Every online company needs to use marketing effectively to generate traffic and leads. With so many platforms available to publish the content, though, it can be difficult to pick the best option or figure out why your strategy isn't working.
Those quickest to identify the latest developments and implement them in their marketing strategies have the strongest potential to convert their vision into a real brand.
Ask these five questions to overcome your digital marketing challenges:
1. What is your strategic outreach plan?If you invest in the wrong channel or platform, you can't expect to generate the returns you want.
Should you invest in content marketing? How about YouTube Ads? Is there any possibility of making more sales through paid advertising? What is the impact of direct emails?
The answers to those questions depend heavily on your target audience. Don't expect to multiply your campaign growth by investing heavily in textual content when your customers prefer visual.
Related: New to Digital Marketing? How to Keep 'Face Time' With Customers
Before starting any campaign, focus your energies on audience identification and segmentation. Research where your customers hang out, what they like and what they hate.
After outlining the outreach goals, answer the following questions with ease:
Most marketers never follow up and they miss out on an opportunity. 80 percent of all potential opportunities are lost due to lack of follow-up. Focus on your non-buyers by analyzing the buyer's journey. Tell them how your product or service recognizes and addresses their pain points.
Buyers make the purchasing decision by looking for factors like customer support, alternative options and positive reviews from customers, so be prepared for that.
Related: The 4 Digital Trends That Are Reshaping Advertising
3) Do you live up to expectations?A strong digital marketing research plan incorporates psychographic factors to capture the emotions of the target audience, because you cannot create value without knowing your customer's expectations, and for that, you need accurate profile knowledge of an ideal client.
The "value proposition" is a promise made by a company to assure the better quality of their product/service over similar offerings in the market. It answers the buyer’s fundamental question: Why should I buy from you?
Develop listening, observation and learning skills. The more you listen, the more you minimize the gap between your offer and customer expectations. Watch the latest trends within your industry. Learn to fill the missing gaps from your competitors.
Marketers must propagate the company's value to the masses. What's the use of delivering value if it doesn't get delivered to the right set of people?
4) Are you building human relationships?A teacher buys your product -- let's say a video editing tool, to make learning both fun and engaging.
What's your next plan? How can you capitalize on that sale?
You could create an free educational content to help the customer understand your product, then choose an email marketing platform and put the course on an autoresponder sequence.
But, that shouldn't mark the end of the process. Real engagement begins when your customer raises concerns. Improve after-sales services. Attend with care.
What else should you do?
After launching your social media ads, devote time to responding to reader’s queries. Don't forget to reply when someone comments or share your stuff online. Appreciate the constructive feedback. You can't automate every process. Build human connections.
Related: 10 Free Marketing Tools Every Entrepreneur Should Know About
5) Are you learning from your key performance indicators (KPIs)?Make sure you understand the difference between click through rate (the percentage of people who see an ad and click on it) and landing page conversion rate (the percentage of people who make it all the way to the end of the process, whether that's to a sales page or somewhere else).
Understanding the difference between performance indicators can tell you where customers are getting hung up in the process, and whether you need to change your process or use a new platform.
What's most important in the Digital Age — content marketing, data analytics or the customer experience? And where should you allocate your budget? This study reveals the answers.
By Jeffry Pilcher, CEO/President & Publisher of The Financial Brand
Every year for the past seven years, Econsultancy and Adobe have fielded one of the biggest research studies in the world on the subject of digital marketing. This year’s study encompassed more than 14,000 marketing executives in a range of industries from around the world.
The 2017 Digital Trends report identifies the strategies sitting atop marketers’ list of priorities for the coming year, but also reveals some unexpected and even contradictory findings.
Digital Marketing MaturesThere was a time not too long ago when digital marketing was all about advertising and “push” messaging — e.g., online ads, promotional emails and sales campaigns that plug products and offer incentives. Not any more.
