What makes digital marketing so effective? It has the ability to seamlessly integrate into a consumer’s daily routine and present them with a highly relevant brand experience. There are a lot of digital tools available to marketers that do a great job of meeting consumers where they are and presenting them with a compelling case to stop what they are doing and pay attention.
Before trying out digital marketing strategies, it is important to know who your target audience is and what modes of communication work well for them. If you think digital marketing is the right fit for your consumer, try out one of these three trending approaches to digital marketing.
1. EXPERIENCE SHOPPING
Experience shopping provides consumers (especially millennials) with a more personalized and tailored shopping experience. Retailers are looking for ways to make shopping an overall experience that includes mobile, online and in-store components. Folks in the retail industry call the merger of online and brick-and-mortar efforts “bricks-to-clicks.”
Neiman Marcus is a great example. The retail giant is trying to bridge the gap between its online and in-store components by testing hyper-targeting Bluetooth beacons that interact with the Neiman Marcus app on a customer’s phone to sense when and where they are in the store. The app then directs customers to items through-out the store, personalizing the information based on purchasing and preferences. For example, the app will send a notification to the customer when they are walking through the shoe section, letting them know that the boots that were looking at online were just put on sale in the store.
Experience shopping is all about interacting with the user on multiple levels to provide them with a unique and integrated experience that flows seamlessly with their daily lives.
2. EPHEMERAL MARKETING
Ephemeral marketing (a.k.a in-the-moment marketing or temporary social media) presents a unique opportunity for marketers to capitalize on a user’s full attention for just a few seconds. Snapchat is currently the most common vehicle for ephemeral marketing. It also happens to be a very popular app with 100 million active daily users and approximately 9,000 snaps sent each second. Snapchat users practice voluntary content consumption – an individual has opted to watch, which makes them more willing to absorb information because they have chosen to do so. But it has to be quick – marketers only have a couple of seconds to connect with users, present a call-to-action and elicit a response.
There are several ways to effectively leverage Snapchat to achieve marketing goals. Here are two great examples:
1. Create a company account. For example, Sour Patch Kids recently hosted a campaign with social media celebrity, Logan Paul, who documented pranks and high-jinx for 5 days in New York City, playing on the brand’s tagline, “First they’re sour then they’re sweet.” From the campaign, Sour Patch gained more than 120,000 Snapchat followers and, by the end of the campaign, generated 2.3 million impressions.
2. Snapchat Discover. Discover is a destination for media outlets to publish shareable content for 24 hours at a time. A fun example of this is this story from National Geographic’s Discover: “If you could name a planet, what would you name it?” Users are encouraged to screenshot, draw in their answer, and send it around to their friends. Ultimately, starting a conversation about the brand and encouraging users to engage with the content.
When asked about National Geographic’s choice to use Snapchat in a Digiday interview, social media vice president Raj Mody said, “We think it’s a great platform to reach new audiences. It puts us in front of a great group of young people and gives us a chance to speak to our strengths in photography, video and social.”
You probably remember when the app Meerkat blew up at SXSW in 2015. Now, it is one of several live-streaming apps including Periscope and Facebook Live Video. These real-time videos create an “I-can’t-miss-this” type of urgency that encourages user-engagement that is enhanced by allowing viewers to comment and ask questions as they watch the live-footage.
Some successful ways to use a live-stream include product launches, Q&As, “sneak peeks,” or to document an event. Each method puts the audience first and allows them direct and exclusive access to the brand.
For example, BMW recently hosted a periscope campaign for the launch of the first-ever BMW M2. A six-camera set-up filmed 10 minutes of footage showcasing the M2’s design and performance as it raced around a track at the BMW Performance Driving Center in Spartanburg, SC. Auto-enthusiasts were also encouraged to seek out the Instagram handle associated with the launch – handles were hidden in the camo print in the advertisements (see below) – to win a chance to drive the machine before it went on sale. The launch attracted 5,000 Periscope viewers, 65,000 Periscope hearts (the app’s way of measuring broadcast popularity), created 3,000 new social followers, 48,000 social media engagements, and 21.6 million total impressions.
GE is another brand that has taken to the live streaming trend. They recently hosted a 5-day Periscope campaign called #DroneWeek. The company broadcast live video from a Drone in five different GE locations around the country. GE’s director of innovation, Sam Olstein, nailed it when he told Fast Company, “When you give people a peek behind the curtain, they fall in love with the company.” GE’s #DroneWeek is set to return this June to provide an inside-look at the days leading up to the Olympics in Rio.
These three digital marketing approaches will make great additions to any marketing toolkit. The key to leveraging these is to have brand clarity and to make sure the tactics employed speak to the target audience and reinforce a strong emotional connection. It’s important to make sure these digital tactics fit into your overarching marketing strategy – don’t do digital just to do it.