In 2018, you need a sales and marketing plan that makes the best use of digital marketing trends to create more visibility and drive revenue.
We’ve identified five major digital marketing trends that should get your focus in 2018.
The businesses that are able to best take advantage of these trends will get a huge leg up over their competitors.
To help you get you started — and to make this coming year more profitable for you — read about these five important digital marketing trends for 2018 below.
Content Marketing to Attract and Engage Prospects
Content marketing is nothing new, but it is evolving.
Content is what makes the web go around. Content is what makes people visit your website, it’s what encourages people to follow you on social media and it’s what eventually turns your visitors into fans rather than just followers.
Your social media strategy should largely be about sharing content. That means directly posting images, videos, and text to your social media accounts, but it also means posting to your blog or website and then sharing that on social media.
But this strategy will only work so long as the content you are providing is top quality and highly engaging. So now the question is: how do you ensure that this is the case?
70% of people say they would rather learn about a company through articles than ads.
For this reason, around 90% of businesses that advertise online use content marketing currently. Most are interested in shifting dollars from traditional ads to content, where they can find better returns.
You should create engaging, in-depth content with a strong visual element to attract prospects. Reach more people by learning about the content they want to consume and giving them more of it.
Video Continues to Dominate
You might not be into Facebook Live yet, but you probably should be! Recent data from Facebook shows that people are 10x more likely to comment on a Facebook Live video than otherwise.
Even if Facebook Live does not work for your business, incorporating video into your marketing is key. Consider that 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos each week, on average.
Now, keep in mind that there are over 2 billion active Facebook users in the world. A little bit of number crunching reveals that approximately 1 billion people watch one hour of video a week. That’s a huge embedded audience to explore!
Video holds much more attention and communicates messages more effectively than text or still images alone. Recognizing this, small businesses have been using video and finding huge returns. Whether as a type of content or a paid ad, video drives huge amounts of engagement.
Research from Wyzowl indicates that 79% percent of consumers surveyed would rather watch a video to learn about a new product then read about it.
Also, “64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.” So, people are not only watching a video but also remembering what they see and actually buying things afterward!
Small business owners can start working on their video strategy easily by answering common questions customers have — either Live or as a prerecorded release.
From there, consider repurposing some of your existing content into short, informative videos and uploading them directly to social media.
You know the audiences are there, you just have to give them something worth paying attention to.
Billions of users reside on Facebook. The targeting is so specific, you can even turn off ads to people who have clicked on them before. It can also be inexpensive if you know what you’re doing.
No wonder it’s one of the top advertising platforms for marketers.
The results of Facebook advertising can happen very quickly. It’s not unusual to see sales start after 24 hours of running an ad. As a small business owner, you can use Facebook to your advantage.
If you’ve read that boosting a post is a waste of time, I’m going to correct that thinking. As a small business owner, page boosts are perfect for you.
If you’ve got a massive audience (over 2000 fans) then it’s probably not.
But then again, if you use it the way we show you how, it may be good for any business size.
When you boost a post, you aren’t just limited to your fans. You can target certain demographics, just like an ad. Most people don’t know that. They think boosting is just for your fans.
If you’re just boosting to your fans, you may be wasting money.
If you target it like an ad, you’ll be getting the most out of your boost.
You can choose your demographics based on age, location, age, and interest. In this case, you want to target people in your local area. You can play around with the other options, but location targeting is key.
This way your post will be seen by people in your local area.
What kind of post should you boost? Try one that’s talking about a product or your latest sale. You want to entice people to come into your store or contact you. If you want them to contact you, be sure to put your contact information in a boosted post.
A boosted post is extremely inexpensive. It can cost as little as $20. You can potentially reach hundreds or thousands of people with that money.
Boosted posts can run for one to seven days. The maximum amount of days it can run is seven. I’d recommend that you run a post if you can afford to run it.
Make sure the post is applicable to at least that amount of time. You don’t want a post about a sale running after it has expired.
Make sure all your posts abide by Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines. These posts need to be approved. Sometimes they will be approved but then you’ll find out later they’ve been canceled. If they’ve been canceled, it’s usually because they violated the guidelines in some way.
Facebook is a great advertising platform.
Now small and local businesses have the chance to increase their audience with just a small budget. Make sure you implement at least one of these this week. Once you see your first sale, you’ll want to make it a regular part of your advertising. This is one of the easiest ways to implement the most effective digital marketing trends in existence.
When you combine video and Facebook Ads you really start to multiply the impact. Recent data highlight the fact that social video (basically any kind of branded video or advertisement) generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
Instagram & Influencers Drive Engagement
When it comes to consistent engagement, Instagram is the number one social channel out there. That’s the conclusion of a study done by Yopto, which found engagement rate on Instagram to be 45% greater than on Facebook and 40% greater than Twitter.
