The only eternal truth about digital marketing is that there is nothing eternal in it. The very moment when we think we understand where it’s headed is also the moment we realise that we are late to the party. The full range of media content competes for 10 seconds of a customer’s attention. And to win this battle we must be ready to change our strategy and to get rid of our favourite tools.
We are not talking about making prophecies but about fixing the bugs in our game plan. To make an impact in 2017 you will need to stop following these digital branding trends.
#1 Activity imitation game
Let’s start with the obvious one. Fake likes, shares, and followers will not work for you anymore. Most customers can tell the difference between pages with fraud clicks and the pages with strong content. Besides, social media platforms often ban suspicious business pages with a number of fake subscribers.
Faking the comments and reviews on your product is also a weak move since experienced users can easily indicate the fraud. And we are talking here about the generation of customers who have grown up with a Smartphone instead of a rattle in their hands. So the matter is not even that it is a cheap trick, but that it is useless.
#2 Posting too much
The more is not the merrier anymore. It was clear in 2015, and in 2016 it became obvious, that there must be a limit on posts per a day. Yet many companies still keep overposting. You shouldn’t post every time you have something valuable/new/interesting to say. This strategy has two unpleasant outcomes. First, your posts may go unnoticed due to the wrong posting time. And second, when you make too many posts, regardless of their quality and relevance, it annoys people. Thus, you must find a balance between consistency and obsession. The good news is, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just appeal to the experts that have already done the job of figuring out the optimal posting frequency.
In 2017 it is as simple as that: don’t make fake users and don’t bore your real ones.
#3 Pushing keywords
An even trickier problem is the quality of your content. Marketing success is based not only on the ability to attract customers but on the ability to make them return; in other words, on customer retention. To maintain it, we need to reconsider our SEO policy.
When our SEO focus on solely on keywords, we neglect our contents’ quality for the sake of click rate. The task here is not to please the search engines, but to create good content that will bring back your customers. The priorities for up-to-date SEO strategies are usefulness and meeting the customers’ needs. On the one hand, it helps to earn your customer’s loyalty. And on the other, it makes the user eager to share this content. Most customers make their offline purchases based on recommendations. The same rule works online – shares are the most valuable indicator of the validity of your content strategy.
The algorithm of search engines has gotten smarter. Now to get to the top 10 search results you need to provide the top-quality content. Long story short, make your content worth reading.
#4 Making it all about the text
A blog is one of the must-have elements of your marketing strategy. With blogs, you earn the loyalty of your audience and bring in leads. However, if you only stick to the conservative tools for your business, you’ll be drowned out by more progressive brands. One of the trends of 2017 is video marketing. If you think that video content doesn’t suit your business, or is not applicable to it, then think again.
You sell maintenance equipment – make a video on how to choose proper tools and equipment and why. If you have a hair salon – shoot a video about makeup techniques and trends in hair styles and color. Want to promote any kind of service? Make a behind-the-scenes video or an interview of your happy clients. Finally, ask your customers what they what to see. Video-on-demand is one of the most engaging and effective techniques for earning audience loyalty.
However, even if you have good content, you can spoil all your efforts by aggressive advertising.
#5 Falling for banner advertising
Web advertising is going through radical transformations. One of the reasons is the widespread use of AdBlock. Experts claim that in 2016 ad publishers lost more than 21 billion dollars because of AdBlock’s popularity boost among users. While impressions are becoming harder to generate, ad publishers have to look for new strategies. A good alternative is native advertising. It shows a better level of ad content acceptance and most importantly, it cannot be blocked or singled out from the other content.
Losing impressions is not the biggest problem, though. By aggressively posting ads you frighten away your audience and lose in retention.
#6 Seeking large influencers
Most customers listen to recommendations, especially when they hear them from somebody famous. A strong personal brand or celebrity who suggests your product to their followers is an influencer. Recent studies show that there is a better alternative to promotion by macro-influencers. Appealing to micro-influencers brings better results to your business promotion. How so? Micro-influencers have a narrower focus and represent particular groups of interest. It makes their words more relevant and authentic to readers. There is no particular number of followers which defines the micro-influencer. They all can be quite influential. A niche YouTube blogger with 5,000 followers can bring you more real customers than a celebrity. At the same time, YouTube bloggers with 500 followers will recommend your product to a wider audience than an average customer. It is a win-win situation.
These facts impact both your targeting and brand promoting strategies:
- Micro-influencers give brand recommendations 22.2 times more often than other customers. Target them and you will attain a larger reach.
- A niche influencer’s recommendation has a bigger response than those made by celebrities. In general, they deliver a better ROI than big influencers.
To recap, 2017 should be your year to stop:
- Trying to fool your customers – the fraud is always obvious.
- Bothering them with an enormous amount of information and ads.
- Disrespecting your customers and promoting lousy content.
- Being afraid to engage new media tools.
- Choosing solely traditional ways of brand promotion.
This is not a comprehensive list of ways to improve your marketing strategy. If your business is still alive in 2017 you already know that. Now is not the time for being conservative. Instead, you must be open to new tricks and techniques.