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Use more video (again)


Video remained a popular digital marketing tactic in 2019, and it’s a must marketing strategy for this year, too.


Stuart Leung, vice president of marketing for vaping brand Breazy, said videos forge stronger bonds with consumers, which, in turn, makes them more likely to purchase a product. Options include tutorials, testimonials and behind-the-scenes footage.


Case in point: Chris Savage, CEO of video software company Wistia, said Wistia has paid close attention to the rise of streaming platforms and has seen more and more businesses take a page from the Netflix playbook, creating longer-form original content to build brand affinity. That’s why Wistia created its own late-night-style talk show, Brandwagon.


“Throughout the series, I talk with some of the top minds in the marketing world to learn the secrets behind some of their biggest successes,” he said. “Plus, we welcome some unexpected special guests and our team even buys a ’91 wagon to transform into the ultimate Brandwagon along the way.”





Wistia used social media to advertise trailers and clips and allows viewers to binge watch the entire show, resulting in a steady increase in brand search volume and an increase in overall time spent with the brand, Savage said.


Livestream


Morgan Lathaen, marketing specialist at printing company Thumbprint, noted livestreaming was on the rise in 2019 and will continue to dominate in 2020 because it is free, takes a short amount of time to produce, reaches a broader target audience, and offers authentic user engagement.


“With that, live content has the ability to generate greater impressions than posts published in newsfeeds,” she added.


Try explainer videos


Another option for video content is explainers. That’s what Raj Vardhman, editor-in-chief of remote work resource GoRemotely.net, said his site opted to do in 2019 to make complex concepts easier to understand.


“The Google algorithm continues to favor websites with video content, which makes these incredibly important both for marketing and SEO,” he added.


Larissa Murillo, Marketing Manager at SEO and website marketing tool Marketgoo, said Marketgoo took this one step further by creating a course for online learning platform Udemy that was more educational than promotional.

  • Synchronous

Are you just getting started with a social media plan for your business, or looking to update your current one? There are numerous tasks that have to be completed to ensure your plan is a success. How can you sort these tasks to stay on track?

We’ve broken down the timing for 12 essential social media marketing tasks below.

Daily

Utilize a social posting calendar. Each day you should set aside a few minutes to check on your social posting calendar. Ensure that scheduled posts were published and that future content is still on track.


Execute customer service checks. Customer service checks are best done at the same time(s) each day. This way you can be sure that you aren’t missing any crucial messages, or causing customers to wait longer than necessary for a response.


Discover trending topics and hashtags. This will allow you to stay on top of current news and join relevant conversations as they are taking place.


Weekly

Sync with your team on goals. It’s imperative that your team remains on the same page when implementing your marketing strategy. Touch base each week so that every member of the team is apprised of what is coming down the pipeline during the next week.


Identify your competitor’s top posts. Checking in on your competition will give you insights into the types of content that your audience is most interested in. Documenting your competitors top posts will help you generate content that receives more engagement.


Track results. All of the hard work you’ve put into your strategy doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t help your brand achieve its goals. Check your results each week to make sure you are staying on track and that your content is being well received.


Monthly

Collect monthly data. By gathering your results each month, you can assess the strategies that are working the best (and worst) and make crucial adjustments for future months.


Identify top posts and incorporate similar content into future social posting calendar. Assess what’s working (and what isn’t) and adapt accordingly for the next month.


Research upcoming news to begin drafting content for it. Social media content can become irrelevant quickly. Keeping an eye on where key industry conversations are heading will give you the advantage of being able to post about them as soon as they come to fruition.  


Quarterly

Review and evaluate your KPIs. Key performance indicators help you determine which analytics matter the most and the results you need to accrue in order to be successful. Each quarter take note of the KPIs you set and if you reached them.


Conduct an audience analysis. Your audiences’ needs and behaviors can change over time. Each quarter check in on your audience so that you can continue to create content they will interact with.


Set goals and KPIs for the next quarter based on the previous quarter’s results. Once you know the results of the previous quarter, it’s time to look ahead to the next quarter. Use the previous quarter’s KPI results to help determine what they should be moving forward.



  • Synchronous

Educate with your content


Content has long been king and 2019 was no different.


Citing figures from the Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 trends report, Robin Barendsen, head of digital marketing at office space rental company WehaveAnyspace, noted 77% of B2B marketers use content marketing.


“In fact, the majority of B2B content marketers use educational assets to nurture leads and build audience trust, which is absolutely essential for inbound marketing,” he said. “Think about informational blogs, white papers or quizzes.”


