The internet is a scary place; dark, deep crevices and long, winding roads to who-knows-where crisscross our paths all too often while online. The face of the World Wide Web changes constantly and it’s easy to get lost in the confusion or behind in the times. All of this is especially true when it comes to digital marketing. Well I am here to help, here to make that map of the web more legible, and here to guide you through nine trends to get on for the coming 2015.
1. Focus on Target Audience
Seems pretty basic, right? Right. But don’t forget all the components that feed into this. As a business, you will need to understand how your target audience behaves while online. Are they on a desktop computer or using their smartphone to access your site? Are they engaged on your social media sites? Do your consumers prefer videos to watch or articles to read? Be sure to monitor this behavior closely, as it is always changing.
2. Real-Time Marketing
This is an easy way to acquire material with little effort. Use current events or happenings to market your good or service. A superb example took place during Super Bowl XLVII’s infamous blackout. Just a few minutes after the lights went out, Oreo tweeted, “You can still dunk in the dark”. In this new age of social media, being quick-witted and timely is necessary in capturing the short-term attention of many digital consumers.
3. Make Use of Responsive Design
Get the skivvy on successful web design from the expert, Ashley Freeland, here.
Though this may sound scary, it will pay-off in the long run. Consumers want to know what your company is doing, how it works, where your ethics lay, and most importantly, what you are doing for them. Make things clear to consumers in easy-to-understand terms. This doesn’t mean you have to divulge every little secret of the business, just give a few little looks inside your mind every now and then.
5. Mobile Devices Reign Supreme
It’s undeniable. The smartphone has swept our fruited plains and majestic purple mountains faster than we knew what to do with it. And now it is time to catch up. According to the Pew Research Center, in January of 2014 – almost one year ago – 58% of American adults have a smartphone. And that statistic has nowhere to go but up. What does this mean for your business? Start targeting your customers using mobile-friendly methods.
6. Paid Social Media
In a social world, it is critical to make sure your social messaging and social presence are spot on. To compete with larger corporations, a lot of businesses are moving in the way of paid media – hiring an agency to handle social media responsibilities, and Go Local happens to be one of those agencies! Many agencies offering paid media have the skill to look both at targeting the consumer and understanding the technologies behind the scene. Technologies such as analytical tools, media trends, marketing strategies, etc.
7. Social Messaging
Millennials can be a little needy; I’m a millennial, so I can say that. When it comes to marketing, consumers nowadays want to feel like it is a one-on-one relationship. Marketing trends are shying away from global messages to more pointed, local messages. Even in some online cases individual messages are utilized (think of how Facebook personalizes ads based on your online behavior). As a business trying to conquer the social media world you’ll have to use a human voice – a voice that embodies your company’s beliefs and sounds human. You’ll have to be professional, informative, and humorous simultaneously (we millennials love humor). You’ll have to keep people coming back for more and keep them loyal to your brand. Some tips on this can be found here. Be sure to stay on top of current social networks as well. There is no way of telling what will take the social world by storm, you’ll want to be a part of it when it is fresh and trendy.
8. Publishing on LinkedIn
There is this nifty little tool on LinkedIn that many businesses and industry professionals are beginning to utilize. It offers up a fresh, unique platform for users to organize their thoughts and opinions on industry trends. It’s a good way to get noticed and learn. You can learn more about it here.
9. Forget What You Know About SEO
There are endless tricks to SEO. Endless. And let’s, just for a moment, forget everything you know about SEO. We are going to start from the bare-basics beginning. Forget about it for a moment, and focus on your web presence; primarily, focus on your home website. Make sure your website is teeming with relevant information. Your homepage especially needs to have easy-to-read information about what your business is all about. Every subsequent page past the homepage will follow suit – housing a few short sentences with only the important facts. Don’t let unnecessary information clog up your page. And finally, an absolute must, mention the city and state you are operating in on several pages of your website; this will greatly help improve your local listings.
If it is your New Year’s Resolution to improve your company’s digital marketing, these nine trends can help you jump start the process. It is also likely some of these trends will be changing the second or third quarter of 2015, but don’t worry when that happens we will still be here to help. Keep in mind if you ever want to leave it to the professionals or want to learn more about Go Local’s services, feel free to contact us and we will be more than happy to help!