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Digital ad spending is going up year over year, and it’s projected to just keep rising. With more players in the game and more money is thrown around, you’re going to have to work even harder to stand out.

It’s time for you to start working smarter. If you can’t compete with the budgets your competitors are throwing around, you need to compete in other areas instead. Refine your digital marketing strategy to get the most value for your money in 2020.

Start using the right digital marketing tactics and strategies now.

1) Create Short Video Ads

Video has been in for years, but the long-form video ads are starting to tire people out. No one wants to sit through a 30-second or 1-minute video ad before, after, or in the middle of their video content. YouTube is getting overcrowded with long video ads, driving more people to use ad blockers to get around them completely.

Buck the trend by taking advantage of the newer short-form buffer ad spaces offered by many platforms. Short, 6-second ads can be more impactful and memorable to customers if they’re made well, and they’re less likely to be skipped. Six seconds doesn’t sound like a long enough time for an ad, but it’s more than enough if you know how to use it. There used to be an entire video platform dedicated to 6-second videos (Vine), and it had millions of active users and engaged people.

2) Try Native Advertising

Native advertising used to mean writing sponsored articles for magazines, with a note at the top of the page indicating that you paid for it. Today, it looks very different. Ads are integrated into user feeds or content pages seamlessly, meant to blend in and more closely match existing content posts.

Today’s native ads can look just like normal posts in a feed, with the biggest difference being they’ll contain a small “sponsored” tag or something similar to demonstrate that they’re paid advertisements. It is very effective, especially for small business advertising.

Regardless, they blend in more easily and don’t look so out of place, which makes them far more appealing to viewers who would normally just cruise right by obvious ads.

The appeal of native advertising done right is that viewers won’t be as likely to ignore your posts. They make look and feel similar to posts above and below, making them just another post to see on the feed rather than an obnoxious advertisement getting in the way of their experience. Engagement is likely to be higher on a well-made native ad.

3) Be Mobile-Focused

A 2019 Pew Research survey showed that 81% of Americans own smartphones.

More people are using smartphones as their primary online devices at home today, rather than computers or tablets. In fact, 1 in 5 American adults is smartphone-only, according to Pew.

This revelation needs to fundamentally shift how you think of digital marketing. Rather than making ads geared towards desktop users first, with responsive tech that makes it adaptable to mobile devices, you should be planning your marketing strategies with mobile in mind first.

Mobile-first means designing and creating ads and content to work first on mobile devices and adapting to larger screens, rather than the reverse. Responsive websites and ads are effective, but why bother catering to computer users if most of your viewers are likely to be using mobile devices instead of computers? Mobile use has surpassed computer use, and it’s only going to keep growing.

4) Shoppable eCommerce Posts

Shoppable posts are a newer feature that’s present on only a few social media apps thus far. The big ones are Instagram and Facebook. What a shoppable post does is places tags on photos that allow viewers to go directly to the pages where those items are sold. It’s a powerful tool for eCommerce brands and influencers who want to make it easier for customers to find the products they’re displaying on models or inaction.

It’s really easy to get started with shoppable posts. Though they’re only available in around 50 countries, it’s a good starting point for many brands, especially brands selling to the US market. The benefit of shoppable posts is that they help customers buy with less friction. Since they don’t have to put in the work to find the items they liked from your picture, they can just click on the tags, it helps them make impulse purchases or spontaneous purchases. Shoppable posts are only available for business accounts, not personal accounts.

5) Improve Customer Experience with AR

Augmented reality (AR) has the potential to completely change the digital marketing scene. Technology around AR is getting more complex and evolving quickly. Companies can now use AR to enhance the customer experience in a number of ways.

The most exciting potential AR has is for trying out products before buying them online. Ecommerce stores can allow customers to try on cosmetics, clothes, and other items using an AR program and their mobile devices or computers. Customers can see what they would look like wearing or using a specific product before placing their order, acting like a sort of online showcase.

AR can also be used in creative ways with apps on mobile devices. Popular app games use AR to power their gameplay, but you can also use it to up your digital marketing as well. You can create an experience for customers in your physical locations. Starbucks and Mercedes have already incorporated some of these strategies successfully, so why shouldn’t you?

AR is a powerful tool for brand awareness and growing your brand strength. It’s good to get into this early before it blows up too much and becomes the norm. You still have time to get early adopter benefits in your industry.

6) Customize Marketing Experiences

People love personalized ads and marketing. When you try to force the same ad on everyone, it’s easier to tune it out and ignore it. Personalized ads catch more attention and make people more inclined to click on your ads or respond to your CTA.

Personalization is a lot easier with re-targeting ads instead of ads for completely new customers. When you’re re-targeting someone, you already have a little data on them that you can use to make personalized marketing materials. Without having your own data, you can still tap into good personalization by using highly targeted ads on Google or social media.

Narrow down your target audience by very specific factors like search history or preferences and create ads specifically for that narrow audience. People respond better to personalized ads that are more applicable to their exact circumstances.

Personalization is especially powerful for email marketing strategies.

Develop a customized funnel to help you identify where a certain person is in their customer journey. Depending on where they are, send personalized emails to them that apply to their specific situation rather than just a general monthly marketing email.

Examples of these are product recommendations based on past purchase history, birthday greetings, and specially tailored promotions to bring them back to your site.

Marketing changes every year. To stay on top, you have to think on your feet and keep up with the changes.

Start working on your 2020 digital marketing strategies now before you’re left behind!

Written By
Georgi Todorov is a digital marketer. He recently started his own blog about digital marketing DigitalNovas. His passion is to help beginners to start and grow a successful online business. He has just launched his White Link Building Service. Hit him up on Linkedin or Twitter

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