Once startup founders and marketers have mastered Google Analytics, AdWords, and Facebook Insights, what’s the next level of marketing tech that makes campaigns more engaging and effective?
With more than half of companies planning on upping their digital marketing spend in 2015, marketers need to think creatively about how they can enhance existing campaigns and strategies to avoid being left behind. This can be particularly challenging for startups and smaller businesses who are bootstrapping their marketing while competing with established rivals.
Marketing tech offers a way to create and measure stand-out campaigns, while streamlining investments of time and money.
Interactive Content Creation Platforms
Content marketing is predicted to continue its dominance in 2015, with content production expected to increase by 200%. With the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) reporting that 77% of businesses use content marketing, a figure which goes up to 90% for B2C businesses, the risk for marketers is pouring time and resources into content that simply fails to stand out in a saturated landscape.
Perhaps this is why only 37% of businesses surveyed by the CMI say that they found content marketing effective in 2014.
Almost two thirds of marketers say they want to create more engaging content in 2015, and making content such as infographics, whitepapers, lookbooks and microsites interactive rather than static is one route to achieving this. This renders consumption less passive, encouraging active engagement which makes the asset more memorable and shareable.
It’s also an opportunity for a company to demonstrate how focused they are on catering to the needs and interests of their customers.
The challenge here for startups and bootstrapping businesses is that often interactive content can be costly and time-consuming to develop. New generation content technology platforms, such as Ceros and Ion Interactive, make it possible to create custom interactive content without programmers, putting it within the reach of smaller companies and startups.
Imagine receiving a handwritten thank you note a few days after attending a webinar, industry conference or roundtable, or after subscribing to a service. This level of personalization increases engagement and recognition on many levels.
Just the act of personalization increases engagement by up to 74%, while adding in physical mail can increase emotional response, reinforcing a positive relationship with the brand.
Physicals APIs are opening up ways for marketers to do this without having to hire an intern just to take care of personalized mailing. They work by creating a set of instructions that allow actions that are usually performed manually to be processed digitally.
With the postcard example this could work by automatically looking up the recipient’s mailing address, then sending the details to the postcard writer and arranging shipping.
There are several printing APIs within the US that allow companies to outsource this easily, while for companies that want to keep production in-house there are many that specialize in shipping and delivery.
Paid search engine marketing and social media ads are used in the majority of B2C marketing strategies according to the Content Marketing Institute. But for businesses where many conversions take place over the phone, it can be difficult to link incoming calls to the channels that initially generated the leads.
This can easily result in pouring results into ineffective campaigns, for example, increasing bids on paid search keywords that might send high volumes of traffic to a website that doesn’t convert. Call tracking technology generates unique phone numbers as a user travels through a website as well as tracking their overall journey from entry to conversion.
Using this model allowed UK-based travel company, TUI, to refine their paid search engine marketing strategy, as they realized that a core keyword, which had previously thought to be poorly performing, actually resulted in generating the most conversions.
These three marketing technologies allow marketers to enhance and refine existing campaigns, while improving integration between digital and traditional channels.