These days, there is a heightened emphasis on cultivating relationships by creating engagement through content. Nearly a third (29%) of marketers say content marketing will be one of their top three most important activities in the coming year. This represents a big shift from the outbound “push” approach to marketing to one that is much more consumer centric — providing educational and/or entertaining information that people want to “pull” them in and get them to engage with the brand. Content marketing tactics can include anything from webinars and how-to guides to blog posts and infographics.
This shift is further illustrated by other digital marketing tactics rising in prominence. Coming in at #2 on the list of priorities, roughly a quarter of all marketers say they want to boost engagement in social channels (28%), and make their marketing more personalized and targeted (25%).
This suggests that brands are willing to eschew the “buy, buy, buy!” marketing messages that dominated the landscape only a few years ago in favor of more nuanced strategy. The assumption is that by addressing people’s questions — whether that be through content marketing materials or in two-way conversations via social channels. Marketers clearly intend to spend more time listening vs. talking yelling than they have in the past, as they look to deepen relationships and build trust with consumers who will, in turn, then be more receptive to offers and take action.
Aligning Budgets With PrioritiesOften in surveys, you find disconnects between what respondents claim are their priorities and where they actually intend on allocating their budgets. Do they put their money where their mouth is? Yes, at least according to the research from Econsultancy and Adobe. Their study shows a refreshing level of alignment between priorities and budgets.
Marketers said that their top three priorities for 2017 were content marketing, social media and personalization, and they will be increasing budgets in those areas at a corresponding level.
One tactic that stays stable is email marketing. As you can see in the graph above, email marketing remains firmly in the center of the budget table, despite the fact that study after study reveals that it has a better capacity to deliver higher ROI than other tactics. In a separate survey from Econsultancy, email surfaced as the most effective digital marketing tactic. However, this study found that organizations were spending around 15% of their marketing budget on this channel, even though they could attribute 23% of total sales to it. Clearly, marketers could take more advantage of email.
It’s also interesting to note that online display advertising and search engine marketing (pay-per-click ads) aren’t seeing the budgetary increases that they did back when they were considered the cornerstone staples of a digital strategy. This doesn’t necessarily suggest that they are losing their relevancy nor that their potency is diminishing. It could simply reflect that — after nearly a decade of growth, testing and optimization — these areas have now matured and are properly funded.
What About Data Analytics?Surprisingly, marketers don’t seem terribly concerned about their data analytics capabilities. It’s virtually impossible to “optimize” anything — whether it be the customer journey, conversion rates or engagement in mobile/social channels — without robust data streams… and the ability to derive actionable insight from them.
While the vast majority of respondents in the survey said they are planning to increase or maintain their level of investment in marketing analytics, this investment does not match their will nor the immediacy of need; all data points in the survey related to analytics appear further down marketers’ lists of priorities for 2017 than one would expect.
Only 8% of those in the study said that predictive analytics and customer scoring were one of their top priorities. Less than one in ten are looking at joining their online- and offline data sets. And 10% want to improve their analytics capabilities in social channels even though 28% said they will concentrate on increasing social media engagement rates. How can you determine whether or not an activity like “social media engagement” is yielding the desired outcomes if you don’t have the data to prove it? In the Digital Age, you have access to all the data you need to identify any correlations (or lack thereof) between marketing tactics and results. But only if you make it a priority.
If marketers are focusing their attention in areas such as content marketing and social media engagement without a corresponding emphasis on analyzing data to surface valuable insights, Adobe and Econsultancy say this suggests marketers have their head in the sand. No matter who you are or how advanced you think your data analytics capabilities are today, you still have a loonnngggg way to go. It really should be the number one action-item on everyone’s to-do list.
It’s All About The Customer ExperienceAs companies prioritize their digital marketing efforts, there is clearly a focus on creating a seamless, consistent and valuable experience for their audiences and having the teams in place to help achieve this.
Findings in the Econsultancy/Adobe study reveal that the way most companies expect to differentiate themselves from the competition over the next five years is to focus on delivering an optimized customer experience.
