If your company has been using only traditional marketing methods to generate new business, you need to read this!
2017 is the year of change and improvements. Marketing strategies have grown beyond word of mouth and Facebook posts. Let us show you how your business can reach new heights using digital marketing strategies.
Why Digital Marketing?
- First and foremost, digital marketing is a tremendously cheaper marketing method than the traditional offline methods – just think about those print runs, radio campaigns and television ads that you couldn’t afford 15 years ago! Digital marketing is much more accessible, even for those with small marketing budgets.
- It’s a great way to increase your online market share
- **According to Hubspot By 2016, more than 50% of money spent in the US will be influenced by online marketing campaigns. ** How long before we can say the same thing here in the UK?
What is a digital strategy?
Having a digital strategy is, in essence, a plan. It allocates time and money to all the relevant platforms and helps you to gain insight into statistical data which will help you to reach your goals. Market your business using multiple platforms like Social media, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Email Marketing, SEO PR, and so much more.
How to begin building a digital strategy
- The first thing you need to do is be clear on your aims and objectives.
- Analyse how your company performed in the previous year.
- Research your target audience and preferred digital media channels
- Create your content
- Allocate paid advertising budgets
- Create a timeline
- Evaluate and improve your strategy
Why you NEED to set aside a budget for an SEO and digital marketing company to help you
- By now, you must understand the importance of digital marketing. One thing that will help you reach that increased ROI is a thorough and well thought out digital marketing strategy.
- It can be a daunting task to do yourself
- You’ll save money in the long run
- Work alongside a professional to gain a fresh perspective
- Utilise their resources and evaluation techniques
As 2016 draws to a close we’ve got time to reflect back on another year in the digital sphere. 2016 has provided some great opportunities to get your brand out there but it has also been challenging at times, as we come to accept the changes that are constantly put in place by the giants of the internet.
The big online marketing changes of 2016
Some of the changes we’ve witnessed this year include:
- The introduction of mobile-first indexing – Google recently announced that it is experimenting with this and that eventually:
“our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.”
So, if your site is not mobile friendly you will almost certainly eventually disappear from organic search and if you don’t prioritise mobile content you may become less visible.
- The rise and growth of global spam referral visits – skewing analytics reporting and generally getting in the way of genuine traffic. There are several ways to remove this data and filter the traffic, however, experts never quite got to grips with which method was best. Ultimately it seems easier to ignore what you cannot affect and concentrate instead on your own goals, how you plan to reach them and how you’ll measure the effectiveness of a given campaign.
- The boost given to HTTPS pages – at the end of 2015 Google announced that it had changed the indexation system to look for more https pages and the popularity of secure sites has subsequently increased in 2016.
- The removal of ads from the right-hand side of the page in Google search – initial reports seemed to suggest that PLA ads benefited from increased placement and that right-hand ads were never favoured by searchers anyway, but with 10 months gone since the changes were made we haven’t seen any major dramas as a result of this change. Those worried that paid search would become more ‘cut throat’ had a right to be wary, however, CPCs continue to rise anyway and it is more about what you can do with your budget and how targeted you can make your campaign in terms of text, display and video advertising, than it is about the number of ad slots available.
- The introduction of rich cards – building on the successes of rich snippets, rich cards use schema.org markup to display content in an even more engaging way. This is perfect for sites sharing recipes and any other image rich information that you want to stand out in search.
- The continued decline of Facebook organic reach – further to the declining organic reach of the last couple of years, 2016 really saw a nail in the coffin to an organic-only Facebook strategy with publishers’ pages experiencing a 52% decline in organic reach. This means that no matter how many people like your page, a large proportion of them are not going to see the important content you have created, often with them in mind. This is because Facebook needs a way of picking out the posts that keep people coming back. With a new algorithm in June, favouring friends and family in the news feeds, it was a further blow to brands trying to reach and engage their target audience via the social network. All is not lost though, as we are still seeing really good improvements in engagement, reach and referral traffic from our customer’s Facebook pages. Video is also tipped to be a great way to increase engagement so the more video content you can get onto your social pages the more likely you are to retain that audience visibility.
