Like a lot of things, advertising just isn’t the same as it used to be. Just being on the Internet, using social media or buying digital advertising may not be enough. Even if you aren’t competing with international giants, small businesses can get an edge over their own competition by using some of the same strategies. Here are 5 digital media trends that your business should be using right now
With Google’s move to mobile, having a “mobile-friendly” website that functions and works well on a smart device is essential. Most businesses have already gone beyond that and had their website reworked specifically for smartphones with a “mobile-first” design but not everyone uses a phone. There is still a healthy portion of desktop use, some people prefer using a tablet and each device has different specifications like screen size, speed and operating system. To take advantage of the assets of different devices and avoid the pitfalls, businesses need to consider a “mobile-responsive” design that can adapt itself for each type of device.
Mobile-responsive designs take advantage of what users already do on smart devices. A “call us” button would be totally useless on a desktop or tablet – but very usable on a smartphone, and functions that are specific to desktop like “hover” don’t translate to mobile. Though it looks similar, mobile-responsive design isn’t just a tiny version of a desktop, it allows you to decide what content is most important and decide ahead of time how it displays. Depending on your industry and location, you may not need a mobile-responsive design now but Google is already taking note, which means it will eventually be the standard, so consider it now.
Big data is just that – BIG. So much data is being collected today that most small businesses don’t quite know what to do with it yet or how to manage it. Big corporations use big data to analyze and improve just about everything, but all that quantitative information can be a boost for small business as well. With data visualization tools, you can see what is happening through your whole sales funnel. Are you getting enough response from social media? Did changing your posting times or frequency make a difference? Where are your customers coming from and did your landing page redesign help?
The big social media platforms each have analytic tools, but you may want to use a more global tool which allows for conglomeration of everything. Google may be rough to learn but they already have tools in Google analytics to help you, or you can opt for another system like the public version of Tableau. Big data can help you spend smarter and stop guessing. If you aren’t using it – you should start.
With today’s Internet user, there is a reason why YouTube has millions of tutorials – because video is king, but live video is even better. Many consumers, like to know the “story” behind the business and also want personal attention. Live stream can help brands create a personal connection with the user and the good news is that it doesn’t have to be a big, shiny production – it can be done on social media.
Twitter has “Periscope,” Facebook has “Facebook Live” and you can use YouTube for live streaming, automatically saving those videos. Tutorials, Q&A sessions, interviews, and live events are good bets, but consider things like a close-up of what happens in the manufacturing room. You have to start with a plan but you aren’t doing a direct pitch with professional actors so be adaptable and have fun – without editing.
Even though the Internet seems impersonal, users still want to feel like their opinion matters. Because they have so many choices, you don’t have a captive audience and can easily lose their attention. Personalized campaigns are built to fit with your customers’ needs and desires, rather than trying to change them – based on past behaviors and what has been successful on a particular platform. Your Facebook campaign may look totally different from one that you run on another platform.
With a personalized campaign, you can cement current customer loyalty, convert more of your followers and attract new customers by catering to their desires rather than what you think is “right.” Where do you get this information? Big data of course!
The diminishing penetration of many ads – through ad blockers, social media platforms that have reduced your organic reach, and the decline of banner ads, more businesses are turning to native advertising. Rather than a direct and obvious sales pitch with traditional copy and images, native advertising looks like it belongs there – like a sponsored article on a magazine site that looks and reads just like every other article – it is essentially paid product placement.
You must disclose that the content is sponsored but that may be the only obvious difference. You can have a call-to-action, or can be more informational, but it is delivered in the same way that users consume other content. Every social media, publishing or other public site still depends on advertising dollars so they should be making it easy for businesses to do native advertising.
You may not be competing with international companies, but international companies use these strategies because they work. You can get a leg up on the competition you do have by taking advantage of digital trends.
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