Updated for 2021:
If you had to set up a business about 10 years ago, you’d have to choose a busy location, obtain licenses and permits, lay down cash equivalent to an amount you’d be able to retire with, and then wait for customers to come in.
That’s not the case now. Today is the best time to be in business (unless you want to focus on an offline retail business).
Have an idea? Launch a website!
Need to validate an idea and check whether your market really needs what you have to provide? Spend $50 on Google or Facebook ad campaigns and you can find out.
Ready to start serving customers? Switch that digital marketing engine on and let it do its magic.
We know it’s easier said than done effectively. To make digital marketing work in your favor, here are some technologies available today that you should be using for your business.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
No, artificial intelligence and machine learning are not about esoteric topics like Big Data. Also, these aren’t just for the biggies like Microsoft, Google, and Facebook.
One look at Product Hunt and you’ll see that there are many startups today providing you with the tools, applications, and everything else you need to make good use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning.
With Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, for instance, both the advertising platforms have artificial intelligence and machine learning incorporated into their advertising system to help identify the objectives of your campaign, to enable you to find the exact audience you seek, to help you focus on the right advertising metrics, and more.
Google officially launched RankBrain™ to make technology rank websites along with its existing algorithm.
You don’t have to become a scientist; you just have to acknowledge that good things are happening while you work hard to launch your campaigns.
Exit Intent, Geo-targeting, and Referral Detection
Think lead generation and you can’t help but think of pop-ups and slide-ins. Usage of these are much debated in marketing circles, there are absolutely a few things you shouldn’t ever do such as confirmshaming.
Yet, popups just work.
What’s even better than regular popups and slide-ins, you ask?
It’s called exit intent technology.
Popups are deployed when visitors to your website are about to leave your site. Further, other intelligent technologies are also used to help detect where your visitors come from and change the messaging accordingly.
Or there’s referral detection where systems detect the exact site that referred this visitor to your website and then messages are changed to reflect that.
Modern-day tools that help you create popups, slide-ins, on-click popups, full-page gating come with these technologies enabled. You just have to start using them and learn to use these tools better.
Nothing can make a difference to your paid campaigns as well as retargeting can. Do it right and you’ll surprise your competition with your lowest possible spending to get maximum results. Retargeting, despite being so effective, is rarely used. If and when it’s used, it’s never used up to its full potential.
With retargeting, you are targeting those who already visited your website (or landing pages or those who watched a video or maybe those who attended an online/offline event) with hyper-targeting campaigns specific to these visitors. These result in higher conversions at much lower costs.
Retargeting is now getting better. You now have access to cross-platform retargeting, device-specific retargeting, email retargeting, and so much more.
It’s been a while since marketing automation has been around. While most marketers and businesses are taking to it in a big way, we haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s possible. Marketing automation incorporates various technologies to make it possible to automate or at least semi-automate various marketing workflows for your business.
Got a new lead? Automatic emails can be sent out, or a complete customer onboarding sequence can be launched to nurture leads.
Shopping cart abandoned? A completely automated series of emails can go out there to nudge the potential customer who didn’t finish the transaction.
Need to send reminders to let users know that they need to upgrade and that their free trial is over? Marketing automation comes to the rescue.
Marketing Stack and Smart Integrations
As a business investing in digital marketing, you are likely to work with a marketing stack (a set of marketing tools) that works for your business. Arriving at the best marketing stack is trial and error anyway.
Let’s just assume that you do have a set of marketing tools to work with.
You’d then need a way to make all these various tools work together (and also with the completely independent and third-party entities such as Facebook and Google, for instance).
Here are a few (but varying) kinds of integrations you’ll need, for instance:
Facebook Lead Ads → CRM + Email Service Provider
Regular paid traffic sources → landing pages → Email Service Provider → CRM
Organic traffic → landing pages → Email Service Provider → CRM
Popups, Opt-in forms, Slide-ins → Email Service Provider → CRM
Each of these entities work different. Your email service provider and CRM will be central to complete marketing stack but you’ll have to figure out a way to connect them all together and make it work.
What do you think of technology making its way into your everyday marketing efforts? Which of these technologies have you already embraced?
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