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Welcome to the Indiana Digital! This blog was created to provide free digital marketing education for Indiana University students and organizations. All articles are contributed by IU Students.
Why did we create Indiana Digital? Both companies and nonprofit organizations of the future need a strong grasp on how to reach an online audience, and those who don’t will not be able to create the impact they deserve. Indiana Digital aims to educate IU students to realise the importance of digital marketing, and hopes they can make use of the valuable information in this blog. If you are enrolled in any school at Indiana University and would like to contribute an article, please contact us.
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There can be no denying that the rise of the digital era has effectively pulled into play a modern set of guidelines and principles that effectively elevate practically every aspect of life. That includes, as it turns out, the landscape of business. Look around you; the changes are evident from all angles. We live in a vastly different world than the one we were navigating twenty, even ten years ago. And the advancements keen on coming. In the case of business, it goes without saying that modern businesses are playing on entirely different ground to past businesses.
The heart of what makes a good business has not changed, but the fundamental points of the business that assist it to excelling and thriving well into the future have changed (some of them even continue to do so today and will do so as we head into the future). At the end of the day, digitalisation has revolutionised the essence of business from the inside out. So, how did we get here, and where is the expansive landscape of business headed next?
Digitalisation transforms the world…
…and business with it. As the world became more and more adventurous with the commitment to ongoing innovations in technological advancement and rapid digitalisation, businesses began to notice the shifts, taking notes and making their own changes to innovate and realign with the way the world was moving. Today, good business is just as much all about consumer engagement and professional networking connections, but it is also becoming more and more about the innovations that work their magic by assisting businesses of all shapes and sizes to excel and thrive.
The internet creates an elevated playing field
One of the most prominent forces of the digital era is without a doubt the worldwide web. In the internet, businesses all over the world (like Patek Phillipe watches or Tiffany & Co, to name a few examples) realised that modern consumers’ attention was moving further and further towards the online landscape that was blooming into vibrant reality. So, they made websites for their companies, effectively maximising their business’ exposure and potential consumer base tenfold in the process. This inevitably elevated the playing field ten to one, changing the way that businesses operated from the inside out, forever.
How businesses will continue to evolve
Today, the digital era has revolutionised modern business into the wonderland it has flourished into. Tomorrow, that growth is only going to continue to expand and elevate. Businesses are only getting smarter about how they do things, and that has inevitably created a tidal wave of revolutionary movements that are changing the game time and again. Going forward, businesses will only continue to evolve and revolutionise. By now, we are aware that this is the nature of business, but the realisation that it is only becoming more and more prominent is one that business owners and entrepreneurs alike are placing more importance on all the time. This is just the beginning.
Distressed property sales are not limited to bank foreclosures. Homeowners can be forced to sell quickly because of tax liens, divorce, job relocation, or other financial hardship. But for some real estate, the distress is associated entirely with the condition of the property. The house could be in poor condition or be located in a bad neighborhood, for example.
While most American home buyers want a home in good condition, there are also the ones who are looking to buy a property cheap and don’t mind to fix it up or deal with such complications of a real estate transaction as assuming the homeseller’s debt. Particularly real estate investors buy distressed properties at a discounted price to resell them at a profit.
Lion Share of Distressed Homes Sales Is Attributed to 3 Types of Real Estate Investors in the US
Real estate investors purchase most of the distressed homes sold in the United States. Those investors consist of three main groups.
- The first type is commonly known as “rehabbers” or “flippers”. This investors of this type mainly conduct business locally. They buy a distressed property to either ‘fix it up and flip it’ or to ‘fix it up and rent it out.’
- Investors of the second type operate as ‘wholesalers’, who look for bargains in distressed houses wherever such properties can be found. After signing a purchase agreement with a seller, they ‘wholesale’ (sell a contract or assign a contract) the property to another investor before the closing date.
- Investors of the third type buy properties ‘sight unseen,’ using an online platform for valuation. The iBuyer then verifies the property’s condition. If the iBuyer’s onsite appraisal is less than the seller’s report, the seller will be asked to accept a repair credit, due at closing.
Regardless of the way they do business, investors buy houses in any condition. And they can close on a property with cash in only a few days, typically. This in-depth guide on selling a house to a real estate investor on America’s largest platform for off-market properties – House Cashin, helps to get a proper understanding of each investor type and explains how they operate.