Instagram users have also witnessed a decline in organic reach in 2016 and just last week, Youtube sensation and top account holder PewDiePie announced that he would be shutting down his channel on reaching 50million subscribers as changing algorithms mean fewer people are now seeing his videos.
So, where does that leave us?
Digital Marketing Trends 2017
The New Year will no doubt present its own new challenges but there will also be great opportunities to exploit new technologies and trends. We predict that the following will be key factors to successful digital marketing in 2017:
- Automation – not so much that your activity becomes robotic but just enough so that customers don’t have to wait for an initial response and that content can be drip fed into the public domain even when the offices are closed.
- Continuity – with the very real threat of your social pages being deleted if you stop updating them (Facebook has threatened to do this on a couple of redundant customer accounts this year) and the fact that the consumer can spot a mile off if you are up-to-date and or inactive from the prevalence or lack of blog and social updates, continuity in terms of your marketing strategy has never been more important.
- Integration – many businesses still view marketing channels in isolation but given that the average purchase is usually achieved through a combination of media – including paid search, organic search, social media referral and direct return visit – it is crazy to think of all these channels at your disposal as separate tools. Combine them in the right proportions, at the right time and with the right level of activity and you’ll end up with far better results.
- Going Live – there are few businesses brave enough to live stream at the moment but the marketing possibilities are out there if you stop and think about how this technology can be harnessed to help you reach your target audience. Social media users are demanding to be more ‘in the moment’ and what better way to immerse them in your brand or content than taking them with you? Think live events as a great starting point for live video streaming.
- New reality – from the Virtual Reality gaming headsets that are a popular Christmas list item to the augmented reality of roaming the streets for Pokestops earlier this year, our concepts of what is real has been challenged in 2016 and we predict it will grow and develop further in the coming twelve months.
- Cutting content – we don’t mean necessarily cutting down, but cutting through. There are so many words, images, videos and experiences out there that we are all getting too overwhelmed to bother paying attention. The winners in 2017 will be the brands who can cut through this noise to reach their target audience with specific messages that mean something to them.
What about at SEO it Right?
On a company level, 2016 has been a fantastic year. We started the year dressed up and walking the cold streets to raise money for Sport Relief, celebrated our 6th birthday in April, spent the summer delivering an awesome work experience programme for two local school pupils and an international work placement student and ended the year welcoming a new member to our team – Kostas, who comes to us as a highly-experienced developer,AdWords manager and user experience expert. If you haven’t met Kostas already or received an email from him I’m sure you’ll join us in wishing him well on his SEO it Right journey.
All that leaves me to do is thank everyone, staff, customers and followers for their continued support in 2016. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and look forward to an exciting year in 2017!
Facebook has 31 billion UK users, with 60% of the population having a Facebook account. There’s a massive audience just waiting to hear your brand story, but it’s not as easy as you might think.
Organic reach on Facebook can currently be described as abysmal at best and non-existent at worst! You might have a few hundred or thousand likes but your organic reach is likely to be as low as 1% – which means your important updates, offers and vital information to support your product or service simply aren’t reaching your target audience.
Why is Facebook reach so low?
Because Facebook, like Google, want you to pay to get your message in front of the people that matter to your business. Most recently Facebook announced that it was changing its news feed to ensure you don’t miss the things posted by the friends you care about. The impact for business pages is that unless your posts are shared frequently and greatly by your audience, you are likely to see a drop in traffic coming from Facebook, as news feeds become dominated by posts from your favourite friends.
What can you do about it?
We’ve had many years’ experience of working with businesses to improve their reach and engagement via social media and in particular Facebook, because despite this low organic reach, it remains a fantastic and cost effective platform to build brand awareness and drive traffic back to your website.
Here are our 5 fast Facebook fixes to improve your social reach and engagement:
1.Know what to post – Don’t just peddle your wares, but share the things that matter to your audience and connect with their values. Statistics from Statista tell us that the top reasons why people connect with brands on Facebook are to:
– Receive offers
– Keep up to date with news
– Receive info relating to their personal interests
2. Be visual – we know that posts featuring images, slide shows or videos tend to get better engagement, so really there is no excuse to not include relevant imagery when posting to Facebook. Remember, if you have to look too hard to find a relevant image, maybe the content you have is not worth sharing.
