Why a strategy is needed for online marketing

Marketing online without a strategy is like a ship without a steering wheel and compass that is torn apart by the wind. The online marketing strategy helps to select the right channels, to use them correctly and to set priorities.

In online marketing, in particular, countless routes can be taken. The strategy accordingly brings a shared understanding of where the journey should go. 

Because without clear objectives, resources such as time and money cannot be used efficiently, and projects can only be assessed insufficiently. 

If the strategy is lacking in advance, it is also challenging to measure later successes and derive further measures from them. 

Often there is no common thread in corporate communication so that the customer does not perceive the brand on different touchpoints as one unit. 

Holistic marketing approach

Often, it is not only online and offline communicated differently, but also within related areas in online marketing, such as on the website, in social media, in the newsletter and online advertising. 

This happens when the different departments in the company do not work together and do not have a common understanding through a predefined strategy. For this reason, it is essential to show that holistic online marketing can only be successful if everyone rows in the same direction and knows the destination of the trip.

The strategy also ensures that resources are used more efficiently if the funds are used sustainably through a clear objective

Excellent team coordination prevents tasks from being duplicated and additional resources being wasted. 

With a rigorous approach, measures can be successfully implemented so that effort and income are ultimately balanced

Addressing the right target group

Perhaps you are familiar with this situation: You know that you want to attract more visitors to your website and therefore generate more sales.

But you probably have not (yet) wondered which users should be addressed, what their search intent is and whether their search needs and expectations are met when visiting the website. 

This also raises the question of whether more traffic on the page brings the desired added value. Or whether other factors such as relevant content and thus SEO visibility, user behaviour or selection of keywords play a role in search ads

After all, a short visit to the website alone is not enough to increase sales. The goal is always to trigger interactions with the customer, e.g. via contact inquiries, newsletter registration, order confirmations, etc.

Collect data about user behaviour

Interactions on the website provide clues about user needs and at the same time, generate relevant data about user behaviour.

The data collected not only help you to understand your target group better, but also minimize wastage. 

If you cannot pinpoint your target group and you do not know which channels they are on, you may reach people who do not belong to the target group and thus unnecessarily increase your advertising costs

But to find out which data is relevant, you need a strategy with clear goals.

Without a strategy, it is difficult to find out which goal is being worked towards and how promising the activities are. 

Also, new opportunities can be discovered when developing a strategy by collecting comprehensive insights about the business area, its market and its target group, as well as needs. 

Instead of merely creating classic target groups or buyer personas with socio-demographic characteristics such as gender, age, income, marital status or school education, the findings can also be grouped and assigned to so-called user types

Components of an online marketing strategy

For example, the following characteristics can be analyzed:

  1. User
    needs What are the different needs of the individual user types? 

    Motives like motivators or intentions are interesting here, why someone should buy or use the desired product or service. 

    Think about the different interests of your target groups and how you can best address them. 

    Ideally, the needs and motivations are based on real (online) data and are coordinated with the micro-moment journey (cf. blog post The 4 micro-moments of Google search queries and their influence on SEO ). Then give your user types meaningful names that make it easier for you to assign them.
  2. Channels
    On which channels and platforms can the different user types be found? 

    Based on the needs and interests, you can derive which advertising options appeal to your user types. 

    This will help you find out whether you can reach your target groups, for example, through email marketing, affiliate marketing, viral marketing, social media marketing and / or search engine marketing.
  3. Promotional touchpoints
    How online-savvy is your target group?

    Ask yourself whether the user type uses online or offline media (social media, TV, print, etc.), how often he does this and which formats they are (reviews, blog posts, apps, on-demand solutions, etc.) ).

    Address your target groups wherever they are and spend money.
  4. Messages
    To which content does the user type react positively or possibly negatively?

    You reach environmentally conscious people by emphasizing resource-saving and sustainable advantages. Bargain hunters, on the other hand, react particularly with content with cheap offers and bargains.

    Think of suitable messages for your user type, which can help you, for example, to write the right advertising messages.
  5. Key figures
    Determine suitable key figures how you want to measure the success of the goals for your user types later.

    The online strategy helps you to find suitable KPIs and optimize them.

Market and target group-specific analyzes help to refine the strategy and increase the success of marketing measures. 

A look at the existing customer data and the information collected on the website also help with the evaluation and structuring of relevant information. 

Use all possible data sources such as your CRM tool and tools from third-party providers such as Google Analytics, Search Console from Google, Facebook Insights, Youtube, Pinterest or Instagram Analytics and look for any abnormalities and similarities in user behaviour and the characteristics of your customers. 

