Your #1 Goal: Generate the Best Leads and Sales From Your Marketing Efforts

Being an in-house marketer is hard. Your time and resources are limited and yet the need for sales and leads is never-ending. Generating new traffic gets more expensive and competitive every year. And what worked last year is not guaranteed to succeed this year. It’s possible your hard work can feel under-appreciated by others who don’t understand the challenges of marketing in a digital world. Often times, just keeping up with the speed of change can seem like a full time job. And to make things even tougher, you probably work in an industry where the level of competition is getting fiercer and smarter every year.

Do any of these challenges ring true for you? As an agency we’re fortunate to work with dozens of in-house marketers and through experience we understand their unique challenges. The above, for many people, is situation normal.

We also understand what it is in-house marketers crave. Sometimes it’s a marketing engine which delivers consistent and high-quality leads and sales. Or an understanding of the channels which are most likely to return them a great ROI and ideally give them a jump on the competition. Their priority might be to achieve results which make it clear to their boss they are doing a great job. For some, it’s shifting their day-to-day focus from execution work to being more strategic and top-level. For everyone though, there is a desire to come to work and be confident in what they are doing as well as the people they are working with.

If the above sounds like you, then you’re in luck. The Australian Digital Marketing Guide 2020 is packed with insights, tips and real-world experience from the hundreds of successful campaigns our team have worked on for marketers just like you. Across Google Ads, SEO, Paid Social and email marketing we know what’s working right now and we want to share our experience with you.

So sit back, start reading and take note of any specific ideas you think will work for your business. If at any point you have a question, or think we might be able to help make your marketing efforts more impactful, reach out to us on 1300 059 620.

Let’s make 2020 your best marketing year yet!

James Lawrence


Section 1

Marketing Strategy and the Big Picture in 2020

What You Need To Know To Ensure Your Marketing Plan Has Solid Foundations

1. Not Everything in Digital Marketing Can Be Measured (Accurately)

The rise of digital brought with it a belief that all marketing activities could now be measured. Gone was the slogan, “half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is, I don’t know which half”. With this came an obsession with hard metrics like cost per click, cost per lead and cost per sale. For some marketers, things have moved so far that they won’t invest in activities they cannot measure.

It’s important your position with data and decision-making is an informed one.

Making a decision to always rely on data can improve your marketing ROI. But this is not automatically the case. It’s important your position with data and decision-making is an informed one.

For many of us, our marketing data has serious issues and limitations and, used poorly, will deliver us far less than we think. Sometimes, it will do as much harm as good.

Attribution Confusion

Even if you understand attribution models I encourage you to read this short section. Getting this step right is critical to knowing how effective your marketing is. Even more importantly, it’s critical to understanding how to allocate your efforts and budgets.

Attribution, simply explained, is how you credit separate channels, or touch-points within those channels, for the role they played in a prospect’s path to purchase or goal completion. If people visited your site a single time and then either converted or left for good, attribution would be simple. The channel that drove them to the site, let’s say Google Ads, would be correctly attributed the full value of the purchase or goal.

Attribution is a critical part of making decisions, but you need to know what attribution means for you, keeping the full buyer journey in perspective.

But what happens in the real world, where most paths to purchase are complex and involve multiple visits on possibly multiple devices? Which channel deserves credit? Is it the one that drove them to you in the first place (known as first-click attribution)? Or is it the channel that delivered them to you when they finally reached the goal (last-click attribution)? Alternatively, does it make more sense for you to equally value all the channels that drove a particular person to your site prior to them converting (this is called linear attribution)? These are only three of many ways to attribute credit to different marketing channels whenever a goal is reached.

Chances are that your analytics platform is defaulting to a last-click attribution model.

Ask yourself: How complex is your buyer journey? How likely is it this model undervalues the earlier stages in the buyer journey and over-values the final stage? How is this affecting the way you judge the performance of each channel? What impact is this having on how you set budgets and select future channels?

