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The digital landscape is defined by constant change – what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. For example, keyword stuffing was an effective SEO tactic in the early 2000s, but now your website will be penalized. Buying backlinks was once an easy way to play the system, but now it can lead to your site being blacklisted. Even paid advertising has shifted in recent years as consumers have flocked to ad blockers in droves.
However, with change comes opportunities. As the landscape evolves, new marketing tactics emerge. The key to marketing success is finding these “blue oceans” of opportunity – places where there is little to no competition. In contrast, techniques like link building and pay-per-click are now ‘red oceans’ full of sharks fighting for a limited number of customers. So, what are some alternative marketing tactics to consider? Here are six possibilities:
Related: 6 Outdated Marketing Tactics You Should Leave in the Past (Where They Belong)
1. Machine Learning Marketing
Even old-school marketers rely on data to make decisions. For example, a TV advertiser could keep track of how many viewers saw their ad and then use that data to improve the next ad round, or a newspaper could track which stories are most popular with readers and adjust their content strategy accordingly.
But this kind of ad hoc data collection and analysis is no longer enough. To stay ahead of the competition, you need to use AI-powered marketing tools. These tools allow you to track and analyze customer behavior in real time, identify trends before they happen, and personalize messages for maximum impact.
While we are a long way from fully automated marketing, AI-powered marketing tools are becoming more and more accessible. For example, Mailchimp’s AI Creative Assistant tool helps you design more engaging emails, while Hootsuite’s Insights tool uses machine learning to help you track your social media performance. Furthermore, HubSpot AI uses predictive intelligence to help you deduplicate data, enrich your CRM, and more.
2. Voice Search Optimization
It is estimated that about 40% of all Americans use voice search functions. That’s a huge number and companies need to start optimizing their websites for voice search if they want to be found.
Voice search differs from traditional text search because people use different keywords when speaking than when typing. For example, someone might say, “What’s the best Italian restaurant in town?” when doing a voice search, but they typed “Italian restaurants” into a text search engine.
To optimize for voice search, companies should focus on long-tail keywords – very specific phrases used earlier in a conversation. They also need to ensure that their website content is easy to understand and digestible as people are likely to search on the go.
3. Interactive Content
Bill Gates once said, “Content is king”, referring to the importance of quality content in attracting an audience. Consumers are interested in really valuable content that helps them learn something new or solve a problem, and they turn to search engines to find it.
Interactive content goes one step further by engaging the reader and holding their attention. Examples are quizzes, infographics, assessments and calculators. This type of content is shareable and promotes virality, which can help attract new readers and customers.
Taking that step has also become easier than ever as there are now a number of platforms that allow businesses to create and host interactive content without the need for programming.
Related: 5 Digital Marketing Trends to Know for the Decade
4. Conversational Marketing
In the old days of marketing, companies distributed one-way messages to a large audience in the hope that a few people would notice. This strategy is no longer effective as consumers are now inundated with marketing messages and have learned to tailor them.
Conversational marketing is a more personal and effective approach. instead of speaking Bee people, companies now need to listen and have two-way conversations. This can be done via chatbots, social media and even over the phone.
The goal is to build relationships with potential customers and create a dialogue that leads to a sale. This type of marketing requires more effort than traditional methods, but it’s worth it: consumers are more likely to do business with companies they think they know and trust.
What once required extensive technical knowledge and a team of developers can now be done with a few clicks using platforms such as Drift, Intercom and HubSpot. These platforms make it easy to create chatbots and manage conversations.
5. User Generated Content
One of the best ways to build trust with potential customers is to let them hear from other customers. User Generated Content (UGC) is any type of content – text, images, videos, etc. – that is created by users, not the company.
This type of content is of great importance because it is considered more authentic and reliable than traditional marketing messages. And it’s easy to see why: When someone hears about a great experience from a friend or family member, they’re more likely to believe it than seeing the same thing in an ad.
There are a number of ways companies can encourage UGC. For example, social media contests are a great way to get users to create and share content. Another tactic is to offer incentives, such as discounts or free products, in exchange for UGC.
This can also be linked to interactive content. For example, a company might create a quiz about its product and offer a discount to users who share it on social media. There are endless possibilities – the key is to be creative and think outside the box.
6. New Advertising Channels
Facebook, Google and Instagram have become the go-to places for paid advertising. But as more companies jump on the bandwagon, competition becomes fierce and costs begin to rise.
To stay ahead of the curve, companies need to look for new advertising channels. This may mean advertising on newer social media platforms, such as TikTok and Quora, or exploring options beyond social media.
Traditional channels such as television and radio are still effective, but they can be expensive. Alternative options include podcasts, streaming services, and even billboards. The key is to think outside the box and consider all possibilities.
Related: The Digital Marketing Changes That Will Affect Your Business
The digital landscape is constantly changing, so companies need to be prepared to change their marketing strategies as new opportunities arise. These five alternative marketing tactics are a good start.