3. Pay for it – with the statistics we’ve just given you it’s easy to see why you can’t rely on organic reach alone, so if you want Facebook to work for your business and brand you’ll need to invest in some paid advertising. You can use Facebook advertising to reach new people, drive traffic to your website, promote your special offers instore, generate leads, get more views for your video content and increase likes, and what’s more you will pay up to 20 times less than advertising using Google AdWords!
4. Have a conversation – social media only works well when the conversation is two-way. Connect with people who can influence your audience, respond to people when they message your page or comment – whether it is positive or negative, how you deal with it is what matters – and most importantly, LISTEN, as these are the people who can help shape and grow your brand. Having this conversation might help you retain a customer or gain a new one.
5. Call in the experts – whilst we’re not saying you can’t manage your social media strategy in-house, there are many benefits to having it run by a professional. We’ve had feedback from our customers who have gone it alone but ended up losing money on targeting the wrong audience because they are not familiar with Facebook’s advertising platform, or who have experienced very poor engagement because posts were too promotional. These are the kinds of errors we can avoid, ensuring your brand appears professional and that your advertising is cost effective and well targeted at all times.
Make the most of Facebook starting today. Call us on 0121 308 0219 or email us to find out more.
Last week, we welcomed year 10 student Jack into the office to spend the week on work experience. Having worked extremely hard in his time here, Jack has summed up his week in his own words:
I’ve always dreaded my work experience and have always been worried about going to spend 5 days in a completely new place, with people I’ve never met before and not a clue how it would turn out. I came to SEO it Right worried of what I would be doing. In the end though, my worrying came to nothing and after a nervous few months of waiting for work experience I’ve enjoyed my time at SEO it Right and have learnt new facts, stats, skills and been educated in the importance of online features like blogs, social media and website usability all in a single week. One of the most important things that I will take away from SEO it Right though is the experience I have gained and the comfort I’ve found in a typical workplace environment.
On my first day I was worried, but when I was dropped off I was reassured by the welcoming of the staff and settled in quickly. I was introduced to everyone and shown around, I was told what I’d be doing and looked through a help sheet that benefited me greatly as I was able to plan what I was going to do for my next activity and how. I was then left alone to focus on a website usability study where I found how different features of a website can affect the user and the big impact it has on a potential customer of the business. I found programmes like Google Mobile Friendly Test and Google Speed Test when writing it and managed to finish my usability study with over 5000 words. I also completed a mock interview which was like a tutorial of an interview and showed me how to answer questions. I left on my first day confused of why I was previously so worried and looking forward to what the next day had to offer.
When my second day came around, I was looking forward to finding out about how social media impacts a business and was then shocked to find out how important it can prove to be. I was fascinated as I started my Social Media statistics sheet and found interesting facts and even worked out my own. For example, the number of people on Facebook is 25 times the UK’s population.
By my third day, I was relaxed in the office and was comfortably settled in. I finished finding statistics, found what makes a good website and started to make plans for a video. I started to really gain from the experience of being in a typical workplace environment.
My fourth day was one of my favourites. I started working on my video, focusing on what makes a good website. My favourite part of making the video was the editing process; this is something I often enjoy and did again this time. I called the video “The Good The Bad Of The Websites” and made a mock-up logo for the video. I enjoyed putting it together and think I did a good job. That day after I finished my video, I made a new infographic (something I’d learnt while at SEO it Right) about social media and how we use it in today’s world. I then went home able to reflect on another great day of work experience.
On the 5th and final day, I started the morning by completing this blog post. I’ll soon present my video to the team and eat cakes at the SEO it Right picnic to end the week in a great way.
Thank You to SEO it Right for allowing me to come and do my work experience here and for making me feel so welcome.
Aside from queueing and talking about the weather, there is nothing more British than a tea party. In the quest to give our international work placement student, Catrina, a taste of what us Brits typically enjoy for afternoon tea we rose to the occasion and brought the cake stands, scones and dainty finger sandwiches to SEO it Right.