No One Channel to Rule Them All

As an industry, we’ve become better at recognising the complexity of the buyer journey, the multiple channels used to target buyers, the reality of multi-device usage and the greater sophistication of remarketing and retargeting.

There’s no real silver bullet to developing and changing your digital strategy overnight, and any one tactic alone won’t work. A winning strategy is going to include the main channels used by your prospects as part of their buyer journey. For many prospects this includes a combination of organic search, paid search, social, email marketing and display.

No One Channel to Rule Them All

The complexity of the buyer journey, the use of different devices by individuals and the fluidity with which we move between channels means it is now virtually impossible to measure with certainty the impact of all digital marketing activities. Just because it’s data, doesn’t mean it’s right.

TASK:

As a first step, take some time to sit down with your team and agree on a small number of metrics that will genuinely give you insight into how your marketing activities are contributing to company profits. Then work backwards to develop and improve campaigns to get those metrics moving in the right direction. But don’t forget, consistency is key, and to start ith, keep it simple and sceptical.

Review the channels you’re currently investing in and consider introducing smaller campaigns in new channels to support your overarching strategy. For example, check if there is scope to run a generic display retargeting campaign for your website visitors, introduce email marketing or run a brand-based search campaign.

2. Strong Brands Make More Money

In addition to the need for marketing beyond performance-based campaigns, there is also a strong reason for running brand-focussed campaigns. Brand awareness has traditionally been a core goal for marketers with a view to generating positive associations for customers towards their products and services.

There is an argument that marketers need to increase the time and effort spent on activities that introduce people to their brand and supporting them in the early and middle stages of the buyer journey rather than obsessing over strict ROI at the bottom of the funnel. Essentially, aligning marketing efforts (and measurement) with the real world buyer journey.

Consider the survey results from a survey of marketers from 2019. 37% said that increasing brand awareness and brand health was the primary goal of their digital marketing strategy. This was followed by an increase in the number of leads. What’s not clear to many is that both of these goals are highly interrelated. It is significantly easier to generate new leads if your brand is strong.

Source: Altimeter Digital Marketing Survey, Q2 2019

It is significantly easier to generate new leads if your brand is strong.

The Rise of Messaging with Customers at its Core

In the words of American author and public speaker Donald Miller, brands need to stop playing the hero in the story, but instead, invite customers into the story. With social media now an indispensable pillar of digital marketing, Donald’s StoryBrand Framework (and variations thereof) has become pivotal in explaining a business’ value and bringing customers along for the journey with interactive and personalised content.

There remains in 2020 a significant advantage for businesses who re-imagine their message in a way that better explains their value as it is perceived by their prospects. There should be less focus on the brand itself, and instead, communication should tap into the intrinsic and extrinsic motivators driving not only purchasing decisions but also brand-to-customer relationships.

Marrying Brand with Actionable Digital Marketing

Marrying Brand with Actionable Digital MarketingYou don’t need to overhaul your entire brand to make a profitable change to your digital marketing strategy. One could argue that there is scope to include a range of relatively low-budget, high return ‘brand-based’ campaigns that are “always-on”.

Running brand ads allow you to dominate the search engine results page (SERP).

Examples include a brand-focussed, value-based display retargeting campaign via the Google Display Network, targeted towards website visitors. Another one is a brand-focussed Google Ads display campaign.

The question about whether it’s worth paying for people searching for your brand via paid ads is a long-standing one. At Rocket we are big fans of these brand campaigns and time and again we’ve seen them deliver strong results. The advantages are:

  • You can control the message searchers see in an ad as opposed to the generic organic results listing.
  • An ad can direct searchers to a landing page of your choosing.
  • An ad allows you to maintain top position even when competitors are bidding on your brand.
  • Running brand ads allow you to dominate the search engine results page (SERP). This is particularly true on mobile.

And anecdotally, as well as in tests we have run, when branded search has been turned off, the uplift in organic results plus the savings in the cost of branded search does not equate to the revenue that has been lost.

