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The Australian Digital Marketing Strategy Guide 2021

The Australian Digital Marketing Strategy Guide 2021

The Future Health of Your Business Relies on Great Marketing

For as long as I’ve been writing about marketing, I’ve talked about how critical a great marketing strategy is to ensuring the future health of your business. After all, marketing plays a huge role in determining the future demand for your offering. And when demand for your offering is low, so too are your sales and profit.

In February 2020, when we last published this guide, I spoke of the need to be smart and to keep up with the frequent changes in marketing. I signed off by hoping that 2020 was going to be everyone’s best marketing year yet.


Only a minority of companies would be able to say they achieved this. As it turns out, a lot can happen in a year.

At this point, we all know that marketing is an investment, not an expense. History has proven that those who market their businesses aggressively during tough times will reap the benefits during good times in the form of increased market share.

2020 showed that, for some businesses, options were limited with shutdowns and lockdowns having massive impacts globally. But there were also many industries that stabilised as the year went on and even some who benefited from the changes in consumer behaviour. Despite the unprecedented challenges, the economy rolled on in a surprisingly effective way.

To those who increased their marketing investment in 2020, history tells us good times are ahead. They might already be here. Certainly, we’re seeing this on many of the campaigns we work on.

To those who were unable to maintain or increase their marketing spend in 2020, all is not lost. Even if your industry is already picking up, now is the time to start chasing down those of your competitors who used marketing to break away from the pack in the past 12 months. It’s never too late to get moving.

Finally, a note of caution. 2021 is unlikely to be entirely smooth sailing. Undoubtedly, there will be public health and economic challenges. Many industries are still on life support or well below normal levels. I encourage you as a marketer or a business owner to continue learning from history. You need to keep your marketing efforts front and centre whilst navigating your way through what has become a very unpredictable world.

All the best,

James Lawrence

Chapter 1: Marketing Strategy and the Big Picture in 2021

What You Need To Know To Ensure Your
Marketing Plan Has Solid Foundations.

1. Myth Busted: Digital Marketing is Not as Measurable as You Think

The rise of digital brought with it a belief that all marketing activities could now be measured. Gone was the slogan, "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is I don't know which half". With this came an obsession with hard metrics like cost per click, cost per lead and cost per sale. For some marketers, things have moved so far that they won’t invest in activities they cannot measure.

One of the scariest things we hear when speaking to clients is that they intend to make all of their decisions based on data.

One of the scariest things we hear when speaking to clients is that they intend to make all of their decisions based on data. That's because digital marketing has a dirty little secret: marketing data has serious issues and limitations and used poorly will deliver us far less than we think. Sometimes, it will do as much harm as good.

Attribution Confusion

Even if you understand attribution models, I encourage you to read this short section. Getting this step right is critical to knowing how effective your marketing is. Even more importantly, it’s critical to understanding how to allocate your efforts and budgets.


Attribution, simply explained, is how you credit separate channels, or touchpoints within those channels, for the role they played in a prospect’s path to purchase or goal completion. If people visited your site a single time and then either converted or left for good, attribution would be simple. The channel that drove them to the site, let’s say Google Ads, would be correctly attributed the full value of the purchase or goal.

Attribution is a critical part of making decisions, but you need to know what attribution means for you, keeping the full buyer journey in perspective.

But what happens in the real world, where most paths to purchase are complex and involve multiple visits on possibly multiple devices? Which channel deserves credit? Is it the one that drove them to you in the first place (known as first-click attribution)? Or is it the channel that delivered them to you when they finally reached the goal (known as last-click attribution)? Alternatively, does it make more sense for you to equally value all the channels that drove a particular person to your site prior to them converting (this is called linear attribution)? These are only three of many ways to attribute credit to different marketing channels whenever a goal is reached.

Attribution is a critical part of making decisions but you need to know what attribution means for you, keeping the full buyer journey in perspective. Chances are that your analytics platform is defaulting to a lastclick attribution model.

Ask yourself: How complex is your buyer journey? How likely is it this model undervalues the earlier stages in the buyer journey and over-values the final stage? How is this affecting the way you judge the performance of each channel? What impact is this having on how you set budgets and select future channels?