Types of Distressed Real Estate Sales
Inherited property is a gift from the deceased to their heir/s. But an old house with costly repairs can appear to be anything but a gift. And when multiple heirs are involved, disagreements over the home during probate can cause severe divisions within a family. Thus, some inherited property is considered distressed.
Tax and Mortgage Foreclosures
By its narrowest definition, real estate facing bank foreclosure is considered to be distressed property. The homeowner could have also failed to pay a property tax bill because of financial hardship. Unless a delinquent tax bill is paid, the county will eventually consider the property distressed. And they will sell it on the courthouse steps to the highest bidder.
Asset Division During Divorce
A contested divorce can force an otherwise lovely home onto the ‘distressed properties’ list. Asset division during divorce can get ugly. And since the marital home is usually a couple’s largest asset, a quick sale can significantly ease the distress of divorce. An actual cash amount can then be divided rather than a speculative cash amount from a future sale.
Homes in Bad Condition
If a conventional buyer is scared away by the condition of a house, such a home qualifies as distressed. Most conventional buyers can’t see the value of pouring money into a fixer-upper. And such hesitancy is multiplied when the house has issues with mold, termite infestations, rot, or foundation settling.
Sales Due to Relocation
The house may or may not be distressed, but the seller who must relocate immediately for a job in another city can become distressed. When there’s no relocation package for new hires, and no savings left to maintain two residences, the situation can immediately deteriorate to the need for a quick sale.
Financial emergencies can create a distressed house out of even a new home in perfect condition. When the seller’s cash flow takes a hit because of a medical emergency, a job loss, or other unforeseen expenses, house payments can become unaffordable. And an immediate downsizing can become the only way to avoid a foreclosure.
Overview of Distressed Property Sales Over the Last 10 Years in the US
ATTOM Data Solutions is a multi-sourced national property data warehouse for over 155 million U.S. properties. According to their analysis, distressed property sales peaked in the fourth quarter of 2008, with distressed properties making up over 45% of U.S. home sales.
Since then, the market share held by distressed properties has seen a steady decrease to approximately 14.2% in the first quarter of 2019. Please keep in mind that these statistics only include:
- Bank-owned sales. (The lender sells the property to a third party, as a part of foreclosure proceedings.)
- Third-party foreclosure auctions. (Non-bank sponsored auctions by third parties, such as a tax auction, who have sold a property through a foreclosure auction.)
- Short sales. (A sale by the owner in which the bank settles for an amount less than the outstanding loan.)
Please note: Data for other types of distressed real estate sales, such as sales because of divorce or relocation, is not readily available for analysis.
Historically, distressed property sales constituted a single-digit percentage of the housing market. And experts predict that the numbers will return to single digits as the economy continues to improve.
Local US Markets with Highest Percent of Distressed Property Sales in 2019
According to ATTOM Data Solutions, the highest percentage of distressed property sales in the first quarter of 2019 was the Atlantic City, New Jersey market. With 33.1%, Atlantic City topped the list of 135 metropolitan areas with at least 100 total distressed sales.
Atlantic City was followed by:
- Trenton, NJ (28%)
- Rockford, IL (27.3%)
- Peoria, IL (26.1%)
- Shreveport-Bossier City, LA (25.9%)
- Columbus, GA-AL (25.6%)
- McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX (25.5%)
- Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD (24.7%)
- Toledo, OH (24.6%)
- Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD (23.9%)
The nation-wide trend has been a decrease in the percentage of distressed property sales. But 33 of the 135 metropolitan areas (with populations over 200,000 and at least 100 distressed sales in the first quarter of 2019) saw an increase.
According to the report by Auction.com, In the first quarter of 2019, third-party buyers purchased 36.9% of all properties sold by foreclosure. This number is down from 37.5% a year ago. The demand for distressed properties can be measured in part by the rate of foreclosure sales to third-party buyers.
Have you ever found yourself clicking through stories on a social media platform like Facebook or Twitter, only to realize you’re surrounded in an echo-chamber of ideas? Whether it’s politics, social circles, lifestyle, or philosophy, the things that we don’t agree with or that challenge our thought patterns make us uncomfortable.