TASK

Review your marketing budget for 2020 with fresh eyes. Separate media you spend on brand campaigns vs. other bottom-of-the-funnel campaigns. Remember, brand campaigns will always going to be cheaper and generate a stronger ROI than regular campaigns.This is OK though – the regular campaigns are valuable in introducing new people to your offering and these are the people who in the future will possibly be running brand searches. Ideally you should be running both types of campaigns.

3. Your Mobile Visitors Are Critical

If mobile users have been the poor cousins of your digital strategy then it’s time to shake things up.

As of 2019, 80% of people use their mobile devices to search the internet. Responsive websites are a nobrainer and most businesses have got that covered. Now, marketers need to give mobile the attention and respect it deserves.

Prospects rely heavily on mobile as their primary device to research, share and make purchases. All assets in your digital marketing toolkit need to account for this tremendous growth and shift in buyer behaviour. Here are some ideas around mobile and what you need to be aware of in 2020.

Mobile-Only Gallery Ads

Almost regardless of the topic, we know that the use of images drives interest. It’s fundamental to our nature.

Google has given us a new type of ad to take advantage of this, having launched Gallery Ads in early 2020. They are Google’s equivalent of Facebook carousel ads and will appear only on mobile devices. They will allow you to marry the best bits of search and display in one amazing ad.

Having a separate budget for mobile advertising and being prepared to bid high to get that coveted first spot and dominate the results page is looking like a good strategy as a result of this new feature.

If your business is in an industry where visually appealing imagery is a big part of getting prospects over the line, such as travel, food or fitness, then imagine the impact of showcasing up to 8 images along with your headline and description when somebody searches for your product or service. Even in industries where images are not critical, these ads will help you stand out.

Google has always pushed the idea of dedicated mobile campaigns and the benefits have not always been clear. But having a separate budget for mobile advertising and being prepared to bid high to get that coveted first spot and dominate the results page is looking like a good strategy as a result of this new feature.

TASK:

Log in to Google Analytics and see what percentage of your traffic comes from mobile devices. Do you dedicate
this much of your thinking, design, testing and optimisation to these valuable users? Can you honestly say your
mobile experience is the equal of your desktop experience?


Email Marketing for Mobile

Mobile-optimised email marketing is a must. If you aren’t tailoring your emails for mobile users, some might argue, why bother sending it? With an increase in mobile adoption (especially wearables), email marketing needs to adapt as well. This means possibly smaller sized emails, adopting a layout that works across devices, minimal content length and more.

The trend with mobile shows an increased activity within the body of the email itself, so marketers need to start including buy buttons, full catalogues and full menus within the body of the email with the goal to cut down the path of conversion, particularly for timesensitive mobile users.

SEO for Mobile

Marketers need to future-proof their digital strategy by optimising their site for searches on mobile. Mobile searches have exceeded desktop searches as of 2018, plus Google has switched to a mobile-first index. So, if you’ve ignored mobile SEO previously, it’s time for a change.

The best way to optimise your site is to review and improve the speed of your site, implementing designs that focus on the content that shows ‘above the fold’ of the page, introduce the site search feature and display your call-to-action higher up on the page.

Mobile searches have exceeded desktop searches as of 2018, plus Google has switched to a mobile-first index.

TASK:

Run your site through Google’s mobile-friendly test and review the results. Make a decision around investing time and energy into the mobile version of your site. Another reliable way of checking your site’s capability is using SEMrush.com to generate a report on your site’s performance. Finally, don’t forget to simply browse your site on a mobile device as if you were a new visitor. What needs to change?

Section 2

Everything You Need to Know About The Best Performing Digital Marketing Channels of 2020

What’s Working in Google Ads, SEO, Paid Social, Email Marketing and Video Right Now.

4. Take Google Ads To The Next Level in 2020

Google Ads is a platform that is constantly evolving. New ad types are being rolled out. Previously effective strategies reduce in usefulness. Extra levels of automation mean less work, but they often go hand-in-hand with less transparency.

Here are four key points to watch out for while designing your Google Ads campaign in 2020.