No One Channel to Rule Them All

Even if you understand attribution models, I encourage you to read this short section. Getting this step right is critical to knowing how effective your marketing is. Even more importantly, it’s critical to understanding how to allocate your efforts and budgets

Attribution, simply explained, is how you credit separate channels, or touchpoints within those channels, for the role they played in a prospect’s path to purchase or goal completion. If people visited your site a single time and then either converted or left for good, attribution would be simple. The channel that drove them to the site, let’s say Google Ads, would be correctly attributed the full value of the purchase or goal.

As an industry, we've become better at recognising the complexity of the buyer journey, the multiple channels used to target buyers, the reality of multidevice usage and the greater sophistication of remarketing and retargeting.

There's no real silver bullet to developing and changing your digital strategy overnight, and any one tactic alone won't work. A winning strategy is going to include the main channels used by your prospects as part of their buyer journey. For many prospects this includes a combination of organic search, paid search, social, email marketing and display.


The complexity of the buyer journey, the use of different devices by individuals and the fluidity with which we move between channels means it is now virtually impossible to measure with certainty the impact of all digital marketing activities. Just because it's data, doesn’t mean it's right.


2021 will be the year that marketers will start to account for the lack of accuracy associated with digital marketing metrics. From this, rational decisions should be made in favour of long-term digital marketing activities that need to be undertaken, without a strict dollar-in-dollar-out expectation. This will apply not just to traditional longer-term activities like SEO and content, but also to paid channels like Google, YouTube and Facebook that have generally been viewed as pure performance channels.

TASK:

Review the channels you're currently investing in and consider introducing smaller campaigns in new channels to support your overarching strategy. For example, check if there is scope to run a generic display retargeting campaign for your website visitors, introduce email marketing or run a brand-based search campaign.

As a first step, take some time to sit down with your team and agree on a small number of metrics that will genuinely give you insight into how your marketing activities are contributing to company profits. Then work backwards to develop and improve campaigns to get those metrics moving in the right direction. But don’t forget, consistency is key, and to start ith, keep it simple and sceptical.

2. If Data is the ‘New Oil’, a CRM is Your Very Own Refinery

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology for managing your company's relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. CRM technology includes tools used by sales, customer service and marketing teams and is constantly evolving. Examples of popular CRMs include HubSpot, Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.

COVID proved the value of a great CRM

When COVID hit in 2020, it became clear very quickly that businesses which had an up-to-date, extensive and well-segmented database of their customers and prospects had a massive head start in kickstarting their sales compared to those businesses which had to generate new revenue from strangers.

Source: Altimeter Digital Marketing Survey, Q2 2019

Those who simply had a database were at a disadvantage when compared to businesses which had this contact data stored in a system that allowed them to send and track emails, understand who was doing what on their website and have an up-to-date snapshot of a contact when they were talking to a salesperson.

What should a CRM look like?

If you don’t have a database of customers and prospects, or you’re still using Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel to manage your database, then it’s high time for an upgrade.

At minimum, you’ll want to choose a tool that brings together your marketing campaigns and sales pipeline into one single customer view.


We’re HubSpot Platinum partners. We also use the platform in our own marketing. If you’d like to chat to us about how HubSpot might work for you then get in touch. There are numerous other CRMs and marketing automation platforms and the most important thing is to find the one that best suits your needs. Bigger is not always better when it comes to CRMs.

Practical Ways to Use Your Database

Gone are the days where a database was simply used to send bulk emails. An up-to-date database, powered by appropriate technology, can see you doing the following:

  • Sending 1:1 or bulk emails to specific segments of your database. This can be based on demographics, custom field or even behaviour.
  • Uploading your contacts to tools like Google Ads and Facebook to build lookalike audiences. This means those platforms will take your audience and find more people just like your existing contacts to show your ads to.
  • Uploading your contacts to tools like Google Ads and Facebook to build lookalike audiences. This means those platforms will take your audience and find more people just like your existing contacts to show your ads to.
  • Sending targeted SMS messages.
  • Being alerted when contacts take valuable actions on your website (such as viewing a certain number of pages or visiting a key page like a pricing page).
TASK:

Review your databse of prospects and contacts. How extensive is it? Do you currently invest money in maintaining and growing this list? How eaily can you send segmented emails? Or see, at a glance, every interaction a contact as had with your marketing campaigns and salespeople? If your CRM technology does not allow you to take the actions outlined in this section, it's time to investigate the right options for your business.