What exactly does ‘engagement’ mean? It means this: over 75% of users will take action on an advertisement posted in their feed.
The key here is to let your customers do the posting as much as you do. The same Yopto study found that 77% of people are more convinced by user-generated photos of a product rather than professional photos.
Crowdsource your own content by asking loyal customers for pictures of them using your product. People love the attention, and you save on professional photography, so it’s a win-win for all.
Another key thing to know about Instagram is how powerful Instagram Influencers are.
“Influencers” refers to people with lots of followers and tons of engagement from fans. There are all types of influencers, including subject matter experts who post videos and photos related to their expertise.
Small businesses can tap into these influencers at a relatively low cost. Case studies have shown that niche experts in your industry will drive direct sales traffic without costing your company an arm and a leg.
Take the example of RESCUE, for instance. RESCUE wanted to push their range of natural products and asked a number of micro-influencers and bloggers to share their personal stories and include a “buy one, get one free” coupon with their post. The results? A 258% increase in Instagram followers — not to mention over 6,000 clicks to the coupon site.
Because of success stories like these, there is no question that leveraging micro-influencers to drive conversion rates will be a major trend in social media marketing going forward.
Businesses Not Optimized for Mobile Will Be Left Behind
Did you know that 4 out of 5 consumers now use smartphones to shop? Let’s face it, nowadays just simply having a website is no longer enough for your business to truly connect with consumers online. People are accessing the internet from desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Your customers are using mobile devices to search for businesses in their area and to shop online.
Having a mobile website can make a big difference in how many customers find and interact with your business. The use of mobile phones to browse the internet isn’t new, but it continues to rise, making a mobile website more and more important for businesses who want to stay on top of the market.
Why being Mobile Friendly Is Important for Your Business
Studies show the average consumer is spending more time browsing and utilizing the web on a mobile device vs. on a desktop or laptop. Tablets and phones can be conveniently carried around and accessed instantly. How often have you seen someone looking at their phone while waiting for a bus, sitting in a restaurant, or taking a break from work? All of those moments are opportunities for your business if you have a mobile-friendly website. Better yet, 2018 should be the year you adopt a Progressive Web App! This will be the hottest of all digital marketing trends.
In a 2014 study, ad network InMobi found that in the United States people are spending more time accessing the internet through their mobile devices than through their PCs. This means that if your business’s website is designed only for PCs, you’re missing out on over half of the market. Furthermore, about one in three online searches are now conducted through mobile devices. People use their phones when they are out and about and looking for a local service. If your website comes up in their search results and is easy to access, you might gain an immediate new customer.
A recent study by iAcquire found that 70% of mobile online searches result with an action taken within less than an hour of the search. This means that mobile searches are a more effective way of reaching customers than desktop searches, and can quickly result in new customer interactions and sales.
Take Advantage of These Five Digital Marketing Trends for 2018 to Find Success Growing Your Business
In 2018, competing online is no longer an option.
It’s a must for your business to survive.
To grow your business, you must apply a complete digital marketing strategy.
One that gets more Leads & Sales.
One that takes advantage of the shifts in Mobile, Social, Video, Reputation, Search and other digital marketing trends.
One that connects all the dots, so that people can find you on any channel but still have a consistent experience.
One that gives the information people need to make a buying decision through helpful content and a mobile-optimized experience.
This is the only way for your business to not be left behind.
If you take advantage of these digital marketing trends, you will have a distinct advantage in growing your business over your competition.
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Effective Online Marketing
As a small business owner, you know that effective online marketing plays a significant role in the success of your company. The competition for internet users’ attention is fierce, and if you want to make your company stand out from the competition, you have to stretch your marketing budget as far as you can. You might not have the money to take out Google ads or even to pay for Facebook advertising, but that doesn’t mean that you have to accept lackluster marketing results. Content marketing is a major piece of any online marketing strategy.
“Content isn’t just words on a page, it’s everything you put out there on the web to engage your audience.”
Content marketing is the key to help your company succeed. When you make the effort to create unique and valuable content to share online, you can let what you create speak for you without having to spend a lot of money. The kind of content you create, as well as how and when you share it, are both important when it comes to spreading the word about your company. With that in mind, let’s look at 6 content marketing strategies that you can use to help increase traffic to your website and grow your business.
1. Concentrate your content creation efforts on evergreen content. Evergreen content is content that isn’t likely to feel dated anytime soon. For example, a blog post about a current event would not be considered evergreen; a post that defined some industry terms and jargon would be considered evergreen.
The key is to find topics that will interest your current and future customers for some time to come. Some examples might include how-to guides, tutorials, frequently asked questions, and posts addressing problems that are common to your customers. For example, if you own an apparel store, a post about dressing different body types could have a long life online because it will always be of concern to the people who shop at your store. You can and should re-post evergreen content periodically, and make updates as needed.