Dynamic Search Ads – Experiment in Moderation

Dynamic search ad campaigns have been around for some time, and allow Google to dynamically match searches to landing page content – you just specify the landing pages and enter ad descriptions. Google does the rest. The pros are that there’s a good chance you’ll find those “I would never have thought of that” keywords. The cons are that you have less control. You need to watch closely and apply negative keywords where appropriate. We recommend you use Dynamic Search Ads in moderation and with a careful eye on performance.

We recommend you use Dynamic Search Ads in moderation and with a careful eye on performance.

Smart Bidding – Automation for Your Ads

Assuming your conversion tracking is working correctly, it would be remiss not to experiment with some of Google’s automated bidding strategies. Of those that are offered, the two that we have found work the best are Target CPA and Target ROAS. You enter a CPA or ROAS value that is acceptable to you and Google’s AI bids what it deems necessary to position your ads in front of those searchers who are most likely to convert within those parameters. To do this it uses the billions of signals it captures over all its platforms, from Maps to Play, from YouTube to Android.

Affinity Audiences – Available for Search

Late in 2019, Google introduced affinity audiences. These top-of-funnel audiences group together segments of people that share an interest – think Luxury Travellers or Cooking Enthusiasts. These have been available for use with Display and YouTube for some time, but until now have not been applicable to Search. This means we’ll be able to further target ads to capture the attention of users with particular interests; certainly something that we need to keep in mind while setting up and optimising campaigns.

Old News, Worth Repeating – Landing Pages

Tying things back to the earlier point on brand awareness and messaging, your Google Ads campaign is only as good as its ability to convert visitors into prospects. The buck stops at your landing page. It doesn’t matter how well you choose your keywords, how clever your ad copy is or how effectively you optimise your campaigns – if your landing pages are not providing a great, relevant, buyer-centric message and user experience, your campaigns will sink.

If your landing pages are not providing a great, relevant, buyer-centric message and user experience, your campaigns will sink.

TASK:

Review your Google Ads campaigns. Is there scope to include automated bidding for your prospecting search campaigns based on maximising conversions? Do you want to hit a target Cost Per Acquisition for your brand campaigns? At a minimum, discuss these options with your campaign manager.

Open your landing page and test what you see on these four key parameters, putting yourself in the searcher’s shoes:

• Am I in the right place? (This is what you do/offer)
• Do they offer the service I need ? (This is more detail on what you offer)
• Is this service/product right for me? (These are your typical customers)
• Why should I choose you? (This is why your business is perfect for the
searcher)

5. SEO Is Very Much Alive. Just Different.

In the digital landscape, SEO stands strong as a veteran – the old but reliable way of driving quality traffic to your website. However, with the changing nature of the industry, your SEO strategy needs to keep up to remain a valid part of your digital marketing strategy. With Google’s continued dominance of this space, adapting to its changes is absolutely worth the effort.

Voice Search is Finally Here (And so is Conversational Marketing)

Three years ago, many people spoke about the impending dominance of voice search. Fair to say that in Australia this hasn’t eventuated as predicted. Whilst there has been a steady rise in voice-based searches, it hasn’t been a game-changer. We believe there is still plenty of change coming. With over 25% of US adults owning a voice-enabled device and likely similar numbers in Australia, 2020 will mark the point when marketers need to start considering voice seriously when devising digital campaigns.

To support this change, businesses will have to take a step back from formal language and adopt what is now getting traction as ‘Conversational Marketing’. This includes rapid adoption of interactive, personalised and relatable website copy that ‘speaks’ to your target customers. We’ve all got to change the way we create content to make way for voice search or risk losing traction on the web.

Marketers need to create and publish shorter and smarter copy that answers their target audience’s most pressing questions promptly.

Marketers need to create and publish shorter and smarter copy that answers their target audience’s most pressing questions promptly.

Position Zero – Better than the Best

Ranking #1 on Google’s SERP is no longer the position a brand needs to target. With voice search and impatience trending among consumers, Google’s featured snippets are often the answer to a given query.