As a result, more and more people have filtered out information and individualsthat challenges their perception and gravitated toward a group that echoes their thoughts. Want to learn more and figure out how to avoid the pitfall yourself? Read on.
How the Internet Traps Us in a Bubble
A filter bubble is a term established by Eli Pariser, an internet activist who believes that online algorithms used by Facebook and other websites are pushing us toward isolation. These algorithms assume what we want to see by using information like our location, search history, and previous online actions. These algorithms construct our online experience (who shows up in your Facebook newsfeed most often, for example).
This phenomenon often leads to one-sided information exposure, or a bubble. Technology increasingly pushes us toward similarly-minded individuals, pushing groupthink and allowing easier spreading of unreliable media. Confirmation bias allows us to search until we find the exact information that supports our feelings or theories rather than exploring and accepting arguments that are contrary to our beliefs.
Pariser warns that a filtered search on platforms like Google “closes us off to new ideas, subjects, and important information.” Many individuals are unaware that data like their previous online actions or physical location is contributing to the results they receive in their web browser, making these algorithms even more dangerous.
How to Keep an Open Mind
In the real world, it can be simple to find new viewpoints. If you live in a luxury apartment, stop by one of the social events or visit a common area, and you’re sure to find people different than you with various ideologies.
Online, however, it’s not easy to avoid all of the pitfalls associated with our favorite social media like Twitter and Facebook, but it’s possible. First and foremost, try to avoid getting news from these platforms. Find a reasonably objective news media like the BBC.
Next, go through your Facebook interests and determine which might be pushing you toward one extreme echo chamber or another. Delete those interests and do your best to reach out to a middle ground or even find opposing ideologies to expand your viewpoints. Don’t immediately unfriend someone you disagree with. If they are any level of civil, you can talk and find out why they feel the way they do. Finally, do your best to avoid reading and spreading fake news. Do thorough research on new information before you share it, especially if you think it’s going to help confirm your viewpoints.
Influencers – the social media promoters with enormous followings – have become an integral part of our marketing ecosystem in the last few years. The Association of National Advertisers, for example, report that 75% of advertisers use influencer marketing and 43% plan to increase their use of such promotional strategies in the next year. A closer look at who’s making a splash online, though, suggests that it might be time to pull back from the big names. The new standard in marketing today is the micro-influencer.
Micro-influencers typically have between 10,000 and 500,000 followers online, and what makes them so effective is their deep knowledge of their particular marketing niche. They aren’t speaking to an enormous audience with competing desires, but a highly focused group of consumers who’ve placed their trust in them. And, as Gen Z consumers grow in spending power, micro-influencers are poised to become even more powerful.
If you ask people why they trust micro-influencers, one of the top reasons is they trust any endorsement that comes from such bloggers and social stars to be honest; these users are savvy about the difference between an ad and an authentic endorsement. Users recognize that huge influencers and celebrities are paid to support products and may not really believe in the goods they represent, and they refuse to be fooled by covert branding.
One major challenge that brands face when trying to reach consumers today is the wide variety of platforms actively in use. As such, just as Facebook seemed to become the gold standard for social marketing, users seemed to migrate to Instagram. And then, once Instagram’s platform started to catch up and start providing the tools necessary for marketing, Gen Z threw their loyalty behind Snapchat.
In order to gain greater traction with consumers, companies need to diversify in multiple ways. This includes embracing a broader set of social media platforms, trusting micro-influencers that specialize in specific social media ecosystems, and, most importantly, diversifying the faces that represent your brand in terms of race, gender, and sexuality. Micro-influencers make this easier to do and help brands reach small groups on specific platforms more effectively, despite their formally smaller reach.
Anyone who has ever used social media knows that bots, hackers, and fake accounts are everywhere – and the bigger the account, the more fakes are probably involved. That’s why, when you see that an influencer has a million or more followers, you can guarantee that a large number of them are fake or inactive. The influencer may even have used some type of “gain followers” company to acquire those big numbers. Just because there are a million people following an account doesn’t mean that account is actually reaching all those people.
By focusing on micro-influencers, brands avoid the bots and see much greater active engagement. A study of account engagement has shown that accounts with 1,000 followers get “likes” 8% of the time, while influencer accounts that top 10 million are only “liked” 1.6% of the time. Though that might technically put the big accounts ahead of the small ones in the number of engaged users, micro-influencers also cost brands about 10x less than big accounts, meaning brands can get more reach by backing a few micro-influencers, rather than spending on a big name.
