With the new year fast-approaching, it’s time to start thinking about how you can refresh your digital marketing strategy to adapt to the changing trends that dictate success (or lack thereof) in the digital realm. Read on below for your go-to guide on how to do so!
As a business owner, you know that time brings about change for your business and business strategy. Whether it’s a change in the pricing of your product or services, moving or opening up new locations, or simply changing up or extending your existing offerings- it’s clear that what worked well for your business at one point in time may not work as effectively moving forward. The same applies to your digital marketing strategy. It’s difficult enough to stay on top of the changes occurring with search algorithms, social media likes disappearing, and the like- not to mention figuring out how to fund your efforts to promote your business online. The good news is that we’ve come up with some points below that can not only steer your strategy in the right direction but do it organically as well- meaning ways that cost you no money whatsoever! Let’s dive into the specific areas you can focus on for your business’ digital marketing strategy for 2020!
Your Website’s User Experience
Your website is a huge validation of credibility for your business. It’s a direct reflection of your brand and often the first impression a consumer gets of you before making the decision to learn more about the specifics of what you offer and how you can meet their needs. Per Kinesis Inc, a Stanford web research highlights the concept that a staggering 75% of consumers admit to judging the credibility of a business’ by their website design. On top of this, statistics show that it takes a user merely 0.05 seconds to form an opinion of your site, which ultimately determines if they will bounce from the site or continue browsing! So how can you use this information to inform your digital strategy? By ensuring that your website is set up in a way that allows users to easily & quickly find the relevant information for which they are searching. Utilize the checklist of simple steps below to get started:
Ensure that the services/products you provide are clearly and simply outlined on your site (features, price, benefits, etc.).
Be sure to highlight your “x-factor” or what distinguishes you from the competition along with any accolades you have amassed including awards, recognition, or press coverage of your work.
Set up an “About Us” page that provides a summary of your business, what you do, and how you got started.
Be sure to link any active social media accounts you have with icons as well.
Make sure you have clear navigation to the different pages of your site outlined in the menu bar at the top-of-the-page and that users can easily decipher which items are “clickable”. If your site has an extensive amount of pages, it may be beneficial to add a “search” bar.
Feature client video or written testimonials on your site for an added element of credibility.
Make sure your up-to-date and correct contact info including email and phone number are readily available.
Include a call-to-action to guide users on what to do next (ie. book your consultation, learn more, call, etc.)
Include a contact form with only the relevant fields required for visitors to fill out for more information.
If you participate in email marketing, include an option to subscribe to your email list.
Updating Your SEO
No matter how well-designed and user-friendly your site is, if SEO is not part of your 2020 digital marketing strategy, you can’t plan on many people actually finding their way to your site, at least not by organic means. SEO is crucial for getting your website found organically in search results. Though it takes time (normally several months on average to begin seeing substantial results), optimizing your site for search-engine purposes is an extremely worthwhile and necessary undertaking- and, it doesn’t cost a dollar to do so! 2019 was a big year, in particular, for SEO, specifically taking into account BERT, which is being hailed as Google’s biggest algorithm change in the past 5 years. BERT (short for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) brought into play updated elements of Natural Language Processing (NLP) for Google’s search algorithm, effecting 1 in every 10 search results. So what should you be aware of in order to continue ranking on Google in 2020? The truth is there is no easy calculated way to “outsmart” Google’s new smarter algorithm. The key to ranking on page 1 of Google is still to provide relevant and helpful content that fulfills the needs or queries of the people searching for them. Of course, it’s still imperative to focus on updating keywords, h1 tags, meta tags, and the like- but at the end of the day, content is still king.
Driving Social Media Engagement
Content does not only apply in regards to your website- your social media presence, of course, is another integral factor in dominating your brand’s digital marketing efforts in the new year to come. Similarly to search algorithms, this past year also saw a substantial change in the social media realm as well- this time in the form of the obscuring of likes on Instagram. Though we are still fairly early-on in observing the impact of this change, it suffices to say that engagement, now that likes are hidden (at least to all but the account owner) will still play an enormous role in the delivery of content. However, comments and shares may be taking center stage in terms of metrics. Now, more than ever, it appears that making meaningful connections with your followers through means of authentic & valuable content is going to be pivotal. The takeaway here is really just to know your audience and create content that truly portrays your brand and what you are all about- your staff, your products and services, your values and culture, your clients, and overall just what you want people to know about what you do and how you do it. It’s best to use genuine content as opposed to stock images and video content is always a terrific option when applicable.
Staying In Top-Of-Mind Awareness With Email Marketing
Though several people may associate it more-so with the early 1990’s, email marketing is undoubtedly something you should be bringing into the future with you in 2020. Despite the ever-popular claims that email marketing is “dead,” email as a means of reaching your clients is here to stay. Email marketing is actually predicted to grow as time goes on. While roughly 281 billion emails were sent daily in the United States alone in 2018, this number is expected to increase exponentially to 347 billion daily emails in 2022! It’s known that, in the digitally-connected world we live in where media channels are often oversaturated with ads and the like, it takes multiple “touches” or interactions, with a consumer in order to gain their interest and trust and ultimately turn them into a client. Email is an excellent way of following up and adding another “touch” to your digital repertoire. The important thing is just keeping in your contacts’ top-of-mind awareness, reminding them of what you offer and how you can best suit their needs. But at the end of the day, the numbers alone seem to point toward the fact that whether it’s an empty shopping cart reminder, coupons to be redeemed for an upcoming sale, or just a general monthly newsletter- email is not going anywhere anytime soon.
There you have it- four organic, no funds-required ways to dominate your business’ online presence in the new year! For more advice on how to take your digital footprint to the next level, please subscribe to our blog and weekly vlog where we provide useful tips such as these regularly. Also, it’s important to acknowledge that although the specific strategies outlined here don’t require a budget; they do require some time, effort, and overall creativity. As a business owner, we know that you are already wearing multiple hats as is- that’s where agencies like us come in. If you are interested in investing in your business’ digital growth but don’t have the time or don’t know where to start, reach out to us to see how we can help you today!