All of this talk of New Years Resolutions, and what I’m going to do differently for 2015 has got me thinking about improvement. How can I work toward overcoming the biggest online marketing challenges?
There is good news about your 2014 challenges; they can turn into your 2015 successes. Every marketing team or business has their own shortcomings, there’s always room for optimizing and improvement. For the ‘new year, new you’ I’ve provided a list of tools to turn your challenges into your assets in 2015.
MOFU, TOFU, content curation, and KPIs; every marketer has their strengths and weaknesses. As marketers working in a constantly evolving field, we’re constantly finding innovative ways to conquer those weaknesses. Without further ado, here are the 5 biggest challenges marketers faced in 2014, followed by my choice of tools to overcome them:
1. Using Rich Media To Convert Random Readers
Although Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) was a hot topic in 2014, most companies have not fully embraced their CRO to the extent that they should have. This optimization has one of the highest paybacks of all marketing activities, so it’s important to use CRO to drive you forward as one of your largest assets.
In 2015 and well into the future, video content is expected to be the leader in increasing conversion rates. According to a study done by the Aberdeen Group, companies using video require 37 percent fewer visitors to achieve the same results, because conversion rates for users of video are higher (4.8 percent) than non-users of video (2.9 percent).
You can optimize your landing page by trying out different interactive videos to engage your users right off the bat. Out of the different tools in this landscape, I would pay attention to VideoStir—a tool used to create a real-life presenter for the website, starring you and not a random model you purchase from a virtual presenters bank. You can leverage that opportunity to show the users exactly where to focus and how to behave within the site.
With competition on the rise, many businesses and agencies need to continue putting Conversion Rate Optimization at the top of their priorities. Marketing departments are responsible for so many different tasks that often the conversion process gets lost in the mix of bulk user acquisition.
If you’re still stuck with a landing page that won’t convert, there are tools to create simple yet powerful landing pages.
2. Wasting Resources on Unutilized Platforms
Do you know where your audience is? Targeting your audience effectively is crucial to your entire marketing plan. According to AdAge, 40% of the average marketer’s budget is wasted. One of the biggest ways to cut down on marketing budget waste is to stop wasting resources on unutilized platforms.
Today with all of the analytical tools available and the shift toward engagement, marketing departments are under a lot of pressure to provide hard-hitting numbers. You need to prove that your ROI is high enough to continue investing in your current practices.
Luckily, in 2015 there are many tools available to track this ad spend, and find where our audience is hiding. If your business has a strong web presence, you probably know by now that if you work on generic goals or leads then Google Analytics is your one stop shop—providing a wealth of information on how your site is performing. Especially, where your traffic is coming from.
3. Gaining Control of the User Retention Process
Customer retention is definitely easier said than done. Some businesses are very successful in getting returning users by interacting with them in unique ways, while others find difficulty in getting their “one-off” users to scale.
What sets these businesses apart? The ability to tune into strategies that put the user before the product. A study from Forbes found that 49% of companies are unhappy with their current marketing technology’s ability to support their customer acquisition goals (I could only guess that the other 51% lied in the survey).
With the increased competition in 2015, it’s going to be even more important to improve your user retention strategies. This may require thinking outside the box a bit. For instance, let’s say you’re trying to market your mobile app—instead of thinking along the traditional lines of in-app mechanics, try thinking outside the box with outside-game mechanics.
TROPHiT sets a new wave of mobile retention tactics—offering users actionable value within the App. For example, ‘here’s a free pack of golden coins (would normally cost $2.99), tap here to claim in game X.’ Since the user is more engaged from the value, they are more likely to spend more time playing your game and come back more frequently.
4. Struggle to Provide Engaging Content
This struggle is real. 2014 was a year of realization for many businesses, and many 2015 marketing strategies will reflect that. What did everyone realize? Generating awareness and having ‘online presence’ is not enough to land you loyal customers.
Today content is at the heart of our marketing strategies. Many marketers face the struggle to win over our audiences with engaging content and provide them with real value. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 54% of marketers are struggling to produce effective content.
It’s time conquer this beast. Providing engaging content is a matter of knowing your customers, delving into their perspective, and finding that value they’re looking for. Your prospective customers are out there looking for resources; you can get to be their number one resource.
While whitepapers and blog posts are great ways to provide your customers with the informational resources they need, they’re restricted as a one-sided method of communication. There’s no feedback and no interaction between your business and the consumer.
Creating engaging content doesn’t have to be challenging. I use two simple phases for this process:
A. Finding topics that are already trending right now so I can get inspired about what my audience is reading. For this purpose, I use BuzzSumo combined with my choice of keywords.
B. Creating even better content based on those trending articles, using tools to increase engaging content such as Infogram or
5. Keeping Up With Constantly Changing Trends
It seems as if every day people are coming up with new technologies that make it easier and more efficient to connect with potential and current customers. With marketing trends constantly transforming, it’s essential to stay up to date if you want to stay ahead of the competition.
How will you stay current in a constantly changing field? Being aware of the changing trends as or before they’re happening can keep you ahead of the curve.
Marketo’s predictions for 2015 can help you to keep up with these trends and keep you ahead of the competition. Other tools like DataSift can help keep your marketing squad be on their “A game”. DataSift is a platform that ‘sifts’ through all of the grains of sand that make up our social media conversations. They skim what’s going on every second on Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, etc. and filter the content to provide you with the most up to date talk on what’s going on in your industry.
This kind of technology is constantly evolving in order to keep up with the fast pace marketing movement. By giving you access to the most up-to-date conversations your customers and influencers in the industry are having, you can make more intelligent business decisions.
All of these marketing tools can be very powerful in implementing your new year marketing goals and strategies. I’m sure 2015 will bring its fair share of challenges. If you never face challenges you’ll be stuck in a rut and never move forward and grow. Thankfully, we have many great tools to help us overcome these challenges and become the leaders and innovators in our field.
What challenges did you face in 2014 and how have you incorporated facing them into your 2015 plans? Please share in the comments below.