As marketers, we’re always looking forward. A major part of our job is to be “in the know” when it comes to what’s going on in the digital world. So what does the future look like for digital marketing? This Marketing Monday, we sat down with Digital Marketing Strategists Travis Grither, Cody Lunsford, and Myles Murphy for answers. Let’s take a look at what they had to say.
Q1: With the current state of the world, and people being locked into content more than ever, what spaces do you see being crucial for advertisers?
Travis Grither, Digital Marketing Strategist: I think it’s a no brainer that OTT is a space advertisers have to own. With any digital arena, it’s crucial to understand how to connect with the audience. With OTT, we’re able to be a lot more selective with what we watch and when we watch it. Based on behavior, time of day, and content, advertisers have to be aware of these things and take advantage of the opportunities they offer. When we sit down to start a new series on our favorite streaming services, we’re already in a “binge-mode” mind frame, making us more in tune with the ads we’re exposed to, as opposed to traditional TV.
Q2: What marketing channels are you most excited about right now and why?
Myles Murphy, Digital Marketing Strategist: With such a significant user base, cheap CPMs (CPM stands for Cost Per Mille which means cost per 1,000 impressions), and a smart pixel, Facebook is always something that I like using. While we already run Google Search ads for some of our clients, we’ve been looking at tackling Youtube ads. There is a lot of talk around how effective they are right now, and it’s a total blue ocean in terms of competition. CPM’s are super cheap, and people are claiming a lower cost per lead on average to Facebook. This could be huge for some of our clients where the competition on Facebook and other platforms is rough, and we need a new platform to serve our message on.
One other platform that we have had our eye on is TikTok. While the demographics fo our current clients may not be on TikTok, the platform is just now beginning to roll out their advertising platform to users. It’s something that we have been paying attention to, but we aren’t all in just yet.
Q3: What is one current marketing trend that you see as being a “must-have” in 2020?
Cody Lunsford, Director of Digital Strategy: A trend that has been developing over the last couple of years is Conversational Marketing. Today, most people want to communicate with a business the same way they communicate with their friends and family. When was the last time you sent an email to your friend or family member? I can’t imagine it was recent! Why would we? You can send a text or a message on Facebook and get responses in seconds. This has made our expected response time change. If we have questions about something, we can go to Google and get answers almost immediately. We can make plans with friends faster and stay more connected with our families.
Businesses have always worked on adapting the same way of thinking as their customers, and that needs to be reflected in their marketing. What if your customers could easily message your business to get all of the information they are seeking? The primary goal of conversational marketing is to enhance the user experience through one-on-one communication channels such as SMS, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, etc. When a business allows customers to have that one-on-one experience, that opens the door for stronger relationships with their customer base. They’ll likely even see higher engagement and greater loyalty.
There are over 65 million business pages on Facebook, and over 2 billion messages are exchanged with these businesses each month on Facebook Messenger. That’s a lot of conversations happening. If a business doesn’t have a strong one-on-one conversational strategy, it could mean losing customers to the competitor that does.
Q4: For someone entering a career in digital marketing, how can they prepare for the ever-changing landscape of the industry?
Travis Grither, Digital Marketing Strategist: Learn how to adapt, be able to adapt, and be able to do so quickly. If you’re just now familiarizing yourself with a platform or tool that was introduced 6 months ago, you’re behind. Take a student-like approach and be willing to dedicate a few minutes of every day to learning something new. It can be as simple as a quick search on “digital advertising news today.” Be open to developing new skills, being placed in new areas, and embrace the chaos.
Q5: What advice would you give someone who is interested in getting started in the digital marketing field?
Myles Murphy, Digital Marketing Strategist: Well, there are a lot of different skills you can learn when it comes to marketing. You could be a copywriter, content specialist, SEO, media buyer, video producer – this list goes on and on. But my suggestion is to pick the one that interests you the most and go deep. I mean really deep. There’s so much to learn and you won’t become a true expert unless you’re always studying and trying to learn everything you can. The digital world is ever-changing…new policies, new platforms, etc. You have to always make sure you’re keeping up with all the latest trends and best practices. Don’t let these things overwhelm you, though. There’s a lot of information online, and it’s easy to feel lost. Focus on one thing at a time and get really good at it. Find out what the best people are doing and study them. Read books and blogs, watch YouTube videos, buy courses – do whatever you have to do to learn from the best. That will get you farther much faster.
Q6: What are some skills you need to be a digital marketer?
Cody Lunsford, Director of Digital Strategy: That’s somewhat of a tough question because I believe every digital marketer has their own set of expertise in some area. But I think all digital marketers should have some sense of design, understand the human psyche and what motivates people to buy, knowledge of copywriting, etc.
If we’re talking about skills that I think make a good digital marketer great, there are a few that come to mind. First, know how to use data to your advantage. If a digital marketer can see data – not just look at it, but actually use it to increase a client’s customer acquisition process – that is a skill set every digital marketer should have. Being able to analyze campaign data and then use it to determine which part of the acquisition funnel might be broken or needs to be optimized is valuable. It will save you a lot of wasted ad dollars.
Moving forward, I would have to say one of the most critical skills a digital marketer can have is an understanding of marketing technology. A digital marketer must have a knack for learning and mastering new technologies and software when they come out. If a digital marketer can understand and adopt the right types of marketing technology into their toolkit, it can help give their clients an edge against competitors who may not have any martech in their strategy.
Interested in learning more about how you can use digital marketing strategy in your business? Schedule a free discovery call with our team!