Don’t forget to audit your existing website, social media channels and marketing activities. Because how do you optimize your performance if you do not know where your strengths and weaknesses? An initial audit also serves as a “zero measurement” to measure the success of optimization measures.

We now know that many roads lead to Rome. But only through a well-developed strategy can you know which of these is the most efficient

Of course, you can try many different paths without a guide to see which one is the right one. But you lose a lot of time and money. 

The relevant tools such as a compass, world map and weather forecasts, on the other hand, take you to the safe harbour without any major detours. 

So use the right tools in online marketing and plan your trip.

Conclusion

There are six good reasons why a strategy is needed in online marketing:

  1. The plan is trend-setting and sets priorities
  2. It creates a shared understanding of where the journey should go
  3. It reveals opportunities and potential
  4. The strategy helps better to understand target groups and markets and their needs
  5. Potential customers can be addressed with the right message at the right time
  6. The overarching strategy not only saves time and money but also supports you in optimizing your goals

Podcast

The 4 micro-moments of Google search queries. And their impact on SEO

Since the advent of smartphones, more and more users have been using search engines on the spur of the moment and are making a search query ( micro-moment ) in the middle of everyday life. According to Google, most searches fall into one of four main categories (search intentions).

The four main types of micro-moments:

  • You want to know something (e.g., from Wikipedia)
  • You want to go somewhere (Google Maps, route planner)
  • You want to do something (How-to YouTube guide)
  • You want to buy something (e-commerce shopping)

Depending on the search intent, the hit list shows explanatory information or a map, instructions, or online shops.

If your website content is to appear high up on search engines, the individual user need must be known and how Google responds to it.

“Micro-Moments” summary

Consumer behavior has changed . Especially since the spread of smartphones. These are available to us at any time and are ideally suited to answer any questions of everyday life. Whether from a discussion, when looking for an address, a guide, or when comparing prices, we always pull out our mobile device and spontaneously look for a solution ( intent-driven micro-moments).

The search query is communicated to Google by voice control or text, and the answer appears as the appropriate result.

To appear at the top of the hit list in these crucial moments, suitable content must satisfy the search intent of the user. If all questions of the searcher are answered, his user behavior will signal this (eg, put away the smartphone, do not return to the hit list after visiting a website), and Google will rate the result shown as right.

For subsequent searches by other users with a similar search profile, Google will again consider the result that satisfied the corresponding search intent in previous searches.

Decisions in the micro-moments determine the success or failure of web offers.

How Google sorts the hit list by relevance

Using various dimensions such as the location of the user, the end device used, the search history, and the useful search content (topics, keywords, and their semantic context), Google tries to identify in milliseconds what the search intent of the user is.

The information about the search intent makes it easier to sort the possible hits by relevance. Olaf Kopp has clearly described this connection in a  blog post with our software partner Searchmetrics.

So if you want to optimize your content for high visibility in search enginesyou have to identify the search intent of potential prospects.

Then you can publish appropriate content: If you are looking for information about a purchase, you may be interested in the price comparison. Anyone who has already made the purchase decision is looking for an e-commerce shop. That is diametrically different content. On a single page, you will probably not be able to satisfy both search needs in a targeted manner.

Does your information offer answer the most burning questions of users?

The perfect search engine understands precisely what you want to know and delivers the exact result you want.

Larry Page, Google Co-Founder, 2002 (!)

How Google judges the quality of content

But how does Google find out what the relevant answers are to users’ questions?

RankBrain is Google’s filtering algorithm, which brings together the intent of searchers and the context of content in the search results list (to put it very simply).

The Google Quality Rating Guidelines are an excellent source for understanding Google’s demands for good content. One hundred eighty pages define what a good search result is.

The manual testers not only assess the actual websites but also whether they meet the user’s search needs. The inspectors are not only presented with search result lists for assessment, but also with the identified user intent!

Does the content meet Google’s “Quality Rating Guidelines”?

Accordingly, you should put yourself in the position of readers when writing content :

  • What is your search intent?
  • Which of the four micro-moments does your search belong to?
  • Does the published content meet the user’s need at the critical moment?

If the search intent is not met, the readers will leave the found website and switch back to the hit list (referred to as “pogo-sticking”). Google sees this as a negative signal, since the user has probably not found what he was looking for.

The four micro-moments of Google search queries

Google developed the concept of micro-moments to explain the differences between search queries on mobile and desktop: Because the device is always at hand and everywhere and logged in, searches on smartphones often have a secure context, for example, where and when.

