Online Marketing Strategies Your Business Should Be Using in 2016
In a world where attention is definitely equal to currency, it is becoming harder for local companies to attract their target market’s ears and eyes. Not only are you up against much larger companies with marketing departments that are heavily funded, but you are also competing with the social media and a variety of other distractions for your prospects’ attention.
But, let me ask you a question. Are you making the most out of your online marketing efforts? Are you getting results from the marketing strategies you’ve exerted in 2015? If not, then this article will help you. We have selected the best and most effective online marketing strategies for 2016 and highlighted the key trends you need to know about if you want to be visible and provide the best experience for your brand.
Strategy Number 1. Reputation Marketing
According to Kelsey Consumer Tracking Studies and other prominent reports, in 2015 over 97% of consumers (i.e. almost everyone) are searching online when researching local purchases. And naturally, what they find online with regards to your company will be their basis of whether they purchase from you or a competitor. What people say about your company on third party review sites, forums and in social media has basically become the single most significant reflection of the reliability, quality, and skill of your company. It does not matter if you are a plastic surgeon, a carpet cleaner, dentist, or a painter -your online reputation IS playing a significant role in your revenue whether you chose to take a proactive role in managing what is being said or not.
Reputation Marketing – the process of creating and maintaining a terrific online reputation that attracts new customers by utilizing your positive reviews – has rapidly evolved to become one of the most critical marketing elements a local business can do. With 90% of consumers now saying reviews have an impact on their buying decisions, automating the process of collecting reviews, getting them posted where your customers look for products and services, and monitoring what is showing up online will continue to be a huge game changer in 2016
Strategy Number 2. Video Marketing
Aside from good quality content, video marketing has been the talk of the town for the past few years. Why? Because videos are more persuasive than any other content types. Human brain requires emotional input in order to make decisions. And with that being said, no technology is far better at conveying the emotions than through videos. Video marketing has truly become a key pillar in marketing your brand online.
Whether its creating short video tutorials, turning blog posts into a video content, a question and answer video series, videos that highlight customer testimonials, or even simply showing customers in your store interacting with your amazing staff – it is getting far easier to engage and captivate your target audience with video.
Strategy Number 3. Content Marketing
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach which focuses on creating and distributing relevant and valuable content on a consistent basis to help attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Content Marketing: Two great things about it
- Staying top of mind with your customers without hard-selling to them all the time.
- Keyword rich and index-able content for search engines to pickup and show to a relevant search audience
For your business to keep your audience engaged, shared content must be interesting and informative. Finding the right balance between feeding your audience with quality content and promoting your business’ products and services is important. Remembering the 80/20 rule can be very helpful here – wherein 80% of your content should benefit the consumer and 20% can then be used to promote the benefits of your business.
Customers will tolerate the promotional activities your business is doing so long as they get timely, relevant and quality content from you. And the most important thing is, when the time comes that they have decided to buy, your company is what they will think as the best choice.
Strategy Number 4. Search Engine Marketing (also known as SEM)
Although slightly related with each other, there is a total difference between SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The former is the process of gaining traffic and visibility from search engines through both unpaid and paid efforts. Simply put, it is buying traffic through paid search listings while the latter is earning traffic through unpaid or free “organic” listings.
When talking about Search Engine Marketing and paid search advertising, you’ll hear these Paid Search Terms:
- CPC – Cost Per Click
- CPM – Cost Per Thousand Impressions
- PPC –Pay Per Call or Pay Per Click
Though SEO is a ‘free’ way to try and rank your web pages on the first pages of search engines, we must not forget the prominence that SEM gives your business in terms of guaranteed placement of your website onto the first page of search results and on relevant webpages around the internet.
Strategy Number 5. Get More Social (Not to Sell, But To Engage)
If you are like most businesses today you have probably put a little or a lot of efforts into your social media accounts but haven’t received much noticeable return of investment. You might ask, “What wrong with what I been doing?” Now maybe it is your strategies and you are ‘doing’ social media all wrong, but more likely you are not building concrete connection with your customers and social visitors and simply trying to sell on your social channels.
Social media is about building connections, building trust with your audience and sharing your voice. Social media definitely gives you the chance to have these communications as well as to create more personal relationships with you customers and providing enticing content that prospects can find value in and thus connect with your brand online. Regular activity (as in daily) on your social media profiles where you share fun and informative content is often the best first step in establishing your brand presence on these platforms. The good news about that is, even if the number of people following you doesn’t increase in droves, prospects that are searching for more data on you before pulling the trigger and buying from you often scan your social media accounts as one of their steps in seeing if you are legitimate and trustworthy. Being active and sharing helpful content is a good sign you are open for business.
Above are just some of the critical online marketing strategies that gained even more important in 2015 and will be key considerations for you marketing investment in the coming year. As 2015 draws to an end its time to review your current marketing mix and make plans to take your business to the next level with the help of these top online marketing strategies for 2016!