7 Emerging Digital Marketing Tactics To Stay On The Cutting Edge For 2021
Digital marketing is a continuously evolving and expanding field, where competition is often fierce and new tactics and strategies pop up every so often.
However, to stay at the very top of the game, you don’t need to keep reinventing the wheel with every campaign you run. You can stick to tactics that have been proven to work and that digital marketers around the world place their trust in, even if they don’t come with a lot of bells and whistles and are not endorsed by a huge industry name.
Let’s look at seven emerging digital marketing tactics that can help you increase your conversions and grow your business.
1. Do influencer marketing and PR
PR is the quintessential form of marketing. It has been around for much longer than digital marketing, and the premise is clear to everyone: get featured by major news publications.
In the online world, you don’t have to work with the largest news outlets, either – as that will often cost a pretty penny. You can work with smaller websites that have a more niche audience, up-and-coming websites that are doing a good job of building a community, and so on.
On the other hand, influencer marketing is the original child of digital, and it works incredibly well to this day. The key thing to remember when working with influencers is that you should always choose those with integrity over those with a large following. Influencers who advertise anything and everything won’t attract the same kinds of revenues like smaller influencers whose audiences are actually very interested in your product or service.
Let’s look at an example. Here is Zoma, a mattress brand that has implemented both of these tactics. They work with a lot of professional athletes, who can be considered influencers in their own right, and they also do some clever PR.
Another great way to build on this relationship and what is considered standard influencer marketing is to also do some influencer advertising. This means running a paid ad from the influencer’s page. You can do it on Facebook or Instagram, and the benefits are numerous on both platforms.
First of all, you can easily track the results of the campaign through the Facebook pixel, for example. You will also probably end up spending less since your engagement rates will be higher than if you’d run the ad as yourself. Targeting is also made easier since you will have a lookalike audience readily available, based on the influencer’s own profile.
But the main boost is in the credibility and trust you will inspire with this ad. After all, it’s no longer you, the brand, saying good things about yourself. It’s an influencer backing you up, and they tend to inspire more trust and come off as much more credible and trustworthy than any brand.
2. Focus on your relationships
Building relationships with your audience certainly isn’t a new concept, but the way you focus on this tactic has changed during the course of 2020. With the coronavirus pandemic, relationship-building has almost entirely shifted to the online space. Brands could previously host launch parties, fly influencers across the globe for an event, organize meetups, and celebrate big milestones with large gatherings. Right now, all of this is rendered impossible.
This is why you’ll want to pour some added effort into your online meetings. That includes both one-on-one meetings with leads and customers, as well as virtual gatherings, when you would have previously just thrown an event together.
To help you stay on top of all your varied calls and meetings, make sure you are using a smart scheduling app. This has become a vital tool to help ensure you don’t miss appointments, that you don’t mix up calls, and that you easily schedule all of these varied calls without having to go back and forth to determine suitable times.
On top of that, you can use a CRM tool that will ensure these relationships are nurtured properly and that they grow into their full potential, instead of dying a slow and painful death somewhere in your inbox.
Some of these apps also come with integrated AI features, which will provide you with the added benefit of a powerful mind behind you. They’ll help you make connections and provide advice based on previous relationships, allowing you to make better-informed decisions about where to take a relationship next.
3. Make sure your prices stay dynamic
Ensuring that your prices are right (no pun intended) is often the key to ensuring your marketing efforts actually pay off. No matter how good and cutting-edge your campaigns are, if you can’t compete with your competition in terms of price, you won’t be getting all that far. This is especially important on large ecommerce marketplaces such as Amazon, but it is also important in the world of smaller ecommerce stores and niche ecommerce websites.
To save yourself the trouble of continually checking the prices your competition offers, you can utilize a repricer tool that will do this automatically for you and adjust your prices when the need arises. Of course, you can set the parameters you would like it to follow, and it definitely won’t bankrupt you – just save you some time and effort.
4. Social media automation
Automation is often the key to getting more done. When you are able to get something like your social media posts off your plate, you can devote more time to growing your business and implementing other digital marketing tactics more efficiently.
There are plenty of social media automation tools you can reach for, and a lot of them offer some sort of free plan you can sign up for and test the tool out.
