18 November 2014 - Jamie Geoghegan

Future-Proof your Digital Marketing

We all want to get the best impact and value from our marketing. With the fast pace of change that we see across digital marketing, it can be a challenge for businesses and marketers to keep up.

A good web presence should be an investment, one that adds value to your business.

There are areas where many businesses fall behind but there are opportunities to not only catch up but to get ahead. And so follows the key areas across technology, design and content that can help businesses to future-proof their digital marketing.

Be Responsive

Technology is ever evolving and this includes how people view websites and content on the web. As we enter 2015, responsive web design is perhaps the biggest factor in future-proofing a website. As new devices emerge, a responsively designed website will be ready for anything. If you don’t have one, now is the time to optimise your user’s browsing experience by creating a flexible and dynamic website, which allows you to stay ahead of the trend.

Mobile web traffic usage is currently averaging at 50% and global mobile data traffic grew 81% in 2013 – read the CISCO report here.

Retina Ready

With the evolution of device displays, the amount of users using Retina-enabled devices continues to grow at a rapid rate. Website analytics can help you assess how many users are coming to your site using these devices. Your website may have been built recently but check if it’s graphics, buttons, gradients, patterns etc. appear less sharp and more blurry on a Retina screen. If they do, high-resolution versions or SVGs* can easily replace these, ensuring your site looks at it’s very best as more users adopt high-resolution mobile technology. The latest iMac has a 5K Retina display, that is more pixels than a digital cinema screen. The future of PC screens too will be a HiDPI-enabled one (the non-Apple word for Retina).

*Scalable Vector Graphics (.svg) have been around for a long time but are often overlooked. They are resolution independent and their scaling capabilities mean that they are truly future-proof.

A Flexible CMS

WordPress is the most popular CMS and blogging system in use on the web. It powers over 60 million websites worldwide as well as being one of the most expandable content platforms available. There are thousands of plugins available that can add custom functionality to your website so it is FRIDAY’s choice of CMS. Read more about the power of WordPress in Ziggy’s post here.

Fresh Content

Unless you’ve had your head in the sand for the last number of years, you will be aware of the importance of publishing quality content about your business or brand. Remember to write for your audience, not for search engines but optimise your content with keywords as you go. Google creates algorithms that mimic human behaviour and it notices the relevance and quality of your content first.

A blog can be a great source of content and it serves as a free platform for you to share info, thoughts and insights. With good content, you can get more people to link to your site and talk about your brand. We recommend you create a content marketing strategy to help you plan and schedule regular post uploads.

Social

You should be using every channel at your disposal to direct your audience where you want them to go (your choice should remain relevant to the business and it’s potential clients.. ie: while a children’s clothes store won’t find many customers on LinkedIn, a business consultancy will). Of course, it makes sense to use incentives to encourage participation, while making sure that a) it’s easy and b) the user has something to gain. But the era of free social marketing is over: social networks have to make money and they can’t do this by continuing to offer their audience engagement platforms to brands for free. Although social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, it’s a good idea to start to adjust your strategy. Use these channels to direct your audience back to your own website or newly launched app or microsite, and in doing so, you will create a long-term home for your community. It’s more than any social network can offer.

Read how Taco Bell recently used this original idea to launch their new online app. This is the future of social marketing.

Design For Emotion

Think of emotion as a bridge or a messenger. Draw inspiration from the little sparks or connections in the relationship between you and your clients. Then create new connections that can help you sell, promote or educate. Because of the exponential rise in smartphone usage, people engage in content in a more visual way. Through the use of photography and video, people can relate to people more. People ignore design that ignores people. So use human faces to catch attention, guideline of sight, engage, visualise emotions, create appeal, trust and authority, and if possible to make people smile.

people

Recently we met with a client who took 1.5 years to redevelop their name and identity. They used focus groups to identify strengths and issues with their brand as it currently stands and learned that they have a huge opportunity to appeal to the driving emotions of their target audience. We are looking forward to extending this into the design and build of the website which will launch their new brand.