SEO

4 Hot Digital Advertising Trends You Can’t Ignore

Listen, the way most people talk about marketing online makes it sound like all you need to succeed is a simple social media strategy, an email newsletter and a sound SEO strategy.

Yeah, while those are fundamental, if you truly want to compete you need to go beyond the basics and get on the cutting edge.

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And while some experts share advice that they think is cutting edge, most of it misses some of the trends I’m going to share with you below.

These are trends you need to follow to grow an engaged audience, track your progress and turn a high ROI on all of your campaigns.

Let’s get started.

1. Advertising Campaigns Need to be Social by Design

At the Ad:Tech conference in New York City, the global director of emerging media at Newswire said that when it comes to social media, people don’t really want to “Like” something because they love your brand. If they share something it’s because they like their friends and want to share something special with them.

So it’s never about how many followers you have or “Likes” you get…but creating content that fans love so much they think their friends should have it, too.

This is what is meant by the term “social by design.” Products and advertising should relate directly to customers desires, interests and problems so that they want to take them social. In the end, your content will only be as great as it addresses these needs.

The way Sony Ericsson promoted its new Xperia phone is a great example of what it means to be “social by design.”

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The original concept of the phone was that it wasn’t just a communication device…it was a tool that would allow users to see the world differently.

To help achieve this end Ericsson hired an astronomer at Columbia University, Joshua Peek. Peek’s job was to build an Android app that used a device orientation and GPS position to show what was going on in the universe.

This app, “The Invisible Universe,” would locate constellations and black holes and was embedded right on the Ericsson platform.

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They launched the app last summer and it’s been downloaded over 50,000 times, and big media like Wired and Gizmodo  love it, too.

But it’s the users who count. According to the user reviews on the official Android app store, it seems that the app is a hit:

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And it’s that kind of attention to what might interest a customer that will lead to promotion on the social web. So, when you are thinking about your digital marketing strategy, make sure you are “social by design.”

2. Narrow your target market with Facebook

Most businesses are looking for where their target customers are hanging out, and when it comes to social media and narrow targeting, Facebook gets the job done in spades.

Facebook allows you to narrow down to employment history, age, education, location and interests.

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In addition, you can locate and advertise to people who type in the words “social media” or “SEO”…or whatever might be your target keywords.

With Facebook you can hit your target market with an accuracy of 90 percent or higher. Before Facebook, you were lucky to hit your target market with accuracy better than 35 percent.

That type of accuracy can raise your ROI on campaigns. For example, CM Photographics generated over $40,000 over a twelve month period using Facebook’s targeted ads.

The cost of the ad? Only $600.

But it’s not just about a paid approach. To leverage your campaigns the best, you need targeted campaigns, broad campaigns and a fully optimized Facebook business page.

3. Making Web Analytics Work for You

If you’re like most digital advertisers, you’re overwhelmed by all the reports and data in your web analytics tool.

Maybe to make sense of the information you tend to focus on just a few KPIs. But are they the right KPIs?

While web analytics are hot these days, one of the problems right now is that most advertisers are not using analytic data correctly. And web analytics will only work for you when you learn how to use the reports that are important to you and you alone.

Here’s how to find those reports.

  • Identify business objectives – Well-defined business objectives and goals can tell you how to spend your resources. You’ll understand your strengths and weaknesses…making everything you do more effective.
  • Choose website goals – After you’ve defined business goals, your next step is to decide what you are trying to do with your website. Your objectives will be broad (build brand awareness) and your goals page specific (download white paper).
  • Identify your web KPIs – This is where your analytics comes in because now you are going to start tracking the progress of your goals by your key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Choose web segments  – Your final step to making your analytics work for you is to segment your audience by three basic categories…acquisition, behavior and outcomes.

For a step-by-step process on how to make web analytics work for you, check out this in-depth guide on KISSmetrics.

4. Optimize for Social

Too many online advertisers look at social media as a campaign. Sorry, but it’s a channel that you can use in a campaign. In other words, it will help you get somewhere…it’s not where you are going. So any social media efforts need to be part of a bigger plan and goals.

And when it comes to getting more attention, higher rankings and more traffic is to increase the number of shares your content gets across social media.

For example, you need to employ some of these tricks:

  • Make your social share buttons visible.
  • Limit the number of social share buttons you use.
  • Encourage readers to share your content.
  • Tap into social sites like Triberr.
  • Leverage paid social ads like Sponsored Tweets or Sponsored Stories by Facebook.

More importantly, you have no excuse not to be on Google+. When Google+ first came out I immediately encouraged businesses to jump on aboard.  But now with Google’s Search, Plus Your World, you are really making a big mistake if you are not on it yet!

But it’s not just about having an account on Google+. You have to create an effective Google+ SEO content strategy.

For instance, an optimized Google+ account can make you higher in the rankings than Wikipedia!

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You probably already know all of this…so if you do, then use it to convince your clients of the great benefit that a Google+ content strategy can have on their business.

Conclusion

Naturally this isn’t an exhaustive list of digital advertising trends…but these are definitely some of the most important.

And if you get on top of and master some of these digital trends you can easily take a leap ahead of your competitors. But don’t take too long…because they’ll eventually figure what is going on…and get ahead of you.

What other hot digital trends do you think online marketers need to jump on right now?

 4 Hot Digital Advertising Trends You Cant Ignore
Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions. Neil also blogs about marketing and entrepreneurship at Quick Sprout.

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4 thoughts on “4 Hot Digital Advertising Trends You Can’t Ignore

  1. Good stuff Neil. How often do we see people work really hard to get people to “Like” them or “Follow” them and not often have a strategy for what to do when people actually do “Like” and “Follow”, etc.? It’s madness. I have to admit, though, I haven’t done enough with Google+. I was skeptical given Google’s track record in social media, but they’re obviously determined to make it work eventually. Guess it’s time to change my thinking!

  2. Social by design is definitely a concept that companies will have to have a a firm grasp on going forward, especially with Google putting so much weight behind Google Plus. Awesome post Neil!

  3. Love the accuracy of Facebook marketing. You can really nail your demographics. The only problem is the mindset of people on Facebook – they are not looking to make a purchase. You really have to design and cater your ad to the medium as well as the viewer.