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20 years ago, Digital Marketing didn’t exist. The internet was still new. How new?

In 1996 . . .

– didn’t exist.
– There were only 100,000 websites compared to more than 1 billion today.
– The web browser of choice was Netscape Navigator.
– Dial-up internet was the only connection option and speeds ranged from 28.8Kbps to 33.6Kbps.
– People could communicate across the internet using a chat program called ICQ.
– AltaVista was the #1 Search Engine.
– Yahoo was still a thing.

Almost two decades later, we find ourselves in the midst of a digital evolution that remains in a state of constant change. Digital Marketing has become not just a commonality but an absolute requirement for businesses who want to engage their customers at every stage of the buying cycle.

90% of consumers find custom content useful.

Here are 7 useful tips and tricks to help you along with your 2016 Digital Marketing Plan:

1) Size doesn’t matter…it’s better to be smart than huge
This may sound like a sexual euphemism but it also applies to your digital marketing. You can flood your social media and content marketing channels with as much fluff and noise as you want but it just means most people will tune you out.

If someone takes out a print ad selling their latest, greatest Walrus Cleaning Kit, and then splashes that same ad across their home page, then posts the same ad every day on social media every day for a month, then wraps the company vehicle with the ad images and copy, and then . . . people hate repetitive branding. Target your advertising so you’re not shouting the exact same message. Change up your content marketing so it stays fresh and more people will come to you for all their walrus cleaning needs.

2) Have a Functional Website
Remember the time you visited that RV dealership website, you clicked on the ‘showroom’ link to find the RV of your dreams and it took over a minute to load, and when it finally loaded it was a message in a barely readable font size in bright, flashing neon colors reading ‘Oops, that page doesn’t seem to exist’? Having a functional website means your website should look great, have easy-to-use navigation, and loads pages quickly. The easiest way to do this is to test every single element. It might take time but it’s better than losing business to your competitor.

3) Email Marketing (grow your list)
With all the spam you find delivered to your inbox on a weekly basis it’d be very easy to believe that email marketing has become completely ineffective. That belief couldn’t be less true. Studies show that 72% of North American consumers prefer e-mail marketing as the number one way to receive permission-based promotions. 48% of emails are opened on a mobile device first. 91% of adult mobile phone users have their device within arm’s reach 24/7. Make sure your website and social media have a form that will allow you to gather customer information and give you permission to send them promotional materials.

4) Be Mobile Friendly
All websites must be optimized for mobile devices or you’re already losing half of your customers. The amount of mobile-friendly strategic location-based campaigns are also on the rise and showing great results. Having a responsive site means your site is properly viewable on mobile and tablet devices along with the standard desktop version. Between 40 – 60% of people visiting your site are on a mobile device, so it’s important to have your site in a format they can comfortably view it on. Pinching and zooming with your fingers only irritates and frustrates potential customers. Your goal is to keep them on the site, not to have them leave out of frustration. Check out our previous posts on mobile optimization for more info. <INSERT LINKS>

5) Social Advertising
Paid Advertising on social media is no longer a luxury, it’s now a necessity. Learning how to create effective ad campaigns for Facebook and other social media platforms allows you to directly engage with your audience. Another thing to bear in mind is that Google+ is becoming more and more popular and is currently experiencing a surge in growth since introducing ‘Google+ Communities’ in 2013.

6) Blog Like You Mean It
Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. Having a blog attached to your site provides interesting and relevant content while increasing your ranking in web searches. 90% of consumers find custom content useful so do yourself a favor, start blogging, give the people what they want and reinforce your brand at the same time.

7) Be Different!
The world of digital marketing is a mess of sound that can often engulf and completely drown out your best marketing ideas. Being unique is the best way to stand out. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Be controversial. Be remarkable.

72% of North American consumers prefer e-mail marketing as the number one way to receive permission-based promotions.

Post Author

Picture of Andrew Buckley

Andrew Buckley

Andrew likes to write. And that's a good thing because he's good at it. He likes Canada, the UK, and of course, pop tarts.