5 Digital Marketing Verticals for Consumer Engagement

Marketing strategy has changed significantly over the past ten years. Since the maturation of the IOT, sales and marketing functions have become more closely aligned instead of operating in isolated funnels. The way we learn about customers has evolved, allowing businesses and brands to communicate in a more personal manner to a more refined group of potential customers.

If you have worked in marketing for more than a decade, you probably already understand the methodology behind horizontal marketing techniques. The horizontal market has traditionally been targeted by marketers, and relates to the “more is more” mentality of crowdsourcing leads and potential customers.

What we’ve recently learned is that digital marketing methods are more than capable of finding and pulling in a large group, but the problem is their quality over quantity. The same group of potential customers has zero chance of converting into sales if it has absolutely no interest in the brand, the product or service, or the culture of the organization.

In this post, we share five successful digital marketing verticals that can improve consumer engagement.

1. Diversified Blog Content

One change that we’re already seeing in 2017, in terms of blog strategy, is the implementation of demographically refined content articles. For instance, rather than attempting to write an article that appeals to all readers, the most successful brand blogs are dishing out tailored content that reaches a very specific and narrow audience.

Is this dangerous in terms of content strategy? The risk is that some readers will not affiliate to blog posts that are not appropriate for them. Businesses have hesitated in the past to narrowly define the target market of their content. In terms of cost effectiveness, it has paid in the past to write evergreen content, which avoids becoming outdated, rather than planning different articles for subsections of readers.

Unfortunately, even evergreen content can lose relevance with time, while providing no individual customer recognition or resolution of needs in the long term. Businesses like Arivify have robust blog schedules and perform content management in-house to provide varied topics and subjects to draw a larger audience. With more topics appealing to a wider variety of people, website traffic can multiply in a short period.

2. User-Generated Content

When you think about the relationship between your brand and your customers, it really is “all about them,” and your content should reflect that. There is no shortage of brands that are looking to create the same dialogue as the seagulls in the movie, Finding Nemo. If your content and blog are all about the “Mine! Mine! Mine!” mentality instead of creating a meaningful connection between the consumer and digital marketing collateral (social media, blog, website), you are missing the most powerful type of engagement.

Not familiar with user-generated content? The strategy compels customers and potential buyers to receive rewards (sample, monetary, contest submission) in exchange for sharing a moment with the brand. Coca Cola did an excellent job of stimulating user interest by using specialty product bottles that were customized with customers’ names. Overnight, the brand was inundated with social media shares and customers taking pictures with their own bottles of soda.

Coca Cola remained responsive with new and existing fans throughout the “Share a Coke” campaign by encouraging viral sharing of selfies and group photos with the product. The global campaign was phenomenal and contributed to some very significant and direct market growth for the soft drink maker.

3. Surveys and Focus Groups

Can surveys be an active marketing tool for brands and businesses? While insights gleaned from data collected by surveys are invaluable to any business, surveys can also help strengthen existing customer loyalty perceptions, as well as improve brand recognition and purchase influence.

Back in 2002 before the advent of social media, Harvard Business Review conducted an insightful study that revealed the hidden benefits of administering surveys to existing subscribers and customers within the email marketing distribution list, and new subscribers. While marketers became increasingly infatuated with using social media as a crowdsourcing tool, several are looking at the affordability and the value of data provided in traditional surveys through engaging software like Survey Monkey.

4. Video Advertising

Struggling to communicate a great corporate culture or other important details and brand shifts? Video advertising can work here for a simple reason: it’s interesting and human beings are compelled to press ‘Play’ to see what is waiting inside for us. The click-through rate of video advertising compared to static or carousel pay-per-click campaigns is substantially higher.

Allow your video marketing to have a little fun, whether it is advertorial or aimed at communicating culture. Consumers respond favorably when brands share their unique culture and personality. Use video pay-per-click to tell your most personable stories.

5. Lifestyle Contests and Promotions

Is your brand in the process of changing momentum and expanding customer base to include a younger demographic? Legacy planning for brands means that as the Baby Boomer segment gets older, marketers must pivot to draw in young buyers, and resurface the culture of the brand so that it catches the attention of a younger demographic. Adjusting the persona of the brand according to younger consumers, however, presents a communication challenge.

Contests and promotions are powerful tools that attract new customers and convey important messages about the brand or the service. Holding lifestyle contests is an effective way of stimulating user-generated content that is consistent with the image that the brand is attempting to sell to a younger audience. Brands like Corona are masters of reinforcing lifestyle contests and advertorials to help younger consumers embrace an established, older product through smartphone apps, gamified content and other active engagement opportunities.

From the perspective of digital marketing, less becomes more when the leads and customers you touch are engaged and interested in learning more about the product, and when they have high potential for making a favorable purchase decision. For consumers inundated with media and content, it’s a refreshing and noticeable change of pace when their specific interests and needs are narrowly targeted. It allows consumers to feel recognized or ‘seen’ by the brand, which is a powerful first step towards affiliation and influencing purchase decision.

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