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

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.

Record better smartphone videos with few resources

Video is an excellent means of bringing something of a personal touch to communicate with customers and prospects in the current situation.

online culinary show. blogging and live streaming. phone camera on tripod recording video.

Why video is in demand now

Due to the cancellation of numerous trade fairs and customer events, personal contact is currently no longer available. To maintain customer relationships in the current situation, you have to communicate effectively and efficiently at the same time.

In addition to creating blog posts and editorial work, successful content strategies focus, among other things, on emotional communication in the form of videos. After all, how can you build trust better than speaking directly and personally to your customers?

It has also been proven that people remember the picture and moving picture content longer than plain text. Of course, this does not mean that your content must only consist of videos. However, it could be a perfect addition to market your content, and your readers will get a good impression of you and establish a personal connection to you and your other content.

In short: Videos make their content human and personal. You can use this opportunity to gain the trust of your customers.

Specific examples and ideas

What videos can you now create from your home office? Here are some patterns and designs:

Score with personality

A video allows you to score with personality without putting people at risk through direct contact. Create a short video in which you introduce yourself and your company. Explain to your viewers what makes your product or service so unique and why you can rely on your team even in times of crisis. Let your employees also have their say.

Demonstrate product

With videos, you can present your product quickly and understandably. You may also be able to film it from home and explain the functionality. Your customers will be grateful if they can watch a short tutorial in video format instead of a written instruction or if they see your product in action. It is, of course, also important what distinguishes your offer from others and what makes it unique.

Let customers have their say.

Instead of putting yourself in front of the camera, you can ask your customers or influencers to talk about you or your company because the significant advantage of video is the spreading of emotions. If your customers tell you how satisfied they are with their product or service, it will increase their credibility enormously. If they then share the videos on their network, this also gives increased attention.

Internal videos

In the current situation, companies can also save time and money with videos for internal communication. Since there is no need for personal meetings, updates, onboarding processes, or briefings can be communicated via video. This not only saves time for the creation of a circular email, but complex content can also be transmitted efficiently and sustainably.

Scope and platforms

No general statements can be made about the perfect length of videos. It depends very much on the target group, the topic, and the platform chosen.

For example, you currently score on YouTube with detailed videos. This applies not least to advise and explanatory videos. In all of this, YouTube is ideal for content that should be found in the long term, because many people use the platform like a visual search engine.

Instagram, on the other hand, is designed for short videos. With the built-in video platform IGTV, it can be longer than a few seconds or minutes. Nevertheless, videos that are intended for the moment and where it is not essential that they find new viewers in a few weeks or months are better served here.

Other social networks, such as Facebook or Twitter are designed for short video formats. On Facebook, you will also find the stories format known from Instagram.

From theory to practice

With all of this, you don’t necessarily need a film team to create good video content. Because employees already have the essential video creation tool in their pocket: the smartphone. Many current devices have a camera with a 4K resolution that can deliver excellent quality.

When filming with your smartphone, you only have to pay attention to a few rules:

Choose the right camera.

One of the advantages of shooting videos with a smartphone is that there is a camera at the front and rear. The front camera is mostly used for short selfie shots such as Instagram stories. You always have an eye on how you are in the picture. These cameras have recently increased in quality because they are no longer only used for video calls. For more professional videos, however, it is usually recommended to switch to the camera on the back of the housing, which generally still offers more here.

The right position

The camera should be at eye level. So don’t film yourself from below or above, but like a (virtual) conversation partner.

Pay attention to your position in the picture frame. Most of the time, it makes sense to be central or, for horizontal videos, also to the left or right. In the middle, however, you don’t do anything wrong.

Your eyes should be approximately at the level of an imaginary line that is a third below the top edge (rule of thirds).

If you only see your head, you are too close to the camera. On the other hand, if you see your stomach or even your legs, you are (far) too far away.

Record these videos while standing, because they automatically make you more dynamic than when sitting.

