Marketers are always looking at ways to spice up their content and appeal to their target audiences. As time goes on, consumers respond more to inbound marketing practices than outbound, which explains why using content to generate sales makes sense in 2020. Unlike static content, interactive content requires visitors’ active participation to get results.

The key trend here is the way digital technologies and media offer the opportunities for digital disruption. Yet digital marketing is not always used as a disruptor. As I discuss in my Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice book, digital marketing is more often used for market penetration than new product or market development (these are the classic Ansoff growth strategies). To give you a benchmark, this new CMO Survey research from Duke University Fuqua Business School, Deloitte and the American Marketing Association based on the views of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) in large US organizations is useful. It’s interesting since it translates the theory of Ansoff into practice, showing how businesses are mainly investing, but other strategies are significant.


Prioritizing clicks refers to display click ads, although advantageous by being ‘simple, fast and inexpensive’ rates for display ads in 2016 is only 0.10 percent in the United States. This means one in a thousand click ads are relevant therefore having little effect. This displays that marketing companies should not just use click ads to evaluate the effectiveness of display advertisements (Whiteside, 2016).[43]
As our CEO, Lee Odden, often says, “everyone is influential about something.” B2B influencer marketing isn’t only always about pairing your brand with a celebrity spokesperson. Influencers can range from popular industry speakers and authors, to boots-on-the ground industry experts and up-and comers. Our unique approach to influencer marketing can help you reach your target audience by building relationships with influencers who already have industry authority and credibility, and match your brand’s values and those of your prospective clients.
The new digital era has enabled brands to selectively target their customers that may potentially be interested in their brand or based on previous browsing interests. Businesses can now use social media to select the age range, location, gender and interests of whom they would like their targeted post to be seen by. Furthermore, based on a customer's recent search history they can be ‘followed’ on the internet so they see advertisements from similar brands, products and services,[40] This allows businesses to target the specific customers that they know and feel will most benefit from their product or service, something that had limited capabilities up until the digital era.
For organic search the update to keep an eye on in 2019 is Google’s Speed Update which penalizes slower sites and was released after months of trials. While this will initially only affect the slowest sites, from past experience, we can expect Google will change the weighting on the algorithm to affect more sites that don’t improve their speed within time.
Businesses should also focus their outreach efforts on using voice engine optimization. Marketers must use a more natural language SEO to create content accordingly. This requires them to think what their target audience may use in their voice queries as well as focus on long-tail keywords because searchers are likely to be more specific when asking a question. For instance, in one question, a shopper may request information about time, price, location and other details which sound heavy for written search queries.
As email marketing is getting smarter, marketers have started to care more about sending emails to subscribers who are active on their lists. For instance, if a contact highly engages with your emails, he should be regularly nurtured with content and updates about your company until he converts into a loyal customer. On the other hand, if a subscriber hasn’t opened an email for a certain period of time, he will be considered as a dormant contact and will no longer receive additional emails.
TalkWalker Alerts - This is a free alerts tool to help you find versatile opportunities for link building quite easily - for instance if you set up alerts for your brand name or keyword, you’re going to get a list of posts which mention your brand and/or keywords. You’d be surprised at how often people mention you but don’t link to you! After you're done identifying a list of these posts, reach out to the authors and request that they link back to you. You can track mentions on Twitter, blogs, and discussions. 
Testimonials. If case studies aren't a good fit for your business, having short testimonials around your website is a good alternative. For B2C brands, think of testimonials a little more loosely. If you're a clothing brand, these might take the form of photos of how other people styled a shirt or dress, pulled from a branded hashtag where people can contribute.
Customers are often researching online and then buying in stores and also browsing in stores and then searching for other options online. Online customer research into products is particularly popular for higher-priced items as well as consumable goods like groceries and makeup. Consumers are increasingly using the Internet to look up product information, compare prices, and search for deals and promotions.[23]
When a visitor lands on your site for the first time, they’ll make up their mind about your security within seconds. If they don’t feel safe, they won’t hang around, which leads to increased bounce rates. Over time, a high bounce rate is bad news for your business, as you’ll slide down in the SERPs when Google realizes that people don’t want to stay long on your site.
Balancing search and display for digital display ads are important; marketers tend to look at the last search and attribute all of the effectiveness to this. This, in turn, disregards other marketing efforts, which establish brand value within the consumers mind. ComScore determined through drawing on data online, produced by over one hundred multichannel retailers that digital display marketing poses strengths when compared with or positioned alongside, paid search (Whiteside, 2016).[43] This is why it is advised that when someone clicks on a display ad the company opens a landing page, not its home page. A landing page typically has something to draw the customer in to search beyond this page. Things such as free offers that the consumer can obtain through giving the company contact information so that they can use retargeting communication strategies (Square2Marketing, 2012).[44] Commonly marketers see increased sales among people exposed to a search ad. But the fact of how many people you can reach with a display campaign compared to a search campaign should be considered. Multichannel retailers have an increased reach if the display is considered in synergy with search campaigns. Overall both search and display aspects are valued as display campaigns build awareness for the brand so that more people are likely to click on these digital ads when running a search campaign (Whiteside, 2016).[43]

Whatever your overarching goal is, you need to know how to measure it, and more important, actually be able to measure it (e.g., have the right digital marketing tools in place to do so). How you measure the effectiveness of your digital strategy will be different for each business and dependent on your goal(s), but it's vital to ensure you're able to do so, as it's these metrics which will help you adjust your strategy in the future.
Google Trends - A good tool for understanding seasonal content. It also displays results in a more visual way but presents much simpler results than Keyword Planner. It shows interest in keywords and search queries, but doesn't give you the exact number of searches or your organic position. It is definitely worth having with Keyword Planner, but I wouldn't recommend only using Trends. 
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