Digital Marketing Strategy For 2018

As I look at my digital marketing calendar for the year ahead, I’m equally enthusiastic and challenged by how I’ll need to fine tune my company’s digital marketing platform in 2018. My past and current marketing efforts have helped me further brand recognition, increase online leads and establish my company as an authoritative resource in the home-care industry. Next year, I want to push our marketing efforts even further.

In 2017, my main focus was on content marketing, SEO, PPC and PPL. Based on data collected over the last 12 months, I’ve decided that I need to shift my focus to organic search. Planning my content marketing strategy in advance and having great writers and graphic designers on hand makes a big difference.

In 2018, marketers should focus on anticipating user questions, needs and emotions in order to engage with them. To that end, I’m planning to focus my efforts on researching relevant topics that can answer user questions. Becoming a reputable source where people go to learn more before making the decision to purchase helps you build trusted relationships with customers, and happy customers become evangelists of your brand. Using data will help marketers develop great content, not only based on keywords but also on developing topics. A good marketer knows that this is the key to a long-term client/company relationship.

As a marketer, my audience has trained me well. I can tell what information they want and how they want to receive it just by watching and monitoring their behavior. The key to captivating your target market in 2018 is creating content that is not only engaging but also smart, timely and personalized.

Striking The Right Tone On Your Website

What would your website homepage say to a visitor if it didn’t have any words? Marketers need to choose their colors and images intentionally so that they deliver the right message that speaks for the brand. Today’s consumers have a sharp eye for overused stock photos. They’re more likely to be drawn in by photos, images and videos that blend in naturally with the webpage design. I intentionally chose photographs of active seniors socializing with caregivers and family members to enhance our website, which we designed in warm, pastel colors. The total effect feels personal and homey — just like our brand.

Having a website that balances user experience with SEO is a game changer. Simple language and the right call to action encourages customer interactivity. Big blocks of content, on the other hand, will overwhelm your visitors. A quick fix is to break down content with images, bullet points, icons and other graphic elements. Make sure that your website is intuitive and easy for users to navigate. Visitors to your website who can’t find information quickly won’t be back.

Make sure your content is relevant. Every section of your website should add value and have a purpose. For example, I added testimonials from our valued clients because our clients are looking for first-person assurance of a positive experience. When in doubt, leave it out.

Marketing In A Micro Moment

Technology has made it easier for marketers to learn the behavior of their customers. Making the most of micro-moments and smart technology will place you well ahead of the marketing pack in 2018.

Apps can tell us the geographical location of potential customers, the types of products they usually buy and the times of day that they tend to be on the internet. This is exactly the type of information that marketers need to pay attention to in the coming year.

One of the challenges of 2018 is how marketers can tap into this information to get their messaging in front of clients exactly when and where they need it. Why would someone shop around to the competitors when the perfect product or service popped up on their cell phone just as they were about to search for it? These are called micro-moments. Micro-moments attract shoppers who are ready to buy on impulse.

Here are a few tips for designing micro-moment ads:

• Give the shopper the main idea at a glance.

• Add a clear call to action.

• Make the call to action accessible in one touch.

• Optimize content for mobile apps.

Have you been delaying getting an online chat application for your website? Customers in 2018 expect to be able to chat with a knowledgeable professional right away. An online chat box is a valuable addition to your digital marketing efforts, if you haven’t implemented one yet.

Smart content also means differentiating content for prospects and current customers and personalizing the experience for each. Greeting someone by name when they revisit your site makes it a more personal experience. At my company, that personal experience ties directly into the mood of our brand.

Focusing On Content Development

Creative groups, either in-house or remote, are the digital marketing thought leaders of 2018. Creatives who specialize in writing, graphics or design know how to create meaningful content to attract prospects from all types of industries. Good writers know that the right words combined with the most appropriate images can tell the story of your brand in that micro-moment that ultimately captivates a prospect. Experienced writers and designers create the tone and voice that helps your prospects connect with your brand on a personal level.

The Wrap-Up On Digital Marketing Trends

As you finalize your marketing plans for the new year, the best advice I can give you is to think like your customer. Your customers are searching for your products and services while they’re waiting in line for their morning coffee. They’re commuting on planes, trains and ride-sharing services. Their downtime is your prime time. Challenge yourself to create a marketing plan that makes interacting with your business as easy as buying a cup of coffee.

How Digital Marketing Help your business

2 hours and 51 minutes. That is the amount of time that adults, 18 and up, spend on their mobile phone each day. This equates to almost 90 hours per month that each adult spends seeking entertainment, shopping, connecting with peers, and staying up-to-date on the latest news. It is more important now than ever before, for brands to understand how digital marketing can help their business. Deciding whether to implement a digital marketing strategy or not could be the difference between a company that fails and one that flourishes.

