Tag Archives: content marketing

Contemporary Digital Marketing Channels

Also available here: http://www.business2community.com/digital-marketing/contemporary-digital-marketing-channels-0683485

The new face of marketing is continuously evolving as businesses employ new technologies to satisfy customers’ needs and wants. Nowadays, print and media marketing are usually complemented by social media channels. There are many businesses who are investing time and effort on reaching their customers through FacebookTwitter and Linkedin. It may appear that digital marketing is shifting its focus on content and this recent development is not so surprising. After all, marketing and promotion have always relied on visual and interactive media such as TV ads, video clips and billboards. To remain competitive businesses often resort to new resources and technologies.  This contribution is putting forward some of the latest digital marketing tactics which are helping to raise awareness of businesses’ products or service offerings;

tree

Infographics combine both information and graphics where inspiring ideas are presented in a relatively small space on web pages. These type of media which look like posters, feature relevant, top-quality content. They have to be as creative as possible. Of course, if corporate websites contain wrong infographics with erroneous data and / or misleading information, then it will backfire and will lead to negative results.  In this case businesses can possibly risk losing their positioning for their lack of professionalism. Therefore, infographics must be original and based on accurate data and content. Businesses need to communicate interesting yet informative stories in their content marketing. The idea is to create content that others like and will want to share through different social media. Therefore, the visuals need to be as vivid and colourful as possible.

Similarly, short video clips are gaining momentum among customers. Marketeers are increasingly uploading short, fun videos which often turn viral on Youtube.  It transpires that many businesses are coming up with innovative ways to engage with their consumers. Social video-sharing sites provide an opportunity for businesses to reach out to particular segments, such as teenagers and adolescents. Interestingly, sites like Vine, VimeoDaily Motion and more are catching up with a core group of users because of their ease of use.

In this day and age, consumers themselves are quickly becoming ambassadors for businesses’ products and services. For instance, Trip Advisor and Yelp offer trusted advice, opinions and reviews from real customers. Very often, customers are posting their pictures and experiences associated with products and brands on Instagram and Pinterest. Customers’ are often invited or rather pushed to share facebook statuses / tweets about business offers and deals as a requirement to take part in competitions. Businesses and customers alike have also learned how to use the hashtag (#) to enhance the visibility of their posting.

Numerous businesses are re-targeting their existing customers through email marketing. These businesses often deliver ads according to their customers’ interests. Such targeting is usually based on items customers have previously purchased or viewed. Alternatively, businesses may advertise and promote complementary products of previous purchases of individual customers. These efforts may turn out to be quite effective. Needless to say that consumers are becoming acquainted to ads on internet sites for the very same products and services they may have viewed elsewhere. Businesses are quickly recognising the benefits of re-targeting customers via e-mail. This trend is particularly beneficial if customers have developed an on-going, trustworthy relationship with the business per se. Hopefully, businesses are seen as helping customers, rather than invading their privacy.

Savvy marketers are quickly realising that they have to differentiate themselves than competitors. Indeed, businesses can achieve an advantage relative to others, if they offer unique selling propositions for their customers. This will be facilitated further if they enhance their presence on internet search results. Business have to find ways to get their ad message delivered to their customers. Conventional and digital marketing communications as well as search engine optimisation tools help to keep existing customers and attract new ones.

Today everyone is keeping up with multiple social media networks. Marketers are challenged to find new ways to leverage their business by creating fluidity between these ‘new’ channels. This cross-channel promotion can possibly include traditional print, media advertising, sales promotion and direct marketing if they want to reach many customer segments. Inevitably, businesses have to learn to incorporate social media into their marketing campaigns. This article posits how successful businesses and brands are making interactions with digital marketing in their strategic communications. Businesses are stepping in with their commitment to embrace social media. Shrewd marketers are the ones who are able to find new, innovative ways to get their messages across to customer bases. At the same time, it is important to keep customers engaged and satisfied with their offering.

