We’re always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to reach our target audiences. Ever-changing technology gives us different ways to meet audiences where they are. But we want to make sure we aren’t implementing new technologies just for the sake of it. We want those technologies to enhance our relationships with our audiences, to get us more out of our efforts, and—importantly—to further our partners’ goals.
In this blog post, we’ll explore three strategic ways to use new technologies in your marketing and communications to achieve your goals.
1. Get Interactive
One of the most significant advantages of modern technology is the ability to offer interactivity to our audiences. Interactivity keeps audiences engaged because it lets them choose when and how to learn information. They become active participants. Because it’s on their own terms, they’re less likely to tune us out—and more likely to respond to our messages and take your desired actions. Think about how different it is to play a board game, for example, instead of only watching it.
Interactivity comes in many forms: chatbots, dynamic websites (think quizzes, 360-degree views, virtual tours, etc.), livestreams where audiences can ask questions and get immediate responses. Chatbots, in particular, are powerful because they offer 24/7 availability and on-demand access to information. Plus, data obtained from chatbots on trends can help us discover what our audiences are asking about. Speaking of data…
2. Put Data to Use
There are vast amounts of data available to us these days. These data points give us valuable insights into our audiences. We can track metrics such as website traffic, social media engagement, and email open rates to figure out which strategies work best. Then, we can focus our resources on the strategies that have the greatest impact.
By taking action using this data, we can create engaging campaigns that our audiences actually want to see, that they actually respond to. It helps us make informed decisions with our audiences’ preferences and needs in mind.
3. Think Mobile-First
There’s a pretty good chance that you’re reading this very blog post on a smartphone. How do we know that? Because over 51% of web traffic in the United States comes from mobile devices.
In today’s smartphone world, it’s essential that our marketing and communications strategies are designed for mobile devices. Our content needs to work well on smaller screens. It’s an opportunity and a challenge for us, too. Small screens force us to get our message across in fewer words, with the audience more likely to switch away at any second.
And, of course, we also have texting. Audiences want to engage, in many circumstances, via text rather than phone calls. And automated texting campaigns provide targeted messaging to your audience where they are. You can ask a question and get a quick text message back from your recipient, such as a “Y” for “Yes” or “N” for “No,” and set up an automatic response based on that.
What to watch out for when adopting new technologies
Don’t be afraid to experiment! But when you’re considering adopting new technologies, keep these practices in mind.
First, make sure that the technology aligns with your organization’s goals and brand. As we said before, don’t implement new technologies just because. There needs to be a reason to do so.
Second, respect your audience. Ask these questions, for example: Does your target audience use that platform? Do they expect or want to see your organization there? Going back to text messaging, we need to be considerate, or the potential power of text messaging will be diluted as it has been for email and snail mail.
Finally (yet significantly!) prioritize data privacy and security. Technologies give us access to information about our audiences. If we’re not careful, their information—and your organization’s information—can be risked. Be sure to be careful to protect your organization and your audience.
In many ways, we’re lucky to have so many tools at our disposal these days. Tools that make it easier for us to engage with our audiences and to craft effective communications. Interactivity, data analytics, and mobile-first communication are just a few ways that we can improve our marketing and communications efforts.
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