Understanding device usage and combining online and offline data to better manage customer experiences come lower down executives’ list of priorities, but they’re still vital contributing factors to achieving those top two goals.
Similarly, over one fifth (22%) of client-side respondents ranked ‘optimizing the customer experience’ as the single most exciting opportunity for 2017, slightly ahead of other areas such as ‘creating compelling content for digital experiences’ (16%) and ‘data-driven marketing’ (12%).
Design thinking is emerging as a strategic weapon in the CX battle. In fact, Adobe and Econsultancy say design is the next step on the path to digital transformation, with 86% of respondents in their survey agreeing that design-driven companies outperform other businesses.
This design-centric mindset comes as no surprise when accounting for the fact that those surveyed place the highest emphasis on creating a relevant experience that both surprises and delights consumers.
While over four-fifths (82%) of survey respondents believe that creativity is highly valued within their organizations and around three-quarters (77%) are investing in design to differentiate their brand, just over two-fifths (44%) don’t think that they have the processes and collaborative workflows to achieve a design advantage.
“While they aim to optimize the customer experience, they are not building their data capabilities fast enough to facilitate this.”John Travis, VP of Emerging Markets at Marketing Adobe, says brands need to focus on their organization’s culture if they hope to realize their CX dreams. “Adopting a collaborative, cross-team approach where everyone is focused on the same goal of delivering experiences is hard, and it’s not surprising to see that many businesses struggle in this area.”
“Respondents overwhelmingly claim that customer experience is their most exciting opportunity,” says Travis. “Many of them are investing in content and design, looking to create experiences are personal, compelling and memorable. But at the same time, their investment in analytics is lagging. It seems that many businesses are so excited to get into the experience game that they overextend, neglecting to take care of the basics. If you want to take design and deliver content-driven experiences, you need a strong foundation of data.”
Looking to increase your brand's reach on social media? Columnist Will Scott has 10 tips that will help you draw in new customers and build your business.
At least 86 percent of Americans are now internet users, according to the latest data, and social media is one of the most cost-effective ways to connect those internet users with your business. Use these 10 tips to make sure your business is using social media effectively.
1. Make sure you’re on Google and FacebookAt a bare minimum, you need to make sure that your business has a presence on the most popular search engine and social media sites. If your business has been around a while, it probably already has a listing on Google, but you need to claim that listing.
By claiming your listing on Google, you can make sure that your business hours and contact information are correct. Claiming the listing also allows you to respond to reviews.
2. Make your own personal social media accountsThe best way to learn about social media is by creating an account for your business. When you have your own LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pages, you will have a better idea of the different markets with each site.
Some companies make the mistake of trying to force their branding message onto every site, and this can be perceived as artificial and disingenuous. Once you have had a chance to see how other businesses in your industry handle their social media accounts, you can decide how your business can engage in an authentic and sustainable way.
3. Diversify your social media presenceSocial media is always changing, but there’s a real advantage to having a presence on several different sites. The individual social media sites also change every few years, and Twitter could be on the cusp of new changes.
Your social media profiles on different sites can feed into each other, and individual sites each have their unique advantages. Creating a YouTube page and posting a few videos is an easy way to boost your search ranking.
4. Choose your target demographicIf you are looking to gain the attention of female customers, then it would be a good idea to consider a Pinterest page, since over 80% of Pinterest users are female.
On the other hand, LinkedIn is better for B2B promotions and finding professional clients. LinkedIn also can be useful for recruiting new staff.
Ultimately, the way you define your target demographic will shape the way you use each of your business’s social media pages.
5. Avoid engaging in fake newsUsers are gradually becoming aware of the problem represented by fake news on social media. It can be tempting to hop on board with an edgy or viral meme, but that also can impact the way your company is perceived.
In a political climate that has become increasingly polarized, it has become easy to unintentionally alienate potential customers. With the explosion of spinoff sites involved in content creation, it has become increasingly difficult to discern which sources are credible.