Featured snippets, and other pieces of instant information displayed by Google, means searchers don’t need to click through to your website to get the information they’re after. According to research conducted by marketing analytics company Jumpshot, over 60% of Google’s searches now lead to no clicks (or website visits) at all.

Crafting copy based on search intent has always been the norm for SEO-specific content. Now, it’s become essential. Marketers need to create and publish shorter and smarter copy that answers their target audience’s most pressing questions promptly.

Long-Form Content

long-form-content

In the past, there was a push to publish short pieces of content frequently. However, over time and with Google’s changing algorithm, it is now considered better for SEO to publish long-form content. Such webpages have the potential to become content pillars of your site from an SEO point-of-view, ranking for multiple semantic keywords in one shot, increasing the time a person spends on your site, reducing bounce rates, and most importantly, providing your target market everything there is to know about the one thing your business is an expert at.

Marketers can take one step further in the content creation process and introduce interactive elements to the webpages to make the piece more attractive. Think polls, calculators, and quizzes. These items make pages more shareable, thus expanding reach and as a result, quality traffic.

Think polls, calculators, and quizzes. These items make pages more shareable, thus expanding reach and as a result, quality traffic.

SEO – The Gift That Keeps Giving

SEO demands an investment in time and resources, but consider this: more or less every other marketing channel you care to name involves an ongoing cost for the leads or sales generated. This includes Google Ads, TV, Radio, Print, Trade Shows and even Referrals. When a business has momentum through organic search, leads and enquiries don’t have a hard cost per acquisition in terms of buying media. In a longer, more drawn out sales process, SEO is the ‘net’ that captures prospects during the stages of awareness and consideration and hence fuels the fire for nurturing and re-engagement through remarketing and retargeting.

In summary, SEO has changed dramatically in recent years and further changes are no doubt on their way. For these reasons, we understand why some marketers have distanced themselves from SEO. Our advice from experience is don’t be one of these marketers. SEO is a long term game with a solid ROI. The only way to win is to keep playing

SEO is a long term game with a solid ROI. The only way to win is to keep playing.

TASK:

Speak to your sales team and brainstorm a list of the most common questions prospects ask during their first meeting. Note all of these down and publish the questions and answers as long-form content on your site. Make sure to include the keywords you’re trying to rank for in the process.

6. Find New Opportunities in Social Media in 2020

Paid social is still one of the most effective tools in any digital marketer’s arsenal to effectively communicate with customers and prospects. Social media platforms are constantly changing, updating and adding new features, and it can be hard to keep up.

Marketers need to focus on meaningful interaction as opposed to sheer volume.

While the fundamental strategies around the right audience, right message, right time remain, here are the twists and turns marketers need to watch out for in 2020.

Instagram and Facebook Bid Farewell to Likes

quote-1

In a game-changing move that impacts marketers relying on engagement metrics to show value, Facebook and Instagram have hidden the number of likes a post gets. The change was made to foster connections, conversations and community.

Marketers need to focus on meaningful interaction as opposed to sheer volume. The style of commentary and engagement also needs to change to follow suit.

While some considered ‘likes’ to be a vanity metric, it did at one point provide some measure of impact for awareness-based campaigns. Moving forward, marketers need (if they aren’t already) to create and share more relatable content for their audience – including images and videos that resonate rather than just initiate a one-way interaction.

Facebook’s Preference for ‘Short and Sweet’

Facebook has taken Pascal’s “If I Had More Time, I Would Have Written a Shorter Letter” philosophy to heart with their Ads Manager. Page posts and ads on mobile now match the look and feel of the new Facebook design that was introduced in 2019.

These updates mean that there are only 3 lines of primary text shown on Facebook News Feed on mobile, after which people will be prompted to click “see more”. It also means that the tallest supported aspect ratio for images without links and for videos is now vertical (4:5). Media taller than 4:5 will be masked on Facebook News Feed on mobile.

