Direct marketers understand that regulatory compliance is a critical best practice for campaign success. But that’s no longer enough. Today, the name of the game is trust building - establishing long-term customer relationships and building digital “street cred” with the new brand ambassador – the customer. There are several insightful, forward-thinking best practices B2C marketers should be leveraging to establish online credibility with consumers in the age of emerging technological platforms. By utilizing performance-based search, display, affiliate marketing, email marketing, CRM and social media, your campaign will have the digital intelligence tools needed to implement the following best practices and drive results.
Create a “Social-ly” Diverse Media Portfolio
These days, the talk of the digital town is social media. Social is important but it’s not a stand alone channel. It’s a powerful complement to your online marketing. Social is a natural partner for Search since both rely on the potential customer being proactive by Googling or “liking” a product or service. Display advertising leverages search and social data to precisely target offers to actionable customers. Integrating email marketing and CRM with social media can significantly drive click-throughs, particularly when messages include the option to share content along social networks. When it comes to affiliate marketing, social media can produce an incredibly positive trickle-down effect - additional searches, increased clicks, more qualified advertiser leads, more publisher revenue.
Establish Brand Ambassadors
According to eMarketer, there are 147.8 mm US social network users. By 2013, the number will near 165 mm. These are the brand ambassadors that should drive your customer acquisition strategy. You might be thinking, ‘Cool. So how do I build my brand ambassador base?’. Start by integrating paid, earned and owned media:
- Paid – Though user feedback can make or break a brand online, paid media gives brand managers control of the marketing message. Leverage engaging and dynamic rich media ad buys to drive clicks.
- Earned - Sharing is caring, especially when the sharing is spearheaded from clients and online users. Positive mentions in social space and on blogs can drive brand awareness. Still, go beyond this one-way conversation. Engage with your audience to build trust and your reputation with consumers through polls, Q&As and surveys.
- Owned – Companies must invest in their brand story. Branded URLs, marketing collateral and even social network pages provide a narrative experience for users, one that informs, engages and drives traffic. In fact, corporate blogs drive 55% more website visits.
Continuously Test, Track and Optimize
Want to accurately measure ROI and lifetime customer value? Testing, tracking and optimization is the digital marketing trifecta to leverage. For search, this includes continually evaluating keyword performance, conversion rates and cost efficiency. Advanced proprietary technology in display advertising utilizes obtained user data to deliver the right offers to engaged customers. Lead filtering, qualification, monitoring and validation methods enable affiliates to maintain the lowest cost per lead. Continual testing and optimization ensures email marketing and CRM offers make it into inboxes while organizing lists for future campaigns. By continually improving your program, you ultimately elevate the user experience building brand ambassador trust.
Reach Customers Online and On the Go
Smartphone research conducted by cloud-based phone provider RingCentral found that 40% of survey respondents could not live without their mobile device. The takeaway here is that people are constantly on the go. In order to keep pace with and drive results from their desired moving targets, brands must optimize their digital presence for mobile. Mobile optimization should be cross-channel from landing pages and emails to banner ads and branded sites.
Building Trust, Building Revenue, Building Happiness
By keeping up with your customers through advanced technology, leveraging emerging platforms and ongoing engagement, you reinforce your overall commitment to their digital happiness. When consumers are happy, they will invest in your products and services. Now that’s having some serious digital street cred.