European marketers spent May 22 at the iLive Internet marketing conference in Riga to learn more about the most effective and innovative techniques in Internet marketing. We’ve squeezed out the essence of the event and prepared 12 wise take-away ideas for you about the latest in email marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing and SEO.
1. Smartphones + social media = the fastest communication
Marco Grossi, Google manager of mobile solutions, told us about an interesting experiment: a man jumped out of a plane with a parachute and sent a tweet from his smartphone. Before the man’s feet touched the ground, the message had already spread in social networks. Do not try this experiment at home. However, it demonstrates the astonishing speed of information. If you want to reach a large number of your target audience – a well played social media campaign will be the right choice.
2. Rapidity beats perfection
This is the knowledge Didzis Vilcāns, representative of Google Latvia, came up with. Keep your finger on the pulse and respond quickly. Use a current event that is important in society and link it to your planned marketing campaign. The first one always gets the most attention. Therefore, even if your message or campaign is not planned to the last detail but you suspect someone is planning something similar – give yourself the green light to get your message out there. The year long marketing plan is losing importance, the trend is to create guidelines and leave the rest flexible so you appear fresh and current.
3. Email marketing show up the most important
Email marketing expert Tamara Gielen highlights how social media develops together with email marketing. Even the bigger social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest send regular emails to their users.
Most people do not check their Twitter account every 5 minutes. This means they are likely to miss some of your messages posted in social media. By summarizing the most important information and sending an email newsletter to your clients once a week, the information won’t disappear – people will read it when they want and have time.
4. We prefer ’no strings attached’ over a long-lasting marriage
No, this is not a fact from demographic research. This is a comparison Inese Kalveite, marketing manager of Nordea bank, relates to the customer loyalty to brands. People move on to the next brand when they are not satisfied with the current one anymore. And even if they are satisfied – it’s not an obstacle to try something else.
Mailigen head of sales Andris Žīgurs says,“once your brand has managed to charm the customer, don’t let them go.” Let the registration be followed by email newsletters. Encourage them to follow your brand on social media and greet them on celebrations. Besides, email marketing is one of the most effective ways to form successful long-term relationships. Practice lifecycle messaging!
5. Don’t feed them – just give them a spoon
It’s a huge plus for a company to be able to instantly provide clients with all the necessary information. However, if we speak about marketing campaigns, don’t send them all at once. Motivate people to ”dig” by themselves. People love exploring and interaction. Ask them questions in social media, organize contests, encourage discussions and include links to additional information.
6. Mobilis sum ergo sum
If you are not mobile, for some audiences you don’t exist. Data about the boom in smartphones keeps surprising us. 90% of the smartphone owners use them to search local information on the Internet, 95% – to get in touch with someone at least once a day.
Marco Grossi suggests you do the research to find out whether your target audience wants to communicate with you via mobile devices. If they visit your homepage through smartphones and tablets, make sure your homepage is optimized for mobile.
Optimization of the software may take a while, so start optimization with your blog where you communicate brand news. Giving people the ability to easily follow your news on their smartphones will increase your readership.
7. Reason versus emotion
Didzis Vilcāns notes the economic recession has significantly changed people’s habits. Some years ago, decisions were made emotionally within some seconds. Now people have become more conscious and responsible: they do an online research, look for feedback and reviews, compare prices. So make sure people can easily find online all the necessary information about your brand.
8. Walk in client’s shoes and sell to yourself
Before boasting about your good-looking and mobile friendly homepage, web consultant Hegle Sarapuu suggests trying to ”walk in customers’ shoes”. Find your blog or homepage in the Internet by your preferred keywords, find sing up forms in your web page, subscribe for newsletters, register in the system, buy a product or do whatever you can in the homepage. How easy or difficult was it? Ask somebody who has never visited your homepage or even hasn’t heard about your brand to do the same test drive. This way you will learn what needs to be improved.
9. The SEO is dead. Long live the SEO!
SEO has changed for good – says Aigars Armanovs, board member of Infinitum 8. Some time ago, the SEO concept was manipulation, artificiality, text, keywords, links and non unique content. Today SEO goes hand in hand with brand, originality, natural and multimedia content, regularity of posting, technical condition of homepage, links from social media and followers’ feedback and rating. To sum up – you must work hard, be honest and encourage people to talk about you. Then good results will be guaranteed.
10. Good teamwork is already a half of success
SEO requirements for employees have changed. Some time ago, to do great SEO, we needed an IT or programming professional, a copywriter and a link builder. Now we need a SEO manager, a PR specialist, a web designer and a social media manager. It’s pretty much the same with other marketing fields as well. Basically there is no point to look for a teammate who is, for example, marketing specialist, and then expect all the necessary skills from him. Today it’s smarter to look for a person with certain skills, such as ability to create video presentations or convince people during phone conversations.
11. Boundaries between online and offline disappear
Do not limit yourself by choosing online or offline marketing activity. Use QR codes or social liking on live events to joint offline with online. Reach customers with one marketing campaign wherever they are – with Twitter or shopping at the mall.
12. Power of affiliate marketing
It’s important to understand that your affiliate marketing partner really is your companion, not a mystical stranger who secretly does something on his homepage – spotlights affiliate marketing guru Geno Prussakov. You have to regularly prepare new campaigns. And the most important – you must let and even help them make profit. Avoid leaks in your banners, for example, phone numbers or internet adresses that do not encourage clicking on banners. Perform new trends in affiliate marketing, for example, pay per call.
Internet marketing is one of the fastest growing marketing fields. Some time ago, it was called ”untraditional marketing”, today it’s a part of every marketing plan. However, it’s quite possible that today’s ideas will become old by tomorrow, so an excellent marketer should follow information about the latest trends all the time. We hope this article will help in your everyday work! Follow our blog posts and very soon you will be able to read our blog article on email marketing trends presented by Tamara Gielen in this year’s iLive conference.