6. Live broadcast a videoIn addition to the wider choice of reactions to a post, Facebook added live video feeds in 2016. Broadcasting a live video on Facebook is comparable to having a local news crew show up at your business. A live broadcast can be the perfect way to publicize a special event or sale.
Depending on your industry, you can also broadcast a training or something else that would be of interest to your target audience. By using live video for a webinar or training, your presenter can answer questions from the online community, further increasing engagement.
7. Provide an immersive experienceSimilar to the innovations in live video, Facebook also has added the capability for 360-degree photos and videos. The immersive experience allows your audience to feel more engaged than a standard picture or video post.
Rent a 360-degree camera, and you can give customers a tour of your facility or virtually walk them through your front door. Sponsor an athlete in your community to make a promotional video that has the potential to go viral.
The businesses that think of innovative ways to exploit these new forms of media will be the most successful in promoting their brands.
8. Time your postingsIf you aren’t careful about the times you post on social media, then you aren’t reaching the largest possible audience. The best time to post depends on the type of social media page you’re using.
Facebook and Twitter posts get the widest circulation in the evening, later in the week. LinkedIn, on the other hand, gets the most traffic in the morning in the middle of the work week.
Many social media sites allow you to schedule your posts for peak hours, so your business can still have Facebook posts going online while the office is empty.
9. Keep up with the timesEvery business wants to “go viral” with content that gets widely circulated on social media. Unfortunately, there’s no way to calculate exactly the right kind of post to generate that kind of response.
The best answer is to keep up to date with the latest trends in social media. While it’s best to steer clear of political issues, there are plenty of harmless social media stunts that could serve as opportunities to promote your brand.
If your staff wants to participate in the mannequin challenge, for example, then the stunt may be worth sacrificing an hour or two of productivity. Ultimately, social media should be an opportunity to connect with customers and further develop your brand.
10. Pay for helpManaging social media takes time and expertise, especially when your business is looking to maintain a presence across multiple sites. Just learning about the different markets takes time, and then it can be a challenge to develop engaging and informative posts that promote your brand.
Some businesses delegate the maintenance of social media pages to someone already working in the office, but this tends to result in inconsistent quality. Personal experience with social media is very useful, but a secretary with a Facebook page is not necessarily equipped to project a professional image for your brand.
Budgeting for social media also allows you to pay for advertising, which can increase the size of your following.
Ultimately, social media is a complex field when it comes to maximizing the impact for your business. The initial steps of claiming your listing and building a presence can be accomplished by anyone with a moderate level of social media experience. Using all of those pages effectively, however, demands dedication and experience.
With the right help, social media can make 2017 a big year for your small business.
Digital marketing is designed to attract visitors to your B2B website through customer-centric content that’s SEO optimized. This inbound marketing approach not only helps prospects find you, it also gives you the opportunity to measure the effectiveness of your efforts. As this article notes, only two things ultimately account for positive ROI: bringing more visitors to your site and converting those visitors into customers. With an inbound marketing strategy, you can have data at your fingertips that demonstrates digital marketing ROI, as visitors move along the buyers’ journey. Tracing the path from marketing through sales helps you to accurately identify the course prospects take to becoming customers.
Properly optimized website pages, blog articles, social media and other content drive qualified leads to your site in a measurable way. Once you start collecting and analyzing this data, you can provide even more personalized, relevant and helpful content to improve your digital marketing ROI. By looking at the analytics, you can identify your buyers’ needs and understand what content pulls leads through the sales funnel.
When evaluating social media data, make sure that all shares, likes and visitors contribute to your sales efforts. That means sending social media visitors to landing pages on your website where you can collect data and encourage them to move further along the sales journey.
Marketing automation platforms help you to measure your digital marketing effectiveness. They allow you to view each asset in your inbound marketing campaign and report on its progress across all channels. You can also trace marketing channels and content offers to the revenue generated for your company.
According to HubSpot, the following are important elements in driving visitors to your website and creating measurable visitor actions that are useful when analyzing your digital marketing ROI:
How are you measuring digital marketing ROI? Share with us in the comments below.