3. Strong Brands Make More Money

In addition to the need for marketing beyond performance-based campaigns, there is also a strong reason for running brand-focused campaigns. Brand awareness has traditionally been a core goal for marketers with a view to generating positive associations for customers towards their products and services.

There is an argument that marketers need to increase the time and effort spent on activities that introduce people to their brand and supporting them in the early and middle stages of the buyer journey rather than obsessing over strict ROI at the bottom of the funnel. Essentially, aligning marketing efforts (and measurement) with the real-world buyer journey.


Consider the results from a survey of marketers from 2019. 37% said that increasing brand awareness and brand health was the primary goal of their digital marketing strategy. This was followed by an increase in the number of leads. What's not clear to many is that both these goals are highly interrelated. It is significantly easier to generate new leads if your brand is strong.

It is significantly easier to generate new leads if your brand is strong.
The Rise of Messaging with Customers at its Core

In the words of American author and public speaker Donald Miller, brands need to stop playing the hero in the story and instead invite customers into the story.

With social media now an indispensable pillar of digital marketing, Miller’s StoryBrand Framework (and variations thereof) has become pivotal in explaining a business’s value and bringing customers along for the journey with interactive and personalised content.

There remains in 2021 a significant advantage for businesses who re-imagine their message in a way that better explains their value as it is perceived by their prospects. There should be less focus on the brand itself. Instead, communication should tap into the intrinsic and extrinsic motivators driving not only purchasing decisions but also brand-to-customer relationships.

Marrying Brand with Actionable Digital Marketing

You don’t need to overhaul your entire brand to make a profitable change to your digital marketing strategy. One could argue that there is scope to include a range of relatively low-budget, high-return 'brand-based' campaigns that are ’always-on’.

Examples include a brand-focused, value-based display retargeting campaign, via the Google Display Network, targeted towards website visitors. Another one is a brand-focused Google Ads display campaign.

The question about whether it’s worth paying for people searching for your brand via paid ads is a long-standing one. At Rocket we are big fans of these brand campaigns and time and again we’ve seen them deliver strong results. The advantages of such campaigns are:

  • You can control the message searchers see in an ad (as opposed to the generic organic results listing).
  • An ad can direct searchers to a landing page of your choosing.
  • An ad allows you to maintain top position even when competitors are bidding on your brand.
  • Running brand ads allows you to dominate the search engine results page (SERP). (This is particularly true on mobile).

Anecdotally, as well as in tests we have run, when branded search has been turned off, the uplift in organic results plus the savings in the cost of branded search does not equate to the revenue that has been lost.

TASK:

Review your marketing budget for 2021 with fresh eyes. Separate media budget you spend on brand campaigns vs other bottom-of-the-funnel campaigns. Remember, brand campaigns will always be cheaper and generate a stronger ROI than regular campaigns. This is OK though; the regular campaigns are valuable in introducing new people to your offering and these are the people who in the future will possibly be running brand searches. Ideally, you should be running both types of campaigns.a

4. It's Time to Adopt Automation

Marketing automation platforms have been around for over a decade and adoption levels are now very high. If you are in a competitive space, not having a marketing automation platform effectively running significant parts of your business will mean that you won't be able to compete when it comes to marketing, sales and maximising value from your customers. In the long run, this may mean needing to invest a higher percentage of your revenue into your sales and marketing efforts. Bottom line, you’ll be leaving a lot of money on the table compared to your competitors.

Whether it’s large platforms like Marketo, Eloqua and Salesforce Marketing Cloud, or platforms suited for smaller and mid-market businesses like HubSpot, Autopilot and Infusionsoft, you need to assess the right platform for your business and commit to it. Don’t choose a marketing automation platform which is too big or too small for your needs.

Automation is not just limited to your sales and marketing platform. All the channels we play in are continuously toying with machine learning and artificial intelligence - another change you need to assess seriously depending on your needs.

Responsive Google Ads

For some years now Google has been investing heavily in automation and machine learning. Each year has seen exponential improvements in Google’s algorithms. One area they are pushing hard on is what they call responsive ads.

Responsive ads are those where you enter a number of headlines/descriptions/images that you want to test, and Google’s machine learning generates the combination it thinks is most relevant to a particular search query or display area. As impressions build up, it is able to optimise these combinations to get the best results.

Given the power of this search giant and its monopoly in the search engine world, it makes sense to test these ad variations for your campaigns. As time goes on, it is likely marketers will have less choice when it comes to opting out of various automation features in the leading platforms.

