Most marketers will agree, customer acquisition has gone digital. Addressing the youngest generation of clients using traditional marketing methods, such as TV or print, is increasingly difficult. Instead of reading magazines, Generation Z watches Zoella on Youtube and Generation Y are more likely to catch their favourite show via a subscription service, than a TV set.
With such a significant shift in consumer viewing habits, investing a large share of your marketing budget into digital channels is essential to reaching these audiences and receiving return on investment (ROI).
The Challenges of Marketing in 2017
Generations Y and Z have changed the way that consumers consume information. And with this, they have changed marketing. Those aged between 14 and 34 no longer wait for newspapers or TV to catch up on current affairs. Social media is their primary news outlet for both personal and global matters. Everything from what happened in university last week to Rihanna’s latest makeup line can be answered by the internet, and primarily, social media sharing. Instead of reading, these consumers listen to podcasts.
This group relies more on technology to navigate their world than any other and this has meant a decrease in the relevancy of big budget, above-the-line, traditional marketing. In its place, highly targeted, digital and mobile marketing reigns supreme. Despite the incredible opportunities that digital marketing provides and the multiple channels that can be used, it can often be overlooked. But digital marketing is more than just social media.
Allocating Your Digital Marketing Budget to the Best Channels
How do I best allocate my digital marketing budget to achieve ROI and impact? Average marketing spend has been growing steadily, in line with the growth of digital marketing. Before planning your media mix and choosing channels, you have to be clear about the goals you want to achieve with your digital marketing activities. Before planning any activity it is crucial to be clear about your communication goals. Evaluating the relevancy of the single disciplines for your goals and aims is highly recommended. In most cases it would have been better to concentrate to those channels and disciplines which are most promising and relevant for your industry and product.
The focus of content marketing is to create value for prospective customers through content that is informative, engaging or even entertaining. The discipline has grown in recent years and has started to rival social media as a primary method of inbound marketing. Content marketing has a lot to offer, as almost all brands and services can find a way to create content that a customer will value. It also acts as a bridge between different areas of the marketing mix, as content created can be used across social media, landing pages and email marketing campaigns.A great way to start is a blog. Many of the largest brands now have a blog that is connected to their products and services, but serves as a standalone channel that can be used to engage, acquire and retains customers.
Influencer marketing has become one of the most important channels in digital marketing of late, and for good reason. Influencer marketing sits at the intersection of social media, content marketing and PR. It has become the latest buzzword in digital marketing due to the potential for significant ROI, which has been estimated as six times higher than other earned media channels.Influencer marketing involves a collaboration between brands and so-called digital influencers to create sponsored content. The content is shared across an influencers channels and networks and has a high engagement rate due to the trusted status of the influencer. Audiences can be highly targeted and content can be aligned closely with a brand’s goals and the audience’s interest. It’s word of mouth for the digital age.
When approached strategically with clear goals outlined from the outset, influencer marketing can provide unrivalled results. Influencer marketing can help with brand and product positioning, generating leads, increasing sales and general brand awareness. To get the most out of your budget, it is important to follow to few rules. This starts with choosing the right influencers, identifying influencer fraud and fake followers, as well as choosing the most relevant KPIs. You can download our free white paper on how to successfully implement an influencer marketing strategy by following the 5 core rules of influencer marketing.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
The disciplines of SEM are SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and SEA (Search Engine Advertising).
Content marketing and SEO are closely related. Ensuring that the content you are creating is also optimised for certain keywords doesn’t put much pressure on your digital marketing budget but can have a big impact. Getting SEO right can take some time and practice, but a key advantage of it is that users are more likely to trust organic search results over paid search results.
Search Engine Advertising offers the opportunity to target your audience precisely also by choosing relevant keywords. With a bit of practice, you’ll get a feeling for which keywords perform better than others. SEA is a good option to increase your sales.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is probably the most recognisable discipline in digital marketing. It entails the management, content creation and scheduling of posts as well as online community management. There are several ways that a brand can effectively use social media. It is great for increasing brand awareness and driving sales. While maintaining several social media accounts can seem time consuming, a good social media presence is one of the best ways a brand can communicate its image and personality. For this reason, it’s important to choose the channels you want to use carefully. Social media is also a great way to connect with and retain customers and has also become a primary tool used to manage complaints and customer service.
Paid posts on social media offer the opportunity to target your desired audience very precisely. It serves well to increase brand awareness and sales. It’s important to identify the channels that will be most relevant for your brand in relation to product or service and audience. For visual content, Instagram and Pinterest are the best channels. Instagram is also great for brand awareness and engagement. With precise targeting, it is also possible to undertake paid social media with a smaller budget, whilst still achieving good reach and results. It takes some experimentation to discover what will work best for your target audience, but this can be very worthwhile in relation to ROI.
Video is everywhere. While the CPM for TV adverts increases steadily, the targeting of your audience is much more effective online. Fewer people than ever are consuming TV while the trend for online video content has shown steady growth, presenting brands with exciting opportunities to reach audiences in creative, new ways. When considering how and where to allocate a digital marketing budget, video content can be a cost driver, but can also yield positive results.
Despite its earlier popularity when digital marketing emerged as a new discipline, email marketing has become an often underrated marketing and sales channel. However it is a still a great channel for driving customers down the marketing and sales funnel. Allocating some of your digital marketing budget to email marketing activities will depend on your subscriber list, services used to maintain these lists and tools you use to send campaigns. The more professional the email marketing and the more data you collect, the better you can target your desired audience. But no good marketing plan would be complete without an effective email marketing strategy.
At DMEXCO this year, the focus lay on mobile first. As users utilise mobile technologies more and more, marketing managers need to incorporate this into their marketing strategies.Mobile technology allows users to access content online, at any time, in any location. They could be on a train on the way to work, at the supermarket or at home. Ensuring all your touchpoints are optimised for mobile technology and creating content that can be viewed and accessed on desktop or mobile is essential.
Spending your Digital Marketing Budget Wisely
Deciding which channels to invest your digital marketing budget in should be approached strategically. It is not necessary to invest in all digital marketing channels. It is better to select the channels carefully based on your goals. Based on the range of opportunities and ROI that influencer marketing presents, marketing managers would be remiss to not include an influencer marketing strategy into their wider digital marketing mix.
Influencer marketing is flexible enough to serve as a reliable and scalable marketing channel for almost all products or messages. Placing your product in an authentic environment with the right influencer will increase your reach, brand awareness and authority. At blogfoster, we know the impact that a scalable and strategic influencer marketing strategy can have on a brand’s digital marketing spend.