Around 3.6 billion people use social media around the world and the number is bound to grow. Millions of companies already see this as a mouthwatering opportunity to increase visibility and monetize their social media presence.
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However, with over 1.8 billion websites already on the internet and 93% of American adults surfing the net, the digital market is reaching boiling-point saturation and companies are finding it extremely hard to advertise their brands.
How can businesses find their way to consumers through such a chaotic environment? Digital Future CEO, Elisha Elbaz, shares his perceptions.
Q: How has the pandemic affected the relationship between businesses and their consumers in the digital environment?
A: People were online more than ever before, which unlocked great opportunities for businesses to capture prospective leads and most importantly, to engage them. But the social isolation during lockdowns made people more vulnerable and businesses had to adjust their messaging to sympathize.
With the pandemic, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Instagram gathered pace to become the top purchasing channels, and businesses became aware of their need to take advantage of the swiftness with which they can convert a user into a customer.
Q: In your view, how much have digital marketing strategies changed in the last couple of years?
Businesses often forget that the success of their marketing depends on understanding their targeted audiences. This means that creating the right content is, more than ever, absolutely important. The proven ways of social media monetization are still relevant and include methods like affiliate posts, influencer marketing, offering something for nothing, and video marketing.
In 2021, there will be an extreme increase in the popularity of digital marketing strategies, and more so in the shape of personalized targeted ads, video and content marketing, and marketing automation.
Q: You point to brands sympathizing with consumers during pandemic times. Could you give an example?
A: These days, brands should swerve from creating greater functional and attractive superiority, and focus more on building closeness through empathy and a new communicational tone.
Guinness did just that to powerful results in their St. Patrick’s Day message this year. In a two-minute YouTube spot, the brand conveyed a “stout” emotional message with “Don’t worry, we’ll march again” and “However you choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, stay safe and be good to one another.”
Guinness poked the hearts of drinkers and non-drinkers alike around the world, with consumers posting comments like “I don't drink but I love this positive message,” “An Irish Toast, meaning to your health,” and the one that Guinness wanted to hear: “This video made me want crack open a can.”
A: Headless commerce is the buzzword to define a new way of approaching e-commerce. It allows businesses to be competitive and respond more quickly to new user demands, as they find sales opportunities on all devices and platforms.
In headless e-commerce, one engine can power multiple Front-End online storefronts, and in the case of social media monetization, social media feeds become storefronts.
The great advantage of this model is that businesses can connect existing social media channels with a sales engine, without interrupting the flow of posts, reactions, and followers.
Q: How have giants like Facebook dealt with saturation?
A: Facebook’s online advertising has been increasing at a rate of 30% a year since 2015, and as the amount of ads grows, the prices drop. The pandemic made the price plunge more significant, as the platform increased the number of ads by 40% with prices dropping 21%.
This means that the company has to sell more ads every time to compensate, which of course, increases saturation.
This is what prompted younger users to migrate to Instagram, which is forcing Facebook to increase the number of ads on that platform, hence spreading saturation to whatever platform or app it already has or buys. In terms of buying new platforms, things are getting more difficult as regulators are chasing the company for alleged monopolistic practices.
Q: How does saturation affect SEO and what are the main challenges in this regard?
A: Doing SEO means coming out first on search engines, but as these engines evolve every week, the first positions are destined only for those who do a smart job in the medium and long term.
The job of SEO is to feel the market and define what content or product the client needs. All this, based on data and carrying out the necessary follow-up until reaching the first positions.
Forget about making an article or video thinking of you and not your client. The quality of your work, knowing about UX (user experience), and knowing how to be relevant in voice searches (voice searches) will define your future in a saturated environment.