This was also the perfect opportunity to thank Ollie, our work experience student, for his hard work, dedication and fantastic attitude this week. It’s been a pleasure showing Ollie the ropes here at SEO it Right and thanks to all the team here for making him and Catrina feel very welcome.
Ollie has been working hard all week, running usability tests on websites, doing keyword research, and collaborating with Catrina to make this fantastic video below on why businesses should use social media. He even attended and passed his very first interview with Office Manager Claire – she tells me he got the job!
It’s been another hectic week of desk swapping (for me anyway) but what a fantastic way to end, with food, drink and the great company of the SEO it Right team.
Have a great weekend!
We’ve nearly reached the half-way mark for 2016 and in this short space of time we’ve seen some massive changes in the online marketing scene.
At the start of the year many of the industry’s leaders shared their predictions for the future across SEO, social media and technology. The trends that cropped up on many a marketers’ lists included:
- The explosion of video and video ads
- The dominance of mobile
- The rising popularity of digital assistants such as Siri and Cortana
- The uptake of the dedicated app
- The marketing opportunities of the Internet of Things (IoT) – i.e. wearable technology
Some of these predictions have seen more progress than others so far, and other completely new developments have come to shake up our approaches to online marketing. Here are some of the latest and biggest updates that have come to us as we take on the second part of 2016, and what new trends will be changing the way businesses tackle their online goals.
In February Google removed ads on the right side of desktop search results, closing the gap between desktop and mobile ad displays and working to improve ad relevancy. Now that only 3 or 4 ads are displayed above the fold of a results page, it’s been suggested that CPC (cost-per-click) bids are likely to increase.
However, a few months on and in their blog titled ‘Ads and analytics innovations for a mobile-first world’, Google let us know of its AdWords redesign. Major news. The redesign allows for expanded text ads, giving businesses more ad space to showcase their products and services:
Optimised for screen sizes of the most popular smartphones, this move surely shows the value of serving the on-the-go mobile user of today and beyond – take note if you don’t yet have a mobile-friendly website!
Also, following their AMP project for mobile (reducing website’s loading times on mobile devices), Google have begun to pre-roll video ads in AMP video. They will also be rolling out sticky ads that stay at either the top or bottom of the screen as the user scrolls through content, as well as flying carpet ads, again with a focus on the mobile user’s convenience. It looks like the professionals were right about the prominence of video and mobile, but these developments from Google are putting these trends to effect.
In an effort to level out the playing field between big brands and SMEs, leading email marketing platform MailChimp has released Product Recommendations, which generates personalised items that each subscriber is most likely to buy. For small businesses, this means that a time consuming process can be automated easily, helping them to strengthen customer relations and brand loyalty.
Facebook has been very busy this year, with a few notable changes to their offerings for businesses including:
- January – March: the global rollout of Facebook Live, a livestreaming feature enabling businesses to share video content with customers in real time.
- February: the release of Facebook Reactions to the public. The 6 additional reactions let people express their response to a post beyond just the “like” action.
- April: a roadmap was published for product developments including Messenger chatbots. The bot platform allows businesses to send sponsored messages (including images and interactive rich bubbles containing multiple calls-to-action) to people who have messaged them in the past.
- May: the announcement that Facebook will be shutting down its desktop ad exchange (FBX). A key reason behind this is that 82% of its ad revenue is coming from mobile ads. Instead, the major online organisation will be focusing on its Audience Network. This is a retargeting ad scheme that allows businesses to target users on Facebook’s network websites, regardless of whether they’re using Facebook or not.
- June: Facebook is experimenting with a new design for the desktop version, which removes sidebar ads, and more:
Instagram have reported that on average, 70% of people have been missing items in their feed. That’s why after a trial in March, Instagram will officially be rolling out their algorithm based feed from this month. This means that brands will have to look to increase their audiences and create relevant and engaging content with their target market in mind.
Recently Instagram announced that they will be launching their Business Tools feature, to help businesses stand out and gain valuable insights. As such, its Tools will include dedicated Business Profiles, which gives businesses the chance to choose how they’d like to be contacted – call, text or email. Plus, there’ll be an Insights feature providing actionable user information, as well as a Promote tool, where well-performing posts can be turned into ads.
