Millennials are living in the digital world. They are fully immersed – communicating on social media, shopping online, streaming movies – and blurring the line between physical and digital more than ever before. While TV reigned supreme as the top advertising medium for decades, the cable cutting generation is in a different space altogether. As the first generation to really grow up immersed in digital technologies, millennials are leading the charge in the ever-changing advertising world.1 If you want to reach them, you have to go where they are.
Today’s CMO can’t afford to stand aside and ignore the social and digital space.
More than 80% of companies plan to increase their digital marketing budgets over the next 12 to 18 months.2 And rightfully so. Brands are working hard to meet their customers in their native spaces and coordinate efforts because working in marketing silos isn’t effective anymore. Marketers need to treat digital as their customers do – as a whole integrated ecosystem, not one part of a whole.
Most brands know that they need to have a strong digital presence, but many don’t know where to start. It’s so much more than “We need a website,” or “We need a Facebook page.” When developing your brand’s digital ecosystem, consider the following:
A website built for every screen size and device
Designing for the responsive web is thinking about how things look and work at every size a person could be viewing your website. It’s a lot of design and content strategy, and even more development. But it’s necessary. Over 38% of users come in on a mobile device and need a tailored experience for their device.3 Google knows it’s a big deal and so should you.4
A communication plan using digital marketing and social media
You can’t throw a party without invitations. Once you’re up and running, get consumers to come to your site through digital marketing and social media. Grow your brand’s digital presence through partnerships with publications and platforms that already draw a large crowd of your target audience. Do they read the Onion, Buzzfeed, or the New York Times? Are they primarily on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Using strong visuals and relevant and meaningful content in your native advertising plans will help drive traffic to your brand. You need to stand out in a crowded digital space. And prepare for anything. What happens when you have a bad day on social media? How will you handle it creatively and in a way that positively reinforces the brand? Think of media not just as invitations, but also thank you notes and I’m sorry cards.
Search Engine Optimization and a strong content strategy
Google has over 3 billion searches a day.5 Making sure the crawlers read your site and find the information useful to search is important. You can’t describe your product as a “foot protector” when you’re actually selling a shoe. How will people ever find your brand’s product? Every website needs a copywriter who understands the keywords people are already searching in your industry and how to write content accordingly. Google AdWords is a good place to start this research.
Using email to reestablish and grow communication
While open and click-through rate for email campaigns are considered to be low, e-blasts can still make a difference.6 Setting up the right schedule, without becoming overbearing, can make all the difference. It could be an email with a smart trigger that sends a 10% off coupon to a customer who has left an item in their cart without purchasing. Or it could simply be a newsletter with fun events or company updates. Design and development for these are relatively low cost, but it’s important to make sure it’s done right. Your efforts are useless if your emails end up in a spam folder or with images blocked.
Tracking visitors, gathering data, and using insights
While Google Analytics might be free to set up on your website, the data won’t find trends on its own. Neglecting to use it is a big mistake and will leave your brand’s website stagnant. It takes a special mind to see all those numbers, find patterns, and create better user experiences. Maybe users are all leaving on a certain page – why? How can that be fixed? Analytics and data are a gold mine, and an access point into the user’s mind.
Clearly, there’s a lot to think about. And that’s just the tip of the digital iceberg. Digital may seem overwhelming at first, but it’s where your customers are and where you need to be. And not only that – digital done right provides tons of valuable information that will help you target your customers in far more successful ways than ever before.
Not sure if your brand’s digital ecosystem is working? Ready to start developing one?
We can help with that.