At the recent Digital Summit at Home, we learned a few new digital strategies to begin using in your business.
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Last week, I attended my first online conference, the Digital Summit at Home, an event focused on marketing adaptability where attendees can further their knowledge and skill set in the ever-evolving digital ecosystem. With COVID-19 dominating much of the business landscape, the trending topics focused on how to improve the online user experience, the need for an effective web presence, ways to refine your email strategy, and, of course, SEO.
Improve the online user experience (through collaboration)
74% of online customers will switch brands if they have had a negative experience. Welcome to what is now called the “Experience Economy.” The term experience economy was first used in a 1998 article by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, describing it as the economy following the agrarian, industrial, and most recently, service economies. Nowadays it is defined as the economy in which products or services are sold by emphasizing the effect they can have on people's lives. In digital terms, it refers to a wide range of activities that drive systematic change in any industry through digital transformation, with data as a key production factor, next-generation social media as a cornerstone, and where memory assimilates the product or service.
For marketing teams, this means extensive consumer/persona research and bringing the team together to collaborate and create innovative solutions that better meet the customer’s needs to bring a competitive advantage.
How can one achieve this? Brainstorm as a team on business opportunities (what is holding back growth) and the customer experience (why are they leaving or why are new customers not engaging), then suggest an array of solutions, study and triage them, showcase key concepts, vote on a direction, and sketch out a more in-depth solution based on the research results.
This requires both creative and cultural leadership. In order to succeed, you’ll need to:
- take a consultative approach
- determine CTAs
- test and monitor
- track trends
- make it social
- create effective content that educates users
- avoid overwhelming them with data entry
- use customer surveys and interviews
- optimize language capabilities
The need for an effective web presence (that turns visitors into customers)
With COVID-19, businesses are putting more focus on their digital and web presence. The “pandemic pivot” is a phrase many businesses are adopting to shift their focus on their digital marketing efforts, starting with the first place customers will go to research, explore, and connect with a brand: their website. Having a well-designed website can give you an edge in your field, impact sales, and create stronger connections to your customers no matter where they are in their buying journey.
It is important to set the right goals for your website, choose the appropriate architecture and design for your business, and implement design tactics that convert visitors into customers.
What does this mean and how does one achieve these goals?
- Make your site mobile responsive and easily navigable
- Ensure accuracy
- Place contact information above the fold
- Keep pages uncluttered
- Respect the need for speed
- Have a compelling CTA
- Keep the design simple but attractive
Email Feng Shui
We have all heard of Feng Shui for our home, but what if we considered Feng Shui for our email marketing program? Feng shui is a traditional practice originating in ancient China, which uses energy forces to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment. The term Feng Shui literally translates as "wind-water" in English. What does it have to do with email? Email is still the number two activity on smartphones, right behind texting, but still in front of any social media. Most email marketing is opened on mobile devices. Here is how one can apply Feng Shui principles to modern email.
Clear the clutter by simplifying headers and pre-headers, providing clean, direct, and brief content (concise copy is king), using relatable language, and writing in the active voice.
Introduce quality air and light by using a lot of white space (less is more), delightful but simple animations, and a single column layout (optimal for mobile devices).
Enhance your wealth area by delivering a clear, bold, primary CTA, leveraging bullet proof buttons, surrounding the CTA with plenty of white space, using language that encourages action, and engaging the target audience.
Identify your Kua number (Kua numbers are a system of numerology based on your birth year and sex that is used in Feng Shui – in digital marketing, it is used to determine the behavior of a potential customer) – so you can personalize email marketing, create an emotional connection, and provide users with customized reports (like a quarterly or yearly review of their buying trends).
SEO, SEO, SEO!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become an absolute necessity for any online business. No matter the brand’s field, the competition for capturing market share is tough. Whether you search for a service or product, a million results pop up. What are the chances that the results on the second or third page get any attention? Even the results on the first page are not always able to attract attention. Usually, only the top three or four results get the limelight. So, what SEO strategies will be trending in 2021?
User page experience – a good user experience should be a key priority; nobody wants a slow loading website.
Mobile optimization – with most users visiting websites from their mobile devices, one of the most important Google metrics is mobile optimization of web pages.
Highly relevant content – content is still king; focus on creating concise quality content that improves customer satisfaction and ranks your site better.
Video optimization – in the constantly evolving world of social media, the trend is towards video-centric apps; videos will increase your engagement rate and improve search ranks.
Optimize for E.A.T. – EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness; you do not want to be flagged for unworthy content.
Voice search optimization – more than half of all online searches are made through voice; use a virtual assistant to master the SEO trend in 2021.
Focus on online – 2021 may be an unusual post-pandemic world with new normalcy, one can hope; people will spend more time online so emphasize e-Commerce and other online activities.
Security – even though not a major factor, a secure website will still affect SEO rankings.
On- and off-page SEO – on-page is the driving force of your SEO strategy and, after Google’s EAT update, off-page SEO will be equally important, so make sure you have reference links from trustworthy websites, blogs, content that is shared, and an active social media plan.
While not an exhaustive list, this is a good starting point. According to Simon Sinek, “Bad marketing wants you to buy something. Good marketing wants you to be a part of it.”
About the author
Yves Lang is Senior Director, Business Development at Amplexor, based in Colorado. With 30 years of experience in the translation and localization arena and, as a dynamic sales executive, he has a proven record of helping major brands with their global content lifecycle, from digital marketing to international expansion. He loves being a consultant for his customers and has built lifelong partnerships.