Once upon a time, the wild west of marketing was pretty straightforward.
Everyone was reading the daily local paper, listening to the local radio in their car, and picking up every flier and magazine while out at local businesses to find something new to do over the weekend. If you wanted to advertise your business, these areas were no brainers.
As with all things, our world has revolutionized. Consumers are getting their news digitally, from their choice of news website or via their social media feeds. They may listen to 2-3 completely different music sources in one day, from Spotify, XM Radio, or Amazon Music over their Alexa. If you want to find an event near you this weekend, a quick Google search can help you target anything you may be interested in: fly fishing expo, a children’s festival...the sky is truly the limit.
So how can businesses successfully attract customers in this complicated digital landscape? You have to meet your customers where they are.
Today 96% of the US population owns a cellphone and 81% owns a smartphone. The average American spends 5.4 hours a day on their phone compared to .3 hours in 2008. As more consumers are cutting the cord with cable, we expect to see OTT (streaming services) continue to steadily increase in the coming years.
Today the playing field to attract your target customer is vast, but thanks to technology, we have also become much wiser. Companies can now learn much more about their customers than ever before and spend even smarter. Rather than a blanket approach, you can now target your ideal customer whoever and wherever they are.
But how to get started with all of these sophisticated tools and options?
A-Train Marketing offers a wide array of digital offerings so you can get started targeting new customers today.
There are many different places, or platforms, where you can run digital advertising and promotions. Our digital team has cut through the clutter to focus on the handful that gives you the broadest reach:
- Digital display: The most widespread advertising online, your standard digital display ads are incredibly effective if your goal is to generate clicks and traffic to your website.
- Native advertising: A close relative to digital display, native ads target consumers stealthily as ads match the look, feel and visual context of the website they are visiting.
- Facebook & Instagram: A great place to use paid placements to target based on self-identified interests and to connect emotionally, Facebook offers a number of effective ad types and placements throughout their network.
- Video pre-roll & OTT: Just as with TV in traditional times, online video ads create memorability and great brand recognition. “Pre-roll” ads run before an individual video someone wants to watch; “OTT” ads run like commercials on streaming networks and exchanges like Hulu and ROKU.
- Mobile conquesting: You can overlay online and offline behaviors by targeting ads to smart phones based on location- as specific as targeting repeat visitors to a store such as a pharmacy.
- Geo-targeting: Location-based targeting is not limited to mobile. We can target a specific place or event (like a convention center), neighborhood, or even zeroing down to specific households based on a traditional mailing list.
- Paid search: Search engine marketing is still the place to be to capture people who are specifically looking for you – and are, therefore, closer to a buying decision. “Pay-per-click” (PPC) search engine ads capture relevant searchers based on the keywords they use to search.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): SEO is the “organic” side of search – the results that show up below the ads. Our SEO services also optimize your “Google My Business” listing, so you show up at the top of the map results, and helps you manage your online reputation by encouraging positive reviews and monitoring and responding to all reviews.
- Live chat: Not a digital advertising platform per se, but live chat is exploding across the internet, and for good reason: visitors prefer to interact with businesses via chat! Our program includes live trained agents available 24/7 to answer most customer service questions and generate new leads.
Equally important to the platforms you use is the way you use them to target your audience. Most of these platforms have a number of ways you can target, including:
- Keyword targeting: The most common and understood targeting is via keywords. If they’re searching for a keyword or are on a website that contains a keyword that we’ve selected for your audience, your ad can be displayed.
- Behavioral targeting: This is similar to keyword targeting but based on PAST behaviors. Behavioral targeting happens via over 2000 behavioral categories to choose from.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): Digital marketing is one of the first arenas to see AI or “machine learning” provide proven economic value. Every minute, data is collected and analyzed about who is engaging with your ad, looking at clicks, conversions, device used, ad design performance, types of websites or apps where the ads appear, and more – and then your ads are served to more of the people who interact most with your ad.
- Retargeting: Most are familiar with this type of targeting – showing your ad to someone who has been to your website but didn’t “convert.” We’ll keep your offering in front of them, build brand awareness, and drive them to take action. And, for many platforms, we can track and report “view-throughs” – people who saw your ad, did NOT click, but then came to your website on their own.
BUILDING A SOLID STRATEGY:
So, which platforms are right for you? Who exactly should you target and how? What are the right messages for your selected platforms and targeting methods? And how do you measure the results with the insights needed to continuously improve your campaign?
Our team is here to help!
Tell us about your goals and we will create a custom digital marketing strategy designed specifically for you – no cookie cutter formulas that are the same for every client. Our team manages everything from campaign design, ad creation, ad purchasing and monitoring, monthly reporting, and strategic adjustment to make sure your investment is bringing you the return you are looking for.