|Image from Viewpoints on Innovation.|
By David R.
There is no doubt that we are in the midst of the digital age. You can’t go anywhere without seeing people with their eyes glued to the screen of their smartphone or tablet. Even on date night, we can’t manage to pry ourselves away from the glowing screen of our phones and have an actual conversation.
As we are double tapping and liking away on Instagram and Facebook, businesses have discovered the marketing advantages these applications provide and are laughing all the way to the bank. Even companies that claim they are not online companies, or that they have no online presence, have to focus on online marketing.
With all the options and platforms that exist to market your business, it can get a bit overwhelming and confusing at times. So, Forbes has decided to break it down for us and has given us “7 Things About Digital Marketing Everyone Should Know.” Take it from someone who is guilty of being glued to screens; these tactics will definitely help your business’ online presence.
1. Mobile Is Now
Whether businesses like it or not, people have shifted to browsing on the internet solely via mobile devices. Nowadays, if you need to know something or look something up, you only have to go as far as your pocket and whip out that handy dandy iPhone and hop on Google. According to the Forbes article, over 50% of all internet users are now operating exclusively on mobile devices, and that percentage is rising.
If you haven’t made your business available on mobile devices, then prepare to not be in business for very much longer. Google will actually penalize you in the search results, resulting in a reduction of traffic to your site. And, to add insult to injury, the existing customers you already have will most likely become frustrated trying to navigate a site that isn’t mobile compatible and will end up on a competitor’s site instead.
Don’t know what a “Micro-Moment,” is? No worries. The best way to explain a “Micro-Moment” is by relating it to impulse shopping. Companies literally have milliseconds to convince someone they need your product and are unable to live without it. If your company doesn’t capture the customer’s interest right away, then kiss those dollar signs goodbye.
Companies are now required to have a site that operates on a mobile platform and updates 24/7 in order to cater to everyone at any time, no matter where they are.
3. Using Apps
Using apps is quickly becoming the best way to reach your audience and to make that money flow. Everyone has an app nowadays, no matter what the business is. If you don’t have an app, then don’t expect anyone to connect with your brand the way you want them to, or worse, not knowing what your business is all about. Most people don’t even bother looking up a business or company on the web anymore, they just want to go on an app.
If your business doesn’t have an app available, then it’s time to get on it.
4. Consider The Internet of Things
The “Internet of Things” is how objects we see and use every day can, and are now expected to connect to the internet. If we purchase something that doesn’t have Wi-Fi or doesn’t connect to the internet somehow, then we see it as completely useless. Someway and somehow we always figure out a way to be connected to the internet. The best example of the “Internet of Things” is how phones have gone from simply a device used for calling someone to being the first thing we whip out when we need to connect to the World Wide Web.
There are even snowboarding goggles out there that connect to the web and share your top speed or that amount of air you just caught off that massive jump, and even have preloaded maps! So, when you decide to go off the beaten path while boarding, you’re never really lost.
5. Branding and Brand Management
Branding and brand management have changed quite a bit in the digital age. In the period before smartphones, tablets, and apps, branding and brand management meant printing business cards, developing websites, billboards, and logo placement. Now, brands must be prepared for everything, especially to communicate with their audience and customers. Your brand must also be able to survive difficult topics, such as reputation and crisis management.
With the internet being available at any moment, it makes it very easy for people to find out the good, the bad, and the ugly about a company. The companies that we see every day and that have survived the longest have prepared for the good and the bad, and your brand definitely should as well.
6. Pushing People Through the Door
Before the time of smartphones and the internet being available whenever and wherever we want, SEO and digital marketing were all about the amount of traffic flowing to a website. Well, times have changed and now digital marketers are responsible for not only the flow of traffic to a site but also guiding customers through their purchasing experience. There must also be quality and relatable content to convince the customer that your product is the product for them.
This is where social media and having a blog becomes a business owner’s best friend. They also have to figure out how they are going to retain customers and turn them into loyal followers on social media, their blog, their website, etc.
7. Live Streaming
We can’t go anywhere without hearing the words “Live Streaming.” Every show, sporting event, political event, etc. has a live streaming option available. The days of needing to be in front of TV in order to see a live event are long gone. Apps like Periscope and Twitch are on the rise and it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere anytime soon. A good number of companies have dismissed live streaming in the past but are now finding out that it can be quite the asset.
The public wants to know what’s going on at all times and having a live stream puts them right in the middle of things. A perfect example would be for nature shows. There are quite a few research companies out there that have shows on Nat Geo or The Discovery Channel about animals in their natural habitat. The question is, are they really acting naturally when there are massive cameras in their area watching their every move?
The public is much more likely to be interested in live feeds from a hidden camera watching these animals act naturally without any interference whatsoever.
So all in all, if you want to run your own company or help run another, you need to understand how digital marketing works and its advantages, and that there is absolutely no way your company will survive without it.