Ever evolving. The internet is changing every day. Many small businesses struggle with the constant change and feel the pressure to optimize and use online tools to keep them competitive. We’ve narrowed down a few areas to concentrate on while planning your strategy and online marketing for 2014.
Your prospects and customers scour the internet for information, comparisons, education and support. Google and other search engines use algorithms to determine which search results to return in response to the keywords or key phrases searchers are using. Results that are relevant and of high quality are rewarded top positioning on the search results page.
Let’s go over a few trends to look at that can help your company thrive in this increasingly digitalized society.
1 – Content Marketing
It has been a long known fact that knowledge is power. The more competent and knowledgeable your company is, the more your customer base will have confidence and loyalty to your brand and product. If the goal is have results returned in response to search queries there must be a wealth of content to be found. Website pages, blogs, social media posts, images, videos, etc. are all forms of content.
A content marketing strategy and implementation plan is crucial to developing content that your prospects and customers are eager to consume.
2 – Social Media
As we all know, Social media has become a very important aspect of not only a consumer’s life but of a company’s life. Social media is at first, a social space to interact with your audience. It is not another platform to sell. Building relationships with your audience has benefits for reaching new prospects, creating customer loyalty, adding a new layer of customer support and for gathering intelligence about your audience and competitors.
Social sharing, the ability to ‘like’ or share our new purchase or find with our own personal communities is becoming an important consumer behavior that search engines are valuing as high quality over content that is not shared. The posts and shares are starting to make their way into search results.
Social media ties back into content marketing. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google + and the like are platforms to share content, build relationships and supply links to more information. Your goal in 2014 should be to find the right social media spaces for your business.
3 – Image-Centric Content
Photos, images, videos, infographics are examples of our love for imagery over text. Using imagery to tell and sell our stories is becoming more and more important. Factoring in our increasing dependence mobile device behavior (with limited screen area), this is one area that many companies are going to need to start paying more attention to. We are used to telling and selling with words not high quality, well thought out images.
4 – Mobile-Friendly Content
With the increase of our information age of technology and social media, it is important to make sure that your content is easily accessible through a smart phone or other mobile device. Websites and content that do not respond to the device will be abandoned in favor of a competitor that can handle the mobile inquiry with ease and supplies the needed information without a lot of pinching, zooming, scrolling and wait times.
5 – Inbound Marketing Automation
Collecting leads and nurturing them along the sales funnel in an automated way leaves time for your sales staff to engage in face-to-face sales activities. Once the automated lead becomes qualified the lead can be passed to your sales team for follow-up. Marketing automation can nurture current customers and continue to build loyalty and deeper relationships by staying in touch, keeping them informed and offering new opportunities to re-engage.
We’ve chosen only five areas to highlight. There are several more. Consider these 2014 initiatives as basics for your online marketing plan. As with all plans; goals, strategy and implementation planning are needed to carry out a plan with any hope for success. Evolve Systems has the marketing support you and your team need to make 2014 a very successful year.
Do you have questions on trends for 2014?