Improvements in marketing technology are not only making it simpler to connect with your customers, but they’re also making it easier to drive them away from your competitors.

1. Interactive marketing increases engagement through choice

Interactive content has been seen as the future of marketing since the mid-90s. Social quizzes, ROI calculators and their like are great ways of driving customer engagement through interactivity, but they’re quickly becoming the ghost of marketing’s past. Technology is helping you to make your customers more involved in how you market your brand to them.

Recommended reading: How To Hook Up Your Ecommerce Blogging With Your Email Strategy

The evolution of interactive marketing means you can give your customers choices in your adverts. You can ask questions of your customers, allowing them to decide which of your products best suit their needs. Patak’s is one company already using this tactic. In a campaign with Jamie Oliver, Patak’s gives its customers the option to choose between curry recipes.

The boon in interactive marketing is down to the success of the technology used by Netflix in its Black Mirror episode, Bandersnatch. In Bandersnatch, the viewer is asked to make choices at various stages throughout the story.

By using developments in technology, you can use interactive marketing to increase your customer engagement rates and increase the shareability of your content. Why is this important? Because in an age where customers are surrounded by advertising noise and shopping choice, it’s not enough to sell the same products in the same way as rival companies – you need to stand out by making a real connection. Using interactive technology achieves the El Dorado of marketing – making your customers connect with you, rather than you with them.

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Credit: Netflix

2. IGTV lets marketers get more from Instagram’s mobile marketing

IGTV is designed for mobile. The platform’s videos are captured vertically so they work for mobile screens and play once Instagram is opened. Instagram’s engagement rate is up to 600% higher than Facebook and Twitter, giving it the best ROI of social media marketing – it’s why Instagram influencers can charge millions for a single post.

While adding IGTV to your marketing efforts will require some work, it gives your business an opportunity to get more from mobile marketing.

IGTV should be one part of your Instagram marketing strategy. To get the most from this social platform, your business needs to use Instagram Stories, hijack popular hashtags, and partner with a brand-appropriate influencer.

To make sure your company is maximizing its ROI from using Instagram influencer marketing, use Influencer Fee’s free calculator for Instagram. You can even embed this tool into your blog or online store at the click of a button and use it to see the cost and value of using individual influencers.

Credit: Instagram

3. Machine learning makes paid advertising even more effective

Let’s be clear here: there’s no such thing as free marketing – whether companies pay a marketing agency, a search engine, or social media influencer, the common theme is that they do pay. And it’s with good reason to because handing cash over to a professional is a good investment of your marketing budget (so long as it’s the right agency). It’s because of this that PPC has long been an effective marketing tactic, and machine learning is making it even more effective.

In 2017 Google introduced machine learning into its PPC offering with its Smart Bidding system, which used developments in machine cognition to aid CRO (conversion rate optimization). So what, you might say? Well, in 2019 Good Firms carried out a study into how machine learning is making paid advertising even more effective. These experts explained that handing over control to bots not only saves you doing the grunt work, it also gives you access to behavioural data that marketing executives are unable to get.

Why is this important? Because, as Patrick Gilbert explains, “the real trends that are uncovered by machine learning are multi-layered and likely incomprehensible.” And at its foundation, all marketing is about finding and exploiting trends. What that means then is that machine learning is making PPC even more effective at putting companies in front of the right people at the right time.

Google heads up the trend of search engines using machine learning to enhance its PPC. However,  Facebook and Bing – (which already has a 33.5% cheaper cost-per-click (CPC) – than Google) have also been investing in the technology too. So if your company wants to get access to the ‘real’ trends on as many potential customers as possible, make AI-led PPC an important part of your marketing budget.

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4. Beacon technology bridges the gap between in-store and digital

The rivalry between Burger King and McDonald’s doesn’t only give people wanting a quick meal food for thought, it’s an example of new marketing techniques that can have a big impact on your business.

In December Burger King’s Not Big Mac’s campaign used beacon technology to create a proximity marketing campaign to steal McDonald’s customers.

Burger King used beacon technology to target customers 600 yards away from a McDonald’s, then drive them to a Burger King store where they could buy a Whopper for ¢1. Burger King’s use of proximity marketing helped the company to steal over 500,000 customers from McDonald’s, showing the power of beacon technology.

Like GPS, beacon technology tracks the location of a mobile phone user via a company’s app. Beacons are wireless devices that send Bluetooth signals to smartphones within range. If smartphones within proximity of a beacon have your company app installed, you can use then explore a wide range of proximity marketing tactics.

As the Burger King vs. McDonald’s example shows, beacon technology is an extremely effective way of reaching customers glued to their phones, and it’s now within reach for most SMEs thanks to advancements in integrations. For example, Shopify Plus and Magento are two popular ecommerce platforms that will allow you to create linked mobile apps so you can send customers personalized messages, exclusive discounts, and recommendations based on their proximity. While beacon technology is not yet quite ‘out of the box’, it’s only a few quick installations away.

Bridging the gap between your bricks-and-mortar premises and online store, this could help future proof your retail efforts and boost footfall. And it’s not just for ecommerce — other businesses can also use beacon technology to make the most of local events and features.

Summary

Technology has made marketing more targeted, fluid, and responsive. IGTV, beacon technology, machine learning enhanced PPC, and interactive marketing are only four of the developments that will make your marketing more effective in 2019. Developments in technology allow you to evolve your marketing strategy, but to get the most from it you need to think holistically. Using an agency alongside your strategy allows your business to maximise your growth potential and get even more value from your marketing campaigns.