This article will cover:

  • What is digital marketing?
  • Why are businesses avoiding digital marketing?
  • Why is digital marketing important for businesses
  • Social media and digital marketing
  • The digital marketing numbers don’t lie
  • Digital marketing is more than social media
  • In Conclusion

What Is Digital Marketing?

According to HubSpot, digital marketing is simply a term used to describe a business online marketing efforts. Digital marketing is a form of Internet marketing that includes methods like:

  • Email marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing – SEO and pay-per-click advertising
  • Online Banner Advertising
  • Mobile App Markets – Apple and Google Play

Just like traditional marketing, it is all about connecting customers to a brand at the right place and at the right time. Sending traffic to your website via these tools can help turn a prospect to a customer:

  • Blogs posts and articles
  • Infographics
  • Interactive tools like Playbuzz
  • Social media channels
  • Logos and fonts that make up your brand
  • EBooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Reviews

Why Are Businesses Avoiding Digital Marketing?

Many businesses have chosen not to go the digital marketing route due to these three reasons:

  • They don’t understand it,
  • They don’t think their customers have gone digital and,
  • They’re up to their neck with customers

The truth is, while digital marketing may be complicated for a business owner who is not familiar with it, there are a ton of professionals out there who can assist. Secondly, the customer demographic is changing and today there are actually more millennials than baby boomers. Lastly, a business should always have a strategy in place to obtain new customers, even when they’re at capacity.

Why Is Digital Marketing Important For Businesses?

Digital marketing has the capacity to grow small and medium-sized businesses in a significant way. The evolution of technology has created a field of opportunity that at one point was only reserved for large corporations.

Today, small and medium-sized businesses actually stand a chance and can grow in a number of ways. The reasons why digital marketing is so important for businesses are:

Better Return On Investment

A small business may find it difficult to afford traditional media methods like television ads, but digital marketing is a much more feasible avenue. If a business’s website has a consistent flow of traffic and those visitors convert into sales, they’ll be successful. In fact, their success (and failures) can be more easily measured.

Digital marketing allows you to track and monitor your results, which is helpful when you’re deciding the method that works best for you. A company can determine their Return on Investment much more easily.

The Internet Will Be Everywhere

Researches have projected that there will be more than 20 billion interconnected devices by 2020. Businesses who are on board with digital marketing will have access to their target market in a way that’s never been seen before. Being prepared for ‘The Internet of Things“, or Internet connections via everything from cars to photo frames, can put even a small business in high places.

Digital Marketing Generates More Revenue Than Traditional Methods

According to Google, companies that utilize digital marketing methods have 2.8 times better revenue growth expectancy than those that follow traditional techniques. Small and medium-sized companies can expand their business to a global scale when revenue is plentiful. Matter of fact, they have 3.3 times better chances of expanding with digital marketing.

Gain Trust From Customers With Digital Marketing

Customers who interact with brands on social media trust them more because they meet them on a personal level. If you’re looking for food, you can head to Yelp or Google and read what previous customers are saying about a particular restaurant.

When looking for things to do, you can make a post on Facebook, and FRIENDS can tag their favorite hangout spots. Referrals from people we know hold more weight; so if your business hasn’t done so yet, park yourself in a digital space. Social proof and testimonials from real customers can give you exponential leverage.

Businesses Build Brand Reputation

The amazing thing about digital marketing is it can increase customer loyalty. When a business goes above and beyond for their customers, they’ll have no reservation in telling everyone about their experience. This also means if a business sucks at providing quality services, those customers will tell everyone about their experience.

Businesses that do it right can expect their customers to become brand ambassadors and reap the benefits of providing good service.

Social Media and Digital Marketing

Now that you have an idea of why digital marketing is important to businesses, it’s imperative to grasp one of the most important components of it. Social media is a component of digital marketing that falls under the Internet Marketing branch. Social media platforms include:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • And many, many more!

For a company to thrive in these platforms, they must understand the type of customers that frequent them and how to share the content. What a brand post on LinkedIn should be different than what is shared on Instagram, as that platform caters to users in a different way.

The Digital Marketing Numbers Don’t Lie

Businesses that use social media marketing methods successfully have the potential to grow exponentially. One way of being successful is by knowing the content your target audience wants and how to reach them on certain platforms. Some companies fare better on Pinterest, while others thrive on Facebook. Either way, people should be able to leave one platform and recognize your brand on another one.

The Most Popular Social Media Platform

At the end of 2016, Facebook had a whopping 1.86 billion monthly users and the number is growing! As their number of users grows, so do their advertising products.

