Monday, October 03, 2016 5:00:35 PM

A brand is no longer a mere marketing image to sell a product. Millennial consumers are turned off by one-dimensional marketing messages, and they expect brands to be dynamic entities that have a voice, personality, purpose and social consciousness. Because online commerce has given customers unlimited places to shop, marketers have more chances to reach consumers through ads and more competition vying for attention. Staying up to date on the latest digital marketing trends can help brands develop smart strategies to win over online audiences.

Advertising Metrics

In the past, marketers relied on many passive strategies (and guesswork) for measuring the value of ad campaigns. Today, data is king, and brands who pay attention to how customers engage with ads can increase their effectiveness at driving a purchase. With data analytics, marketers can determine the best layouts for websites and the best placement for online ads.

When it comes to content marketing, data can be precise enough to tell marketers the factors that kept viewers watching a video or reading a blog, the pages a reader viewed before clicking an ad, or the order in which website pages were viewed. Armed with data about consumer behavior, marketers can test every aspect of a website or ad to produce the most optimized and results-driven content.

Customer Centricity

Many companies are quick to claim millennials are not brand loyalty, when in reality, this convenience-oriented generation forms strong connections to brands that address their needs. When big brands ruled commerce, businesses had more power to decide what products and features were available to consumers. Now, online shoppers can tap into a global marketplace, and companies that want to survive must satisfy consumer demands.

The result is widespread customer centricity — products and services that offer customization and preference-based marketing. Consumers want personalized experiences based on their searches and buying histories, and they stick with brands that help them save time or money by using only the features they need.

Multiple Touchpoints

The prevalence of digital technology has created more channels for completing transactions, increasing the number and variety of places where consumers can engage with ads. From social media platform and mobile sites to wearable gadgets and smartphone apps, purchases are happening beyond web storefronts. For brands, these diverse touchpoints make it easier to reach consumers earlier in the buying cycle to influence their decisions long before they make a purchase. For example, marketers can use ads to target search traffic when buyers are in the research and planning stages or publish mobile apps that let consumers search store inventories and buy what they need on the spot.

Integrated Content Strategy

When used in conjunction, data analytics and social media allow marketers to understand what consumers value and build brand favorability through repetitive engagement. Consumers are attracted to brands with a consistent message that aligns with their own priorities, especially if the brand provides valuable content without expecting anything in return. Blogs, tutorials, videos, apps, social media profiles and memes are just a sampling of the tools businesses can use to start a dialogue with consumers. Based on the product or service, marketers can develop a well-coordinated strategy to influence consumer opinions about a brand. As the brand builds trust and loyalty, shoppers increase the frequency and amount of their purchases.

App and Mobile Marketing

Consumers are increasingly gaining confidence in mobile commerce and making split-second purchasing decisions from smartphones and tablets. By creating mobile websites and apps with optimized layouts, businesses make it convenient and tempting for shoppers to handle purchases on the go. Whether they're making travel plans, searching for the nearest pharmacy or picking up a last-minute dinner, consumers frequently make purchases in the moment as need arises.

Shoppers value apps that help them learn, find and do while providing a localized experience when they need to get products on short notice. Although app streaming is still in its experimental stages, the concept of surfing apps without the need for downloads will lead to a significant increase in traffic and visibility for online companies of all sizes. Ultimately, branded apps encourage customers to repeatedly use a company's product and trust the brand to make valid recommendations, planting the seeds for higher ad engagement.

The diversification of online marketing is beneficial for brands that want to stand out in saturated industries. While it's essential for all brands to approach consumers from multiple channels, not every marketing opportunity is right for every brand. For tips on launching an effective multimedia strategy for your business, contact the LA Times today.

Categories: Marketing Tips, Marketing Trends

Tags: marketing tips, trends