8 Digital Marketing Best Practices for 2020 and Beyond

Technology is constantly moving and shaking. To help you stay competitive in this constantly changing landscape, we’re going to share the digital marketing best practices you need to focus on right now.

In this article, you’ll get digital marketing tips you can integrate with your existing digital marketing strategy.

Before we get into our digital marketing best practices, let’s briefly cover the basics of digital marketing. Want to skip to the digital marketing strategies? Click here!

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is any online marketing effort. This includes using marketing techniques like email, search engines, social media, and websites.

To get the most out of your digital marketing plan, you’ll want to create a strong digital marketing strategy.

Simply put, your digital marketing strategy is the specific steps and actions you can take to achieve your goals.

There are several types of digital marketing. Here are the most common:

You probably already use most of these online marketing strategies. But are you using them effectively?

What, if anything, could you do differently? What are the best marketing strategies? What are the best practices in digital marketing?

Digital Marketing Best Practices

Here are marketing tactics you can use with the different types of marketing strategies we listed earlier. We’ve also included digital marketing examples so you can see these best practices in action.

1. Chatbots & Conversational Marketing

Conversational marketing uses automated technology, usually including artificial intelligence. It includes everything from email marketing to customer feedback and helps online shoppers and brands connect with each other through chat and voice.

With the growth of messaging apps, chatbots have enormous reach. In fact, as of 2017, global monthly active users of the top 4 messaging apps surpassed users of the top 4 social networks:

messenger apps vs social

Chatbots are a great way to get started with conversational marketing. They can keep you up and running 24/7, are cost-effective, and give you a direct line to your audience.

In addition, chatbots can help you get more information about your customers and potential customers. This makes it easier to create targeted marketing campaigns that include high-converting personalization techniques that go beyond just including your lead’s name.

It’s estimated that chatbots will power 85% of customer service by 2020. Not only that, but they’re expected to cut business costs by about $8 billion by 2022.

How to Do It

OptinMonster integrates with ManyChat to make it super easy to create your own chatbot.

Here’s how to do it.

Note: You’ll need a Growth subscription to use the ManyChat integration.

Step 1. Create or Edit an OptinMonster Campaign

From your Campaign Dashboard, click Create New Campaign.

create_campaign

Now select the campaign type you want to use. We’re using a slide-in campaign.

select a slide-in campaign

Next, choose your campaign template. Everything in OptinMonster is fully customizable, but the templates give you a great place to start.

We’re going to use the Split template. To select the template, hover the mouse over the desired template and click on the blue Use Template button.

select split template

Name your campaign, choose the website you want it to show up on, and click Start Building.

start building

Now you get to edit your campaign.

To edit anything, simply click on the element you want to edit in the live preview. The editing tools will come up on the left side of the campaign builder.

edit headline

Go ahead and edit your campaign’s design to look the way you want before moving on.

Step 2. Add the ChatBot Element to Your Campaign

To add the ChatBot element to your campaign click on + Add Blocks.

add blocks

We’re going to drag and drop the ChatBot element over to the live preview of our campaign.

add chatbot

ManyChat will be your ChatBot Integration.

choose manychat integration

Step 3. Create Your ManyChat Widget

Log in to your ManyChat account and go to Growth Tools.

manychat growth tools

You can either use an existing widget or create a New Growth Tool.

manychat new growth tool

Create a new Embeddable Widget.

manychat embeddable widget

Configure your widget design and settings. If you’re using the Box widget, we recommend setting the Width to Fit Container.

manychat width fit

Step 4. Connect Your ManyChat Widget

Now you can connect your ManyChat widget. To do this, go to the Setup tab, click Install JavaScript Snippet.

manychat install javascript

Add the domains you want to authorize. Then, in Install ManyChat Snippet, copy the number ID in the URL of the provided code snippet. This is your Facebook Page ID.

manychat copy facebook id

Paste the number into the Facebook Page ID field in your OptinMonster campaign.

paste page id

Back in the ManyChat widget settings, under Embed Your Widget, copy the data widget ID.

manychat widget id

Paste the ID into the Widget ID field in your OptinMonster campaign.

paste widget id

Finally, click Activate & Check your ManyChat widget.

manychat activate

That’s it! Now you have an easy way to integrate this digital marketing best practice into your internet marketing strategy.