All marketing tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating all marketing tactics, the marketing programs become more effective and cost efficient. As a B2B agency, we developed B2B 360 Integrated Digital Marketing to meet this improved performance need. To learn more about B2B 360 and how it will benefit your business, download our free eBook: B2B Top-Tier Tech Marketing.
1. Keep your emails freshEmail marketing remains a great way to get your message across and communicate with your customers. But that doesn’t mean you should be complacent about it. This is the mistake that a lot of business owners make. If you want your overall digital marketing strategy to be effective, you need to make sure that you keep your approach to email marketing fresh. Only send out emails when you have something to say. And say it in an engaging and relaxed way; nobody wants to be bombarded with advertising jargon.
2. Be consistentConsistency is something that everyone strives for when they start out with their digital marketing plan. But it’s one of those things that often gets dropped and forgotten about. That’s not a good thing, so make sure you stay consistent when you’re carrying digital marketing techniques. For example, if you start a blog, it needs to be updated regularly. Otherwise, people will simply lose interest, and then you’ve lost your audience. Your approach and style on social media needs to be consistent too if you want to make it believable and relatable to people.
3. Work on a positive e-campaignYou need to be positive and upbeat when you’re creating a campaign for your business. So, use bright colours and positive language. A depressing or dull campaign is never going to be successful in connecting with an audience or persuading them to buy from your company. If things start to get boring and predictable, shake things up a bit. You could also partner up with a charity and show people you’re philanthropic side. This will paint your business in a positive light because you’re doing something for a good cause.
4. Improve the quality of your websiteQuality is something that a lot of people overlook when
it comes to creating a good digital marketing strategy. The main aim of most digital marketing techniques is to get people to your website. But what if they find an amateur, poorly designed and unattractive website when they get there? Then all your hard work will be undone because the visitor will leave the site and probably never come back! So, it’s vital to make sure that your website is improved. Follow the link to find out more about web hosting, and hire a web designer if you want a complete makeover for the site.
5. Engage with peopleCustomers expect to be engaged by businesses that are vying for their attention these days. If your business is not able to connect with people and convince them about your message, then you have a problem. Think about it; all the best businesses nowadays are the ones that are able to engage people and get them interested in what they have to say. You should use social media to your advantage when it comes to connecting with people. Use a tone that’s suitable for your target audience for the best outcomes.
The most effective ways of performing Search Engine Optimization are changing constantly. Search Engine Optimization is the key to the success of any business as it keeps your business accessible easily to the correct searches. Therefore, organizations are more than alert to discover and thereafter, adapt to the latest rules almost the very moment the search engine modifies them. Businesses have welcomed 2017 by reviewing all the changes or trends they could anticipate from search engines. Here are ways of improving your SEO in 2017 as per experts who are experienced in handling all these perpetually evolving SEO approaches and algorithms. Here are some effective strategies for enhancing your SEO in 2017.
First of All, Switching to HTTP/2
Google focuses chiefly on page speed. If you wish to be successful in Search Engine Optimization, you need to possess a sound knowledge and understanding of the way page speed is impacted by networking. You must switch to HTTP/2 from HTTP/1. This is surely a huge departure from the earlier one and would be responsible for a drastic improvement in page speed.
Must Target Fewer Keyword Derivations
In the year 2017 keyword research, as well as, targeting would be continuing to change dramatically. RankBrain is gradually starting to influence the search rankings. Moreover, it has already been effective in comprehending acronyms, abbreviations, plurals, synonyms, and even the answers. If you are looking for SEO success, it is essential to go about targeting relatively fewer keyword derivations. Those marketers who are actually, acknowledging this fact would be forging ahead of the rest in a truly dynamic and competitive landscape.
Do Not Deviate from the Basics
You need to follow consumer behavior and stop thinking about the algorithms. If you are aware of the latest trends, you would know that there has been a major shift from bulky text to images and short videos. You must give the consumer exactly what they are looking for and allow the search engines to carry on with their job. Hire the services of a reliable bulk mailer Mumbai for SEO success.