Marketers may find it difficult to shy away from this social media beast given how big they are. Their Ads can be targeted based on specific information like:

  • Age
  • Education levels
  • Life events – marriage, new home, new car
  • Job title
  • Devices used
  • And much more!

Facebook also offers a variety of different Ad types, such as:

  • Link Click Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Boosted Page Posts
  • Local Awareness Ads
  • Offer Claims
  • And much more!

With the right process, a small and medium sized business can find prosperity on Facebook.

What Other Social Media Platforms Are There?

While Facebook is a giant, we can’t forget about these other very powerful platforms.

YouTube

The video platform, YouTube, uploaded their first video in April 2005, and has been growing ever since. Over 1.3 billion people use YouTube and almost 5 billion videos are watched on this platform everyday. A small or medium-sized business can use YouTube as a way to showcase quality content. Think about it – a six year old made $11,000,000 from YouTube in 2017, so it’s definitely a platform you don’t want to avoid.

Instagram

If a business is looking to grow on a global scale, then Instagram may be the perfect platform. 80% of their users reside outside of the United States. With the right Ad (thanks to their parent company, Facebook), a company can significantly increase their revenue.

Users frequent Instagram for the visuals, especially after the implementation of Instagram stories, so it’s a great way to show behind the scenes experiences at your company.

Twitter

Founded in 2006, Twitter has grown to be quite the micro-blogging platform. Users are only allowed 280 characters per tweet, so the content must be packed with a punch. According to Omnicore, as of January 2018, Twitter has:

  • 330 million monthly active users
  • 500 million tweets sent per day
  • 100 million daily active users

Users frequent Twitter for quick answers, tracking the news, and sharing their thoughts.

Digital Marketing Is More Than Social Media

While social media is a huge part of digital marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC), and email marketing should not be forgotten.

SEO Content Marketing

Digital marketers know that SEO and content marketing are usually spoken about separately, but the two actually complement one another quite well. SEO is the technique of getting traffic from the organic search results on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Content marketing, on the other hand, is the process of creating and sharing useful content to attract ones target audience. The goal with content marketing is to drive a customer to take an action, such as purchasing a good or service.

As recently mentioned, marketing is all about being at the right place at the right time, and SEO content marketing can assist a business in achieving that. If a customer is searching for “potatoes written with a Sharpie in cursive typography” and your content includes SEO keywords that align with that, then the listing will be seen right when the individual is looking for the information. This is pure gold!

While SEO is great when used correctly, it is not something that’ll happen overnight. The road to success with SEO can be a long one, but definitely worth it.  No one is going to complain about free and organic leads, right? Absolutely not! However, some companies may go another route to make sure they are still found on search engines, but it comes at a cost.

Pay-Per-Click

When advertisers pay a fee for every time their ad is clicked, this is known as pay-per-click. It’s a way of buying visits to your website instead of letting them come organically. For example, if someone is looking for “potatoes written with a Sharpie in cursive typography” and the right keywords are used, an Ad may show up in one of the ad placement areas. Matter of fact, the Ad might show up in the first top spot, making it one of the first things an individual sees in the search results.

Like SEO, keywords matter when using pay-per-click methods. The research process of finding the right keywords, setting up the right campaign, and being relevant, is extremely time-consuming. However, the benefits of getting it right could result in a $5.00 bid to your website becoming a $500 sale. With Google Adwords, if users find that your keywords and ads are relevant, Google will charge you less for the click.

Email Marketing

Contrary to popular belief, email marketing is far from going extinct. Businesses with the right strategy will be able to move subscribers from interest to purchase with a good sales funnel. There are three different types of email marketing:

  • Transactional – Providing customers service solutions
  • Relational – Nurturing a relationship with your subscribers
  • Promotional – Specifically for lead generation

In Conclusion

Digital marketing has the potential to help your business in a great way. With the ability to connect with customers expanding and with constantly changing technology, digital marketing cannot be something businesses can ignore. It’s not just about what you tell the customer, it’s about what a customer tells a potential customer. Understanding how digital marketing can help your business will keep you on the playing field.

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The use of (or lack there of) digital marketing for small and medium-sized businesses can be the difference between who sinks or swims. Read on to learn why digital marketing is important for your business!

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Did you know digital marketing has the power to level the playing field between large corporations and small businesses? Learn why it’s important to jump onboard the digital marketing wagon and how making the switch can grow your business exponentially.

 

Pinterest helps in Business Growth. Most industries today have customers that use Social Media. That’s why many companies use Social Media for customer service. In addition, Social Media platforms are excellent for interaction and getting your customers interested in your products and services. Now let’s highlight the best ways in which you can improve your customer service with Social Media.