Digital marketing and sales strategies have changed more in the last five years than in the last 50. It’s been fast-paced and rapid progress. It’s the digital world, and there are no signs of it slowing down.
Before 2020 gets away from you, take time to evaluate all the moving parts in your program – SEO, website, social media, digital advertising, email marketing, sales enablement, etc., etc.
What digital marketing trends should you be doing? What should you stop doing? Are you getting optimal ROI for your efforts?
Start auditing your marketing program using these 12 dos, don’ts and stop its from our team of digital marketing and sales experts.
12 Tips for 2020 from Our Digital Marketing and Sales Experts
12) Stop Cold Outreach
“Buyers are different today because of online technology. Your approach to connecting and engaging with them needs to focus on a personalized approach to helping them solve a problem.” - Grant, Director of Business Development
Today’s buyers are comfortable using technology for research, want to be in charge of the buying process and expect sales to add value when engaged. Sales outreach needs to be segmented, personalized and customized based on the actions your buyers have already taken.
11) Don’t Miss the Boat on Potential Sales
“Buyers research online through multiple channels extensively before they make a decision to speak with you. When they do reach out, urgency in responding is imperative.” - Mary, Director of Digital Strategy
You need to be available on the digital channels your audience is on. This means your brand needs to have a presence and your team needs to know how to engage on these platforms, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, email or a messenger bot. Uncover how and where your target audience researches before buying. Train your team how to engage and respond.
10) Do Video! Video! Video!
“Don’t underestimate the ROI of video in your digital marketing strategy. Think about multiple ways to utilize a video. It can be used in email promotions, social campaigns, social advertising, websites and landing pages.” - Alex, Digital Marketing Project Coordinator
In today’s visual world, people watch videos. Period. And most companies agree videos provide a great return on investment as they can be watched and re-watched, sliced and diced into multiple versions, and used in several places: website, email, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and more! Don’t be afraid of video - this is the year to put your company in the spotlight.
9) Don’t Ignore Website Accessibility Guidelines
“If your company is not meeting website accessibility guidelines, you are limiting your user base and putting your business at risk.” - Tyler, UX/UI Website Designer & Developer
First and foremost, 18 percent of the U.S. population has some type of disability, and these people should have access to websites just like anyone else. The web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, no matter their software, language, location or ability, and your site should meet website accessibility guidelines.
Also, lawsuits related to web compliance have been on an upward trend the last few years and aren’t looking to slow down anytime soon. Start with a website compliance audit that looks for accessibility standards around color contrast, alt text on images, ARIA labels, font size and motion, and flashing and hard transitions. Learn what you need to adjust on your site, and get it done.
8) Do Conversion Rate Optimization. It’s a Real Thing.
“Digital marketing isn’t about continually producing new content or adding new tactics. It’s about monitoring and continually improving what exists based on the user’s interaction, in order to achieve higher conversions.” - Kyle, SEO/SEM Strategist
In digital marketing, conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website who convert into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a web page. Is it a complex process? Yes. Does it result in a more efficient and profitable marketing program? Yes and yes. Should you be implementing CRO in 2020? I think you know the answer.
7) Stop Wasting Money on Digital Ads that Are Not Targeted
“By finding ‘similar’ audiences to your existing audiences, you can fine-tune and target your PPC ads for higher click-through rates and conversion rates.”
- Allie, Digital Channel Specialist
The most cost-effective digital advertising and PPC is using targeting, retargeting and geo-targeting features. This allows you to target new users with similar characteristics to your best-performing audiences, or to target users around your brick and mortar location. You should also be retargeting those who have previously visited your website or social media channel. Who is managing your digital advertising spend? Are they implementing these targeting features? Are you seeing ROI and revenue growth from your ad spend?
6) Do Be Authentic & Consistent to Your Brand
“Brand consistency makes a brand feel more trustworthy, builds recognition and increases customer loyalty. Every touchpoint should look and sound like it’s coming from the same company.” - Brooke, Brand & Design Strategist
Let’s be honest: People are judgey. They will know in a split second if they want to work with you or not just by a logo, your website or a social medial post. This is exactly why it’s important to take time to develop your brand look, feel and messaging and to stay consistent both online and offline.