But how do you take care of yourself in the home office without helpers? For this, it is recommended to purchase a smartphone tripod or a corresponding adapter for a tripod that may already be present. This way, you can guarantee that your video is not blurred and that you have the necessary freedom of movement.

Lighting conditions

Another essential step for successful shots is the right lighting conditions. Because even the best smartphone cameras still have a weakness here compared to professional video cameras.

Therefore, ideally, you should look for a significant light source, for example, a window. In front of the window, the motto is: avoid backlighting! That means: The best pictures are taken when they have the window in front of them. However, if it is behind you, you only see a ghostly silhouette.

If there is not enough daylight available, you can also use artificial light from a lamp. This lamp should be slightly ahead of you. Do not use a lamp that shines directly on you from above or below because the unsightly shadow casts on your face.

By the way, professionals work with two to three lamps. One is the leading light from the front. Another is on the other side and a little further away (or dimmed): This softens shadows. And in the studio situation, a third lamp comes from behind and above to illuminate the back of the head, because this gives the person a subtle contour and stands out from the background. When shooting outdoors, however, natural light and a reflector are often used.

You don’t have to go that far. But if you have two light sources, you can experiment with a similar setup.

Background

Find the most straightforward possible background that is not too distracting. A bit of atmosphere is allowed. Bookshelves are always accessible.

Otherwise, a neutral white wall is also the right choice. Do not stand directly in front of it, but leave some distance: Otherwise, you may cast a shadow on the wall or look more like you are standing up for a police photo …

Sound quality

Your smartphone has not only an excellent camera to offer but also a microphone. To be understood at the end of the video, make sure that you do not accidentally cover it with your hands if the smartphone is not on a tripod.

Important to know: The sound quality depends heavily on the room. Bare walls reflect the sound, which leads to echo. You can quickly check this by clapping your hands in different places: It will sound very different in the bathroom than in the living room—basic rule: the less echo, the better for speech. Carpets, curtains, shelves, upholstered furniture, etc. swallow or scatter the sound.

If you are too quiet in the video, you may need to get used to speaking louder and more precise. It shouldn’t sound like theater. But who else has a quiet voice should dare a little more here? Also, the following applies: the camera loses some of a person’s dynamics. So you always have to exaggerate a bit to look natural afterward and not sleepy.

There are also simple clip-on microphones that can be connected to a smartphone. They can significantly improve the sound quality.

Final word

With these tips and a few good ideas, you can create excellent videos with limited resources and from your home office. They won’t achieve professional studio quality, but at the moment, viewers will be happy to forgive you. In this respect: Don’t put yourself under too much pressure. Formats like the Instagram Stories are ideal for experimenting, as the content disappears on its own. Test all of this in a very playful way, without wanting to publish the videos because more self-confidence in front of the camera comes with more experience!

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.

Excel: A comprehensive guide (not only) for marketers

Is Excel old fashioned? Not at all. The program is one of the most used planning tools in everyday office life. The fact that a community has built up around Excel shows that the program is still highly relevant – but also that it is not always understandable at first glance. 

We will show you the basics, tips, and tricks you should know about Excel in the following article.

What is Excel?

Microsoft Excel is the best known and most widely used spreadsheet program. Calculations with formulas and functions can be created in Excel, whereby the commercial, statistical, and date functions are particularly versatile for companies.

The program is part of the Microsoft Office 365 package and is available for both Windows and macOS.

What do I need: Excel Online or the Office Package?

Due to the different packages and similar names of Microsoft products – Office 365, Office 2016, Office Online – it is not always easy for users to directly understand precisely what the differences are. If you don’t already have the Office 365 package, you will probably want to find out which version of the program suits you best. The price question at this point: is the free Office Online enough?

There is no clear answer to this question. Just because Office Online is free, it still has its justification. You can efficiently perform less complex Excel tasks such as the visualization of functions and diagrams.

In addition to Excel, the online world of Office also includes other Microsoft products such as Word Online or PowerPoint Online. But it is also clear that the version is limited: 

So only 5 gigabytes (GB) can be stored. And in terms of design, users have to work with a template so that the online version reaches its limits when it comes to more complicated and individual presentations.