Instagram is a social site that has really grown in popularity and it will be definitely one to watch this year and in future.
It seems that Twitter has announced the end of its sometimes frustrating 140 character limit for Tweets. Twitter will be excluding media attachments and @usernames (in replies) against a tweet’s 140-character limit, although links will still count. Images or other media attachments take up 24 characters in an update, so the exclusion of these will help business create more in-depth, engaging Tweets.
In addition, Twitter is set to follow the likes of Facebook, Google and Instagram, through their latest carousel ad format. The carousel feature lines up an array of up to 20 tweets — text, photos or videos — into a horizontal slideshow. Brands can choose from their own tweets and ads, along with tweets from users with permission given, or those in the Twitter-owned influencer program.
There’s a lot happening in online marketing this year, and these updates only prove the significant role of technology in advancing businesses and their customer relations. If you’d like to improve your online marketing and better succeed online, why not chat to the SEO it Right team? Simply call 0121 308 0219 or use our online contact form, and we’ll be happy to assist.
The way we develop and implement marketing strategies is rapidly changing; marketers and brands alike are all aware of the impending domination of digital driving us to take to social media, online advertising and a more mobile-centric approach to consumer engagement. With online companies such as Google and Facebook massively shaping the way businesses communicate and promote their products and services, we’re all feeling the pressure to stay up to date with the latest marketing trends and stay afloat amongst the flood of online competition.
But, ensuring that you’re meeting the needs of your digital market doesn’t have to cost the world or take an army of marketers to achieve. By making a few changes to your marketing campaign, looking to the predicted trends for the online market, you’ll be able to benefit from increased online presence, brand awareness and traffic to your website. Here are some of the ways marketing will change this year and what we expect brands to be doing to fully engage online:
How you can adapt to the latest online marketing trends
What’s new for SEO?
According to Search Engine Land, 70-80% of users ignore paid ads in the search engine results pages (SERPS), and only focus on the organic result. This means that building your organic visibility by focusing on properly optimising your brand’s content should be a key priority – here’s what you can do:
Mobile is a must: It’s predicted that mobile-optimisation will become more important than desktop optimisation. Ensuring that your website is responsive to mobile and tablet devices, will therefore be a strong factor influencing your online visibility and rankings in the SERPS. User experience for mobile users is a must; statistics show that 57% of mobile users will abandon your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load on their device.
Additionally, the future is seemingly geared towards the mobile app; apps are becoming increasingly popular with the rise of wearable technology and the ease of usage. As it’s already been reported that users spend 90% of mobile usage on apps, Google will be indexing apps in a much similar way to how it indexes traditional websites. How can you cater for this growing market?
Social media gains more power: It looks like your social media content will become as or even more valuable than content from your independent website pages. Social content is becoming more readily indexed, which means that your communications must be consistent, relevant and targeted across the social sites your target audience interact with. Last year:
- Instagram is now bigger than Twitter
- Snapchat is growing at a rate of 56% each year
- Tumblr signs up an average of 120,000 users a day
If your marketing strategy isn’t geared towards providing a comprehensive social experience of your brand, you’ll be missing out to competitors.
Social is a discovery engine
Facebook has already overtaken Google for news traffic and will look to officially release its ‘Instant Articles’ feature this year. This will give users the opportunity to view brands’ content – articles and blogs – without having to leave the platform. Combined with the introduction of the ‘Buy’ button for Facebook as well as Twitter, marketers must look to take advantage of the increasing power of social media sites early on.
The video boom
Google is experimenting with in-SERP video advertising, in a bid to compete with Facebook and Bing who have started to offer video options for advertisers. Video will become an extremely important marketing device this year and beyond; in fact, it’s predicted that video will account for 69% of consumer internet traffic by 2017. Did you know that currently 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute? Make sure you benefit this year by tapping into the video boom.
Get into graphics: Along with the increasing visual appeal of online communications through video, shareable graphics will take preference for consumers digesting content. The trend for websites is becoming decidedly minimalistic, with clean, clear and easy to read written content. To grab your audience’s attention, you’ll need to develop or share more images to match the content created, which clearly relates to your brand and your brand message.
How will content marketing be affected?