Make 2020 the year to uncover and develop an authentic and consistent brand. Ask yourself, is your current branding appealing enough to attract new customers and stakeholders? Is it memorable? Is it authentic to your company and does it represent where you are headed in the future?
5) Don’t Overlook the Power of LinkedIn
“Even though LinkedIn was developed for recruitment, it has grown beyond that. Many professionals find this platform useful for growing their brand, engaging in professional conversations and connecting with peers.” - Jessica, Digital Content Specialist
LinkedIn is one of the fastest-growing digital platforms with over 600 million professionals engaging. Along with using it to recruit employees, companies are using the channel to promote their brand and to engage with prospective clients and buyers. Also, there are many professional and industry groups on LinkedIn where you and your sales team can share expertise, learn from colleagues and make new connections. Optimize your LinkedIn channel, and learn how to use it effectively.
4) Stop Saying ‘I Don’t Care about SEO.’
“At the end of 2019, Google made changes to link attributes to crack down on spammy websites and to clearly see sponsored (or paid) content -- and has hinted at more changes coming in 2020.” - Kelly, Content Strategist
SEO Is not going away. Late in 2019, we saw a change to link attributes so Google could better understand the network of good information vs. misinformation. We also saw the algorithm update named BERT, a language model change to help the search engine better predict the sequences of words, phrases, sentences and concepts. Studies are showing BERT is able to increase search accuracy by 2 percent - a significant increase in computing power, especially when you take into consideration the millions of people searching every day.
Why is Google continually updating its algorithms? Bottom line: to return the best and fastest possible results to users searching. Does SEO affect if your company’s website shows up? Yes. Should you care about SEO in 2020? In shouty caps, YES!
3) Do Chat It Up
“Chatbots allow users to quickly access information, eliminating potential friction. You can also learn what questions and resources they seek and adjust your strategy accordingly to gain more leads.” - Miranda, Director of Digital Strategy
Conversational marketing, such as the use of chatbots on your website, make brands more human. A chat feature can be live, meaning it is manned by an actual person answering the questions, or it can be a bot, meaning it is programmed to answer questions without any human resource. Many companies use both - a live chat when a team member is available and a bot chat during off hours.
Online chats save time and money while allowing consumers to personally engage with your company at their convenience. Also, you can gain valuable insight on consumers based on what questions they are asking in the chats. This technology is not going away because it enables both marketers and consumers.
2) Don’t be a Tool about Tools
“Digital marketing is both an art and a science -- and in a constant state of evolution. Selecting, integrating and utilizing the right combination of technology and tools results in efficiencies, accurate data and cost-effective investment.”
- Dani, Director of Marketing Automation
Take time to vet out tools that align with your goals. Your marketing and sales technology stack is essentially a cluster of tools your team uses to efficiently perform activities across various channels.
There are tools to document every website activity a buyer takes so sales can see their buyer’s journey via the CRM. There are tools to automate emails to more efficiently nurture leads. There are tools to schedule social media posting so no one person on your team has to remember to do it. Tools for PPC, SEO, video … the list goes on. Make 2020 about choosing the right tools for your team and your goals.
No. 1) Stop Throwing Darts
“The norm is to jump right into tactics. However, without a solid strategy based on data, goals and understanding your customer lifecycle, you’re just throwing darts at the wall and hoping they stick.” - Patty, MBA, CEO
When it comes to marketing, strategy is your driver. Your strategy must align with the company’s overarching goals and drive revenue to prove marketing’s ROI. Without that, you’re just guessing about what works.
The No. 1 takeaway for 2020 is to stop just “doing” social media or “doing” PPC or “adding stuff” to your website. Ask yourself the “why” behind these tactics. How are these tactics rolling up to achieve your overarching goals? If you can’t answer this question, then it’s time to stop and map out a digital marketing strategy.
When you have the right strategy in place, you have purpose and direction behind your tactics.