Real-time, intent-driven micro-moments are the new battlegrounds.

Joseph Corral, Head of Marketing for Micro-Moments, Google

Joseph has confirmed BlueGlass CEO Raphael Bienz that users click less and less on the 2nd or 3rd page of the Google hit list: They prefer to modify their search if the desired result does not appear on the first page!

According to Google, the average search intention can be divided into four main types:

  • I want to know (curiosity, need for information)
  • I-Want-to-Do (trigger action, seek advice, find support)
  • I-Want-to-buy (something to buy)
  • I-Want-to-Go (physically go anywhere)

If you search for “BVB,” for example, information about the Borussia Dortmund football club is displayed (I-Want-to-Know Moment). On the other hand, if you are looking for “BVB jersey,” transactional information from e-commerce shops (I-Want-to-Buy Moment) appears.

Google search for “BVB jersey” with an overlay of e-commerce shops

Google search for “BVB jersey” with overlay of e-commerce shops

If you search for “BVB” again, in contrast to the first search, new advertisements appear that try to skim off a possible purchase intention. For this, Google refers to the search history with the previous search “BVB jersey.”

Micro-Moments Examples “Travel” and “E-Bike”

Every website operator has to break down the micro-moment principle individually to his serviceGoogle offers comprehensive examples and statistics for the travel environment.

Micro moments for booking trips

The identified user needs serve as guidelines for the creation of web content (content marketing): Typically, you should offer a content-relevant page for each topic or question, if possible with explanations, photos, illustrations and, for example, video interviews with product managers or suppliers and producers ( Rich content).

It merely has to be the best website on the internet for a specific question. Then Google will consider the content prominently: If the page answers the topic or question comprehensively and conclusively, the user will be satisfied with it (e.g., long-form content, relevant listicles, good video).

Google registers the excellent usability and then shows the page for the same question from other searchers above in the hit list.

The SEO visibility rises so. If the search snippet is also well written in the hit list (title and description tag), the click rate will increase (CTR) and thus the number of organic visitors to the website.

How do you find the relevant questions for the micro-moments?

The possible decision-making processes of prospective customers and customers (user journeys) can be derived intuitively, or various tools can be used to support them. Google Autosuggest offers practical and free help by supplementing search queries with similar searches.

Also, at the bottom of the search hit list is a list of other searches related to the search term. These are based on statistical data and allow conclusions to be drawn about possible user needs.

Answer The Public also offers keyword evaluations free of charge. Theme trees and other possible questions can be derived from this.

Podcast

15 Questions and Answers on “Online Marketing Strategy”

A carefully designed business strategy is crucial for the long-term success of a company. This leads to the most critical questions regarding the online marketing strategy.

  1. What is an online marketing strategy?

The online marketing strategy defines which goal is to be achieved with which means: Which product or service is positioned in which submarket and how is it marketed? The plan includes components such as 

  • User personas or even better micro-moments from the customer journey
  • Content and tonality of the message
  • Communication channels such as website, blog, social networks, newsletter, PR, affiliates, influencers, native advertising, etc.
  • Value map of the products or services
  • Analysis of the potential of different target markets
  • and much more
  1. What is the added value of a strategy?

We live in a world full of VUCA today. The acronym stands for

  • V volatility
  • U uncertainty
  • C complexity
  • An ambiguity.

So we have to orient ourselves daily in a world full of impermanenceuncertaintycomplexity, and ambiguity. The strategy gives us support and determines what needs to be done, who benefits, how the market is worked on, and how success is measured.

The marketing strategy specifies the plan and the KPIs for the implementation of marketing measures over the next two years.

Even if a business is already booming, or precisely because it is running, there is at least a subconscious strategy behind the success.

In today’s environment, with the ever-accelerating digitalization, a good strategy in the medium to long term should be decisive for the successful preservation of marketability.

  1. What online marketing strategies are there?

We differentiate between push and pull strategies: Under “push,” we summarize advertising that interrupts users in their work.

Examples of this are social ads in the news or video feed, display ads, or native ads: users are not actively looking for this interrupt advertisement. It is shown to you based on the content you are currently consuming or based on your user profile.

We understand “pull” as content that is actively sought and requested by users. Examples of this are websites (SEO), blogs (SEO), but also search ads (SEA) on Google or Bing.

I see more and more Pinterest pins in this category: As the only social network, it also brings visitors to websites in the medium and long term! Because of this property, its founders claim that it is not a social network at all …

Why is the difference so significant? If a company offers services or products that are new and, therefore, unknown, the pull channel SEO is of little use: users do not look for this solution because they are unconscious of it.

