By Alba Fraile, on 26 October 2016
Most digital marketing departments, during the last trimester of the year, face the challenge of planning their digital marketing strategies for 2017, but to they have all the information they need about new trends and platforms?
The Complete Digital Marketing Guide for 2017
The be able to plan the best campaigns and strategies, it is important to have an in-depth analysis of previous results to know which strategies and platforms have worked best, as well as explore platform’s new and innovative trends, or at least the ones we plan on using.
Some channels, such as Social Ads, undergo constant change, launching new formats that make it easier to manage campaigns and optimize results, making it essential to stay uptodate with all the new improvements we can apply to out next campaigns.
1# Analyze your results from 2016 and reflect
What can be improved? Which campaigns provided the best results for the company? What did we learn from 2016?
Before beginning to plan 2017, the marketing department should dedicate time to analyzing and reflecting upon the work that was done in 2016.
Any future decisions of what is more or less suitable to achieve goals should depend on this analysis, as these results and insights will point in the best direction in which to follow: what channels to work with, which distribution of the marketing budget is best, what messages, which audience segmentations best relate to our campaigns, etc.
But where can we find all of this information? There are “direct” or short term conversion platforms that provide us a great amount of quality information, like Social Ads, for example.
Carefully analyze your past campaigns to obtain information on which messages, segmentations, creative elements and channels worked best for you.
When working with apps, it is very important to have an integrated tracking system that records information regarding the main sources of downloads, which channels attract higher engagement levels, etc.
If you have run any A/B tests, these results will also be very significant in decision making processes, as recognizing which ad sets were most successful is the key to optimizing design elements and messages.
2# Make sure your goals for 2017 are clear, specific and realistic
It is very important to optimize any process necessary to fulfilling our goals. In other words, if our goals are, for example, to increase the number of purchase conversions on our online store, it is vital that the whole purchasing process is optimized to the best of our abilities.
This means that we must pay attention to technical aspects related to the goals we set ourselves, as well as those related to resources, management, etc.
This point is very important, given that a platform’s lack of usability, among other aspects, might limit and sink our otherwise effective digital marketing strategies when it comes to the final conversion moment.
3# Run tests: experiment!
Don’t limit your strategy: constantly try out new formats, creative elements and messages to optimize your results.
Regularly running A/B tests guarantees that you optimize your results and provide vital insights for the marketing team, which can later be passed on and extrapolated to other departments focused rather on business, products, etc.
It is mainly all about applying scientific methods to marketing, by experimenting and basing decisions on numerical results, constantly optimizing processes and results.
One of the main mistakes made by marketing departments is to take it as a given that some channels, messages, segmentations or creative elements are more effective, without having reached this conclusion by trying different possibilities.
To avoid falling into this same trap, it is important to be constantly running different tests and comparing different results, which will lead us to the best options.
Which channels will be king in 2017?
Choosing which channels to work in should always be based on our digital marketing objectives, as not all channels are ideal for all goals. There are channels which focus more on branding objectives, others on acquiring leads, on strengthening customer loyalty, others focus on final conversions, etc.
There is no universal formula to success in terms of digital channels, and the best options is always a tailor-made strategy created by digital marketing experts that know each channel well and can use their expertise to meet the needs of each individual project, as well as the distribution of the budget per channels and the precise analysis of results.
Here is a list of the most effective digital channels who never cease to surprise us with their constant result-oriented technical innovation:
- Facebook Ads: The social network that has gathered over 1 billion users has positioned itself, time after time, as the king of microsegmentations, outreach and volume of results. It is key in strategies focused on purchase conversions, app installs, lead generation and obtaining insights regarding consumer preferences and audience behavior. It a platform that is ideal not only to achieve performance marketing goals, but also provides noteworthy results in branding strategies to improve brand awareness and in establishing bidirectional communication between brand and users. Facebook Ads overcomes the inconveniences of more traditional, intrusive advertising forms by showing its ads only to audiences in whom it’s interested, who are the product or service’s target, or who have previously shown interest in that product, but are still pondering the final purchase. All of this thanks to ad formats such as product carousels (or product feeds) that can show ecommerces, segmentation by lookalike audiences (users with similar behavior to current clients), and much more.
- Instagram Ads: Facebook’s advertising platforms also includes advertising on Instagram, which is highly recommended for app install campaigns due to its exclusively mobile nature, and for very visual product campaigns, as, thanks to its native format, ads are unintrusive and blend into a user’s newsfeed.
- Twitter Ads: The quality of users is Twitter’s differentiating feature, with users’ average Shopping Basket value and the Lifetime Value being higher than any other platform’s. This means that of the people who purchase through ecommerces, the ones reached through Twitter purchase in higher value than others, and their loyalty levels also prove to be higher. Cyberclick’s tech team developed a tool based on artificial intelligence that automatically and efficiently optimizes Twitter Ads campaign results, simultaneously creating thousands of microsegmentations and working on a different strategy for each segmentation of users, to improve the volume of app installs and conversions by making decisions based on real time results.
- Google AdWords: It is vital for part of your budget to be allocated to Google AdWords, as it is via this channel that people come across our brand, when searching for products and services similar to ours. Working on an SEM strategy and consistently optimizing it is key to achieving results and final conversions.
- Content Ads: Content which is of high value to the user plays an ever bigger role in brands’ digital marketing strategies. We live in an age where information is everything, and the user is increasingly more demanding when making purchasing decisions. This makes it that much more vital for brands to work on their content strategies, to achieve goals in the medium to long term, and not focus their efforts only on more immediate conversions. Content Ads are characterized by their native formats, and by the value they offer the reader, based on carefully elaborated content that is relevant, and always related to the content the user consumes organically. This way, it does not come across as intrusive, and places the brand and the top of a user’s mind, regarding a certain topic or specific need that can be satisfied by the products or service offered by the brand, which is subtly pointed out at the end of the content.
- Email marketing: Despite being one of the more traditional and historical digital channels, emailing continues to be the king of ROIs in the digital marketing departments. Its conversion rate remains one of the highest, and is still heavily invested in in some sectors, who consider this channel to be the most effective.
5# Make your digital agency your closest ally
The best digital agencies of the moment are made up of expert digital marketing professionals, who possess the most recent information and know-how of the industry, mixing their executive and creative profile also with digital consulting and assessment tasks.
Agencies who are have clients with more flexible marketing departments are able to optimize results to very impressive levels, due to the redistribution of the budget in different channels, based on numerical results and regularly run tests.
This is precisely why it is so important that you choose which digital marketing agency to trust with your 2017 marketing based on its team’s knowledge and expertise, that the relationship between agency and marketing department is transparent, and for there to be trust based on expertise and the consistent analysis of results.
What do you think? Did we leave out anything important?
Alba Fraile @alba_fraile
Laia Cardona @laia_cardona (Infographic)