The thing to be mindful of with social media automation is that you can’t let a tool do everything for you. While you can (and should) automate a lot of your posts, you should also take the time to reply to questions, share something off the cuff, and keep in touch with your audience.
You can also use these tools to track your brand’s mentions or monitor certain keywords or hashtags that are relevant to your brand. This will help you devise new campaigns and get in on the action when something exciting is buzzing on socials. You can also find plenty of future content ideas this way, by observing what type of posts have worked well for others and generated lots of engagement.
Another great way to use social media automation tools is to evaluate the platforms that work best for your brand. If you are seeing significantly better engagement rates on one platform as opposed to another, yet you’re investing more time and money in the one that’s producing weaker results, you can tweak your campaigns on time and put your money where the engagement is.
5. Email marketing automation
While we’re on the subject of automation, another digital marketing facet you can certainly automate is email marketing.
The key here will be to ensure you’ve segmented your audience well. You don’t want to be sending the same email to everyone – the more tailored these emails are, the better the results will be.
For example, you have segments for:
- new users/shoppers/subscribers
- highly engaged subscribers
- returning customers
- cart abandonment
- segments based on age, gender, location, or previous purchases, etc.
Create an email marketing sequence for your different audience segments and automate the sending process. The software will be triggered by different actions (someone signs up for your newsletter, purchases an item, abandons their cart, and so on), and the email sequence will be sent out automatically.
Make sure you have an engaging subject line for each email – for example, you might choose to pose a compelling question, something that’s highly relevant to your target reader and touches upon their pain points. Personalize your greeting and add images or videos to the email to maintain a grasp on their attention. Last but not least, you need to be absolutely sure that the CTA and the purpose of the email are clear: are you promoting a new product, launching a sale, asking them to participate in a survey?
Did you know you can A/B test your email campaigns? Here’s how.
You can also use a tool like Klaviyo, which is great for ecommerce email marketing automation. It also has a clever Back in Stock integration with Shopify that will automatically display the button to notify customers when a certain out-of-stock item is available again. This can really improve the customer experience (people hate when items they want are out of stock) and lead to more sales.
Again, remember that you also need to do some emails by hand, and that customer service also needs to be personal after a certain point, as opposed to just an automated sequence of emails.
6. Implement chatbots
Talking about customer support, a great way to improve it and thus improve your overall user experience is to use chatbots. They can help your customers find their way around the website, get their questions answered, and get in touch with a live customer service rep.
Chatbots can also help you collect leads and reduce your operating costs by allowing you to cut down on the costs of customer service. As they provide instant answers and an instant connection, they can also provide users with a better connection with your brand.
Chatbots can also be given personalities – a lot of them don’t sound like robots at all, if that’s what you’re worried about. Mobile Monkey has a really nice chatbot, for example – which is not only helpful, but also does a good job of coming off as more of a human than a bot.
7. Use virtual and augmented reality
Virtual and augmented reality are certainly the marketing tactic of the future. While they are still not widely available and they are not that easy to implement yet either, there are ways you can use them and ways to make your customers enjoy them.
Don’t just think about them as a feature someone will need to have an actual VR device in their home. Here are a couple of suggestions you can implement on your landing pages or through a branded app:
- Virtual furniture showroom – which would allow customers to see how a piece looks in 3D
- Virtual dressing room – where customers can upload a picture of themselves and see how an outfit would look on them
- Virtual makeup vanity – allowing customers to try out different colors
- Shopping and catalog apps – that can help shoppers learn more about a product.
The purpose of these kinds of realities is to help someone make a purchasing decision (or just have fun) and provide a deeper connection with you as a brand.
Getting into the world of VR and AR will certainly be an investment, but depending on your target audience and the size of your brand, it might be a very clever direction to take.
With the help of these seven digital marketing tactics, you’ll be able to take your brand to the next level. You’ll boost the user experience on your pages, streamline some of your marketing processes, and overall, achieve better conversion rates and improve your bottom line.
However, bear in mind that not all of these tactics will necessarily work for you – there’s no universal marketing tactic that will work the same way for every business. Carefully consider the audience you’re targeting and the marketing and sales goals you’re trying to achieve before implementing any of them.