Digital marketing involves a constant learning process: staying on top of trends, keeping on the right side of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, and not creating a social media disaster. But there are a few conflicts in today’s marketing that you might struggle with. Here are the thorny issues worrying many digital marketers today…
Surviving The Tech Detox Trend
Digital or tech detoxes have developed into a lasting trend, firstly as part of a Generation Y craving for all things analogue and retro (think old-fashioned record players, now the accessory du jour, along with analogue Lomography and Polaroid cameras, and the re-emergence of crafting and zines).
Now they’ve been embraced by wellness gurus and mindfulness enthusiasts, and are rapidly becoming a force for profit with tech detox retreats, workshops and festivals on the rise. But how can a digital marketer appeal to someone who’s being encouraged to ditch their smartphone? Think outside the box. If people are going into the wilderness (or just popping down to the nearest beach), they need to be prepared.
Let’s say you’re a travel company: make downloadable PDF guides and maps, to be hosted on your website, so people can print them and take them along on holiday. Or send bloggers on a phone-free spa retreat, then get them to write a blog post on their return. Tech detoxes aren’t a permanent lifestyle, just a way of rebalancing – much like the ‘meat-free Mondays’ movement isn’t for full-time vegetarians – so your consumers won’t abandon their web browsers forever.
Authentic Content vs. Selling Products
‘Authenticity’ has long been a buzzword in content marketing circles, particularly for digital businesses, who strive to get that emotional connection with customers at the click of a mouse or the tap of a screen.
Yet Facebook has further pushed for ‘authentic stories’ in its recent crackdown on ‘fake news’, particularly targeting sensationalist clickbait headlines and inaccurate articles. This is all well and good in theory, but we all know the reasons people keep making clickbait: they need those click through rates (in fact, their bonuses may be measured on them) and every click could lead to a potential conversion.
But as a digital company, you need to use authenticity to find your genuine customers who won’t bounce off your website as soon as they land on it. Your content should have a hefty dose of authenticity, so get finding it by harvesting customer feedback, looking at focus groups, and talking to influencers in your sector. What questions do they want answered? What would really make them use your services? Your website must meet their needs, with creative copywriting and real-life stories, but also factual information to back everything up.
Attracting Millennials, Minus The Job-Hopping
So, you want to attract new blood to your team, and you’ve decided to train up some graduates. However, the statistics suggest millennials – those born from the early 80s to the early 00s – are into job-hopping and might not stay long in one place. How do you keep them there? According to CNBC, millennial loyalty is all about upward career mobility (and pay rises, surprise, surprise!).
Be realistic about what your company can offer a digital marketing trainee or junior. How will you train them? Are you letting them attend seminars and courses, and build on their skills? You should also look at your competitors: if they’re offering better perks, such as working from home one day a week, on-the-job studying, or mentoring programmes, you need to shape up.
Ambitious 20-something graduate recruits must be nurtured. Get them involved in digital campaigns, even when they’re just starting out, as they can bring fresh perspective on a project. Use their prior experience and their contacts – for example, a graduate with a sports science degree could work wonders on promoting a nutrition project, or working with a health food blogger. If you don’t give them enough to do, and enough flexibility, they’ll find someone else who does.
Social Media Fads: To Try Or Not To Try?
When you see a social media fad, like a quickly trending hashtag or a teen ‘challenge’, should you jump on board to ride the momentum, or steer clear? It can be hard to tell. For example, President Trump’s recent mistyped tweet, where he accidentally invented the word ‘covfefe’ instead of typing ‘coverage’, left many celebrity tweeters and brands jumping at the chance to crack a joke and steal the limelight – one of The Drum’s favourite ‘covfefe’ tweets was from Virgin Trains, which invented a new train route.
Should you decide to weigh in on a new hashtag, or perhaps dip your toe into the controversial waters of Instagram’s new face filters (heavily leaning on those of rival Snapchat), remember you can only get away with gimmicks that don’t break your brand guidelines and purpose. Virgin stuck nicely to its business angle here, as did fellow tweeters Air France – if you don’t, you risk alienating your customer base.
If your Twitter timeline is full of apologetic replies to customers about service issues, you don’t want to anger them further by tweeting something inane when you should be solving their complaints. To avoid conflicts like this you could set up a separate account for customer issues, which will make your timeline more on-brand.
Now you’ve resolved those conflicts, you’ll be ready to turbocharge your digital strategy.
Polly Allen writes graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency specialising in matching career starters with graduate jobs. For everything from marketing internships to graduate jobs Manchester, click here.