With Millennials and Generation Z increasingly turning to social and digital channels to engage with companies, marketers must up their digital marketing game. So many, however, are just trying to keep pace with their current programs and initiatives that they don't often find time to introduce new strategies or improve upon what's in place.
Today, 1to1 Media spotlights a feature from Anna Papachristos about digital marketing trends. In it, she discusses the mobile marketing trends on a global scale that are having the most impact on businesses. As evidenced in the article, more consumers engage with brands via companies' digital properties, therefore marketers must find new ways to continuously refresh their strategies to keep their customers' attention and their loyalty. Here are three tips to elevate your digital marketing this year.
1. Entice your customers to engage via your social channels
At Gartner's Digital Marketing conference in May, Eric Oliver, director of digital marketing at The North Face, described how the company has brought its VIPeak membership program for loyal members to its social channels. Loyal members earn redeemable "PeakPoints" for every dollar spent and for participating in local activities such as organized races, or on social media channels like Facebook.
Once every year, members are invited to redeem their accumulated points in an experience-filled reward catalog that is aligned to The North Face's aspirational brand elements (e.g. trips, personal experiences with their sponsored athletes, tickets to events, lift tickets, etc.). As members spend more, they receive real-world experiences. The idea is people who engage more with the brand will be rewarded something special and then share their experiences through a variety of digital properties. This past winter, The North Face rewarded a member with ski gear and sent her skiing for the weekend. She wrote about her experiences on her blog and in the North Face's social channels--something Oliver described as invaluable.
2. Don't forget to tell a story
As companies work to develop an omnichannel brand narrative, marketers must actively work to incorporate the emotional elements that engage audiences and bring storytelling to life. In doing so, marketers must be willing to innovate and experiment. At the Social Media Strategies Summit in June in New York City, Anna Papachristos reported that Mindy Stockfield, senior vice president, consumer marketing, MTV Networks, described how MTV created a site dedicated to a deceased "Teen Wolf" character so fans could discuss the season finale, mourn his demise, and share theories for upcoming episodes.
While the strategy connected with viewers on a topic they care deeply about, promoted engagement, and spurred conversation, Stockfield said brands must first determine the ideal channels that will resonate and then realize that all channels must echo the same sentiment.
3. Introduce video and podcasts
Today's consumers are watching TV shows on their smartphones and sharing videos on their social pages. These emerging behaviors are giving marketers fresh opportunities to capture consumer attention. In response, people do business with people they recognize, like, and trust and many companies report increased traffic and higher conversions from using video and podcasts as part of their marketing strategies.
As Judith Aquino shared in this article, marketers are trying to capitalize on this by exploring everything from streaming live videos to introducing shoppable videos. For instance, in a four-part shoppable YouTube video series, Williams-Sonoma viewers were given the option to buy showcased products by clicking directly from the video. Viewers saw a prompt in the upper right hand corner of the videos that, when tapped or clicked, revealed cards for showcased products. Clicking on a card took shoppers to the item's product page on the Williams-Sonoma site.
What are you doing to elevate your digital marketing efforts?