We’re likely preaching to the choir here, but, generally speaking, brands should create content that is relevant, authoritative and, of course, educates its audience.



Personalize your marketing messages


Peter Wilfahrt, managing director of digital agency Versandgigant, said marketers should personalize every single message in 2020 by digging into analytics and understanding demographics, affinity categories and in-market segments. More on that in a moment.

“Only very few brands execute a personalized messaging strategy,” he said. “And we’re not talking about adding the first name to your email greeting … really dig into your prospect’s mind and discover what they fear, wish and want.”

While Brock Murray, COO of digital marketing agency seoplus+, agrees consumers should be made to feel special, he argues automation is the way to go because it allows advertisers to create ads that dynamically change based on whoever is searching. And, Murray said, results show consumers want this type of customization.


“With that being said, timeliness also proved to be a critical part of any strategy as users proved they still don't want to be bombarded with content, particularly if it isn't even relevant to them,” Murray added. “Overall, all of your content and markup should be concise and easily understandable to ensure your users receive value with each interaction. Transparency and respect of users’ privacy should also be a critical component of any digital marketing strategy.”


Frank Spear, content marketer at WordPress contest plugin RafflePress, said personalization boosted his marketing strategy far beyond his expectations in 2019.


“We tried to implement personalized content in virtually every aspect of our strategy,” he said. “Our opt-in ads change based on the content users read before the popup was triggered. The relatable promotion is designed to show consumers that we understand their pain points and want to help. We allow our customers to pick the type of content they want to receive from us when they subscribe to our email marketing campaigns.”

Effective personalization is the result of efforts like behavioral segmentation, or separating audience members into groups based on their actions, like first-time purchases, abandoned carts, repeat purchases and page views without conversion, said Sam White, marketing manager at CBD site Soul CBD.


“Each behavior group can look very similar to each other demographically and then act in very different ways,” White added. “Behavioral segmentation is what allows us to speak to each group in a way that makes sense with how they interact with the brand.”


Vivek Chugh, CEO of checklist app Listables, agreed data-driven segmentation has worked well so far because it allows Listables to tailor its messages and make sure it is getting it in front of the right people, so this segmentation will be a big part of marketing in 2020, too.


Let data drive your creative



Let data drive your creative

According to Natalia Wulfe, CMO of digital marketing agency Effective Spend, platforms like Google and Facebook are taking control more control of audience targeting as they simultaneously move away from manual bidding capabilities. Meanwhile, their algorithms have become adept at understanding which ad images and copy will drive the best click-through and conversion rates.


google-ads-conversion-rate-benchmark-data

“With these shifts, we’ve seen creative emerging as a serious performance driver, carrying equal weight to other key drivers like placement selection and audience targeting,” she said.


As a result, Effective Spend overhauled its creative design process to incorporate a data-first approach.


“We analyze the performance metrics of existing creative, identify where the gaps are, and then design new creative that directly impacts those poor performing metrics,” she added.


Invest in original research



One of the best marketing strategies of 2010 was investing in original research.

Tamas Torok, head of online marketing at Javascript development company Coding Sans, said Coding Sans has been publishing its own research on software development trends since 2017, and these reports have generated links from reputable websites and yielded thousands of subscribers.


“This strategy worked because we came up with something new,” he said. “New data attracted links and it was beautifully presented, which made people share it on social media.”

Coding Sans plans to publish at least three new reports with original research in 2020.

Matthew Zajechowski, outreach team lead at digital marketing agency Digital Third Coast, agreed using proprietary data to create long-form content with graphics has been an effective 2019 strategy, resulting in backlinks from thousands of high-authority publications.

“Publishers want new story angles to cover on a subject even if they’ve covered it a billion times before,” he added. “Having proprietary data allows us to have that unique angle and presenting it with graphics makes it easy for them to share. We look for writers and publications who cover that subject and present it to them as new research or a study.”


Update your content


And don’t forget the content you’ve already published.


In fact, Cyrus Yung, co-founder of SEO company Ascelade, said updating old content is a strategy that has served Ascelade well as Google has a freshness ranking factor and most sites eventually see content decay.


“They have old articles that have ranked well previously and have attracted backlinks, but the search traffic for that particular article is on a downward trend,” he said.


Mark Webster, co-founder of online marketing education company Authority Hacker, said 2019 was the year Authority Hacker focused on this tactic of refreshing older content instead of just pumping out new, high quality content.


 “After some testing, we found that making simple updates and tweaks and, most importantly, changing the date of the article to represent the newest revision [made] our rankings instantly [jump] up,” he said.


“It's no secret Google prefers fresh content but we had not anticipated this to be such an easy win.”




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