Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Creating Competitive Digital Marketing Advantages in 2019" examines how businesses can create competitive advantages by embracing evolving digital marketing trends on the rise in 2019. Granted, the vast majority of digital marketing trends reported on over the past few years points to several marketing mediums that have become the buzzwords of today. Moreover, those trends are well documented and also form the basis of the next set of digital marketing trends coming to the fore.
Most all brands and businesses are aware of those recently reported, leading digital marketing trends such as email marketing, direct marketing, video marketing, social media marketing, blogs, mobile marketing, marketing automation, SEO, content marketing, voice search, chatbots and of course machine learning and artificial intelligence.
That said, brands and marketers all have access to the foray of digital marketing mediums previously stated. The question that arises is, "How can brands increase their competitive edge when all brands have access to the same marketing components?"
We contend that question presents a myriad of possible answers and to that end, the answer any brand may submit will differ from brand to brand, product to product, and of course target market to target market.
How a digital marketing trend is applied will undoubtedly consist of variables specific to each situation. However, as digital marketing trends evolve and new patterns are coming, in essence, we are building trends based on previous ones. The following areas should be of interest in the effort to gain competitive digital marketing advantages moving forward into 2019.
Social Media Engagement
Remember when Facebook and Twitter gained momentum in their early days? Remember when businesses claimed those two social media platforms were just for entertainment purposes and unfit for business marketing? Remember when the first business adopters dipped their little toe into social media but refused to allow users to comment?
Well, those protectionist days are falling away, driven by consumers who are looking to interact with brands. Further, 2019 will summon the next level of social media/brand interactions. Now that social media engagements are here to stay brands have no choice but to dive in completely. So of course, as a result, a new trend is afoot.
That new social media trend will see brands engaging with audiences on a more robust level. Brands will become more focused on uncovering consumers wants, needs and turnoffs. Also, that process requires a two-way dialogue, with equal emphasis on brands being able to listen as well as respond. This listening process will bring new information about preferred content types, product comparisons, brand comparisons and more.
We contend that there are four areas dedicated to social media engagement via two-way dialogues that serve as starting points for brands to consider:
Ensure all posts are engaging around relevant subject matter
Brands need to ask and answer all questions
Content should be made personal across the social media landscape
Dedicate a 24/48 hour response time for all engagements
The SEO Factor Including Videos
SEO will undergo some changes as Google and others are changing their search algorithms. SEO changes are due in part to voice search assistants requirement for search phrases as opposed to just keywords. These changes represent an area that all brands need to keep a watchful eye over.
As a result of the algorithm changes overall, everything will be affected, and that includes videos. New research has indicated that among all things being digitally equal, the growth for internet video will increase by both consumers and businesses. This report noted that consumer IP video traffic would be 84 percent of consumer IP traffic by 2019, up from 75 percent in 2014.
Therefore, to gain a competitive advantage with digital video marketing, brands will need to address video SEO considerations in the following manner:
Take time with the description - research what descriptions top videos in your industry are using
Video titles will need to be researched and are of high importance
SEO should be precise for targeted audiences
URL destinations should be well thought out, as url nomenclature also serve as considerations for top search indexing
Video content needs to be optimal for timeliness, relevancy and engagement allure
Personalized Email Marketing
Email marketing is still quite viable, especially in the realm of personalized communications. When created correctly, email marketing initiatives are still quite useful. Consumers are shying away from generic emails, as many of them fail to generate a sense that the brand cares about them. Now that automated email campaigns are easily accessible via third-party vendors such as Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, and others, the personalized aspect is front and center.
Competitive mail strategies will need to be personal. Personalized email strategies are yet another resource that can help brands increase competitive standings. That said, the following aspects of customized email construction should be top of mind considerations:
Develop creative that is consistent with the brand image while also being engaging
Advertise the right product or service set for each customer segment
Email campaigns should segment messaging for each niche group or individuals
In our nano-second universe, creative should be impactful as well as memorable
Emails should contain a call to action, and when necessary direct consumers to personalized URLs (PURLS)
Lastly, brands will need to add more focus on mobile email access, as recent reports suggest that 84% of survey respondents stated they prefer a mobile device for personal email. Mobile usage will only increase as time goes on. Therefore, brands looking to up their competitive edge need to gain better traction in lead generation via personalized mobile email creative.
Integrating Direct Mail
Direct mail marketing has been on the upswing in recent years for a myriad of reasons, and most notably for being able to cut through the digital clutter. Besides, direct mail marketing is the most trustworthy among all marketing mediums. Several digital iconic brands are already using direct mail marketing such as Google, Direct TV, AT&T, Xfinity, and others.
The difference for gaining a competitive advantage in the personalized direct mail strategies is how direct mail usage is evolving.
Sending a direct mail piece that directs audiences to digital destinations is not exactly new. However, sending a direct mail piece to lead consumers to the first directive, followed by a second direct mail piece (after tracking the digital responses) to either cement the relationship by saying thanks or inquiring about next steps and offers are the differentiation factors deployed every day. From mobile to desktops new technologies are the fore. Keeping up with them is a much harder discipline to adhere to, let alone understand and implement.
Keeping Up With Technology
Technological advancements are being created and implemented every day, every week, every month and so on.
While augmented reality and artificial intelligence are in their infantile stages, they are not going away. As a result of new technologies, current advertising platforms and social media tools will also arise. Therefore, brands will need to put aside time slots dedicated to understanding these new technologies and how consumers are adapting to them.
A few places to bookmark include Wired, Facebook's pages of informational sites, Google trends, and Forbes technology marketing posts. They are creating a unified approach to ensure that all digital posts are representative of the brand, and its offerings should position the brand to have an elevated digital marketing competitive edge.
Gaining a competitive advantage is no small task, for starters. Winning a competitive digital marketing advantage is but one area, albeit a considerable sphere that connects customers and prospects to the brand. Brands that take the digital marketing spectrum seriously can expect to gain an edge on competitors that fail to do so. Thanks for reading "Creating Competitive Digital Marketing Advantages in 2019."
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