2016 Online Marketing Top Tips and Strategies
The end of 2015 brought record high online sales, enumerating online reviews, and end of the year awards. Marketing always takes off at the end of the sales year, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start polishing your tools for this year already. Here are some helpful tips, tricks, and strategies that will help bring 2016 in with a bang.
1. Mobile Optimization
We’ve touched on the idea of mobile friendly design, responsive websites, and why they matter before. Having a website is essential to market your business, but if the website is not mobile friendly or responsive, your efforts may be in vain. Studies show that the amount of online shoppers using their phone or tablet is casting a looming shadow over the percentage of desktop users. Further statistics show that in 2016 mobile marketing is expected to pass $100 billion in sales, and make up over 50% of digital transactions. Some predictions are already forecast that mobile sales will completely take over desktop sales next year. This may be the last year for you to jump on the mobile optimization bandwagon, without risking being left behind.
2. Social Media
Having made a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn page is a great start with online marketing. What you do with it, though, is the most important thing. Having a social media outlet is more than just accumulating likes and followers. It is a chance to engage your users, build their trust, reinforce your brand.
If you are using your social media outlets to shamelessly bump your company, you may want to rethink your approach. Use your social media to supply your users with a resource center. Start online contents and engage your users. Make sure to solicit feedback, AND RESPOND, even if it’s negative. If you receive negative feedback, here are some ways to handle it.
3. Content is Still KING
One of the best ways to engage and build trust between you and your clients is providing trustworthy content. Once your clientele feel like trusting you is a good idea, they will value not just your opinion, but any content you pass their way. This circle of trust is not to be taken lightly.
Developing your brand and making certain you are considered an expert in a specific subject matter takes time. If you decide at any point to bail on this and start sending your clients “spammy” or filler content, you should expect their level of trust to drop accordingly.
Make certain that your content is fact checked, original, and does not infringe on any copyright laws. Failure to abide by those three things can land you in a very tight place, very quickly. The Content Marketing Institute shares that 80% of decisionmakers in business would rather read a series of articles to gain information on a company, versus an ad. 78% of consumers feel that companies providing custom articles or content are actively increasing positive aspects in their relationships. 58% of consumers feel that companies producing video content are more trustworthy than their competitors.
While in the past, making company videos may have seemed like an often unnecessary expense. In 2016, visual content is nonnegotiable. Experts reveal that 96% of consumers prefer to look at videos before making a purchase. These videos range from unboxing, reviews, and product demonstrations. Videos can utilize both audio and visual stimulation, meaning the content is easier to absorb if done correctly.
We’ve touched on what SEO is, and why it matters in the past. SEO does not just correlate to your base page structure and where you’re appearing on search engines as a company name. This form of SEO involves the content you are producing and its quality. Do the users find it engaging and helpful? Studies show what visual content such as infographics, images, and videos are often more engaging than their predecessor, plain text articles. Those tools can help make any search on Google more relevant to any consumer.
The more engaging your content, the higher likelihood that users will “linger” on your page. Please also make sure that you are supplementing alt tags, utilizing targeted keywords, and optimized content descriptions.
6. Getting to Know YOU
The Direct Marketing Association revealed that up to 76% of their test market would share personal information with a brand or company if they thought it would improve their experience and interaction with said company. Look into creating individual user accounts or building a database off of your existing customers. Start sending out custom birthday emails, personal discounts for items they may be interested in, or social media linking promotions. Utilizing email networking solutions is a recommended path to take. Set up a newsletter system to reach out to your clients directly in a fun personalized way.
Anything that helps you understand and reach out to your customers one-to-one, will help you acquire and keep your targeted customers.
7. Make a Great Reputation
Online reviews can make or break a company. By requesting reviews from some of your happy customers you can help control the face of your company. There will always be negative feedback, but even the most negative review is a chance to shine. How you handle negative reviews will show how you treat your customers, and what aspects of your mission statement you hold nearest and dearest to you. Make it a habit to check your online reviews twice a day, that way if a negative review flutters in, you can respond in a timely manner and hopefully nip it in the bud.
Another way to build a positive reputation for your brand or company is answering your phone. 50% of surveyed consumers chose to continue business or start business with a company that calls them back first. Make sure you follow up with every call. Check your voicemail, and return every call you receive. This may seem trivial, but it really does matter.