It may be the start of the dog days of summer, but it’s also a great time to take stock of your company’s marketing efforts and make adjustments for the busy fall season ahead.
What’s been working, and what hasn’t? What new platforms or tactics do you need to incorporate into your digital marketing strategy before school returns?
While we’re regularly answering those questions for our clients here at Informatics, many companies drift into autopilot mode and forget to review their marketing strategy with a critical eye. That’s especially important this year, with data privacy laws and video changing how we interact with customers.
Could your marketing strategy stand to benefit from a mid-year review? If so, here are a few suggestions on where to start from Informatics’ digital marketing and web design experts.
Double check your business benchmarks
As a results-driven, data-focused agency, we track key performance indicators (KPIs) for all of our clients to make sure our strategies are working, and we think you should, too.
If your main business isn’t marketing, it’s easy to reach an acceptable level of audience engagement and be satisfied, but that isn’t helping you grow. Your marketing investment should accelerate your business and open new doors.
Here’s a few questions you should be asking of your marketing team or agency:
- Are our paid ads generating the conversions and return on ad spend (ROAS) we need? How does that compare to industry averages?
- Are our organic blog and social media posts driving audience engagement (likes, shares, comments, etc.)?
- Is our website traffic rising, falling or staying steady?
- Are people opening and interacting with our e-newsletter?
- Are our website landing pages converting users?
If the answer to any of these is no (or falling), some changes might be in your company's best interest.
Core Web Vitals are now in place
In May, Google began including page experience signals in its search rankings, based around a set of “Core Web Vitals”—user-centric metrics designed to quantify the usability of a website.
Those include how long it takes your page to load and be clickable to users, meaning sites investing in streamlined design and content will now have the advantage in search.
You can find data on your site’s Core Web Vitals in your Google Search Console account. If your scores are low, you’ll want to work with your web developer to make sure your themes, images and other assets are fully optimized to avoid a ranking penalty in Google.
Want to learn more about Google's Core Web Vitals with Informatics' top dog? Check out the video below.
Data privacy takes center stage
If you want an example of why it’s so important to review your marketing strategy at least once a year, look no further than the rapid changes in data policy and privacy.
At the end of 2020, voters in California approved a proposition creating the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), which will replace the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and impose tougher penalties on any business exposing the information of California citizens starting in 2023.
Earlier this year, Apple began the rollout of its iOS 14.5 update, which includes a new privacy feature called ATT. It requires apps like Facebook and LinkedIn to ask for permission before tracking users’ data across apps or websites owned by other companies. Facebook has said the move will make it harder to track user conversions and serve up targeted advertising for iPhone and iPad users.
Google, meanwhile, continued toward its 2022 goal of banning all third-party cookies in its Chrome browser, meaning advertisers relying solely on cookies to serve up targeted ads will have to find another way to target users, Recode notes.
Confused by it all? We get it—things are changing fast.
While the intricacies of these changes and regulations can mean totally different things for different businesses, here are two things you can do now to make sure yours doesn’t fall behind:
- Make sure your website it GDPR/CCPA compliant. If you’re not sure what that means, start with our recent blog on GDPR and CCPA; this may also require help from your marketing, consulting or legal partners, depending on your industry.
- Work on your first-party data collection. Google executives hammered this point at their recent Marketing Livestream. With the company phasing out third-party cookies, and Apple’s new iOS making it more difficult to track user behavior across apps and websites, you can no longer rely on data sourced from other platforms to fully understand your customers. Work on getting closer through social listening and ask directly for their information —you’ll gain better insights and be less likely to run into compliance issues.
You need to be on video
We’ve known that video is the future of the internet for some time, but it seems like we're at a tipping point. Google recently moved closer to a full launch of its Performance Max campaigns, which integrates video and images to create dynamic ads across its ecosystem, while educational and “explainer” videos are becoming one of the hottest trends in marketing.
Smartphones make it easier than ever to shoot and quickly distribute high-quality video, and drone video is now within reach for most businesses (and even some consumers).
Audiences are clearly responding, with people reporting they watch an average of 18 hours of online video each week, according to a new report from Wyzowl.
Bottom line: If you’re not making videos for your business or products, you’re behind. They don’t have to be long or expensive, they just need to answer a question or offer up an insight. Give the viewer a bit of value, and they'll keep watching.
Start exploring with platforms like Facebook Live and YouTube (now the world’s second-largest search engine) and brainstorm ideas across departments to come up with unique ideas.
That's certainly a lot to think about—and a lot more could change before 2021 comes to a close! If you could use a hand reviewing your current marketing approach, give us a call. We're ready to get to work for your brand.