Emails are Like Gifts - They’re Better When They’re Personal

Many marketers are already increasing email performance by including personalisation based on data collected via intelligent platforms and with the incredible targeting abilities of the already available ad-tech.

This opens unexplored opportunities to be more meaningful and persuasive with email nurture campaigns. It's important to note that simple personalisation, focusing on things like first names, is not going to generate the best results.

Contextual targeting, conversational tones and active segmentation are a must to succeed with high engagement rates and responses on email. Most marketers do a reasonable job of segmenting based on demographic data (e.g. send Email A to Job Title X, Industry Y and Lifecycle Stage Z). This is a great first step but far from what is possible (and expected by prospects).

It's time to get smart. Your prospects know when emails are automated and when they are personally sent. If you're proactive in your email nurture series, you'll be able to blur the former to seem like the latter and drive more leads and sales to your business.

The Automation Challenge

The big players like Google and Facebook will continue to push marketers into using their suite of automation options when running paid campaigns. The challenge will be to determine when this works in your business' interest and when it doesn't. There is no doubt that over the long term, automation will bring many benefits to the lives of marketers, but the question in the short term is when this will be the case and when it won't.

Marketers need to be smart in determining when machines can do things more effectively and at a better level than humans. Most importantly, you need to use your judgement to identify the moments when technology won't understand the intricacies of a campaign and the nuances of your audience. This is where that human touch will still be needed.

Regardless, the truth of the matter remains - businesses, even small ones, can no longer succeed without a highly tailored approach to audience segmentation as prospects now expect more than generic correspondence. This can only be achieved at scale with automation.

Our prediction - businesses without marketing automation won't compete.

TASK:

Take a moment to review your nuture flows. Find gaps in how your nurture based on behavioural data. Has the prospect opened the last email? Has the prospect attended the last two webinars? Did he prospect download the whitepaper on 'Topic X' that is related to the webinar you're trying to promote now? HAs the prospect visited your pricing page?

Create smarter, better emails (mostly plain-text ones) based on these findings.

5. Your Mobile Visitors are as, or Possibly More Important Than Your Desktop Visitors.

If mobile users have been the poor cousins of your digital strategy then it's time to shake things up.

Mobile searches account for more than half of web traffic worldwide in 2021. Responsive websites are a no-brainer and most businesses have got that covered. Now, marketers need to give mobile the attention and respect it deserves.

TASK:

Log in to Google Analytics and see what percentage of your traffic comes from mobile devices. Do you dedicate this much of your thinking, design, testing and optimisation to these valuable users? Can you honestly say your mobile experience is the equal of your desktop experience?

Prospects rely heavily on mobile as their primary device to research, share and make purchases. All assets in your digital marketing toolkit need to account for this tremendous growth and shift in buyer behaviour.

Here are some ideas around mobile and what you need to be aware of in 2021.

Email Marketing for Mobile

Mobile-optimised email marketing is a must. If you aren’t tailoring your emails for mobile users, some might argue, why bother sending it? With an increase in mobile adoption (especially wearables), email marketing needs to adapt as well. This means possibly smaller sized emails, adopting a layout that works across devices, minimal content length and more.

The trend with mobile shows an increased activity within the body of the email itself. So, marketers need to start including buy buttons, full catalogues and full menus within the body of the email with the goal to cut down the path of conversion, particularly for time-sensitive mobile users.

Mobile searches have exceeded desktop searches each year since 2018. Plus, Google has switched to a mobile-first index.
SEO for Mobile

Marketers need to future-proof their digital strategy by optimising their site for searches on mobile. Mobile searches have exceeded desktop searches each year since 2018. Plus, Google has switched to a mobile-first index. So, if you've ignored mobile SEO previously, it’s time for a change.

The best ways to optimise your site is to review and improve the speed of your site, implementing designs that focus on the content that shows ‘above the fold’ of the page, introduce the site search feature and display your call-to action higher up on the page.

TASK:

Run your site through Google's mobile-friendly test and review the results. Make a decision around investing time and energy into the mobile version of your site. Another reliable way of checking your site's capability is using SEMrush.com to generate a report on your site's performance. Finally, don’t forget to simply browse your site on a mobile device as if you were a new visitor. What needs to change?

6. Good Content Marketing = Great Leads and Sales

Not everyone is ready to buy. This is as true in your industry as it is everywhere else. We see too many marketing campaigns that assume the person reading the message is ready to buy today when it’s simply not the case.