Who Excel would, therefore, like to use regular or establish it in his company is well-advised to afford the Office 365 package – for private users or beginners, the online version can once be a good start.

How does Excel work?

Excel is still one of the most widely used software in the world because it offers so many uses. Everything can be calculated and planned in one central location.

With the large scope of services of the basic equipment and the formulas that each user can also create themselves, a program is a beneficial tool for companies, especially in project management, controlling, and other commercial areas.

The highlight of Excel: formulas and functions

Before we move on to the most important of the hundreds of functions that Excel already has without your intervention, let’s take a look at how to create your own formula in Excel .

A simple and common example of creating a formula is to calculate percentages :

Let’s say we have a product price of 90 euros and would like to add sales tax to it. It ‘sIt’s straightforward because you just multiply the amount you want to calculate by a percentage and then add that result to the original amount. This can be used to practice the principle of Excel, which, once understood, can be used for all possible functions.

The formula for calculating a price including VAT is as follows:

VAT =

Net product price * (1 + VAT rate)

Now enter in Excel:

In the A1 field: 90 euros

In the field B1: 19%

Now click on the empty field C1 and then on the function symbol – fx  (directly above the table). At this point, you need to create a formula.

The entry of the formula always begins with an is-equal sign. Then create the rule according to which the calculation should work. In our example, we base this on the formula for VAT above:

fx = A1 * (1 + B1)

Click Enter  – and you’re done! If the displayed gross price is 107.10 euros, you have done everything correctly.

Of course, Excel can do more than just calculate sales tax – that would also be easy with a calculator. However, you now have the option of linking any formula for individual fields using the same principle.

You go one step further by using add-ins. We will now explain what this is all about.

Excel: add-ins and macros

First of all, we need a definition: What are add-ins? And what are macros? Let’s bridle the horse from behind:

Macro is a term from software development. It describes a summarized sequence of instructions so that they can be carried out with a simple call.

Add-ins, in turn, are ready-made functions or macros that are integrated into software applications and can be fully integrated into the main program. Add-ins are external services that can be integrated into Excel so that you can do even more with the program.

Accordingly, these optional commands and features for Excel are not immediately available but must be installed and activated. Some are free, for some you have to pay. The good thing about it: You will find add-ins for all possible purposes, which are provided by different providers.

Add-ins: example of search engine marketing

Let us move on to marketing: In the area of ​​search engine marketing, for example, add-ins are often used to evaluate SEO projects efficiently and in a time-saving manner.

Such add-ons are available from various providers. The best known is called  SEO Tools for Excel. With the add-in, you can create great SEO analyzes in Excel. All you have to do is install the add-in in Excel and import your data from Google Analytics into Excel using the add-in.

You can easily do this by:

1) unzip the zip file after downloading,

2) then open Excel and

3) Drag the SeoTools.XML file onto the Excel datasheet.

SeoTools” now appears in the menu bar, and you can work directly with the add-in. Even if you want to work with add-ins from other providers – the principle remains the same, and you are usually guided through the process with explanations.

Not only search engine marketing is an excellent example of how marketers can use Excel in everyday life. In the following, we will introduce you to other areas and uses for which Excel is a helpful and widely used tool.

How does Excel help me in my everyday work?

Excel is mainly used in project management, purchasing, or controlling. One of the uses for which the software is undoubtedly used the most is the income-expenditure overview.

Income-expenditure overview: Excel bundles it

In controlling or the accounting of larger companies, the income-expenditure summary reaches its limits when it comes to the fact that the presentation is also sufficient for a tax audit later on. Still, the overview is particularly helpful for small businesses.

For individual projects, the income-expenditure overview with Excel has a great advantage that it clearly shows personal budget items.

This includes:

  • recording income and expenses ;
  • the automatic addition of expenditure and income, with which you form a surplus or deficit ;
  • Deduct input tax and sales tax paid ;
  • Determining an expected sales tax burden ;
  • Creation of the annual, monthly or project evaluation and
  • the visualization of income and expenditure in a diagram.

