The Top Underrated Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Businesses Overlook

It seems as though every brand has a strong presence online. Therefore, standing out from the crowd can be highly difficult.

With social media feeds updated every second and news articles published constantly, gaining some traction is a success for most.

However, you might be thinking of other ways to boost your visibility. Rising above others is one way to get noticed, but how can you diversify your marketing efforts?

Sometimes the best way is to apply an overlooked digital marketing technique.

Here are some of the most underrated digital marketing opportunities to improve your brand awareness.

1. Featured Snippets

Many businesses often ignore the steps of claiming the prized spot of a featured snippet.

Featured snippets are relatively new to the Google results page. They are small excerpts lifted from pages. Normally, they appear near the top of the SERP (search engine results page) — and they show up in response to an information request.

Google implemented these excerpts to resolve a user’s problem without the need to load a hosted website. Featured snippets significantly enhance the user experience. Plus, it builds trust and credibility for the site source.

Take into account that featured snippets aren’t always in the first spot of the results page. Instead, it acknowledges the language and concept of the excerpt, the page’s authority, formatting — and the most relevant answer.

Take advantage of the featured snippet by optimizing your content in natural language and identifying the context of that language. You could also consider using Schema markup to help search engines understand your content and obtain a higher chance of getting featured.

2. Offline Marketing Channels

Most businesses often don’t think about creating a strong digital marketing strategy offline. They separate digital marketing from the traditional methods because they believe it’s the only way.

With traditional marketing, you might think of having a beautifully-designed sign to attract customers outside your store. Or, maybe you’d spend time sending mail-outs to promote your brand.

Yet, it’s possible to give your traditional marketing strategies a digital twist. You’ve most likely seen standard approaches like leveraging Snapchat to offer coupons. Other methods also include QR codes or app pairing — where an app brings up online reviews instantly when you tap a phone against a product plate, for example.

Plus, paper can also do wonders for your digital marketing strategy. For instance, if you’ve created a blog post you’re proud of, you could print it out and post it at local coffee shops.

Just be sure you’ve got a URL labeled clearly, so it leads back to your website or social media profiles.

3. Virtual Reality Video Content

Of course, video conquers when telling a brand story. People connect more deeply with engaging content than the posts you see on social media feeds.

However, why not give your audience something more to experience? With the tools available at the hands of businesses, most overlook the opportunity to market with VR (virtual reality) video.

360 degrees-video is an emerging technology that businesses have the potential to use for sharing brand moments and connecting with customers.

With it being available on YouTube and Facebook, businesses can expand their content to 360 degrees-video — bringing a new depth that photos can’t capture.

If your business is all about connecting with your audience, consider posting VR-compatible video content to enhance your interaction.

4. Voice Search

Voice search is one of the most recent top investments of Google and for a good reason. The rise of mobile devices largely spurs virtual assistant technology. Therefore, voice search is becoming more commonplace for users.

With that in mind, many businesses often overlook content optimization for voice search. However, it only calls for small restructuring in your content.

For instance, you’ll need to shift your keywords in favor of longer phrases and include direct answers to queries rather than simple restatements.

Consider using the “People Also Ask” section in a Google search to find keywords and phrases to improve your search engine rankings.

You may also see other changes in the future. These might include improved natural language processing where the algorithm can dissect sarcasm, background information, intonation, etc.

For instance, an intonation could deliver optimistic content versus pessimistic according to a specific topic.

Therefore, you’ll need to understand your audience more efficiently than ever to take advantage of this digital marketing opportunity.

5. Gamification

Gamification is a gaming technique used to improve customer engagement. If you’re thinking of ways to connect with more prospects, build brand awareness and increase conversions, gamification is it.

You can gamify practically any stage of the customer journey. Contests, incentives and scoring systems are a great way to interact with potential customers. Yet, it helps to consider your goal and audience interests before building an entire campaign.

Once you have those ideas in place, you can develop a gamification approach and its incentives.

Remember, it’s always best to keep things simple. Too often, you’ll see a great campaign, but too many rules and conditions apply to participation.

6. Native Advertising

The native advertising market is rapidly growing, and now is the time to take advantage of it. According to ADYOULIKE, native advertising spending will jump by 372% from 2020 and be worth over $400 billion by 2025.

Native advertising is a paid form of advertising involving a seamless ad design on the platform they appear. Unlike banner ads, native ads are less intrusive and don’t affect the user experience.

However, many businesses are missing the opportunity to improve their content output.

Native ads are typically on social feeds, below articles and eCommerce sites. While building an effective native ad campaign takes time, the effort is worth it. These ads have higher click-through rates and are often more engaged by consumers.

To optimize your native ads for the best results, ensure you establish clear goals, choose the right advertising platform — and align the campaign content with your goals.

Own Your Digital Marketing Endeavors

While these are the most underrated digital marketing opportunities, there’s also no one-size-fits-all solution to growing your brand. Often business owners use social media as their go-to digital marketing strategy.

However, you have plenty of ways to drive great results. Consider testing different approaches and running campaigns others haven’t thought of yet. Your marketing efforts won’t go unnoticed as you stand out from the crowd.

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.