With the new year comes new opportunities for your digital marketing strategy. As consumer behavior evolves, you should experiment with emerging marketing strategies to reach your customers where they are—and where they’re going—to keep them engaged. If you’re creating a digital marketing plan for the year ahead, here are 10 digital marketing channels that deserve attention.
The main rules for social media marketing are to leverage emerging platforms, create engaging content for different channels, and take advantage of each platform’s interactive features.
Speaking of emerging platforms, LinkedIn just hit 1 billion members worldwide. Gone are the days when it was just a networking and job-seeking site. Now people are posting about life skills and leadership and giving advice and support on various topics. Here’s a tip: To enhance your LinkedIn profile, switch to Creator Mode, and you’ll get access to more tools.
Another social media platform to pay attention to is Threads. Launched by Meta in July 2023, it already has 100 million monthly users. Threads is similar to X, where users can join public conversations and post text updates. It pays to have at least a presence on Threads. You can start by just getting a username to visit Threads and see how other brands are using it.
When it comes to content, social media has shifted toward short-form videos and storytelling as the most effective way to get your followers’ attention and keep them watching. You may already be familiar with Facebook Stories and Instagram Reels, but have you tried YouTube Shorts? These videos are 60 seconds or less and offer fabulous features for user interaction.
Search engine optimization has always been a mainstay as an effective digital marketing strategy. But as search engine algorithms are updated, we must also update our SEO tactics. SEO has traditionally been associated with web copy and backlinks. But today there’s more emphasis on optimizing other media types, such as photos and videos.
If your business has a physical location or is geared locally, leveraging local SEO is a digital marketing must. Create (or claim) your Google Business Profile to improve local search visibility.
But don’t stop there. The more local listings your business has, the more attractive it is to search engine algorithms—and the more likely it is your potential customers will find it. So it’s valuable to have a presence on other local directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, and TripAdvisor.
Voice search optimization is another trend you’ll want to try. Voice assistants such as Siri and Alexa have become many people’s go-to for quick info and answers. So adapt your SEO strategies for voice-based queries. You can use long-tail keywords and natural language processing to ensure that your content is voice search friendly.
We’ve said this a million times, but creating more short-form videos is an essential digital marketing strategy for all businesses. Short-form video is the content that can increase conversions, which is why it is now all over social media.
Social media channels are always coming out with new and better tools that make it easier to create video content. They even offer generative AI tools that, based on text prompts, can help you build video content catered to your target audience.
With all content marketing, personalization remains the priority. Businesses must customize their marketing messages and move beyond blanket mass marketing. You can leverage customer data to get a clear picture of your customers’ preferences and purchase trends so you can create content that improves their experience and builds their loyalty and trust.
You can personalize your content with email campaigns (more on that below), customized product or service recommendations, targeted social media ads, and more. Just ensure that your content meets your potential customers’ needs and makes them feel valued and understood.
Email marketing to your database is an excellent way to connect with past, current, and prospective customers on a personal level. It lets you acknowledge their birthdays and other milestones, send exclusive offers, and more.
But segmentation is critical. For instance, if you have a clothing brand, you may market to your male customers differently from your female customers. Depending on the size and scope of your database, it’s best to have a handful of segmented lists based on buyer personas so you can tailor your marketing campaigns and content to each audience.
There are many automation tools and CRM strategies you can use to take the hassle out of executing email and SMS campaigns. Platforms like Go4Clients and Bonzo for real estate and mortgage professionals allow you to create lead follow-up campaigns that include emails, pre-recorded voicemails, and authentic texts.
Remember that having access to a customer’s inbox is a privilege that must be respected. Yes, it is a cost-effective connection channel, but keep your message cadence at a level that’s not intrusive. Also, always be honest about how your customer data is used, and stay updated on data privacy regulations.
The first step for any e-commerce strategy is to optimize your listings for searchability so customers can find your products. Then, once a customer has arrived on your landing page, it becomes all about the user experience (UX).
There are many strategies you can implement to enhance UX and increase sales. Here are a few:
Social commerce is still going strong as customers discover and interact with brands through social media. Integrate e-commerce tools on various social media platforms so customers can make seamless purchases while scrolling through their feeds, and you can grow your sales and customer base.