Estimates suggest that only 3% of people in any market are in a position to make a buying decision at a specific point in time.

What are you doing at the moment to find and nurture the 97% of people who are not ready to buy today? Most of these people are probably not aware you exist or possibly not even aware that solutions like yours could add value to them now or in the future. These people won’t be interested in your search ads and are highly unlikely to see the value in your paid social ads or your display ads.

Often the best way to deal with these top-and-middle of funnel audiences is via a content marketing strategy.

What is content marketing?

Simply explained, content marketing focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain an audience. It can take the form of videos, blog articles, eBooks, webinars, emails and more. Ultimately, it has the express purpose of providing value to specific personas so that when they are ready to consider a purchase, the company who has been creating so much value for them is top of mind.

There are a number of important points to consider:

  • You need to understand your personas and their problems if you are to create valuable content for them.
  • The content has to be highly targeted and solve a specific and timely problem (i.e. it has to be genuinely valuable).
  • Wherever possible, you should exchange your content for an email address (by offering a downloadable ebook or a webinar, for example) or the ability to cookie a visitor on your website by driving them to it to view the content. Doing this will allow you to continue delivering them value as they continue through their buyer journey.
  • Try not to stick to a single type of content. People consume content in many different ways and it’s important you recognise this.
  • Work hard to ensure your content appears in multiple places. Your buyers don’t spend all their time in a single place and your valuable content needs to find them wherever they are.
  • Great content should be reused and repurposed. An eBook should also become a series of blog posts. Blog posts should be used in EDMs. A short video can be made to promote the key concepts in a more complex piece of content.
Promotion is more important than content creation

A common failure we see is marketers putting all their efforts into creating content and very little effort into its promotion. A piece of content is only as good as the number of valuable prospects who see it and value it.

You need to put at least as much time and money into promoting the content as you did into creating it. In fact, creating the content should be no more than 25% of the total effort on a piece of content. For successful pieces of content, the amount of time and money promoting the content will eventually dwarf the resources invested into creating it.

Important: A Focus on Creating Quality Content Will Pay Off

Gone are the days when average content will drive great results in content marketing. Our advice to you is to focus your resources on creating great and valuable content for your audience.

Even SEO, which has historically rewarded average content created regularly, is nowadays rewarding quality over quantity.

Finally, content marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. People not ready to purchase today are unlikely to change their mind because of a single piece of content from you. For content marketing to deliver leads and sales, you need to produce quality content on a consistent basis for a sustained period of time.

TASK:

Before you start creating content make sure you understand your audience. The first and most critical step in this is to create accurate buyer personas. Use our template to get started. Only once you have done this will you be able to start working out the content that is most likely to deliver the most value. Once you’ve got this done, it’s time to map out their buyer journey.

Chapter 2: Everything You Need to Know About The Best Performing Digital Marketing Channels of 2021

What’s Working in Google Ads, SEO, Paid Social, Email Marketing and Video Right Now.

7. Take Google Ads to The Next Level in 2021

Google Ads is a platform that is constantly evolving. New ad types are being rolled out. Previously effective strategies are becoming less useful. Extra levels of automation mean less work, but they often go hand-in-hand with less transparency.

Here are four key points to watch out for while designing your Google Ads campaign in 2021.

Local Marketing with Google Maps

If you’re a business with a physical address, ads on Google Maps provide an excellent and relatively affordable opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Local Search Ads can be maximised not just by restaurants, gyms and cafes, but also by B2B businesses providing a service. These ads provide excellent visibility on Google Maps and an opportunity to display a CTA that gives searchers direct access to your business.

Know Thy Competitor

Why reinvent the wheel when you can take inspiration from your competitors? When it comes to Google Ads, treat your competitors less as rivals and more as friends or even mentors. Use tools like SEMRush and SpyFu to identify the keywords your top competitors are using as the basis of their search campaigns. You should also review the ad copy they’re using to narrow down on the pain points of your prospects. Plus, it’s a good idea to compare your landing pages and promotions with your competitor’s and identify opportunities for improvement.

Dynamic Search Ads - Experiment in Moderation

Dynamic search ads campaigns have been around for some time and allow Google to dynamically match searches to landing page content (you just specify the landing pages and enter ad descriptions and Google does the rest). The pro is that there’s a good chance you’ll find those “I would never have thought of that” keywords. The con is that you have less control. You need to watch closely and apply negative keywords where appropriate. We recommend you use Dynamic Search Ads in moderation and with a careful eye on performance.