Marketers need to be agile in this dynamic ad environment and make clever adjustments to creative as well as craft succinct copy to maximise on-screen space.

Marketers need to be agile in this dynamic ad environment and make clever adjustments to creative as well as craft succinct copy to maximise on-screen space.

Sound On: Spotify

We are each bombarded by over 4,000 ads on a daily basis. Yes, daily! And that’s on the lower end of the spectrum according to a 2017 study by the Forbes Agency Council. In a world that is overwhelmed with visual messages, audio ads might just give you some breathing space.

Audio ads are not new. Radio ads have existed for almost 100 years. They continue to exist because they’re effective for many brands. However, they’re expensive, tough to measure and for some demographics, no longer highly relevant. That’s where Spotify comes in.

Flexible and effective for smaller budgets, the combination of compelling audio and visuals plus never-seen-before (for audio ads) targeting options delivers a formidable case for trialling Spotify in your marketing mix.

Flexible and effective for smaller budgets, the combination of compelling audio and visuals plus never-seen-before (for audio ads) targeting options delivers a formidable case for trialling Spotify in your marketing mix.

A B2B Marketer’s Must Have: LinkedIn

Despite its clunky ad interface and questionable user experience for marketers, LinkedIn stands strong as the obvious channel for B2B marketers. This holds true especially for prospecting campaigns focused on lead generation.

Year-on-year, we’ve seen huge growth in LinkedIn, a network that now boasts over 10M+ Australian members. It’s likely that your prospects turn to LinkedIn to stay up-to-date with industry news, share information and job updates and follow thought leaders and companies that resonate.

With sponsored inMails, you get twice the opportunity to catch the attention of your audience – one on the LinkedIn platform itself as a new message and then in your prospect’s email inbox. Plus, there are notifications to support the inMail being sent.

linkedin

In LinkedIn, prospects are attuned to learning something new and native sponsored content can successfully drive targeted traffic to your site.

Lastly, there’s also scope to send out inMails with inbuilt Lead Forms within LinkedIn. These can integrate with many popular CRMs that can pull in more data fields like city, post code, job title and the like directly from LinkedIn. Bear in mind that with Lead Forms, prospects don’t visit your site and may not be retargeted as a result.

All these factors make LinkedIn an attractive option for lead generation and an area we’ve seen clients enjoy incredible results.

Bear in mind that with Lead Forms, prospects don’t visit
your site and may not be retargeted as a result.

TASK:

Check the last 5 ads you put up on Facebook or Instagram – do they encourage interaction with your target audience? Are you getting genuine comments with people tagging others who may be interested in your products and services? If not, it may be time to re-think the narrative.

Don’t have faith in marketing via LinkedIn? Run a test within your business to connect with at least 30 people in your target market with a short note to go along with your connection request. If more than 5 people respond positively, there’s a case to invest additional marketing dollars behind an inMail campaign that can deliver a stronger, sales-focused message to your target audience.

7. It’s Time To Adopt Email Automation

Marketing automation platforms have been around for over a decade and adoption levels are now very high. If you are in a competitive space, not having a marketing automation platform effectively running significant parts of your business will mean that you won’t be able to compete when it comes to marketing, sales and maximising value from your customers. In the long-run this may mean needing to invest a higher percentage of your revenue into your sales and marketing efforts. Bottom line, you’ll be leaving a lot of money on the table compared to your competitors.

Whether it’s large platforms like Marketo, Eloqua, Salesforce Marketing Cloud or platforms suited for smaller and mid-market businesses like HubSpot, Autopilot or Infusionsoft, you need to assess the right platform for your business and
commit to it. Don’t choose a marketing automation platform which is too big or too small for your needs.

Automation is not just limited to your sales and marketing platform. All the channels we play in are continuously toying with machine learning and artificial intelligence – another change you need to assess seriously depending on your needs.

Don’t choose a marketing automation platform which is too big or too small for your needs.

Responsive Google Ads

For some years now Google has been investing heavily in automation and machine learning. Each year has seen exponential improvements in their algorithms. One area they are pushing hard on is what they call responsive ads.

