The future of marketing is undeniably digital – as other marketing and advertising budgets are hit by economic dips, digital marketing shows a continually healthy growth.
We’re also discovering new trends around digital marketing every day; for example, we’re seeing that the old rules based around ratecards and readership are fast becoming obsolete. In cyberspace, the only thing that counts is your imagination – and your grasp of technology. The bread and butter of digital advertising is the banner, or display advert. There are three ways of paying for your banner: per page impression, per click or per action – such as a sale or brochure order. In our opinion banner adverts should be given a wide-birth. Most consumers are banner-blind. Eyeball tracking tests by legendary internet marketer Jakob Nielsen do indeed suggest that surfers rarely glance at banner adverts. The problem with banner advertising comes when defining reach, even worse if you’re paying by ‘potential’ viewers. The issue is that reach is a number born out of the television advertising ere where there was a limited spectrum. As a result, people were forced to watch one of a small number of channels. The internet doesn’t live by the same rules because the digital spectrum is infinite. As an advertiser who should always be seeking maximum impact, you can extract much more value by offering a specific message to a small group, rather than a general message to a large one. So the real value on the internet becomes the ability to segment and target, rather than a ‘broad-brush’ approach, with a hope to reach massive numbers.
If boring banner adverts don’t float your boat there are other options, some more established than others. Social media sites offer dozens of possibilities, not forgetting to mention your ability to get quality backlinks.
Wikipedia is a must. More than one in 200 visits on the entire internet are to Wikipedia, so make sure your company’s page is up to scratch. LinkedIn has also recently expanded the company pages section to enable you to upload specific products and services and get real-time recommendations from within your network.
In-game adverts, mobiles, barcodes
In-game advertising is one of the newest forms of digital marketing. If you play ‘Pro Evolution Soccer’ on a PlayStation, you’ll see adverts around the animated pitch for Reebok, Canon and the Daily Mirror.
Mobile marketing is booming too. The Sun has now added the word ‘mobile’ into its strapline – ‘Paper, online, mobile’ – and has agreed to show Premier League goal clips on its mobile site for 50p a time
Barcodes are the latest development. Marketers can text a barcode to smartphones, which are then scanned by laser readers. Supermarkets accept mobile barcodes instead of paper discount vouchers.
If these new technologies seem daunting – and expensive – then try the most frugal form of communication: a blog. OK, so there are 106 million blogs in cyberspace, but a good blog can create an emotional tie between your brand and the consumer and certainly helps your SEO rankings.
Also, forum posting can be effective. We post regularly to UKbusinessForums.co.uk – the busiest entrepreneur-focused site in the UK. Phil Williams, founder of Open Mind Commerce, says he gets 90 per cent of new leads by answering queries on UKbusinessforums.co.uk site alone. Whatever digital marketing strategies you choose: – know them, understand them and keep your eyes open as new technologies are developed every month.