Marketing sure isn’t what it used to be in the old days. Even as recently as a few years ago, it was a lot harder to track down good leads, send out large-scale campaigns and try to keep customers engaged with your brand. Today’s marketing leaders rely heavily on their digital marketing teams to use every tool at their disposal to power their marketing approach, from leveraging SEO and data-driven strategies to mastering social media channels, building an online brand and generating the right content. The secret is knowing which marketing tactics and tools can benefit you the most, and creating a marketing mix that helps you meet your goals.
Here are five trends you’ll see driving digital marketing techniques and the surge in demand for digital marketing know-how.
1. Social Media – More Is Not Always Better
Everyone knows that social channels have a strong allure, with social media use increasing by 21% in the last 12 months, reaching 2.8 billion users globally. But new social strategies dictate that more is not always better. It takes time to hone your ideal voice, tone, and messages in social media to reach your audiences in the optimal way. It’s not the number of tweets but being able to track the impact of those tweets vis-à-vis public sentiment of your brand. Data science is being applied in social media intelligence to help you see the trends in sentiment, target key influencers and create the most impactful, yet efficient, campaigns. Content is also important on social media. According to Facebook, posts with images generate 179% more interaction in likes, comments, and shares. Optimizing your resources is what counts.
2. Brand Drives Differentiation
On the scale of marketing assets, your company’s brand is right there at the top. Your brand value helps you win deals and gain market visibility, and it takes a focused commitment to build a brand, particularly in the digital world. Establishing yourself as a thought leader is an important step. A study by Hubspot reports that companies publishing at least 16 blog posts per month get almost 3.5 times more traffic than companies that publish four or fewer posts. Blogs and company-penned articles can go a long way to help you establish credibility with customers and prospects. Social channels help you feature happy customers to boost your brand image, and digital ads – which have now surpassed TV ads in spending – can give life to your products and services.
3. SEO Continues Its Tear
No one needs to be reminded of the importance of boosting your standing on search results to generate more business. SEO has moved from being a luxury to a must-have component of any marketing strategy. Vimeo reports that 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine. Data science is rapidly fueling the SEO and SEM industries, from hyper-sophisticated search engine algorithms to analytical tools that help you score better results on searches with targeted content, keyword distribution and regional focus. SEO experts have become extremely valuable resources in digital marketing organizations, leading many professionals to seek SEO training and certification courses to boost their skillsets and nail these lucrative jobs.
4. Content Marketing as a Secret Weapon
Content and keywords are certainly important for SEO performance, but the content is also vital in showing that your marketing has substance and not just flash. Good content marketing, also an increasingly valuable skill and part of digital marketing training, helps you craft more powerful and differentiating messages that resonate with audiences. Content drives more impactful thought-leadership deliverables that speed the sales cycle and can help illustrate your marketing organization’s creative flair. Visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than other types of content, so deliverables like infographics, testimonial or animated videos and image-rich whitepapers and landing pages fill a vital need.
5. Targeted Marketing Improves ROI
Throwing campaigns at the wall to see what sticks is no longer a viable marketing tactic. Targeted marketing campaigns are made possible by big data and marketing automation systems that match campaign themes and content to audiences and give you data to analyze and improve results. Email already has a median ROI of 122 percent, more than four times higher than other marketing formats, including social media, direct mail and paid search. And better targeting – from A/B testing of messages to audience segmentation and tailored content – drives better conversions and stronger financial results.
In today’s expanding digital marketing environment, it’s important for marketing leaders to hire and train a workforce with the perfect mix of digital marketing skills. Digital marketing training and certification conducted online provide a valuable resource for marketing teams to raise the bar for their teams and drive more tangible marketing results.