Responsive ads are those where you enter a number of headlines/descriptions/images that you want to test, and Google’s machine learning generates the combination it thinks is most relevant to a particular search query or display area. As impressions build up, it is able to optimise these combinations to get the best results.

quote

Given the power of this search giant and its monopoly in the search engine world, it makes sense to test these ad variations for your campaigns. As time goes on, it is likely marketers will have less choice when it comes to opting out of various automation features in the leading platforms.

Emails are Like Gifts – They’re Better When They’re Personal

Many marketers are already increasing email performance by including personalisation based on data collected via intelligent platforms and with the incredible targeting abilities of the already available ad-tech.

This opens unexplored opportunities to be more meaningful and persuasive with email nurture campaigns. It’s important to note that simple personalisation, focussing on things like first name is not going to generate the best results.

Contextual targeting, conversational tones and active segmentation is a must to succeed with high engagement rates and responses on email. Most marketers do a reasonable job of segmenting based on demographic data. You know, send email A to ‘Job Title X, Industry Y and Lifecycle Stage Z’. This is a great first step but far from what is possible (and expected by prospects).

It’s time to get smart. Your prospects know when emails are automated and when they are personally sent. If you’re proactive in your email nurture series, you’ll be able to blur the former to seem like the latter and drive more leads and sales to your business.

Simple personalisation, focusing on things like first name is not going to generate the best results.

The Automation Challenge

The big players like Google and Facebook will continue to push marketers into using their suite of automation options when running paid campaigns. The challenge will be to determine when this works in your business’ interest and when it doesn’t. There is no doubt that over the long term, automation will bring many benefits to the lives of marketers and techs, but the question in the short term is when this will be the case and when it won’t.

Marketers need to be smart in determining when machines can do things more effectively and at a better level than humans. Most importantly, you need to use your judgement to identify the moments when technology won’t understand the intricacies of a campaign and the nuances of your audience. This is where that human touch will still be needed.

Regardless, the truth of the matter remains – businesses, even small ones, can no longer succeed without a highly tailored approach to audience segmentation, as prospects now expect more than generic correspondence. This can only be achieved at scale with automation.

Our prediction – businesses without marketing automation won’t compete.

Most importantly, you need to use your judgement to identify the moments when technology won’t understand the intricacies of a campaign and the nuances of your audience.

TASK:

Take a moment to review your nurture flows. Find gaps in how you nurture based on behavioural data. Has the prospect opened the last email? Has the prospect attended the last 2 webinars? Did the prospect download the whitepaper on Topic X that is related to the webinar you’re trying to promote now? Has the prospect visited your pricing page?

Create smarter, better emails (preferably, plain-text) based on these findings.

8. Video is For Winners

Video and animation in digital advertising drive results. Having run a huge number of campaigns across different industries and channels we know that typically campaigns are more effective when video or animation is used.

2019 was the year of video and that fact is further cemented by industry reports showing a significant increase in video marketing spend year on year. If this is a space your competitors are playing in, you need to consider this seriously as an element of your broader digital strategy.

Production Quality Shouldn’t Stop You

The great thing about creating effective video content is that it doesn’t need to be hugely expensive. Viewers are not expecting Steven Spielberg quality. The video needs to be relatable, engaging and with thought put into how it will deliver value to the viewer.

The point being, depending on your industry, you might not have to invest heavily in equipment, location and the like, as you would if you were creating an ad for TV. Well-executed low-cost production with a smartphone, good quality microphone and most importantly, great quality content will do the trick in most instances. Think fewer bells and whistles and more value-delivery and personalisation.

The great thing about creating effective video content is that it doesn’t need to be hugely expensive.

youtubeAn important thing to keep in mind is that you cannot approach YouTube with a pure cost-per-lead mindset.