Focus On User Experience
With the advent of machine learning and RankBrain, search engines have become definitely smarter than before in understanding what is responsible for a really good search result. The previous keyword ranking factors, needless to say, still exist. However, both SEO and User Experience or UX needs to be integrated because today search engines are rewarding websites that are delivering faster load times and a wonderful customer experience. In the years to come great UX would surely be given more importance than keyword-optimization.
Enhance Your Site Loading Speed and Restrict Errors
Site speed would be playing a crucial role in SEO in 2017 but in some different ways than earlier. Switching to https://, developing websites in AMP and such technical modifications and alterations may cause server side issues such as 404s, overly abundant redirects, or even orphaned pages that would be slowing down the overall site speed and would definitely, kill usability. Your topmost concern would be to make sure that your site is functioning 100% even after such alterations and modifications.
Mobile First Indexing Is a Must, Better Switch to It
Since November 2016, Google has started using mobile-first indexing for all search rankings. So SEO strategies would be shifting to mobile devices. Mobile search intent and mobile UX would be becoming more important.
You need to realize that there has been a shift from content generation to content library in 2017. Today content recency, relevance, and frequency are no longer rewarded with a fantastic ranking. Today search engines and search engine users are looking for a fabulous content that is thoroughly researched, and multi-media organized which is known to provide huge value. Companies must stop content production, instead, think about competing with the top library not only to attract but retain the top readers.
Becoming your own boss may sound appealing when looking to start a new business but have you considered how digital marketing could play a major part in its success.
Starting a small business gives you ultimate control and flexibility on the hours you choose to work. Marketing can help a business become established within its industry and increase enquiries with relevantly simple strategies. A new online business would probably look into an SEO strategy as this will help the website to rank for your desired keywords.
The First StepResearch is always the first step, by looking into marketing methods and the demographics of your targeted audience it will help you to prioritise which marketing avenue to go down first.
A local company?If you’re a business that wants to be found locally then it’s advisable to start looking into Local SEO. By implementing a good SEO strategy this would enhance your chances of showing up in the search engine result pages when users search for your services in these areas.
There are many other digital marketing strategies but if you are looking to focus on location then your website content will be important for you and your business.
Social MediaSocial media is a great way to get your company’s out there. Many businesses use social media platforms to keep their followers up to date on all services and to inform them of any competitions. It is a great way to engage with potential new customers.
FacebookYou can create a Facebook business page within minutes via your profile. The mobile app allows you to keep updated with new notifications wherever you are. It enables you to reach out to new followers by posting informative blogs, videos and promotions, keeping you connected to your users. Facebook also has a great tool where you can invite your friends and family to like and share your page.
TwitterThere is a wide range of benefits for your business on Twitter. The main reasons to have a Twitter page is enhanced communication with your followers, promotion of blogs and services as well as keeping on top of all the related industry news. It’s a great platform to get started on and is simple to follow once you have opened an account.
InstagramInstagram is a great social media platform for companies that have a lot of products to show to their followers. Visual content is very popular and Instagram is a great platform to get your photos and videos out to a wider audience.
Finally…There are many other digital marketing options, however, we just wanted to simplify the options and give you a snippet of what can be done within a couple of weeks. Do you require some additional guidance? We are here to help just contact us and we’ll be happy to help you.
Image source – Licensed images from Shutterstock
The digital world has many new and upcoming trends to offer in 2017. All the marketers may be wondering and imagining the changes that would topple the ways in which things are executed today. Yes, it’s indeed so. The trends are of course foreseeable as in the last few years we have seen quite a number of new devices like Apple Watch, Moto 360, and Google Glass being launched. The mobile phones are getting even more sophisticated and the newer apps are being launched every single day.
With all these changes, it’s inevitable that the year 2017 would see more wearable devices and change in wearable technology that may change the entire way local marketing is being carried on. It might be that the digital marketers have to focus on tapping the potential of the wearable technology which can bring a huge change in the way digital marketing is seen today. Content marketing is another field that’s surely going to go through a sea change. Social media is yet another vertical that is evolving at a higher pace.