Ultimately, the rise of the micro-influencer is a direct result of aging digital natives. Though we’ve struggled to educate young people about online safety over the years, most have found their own way and learned to suss out the fakes. They aren’t about to be fooled by standard pay-to-play methods. Though brands obviously pay micro-influencers as well, the audience trusts them to be more discerning in selecting brands and products to support. And the audience offers up this trust because there are fewer of them and they feel a greater sense of intimacy with their micro-influencer of choice. Their accounts may even have grown up together, as it were.
It can take time for investments in micro-influencers to pay off, so be patient with these accounts. Unlike big names that already have a following, many of these micro-accounts are on the cusp of an explosion; a single mention in an article or high-profile shout-out could cause their follower numbers to double over a few days. Or they could experience normal, incremental growth over months. The key is not to write them off too quickly. You have to be as loyal to your micro-influencers as their followers are and allow your brand to become part of their promotional network.
There will always be a place for the big influencers, especially for big, mainstream brands, but for indie makers and startups, micro-influencers are the way to go. They know their audience and they won’t take your brand on unless they think it will be a mutually beneficial relationship. This co-vetting acts as a kind of insurance and a promise that your brand will be treated well and placed in the best light, rather than getting lost in the crowd.
First impressions matter, and for many web users, a landing page is the first interaction they will have with your business. Site visitors will arrive at your site’s landing page from social media, Google AdWords, as part of a product launch campaign, or display advertising. Optimizing your website’s landing page improves the user experience and is a practical, ROI-friendly way to increase conversions that by throwing thousands of traffic at the page daily.
There are dozens of elements that influence how efficiently a landing page can convert. Every page has a different objective, audience, offer, and call to action. Thus, there is no single step-by-step guide to creating an excellent landing page. Of course, one size doesn’t fit all in this case. For instance, some landing pages might be inviting content marketers to 3-hour webinar while others might be selling discount Timberland shoes to millennials. Each of these landing pages has a specific purpose and must be created in a different way.
But all hope isn’t lost; there are fundamental elements that are common in all perfectly converting landing pages. Whether you opt to use a landing page creator or not, don’t ignore any of the following elements of a landing page.
A relevant, catchy headline plays an integral role in the design and effectiveness of a landing page. It lets the website visitors see what they should expect from the site and probably draw the conclusion that they’ve visited the right site. The headline must;
- Grab the readers’ attention
- Inform the user what the service or product is all about
- Short and precise. Don’t make it more than 20 words. It’s advisable to limit it to 10 words.
Both the landing page headline and sub-headline should complement the image related to the services or the products you offer. The sub-headline should be persuasive and positioned underneath the main headline. It should be slightly more detailed than the headline.
A convincing call to action (CTA) is an essential element of a landing page as it compels the site visitor to take the desired action. It’s possible to accentuate a single CTA or use multiple CTAs.
If you opt to create a short-form landing page, a single CTA is enough. In such a case, it’s not good to distract your visitors’ attention with many requests. But long-form landing pages are considered more effective. It’s recommended to add a separate CTA at the end of each section of the landing page. Here are the must-haves for your CTA.
- Be attention-grabbing
- Should be compelling. It’s the most important copy in an entire landing page, and it should be exciting, intriguing, and exciting.
- Use a contrasting color. To make your CTA standout, the color should be different and contrast the other colors on the landing page.
If you opt to use several CTAs, don’t overload the landing page. Make each desired action clear by positioning each CTA strategically at the end of a relevant section in the page. That way, your site users know exactly what they should do after each section.
There is no point in including a long, detailed description and overloading your landing page with unnecessary details. It’s to pick two to six key points that can describe and represent your service or product in the best possible way. It’s wise to select points that clearly explain how the product or service can solve your target customers’ problems.
These VIAs can be presented as benefits the clients will receive or ‘pain points’ – how the different features of the product or service will help the customer avoid certain unfortunate situations. It’s also advisable to include icons and concise descriptions that make the listed product benefits more appealing to the customers.
