2021 was a great year for the digital marketing industry. As a business, there’s no better time than the present to get involved in digital marketing. Search traffic has increased by 2000% in the last two decades. But as opportunities arise, so do digital marketing challenges.
In the past, we encountered new privacy laws. iOS 14 shook things up. Google ramped up its machine learning algorithms. As a proactive Birmingham digital marketing agency, we foresee some new challenges on the horizon. If you’re a business, being aware of these can be very helpful. Here are the top 7 to watch out for.
#1 – Staying one step ahead of AI
AI is now a vital part of most big brands’ digital strategy. As a business, you can’t ignore it anymore. Google’s machine learning capabilities are growing exponentially. They release new updates to their AI-powered algorithms almost every month.
What this means, is that search is getting smarter. From search intent to user experience, AI is the most vigilant watchdog Google’s ever created. Also, it’s learning with every new update. This means, that it’s not going to repeat the same mistake again.
As a business, you cannot cut corners anymore. Be it writing articles, or creating intent-based content clusters, it’s time to step up your game. A skilled content marketing team can make life easier. For instance, we use AI-powered tools to create article outlines. Here’s a case study for a tool called ‘ClickFlow’. Electricityrates.com, was able to increase their organic clicks by 327%.
#2 – Lead generation
For service-based businesses, the quality of leads determines their success. It’s as simple as that. Lead generation though is not getting any easier. You have to focus on nurturing a lead all the way till they convert. There’s only one way. It’s to get familiar with them and personalise your content for them.
In 2017, we saw a rise in social media as a means to generate leads. But cookie-cutter methods don’t yield results anymore. Your target audience is saturated with generic advertisements. Personalisation is the key now. Think about an analogy from your personal life. If you have been following someone on Twitter for years, wouldn’t you want a personalised recommendation from them? That’s what businesses need to do. They need to create a relationship with their leads.
Focus on user engagement. Create webinars. Use video marketing. Offer value. Keep them engaged. Neil Patel speaks here about the importance of engagement for lead generation. It’s simple rules like these that work. Once again, here’s where a skilled marketing agency can make life simpler for you. Rockstar Marketing uses a mix of paid and organic methods to generate razor-targeted leads.
#3 – Fighting rising advertising costs will be one of the biggest digital marketing challenges
Are you using paid ads yet? If not, then now’s the time. Paid ads are transforming the digital landscape. They are fast. You can start to get targeted traffic in less than an hour. The conversion rates are sky-high. But, there’s a caveat.
Just like everything else in the digital marketing space, competition is burgeoning. 96% of marketers are using paid ad platforms depending on their goals. Facebook has become a hotspot for B2C and e-commerce brands. B2B brands are leveraging Linkedin ads. Google Ads continues to dominate the top spot with an enviable reach.
Rising competition equals rising advertising costs. Businesses need to budget smartly. You cannot afford to throw a bunch of things on the wall and see what sticks. With this approach, you risk wasting a lot of money with little returns.
The key is to be laser-focused in your targeting. Understand who your ideal customer is and craft ads that appeal to them. Use retargeting techniques to keep ads in front of them. Test and measure the results. Keep tweaking until you hit the sweet spot. Rockstar Marketing has been running paid ads for over 4 years. We’ve seen the good, bad and ugly of it all. We can help you make sense of all this noise.
#4 – Creating content that’s king
There’s no getting away from it. Content is the king of digital marketing. It’s been that way for years and it will continue to be so. The only thing that changes is the type of content that continues to drive up user engagement and delivers value.
You might have a team that can crank out the best long-form content. But that’s clearly not enough anymore. Videos, especially short-form ones, are taking over. They serve a dual purpose. They get the message across fast and users love them. Besides, this is a great way to repurpose an old content piece. Just pick it up, reword it and create a video.
This works both ways. Have an old video that did really well? Get a transcription and turn it into a blog post. You can also use the audio as a podcast. Be smart.
But that’s not the be-all, end-all either. Stories on Instagram and Facebook, and Podcasts work great too. Live streams are interactive. Your audience will love interacting with a brand they follow. To up your content game, focus on creating a healthy mix of sharable, interactive content.
#5 – Fraudulent ad clicks is one of the main digital marketing challenges SMBs face
Fraudulent ad clicks are at an all-time high. Yet, this topic doesn’t get the attention it deserves in digital marketing discussions. Businesses that run paid ads have to constantly monitor ads and clicks.
That’s every single day, mind you. There is a massive network of fraudsters who are paid solely to click on ads. Their sole purpose is to exhaust ad budgets. It’s not just big brands who are victims, mind you. SME businesses lost £5,34,160 to fraud clicks on paid ads. According to PPC Protect, 83% of their client accounts had significant fraudulent click activity.
The question is, how do you prevent it? What does a business do to ensure that a competitor does not hire a scammer to click all day on their ads and exhaust their ad budget? You need a skilled PPC agency. At Rockstar Marketing, we are vigilant about fraud clicks. We monitor IP addresses, user agents and action time stamps to name a few.
If the fraud clicks continue, we might recommend using paid services that use AI and algorithms to stop fraudulent clicks in their tracks.
#6 – Maintaining a consistent brand message will be one of the digital marketing challenges
Brands need to work on sounding authoritative. Authoritativeness stems from a consistent message and tone across all channels. Customers should know what to expect from a brand. That’s regardless of the communication channel they use.
Maintaining a brand voice is hard work though. It’s one thing to come up with a catchy slogan or create an eye-catching image. It’s another to keep that tone going for years on end without sounding like a broken record. That’s precisely what brands need to do.
Take brands like Nike for example. Their brand message has always been inspirational and aspirational. Their content and ads portray athletes as superheroes. They promote a healthy lifestyle. That’s their tone of voice and it sounds like something they’ve been doing for years.
Each marketing channel could have a slightly unique spin. But you stay true to the overall message and tone of the brand. Don’t let an overzealous marketing team take a leap too far from your core messaging.
#7 – Staying on the right side of Google
One of the biggest digital marketing challenges that brands have faced is to remain in Google’s good books. This will continue to be a challenge in the years to come.
Google has made repeatedly made changes that shook up the digital marketing industry. They announced the mobile-first indexing update which placed emphasis on the mobile version of websites. This was followed by an algorithm update called “Medic“. This update penalised websites that were not mobile-friendly and contained low-quality content.
Similarly, there are updates galore on factors ranging from backlinks to content duplication and user experience. This means that staying updated with Google’s recommendations is a full-time job.
The onus is on brands to ensure that the mobile version of the site loads fast on smartphones. Your web design team needs to check if they’re using invasive pages, pop-ups and interstitials. Pop-ups are particularly notorious for being distracting and frustrating users. The design needs to be clean with clear CTAs throughout. Your website needs to load in less than 3 seconds.
Even the slightest hint of shady link building will destroy years of effort. So your digital marketing agency needs to be doubly diligent about link building. Does that give you a gist of how demanding SEO is?
To wrap it up
Businesses will continue to face many digital marketing challenges in 2022. Some of these challenges are unique, while others have been around for a while. But one thing is for sure, businesses that don’t keep up will be left behind. At Rockstar Marketing, we help our clients tackle these challenges head-on so that they can enjoy consistent ROI. If you want to be at the forefront of digital marketing, get in touch with us now.