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
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.
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.
Your tweets will soon be visible in Google search, meaning that anything you tweet about could potentially help your business to be found online.
Twitter has once again struck up a deal with Google, which means that tweets will soon appear in Google search in real time. What does this mean for your business?
Well, if you don’t already use twitter, now is the perfect time to get acquainted with its quick and easy interface for sharing news, getting into topical conversations and carrying out vital customer service.
If you’re already au fait with the Twitter interface and use it regularly to grow your brand awareness, this latest announcement should have you quite excited, as it is a way to make your twitter content reach a wider audience.
With the promise of search visibility, however, there is more pressure to get things right so here are our 5 top tips to help you improve your engagement through Twitter:
- Understand your Twitter audience – there is nothing worse than seeing companies copy the same social updates across all of their platforms. Not only does it suggest you can’t be bothered to tailor your message to your audience, but it will also generate less engagement. The majority of people use Twitter like a news feed – scanning down the tweets until they find something they are interested in – which makes it a great platform for saying something newsworthy, topical or even challenging. Keep it short and sweet
- Make use of the right resources – when you send a tweet there are a few things you need to remember:
Link back to your website, blog, landing page or other resource – to enable the reader to find out more information.
Use hashtags – not only will these help your tweets be found more easily, but they also enable you to join bigger conversations
Use images – as people quickly scan their Twitter timeline for interesting tweets, those with images are more likely to catch their eye, so using images is a great way to increase engagement
- Don’t be afraid to ask – if you’ve got something important or newsworthy to share, don’t be afraid to ask for a retweet or RT. By keeping your tweets under 110 characters people will be more likely to engage with your updates as they can retweet and include their own comments.
- Tweet at the right time – depending on your audience there are certain times of the day or days of the week when your tweets will have a bigger impact:
B2B – engagement is higher on weekdays. 12 noon and 6pm have the best click through ratio and if you’re looking for retweets try 5pm
B2C – engagement is higher on weekends and Wednesdays
- Know when not to tweet – knowing when to tweet is crucial, but so is knowing when not to. If you overdo it by posting too many tweets in a day, then your audience may start ignoring you. Also remember to keep the mundane task talk to a minimum – it might be ok for celebrities to announce they are having a lie in or enjoying a slice of toast for breakfast, but brands need to steer clear of this banality unless they can put a really interesting spin on it!
Promoting your Tweets just got easier
Twitter has also recently introduced a quick promote feature – making it easier for businesses to promote their tweets to a wider audience. Whilst it doesn’t have the sophistication of the Facebook paid promotion feature in terms of defining your audience, it is definitely a step in the right direction.
If you need help building your brand on social media why not give the SEO it Right team a call on 0121 308 0219 to find out more about our social media campaigns?