HubSpot found that in 2015, companies who blog received 97% more links to their website and B2B marketers that use blogs received 67% more leads than those who didn’t.
Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information, so it’s no surprise that for the online future, creating quality blog content built around the consumer will be the priority. This needs to be strategically integrated with all the other marketing channels. As well as sharing blog content through social media, you’ll need to integrate it into email communications, influencer relations, media relations, content sponsorships and social advertising.
Engaging content matters: A central focus for online marketing will be on providing engaging, helpful content. Header and pop-up advertisements will begin to decline on web pages, particularly on mobile devices. This means that the content you provide on a page needs to be of a high quality to engage audiences’ interest and secure further interaction with your brand. The emphasis will be on creating an engaging headline that stirs curiosity and content that entices action. From there, you could include links within the content to a more ad-heavy page. By delivering quality content, you’ll ensure that your audience will click through and that responses to advertisements will be willingly made.
To find out more about creating an engaging online marketing campaign or for help with building your marketing strategy, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0121 308 0219 to speak to a member of our team.
As internet culture continues to grow and transform the way we do business, it’s no surprise that more and more businesses are looking to spend more time and money on online advertising strategies to market their products and services. Whilst paid and organic search advertising continues to be an extremely useful means of driving traffic, marketers are increasingly looking to social media marketing and user generated content to raise their brand’s profile online.
Rather than simply targeting customers through inputted search terms, social media advertising proactively engages relevant users before they even get as far as opening a search engine. With smartphones and other mobile devices constantly available, information is at our finger tips at all times, and social media apps are often our first port of call when we pick up our device. Whilst potential customers absentmindedly scroll through their social media newsfeeds, marketers have opportunity to attract their attention.
Capturing customer’s attention isn’t as easy as it used to be. Traditional sales spiel no longer has the same effect that it once did; in fact, a hard sell often makes a brand seem less trustworthy. This is where some marketers have gone wrong with social media in the past – social media isn’t about sales, it’s about engaging and building a relationship with the customer. By earning their customer’s trust, businesses are much more likely to see increased sales.
Social media provides the perfect opportunity for brands to learn more about customers through engagement. By encouraging social media users to put their point across and give their opinions, brands not only capture the interest of their audience, but can benefit hugely from the new information that they get. As marketers learn more about what the customer likes, dislikes, needs and avoids, they can then use this information to deliver a direct solution to the customer’s problem.
Engagement is a key method of developing trusting relationships with customers and potential customers, not only increasing the possibility of sales, but also making it more likely that happy customers will do their part to spread brand awareness.
User Generated Content
Social media is an extremely potent and powerful tool, of which customer engagement is only one part. One of the biggest parts of engaging with customers through social media is that customers effectively become members of a brand’s marketing team. Social media, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or the increasingly popular Instagram provides the perfect opportunity for customers to promote a brand in their own way. This could be to take a picture of themselves in a new outfit, share a post by one of their favourite brands, or even to leave a review. This is called user generated content and is fast becoming one of the most important marketing tools in any brand’s arsenal and can be much more effective than dated sales patter.
The modern consumer doesn’t want to buy a product or a service unless they trust it, and while a large percentage of people are mistrusting of a few lines of description on a website, if a friend or another trusted source gives a positive spin on said product or service, a person is much more likely to develop trust and make a purchase.
By taking the time to engage with customers through social media and learn more about their requirements, brands can carefully devise their posts to increase the creation of user generated content. For example, a clothing company can ask their followers to post a picture of their latest purchase and tag the brand in, or use a specific hashtag. By taking this sort of strategy, a brand’s online reach can be hugely increased.
Marketers are finally realising that the customer is always right and that customer opinion is one of the most powerful sales tools there is. Social media marketing is a relatively low-investment, but high-impact way of raising brand awareness and increasing sales that can’t be ignored.
With the rapid evolution of the Internet of Things it is now easier than ever for businesses to promote brand reputation, boost sales and increase growth for a worldwide market. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Linkedin, are fast becoming the norm over other marketing strategies, as a device for brands to connect with their audiences and develop a more customer-centric approach to sales. Recent studies have found that 42% of the world’s population are active internet users, and over a quarter of the population engage with social media on a daily basis.