2. Voice Search

Voice search using smartphones with voice assistants and smart speakers is going to continue to grow.

And it’s not just about finding info.

Voice commerce sales hit about $1.8 billion in 2018, with estimates putting sales at $40 billion by 2022.

While research is the most common use case for voice right now, 22% of shoppers say they use voice to make a purchase. With the number of voice users increasing each year, the number using voice to shop will likely continue to rise.

how shoppers use voice

How to Do It

Here are 3 ways to optimize your content for voice search.

1. Focus on Rich Answers

SEMrush found that 70% of all answers coming from voice searches occupied a SERP (search engine results page) feature. Of those, 60% returned a featured snippet result.

This means that you’ll want to optimize content for featured snippets (also called position zero) and other rich answers.

So, what is a rich answer? A rich answer hits one or more of these features:

Knowledge Graph

This is Google’s knowledge base that is used to show popular facts about people, places, and things alongside traditional search results.

Knowledge Box/Knowledge Panel

Knowledge boxes and knowledge panels appear to the right of search results in a small box (or inline with the regular search results) and contain information from the Knowledge Graph.

optinmonster's knowledge panel

Featured Snippet

A featured snippet is a search result shown at the top of a search engine results page that contains a summary of the answer taken from the page.

optinmonster featured snippet

2. Restructure Your Content

Backlinko found that Google prefers short answers to voice searches with the average voice search result only being 29 words long. SEMrush’s findings were only slightly different with Google Assistant returning 41 words on average, across devices.

So, what does this mean for your content?

For starters, you should include FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on both product pages and blogs.

Not only do FAQs typically have shorter answers that work well for voice search results, but the format also makes it easy for Google to find and pull the content into a rich answer.

3. Use Conversational Language

We’re talking about voice search, so it just makes sense that conversational language would be important, right?

This means using natural language when writing for the internet and focusing on long-tail keywords.

3. Personalization

facts about personalization

More than 70% of consumers get frustrated when content has nothing to do with them. When their experience is personalized, though, nearly 50% of consumers will spend more.

So, your bottom line improves and your visitor feels important. It’s a win-win.

How to Do It

Companies that use personalization see significant increases in customer engagement, 20% more sales opportunities, and 18x more revenue according to studies by Jupiter Research and Annuitas Group.

OptinMonster customer Expat.com uses personalization to grab the attention of their logged-in users by including their names in their campaigns:

Expat.com adds over 14,000 members a month using OptinMonster dynamic text replacement

This is really easy to do with Smart Tags. But that’s not all you can do.

You can also use multiple Smart Tags:

you can use multiple smart tags in a single campaign

There are tons of Smart Tags available, including date/time, geographical data, form data, on-site behavior, and even custom Smart Tags (using query arguments, cookies, and JavaScript).

Click here to see another example of Smart Tags in action.

Fun, right?

4. Video Marketing

Video marketing is any type of video you record and post with the intention of moving you towards your business goals. And it doesn’t just happen on YouTube.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and maybe even TikTok are also great places for video marketing content.

@washingtonpost#backatwork today to make #fishcontent. You’re welcome, karalynndunton.♬ Fish jokes – washingtonpost

Video is a fun and engaging way to market to your target audience. And it works. Based on 2019 numbers, 8 out of 10 people purchased a piece of software or an app after watching the brand’s video.

Another study found that video ads were the number 1 way consumers discovered a brand that they later bought from.

Check out these video marketing statistics to learn more.

How to Do It

First, you need a video content marketing strategy. This includes steps like goal setting, finding out where your audience is, and what your competition is up to.

Once you’ve done some research and planning, you can decide what type of content you want to create.

Most of your content will probably fall into one of these categories:

  • Product/service videos
  • Brand videos
  • Explainers & How-to videos

The most important thing to remember is that your videos need to be engaging and tell an interesting story.

5. Micro-Moments

Micro-moments are intent-rich moments when a person heads to a device to act on a need to know, to go, to do, or to buy.

Think With Google illustrates these micro-moments for us:

micro moments think with google

Micro-moments are important because everyone wants to have their needs met. Consumers are drawn to brands that can meet their needs quickly.

