Edited by Nauman Jaffar
(Content taken from examples of MarkiTech, blogs from UPen, Harvard Business School, Turkish Airlines, McDonalds and others)
Every business decision maker, digital marketing expert or chief marketing officer (CMO) wants to know how to replicate digital marketing success. Doing so requires an awareness of five digital marketing best practices, content creation ideas or tips so that technology or any company can maximize their digital marketing ROI.
At MarkiTech, we have learned this the hard way and it has taken us well over 8 months of content creation to figure out that we should focus on having a realistic schedule for posting, we should never sacrifice consistency for perfection, we need to get inspired from various sources and finally stay true to our voice/brand and expertise.
Let me start with the most important question in minds of decision maker. What is the ROI for Digital Marketing? Here is a recent case study of a document management company presented here in Canada and how they used digital marketing and best practice to target right clients and generate new revenue.
- 30+ Pieces of content
- Over 370 unique downloads in 12 months
- Approximate spend $8k (per month)
- Over $450,000 in new business in last 12 months
- Before you launch any campaign, review this must ask questions (from our MarkiTech website) and read below the 5 best practices of content creation
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1. Create stellar content and promote it ferociously
I recently traveled on Turkish Airlines and saw the “Kobe vs. Messi: The Selfie Shootout” ad featuring basketball star Kobe Bryant and soccer star Lionel Messi.
In terms of size and operation, Turkish Airlines is not among the top 10, but by flying to more than 100 countries, the airline’s global reach is greater than any airline on the planet. Turkish Airlines invested in promoting the selfie video and global campaign to broadcast this fact, and their message came through loud and clear. Not only was the video viewed more than 140 million times, but 77 million of those views occurred in the first week. Turkish Airlines also realized its goal of brand awareness with a 9% increase in global brand recall. In addition, YouTube searches for the brand grew three times and Google searches for the brand increased by 16%. That was all great and trickily boo and then I ran into the wrath of their customer experience.
2. Experiment on digital media before spending big bucks
Here is an example that will explain it all – P&G initiated a sponsored content with Always #LikeAGirl campaign, which was launched online in June 2014. Only after receiving more than 50 million views did it make its television debut during the Super Bowl in 2015.
It’s hard to predict what will resonate with your audience online. So, savvy brands follow an experimental launch and iterate model to find their way to success.
3. Don’t try to be something you are not.
Authenticity is important. If you’re not authentic, your audience will know you are posing and out you quickly. Free People, the women’s apparel firm, ran a campaign for its barre-ready essentials clothing line. But in its FP Movement Ballet ad, the dancer was not a real dancer — at least not the trained dancer the script claimed her to be. Professional dancers slammed her hyper-extension, sloppy lines and, especially, her hazardous pointe technique. Adweek and CBS depicted the ad as “offensive” and “appalling.”
Viewers lost no time in creating a series of hilarious parody videos that highlighted this lack of authenticity, undermining the brand and its campaign. In the digital world, it’s easy for the audience to talk back. And if the brand’s story is inauthentic, people will talk back –loud and clear.
“With my personal Turkish Airlines experience, I believe Authenticity is important. If you’re not authentic, your audience will know you are posing and opt out on you quickly. I for one will never travel with them.”
4. Don’t be afraid of stirring up a conversation.
McDonald’s realized that since food is a very personal category, consumers chatter about it endlessly on social media, often asking questions about the firm. Those who respond to these questions frequently answer incorrectly because they draw from urban myths about the chain. McDonald’s Canada took the bold, highly risky strategy of inviting their customers to publicly ask questions about McDonald’s food. The company promised to publicly respond to all questions asked. The audience jumped in, posting more than 20,000 questions on McDonald’s Canada’s newly launched website “Our Food. Your Questions.” And McDonald’s, true to its word, answered all of them publicly, even if the questions were unflattering or controversial.
A particularly popular question was: “Why does your food look different in the advertising than what is in the store?” The 3:27 minute response video McDonald’s created has been watched more than 10 million times. It’s an interesting insight that consumers will especially pay attention to content if you ask them first what they would like to hear. This simple strategy of not being afraid to wade into the middle of difficult conversations worked. It increased transparency and trust. McDonald’s experienced a dramatic increase in food quality perception and brand trust scores. The chain went from a trailing position to a top position among the most trusted brands in the quick service restaurant category.
5. Make your content emotionally un-skippable
Digital is a very different medium. The millennial audience is made up of digital natives. They grew up with this medium, so they consume it very differently from older generations. To create a successful ad, you want to understand their behavior. Possessing a high degree of awareness of the medium and audience behavior is important for success. A classic mistake we have seen brands make is to take their 30-second TV spot and run it as an online video ad. On TV, the audience may stay with you until the end of your ad. But on digital, the audience will simply swipe the brand and the content they don’t want to watch to the left, where brands relegated to oblivion go to die.
Auto insurance firm Geico is an example of a brand that understands how to create compelling content for the digital medium. The brand conveys its marketing message within the first five seconds of its new online video campaign, and even though the video ads are physically skippable after five seconds, they are emotionally un-skippable — consumers want to stick around to see what happens.
Everyone has a website these days – Don’t just create another website – and don’t attempt it alone; partner with the companies who know their way around digital marketing and content that will get attention.
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Use all these tools and techniques to take full advantage of the digital media and the unusual new way in which it works. Brands from Target to Kohler to Nissan have all successfully used this model recently.
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Created by Nauman Jaffar (CEO, MarkiTech) on June 6th 2015