Digital Marketing: Tips for 2014

From Facebook to Procter & Gamble, more companies are throwing their advertising dollars at digital marketing, reducing commitment to other ad forms, particularly print. The trend capitalizes on the unstoppable expansion of website and mobile ads. Digital ads flexibly rely on social media, apps, online video, electronic mail and other Web tools to engage audiences.

In 2014, here are four ways to implement a stronger digital marketing presence.

Leverage the video revolution

YouTube used to be the main venue for promotional and viral videos. However, with expanded mobile use, shorter and more convenient video platforms have emerged like Vine and Instagram, which used to be just for photos but now permits longer videos than Vine. This has fueled the trend of the super short, pithy and amusing video that gets shared everywhere from Tumblr to blogs to forums to Facebook and Twitter.

Instagram is particularly friendly to marketers as it allows editing to create strategic visual stories about products or the customer experience.  To use, you need to download the app, as it a mobile-only platform.  In addition to company-made videos, encourage customers to send in video snippets or share them online with product hashtags.

Facebook is another platform that has embraced the use of video for advertising. While many Vine and Instagram marketers go for a casual and seemingly spontaneous effect, Facebook video ads tend be designed like short commercials that can rival those shown on TV.

Use Deep Links

For mobile marketing, convenience and speed are crucial. Customers on smart phones and tablets get frustrated when they have to click on several pages to find the perfect product. That’s why many marketers are increasing the use of deep linking, which allows a customer to immediately click on a sub-page for a particular product, rather than a home, search or gallery page.  

Use Twitter Cards

Many businesses are already using Twitter to expand their following. They’ve grown adept at posting promotional tweets and re-tweeting testimonies from customers.  However, there is another feature that offers a strong and dynamic branding opportunity that most companies are ignoring: Twitter Summary Cards. These cards make tweets from brand fans far more valuable, because they add one or more images of products, direct links to products and brand elements, along with a text summary.

Large, innovative companies like Amazon demonstrate the potential of Twitter cards, going beyond product description to instead offer instead short, colorful messages full of personality with references to particular audiences or shopping seasons.  However, it’s time for small and medium businesses to also take advantage of these cards to preview an array of content, including blog posts and store products.

The benefits are plenty, but the top one is the ability to create more leads through social media. These cards often result in higher click through rates, greater volume of visitors and more customer social media interaction.

To supplement customers’ tweets with video, photos and product information, a business needs to use the Twitter Card API and put meta tags on blog and website pages. Find out more at the Twitter Cards page.

Expand email lists with social media contacts

Don’t be content to interact with your social media traffic only on social media. Funnel followers to newsletter sign-up pages so that email addresses can be collected and added to segmented lists for email promotions. As popular as sites like LinkedIn and Facebook are, email remains a more reliable source of revenue and traffic than social media.

As digital marketing matures, companies would be wise to use mobile platforms and social media to gain better insights about customers and product demand — and to reach prospects earlier in the buying process.


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