Article

David Bryan
David Bryan 16 January 2019

Digital Marketing Dilemmas to Avoid In 2019

Each year the digital marketing landscape shifts significantly, with fresh trends to take into account and new opportunities to shake off the foibles of the past. 2019 should be no different in this respect, although even the most experienced marketers should still take the time to assess their performance, review their strategies and see what proactive improvements they can make.

There are plenty of digital marketing dilemmas that you need to overcome in the next 12 months, so here are just a few of the key problem areas that deserve the lion’s share of your attention.

Ditch dull copy

In an age where sharability and engagement seem to be centred around flashy multimedia  creations and the instant gratification of social media, it can be all too easy for copy to drift down to the bottom of your to-do list.

This is a problem for a variety of reasons, since even with all the eye-catching imagery, appealing AV clips and carefully chosen hashtags in the world, your marketing efforts will still live or die according to the copy that accompanies them.

Whether you are promoting the latest exciting gadget targeted at a mainstream consumer audience like Samsung’s folding smartphone, or providing content for industry-specific equipment like electric hoists, the copy needs to pop. Dull sentences and dreary phraseology will cause readers to disengage and click away. Snappy writing will pull them in and keep them around once the initial glow of the accompanying imagery has worn off.

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Spice up your marketing copy for 2019

For 2019, the trend that is likely to impact copy more than anything else is tribalism. The internet is increasingly factionalised and so you need to try to take this into account when writing for your target audience. Think about what they want to read, as well as how best to express it. It might feel like you are getting bogged down in the minutiae of linguistics, but it pays to pitch every post, page of content and header at the people who will have the most to gain from reading it.

Side-step video content vexation

Having talked up the potency of the written word, now it is time to turn our attention on a more recent trend that will still be incredibly relevant this year and beyond.

Video content is a game changing addition to the digital marketer’s arsenal, with high rates of sharability and engagement achievable in ideal circumstances. It is also entirely possible to crash into a number of obstacles when trying to develop the perfect promotional clip.

Videos can fail to find their mark for a number of reasons; perhaps the content is irrelevant or inappropriate for the product or service, perhaps the length is unsuitable, perhaps the production values are lacking the kind of professionalism that modern web users expect. There are lots of ways to fix this hang-ups, and rather than reading lengthy explanations of what works and what does not, it is a good idea to seek out the most successful examples of a given genre and take a similar approach to ensure the best results.

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Quality video content creation requires extensive research

One frequently ignored facet of a good marketing video in the era of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter is the call to action. Just like traditional web copy, you need to both showcase your promotion effectively and then compel viewers to take action at an appropriate point.

The CTA in a video is especially important since you want to earn those all-important clicks and bring users onto your home turf, rather than letting them get distracted and giving them the opportunity to simply watch something else instead.

Simply asking for engagement is not always enough; you need to incentivise the interaction with something attractive. Perhaps market the benefits of signing up to your service, provide details of a free trial that is available or deliver information on a time-limited giveaway you are running. The most straightforward option is to make your CTA a question; users love to be asked for their opinion and have the opportunity to offer it in an appropriate forum, shared alongside the views of others.

If the video itself is the content you are hawking, remember that you should make your CTA a reference to the other clips and creations you offer. The longer you keep viewers onboard, the more likely they are to convert in some form or another.

Steer clear of imperfect influencer use

Last year there was a 62 per cent uptick in the amount of spending that marketers plumbed into the influencer sphere. There are no signs of a drop-off in interest in this area, so it is likely that you make be considering taking advantage of people with established followings on key social platforms to kick start your promotional efforts in 2019.

The problem is that as with any aspect of digital marketing, it is all too easy to get over-eager and make imperfect use of the resources that are at your disposal.

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Choosing influencers is a marketing minefield

The first stumbling block is usually encountered when you try to choose which influencers to approach. Raw follower numbers can leave you impressed, but this is not enough to tell you whether or not a particular influencer will make a good partner. Lots of followers but little to no engagement will indicate that their influence is a fabrication. Meanwhile popular accounts with active fans are all well and good, so long as any potential partnership with your brand would appeal to the audience in question.

As always, it makes sense to look out for influencers that are already engaged with your brand in some way and have a following to fit the niche you occupy. In many cases an influencer will approach you first if they feel that a partnership is appropriate. If you want to  take a proactive stance, remember to personalise any pitch you make to an influencer so that they feel understood and respected. This will deliver much better results than a blanket approach where you reach out to a lot of different influencers with the same generic introduction.

Pick publishing platforms carefully

As with influencer marketing, the temptation when pushing your marketing content may be to go to the places with the most prospective audience members. Alternatively you might ramp up your output and position your offerings on every conceivable channel. The former might mean that you miss out on engaging with target demographics because they are absent from the platforms you pick, while the later could leave you stretched too thin and occupy the majority of your time unnecessarily.

It is far more sensible to be strategic about where you focus your attentions and share your content. Each industry has a different user base to court and everything from the age and gender to the location and income of an individual will impact the places they spend their time online.

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Target the most appropriate publishing platforms for your content

Instagram remains the platform of choice for Millenials and Gen Z-ers, with the under-35s making up over two thirds of the site’s total user base at the moment. Meanwhile the growth of Facebook’s popularity amongst the over-55s is counterpointed by the exodus of teenagers it experienced in 2018.

Taking the time to look at where your audience exists and catering your publishing efforts accordingly can save a lot of time and effort in the long run. Rather than wasting your energy scrabbling for shares where there is not the community to support them, hone in on platforms that are suited to the kind of content that you have to offer.

Look for long term impact

While the world of social media may seem to privilege a kind of throwaway culture surrounding content, it is better to make sure that your marketing efforts are a little more evergreen and eternal. Chasing a few clicks and shares today at the expense of long term relevance, however, could leave you out of pocket and out of touch in one fell swoop.

That is not to say that time-sensitive content should be completely written off as a digital marketing option this year. Rather it pays to plan a thorough schedule and tweak any campaigns so that they can gain momentum over time and provide a rewarding experience for any audience they develop.

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Long term gains trump short term impact

Short termism is a symptom of the daily churn that impacts certain spheres of the online ecosystem. This does not need to hold sway over marketing, especially if you are working on content that has no need to be anchored to a particular period. Better yet, if your creations are endowed with some kind of cyclical relevance, allowing them to rise to the surface and be revived at certain times of the year, you can keep reaping the rewards again and again, rather than seeing an initially successful offering sink without a trace and never re-emerge.

Digital marketing has never been more diverse or potentially complicated to master, consisting of a multitude of different skills and disciplines. In 2019 it will only continue to expand and increase in its intricacy, so staying on top of things and dealing with dilemmas promptly is central to a successful strategy.

 

Image Source: Free-Photos, StockSnap, Cloudlynx, Geralt, PhotoMIX-Company.

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