In such a case, they are helping push strategies that awareness to increase and thereby increase (in a second step) the sales or conversions. This means that translations via push channels tend to be more expensive to buy because users have to be convinced first.

Often, several contact points are required via retargeting or newsletter marketing. Users actively search in the pull channels so that purchases or orders are more comfortable to achieve.

The advantage of the push channel is that it brings measurable success promptly. The disadvantage: Each measure costs conceptual and media budgets for the respective channel. Also, you interrupt the user in his work and can thus appear intrusive.

The advantage of the organic pull channel is that the relevant content is so attractive that users actively search for it and, in the best case, even share it with their friends and acquaintances.

The disadvantage: creating such attractive content is complex to design and produce. Also, any success does not appear until 3 to 12 months after publication.

If you are dependent on short-term success, the paid push channel is recommended. If you are looking for long-term success, the organic pull channel via content marketing is more interesting if the significant investment in the small Swiss market can be recovered!

Of course, the organic channel can be combined with the payment channel by initially advertising new editorial content with a media campaign.

  1. What are examples of effective strategies?

Example 1: Content marketing strategy at Digitec

Online shops can be technically optimized for search engines. However, if several providers use the same product descriptions, for example, for PCs or cameras, it will be difficult for Google to identify the best shop for their hit list.

Digital, therefore, urges its numerous technical specialists to publish editorial texts on their areas of expertise. Well-researched, relevant articles with comments are created, which are integrated directly into the online shop. This gives Google a strong indication that this shop is probably one of the best.

Here is the development of the organic visibility of digitec.ch at google.ch since January 1st, 2017:

Organic visibility of digitec.ch at Google Switzerland since 1.1.2017

Example 2: Influencer & content marketing strategy at UPC’s eSports.ch

The cable network operator UPC offers services related to mobile subscriptions and fast internet. Reaching the target group that decides on the Internet provider in households is more challenging today than ever: IT-savvy users install ad blockers, watch a little TV, and read no newspapers.

Thanks to its pioneering work in the booming eSports environment, UPC was able to position itself attractively with the target group with its platform eSports.ch: They speak the language of gamers and offer products that make their lives easier.

Case study on UPC / eSports influencer content marketing

  1. I have a strategy. How do I check it?

Strategies often have far-reaching consequences that will only have an impact in the future. Given the high degree of uncertainty about future developments, reviewing the policy is correspondingly demanding.

For strategy audits, we analyze data-driven potential future effects based on historical data. 

For example, if customers give us their targeted target markets, our analyzes of the seasonality of the search volume on Google or the organic strength of competitors provide essential clues about the expected competitive pressure.

If, for example, an attribution analysis from Google Analytics shows that conversions come primarily from organic visitors (SEO) or from users who enter the URL directly (high awareness thanks to branding), then it must be clarified how vital social media channels are. Are they still needed or only with reduced effort?

Attribution models are used to define which marketing measures have how many shares in which conversion paths. The rules are then optimized accordingly.

  1. How do you develop an online marketing strategy? Is there a process?

At SwaCash, we work according to a structured strategy process. Based on the market analysis and a good understanding of the product or service of our customers, we develop the necessary information for the documentation of the online marketing strategy.

The summary of the strategy in a “strategy poster” is particularly popular with our customers: All strategic components that are crucial for customer communication are shown on a single page:

  • Definition of goals and measurement of their achievement
  • defined target groups (personas or micro-moments )
  • Positioning and content of the messages
  • Channels and tonality of communication
  • Priorities and stages of the measures
  • and much more

Employees from different departments base their operational implementation on the strategy poster and all work in the same direction.

In large corporations, in particular, aligning employees to a specific goal is a significant challenge.

Do I know: Do I offer Candy, Vitamin, or Painkiller? From a strategic point of view, it is essential to understand whether a product/service is nice-to-have (candy), whether it makes the end customer/user more robust (vitamin) or whether it is merely essential (painkiller).

Omer Khan documented this fact very clearly in his article Candy, Vitamin, or Painkiller. Investor Kevin Fong is said to judge business ideas according to the following principle:

We divide business plans into three categories: candy, vitamins, and painkillers. We throw away the candy. We look at vitamins. We like painkillers. We especially like addictive painkillers!

Kevin Fong, investor

All three categories produce well-known business models: gaming and esports, for example, may fall into the candy category, but still, generate billions in sales.

Depending on the category in which you invest, this changes the type of market entry and the appropriate communication strategy.