There is no doubt that the digital space is going to expand with more companies entering the field stiffening the competition. The other viewpoint is, with the data revolution increasing its volume and speed, the search engines would sort and give preference to the huge amount of data available on the internet for easing the search operations. Thus as far as we can see, the whole ecosystem of the marketable digital space is going to expand and evolve.
With so many foreseeable trends, you may wonder what’s going to happen and in which direction the digital world is advancing. This is a question that intrigues many, standing at the crossroads of innovation and change, at all the frontiers of technology and practice. Whatever may be the case it is indeed true, the digital marketing space is huge, complex, and is becoming increasingly volatile. Change and innovation are the order of the day and in this evolution of a constantly changing ecosystem the sooner you are able to strike the right chord of the internet user, the more marketable the company and its products would be. This would enable any company to stay ahead of the competitors.
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In this spree of change, let’s see the trends that are going to mark the recent times. Considering the practice of the industry, digital marketing has had three key branches namely email marketing, social media marketing, and SEO. Let’s go ahead and analyze the changes that are seen on the horizon which is going to mark the year 2017.
Email Marketing Trends
The email marketing trends in 2017 would see the shorter body of the emails, context driven messaging, and the tone of the emails would be more conversational. Emails may be complemented by chatbots. Heat map studies would be more in vogue that enables the understanding of users’ habit patterns and which subject lines, users are focusing on.
More of email automation would be used with the machines matching the subscribers with content. This would also encourage cross-channel data to be leveraged even more with increased adoption of lead scoring data. With the emails getting shorter with more attention-grabbing subject lines and more contextual content, the call-to-action would be more clear and compelling. Thus, staying relevant is where the challenge would lie. It is already a fact that the emails are viewed more on mobile phones and thus they would be compatible with the devices used depending on the usage of the target segment.
SEO is an ever-evolving field as the search engine algorithm is improving with newer changes in the way things used to happen earlier. In this context, the usage of the schema as a markup is gradually stealing the show with the changes in the Google algorithm along with the users’ trends. Use of schema makes it comparatively easier for the search engines to assess your website which increases the probability of being shown up with any query.
The tendency of Google is to improve the ways in facilitating the users with what they want through their query. As Google’s algorithm and search pattern change as it has, through 2016, usage of the schema is bound to increase in 2017. Google has been observed to use more of Quick Answers that has grown from 22% from the end of December 2014 to over 40% at the beginning of 2016. Schema helps in making the context and purpose of the website clear to Google so that the content is clearer for the snippet boxes to understand.
The discussion about SEO trends would not be complete without talking about the introduction of RankBrain, artificial intelligence, and machine learning by Google. Google’s RankBrain is more into understanding the context of a word being searched and this, of course, has a bearing on the search engine ranking. The digital marketers in 2017 cannot ignore the machine learning aspect of Google anymore which has evolved to be the one of most important factor for ranking.
There is no denying the fact that the organic digital marketing eco-space is constantly expanding and getting more complex. The blog content, user-generated content, and social media contents are all evaluated and taken into account in deciding the rankings. In this context, it is essential to mention that not only Google but Bing and the social media giants like Facebook’s algorithm would also go through a marked change in the coming year.
The last few of years have witnessed a phenomenal growth in the digital marketing efforts by the organizations worldwide. It is quite obvious that the competition would increase for online space with more companies joining the spree of digital marketing. This would inevitably increase the demand for the top advertising spaces surging the prices for online advertising. An opinion still persists which says that pay per click (PPC) advertising would die in the coming years. If it really does there would be more alternatives of optimized advertisements ruling the web in the ensuing years.
Mobile optimization is another trend that would prevail as Google has virtually phased out the websites which are not mobile friendly. The year 2016 was a year that witnessed the phenomenal use of mobile phones and these handheld devices outmoded the usage of the desktop. Along with it, the desktop traffic has been substituted with mobile phone traffic which suggests marketers would be more mobile-focused in their efforts of internet marketing. Search from mobile phones and optimization would thus be a top most priority in 2017.
