Focus on These 3 Things for Your 2016 Digital Marketing Strategy

The new year is right around the corner – time for an exit strategy that spurs your marketing spirit to upgrade your digital strategy. In this ever-changing landscape where the rules aren’t really rules, and the best way to succeed is to make your own, there are a few tried-and-true tactics that derive their powers from the mining of cold, hard data. Ready to dive in? 2016 won’t know what hit it.

Utilize User Generated Content

This type of content is as easy to grab and utilize as it is effective; think of it as nuanced testimonial. As you may be able to guess, here’s the scenario: your audience posts a photo or video showing off your product IRL, gushing about your service, or generally taking on your company culture, or you call upon your audience to create specific content that centers around a concept, like a contest, perhaps. Then, you either re-post, re-appropriate, or share the content live in some way – you can even build a full-blown campaign around it. Consumers trust user generated content and your audience wants the option to express and share their opinions – the benefits are more than twofold. Just look at Burberry’s Art of the Trench strategy, Starbucks White Cup Contest, and Coca Cola’s Share a Coke campaign.

Explore how you can apply these strategies to your brand, especially to your up-and-coming products. Is there a certain cache of content that your audiences have already posted and you can expand on? Is there a gap somewhere that you can fill by encouraging your audiences to share in a new way? What will make waves in 2016? It’s up to you to figure out how your brand’s voice will reverberate through the year. Let’’s this not be a lazy-handed crutch, but a focused source of inspiration.

Reward Your Email Loyals

Email marketing is in constant flux and increasingly creative, but one thing isn’t changing: the effective focus on your loyal subscribers. This is the audience you’re truly targeting – they’ve signed up to stay up-to-date on promos, sales, news, and product releases. Besides important upgrades to your marketing strategy like optimizing for mobile and using lightboxes to grow your email list, focus on personalization to your loyals, and of course, all of your consumers. That means general personalization, like knowing what certain demographics like and running with it (for example, millennials like discounts, while older folks are more enticed by free shipping), and explicit personalization like following up with Claire on her new contour kit. You can’t get too specific.

Explicitly personalized email beckons secured loyalty to your brand – consumers want to stay committed to a handful of companies in your industry, tops, so keep them coming back with what they really want. Studies and data will keep you informed. More on that below.

Mine Big Data – Better

Just like staying informed with what your loyal email subscribers are after, tailor your marketing campaigns with information from data – but the big kind – like website traffic activity, social audience activity, and everything about demographics, from who exactly makes up your audience to what the general habits are of each group.

Don’t think more data – think better data. Instead of getting caught up in all the information available to you about your audience, consider integrating internal systems and employing better data management practices. Make smart, real-time use of Google Analytics to hone and refine all of the data at your fingertips.
What worked in 2015? What didn’t? After you evaluate what you can nix and what you can develop further, focus on the future of these three areas and how they are going to work for your brand. It’s time to curate, adapt, and grow. Have ideas brewing yet?

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