  1. How do I add online marketing guidelines to my strategy?

The online marketing strategy is derived from the business strategy. It expands the overall plan with online components such as channels (e.g., push vs. pull) and specifications for the corresponding content.

In the age of digitization, a functioning website is central to many companies: In contrast to social networks, you have full control over formats and content.

For this, one is dependent on high-performance content to attract users organically via Google. In this sense, you are also reliant on an external algorithm with your website.

Search engine optimization (SEO) of your content is correspondingly important: the services should be found on Google and trigger conversions on the website, such as orders or inquiries.

  1. The previous measures do not work. What can I do?

Many companies underestimate how competitive the online environment has become today. It is no longer enough to publish a “beautiful” website.

The content must satisfy the search needs of potential customers. Google sees no reason to direct searchers to pages with thin content.

In our SEO audits, for example, we check how well search engines can technically read the content of websites. Also, we show the organic visibility on Google Switzerland or in other countries.

Organic visibility of the SwaCash website at Google.ch, according to Searchmetrics between 2018 and 2020. The rising index indicates that the probability of being found on Google increases.

The audit shows whether your content can stand up to competitors or whether there are gaps between the requirements of the market and your offer (content gap analysis).

  1. A strategy is theoretical. My practice looks different.

The strategy should always be based on reality. We are not interested in developing beautiful concepts for the drawer. Since we are data-based, based on effectively entered search queries and search volumes, our strategies are easy to implement in practice.

The implemented measures can be checked using various KPIs.

Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle: Why, What, How?

The purpose of commercial ventures is to generate sales and, above all, profit. This is the only way to pay wages and promote innovation.

But if you target sales and profits, you will not be successful. Simon Sinek impressively demonstrates this with his Why-What-How thinking scheme :

  • In the first step, it is useful to clarify the internal motivation with which you are offering a service (Why?)
  • What do you offer (What?)
  • And with what means do you offer something (How?)

Only when the “Why” is correct will customers understand the messages surrounding the service and want to buy the services or products.

Simon Sinek explains Why-What-How thinking: Why do you do what you do?

  1. What does an online marketing strategy cost?

Strategies can be developed more or less extensively. The more data you want to store, the higher the effort.

The larger a company is, the more departments have to be picked up, and the higher the time required for workshops with different stakeholders.

Online marketing strategies for smaller online shops with simple products can be designed for CHF 9,000 to CHF 18,000.

For larger companies with more complex services, we expect investments in conception, workshops, presentations, and documentation from CHF 24,000 to CHF 29,000, depending on how many workshop levels are necessary.

  1. What is the minimum implementation budget to achieve success with the strategy?

We recommend small companies to use an operational online marketing budget of at least Euros 1,000 per month as a media budget for Google or Facebook, etc.

Below that, it is challenging to achieve measurable success. Depending on the competitive pressure, 1,000.00 per month corresponds to a minimal amount.

If specialist support is also required from an agency, its agency fee comes to more than 2,000 per month, depending on how many channels are to be used in how many languages.

Our customers invest between 4,000 and several 10,000 per month in the implementation of their online marketing campaigns.

  1. What know-how does the company need to develop the strategy?

If you want to develop the strategy entirely in-house, you need experienced, strategically thinking project managers with enough free resources. Your task is to control the process and to collect all relevant stakeholders.

Here it can make sense to consult external consultants: They bring not only the necessary time resources but also experience and templates for products such as value maps, which steps have to be followed to achieve a useful result as quickly as possible. 

They also support the final document so that everyone involved is clear about the next steps for implementation.

At SwaCash we have developed a framework of workshops: It includes all the necessary clarifications with various departments of a company to come up with an effective strategy,.

  1. How many resources do I have to plan internally and externally?

For small SMEs, it may be enough for us to identify the workshops necessary for his company with the CEO. The clarifications can then be completed in two half-day workshops.

Larger companies often need three to four workshop days to cover all components of the business model. A stakeholder should then provide sufficient time for each department or business area to clarify in-depth questions.

An overall coordinator of the strategy process on the customer side is an advantage.

The lead time for an online strategy project is optimally between 2-3 weeks and 1-2 months.

  1. Who can help me design a strategy?

A service provider can advise you if you do not write the strategy internally. When evaluating, I recommend the following criteria:

  • The agency should not only be familiar with an online discipline, e.g., only strategy or only SEO or only social media, because their recommendations are either not feasible or favor a specific channel.
  • The advisors should provide relevant reference examples.
  • The process of strategy development should be understandable.
  • Agencies with implementation experience may create more practical strategies than pure strategy consultants.
  • Support in measuring key performance indicators KPIs in the implementation phase should also be offered (it is not trivial)
  • The strategy is decisive for the success of the business. When evaluating, I would only look at the price last.