Social Media Trends
The connection between like-minded people through social media has been rising at a meteoric pace in the last decade. Today, people of different countries and continents are connected than ever before through social media. The brands are increasingly plunging into social media to increase reach with diverse content types like infographics, video, and articles with the intention of bringing together the prospective customers and converting them.
One of the recent trends that would increase in 2017 is making the employees turn into brand ambassadors on social media. According to Pardot’s estimates, there has been 191% growth in employee advocacy on social media from 2013. In the same survey, 45% of the respondents named employee advocacy as the top external objective of organizations. This trend is estimated to increase in 2017.
Client support programs through social media are supposed to grow as more brands are using social media and are coming up with social teams to answer the questions and resolve customers’ issues while on the go and in real time. Social listening and use of social media for conversion are the trends that are going to rise with the social media analytics, becoming even more comprehensive and easier to use.
The power of social media would be used more effectively by the business community and the marketers in 2017. This would include the attempts to use social media as a conversion channel and convert the prospects to buyers directly.
What’s for sure?
The good news of course is, the internet users are on the rise and it would increase even more in 2017. According to a research study, $2.2 trillion of retail sales was influenced by the internet in 2015. The same study predicted that 2017 would be marked by more web traffic than all the combined prior internet years. By 2017, 68% of all the internet traffic would be generated by mobile phones and connected devices. The social media population is also growing and 2017 would ensure more traffic on social networks. This would certainly give ample space for marketers to market their products and services.
Any business leader knows that one of the foundations of success is a strong digital marketing strategy. A marketing strategy brings fresh customers to the table. And, the majority of shoppers today use the Internet. Put the two together and you have a strong foundation to house your marketing success. The only problem is that it isn’t as easy as typing it on a keyboard. You have to make it happen in the real world. If you understand business, you’ll know that inspiration is the best way to succeed and you take a successful model and you add a few ingredients. Here are the essential ingredients for every marketing campaign:
Identifying A Target Market
Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that your product or brand appeals to everyone. There are over seven billion people on the planet, so that logic is flawed. There are only certain brands that can have an eclectic mix of customers, and it’s unlikely your business will be one. But don’t worry, because accepting that’s a good thing. It means you can target a market for sustained success. Targeting a base of people means that you’re able to focus on the people that are most likely to buy. The chances of your strategy hitting home and converting into a sale are much higher with this approach.
Finding A Niche
The great strategies and campaigns all have niches. They are the creative adverts that you can relate to because they mix marketing in with the brand. In short, they’re usually funny, insightful, and intelligent. It is amazing how many people respond to that as opposed to filming a cat playing the piano. Take a look at your sector and try and relate it to your business.
Using Contacts And Their Resources
Don’t assume that you can do this all alone because it’s very hard. Plus, you might have no experience in the field, and that makes it even harder. A good business understands their limitations and reaches out to people like Studio 56 for help. Professional marketing agencies have the expertise and resources to make your campaign buzz. They will charge a fee obviously, but that’s a small price to pay. If you can find one that will offer advice for free, you’re a lucky person. Just make sure you come by it sooner rather than later in whichever way you find that advice.
As far as digital marketing goes, social media is the king. Not only can it reach millions of people, but it is also free, except for your investment of time. There are dozens of platforms that you can use to spread the good word of your campaign. The most effective today are Twitter and Facebook, as they have hundreds of million of users. But, don’t forget about YouTube. Video marketing is becoming more and more popular everyday, and YouTube gets billions of daily hits alone. As you can see by the numbers, you can’t afford not to use social media platforms.
University of South Florida
Muma College of Business
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Tampa, Florida 33620
University of South Florida
Digital Marketing Certificate Program
The Digital Marketing Certificate Program at the University of South Florida is offered in connection with the USF Muma College of Business.
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