This year, the number of smartphone users worldwide is expected to reach 2.32 billion.1 Because of this, your digital marketing must be 100% mobile-friendly in order to stay competitive in today’s market.2 But as the digital landscape changes almost day to day, the question of where to safely and effectively invest your digital ad dollars is always an issue.

Should your entire digital marketing strategy be mobile-focused or just mobile-friendly? The following digital strategies are key to staying ahead of today’s digital marketing game and out-selling your competition.

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Supplement Your Digital Marketing With An Omni-Channel Approach

Omni-channel marketing is taking off for two simple reasons:  convenience and immediate gratification. Today’s consumers gravitate to businesses that keep up with them as they shift their interaction between television, radio, mobile, laptop, and in-store interface.

It’s crucial that your traditional media ads, website, social media, BDC, and sales team complement one another.  Your customer should be able to hear your radio spot, research your inventory online, call your store, and have a positive interaction with one of your sales representatives free of information gaps or inconsistencies.

One study reports that 62% of companies have, or plan to have, an omni-channel marketing strategy, and as the results of a connected, fluid approach becoming more apparent, this number will continue to grow.2

Paid Search – Google Automotive Ads

If you don’t have a paid search (pay-per-click or cost-per-click) ad campaign already, it needs to go to the top of your marketing list.

Google Adwords’ roll-out of Automotive Ads has set the stage for engaging a wider, and primed-to-purchase audience. “Model Automotive ads recreate that showroom experience by featuring images of your cars along with additional information about each of them, like estimated MPG or advanced features, right within mobile search results,” the Adwords blog explains. A powerful tool when you consider that Google reports viewing images of cars and trucks as the most common mobile action when shopping for a vehicle – more than any other mobile action taken when shopping for a car.

The results so far?  Brands are seeing more than a 30% average increase in engagement rate with Model Automotive ads compared to standard text ads.

Cross-Device Remarketing

You’ve no doubt experienced the feeling of being ‘followed’ by display advertising as you leave a trail of cookies when navigating from one website to another. Let us assure you, it’s much more effective than it is controversial: Search Engine Journal reports that 91% of search experts use remarketing to increase brand exposure, targeting in-market customers, and driving higher conversions.3

Remarketing is the advertising practice of marketing to the 96% of users who have interacted with your website in the past but didn’t convert.4 Cross-Device Remarketing follows an omni-channel approach of maintaining consistent, relevant contact with those users across their desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone.

A Google/Ipsos study found that a whopping 67% of smartphone users began researching a product or service on their mobile phones and converted in-store, illustrating how this state-of-the-art campaign tool creates top of mind awareness for your customers and effectively engages people who have previously interacted with your brand.5

Banner Ads: Static or Showy?

Banner Ads continue to lead the display ad show, but with so many ways to execute this staple of digital advertising, it’s important to proceed with caution. However tempting their customizability, we recommend steering clear of showy animation in your design. Aggressively energetic motion graphics or splashy imagery might seem like the perfect strategy, but to a viewer trying to focus on website content, they quickly become gaudy annoyances that won’t produce leads.

Take a more conservative route for the cleanest, most compelling messaging:  static banner ads.

Static banner ads are easily scalable, non-animated ads. With all content on the table at once, these images can be highly impactful at first glance. Be sure you deliver a clear call to action, and follow these other proven steps to design and develop a successful banner ad.

Savvy Social Media . . . with Video

Forbes’ Jayson DeMurs sums up the rapidly emerging truth about social media marketing in 2017: “It’s no longer enough to post your sentiments about an event; you have to show your users what it’s like to be there. You can do this with things like live video, 360 images and video, and even just more real-time posting.”

Live streaming video. Outstreaming video. ‘How to’ video. The list goes on and on, but one thing is certain: if you are not posting some form of video content, you are missing out on a serious marketing opportunity that just keeps giving back: Google found that 60% of people who used YouTube while buying a car were influenced by it, more than TV, newspapers or magazines and Hubspot’s latest online video survey shows that 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others.

Next time you unveil a new model, try live streaming it. Consumers are attracted to vicarious interactions that keep them in the know, and make them feel included in what you are doing. IBM counts this tool among key 2017 business trends. Live streams are no more expensive than pre-recorded videos – making this a cost-effective marketing tactic to try.

Outstreaming video is the real new kid on the block. It’s a video ad format that doesn’t require an actual player (like YouTube) and can be posted almost anywhere on your website. Though it comes with a heftier price tag, it offers powerful perks: allowing editorial publishers to sell outstream spots to advertisers, no longer limiting brand advertising to just player sites, and allowing consumers to scroll past and ignore the video if they don’t wish to watch it.

However much of your marketing budget you choose to allocate to video in your social media and overall digital advertising, you will see rapid, measurable results.

Stay Ahead of the Game

Using the right digital strategies can make or break your digital marketing, but it seems the digital game is always changing. Fortunately, there’s a few ways to stay ahead of the game that you can rely on. These three strategies never change.

  • Flexibility is Key:Digital advertising may seem to shift constantly, but as long as you (or your agency) is willing to maintain a watchful eye and adjust as needed, you’ll always stay ahead of the competition.
  • Stay on Target:Broad-brush marketing is officially dead. By analyzing data that tracks geo-intent and behavioral-intent metrics, you’ll ensure that your marketing isn’t burning through your budget with less-than-optimal targeted messaging.
  • Always Know the Facts:It’s important to have a clear understanding of how your campaigns are performing at any given time. Sophisticated reporting tools exist at every layer of digital engagement – insist that your agency provides you timely, consistent, and transparent feedback on your digital ad performance. After all, it’s much harder to know what direction to head if you don’t know where you are right now.

If you’re able to keep a flexible outlook, stay on target, and understand the facts about each campaign, you’ll always have the keys to win the digital marketing game.