Emoji Marketing: Necessary or Overrated?

You are familiar with the little yellow faces and symbols, but have you never heard of Emoji Marketing? Today I will show you numerous best practice examples and tips on how to spice up your social media marketing with emojis and tell stories across languages.

Emoji Marketing: Do you like it?

Emoji Marketing: Why? Why? Why?

Honestly, in our fast-paced world, we can’t imagine communication without emojis, can we? Why tap your fingers sore when a simple spaghetti plate or a pizza slice is enough to determine the dish of the evening? Why make long speeches when we can convey our emotions in almost all variations via messenger or social media with a small yellow face?

According to Duden, an emoji is a “pictogram originating in Japan, similar to an emoticon, which is based on emotional states, objects, places, animals, food, or the like. Refers (in electronic messages) “.

Oh yes, by the way, here is an unbeatable argument:

95% of internet users have used an emoji before. Over 10 billion emojis are sent every day.

These figures, published in 2018 – based on a study by Brandwatch – prove that emojis are the “most popular language on the Internet.” But what does that mean for our communication and marketing activities?

Nowadays, almost everything can be expressed with emojis.

My contribution to visual storytelling was primarily about the power of stories and the fact that – in contrast to the written word – we can remember up to 80 percent of what we see. Transferred to the use of emoji, this means that we can save many words and emotionalize our corporate messages with suitable smileys. This statement, however, has to be considered theoretically and broken down quite a bit, because marketing with emojis is not that easy, as my examples will show in the practical part.

According to a study by quietly from 2017, the use of at least one emoji per post on Instagram leads to an average of 47.7 percent more interactionsLarry Kim also confirms this trend about Twitter: Tweets with emojis on average, ensure a 25.4 percent higher engagement, and, at the same time, lower costs (paid media). From my point of view, we can also transfer the same thing to Facebook.

Tip: Jenna Schilstra speaks in her TED Talk “In defense of emojis” about the historical development from the hieroglyphs of the ancient Egyptians via Japanese characters to the positive effects of smiling faces that can be determined today:

Storytelling with emojis: 4 best practice examples

With emojis, you can quickly and succinctly package your corporate message as a story that accommodates the current consumption behavior of users for snackable content. Another plus point, which in my view should not be underestimated: emoji marketing campaigns are in principle cross-language and can be deciphered (almost) anywhere.

MC Donalds

In 2015, the most famous fast-food chain in the world took up everyday situations in its storytelling campaign and cleverly “tells” the plot with suitable emojis:

A couple goes shopping. She buys outrageously, expensive shoes. And of course, you pay with the standard credit card. He is more than shocked by the high price. A few repetitions of the same scenario reinforce his state of mind. Remedial action comes quickly: The well-known burger restaurant is the rescue in need and ensures that men and women can enjoy their “good times” at McDonald’s at the end of the shopping tour.

Conclusion: Typed the story sounds banal and boring, right? Even if one or the other user can undoubtedly put himself in the protagonist’s position here. Illustrated with emojis, the scenario (especially the multiple repetitions) looks amusing and harbors a small but subtle puzzling character: a hidden trick.

IKEA emoticons

IKEA thinks even more significant when it comes to emoji marketing: In the store, the furniture company has launched specially created emojis for iOS and Android. Among them are numerous brand-typical furnishings as symbols. And of course, the infamous meatballs Köttbullar should not be missing here.

Conclusion: From my point of view, a smart marketing trick, which aims to integrate unique selling points into the everyday communication of users and to create an unmistakable recognition value.

Domino’s pizza

In May 2015, the delivery service Domino’s ensured engagement, brand awareness, and publicity with its extraordinary Twitter campaign. American users could easily order via pizza emoji using the “tweet-to-order” system.

A unique feature: With the help of Emoji Art (a large overall picture is created from many individual emojis – here a giant pizza slice), the post is scattered on Twitter and subliminally promoted for the delivery service.

By sending a pizza emoji, orders could be placed directly with Dominos’s as part of the 2015 Twitter campaign.

Conclusion: From my point of view, the main aim of this campaign was Dominos’s to attract attention and to address a busy, younger audience. There was virality for free!

ALDI North & ALDI SOUTH

A joint campaign by ALDI Nord and ALDI SÜD did not cause a sensational advertising stunt until 2018: meals in the form of an emoji.