A great offer works as an extra stimulus to encourage the site visitors to take a specific action. You may decide to offer a free version of your product, coupons or special discounts and mention a deadline by when it’s possible for your clients to receive it. This is an effective way of creating urgency and encourage your site users to take the right action faster.
These are elements that can capture website users’ attention but can be a distraction if used excessively. You can use videos, business logos, and images to highlight key features of your products. It’s also important to take into account other essential visual elements. For instance, you should consider space between paragraphs, images, and videos.
A simple landing page design with enough space will divert the site visitors’ attention to the CTA. Use the right font type, size, and color for better readability. Use of icons or bullets to highlight specific product features, benefits or ideas associated with your products is beneficial for your page.
Trust is an essential component of compelling your target audience to take the right action. If your clients don’t trust your business, the chances are that they won’t buy from you. An effective way to encourage your existing and target customers to trust you is offering a money-back guarantee.
Note that guarantees take different forms. Pick a guarantee type that works perfectly for your company and state it in your landing page. Position the guarantee statement close to your call to action. This will help the site visitor get the final bit of assurance and compel him or her to take the desired action.
The bottom line is, a landing page an important place where all your design efforts come to fruition. It’s the place where your clients click, purchase, and you generate revenue.
Once upon a time, in a grungy basement, someone had an idea to start delivering pizzas. The pizza lover went on to design a website revolved around his from-home business and it began thriving and has now become an international franchise – while this story might not be entirely factual, it is neither far-fetched nor impractical.
Technology has allowed people to find success in their own backyards, selling the things they love and on their own terms. However, the one element many forget to dream about is how to get the people into their store. The build it and they will come mindset is no longer the prevalent mindset. People pass storefronts all day long and may remember a specific store when they get home or in a spare of the moment thought. That is where marketing becomes a focus. Getting those people who pass by your storefront to remember your business. Customers remembering you is what keeps the business running and growing. Let’s take a pizza ria as a case example:
Create a local listing online for your business. There are more and more people searching the internet (search engines) for the terms like pizza in their area. Local listings make it easier to filter the results of businesses within a certain radius, city, zip code or neighborhood making it easier to be found in a search. Adding at least 1 photo of the categories of what you sell and the storefront gives a potential customer a visual of what to expect. Online listing also gives you an ability to tell your hours, where you are located, and even price point. When you choose to upload your photos they should be of stock photo quality, and a video of the place or a group of photos will help customers recognize and choose your business.
Go mobile. This includes two areas: mobile messaging and apps. Let’s explore each separately. Mobile messaging is sending customers (with their approval) messages, notifications and email. This is a good choice to further your marketing because people tend to read the short messages a lot faster than email. With this method you can tailor it to meet the needs of a large customer base as well.
A mobile app allows customers to interact with you before actually pulling up to your storefront. Through a well made app you can offer your customers the ability to create an order and then pick it up if they choose.
Actively use social media. Many times a business will post about a special and that is it. You need to engage the customers. For example, read feedback answer questions and tell them of specials or new menu items. Through social media you can invite new customers to come and try out your menu, have current customers to like, follow and or share your social media.
The best social media platforms to use for pizza business marketing are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. All of these platforms allow you to share photos of your food, physical location and gives you a place to connect with current and potential customers as well. Most search engine searches include these in the results so when customers want to connect through social media they will see you as well. Besides most people check out the social media profiles of businesses as soon as they hear of the name.
Another advantage to using social media is for advertising. You can offer contests, and giveaways and use social media to spread the information around the users or visitors of a particular platform. All of this without having to spend money on commercial print ads. Many companies still use both. You can also buy advertising on these platforms as well to attract customers within your region.
Use contests effectively: Stores offer contests and giveaways all the time. Think about what you want the customer to do. Is your contest to inform customers of a new menu item, a new location, or even a holiday? All these make good reasons to hold contests. Is the contest going to be giving away a huge prize or a small or even food prize? Who are your winners going to be? All of these topics should be considered as you plan the campaign.
In the 21st century, it is no longer practical to rely solely on traditional means of advertising or promotion, but rather, using the extensive digital platform available to all.
You have a great looking website, with high quality pictures, a nice looking template, and a stylish, memorable logo. You see your company listed on the top search results on all the search engines including YouTube. You feel good about your efforts. You should – you put a lot of time and effort into creating your website so it best represents your business and values. You get clicks on your advertising efforts, which boosts your web traffic. Everything should be going well. Yet you are not getting the purchases you imagined or the inquiries for your services. What do you do now?
