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Online_Marketing.jpgThe world of online marketing is constantly evolving, with new concepts and techniques emerging on an almost constant basis. It's safe to say that the current approach to digital advertising is far more refined, and sophisticated than the horrific banner ads and flashing graphics that dominated the early days of ecommerce. In fact, a report published by eMarketer indicates that 2017 will mark the first year in which digital ads surpass television ads in marketing expenditure.

For professionals that want to take advantage of the potential $77.4 billion industry next year, online marketing, and digital advertising is all about optimizing your performance with the latest strategies and techniques. Following, we'll address just some of the most effective changes to make this year, when creating a killer online campaign.

1. Drive Your Strategy With Data


In recent years, enterprises have begun to consciously embrace data-driven strategies for their business, and this change has emerged as one of the most important steps in marketing history. The reason for this is that the more we understand the data we acquire, the more we can understand our audience, and adjust campaigns in order to better achieve business objectives.

In 2016, monitoring your available digital media for critical information, analyzing each channel of content you use (video, blogging, and social media) for performance, and managing the way you produce marketing efforts will work wonders.

2. Transform Quality Content, Into Engaging Content


When it comes to modern SEO - a concept we'll cover further soon - you'll find that the most important factors are developing engaging, high-quality content. Google rewards maximum visibility to images, articles, and stories that receive the most engagement.

These days, the aim with any piece of content should be to encourage some form of engagement from your audience, rather than just looking for the highest possible quality in your posts and videos. For instance, engagement in videos, articles, and images, means that people like them, read them, and share them with their friends and co-workers.

The only way to create engaging content is to continuously learn and refine your techniques according to your audience's feedback, which you can access through comments, email, podcasts, and social media.

3. Go Meta With SEO


SEO, or search engine optimization, remains to be one of the most important considerations an online marketer can make when adjusting his or her digital advertising efforts. Since more than half of your online traffic probably comes from Google, you need to make sure that the search engine is 100% happy with your efforts. 

The recent announcements given regarding ranking suggest that Google is particularly interested in your meta-descriptions, when it comes to assuring that your site receives a constant flow of visitors. Meta descriptions are highly-underutilized, yet extremely powerful tools for marketing. Though they might sound complex on the surface, they're actually just the small samples of information that show in search results, underneath the clickable link.

The purpose of a meta description is to describe the blog, article, web page, or case study you've published to your audience before they even click on your link. This is important because it helps to promote user experience by ensuring visitors click on your website because they've determined it could offer a solution to their needs. Since Google is so concerned with user experience, it only makes sense that upgrading your meta descriptions would boost your SEO.

Here’s a great resource to help you create your meta descriptions.

4. Get Personal

online_marketing_is_personal.pngFinally, the rise of the Millennial generation, combined with things like mobile technology, social media, and other forms of digital communication have contributed to the creation of a huge online community that thrives on interaction. Since we're all being more social online, the best way for brands to get in touch with their audience is to join the conversation, and make themselves heard from an emotional, and personal point of view.

After all, according to a number of studies, we all prefer to share information with someone we consider to be a friend, than a corporate identity we have no relationship with. The direct marketing association even found that 76% of online users today are happy to share personal information with brands if they believe that it will help to lead to a better overall experience.

This year, personalized marketing will be essential to gaining, and keeping loyal customers, as getting personal with your audience leads to more emotionally connected consumers, who are more likely to advocate for your brand in the future. Try reaching out to people on a local level with sales and offers, or providing blog posts that are helpful according to one part of your audience's specific demographic.

Topics: Online Marketing, SEO, Branded Content, Data

Tim Nichols

Written by Tim Nichols

Tim Nichols is a founding partner at ExactDrive, a digital media buying agency with white label, reseller and managed service options available. ExactDrive plans, manages, and optimizes online advertising campaigns with the objective of delivering measurable value and empowering clients to find precisely targeted audiences. ExactDrive has offices in Minneapolis, MN, Milwaukee, WI and SouthWest Florida.

Tim Nichols is also a contributing author on Forbes.com.

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