The cake from the ALDI emoji marketing campaign looks shockingly good.

Dishes such as tortellini, cake, or a classic omelet are staged with the right ingredients and easily converted into the most common emojis. The cross-media campaign was not only shown with specially created slogans (for example, “Shockingly good prices!”) On billboards, digital advertising space, and as an advertisement in various daily newspapers, but also played out on social media.

Conclusion: As part of the emoji campaign, the two ALDI giants were primarily concerned with reaching a younger target group and increasing the coolness factor. To be able to play at the front and continue to win customers, eventually, in the dusty discounter business, sooner or later, new paths must be taken. And what is more suitable than the most popular language on the Internet?

Use emojis correctly: 7 tips.

  1. Match your emojis to your products: Here, you should think about which emojis can illustrate your products or check whether there are suitable ones for your products. For example, if you sell office supplies, you can use food of emojis on social media (🖋, 📆, 🗄, 🗂, 📎, 📌, 🤓). To find out what options you have, just browse Emojipedia.
  2. Get an idea of ​​your target group: Develop a feeling for your target group and answer questions like “Who are my users?” And “How do they communicate?”. The topic of gender also plays an important role here, as men and women express their feelings online in very different ways, as Brandwatch has determined. At least on Twitter, the traditional code applies: Boys don’t cry!
  3. Emotionalize your company messages: With emojis, you can do storytelling and to tell (short) stories. In the McDonalds example, of course, there is a large-scale advertising campaign behind it. But that doesn’t mean that you need a lot of budget for your stories. You can also simply decorate your posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with suitable emojis or leave a post without text and only with emojis.
  4. Communicate with your target group on a more personal level: this is about emotions and sympathy. On Facebook, for example, you can use the “Feel / Activity” button to express how you are feeling. If you want to use this function, it always depends on the topic. For example, if you have received an award and want to shout your joy out into the world, it is legitimate to feel “thankful” or “fantastic.”
  5. Avoid emojis that could lead to misinterpretation: In this case, caution is essential! There are some emojis that are misleading or have other uses in common usage. Because honestly, we all know what the eggplant means, right? 🍆
  6. Check the display of your emojis on different devices: Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, and Co. – the various methods represent a hurdle when using emojis because the symbols are often displayed differently. Here I advise you to compare the desktop view with that of your smartphone. Then you have at least two possible forms of presentation in your sights.
  7. Don’t use emojis in your social media marketing in an inflationary way: that’s all well and good, but you should still use emojis in your social media marketing in a targeted manner and not overdo it. Note: The emojis used should always match the topic and your brand.

Excursus: And what does the Duden say?

Have you often asked yourself where in the sentence the emoji has its place correctly? Before or after the punctuation mark? Don’t worry; we can breathe a sigh of relief because in April 2018, the Duden, the highest grammatical authority in the German language, took on this case.

Well, if anyone knows, then probably the Duden.

One thing is now – thank God! 🙏 – so clearly: emojis should be placed after the punctuation mark in complete sentences. But what about emojis that replace whole words? In my opinion, that should be okay from a grammatical point of view, because there shouldn’t be any rivalry between emoji and punctuation marks here.

Incidentally, it is no longer uncommon for dictionaries to deal with contemporary forms of communication such as emojis. In 2015, the emoji with tears of joy was voted “Word of the Year” by the British Oxford Dictionaries.

The Word of the Year 2015 in the UK: Face with Tears of Joy.

Digression: Emojis in the Google SERPs

Perhaps you have already come across them when you put a search query: emojis in the Google SERPs. Three years ago (2017), Google released the function to work with emojis in both title and description.

When searching for “barfen tips,” the third snippet, peppered with emojis relevant to the topic, appears in the Google SERPs.

Although the snippet for the search query “barfen tips” is only in the third position in Google SERPs, the title and description are so striking that the search result from barfen.info at least visually outperforms the competition. Emojis are used here to attract attention and attract attention.

Now honestly: Which search result from the top 5 catches your eye here?

Emojis are increasingly found in the description and are also displayed more frequently on the desktop than in the mobile view, as SISTRIX has found out. In principle, the result is not surprising since symbols such as hooks, arrows, or the telephone are often used in the description.

But in this case, too, the principle applies: The emojis used should always fit the topic and your brand.

This is how artificial intelligence saves content marketing from destruction

Marketers have created a monster that is about to destroy content marketing as we know it. 

And do you know what’s worse? Almost all marketers use content marketing. Yet less than half of B2B marketers feel that their efforts are paying off. We now have a unique chance to take countermeasures.

