7 Digital Marketing Tools That Can Be Leveraged for the Small Business

This is a guest post from Mia Clarke at Userful.

With technology rapidly changing and improving, there’s no telling which direction it might go in from one day to the next. Services become all the rage, and then fade away, whilst TV advertising is not the all-powerful monolith it once was. Much of the focus of advertisers when they are writing their campaigns is now on social media and email marketing.

As such it is extremely important for advertising agencies and businesses to keep up with the digital marketing trends & technologies in this area and adopt them early. Below, we have reviewed 7 of the technologies that can be used in conjunction with email and social media campaigns that could change digital marketing forever.

The Amazon Echo Technology

Similar to Google Home but holding a much higher voice-controlled speaker market at a staggeringly high 70% in 2018 alone, Alexa users along with Google Home users have been known to use natural language more – which clearly displays the user intents. As mentioned above, vendors and business owners have to start considering adding question phrases to their digital marketing campaigns to ensure that their business shows up first on the list to be read out loud by Alexa or Google. Likewise, Amzon Echo has become almost like a social Unlike the traditional text searches with queries such as “fish food”, where users could simply be reviewing the types of fish food, or shops selling fish food nearby, voice search users will reveal their intentions clearly so that the search results are highly relevant. They will search with question phrases – what, who, how, where and the like – and it was found recently that these voice searches are geared towards local areas.

This means that local vendors will need to start adding on to their online presence now more than ever! Your local, business and crowd-sourced sites need to be regularly updated and active to ensure that your business can be found by these voice assistance. With these searches on the rise, it is important to ensure that your listings include the correct & updated phone numbers & addresses so that you are not left out in these long-tail queries searching for your services & products.

Though the Amazon Echo doesn’t integrate with a social network per se, Amazon has improved the features so that it can BECOME your family and circle of friends’ social network. Thus, any product that is featured on and advertised through the Echo can find itself on the social networks of many people, being shared far and wide. As we know, if we like something, we tend to tell people, and the Echo is amazing at facilitating this.

Video Wall Technology

While still not very common in suburban areas, multi-display digital signage and video walls are growing to become something more mainstream in bigger public places; Airports, restaurants, hotels and transportation centres – frequently high-traffic areas – are employing this method of digital advertising to market their ad slots to other businesses when they are not using it to further advertise their new services and products. Most of these video walls will include front and rear displays, and while these can feature LED, LCD or plasma displays, about 90% of the video wall market is filled by front projection walls and LCD displays. This could perhaps be due to the smaller bezels and lower prices for displays larger than 32”.

Whereas digital signage typically takes up the size of a plasma TV, these video walls are much bigger and recently with touch integrated into these walls with infrared technology and capacitive touches, immersive experiences for users become the main goal of their ad projection. The ads need be interesting before this was in, and now it is also important that the ad truly engages with its audiences. User experience for video walls will be quite drastically different as compared to touch experiences on smaller devices such as by using a tablet. Video walls containing several smaller screens are different from and better than having a single big LCD display – due to the resolution required and how immersive the user experience can be on the video wall projection. If you are a social media user of you advertise on social media platforms, you can in increase your audience through video walls, as anyone who attends the event will be able to see the your campaign, and you can also encourage people to share via their social network accounts.

Canva – Visual Marketing Technology

If you advertise via social media or email, you will know that visual campaigns (ones that contain visual content rather than merely text) are more successful. However, commissioning graphic design for every campaign is very expensive and time consuming. Canva is just what you need. It offers a  number of templates and design features for creating visual content, which can free up your designers and your cash for more important projects, and make your existing ones more successful. All of this can be integrated easily into your campaigns and will suit every budget, as there are free and paid features.

Artificial Intelligence Technology

Artificial intelligence, and below we will discuss other forms of AI, is now very important to advertisers. Though to a certain extent email marketing may seem anachronistic, it is actually the most successful form of advertising, mainly as a result of automaton and audience segmentation. The first is when advertisers send emails based on things like website interactions, for example, in a confirmation link, which is sent automatically when users complete a sign-up form. Audience segmentation allows for personalization, and splits your customers into groups based on their behavior, which can completely individualize your marketing. Research has shown that individualized marketing exponentially increases sales and take-up of offers, which makes this a no-brainer for advertisers.

Facebook Messenger & Chatbot Technology

Automation is getting stronger day by day, replacing needs for actual human workers and positions. Basic customer service-related questions can be answered with pre-set keyword-based questions and answers to ensure that customers get their replies instantly. Facebook is one of the first few platforms to utilize this function – pre-programed chatbots. Business owners can set up several question and answer sets that users can click on, and without even being there, these same owners can set an auto-response to indicate that the users’ messages have been received and will be replied soon. This is, of course, only if there are no pre-existing answers to answer the users’ queries.

Bigger brands like RedBull have started utilizing this feature on their Facebook page to connect with its users, and this is an amazing opportunity for advertisers, as now you can engage with your customers in a much more organic way, though much more cost-effectively. By simply entering the chat, users will be greeted with multiple-choice questions such as “Are you interested to know more about the recent RedBull events?” or “Send me promotional details!” that they can simply click and get an answer for immediately. These answers can point to specific pages of their website, or just a simple answer if so desired. With enough time spent configuring the messages, businesses can potentially leave their chatbot unmonitored for a while, even while setting the chatbot to send visitors to the page of their latest promotion as a greeting or end-message. Imagine the possibilities this feature could entail!

Deep Machine Learning Technology

You might know this better as artificial intelligence, although technically, deep machine learning is a subset of AI. This is the basis of how chatbots, which we have mentioned previously, can function. Basically, a personalized digital experience is created from a huge collection of data, which frequently gets updated as the algorithm networks grow to mimic human intelligence as closely as possible. While this is not entirely new, deep machine learning has just begun to slowly creep into the digital marketplace to help organizations with their marketing processes, allowing them to be increasingly automated.

How far can you automate with deep machine learning, you might wonder? Since machine-learning technology is advancing quickly, it enables a large amount of analytical data to be processed to gain some insights that actually leads to some critical information. This information could be used to improve your marketing campaigns by using detailed targeting towards the audiences that you might not have noticed before. Since they slowly build their algorithm network, you can be sure to gain insightful data that are more personalized and lead-driven. Eventually, this will allow you to gain enough data about your clients, e.g. through their posts on social networks or their emails, to completely tailor your marketing content to their individual needs, which, for any advertiser, is gold.

Alphabet’s Waymo Technology

If you were not familiar with Waymo, this is a project started by Google in 2009 as a self-driving technology company. While this is still in its infancy and is only slowly rolling out in the United States, the concept of self-driving cars can bring a huge change in digital marketing. Imagine if you do not need to focus on the road while driving. Users who are already mobile-heavy would be able to utilize their phones even more, pretty much focusing their entire concentration on their screens, which potentially brings huge boons for those who engage in advertising on social networks or via email, as customers will have much more time to check content. This would mean that billboards, road signs and small posters by the road will serve less and less function as self-driving cars become even more common anywhere around the world. Instead, the focus on mobile advertising via social networks and email could become more important than ever. Like the VR concept and augmented reality however, it will be a while before this kind of technology becomes the norm.

This also brings the possibilities of advertisements on third party apps such as Google Maps, Waze or other navigation apps.

Mia Clarke is part of the content and community team at Userful.com, experts in all things video wall and display solutions. When Mia is not spreading the word about video walls she is often found discovering the great outdoors, walking or cycling.