state, and federal government agencies are undergoing digital transformations to take advantage of new technologies that enable them to harness the power of the cloud.

Yet while technology can help government become more effective, change of this magnitude doesn’t happen overnight. Based on myriad factors, different governments and government agencies are at various points in their digital transformations. Many will need to take a look at how they currently work and embrace technology that will help them scale their efforts and fulfill their commitments to constituents.

Here’s a look at how these digital transformations are enabling government agencies to reimagine how work gets done and redefine how they serve their citizens.

Automation Saves Time, Spurs Innovation

Government bureaucracy is known for the inordinate amount of paperwork required for the operation of any given department or agency. Workers spend time on meetings, paperwork, email, and data collection and reporting that they could be using to work on future activities and programs and more effectively serve other goals as well, according to a survey by the Governing Exchange.

Thanks to automation, this is starting to change. According to a recent report from Deloitte Consulting, the past year has seen a shift from government agencies experimenting with automation to implementing it across the board — a shift that is saving government workers thousands of hours previously spent on processing data and data entry. Now, employees at agencies leveraging automation are able to spend time on more valuable, mission-critical work to further innovation and better serve constituents.

As government entities rethink how work gets done, some are turning to a work execution platform to track, automate, and manage their operations and processes from end to end. A work execution platform enables government workers to automate data collection and other processes and workflows to move work forward more effectively and efficiently.

Governments Collaborate to Serve Constituents

Digital transformation can also help facilitate collaboration between different government entities, improving programs and services to better the lives of citizens. Governments that are able to work together to quickly, effectively, and securely share the resources, budget, or information needed to solve big problems can better serve citizens and communities at many levels.

One example of intergovernmental collaboration is evidenced the Deloitte-NASCIO Cybersecurity Study, which looks at how state chief information security officers can succeed in overcoming the top challenges of implementing effective cybersecurity programs. In order to meet critical security controls that protect privacy around healthcare data, state Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies worked with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to successfully secure funding in order to put in place the recommended Minimum Acceptable Risk Safeguards (MARS) for systems that interact with Medicare and Medicaid data. This additional funding provided state HHS agencies with the resources needed (in addition to their state IT budgets) to further their digital transformations.

A common platform that serves as a single source of truth for an organization can help facilitate collaboration and reduce friction. Smartsheet Gov is the only work execution platform in the FedRAMP marketplace. It offers fast user adoption and seamless, secure sharing that helps organizations to easily collaborate and break down silos across departments and agencies — or even between federal and local government — to drive the best results for citizens. Through the use of data collection forms, Smartsheet Gov also enables agencies to quickly capture information across departments and regions, so they can analyze and act on the latest information.

Smart Cities Serve Tech-Savvy Citizens

In addition to digital platforms, governments are exploring and embracing the internet of things (IoT) and other innovative technologies as it applies to communities. Smart cities create a digitally connected environment to help governments better serve citizens.

Features of smart cities might include “smart meters” that enable public utilities to help citizens save energy or conserve water, and road sensors that track traffic patterns to support infrastructure development. This type of innovation can help local governments reduce spending and improve efficiency.

More comprehensive initiatives are in the works as well. For example, the Greater Phoenix Smart Region, seeks to bridge the gap between innovative technology and the needs of communities and policy makers through a partnership between the public sector, educational institutions, and government entities to create, advance, and adopt smart city technology “that improves the quality of life for all citizens.”

To plan for these complex initiatives that bridge the public and private sectors, as well as academia, a work execution platform can help drive the effective collaboration and transparency needed to manage innovative approaches to governance.

Learn more about how Smartsheet is powering digital transformation in government.

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At a time when organizational speed and execution are critical to gaining a competitive edge, modern work — especially at scale —

Source: How Digital Transformation Is Revolutionizing Government