According to Seth Godin, content marketing is the only marketing approach that we still have. If that is true, we should take this opportunity.

Fortunately, there is an artificial intelligence that can potentially save content marketing from extinction. We have to want it.

Live chats, streaming services, voice assistants, and contactless payment options – which new technologies do consumers want?

Now you probably hope that thanks to this artificial intelligence, you can get rid of the most time-consuming tasks, such as writing.

Not so fast.

High-quality content cannot yet be fully automated. Artificial intelligence can, however, be used to support this.

Some chatbots are already smart enough to collect data that is relevant to us, faster than we could ever do.

GrowthBot, for example, communicates with over a dozen systems and APIs and is already used by over 12,000 marketers.

Yes, artificial intelligence can indeed write entire blog articles independently. There are quite a few such articles. You may have read an article that was written using AI without knowing it.

Associated Press is already using AI to create articles in the sports and finance sectors that contain a lot of statistics.

Engadget put together a million words and a few rules to create a “blogbot” that wrote a complete, if somewhat dry, announcement.

 With their systems for text generation, providers such as retresco offer the option of automating the depiction of a Bundesliga game:

During the break, the home team was in the fairway and booked a strong lead. The first successful action after the change of sides was Kostic, who scored in the 64th minute to make it 2-0 for Frankfurt.

Not so surprising that a machine wrote it, isn’t it?

As far as coherence and creativity are concerned, this is probably the most that AI can do. However, these current restrictions could be an advantage, because too much content doesn’t work either.

What matters is quality. High-quality content provides readers with a unique experience. High-quality content meets your goals and those of the reader. High-quality content stands out.

“The volume of content plays an important role. Companies have to produce a lot of content in various forms and for different channels. However, the quality must not be left behind. To prevail in the flood of information, content has to stand out. “

– Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute

Can AI create content that really stands out from the rest? Not until now. However, AI can help research, edit, and manage so you can optimize your content marketing.

Do you remember Karl Klammer, the paper clip that got on everyone’s nerves ? This paper clip may not have been particularly smart or useful, but it was already announcing a future for content marketing , as Vedant Misra, founder of Kemvi, a machine learning company, imagined:

“Machines help us to produce content. They suggest content elements that we can use when creating content. The author still has the last word, but the generation of ideas and the production process are becoming increasingly automated. Similar to Karl Klammer, the Microsoft Office Assistant, but with a much larger brain. “

While this idea has not yet been fully implemented, the matter is taking shape and could end up being the lifeboat that prevents us from being lost in the flood of content.

AI-powered tools can examine trends and give you clues as to what content your readers would like to read. And these tools can make read suggestions to readers based on their behavior or a host of other data.

But are these tools also able to write entirely new, captivating articles? Yes. Take Atomic AI, for example.

When this intelligent program has enough target audience data for an item (or email, etc.), it calculates readability and provides you with custom, predictive recommendations in real-time.

But of course, that is only the first step. AI is much better at interpreting data than people are.

AI-based platforms derive behavioral patterns from a series of data entries; it would take us years to organize and evaluate.

And that’s not all. These platforms can even show you how to use this knowledge best.

“By analyzing hundreds of data points for a single user (including location, demographics, device, website behavior, etc.), AI can display the right offerings and content.”

Then when you have the perfect personalized content, an intelligent system can give you advice on when, where, and how often you should publish the content to achieve the highest possible effect.

Then everything starts from the beginning with intelligent recommendations on which topics your target group is interested in. These recommendations are based on how users interact with your content.

However, the use of AI is not only limited to the creation of rousing blog posts.

In a study by Evergage and Researchscape International, 70 percent of the companies surveyed said that personalization is the most important of all channels in email marketing.

Fortunately, AI makes it easy to personalize email content based on the topics subscribers are interested in.

In this way, you can ensure that your emails are read.

The user experience and conversion rates can also benefit from intelligent personalization.

With the help of an AI-based platform, you can offer users the entire content and optimal products in every phase. This increases the likelihood of conversion, and the churn rate decreases.

This means that artificial intelligence has the potential to free us from harmful content. This is not to say that we, as content marketers had done everything completely wrong. But maybe we meant it a little too well.

We have created too much content with too small intelligence and are now being presented with the invoice. Consumers have shown us that they expect high quality. And relevant content. You want the perfect solution at the ideal time.

You want engaging content marketing.

Additional help in creating content that stands out from the crowd comes in handy. And AI is the most promising tool because it expands our natural abilities.

Artificial intelligence cannot replace content marketers but supports us in our work.