If you are like most people, you must have heard of WordPress. WordPress is an easy-to-use website building platform that has many templates that can be used immediately and requires zero coding knowledge, making them a popular choice for users that have no experience in coding. If you do need something coded, you can insert what is called a plugin. These plugins neatly add code to your pages without you having to actually code. You download the function or design element you’d like to add to your website and extract it through the WordPress dashboard with a click of your mouse on a button. The content then arranges itself within the file folders of your website. All this is done without you having to manually look for the correct place to install. (Remember those days of looking for the root file folder?)
Getting online visitors to buy or inquire about what your products or services are known as conversions. Likewise, the number of online visitors, or ‘clicks’, that turn into actual customers is known as the conversion rate. Getting more and more people clicking and acting on your offers is a great start, but you also need to keep increasing the frequency of those clicks in order to ensure long-term success. It’s best to hire a reliable digital marketing agency to develop a conversion rate optimization strategy for your website to help draw in new customers while retaining existing ones and strengthening their brand loyalty.
The top 3 tools for conversion rate optimization that you can use starting today cover three specific methods to increase your conversion rate are:
Use Unless to display custom versions of your web pages to your distinct and specific audiences, in order to increase conversion rates. You determine the parameters for who sees what (the audience of your choosing) and you create web content to reflect those parameters.
- Azon Box
Azon box is geared to Amazon Affiliate marketers who want to better their conversion rate optimization. By using this plugin, you also can create parameters for what you want your audience to do.
- Max Traffic
MaxTraffic is a suite of three tools covering all the elements possible to help with conversion rate optimization. The tools included in the suite are exit popups, promotional bar, and track and analyze feature.
A lot of emphasis is put on creating an effective website. However, just as much emphasis should be placed on getting a good conversion rate and optimizing that conversion rate to its fullest. By having good content, good offers, and strong call-to-actions are good starting points to achieve this.
Google’s advertising platform, Google Adwords, has gained significant prominence in the marketing industry. Almost every business now has ventured into online advertising through Google Adwords, often with the help of a reliable digital marketing agency to drive conversions and sales leads. As competition increases across the globe, businesses are looking to adopt newer technologies and innovate, to cater to their target audience and gain robust sales. In today’s world, most consumers make their purchases after looking up the product online and considering various factors – it could range from feedback, reviews and price comparison. This increases the requirement to use the right online marketing tool to reach your specific audience. Here’s where Google Adwords can complement your business’ growth.
Google Adwords proves to be faster and more effective than using other marketing strategies like search engine optimization (SEO). What’s more, Adwords will enable the user to focus on multiple keywords at a point of time and those that appear right on top of the page get great visibility. Since ads are more loud and catchy, it trumps SEO – despite SEO’s ability to drive organic content and great articles. Adwords has also increased brand awareness for many companies – with data highlighting that almost 6.6% of brand awareness was driven through this channel.
With Google integrating Gmail ads with Adwords, it now provides businesses the option to target email inboxes through email marketing – a great tool to attract more prospective clients through their inbox without being caught as spam. Better yet, the ads run across both mobile and desktop view. If you’re looking to snag a cost-efficient form of marketing tool – Gmail marketing ranks as one of the best. It costs much lesser than targeting search ads, and opens up a lot of options for those with a small budget. Users can also connect with website visitors, especially window shoppers, and remind them of what the business can do for them.
The tool also simplifies tracking and ranking – with marketing campaigns, you can measure how exactly they’re faring and gauge everything from user engagement to the time that draws peak traffic. It’s a great tool if the user needs to track returns from investing in the advertisement. It helps you understand what worked and what did not work in your campaign.
It also helps you analyze user movement post clicking on your ad as well. It details information and data on what pages were frequently visited, how long the visitor stayed and the bounce rates, along with a couple of other metrics. With all of this on hand, businesses have ample technology-driven elements at their disposal to drive their products and services forward.