How to Do It

First, you need to find out what are the “to buy” moments that drive visitors to your specific brand.

If you haven’t created buyer personas, you should definitely do that. It will help you identify these micro-moments for your audience.

Then, follow Google’s advice:

Be There

Anticipate the needs of your audience and be there to help when those needs arise.

Be Useful

Provide a digital experience (ie. content) that’s relevant to visitors’ needs in those moments and provide that content quickly.

Be Accountable

Make sure that the customer experience is seamless, no matter where your visitors and customers are trying to reach you.

6. Social Commerce & Shoppable Posts

No digital marketing best practices post would be complete without mention of social commerce.

You already know that a strong social media marketing strategy is important for driving traffic to your site, building brand recognition, building community, and building brand loyalty.

But did you know that social media is also becoming a popular place to make purchases?

In fact, 72% of Instagram users have purchased a product on the app. That’s massive.

Other platforms are being used, too. A survey of more than 4,000 Pinterest users found that 70% use Pinterest to discover new and interesting products.

So, while you’re using social media to grow your email list, don’t forget to set up shoppable posts!

How to Do It

Each platform is different, so check out the documentation for your chosen platform to find out how to create shoppable posts.

Your shoppable posts should include everything that your visitors will need to make a decision (and a purchase).

This means including beautiful images that show off your product as well as product information. You can use these product page tips to create great product descriptions for your shoppable posts.

Here’s an example of a shoppable post on Instagram:

torrid shoppable post

Notice the View Products button in the lower-left corner?

torrid view products button

Here’s what happens when you tap it:

torrid view products

To set up Instagram shoppable posts you’ll need an Instagram business account with a connected Facebook business page.

Then, you can connect your product catalog in one of 3 ways:

  1. Your eCommerce platform
  2. The Catalog Manager
  3. A Shop section on your Facebook Page

Get the step-by-step details from Instagram.

7. Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing sounds complicated, but it really just means marketing across multiple platforms. This helps you create a consistent voice and brand message.

Using omnichannel marketing creates multiple touchpoints between you and your target audience. Research has found that this produces:

  • Higher engagement: Using 3 or more channels in an automation workflow got an 18.96% engagement rate compared to a single-channel engagement rate of 5.4%.
  • Increased purchase frequency: Customers bought 250% more frequently when interacting with 3 or more channels.
  • Increased average order value: Customers interacting with campaigns using 3 or more channels spent 13% more on average.
  • Higher customer retention rates: Those who engaged with 3 or more channels were 90% more likely to be repeat purchasers.

How to Do It

Omnichannel marketing starts with knowing your target audience. We’ve already mentioned buyer personas and encourage you to take the time to think about your ideal user.

Once you know your audience, you’ll want to segment them. Segmentation helps you create targeted messaging so you can then align your content with the customer journey of specific segments.

Now you’re ready to choose the platforms you’re going to use to communicate with your audience. Remember, you want to use the platforms that your target audience is using.

From there, you can use your content, tweaking it to work for each platform, to reach your target audience.

8. Privacy Marketing

With the rise of consumer privacy measures like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act, marketers will need to be even more intentional with their targeting if they want to engage users.

How to Do It

You’ll need to put more effort into earning the trust of your target audience. This means focusing on things we’ve already covered in this article like knowing your audience, keeping your content relevant and personalized, and engaging on the right platforms.

It’s also important to use social proof to show off your trustworthiness.

TrustPulse is a great tool that makes it so easy to get started with social proof.

With TrustPulse, you can show off real purchases, signups, and more as they happen on your site.

Here’s how to set up your TrustPulse notifications.

That’s it! These digital marketing best practices will give your digital marketing a huge boost, but don’t get overwhelmed by thinking you have to implement them all at once.

Looking for the easiest way to get started? Join OptinMonster today! You can use OptinMonster to create a chatbot, keep your marketing efforts targeted and personalized, and do some pretty cool things with video marketing (like launch an optin automatically at the end of an embedded video on your site).

Want more awesome marketing tips, tricks, and tools? Follow us on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter!

Jacinda Santora
Jacinda Santora is a writer specializing in eCommerce and growth marketing. She prides herself on her ability to make complicated things easier. When she isn't writing you can find her daydreaming about campervans, drinking coffee, and listening to podcasts.

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