2. Concentrate your SEO efforts on getting high-quality backlinks and using local keywords. If you know anything at all about search engine optimization (SEO), you know that it’s a broad topic and one that is constantly changing. In the early days of the internet, all a webmaster had to do was stuff websites with keywords to get a high rank on Google. Today, search algorithms are very sophisticated. Keyword density is only one small piece of the puzzle.
Ranking for top keywords will be difficult, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about keywords. For local companies, the best option is to focus on long-tail keywords with a geographical component. Instead of aiming at a keyword like “video games,” you might decide to try to rank for “buy video games in Forest Grove.” It’s a longer keyword, but one that local customers are likely to use when looking for a local retailer. The same is true of backlinks. The number of backlinks you get is less important than the quality of your backlinks.
There are certainly sources where you can buy back links, but that’s considered a “black hat” SEO practice and is just as likely to earn you a penalty from Google as it is to bring traffic to your website. Instead, look for guest blogging opportunities on websites that are relevant to your business. Also try to get your site listed in industry directories.
3. Use social media wisely. A lot of small companies make the mistake of looking at Facebook (or Twitter or Instagram) as a way to advertise themselves. The problem with that it is that it completely leaves out the social aspects of social media. The people who follow you on social media are not doing so because they want to be at the receiving end of an endless stream of promotional messages. They do it because they want to be entertained, engaged, and informed. This is one of the most misunderstood content marketing methods.
” At least 80% of your social media content should be aimed at providing value to your followers.” That means that for every five things you post, four of them should be entertaining, relevant, and devoid of any overt sales pitches. The other one can be a direct marketing appeal, but even then, you should make sure to include something of value for your followers.
JVI Mobile uses the LENS method for social media posts. Listening (L) posts are designed to begin a conversation and create engagement (like, comment and share). Educating (E) posts are facts, trivia, do-you-know, or how-to posts designed to teach the reader. Networking (N) posts are written to share other people’s content while tagging them and building online relationships. Selling (S) posts are where you promote your products and/or services and should be used the least (20% of the time). Using the LENS method, you will develop a clear, 20/20 vision for your social media presence.
4. Encourage readers and followers to share your content. The whole point of content marketing is to bring new visitors to your website and ultimately, to your business. For that reason, it isn’t enough simply to create compelling content; you must also make that content interesting enough to share, and provide people with the means of sharing it.
To make it interesting, write a great headline – many people who write online say that they spend as much time on their headlines as they do on the rest of their content combined – that includes numbers or compelling words like tips, tricks, ways, ideas, lessons, or facts.
It’s also important to keep your headline short. No more than 65 words so that the whole title can be viewed on a list of Google search results. In terms of making it shareable, you should embed social sharing buttons on your website and blog, and actively encourage your followers to share your content. You won’t want to do it on every post, but on something that you think is especially likely to attract new customers, come right out and ask people to share what you’ve created.
5. Find ways to make your content visually compelling. The average internet user is exposed to hundreds of pieces of content per day. You can make yours stand out by adding compelling images – originals are best, since many stock photos are generic and not very exciting – infographics, or videos are even better. An infographic can be an especially good way to share a large volume of information or data. It’s easier to read and absorb than an article would be, and infographics are highly shareable, and videos are naturally more engaging for visitors than reading a lot of text.
6. Submit a Press Release. Don’t underestimate a well written PR, it’s like a news nugget that online search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing love as well as it attracts local press. It’s an easy way to boost your online visibility, and marketing your business at the same time. Once you’ve submitted your PR online – contact your local news media and ask if they would publish it too – you may be surprised!
Whether you do it yourself through directories like PR Web or PR Newswire or hire marketing agency to create and submit it on your behalf, press releases are a great content marketing strategy for any local business.
If you use these six strategies, your content will always be compelling, entertaining, and valuable to your followers. The more value you provide, the more likely it is that one-time customers will become repeat customers and that new visitors to your website will end up buying from you.
Learn more about digital marketing by visiting JVI Mobile Marketing or by contacting us!
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Here’s the deal. Your business can have a huge presence on Facebook with thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of fans, but still struggle to get new clients. Why is this? Well, for the most part it is because you’re not doing a good enough job of turning those fans into actual paying customers.
You have done a great job with the first step in the process which is attracting people on Facebook and ultimately building a raving fan base. Now is the time, however, to take that next step of turning those fans into people that actually pay you money for what you have to offer.
Here are 5 strategies to consider that will help your fans turn into customers.
1. Be Consistent with Content
In the overall scheme of things, it is important that you keep your Facebook fans engaged and keep your brand in front of them at all times. To that end, it is very important that you as a business owner maintain a consistent approach to the content you are publishing for your followers. A good practice is to put something out there once a
day that is likely to be shared or liked a lot. Not only will this help your content go viral and get in front of more people, it will also establish you as an authority in your industry.