Gmail Ads Will Become Read Only from June 2021

In another move towards limited analytics, Google will be making all Gmail ad campaigns ‘read only’. This means that advertisers will not be able to create any new campaigns or edit existing campaigns. Instead of these campaigns, Google is encouraging advertisers to create Discovery campaigns - which can reach up to 3 million people globally and extend to other Google-owned platforms like YouTube.

Audience Exclusion - Available for Search

Late in 2019, Google introduced affinity audiences. These top-of-funnel audiences group together segments of people that share an interest - think ‘Luxury Travellers’ or ‘Cooking Enthusiasts’. Now, you can target these affinity audiences and also exclude irrelevant audiences from viewing your ads, giving you better targeting capabilities and an improvement in the quality conversions.

Old News, Worth Repeating - Landing Pages

Tying things back to the earlier point on brand awareness and messaging, your Google Ads campaign is only as good as its ability to convert visitors into prospects. The buck stops at your landing page. It doesn't matter how well you choose your keywords, how clever your ad copy is, or how effectively you optimise your campaigns
- if your landing pages are not providing a great, relevant, buyer-centric message and user experience, your campaigns will sink.

TASK:

Review your Google Ads campaigns. Is there scope to include automated bidding for your prospecting search campaigns based on maximising conversions? Do you want to hit a target Cost Per Acquisition for your brand campaigns? At a minimum, discuss these options with your campaign manager.

Open your landing page and test what you see on these four key parameters, putting yourself in the searcher’s shoes:

  • Am I in the right place? (This is what you do/offer)
  • Do they offer the service I need? (This is more detail on what you offer)
  • Is this service/product right for me? (These are your typical customers)
  • Why should I choose you? (This is why your business is perfect for the searcher)

8. Find New Opportunities in Social Media in 2021

Paid social is still one of the most effective tools in any digital marketer’s arsenal to effectively communicate with customers and prospects. Social media platforms are constantly changing, updating and adding new features, so it can be hard to keep up.


While the fundamental strategies around the right audience, right message and right time remain, here are the twists and turns marketers need to watch out for in 2021.

Facebook vs iOS - the Big Debate

iOS14 updates are a huge beast. This is probably the most important of all the updates in the social media advertising realm of 2021, but there is still a lot of uncertainty around it. As a summary, the new iOS no longer allows advertisers to track user activity (like purchases or conversions) automatically. Now users need to manually opt-in to allow tracking. This means marketers are going to end up with skewed data, making it harder to recognise effective campaigns. This will impact businesses' ability to reach audiences in a cost-effective way.

A lot has been said about the issue, but Facebook itself is not clear about the exact implications. Since the change has been active, marketers can expect a change in results from what they are used to; there should be no surprises within the business. In terms of a response to the issue, this will have to be tailored to each specific instance until we have more data and trends become clearer over time.

Social Media Commerce Will Grow in 2021

While social media platforms continue to add features to keep users on the platform, they are also introducing new tools for advertisers to convert customers in-app. Take Instagram for example, which now allows posters to tag the products within their organic post and enables users to check out without leaving the platform.

Marketers could and should capitalise on this feature in 2021 as it gives businesses an opportunity to shorten the customer journey.

Setting up social media shopfronts is vital to organic social success for ecommerce brands.

Instagram and Facebook Bid Farewell to Likes

Circa 2020, Facebook and Instagram have hidden the number of likes a post gets. The change was made to foster connections, conversations and community.

Marketers need to focus on meaningful interaction as opposed to sheer volume. The style of commentary and engagement also needs to change to follow suit.

While some considered ‘likes’ to be a vanity metric, it did at one point provide some measure of impact for awareness-based campaigns. Moving forward, marketers need (if they aren't already) to create and share more relatable content for their audiences - including images and videos that resonate rather than just initiate a one-way interaction.

Marketers need to focus on meaningful interaction as opposed to sheer volume.