Research by Smart Insights asked marketers to rate different marketing channels for volume of leads or sales expected by the business. Only 4% didn’t use social media, compared with SEO at 5%, to display advertising at 16%. The need is more apparent now than ever for companies to stay updated with the latest, continually adapting social media trends, so that they can strategically invest in resources to formulate long-term business opportunities. But which networks are the most popular, and what industries will capitalise from them most?
Here we take a look at the dominant social media trends which have shaped the marketing efforts of businesses in 2015 and how marketers can best benefit from the social networks; plus we’ll consider some of the key upcoming trends for 2016.
Choosing the Right Social Media Network
Published in January 2015, research from the Global Web Index highlighted the most popular social networks by their percentage of internet users. Facebook dominated with 81%, followed by YouTube and Google +, both at 60%. Twitter came in at 53%, with Instagram at 29%, Pinterest at 27% and LinkedIn at 13%. These platforms are fast growing through adapting to mobile users and integrating new advertising strategies. Some of the new developments in the way these networks are increasing their marketing capability for businesses include:
– Facebook: has removed the charge for likes and has made changes to its Newsfeed visibility
– Twitter: introduced the ability to stream Periscope, for live broadcast and recording
– Instagram: there are new Carousel Ads featuring URLs and multiple photos. These can be swiped for users to find out more
– Pinterest: offer buyable pin buttons
– LinkedIn: introduced a Lead Accelerator to target and convert specific users
In an increasingly automated brand to consumer relationship, businesses will need to implement social media to enhance their relations, improve reputation and make their brand stand out from the crowd. But which networks and will allow businesses to be best seen by their target audience and how can their reach be widened?
Make Your Business Mobile
Worldwide social desktop traffic in Q2 of this year decreased, while the rise in dedicated mobile web apps and the number of users adopting them caused mobile web share to go up for all social networks aside from LinkedIn and Reddit. Social media sites are becoming more optimised with geo-targeted and real-time content, meaning that advertising on these mobile sites is now greatly poplar as a strategy for business reach and growth. Mobile devices can let you receive ads at every log in into your accounts, whether for a quick check of your Facebook newsfeed or sending a snap via Snapchat. Using these ads will track users’ behaviours, and offer tailored advertising based on their actions.
Finding out whether your target market are using sites on their desktop, or responsive websites or dedicated apps on their mobile devices is key to ensure your business anticipates the needs of customers in line with the evolving social trends.
A More Integrated Social Advertising
This trend looks to customise advertising based on behavioural data on the social media networks. Integrated social advertising has been on the rise in 2015, with the introduction of video ads on Instagram and auto-play ads on Facebook. Snapchat has also capitalised on fully integrated advertising by displaying brands’ ‘stories’, giving users real-time ads targeted to their behaviours.
In-messaging advertising, through a social network’s private messaging function, is also becoming a marketing tool which will shape the future of advertising. Popular social apps such as Whatsapp and Kik, are signing huge marketing deals to boost in-app advertising.
This Rise of Social Video
Videos are ever more popular this year for brands looking to attract consumers quickly and build up a relationship visually. Most social sites allow for companies to display videos and enable great storytelling opportunities for increased consumer trust. Vine, Snapchat and Instavid are some of the dedicated social video networks which can be used by businesses to promote products and pave a unique identity in a compelling way.
Video is set to increase further throughout the rest of 2015 and over next year, Facebook is hoping to overtake YouTube, as it already experiences one billion video views a day, according to the Independent.
Social Media and E-Commerce
A study by SimilarWeb shows the worldwide percentages for desktop social traffic for popular ecommerce industries:
– Wedding: 11.38%
– Clothing: 6.14%
– Antiques and Collectibles: 5.88%
– Publications: 4.17%
The importance of social media as a marketing tool for these industries is worth noting, though businesses should be aware of their target market when investing in boosting social traffic to increase sales; the study showed that a higher percentage of social traffic in India and France was generated from the Ethnic and Regional category, as opposed to the UK and US which saw Weddings take the higher percentage.