What sounds complicated is based on the most straightforward functions of Excel, such as the percentage calculation or the sum function. The table can then look different depending on the area of ​​application.

Use for project management & Co.

In project management, in particular, Excel is a widely used tool to support everyday tasks and plan campaigns.

A particular Excel chart is famous for monitoring lead and traffic numbers: the waterfall chart. This allows you to determine interim results and present them. Based on these numbers, you can find out at a glance whether you have made progress and whether you are on track to achieve your goals.

Another table is interesting for marketers – and anyone else who works with data – the pivot table. This is a special kind of meal: Not only can it summarize data, but also highlight and research trends. This is particularly useful if you have long rows or columns whose values ​​you want to add up or compare.

The trick is not to add data, numbers, or information to the table, but above all, to reorganize it so that you get valuable new perspectives. Hence the name “Pivot”, which means “pivot point” or “turn”.

Determine values: Typical questions / FAQ

Although each user and each area of ​​responsibility uses Excel in their way, some functions and tricks are used very frequently, are always useful, and are part of the multiplication table of Excel.

1) standard deviation

The standard deviation measures the spread of data – or, to put it more simply, it indicates the extent to which the measured values ​​deviate from the average cost.

Assume that you have determined the click-through rate of ten ads: The standard deviation gives you an idea of ​​the difference in success between the ten ads.

small standard deviation shows that all ads have approximately the same success. A high standard deviation, on the other hand, should make you pay attention because it means that some ads are more successful than others.

2) VLOOKUP function

The Excel link helps you to combine two data records in different worksheets into a single table. When could that be useful? We give an example:

For example, in a situation in which you have the names and email addresses of contacts available in one table and the same email addresses in a second table, but only the name of the respective company in addition to these. You now want to create a chart that shows all three components, i.e., names, email addresses, and the individual company.

With the VLOOKUP formula (= VLOOKUP), you can now merge the two worksheets without having to copy individual columns or fields laboriously.

3) Sum function

As the name suggests, add values ​​with the sum function. You can add individual costs, the reference to select cells or ranges, as well as a combination of all three. What sounds complicated is very simple, and certainly one of the most used functions in Excel.

We give two examples: 

1) The formula:

= Sum (A2: A10) 

adds up the values ​​in the cells from A2 to A10.

2) The formula:

= Sum (A2: A10; C2: C10)

adds up the values ​​in the cells from A2 to A10

and in cells C2 to C10.

4) Create “IF” conditions

The IF formula can be used to create conditions: is the queried value identical to the expected value or not? If this query is true, a specific case is to occur. If the query is incorrect, another case should occur. So the formula follows logic:

If A, then B, otherwise C.

We will explain it to you using an example.

The basic formula in Excel is as follows:

= IF (check; then value; otherwise value)

Check: There must be a condition here.

Let’s say you want to measure the success of a campaign; your goal is achieved when there are 100 conversions. So your test could be:

Higher than or equal to 100 (> =).

Then value: Here, you enter what should happen if the queried condition is true. You can enter values, words, or other functions here.

But let’s make it easy for this example: When 100 conversions have been achieved, the words “Campaign successful” should appear in the next column. The then value is “campaign successful”. It is important to put the value in  quotation marks (“value”) .

Otherwise value: This third value is optional. Let’s say the next column should say “Campaign unsuccessful” when 100 conversions are not achieved. The otherwise value is then “Campaign not successful”. Don’t forget the quotes here, too!

Your if the formula could then look like this:

= If (A1> = 100; “campaign successful”; “campaign unsuccessful”)

So there are reasons why Excel is still one of the most used applications in everyday office life despite many alternatives, such as special planning tools:

The diverse application options for different business areas from project management to accounting make Excel a valuable tool for companies – regardless of whether their area of ​​activity is in marketing or completely different industries.

And yes, we know it too: Sometimes users are just annoyed when one or the other function doesn’t work right away. But the reasons for this are usually found quickly. And with this article, you already have an overview of the most important functions and formulas at hand.