Facebook's Preference for 'Short and Sweet'

Facebook has taken Pascal's "If I Had More Time, I Would Have Written a Shorter Letter" philosophy to heart with their Ads Manager. Page posts and ads on mobile now match the look and feel of the new Facebook design that was introduced in 2019. These updates mean that there are only three lines of primary text shown on Facebook News Feed on mobile, after which people will be prompted to click “see more”. It also means that the tallest supported aspect ratio for images without links and for videos is now vertical (4:5). Media taller than 4:5 will be masked on Facebook News Feed on mobile.

Marketers need to be agile in this dynamic ad environment and make clever adjustments to creative, as well as craft succinct copy to maximise on-screen space.

Sound On: Spotify

We are each bombarded by over 4,000 ads on a daily basis. Yes, daily! And that's on the lower end of the spectrum according to a 2017 study by the Forbes Agency Council. In a world that is overwhelmed with visual messages, audio ads might just give you some breathing space.

Audio ads are not new. Radio ads have existed for almost 100 years. They continue to exist because they're effective for many brands. However, they're expensive, tough to measure, and for some demographics, no longer highly relevant. That's where Spotify comes in.

Flexible and effective for smaller budgets, the combination of compelling audio and visuals plus never-seen-before (for audio ads) targeting options delivers a formidable case for trialling Spotify in your marketing mix.

A B2B Marketer's Must Have: LinkedIn

Despite its clunky ad interface and questionable user experience for marketers, LinkedIn stands strong as the obvious channel for B2B marketers. This is especially true for prospecting campaigns focused on lead generation.

Year-on-year, we’ve seen huge growth in LinkedIn, a network that now boasts over 10 million Australian members. It's likely that your prospects turn to LinkedIn to stay uptodate with industry news, share information and job updates and follow thought leaders and companies that resonate.

In LinkedIn, prospects are attuned to learning something new and native sponsored content can successfully drive targeted traffic to your site. With sponsored InMails, you get twice the opportunity to catch the attention of your audience - one on the LinkedIn platform itself as a new message and then in your prospect's email inbox. Plus, there are notifications to support the InMail being sent.

Lastly, there's also scope to send out InMails with inbuilt Lead Forms within LinkedIn. These can integrate with many popular CRMs that can pull in more data fields like city, postcode, job title and the like directly from LinkedIn. Bear in mind that with Lead Forms, prospects don’t visit your site and may not be retargeted as a result.


All these factors make LinkedIn an attractive option for lead generation and it’s an area we’ve seen clients enjoy incredible results in.

TASK:

Check the last five ads you put up on Facebook or Instagram - do they encourage interaction with your target audience? Are you getting genuine comments with people tagging others who may be interested in your products and services? If not, it may be time to rethink the narrative.

Don’t have faith in marketing via LinkedIn? Run a test within your business to connect with at least 30 people in your target market with a short note to go along with your connection request. If more than five people respond positively, there’s a case to invest additional marketing dollars behind an InMail campaign that can deliver a stronger, sales-focused message to your target audience more effectively.

9. SEO is Very Much Alive. Just Different.

In the digital landscape, SEO stands strong as a veteran - the old but reliable way of driving quality traffic to your website. However, with the changing nature of the industry, your SEO strategy needs to keep up to remain a valid part of your digital marketing strategy. With Google’s continued dominance of this space, adapting to its changes is absolutely worth the effort.

Voice Search is Finally Here (And so is Conversational Marketing)

It’s fair to say that whilst voice search is up, it hasn’t yet been a game changer in search in Australia. We believe there is still plenty of change coming. With almost 40% of US adults owning a voice-enabled device and likely similar numbers in Australia, 2021 could mark the point when marketers need to start considering voice seriously when devising digital campaigns.

To support this change, businesses will have to take a step back from formal language and adopt what is now getting traction as 'Conversational Marketing'. This includes rapid adoption of interactive, personalised and relatable website copy that 'speaks' to your target customers. We've all got to change the way we create content to make way for voice search or risk losing traction on the web.

Position Zero – Better than the Best

Ranking #1 on Google's SERP is no longer the position a brand needs to target. With voice search and impatience trending among consumers, Google's featured snippets are often the answer to a given query.

Featured snippets, and other pieces of instant information displayed by Google, means searchers don't need to click through to your website to get the information they're after. According to research conducted by marketing analytics company Jumpshot, over 60% of Google's searches now lead to no clicks (or website visits) at all.

Crafting copy based on search intent has always been the norm for SEO-specific content. Now, it's become essential. Marketers need to create and publish shorter and smarter copy that answers their target audience's most pressing questions promptly.

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