Leave a comment

Filed under Marketing

Unleashing Shared Value through Content Marketing

sv

Companies have to deal with different stakeholders’ opinions, attitudes and perceptions about their behaviour. They need to strike a balance in satisfying numerous stakeholders’ expectations. Businesses can’t please everyone. However, they should try to engage in fruitful and collaborative working relationships with external stakeholders, as dialogue often leads to improvements in mutual trust and understanding. Continuous communication also translates to benefits for the businesses’ reputation, its brand image, customer loyalty and investor confidence. Companies cannot afford to overstate or misrepresent their Corporate Responsibility (CR) initiatives. Although, they often manage to control their internal communication paths, it is much harder to control external media. As a result, it has never been more necessary to turn the businesses’ stakeholders into potential advocates for both the cause and the company. This can happen if CR realms are a good fit for the businesses’ mission and vision. It is advisable that CR communications reflect the ethos of the practicing organisations. Therefore CR (and sustainability) reporting should be clear in their intentions, with specific and relevant information featuring the companies’ credentials, and how stakeholders will benefit.

CR behaviour is directed at the organisations’ stakeholders comprising human resources, suppliers, customers and the community at large. Well laid down policies and initiatives are usually communicated through formal statements in annual reports as well as through corporate websites. CR reporting cover areas like training and development opportunities for employees, employee consultation and dialogue, health, safety and security issues and also measures for work-life balance. Apparently, business organisations are increasingly pledging their commitment for more innovative environmental investments. For instance, energy and water conservation, waste minimisation and recycling, pollution prevention, environmental protection as well as sustainable transport options. These sustainable practices bring strategic benefits such as operational efficiencies and cost savings. Several empirical studies (including mine) have indicated that discretionary investments in CR, whether they are driven from  strategic intents or from ‘posturing behaviours’ often result in improved relationships with internal and external stakeholders. The rationale for societal engagement is to anticipate third party pressures, lower the criticisms from the public and to minimise legal cases through compliance with regulations.  

CR should not be merely presented as goodwill or as a philanthropic venture. It should be featured as a realistic business case for stakeholders. This shared value proposition requires particular areas of focus within the businesses’ context. Yet, at the same time it looks after the society’s wellbeing. This notion contributes towards sustainability by addressing societal and community deficits. Presumably, shared value can be sustained only if there is a genuine commitment to organisational learning, and if there is a genuine willingness to forge relationships with key stakeholders, including customers and employees. Free publicity and informal word of mouth can either bring supportive or damaging effects. There is scope for businesses to foster strong relationships with particular community and marketplace beneficiaries. Such stakeholders can possibly serve as a buffer against potentially negative and harmful reviews. Recently, companies are increasingly focusing their attention on content and inbound marketing. In a nutshell, content marketing necessitates an integrated marketing approach through different channels of communication with stakeholders. This has to be carried out at all times. Many local businesses are becoming proficient in their customer engagement. They realise that this marketing approach brings customer loyalty, particularly if the business is delivering consistent, ongoing business propositions. In a similar vein, inbound marketing tactics also draw customers to businesses. Successful businesses are continuously coming up with informative yet interesting, original content through innovative marketing and interactive methods such as blogs, podcasts and social media networking, enewsletters et cetera. Online content comprise refreshing information which tell stakeholders how to connect the dots. It goes without saying that corporate internet sites are serving their purpose. The general public is continuously presented a better picture of the companies’ communications; containing the latest news, elements of the marketing mix endeavours and marketing fads. It transpires that content marketing has become a valuable tool for CR communications. Businesses who make use of the right content to explain their CR behaviours will gain a competitive advantage relative to others. On the other hand, stakeholders have become acquainted with businesses communicating their motives and rationale behind CR programmes. CR practices provide a good opportunity for businesses to raise their profile through their laudable behaviours.

At times, businesses can obtain decent coverage by third parties, especially media enterprises who are renowned for their sense of objectivity. Strategic communications help to improve the corporate image of firms, leading to reputational benefits and rapports of trust with stakeholders. This short contribution suggests that content and inbound marketing can be successfully employed for CR communications and to enhance customer and employee engagements.

DrMarkCamilleri.com

Google News

Times of Malta

Leave a comment

Filed under Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility, Marketing, SMEs