Examples of content that you can post on a daily basis are how to articles, tips related to your industry or even interesting photos that your fans may want to see. The key is to make this content as engaging as possible so that it keeps getting shared and it keeps your fans coming back for more.
Now, when one of your fans needs the service or product you offer who are they going to call? Exactly! They will call you because they know who you are and consider you an authority in your industry.
2. Reach More of Your Fan Base
In order to convert more fans into customers, first your fans actually have to SEE what you are posting and promoting so they have the opportunity to become a customer. One of the most dramatic changes Facebook has made recently is minimizing organic reach for brands. Basically, this means that only a tiny fraction of your fans will see your updates in their newsfeed. According to Edge Rank Checker as of march 2014 it was estimated that you reach about 6.5% of your fan base with every post you make on your fan page.
There’s a number of ways you can increase your posts visibility within your fans news feed, and one of the best ways is to promote your posts. A promoted post starts off just like any other post you’ve made on your fan page. You simply choose a post you want to promote, like a special sale, or a story you want to share about your business. Then you set a budget and the post is shared to a set number of Facebook members depending on your budget. Your post will be seen by your fans, and even friends of your fans depending on your budget. Promoting your posts is a very inexpensive way to ensure you get maximum visibility.
Another way to ensure your fans see your updates is to educate your fans that they can ‘Get Notifications’ from your Page.
Most of the time, users aren’t even aware that they aren’t getting seeing your updates. Simply by telling them how they can stay better informed with your businesses special promotions will boost the number of people that actually see your posts.
3. Create Offers with Urgency or Scarcity
If you want to turn more of your Facebook fans into paying customers then you are going to have to market to them – plain and simple.
Now, a common and effective practice to use is creating offers and posting them to Facebook that have an element of scarcity or urgency to them in order to get people to act right away. In other words, why not post a coupon limited to the first 10 people who claim it for a certain percentage off your service? Or what about a special offer on a service that expires in 24-hours? Make the offer something that your fans cannot pass up and you will see the phone begin to ring! That said, once you end driving your fans from Facebook through your doors it is your job to keep them coming back. Use these special offers as a way to get them there – it’s up to you to keep them there.
Another way to reach your audience with a special deal is through Facebook Offers. This is a form of paid advertising where you can create an ad and target specific people with a special offer that will fit their needs. Once the ad is created and displayed it will have a “get offer” button on it. When a user clicks this button, they will be directed to an area where they can claim the discount offered by your company. The thing that makes Facebook Offers unique and very powerful is that they will actually email the person that claimed the offer to remind them to use it. In other words, they will do some of the dirty work for you to ensure that the person actually becomes a paying customer!
4. Drive Fans to Your Email List
Having a robust fan base on Facebook is great and can be very profitable but there is an even better way to engage these people to turn them into customers. What is it you ask? Simple, it’s email. If you are able to drive your fans to your email list then you will be able to communicate with them on a whole other level. Email newsletters are still the best way to communicate directly to your audience.
Think about it for a moment. Not only are you engaging them within Facebook, but now you are also engaging them within their inbox. This is very powerful as the more “planes of engagement” there are between you and your potential customers the more you will see your bottom line increase.
The best part about building that email list from your Facebook fan base is that it’s easy! You simply need to drive your fans from Facebook to an email opt-in form on your website or to an opt-in form right within Facebook. There are many apps out there that make it really easy to create these lead capture forms right within Facebook so the fan never has to leave if you don’t want them to.
Please keep in mind that people will only opt-in to your email list if you give them a good reason. Don’t be afraid to offer a discount or some other valuable form of content to ensure they sign up right away!
5. Show Them Some Love Too
A final strategy to turn fans onto customers is to show them some love too! What this means is making sure you are active on Facebook and sharing content that your fans have produced. This will create a feeling of reciprocity between you and your fans. It will also show that you are just a normal person too – not a corporate machine.
People love being engaged with in social media. If you take a few minutes each day to engage with some of your fans, you will see that investment on time come back to you tenfold. Even if you post though automation and use a platform such as MySoPro, it’s a great idea to always check in daily and take a look at new likes, comments, shares and overall engagement. All of a sudden, a normal fan will become a raving fan just because you reached out to engage them. Who do you think that person will do business with when they need what you have to offer?
All in all, getting your Facebook fans to turn into paying customers is easy if you know what you are doing. Just follow the strategies that are outlined above and watch your business take off like you never thought possible!
Learn more about online marketing by visiting JVI Mobile Marketing or by contacting us!
What’s Your Local Score?
Enter any business name and zip code and see how optimized it is for local search.