With Alberta’s economy dictating the way we operate these days, focusing on how to properly market your brand might be the last thing you are thinking about. But despite the urgency for us to take cover from the economic storm, we still have business to do.

Question is, with all these uncertainties looming, how does one know how to spend their marketing dollars wisely—and where?

In one word: Digital.

Now before you start throwing away every print ad, brochure and direct mailer you have, hold on. Print materials are and will continue being an important part of your brand, so we definitely don’t think you should nix them. We simply encourage you to open your eyes to how digital can complement print and help your brand be seen and recognized by a larger audience.

Right now, digital marketing is leading the advertising industry. In a world where everyone can know your business with a quick post of a picture, video or status update, it’s no surprise digital media and technology are impacting how businesses are marketing themselves. To ignore it, is simply a bad idea.

So let’s not. Grab that buffalo avatar by its horns as we reign in the top digital trends taking over the horizon.

Now you see me…now you won’t.

Chances are, you’ve been interrupted at least once by an annoying ads popping up on your screen and blocking the article you were reading. This nuisance has created such uproar that many major companies, including Apple, are coming together to fight the battle of the Intruding Ad.

The result could mean an “adieu” to this type of digital advertising, forcing businesses to rethink their advertising strategies and rely on other mediums to get their messaging and brand across.

Part of the click?

While social networks invite you to join their groups like they’re the popular gang at school, their control over your every action can sometimes make you wish you never came to the party.

With less users clicking on links due to privacy concerns, businesses are going to have to find new and better ways to engage consumers and encourage conversations, while reducing the need for click-throughs.

Mobiles aren’t meant for calling anymore.

At least not like they used to be. According to Mary Meeker’s annual mobile trends for 2015, 51 per cent of Internet users check in online with their mobile for an average of three hours per day—seven times greater than just five years ago.

Chances are, this number will continue uprising as the year goes on, meaning businesses will have to adapt their marketing to include mobile-friendly websites and ads.

To buy or not to buy?

Consumer behaviours continue to point in the direction of online purchasing. With pennies to pinch and families to feed, finding what you need at the best cost can be done in a matter of a few clicks of a mouse. This sentiment squeaks particularly true for higher value items like vehicles and trips, or anything offering a competitive rate, such as insurance.

Businesses wanting to increase their brand exposure, but still living in a predominantly offline world, will need to re-evaluate their marketing strategies if they hope to see any financial gain.

How may I help you?

Voice assistants are becoming a norm these days. Siri, Cortana, that girl you took for dinner the other day who didn’t blink much (she was a robot, right?) all offer the convenience of the internet with the pleasantries no human would ever be capable of exuding all of the time.

The interface comes in all shapes and sizes: smartphones, watches, tablets, TVs…the list goes on. Here, brands aren’t necessarily welcome. But if your brand knows how to optimize SEO language and align with possibilities these technologies are offering, it could bring you and your audience closer together.

Get on [the messaging] board.

This next step in social networking is already growing at a rapid speed. According to medium.com, messaging platforms are predicted to expand from 2.5 billion to 3.6 billion global users within the next two years.

Businesses will have to find ways to integrate their brands into these messaging platforms in a way that doesn’t feel contrived or insincere. Consumers can spot a phony a mile away, so achieving a level of transparency while also having a purpose, could pose a challenge for those lacking know-how in this digital platform.

Snap up Snapchat.

Video meets phone messaging meets pictures and text—all with a time limit and expiration date. Though it might sound a bit tween-ish, Snapchat is wildly popular. And it isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

If your business’ target audience involved the younger generation, Snapchat is a trendy, captivating way to create a campaign targeted exclusively for this audience. Just make sure to get an intro 101 before diving in.

Go live.

Videos have always been a popular means of communication, and apps like Meerkat and Periscope are opening up the lens for businesses to live stream videos to share with others.

This interactive digital tool is easy to use—just press a button, and you’re instantly connected with your target audience. All you have to do is think of creative ways to showcase yourself live.

Show them again.

With so many blogs (sorry), articles, posts, pictures and stats to consume each day, it’s no surprise many consumers forget about what they just read and/or saw faster than you can say “Was that interesting?”

Content remarketing tags your website’s visitors and hits them up again after they leave. But this type of marketing could verge on annoying, so make sure you are sharing information with them that is exciting, relevant and reminds them why they went to your site in the first place.

Have the facts to back up your words.

The need for a WOW ad may never fizzle, but the demand and desire for data-driven marketing is increasing. What businesses are going to have to do—and do well—is gather customer data, organize it and then link it to their larger marketing strategies to attain greater results. The data should also be used to identify opportunities as it’s about to happen.

Sounds easy, right?

Riggggghhhhhht.

At g-squared, we know a thing or 40 about digital marketing. And we back it up with the strategy and the creativity to help each client find the best digital—and print—platforms to generate more brand awareness, which means more revenue for their business. Contact us today if your marketing plan needs a little kickstart.

 

Sources:

Bolluyt, Jess. “20 Questions to Ask Siri for a Hilarious Response.” Gear & Style CheatSheet, December 31, 2015. Chaffey, Dave. “Insights from KPCB US and global internet trends 2015 report.” Smart Insights, June 11, 2015. Newman, Stephanie. “The Messaging Phenomenon Has Hardly Begun.” Medium, November 23, 2015. Thompson, Derek. “The unbearable Lightness of Tweeting.” The Atlantic, February 16, 2015. Periscope.tv