Change is the only constant. “You build and it will sell” is the biggest lie you have heard. People have built over 1.7 billion websites and over 5 million apps, all competing for your attention. Yet, how many have you heard of, leave alone actively use ? Dozens of startups and companies are launched everyday, from the neighbourhood store to the new age startup with an app. Most will go out of business soon because they haven’t been able to reach enough customers. This is solvable by smart marketing, if the product and pricing are right.

If customers are on Oxford Street, or reading a particular newspaper, you have to advertise there. All of us are married to our smartphones, from the time we wake up to the time we sleep. So it’s only logical that you have to have a cohesive digital marketing strategy. The challenge with the pace of growth of websites, apps, and technology is that everything is changing at such a frenetic pace, everything becomes obsolete very quickly. Let’s quickly have a look at five Digital Marketing trends that we can leverage.

Leverage Keywords

Most consumers research companies they want to do business with online, even if the transaction is offline. Ease of Doing Business will increase for the customer. Imagine a search for “restaurants near me” or “Italian restaurants in New York” or “property in mumbai” and you find the answer right on the top in Google. The customer can then click to call or get driving directions to the merchant in an intuitive manner.

Focusing on the right keywords, especially the long tail like say “best italian restaurant in manhattan” “upcoming residential projects near bandra”, is a cost effective method to achieve this. Insights for this have to be gleaned from customer-facing staff, website and chatbot analytics. This increase in ease for the customer means an increase in your topline. Identifying the right keywords with intent that is appropriate for your target market is challenging. Ranking for them using SEO or capturing purchase intent keywords and driving calls, store visits or website visits using Google Ads is another challenge that is worth its weight in Gold.

Leverage Voice Search

We are all increasingly using Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant. Search queries on a mobile phone and search queries by a voice search are significantly different. Voice search is usually conversational, and search queries are longer. So “best italian restaurant in manhattan” will become “which is the best restaurant serving italian food in Manhattan”. Since the 2013 Hummingbird update, the Google algorithm uses semantic search, or implied meaning also. Voice search usually has more questions. Again, detailed research on voice search keywords to capture the regional nuances will pay rich dividends.

Leverage Video

YouTube is probably the world’s second largest search engine. With the increase in smartphones and internet speeds, video is the new oil. You can’t ignore it. Ads on Youtube are great because you have a captive audience. Segment your customer, make micro videos for each segment with a blockbuster opening, and you will generate a lot of engagement for all your B2C product lines. Create a compelling story, shoot a professional video, and then get a professional digital marketer to take advantage of all options in marketing.

Easy to consume content

Consumer preferences are changing. People are reading less (if you have gotten so far into this article, you are an exception), watching more, reading shorter format text, infographics, memes or visuals. You have to migrate to using tools or get a professional to draft short format content and visuals.

Leverage Social Media

There is nothing better than having the Leadership Team accessible on Twitter and LinkedIn, and to build the personal brand of the Founder. The key is to be active, consistent, seek out engagement, and if you think you don’t have what it takes to create engaging posts consistently, hire professionals. Keep in mind that it’s not just bouquets. You will face trolls, some may be genuine, and some out of professional jealousy. However the advantage outweighs the disadvantage. Leaders on Twitter inspire confidence among employees, shareholders, and generally improve the image of the business.

Smart businesses survive and thrive. They know when it’s time to move away from making or selling horse carriage seats to automobile seats, from typewriter keyboards to computer keyboards, from film cameras to digital cameras, and from offline marketing to digital marketing. If you can survive and thrive in this era of change, you will win.

I will go deeper into these points in subsequent posts. Until then, Happy Marketing.

Lalit Saraswat