2018 Digital Marketing Trends

Who is your most valuable audience? Your digital strategy should lead them directly to you. But the landscape changes quickly. How do you keep up? Here’s our take on actionable insights you can (and should) incorporate into your marketing strategy, including advances in online display targeting, content marketing and video.

Technology Changes the Nature of Online Giving

Understanding your audience is the sacred piece of any puzzle. Who are your donors, and what drives them to engage with your organization? What characteristics can you count on your donors to have, and how can you strategize to find more like them? As the digital agency of record for a large mid-west nonprofit organization, Advance 360 began with these questions.

But there were real goals to solve. Donor relations is becoming even more important, but with resources waning, the hand-to-hand nature of these relationships is being eclipsed by a desire to drive transactional gifts. These automations, when done well, can still feel personal, allowing staff the time to concentrate on the kinds of relationships that might still require them to be present.

Such was the case for our client.

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B-Nonprofit-GoalDonate Technology Changes the Nature of Online Giving
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This activity was generated in Q4, 2017, and compared to the same periods of the prior year.

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Creative Strategy

These results represent a creative shift as well. With the personal connections missing, it became increasing important for the creative to generate the emotion that might have been conveyed by discussion. Stories about how contributions served individuals in the community became the currency of the engagements. Multiple stories were tested, and determinations made on the value of each based on their conversion metrics. Optimizations were performed in accordance with the best performers, amplifying the work of single stories and pieces of creative over time.

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Notable

As is often the case in nonprofits, budgets must be fluid based on audited revenue from previous years. In Q4 2017, the organization needed to decrease spending by 20% over 2016. Even with this decrease, the Return on Investment (ROI) improved by 2.8 times.

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Essential Tools for Marketing Managers

Marketing Managers have a lot to juggle when planning and executing their business strategies. From developing content marketing to managing campaign schedules, developing quality creative and tracking its performance, campaigns can become overwhelming, fast. Use these tips on ways to streamline these efforts and keep your project management affordable.

Creating Engagement Through Content

Content Creating Engagement Through Content

In digital marketing, the best way to sell your product or service is by not “selling” at all. Instead of always asking your customers to buy, you can become a resource for them, by sharing valuable information or just something fun. For example, a car dealership could produce a used-car buying guide, or a dentist office might distribute kids quizzes on how to prevent cavities.

This information is called “content” and whether delivered through a blog post, social media update or video, it’s the heart of any successful digital marketing strategy. Consider that 50% of consumers report that a company’s content has a positive impact on their purchase decisions.

People spend more than 1,000 minutes per month watching online videos with the 18-24 and 25-34 age ranges leading the pack. Video consumption continues to rise, to the point where video social media network YouTube has become one of the leading search engines on the web. Educational institutions need to understand how their audience is consuming content online, and the fact is that more people than ever are watching videos for both entertainment and education. And with video content being among the highest converting metric, can you afford not to utilize the power of video? (Read on about video content marketing here, with this article from Advance Ohio.)

Nearly 90% of all brands use some form of content marketing, according to the Content Marketing Institute. Whether a mom and pop shop or Coca Cola, businesses recognize that this vital marketing resource helps them connect with their customers, generate more sales leads and grow their business.

Smartphones Take Over

Smartphones have transformed us. We are anxious, even edgy, if we are without our phones, panicked over the potential to be disconnected. We use these devices for the functions once performed by specialized technologies: music players, e-book readers, cameras, and gaming devices. Smartphones have shifted our culture, changed our behavior, and connected us globally. We reach one another differently, manage our personal lives, and share ourselves with others using this device.

Screen-Shot-2017-03-10-at-2.49.35-PM Smartphones Take Over

SEO Priorities

Every year, Hubspot assembles the “State of Inbound,” a comprehensive report that examines the challenges, priorities, and strategies of more than 3,500 marketers and sales professionals from around the world. The report covers just about every topic in the inbound marketing world, but some of the more interesting statistics revolved around SEO and SEO strategy.

SEO remains relevant and important, but it’s changing dramatically. In 2016, 69% of marketers described prioritizing SEO growth in their strategies. If you are like those marketers, the full report may be reflective of your own thoughts, or may give you a fuller understanding of how this component is expanding among your other efforts.

Ad Exposure: What You Should Know

While dated 2014 (which in today’s market seems outdated) note the crux of this Media Dynamics, Inc. study. Over time (70 years!), despite a dramatic increase in exposure to media, the amount of ad retention remains relatively static. Remember, too, that in 1945, there were significantly fewer advertisements in the media space.  It appears that there is a cognitive ceiling to the retention of a traditional ad unit, like a television commercial or periodical display ad.

As far-fetched as it seems, we know that with the right audience targeting and frequency, new messages can be learned, retained, and converted to action. Some more than others, but in truth, we do recall the tag line, website, or brand. Knowing that there is a retention ceiling for media users, it I even more important to find the right person to receive your message at the right time.  Without someone primed to retain your message, it becomes wallpaper, falling on deaf ears — and audience that simply isn’t prepared to take action.

ad-exposure Ad Exposure: What You Should Know