The extent businesses should expect to engage with users via social networking sites, will depend on the interest in the specific industry for social activity. Changing your marketing strategies to fit in with the latest social media trends may not necessarily improve business if they do not fit in with your industry and the needs of your customers.
If you feel your business would benefit from implementing a social media campaign, then get in touch with the SEO it Right team on 0121 308 0219.
You may have heard of what I like to call, The Fantastic Four of social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, which are currently the biggest social media networks. Through using social networking sites for your business, you can indulge yourself in the technological world, and give your business the personality it needs to meet the demands of today’s digital audience.
There are over three billion active internet users, and just over two billion of these users have active social media accounts. This provides huge potential for businesses to promote what they do, and reach a bigger target audience than ever before.
Provide, Engage, Promote
As these social networking sites continue to grow, so do the number of people who are using them. Social media is widely used by businesses as it gives people a chance to engage with the brand, and also builds a sense of trust. When used correctly, it can maximise your profitability, and the effectiveness of your advertising and online marketing. It is all about being able to provide interesting posts, engage with and respond to your audience, whilst promoting what you do at the same time without coming across as too ‘sales-like.’
There Are So Many, Which One Should You Choose?
You may be thinking there are so many social media sites, which one would be best for you? We understand that each business is unique, and therefore some networking sites will work better than others, depending on the nature of your business.
Take a look at this breakdown to show how you can use at least one of the Fantastic Four to get your brand name out there, and engage with your audience. It’s all about adding that personal touch to the information you provide. Sales talk and cold calling are long gone – social media is like the modern day version of ‘people skills’ you need in today’s digital atmosphere.
You probably hear Facebook mentioned nearly every day, so what makes it so great?
- You will be discoverable – people who search for you or search for something related to what services or products you provide will be able to find you.
- You will be able to interact with various audiences straight away, and can respond to urgent queries or enquiries quickly and efficiently.
- You have an insight on the success of your page; through your analytics section, you will be able to see how customers are reacting to your posts and what kind of engagement you are achieving. This one profile will give you access to a whole world of possibilities.
- All you need to do is share relevant, related topics to your business or things that interest you, to try and encourage people to interact with you on your profile.
With 1.23 billion users active on Facebook every month – the sky really is the limit. The more consistent you are and the more regularly you post, the more likely it is you will connect with people and build trust.
With over 500 million users, Twitter is another way to interact with your audience.
- It is different to Facebook as you have to limit your post to 140 characters. This makes content easy to read and ensures your audience won’t lost interest too quickly, like they may do if posts were longer.
- Twitter is a great way of promoting your brand and sharing relevant information, which could be of use to your customers.
- You can use your tweets to post information quickly with the use of a hashtag, so that information that has been posted by other users with the same hashtag will all appear under one grouping. This is a great way of getting the word out there about what you do.
The potential really is there to go far, as long as you remain persistent and engage with your audience regularly.
You may have heard of the craze that is known as Instagram – well known for users posting selfies, pictures of food and images of just about anything.
- With over 3 million users, Instagram is one way of visually getting your products out there. So if you are a print company, restaurant or anything that works with things that are visual – Instagram is a great place to start.
- As soon as you start posting and the more regularly you do this, before you know it your followers will begin to build up.
- Instagram is predominantly pictures rather than status posts and updates, which are more for Facebook and Twitter. The human brain is programmed to register pictures much faster than written information.
The second largest search engine after Google is YouTube. Infamous for allowing users to find endless videos on just about anything, there’s very little that can’t be found on YouTube.
- Video is the next big thing, and more businesses are starting to use videos as part of their strategies. Like images, videos are visual and therefore the brain registers them much quicker than written text.
- Videos can easily be shared on social networking channels making them highly versatile, and you can reuse them time and time again to promote what you do on other social media sites.
- YouTube itself has more than 1 billion users, where 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
The promotional aspect of using video is really big, so being involved and adding your own is another way to gain great exposure!
If you are intrigued by any of these online platforms, and would like to open new doors to interact with your audience, SEO it Right can help by providing the Social Media Marketing solutions to meet your needs. We also offer Social Media Marketing Training to give you a better understanding on how to use social media yourself. For more information, you can give us a call on 0121 308 0219.