YouTube for Prospecting

Year-on-year, industry stats reveal that marketers are investing less in the Google Display Network for prospecting while increasing their investment in YouTube. You probably already know that YouTube is the world’s second-biggest search engine. Video creative is more engaging than static images, both by virtue of the ability to tell a story and the fact that things in motion are just more memorable. Whether you want to increase the awareness of your brand, which Google is now making easier to quantify with Brand Lift surveys, or for direct conversions, which they hope to increase with rolling out Lead Form Ads within YouTube, it’s definitely a space worth playing in.

An important thing to keep in mind is that you cannot approach YouTube with a pure cost-per-lead mindset. Video on this channel is often most suited to driving engagement which eventually contributes to brand awareness and sales in the digital marketing ecosystem.

Invest for Versatility

Videos are versatile pieces of content that can serve different purposes across multiple channels. This will further improve the ROI from the original production costs. A well-scripted product or service explainer video goes a long way to simplify your value proposition on your site. It can be used on YouTube to capture leads and be indexed for search, it can be posted on Instagram and used in paid ads. It can be transcribed and posted as a blog in addition to your regular content. The video can be edited to introduce multiple calls to action depending on your campaign. Videos can be used to drive people to your site with email marketing.

Video is the most popular way for people to learn about brands and products. In 2020, it is here to stay and it’s time to work out how it can deliver the most value in your marketing mix.

TASK

Get hold of the most camera-friendly person in your team and get them to interview your team members, with one customer-centric theme in mind. Use a selfie-stick and your phone to record the video and be prepared to be surprised. You can use these videos as a test case on your social channels and even if you don’t, at worst, you’ll be left with inspiration you can use for content creation in the future.

The Ultimate 2020 Digital Marketing Checklist

  • Acknowledge the contribution of multiple channels to the sales opportunities generated in the business. Don’t limit yourself to last-click attribution or a single channel.
  • Agree on a small set of metrics that are relevant to the activities of your team and have a genuine business impact. Introduce small campaigns in new channels to support the overall strategy.
  • Bid on your own brand terms in Google Search to capture valuable real estate before your competition does.
  • Review your email strategy and identify opportunities to send emails based on a certain action/inaction from your lead. For example, nudge them to attend your webinar, if they haven’t registered after your first invitation.
  • Run your website through Google’s mobile-friendly test and make changes to optimise for mobile.
  • Edit your Facebook ads with optimal 4:5 creative where appropriate and re-craft your ad-copy to fit in the first three lines of your post.
  • Evaluate running Spotify ads for your business to drive brand awareness.
  • Consider using an active, up-to-date LinkedIn profile of a customer-facing person
    in your business to run an InMail campaign.
  • Analyse your website content from an SEO point of view and find opportunities
    to replace potentially technical and jargon-stuffed copy with conversational copy.
    Don’t force your copy’s syntax to stuff keywords.
  • Consolidate 4 blogs covering the same topic into a long-form SEO content
    pillar piece that to boost your SEO ranking
  • Create a short video with your team, addressing a problem faced by your target
    persona, to test out your internal production capability.

Time To Make It Happen

There are two things we’re sure of in 2020. Firstly, change will be ever-present. Secondly, for all this change a lot of things will remain the same. This is particularly true of the core elements of good marketing. These will not change. Right message, right place, right time will continue to be critical to your marketing success.

Well-executed email marketing and nurturing will continue to drive sales and engagement. Search efforts, both paid and organic, will be crucial to siphoning off traffic of the highest intent. Social channels like Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn will continue to allow you to build targeted audiences and prospect for high-quality traffic.

A winning strategy is more than ever going to require multiple channels and highly effective messaging targeted at your key personas. Empowering decision-makers with the right message at the right time will drive your strategy further per dollar, capturing the attention of your prospects while they are researching or looking to buy. If there is anything the team at Rocket can do to help, or any question we can answer to help give you clarity, don’t hesitate to be in touch.

Good luck in 2020 and beyond!

James Lawrence

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  • Messaging and Offer Review
  • Audience Targeting Review
  • Channel Mix Review
  • Budget and Bid Review
  • Tracking Review