What’s wonderful about any digital marketing campaign is that it gives us valuable data. This is where KPIs (key performance indicators) enter the picture. KPIs include sales, reach, engagement, and other numbers we need to understand and use to make better and more strategic decisions moving forward.
Using analytic tools is essential for all marketing campaigns. Facebook Audience Insights provides data on your audience’s size, demographics, interests, and more. Google Trends shows what topics are being searched for, related search queries, and search trends. You can even evaluate your competitors’ campaigns on various platforms using a competitive research tool like SpyFu.
Also add attribution modeling to your digital marketing plan, a key component for tracking marketing return on investment. Attribution modeling allows you to analyze the touchpoints or digital marketing channels that get credit for driving customer traffic, engagement, and conversions. By identifying which channels and digital marketing tactics resulted in the best ROI, you can see where you should spend more and where to cut back.
AI is everywhere, so it’s no surprise that it has entered into the marketing arena. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to embrace AI technology, use it to your advantage, and stay ahead as it rapidly evolves.
AI-powered tools, from chatbots to predictive analytics, are redefining how businesses connect with their audiences. AI-driven chatbots provide human-like customer service with real-time support and instant responses to queries. Chatbots can also provide personalized recommendations based on a customer’s preferences and purchase history.
AI algorithms can track data points, including prior customer communications, purchasing behaviors, referral sources, demographics, and psychographics. Then predictive AI uses prior data to predict future patterns, trends, and behavior. It lets you learn much more about your customers, including how and where to reach them, what content they want, and how they’ll engage with it.
To learn more about all the ways AI can support your business in 2024, check out our blog on 5 Ways to Improve Customer Experience with AI Marketing.
Identifying and collaborating with relevant influencers is a sure way to build brand awareness and consumer trust and drive sales. As long as the influencers you work with have a large following that represents your ideal customer and portrays your brand, product, or service properly, it can be a match made in marketing heaven.
You don’t necessarily need an influencer with millions of followers. Influencers could be those who are already loyal customers.
Keep in mind that mega-influencers are celebrities or those with over a million followers who likely have agents who manage their promotional opportunities. Then there are smaller influencers whom you could DM to get a conversation going. Some offer promotions in exchange for free products, while others charge a considerable fee with specific requirements.
You’ll want to integrate your influencer marketing into your SEO strategies and assign each influencer a unique affiliate link so you can track the effectiveness of each campaign. And be sure to stay up to date on navigating regulations and disclosures, such as the FTC’s Guidelines for Social Media Influencer Marketing.
Mobile marketing will keep building momentum as we all continue to access the internet through mobile devices. That’s why all businesses need to take a mobile-first approach. That means making sure their website, email campaigns, and all other digital content and assets are designed to be mobile-friendly and adapt seamlessly to all different screen sizes.
The average open rate for an SMS campaign is 98%, almost five times that of email (20%), which means that SMS marketing is here to stay. Use an automation tool to send text messages for promotional offers, review and feedback requests, appointment reminders, shipping notifications, and more, all tied to various touch points throughout the customer’s journey.
Mobile marketing also extends to your business’s mobile app. Acquiring app users can be achieved via App Store optimization, influencer marketing, and paid ads. Then it’s all about retaining and keeping these users active. Some app retention tips are making the onboarding process easy to navigate, offering in-app messaging and push notifications, and communicating the app’s value.
When it comes to paid advertising on search engines, Google is the obvious go-to. But you should also pay attention to other platforms that can increase visibility and drive traffic.
Facebook and Instagram ads can help increase the reach of your social media posts and help build your customer base. Other options include TikTok’s advertising platform, advertising on LinkedIn, and so on.
You may also want to experiment with smaller, more niche platforms to see what results they bring. A few good options include Pinterest, which now has over 400 million active users, or Snapchat, if teens are a target audience.
Remember, paid ads can also be used to encourage people to take actions other than making a purchase. You can get them to sign up for your email marketing list, schedule a free consultation, or opt-in for a freebie you’re offering.
Wherever you decide to run paid ads, be sure to implement targeted keywords and audience segmentation to improve campaign performance and ROI.
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