The new year is here. How are you changing your digital marketing tactics in 2016? What are you doing differently?
Here are three trends (and one bonus!!) to include in your 2016 marketing strategy.
Trend #1: Smartphone Adoption is Mainstream
Since 2014, smartphones became the primary way people search. Anyone making a purchase decision is starting with their smartphone.
In 2005, Google’s search algorithm started favoring mobile responsive websites. The more mobile-friendly your website is, the higher it can rank on Google.
This is simple: If your website is not optimized to be viewed on screens of any size, people are not finding you through search engines and you’re missing out on business.
Trend #2: Keyword Optimization is Giving Way to Contextual Optimization
It’s common knowledge if you aren’t on the first page of Google, you’re not going to be found. Google is constantly improving how it delivers relevant information to search queries.
Think about your own search habits. If you’re searching for a new marketing agency, do you type in “best marketing agency”? Or are you more specific, for example “I need a marketing agency to help me find more customers”. The first are keywords, the second are long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords provide additional information and give context to what you’re really searching for.
This context is where you need to establish that you are the expert in your industry and show the world (and Google!) your authority on your primary business objectives.
Trend #3: Social Media Data and Social Advertising
Social media is officially mainstream. You might think your industry doesn’t use social media. They do. They may not be a content creator but they are a content consumer. Channel surfing has evolved into hyper-specific channels tailored to our particular needs in real-time.
Your local newspaper may have an article about an highway accident that happened yesterday but you or someone you know already has the details. You may even have seen smartphone captured video of the accident, within ten minutes of it happening.
Traditional media has a time lag. Social is in the moment.
While everyone is consuming this real time content, social networks are offering prime real estate for you to advertise your message. Only now it is backed by databases. You can target specific demographics and locations, and can utilize their likes, viewing habits, and personal network connections.
For example, you’re about to call a new prospect. If you are data savvy, you have alerts set up when they’ve accessed your website and what content they have viewed. Before you call, you view their profile on LinkedIn to see who they know that might be connected to you. You also look at where they went to college, where else they may have worked, their position in their business, and the charitable activities they have listed.
Using this data, you could target some LinkedIn ads about your company to people within your target persona. They’ll have a good chance of knowing about your company before you call them.
There are many social media platforms that you can utilize for your business. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Skype, Google+… The list goes on. Use these well, and you’re one step ahead of your competition.
Bonus Trend: Social Video Advertising is Hot
Smartphone optimized, context-specific, data-driven. What does it take to stop those thumbs from scrolling down a feed to see your ad?
Video. Not high production, long format video (think TV commercials). To stop those thumbs and get their eyeballs, you need a snappy, quick 15 to 30 second video. Give em a splash at the beginning, then get to your message quick. End with a clear, obvious, impossible to miss Call-To-Action sending them to your website for more content and deeper information.
YouTube is a great place to share your videos and build up your content. Showcase that you really are an expert and can talk about your product. Think about it – you’re more apt to watch a video than read a long blog post right? The eye likes visually appealing content.