Over the last five years or so, trends in marketing have influenced how marketing companies come together, communicate, innovate, and evolve. Marketing is currently going through a stage of metamorphosis, with the latest technologies offering unforeseen content creation and flourishing ideas. While this is undoubtedly an exciting period for the industry, it also brings issues to the forefront that highlight the importance of brand marketing. If a company presents an idea with poor potential and markets that idea from an angle entirely unique and unheard of it, it may just be enough to get the concept off the ground and through the door to implementation.
Marketing is such a fickle thing. It is delicate and requires a practiced, patient hand to guide it through to the final stages. If approached from the right angle, marketing can mean the difference between full-scale marketing genius and a product description that borders on the uninspiring. Even the most highly coveted luxury resorts and sports cars can lose valuable customer engagement and satisfaction if the marketing used to expose the intricacies is below average. While it costs money and time to invest in marketing tactics, it is definitely money well spent. Successful content marketing will always rely on the marketer’s ability to identify data about the customers and the content – without this data, it is next to impossible to market a product appropriately, and without a marketing approach that places an idea above the competition, even the best ideas crumble.
In all its forms, marketing presents companies and business ideas with the opportunity to expose and expand on their target demographic. Without putting in the leg work to understand and advertise a brand, no amount of marketing in the world can substitute for the ability and financial means to be able to target a set demographic using bare marketing. In a world where everything runs solely off face value, the power that marketing holds for a brand or business idea cannot be overstated. As well as coming up with original ideas, one must be able to read their audience correctly and cater to what is rendered as acceptable marketing tactics to drive attention to the brand. Ideas mean next to nothing if they are not executed swiftly and appropriately. Everything moves lightning quick in business, and so the aim of the game is not only to come up with the idea first, but to execute it first. For every idea, there are at least five people around the world who have come up with a version of it. What four out of the five entrepreneurs may lack, however, is the drive to take the idea through to the last stretch.
The digital marketing industry shows no sign of slowing down. As brands and industries try to find their footing in changing paces in data and technology, marketing is moving on from the traditional model of spending without reason… there are new, innovative opportunities and emerging technologies that bridge the gap between spending and customer engagement.
Who would have thought that digital media would emerge as the marketing medium of choice in our lifetime? In the not-so-distant past, marketing efforts were confined to a radio and television spot, assuming that one could afford the costs. The world of marketing has now witnessed a tectonic shift from conventional marketing channels such as TV, print media and billboards to social media and other digital marketing platforms. Today, every business has an opportunity to reach out and be heard by millions. It would be more proper to say that consumers are setting the pace and marketers are merely toeing the line. Today’s consumers value a meaningful engagement with a company and a brand, and are attracted to responsible and sustainable businesses. In this world of brand-led experiences, effective digital marketing strategies are of critical significance.
The road to Digital Marketing
Technology and consumer expectations are evolving at a rapid pace in today’s digital world. Users, who were once satisfied with a website that worked on mobile, now expect mobile devices to recreate the desktop experience in both functionality and utility. Where content marketing once meant updating a website and a blog once a month, the web has become saturated with blogs and websites sporting the latest user interfaces. Companies need to re-work their approach to digital marketing in order to remain relevant in such a scenario.
Mobile on Top
Mobile marketing is the future of digital marketing. Mobile marketing aims at reaching the target audience on their mobile devices by means of websites, SMS’ and apps. Companies can hop onto the mobile bandwagon by developing a presence on mobile-only social media such as Instagram and Snapchat.
Content is King
Any digital marketing strategy ultimately revolves around content. Content is no longer about maintaining a website and blog alone. One can get creative about the content type and mode of delivery by starting podcasts, hosting live-streaming seminars and videos on the computer and mobile platforms.
The web is becoming increasingly personal, with services such as Netflix offering experiences that are tailor-made to individual tastes and preferences. Digital marketers can personalize their online bouquet of services by offering different set of experiences for new and returning visitors, as also fine-tuning their services on the basis of gender, age and geographic location.
The road to digital marketing success is paved by optimization. Optimize that which is already in place and you will be able to convert more visitors, so goes a marketing mantra. If your site is not yet optimized for mobile, fixing that should be the first priority. It would be a good idea to requisition the services of a digital agency as they have the necessary expertise to advise on matters of website design and aesthetics.
At the end of the day, business is about knowing and connecting with people. Any digital marketing strategy is helpful to the extent that it contributes to a deeper understanding of customer behavior.