Marketing for online businesses has gone through a lot of transformation in the recent years.
Many business owners have already realized how important internet marketing is which is why they are no longer hesitant about employing any and every digital marketing strategy that come their way.
Want to know the trends in digital marketing are?
Check out below how your business can stay on top of the game and get ahead of your competition this 2016:
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The biggest and perhaps also the most important internet marketing strategy to implement for your business this 2016 surprisingly does not depend on outside forces but in something that you can control – which is a big plus.
Customers are now all about getting the best and most memorable experience with a brand. Getting a small glitch in their overall experience is often enough to discourage them to stay loyal with a company.
User experience for online businesses start with the first point of contact: a website that loads up after a few seconds more will most likely end up losing potential customers. Business owners should also start investing in improving other parts of their website including small details such as navigation, menu and other clickable items.
It is important that online websites provide all the necessary information that both existing and future customers will need. Smooth navigation and easy transaction are also important aspects in a website.
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An estimate 2 billion consumers from all over the world is expected to be owners of smart phones by 2016. Online business owners see this as an opportunity to always stay connected with their customers whenever and wherever they are.
In 2016, relationship marketing is no longer about creating short-term engagement with customers. Instead, businesses invest more in order to create longer and more meaningful relationships with existing and future customers.
Creating loyalty among their fan base helps in producing organic advertisements in the form of word-of-mouth promotion and, eventually, more sales.
For huge brands, increasing customer engagement is usually done via social media and mobile apps.
Krispy Kreme, for example, has a Red Light App which allows their customers to find their nearest store and get notifications on their smart phones whenever a fresh batch of donuts become available. This has given the company almost a seven percent increase in sales after the app launched.
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For online businesses, the biggest and most important digital asset is the website. Websites are the only ones that you get the most control of; something which Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or even Google have no control of.
When it comes to implementing any digital marketing strategy, it is important for business owners to always keep in mind that anything that they do should be aimed at boosting and improving their digital assets.
This includes taking control of one’s search engine results pages which should only contain important links such as those of your website’s, blog’s and social media profile’s. Doing so will help reduce the possibility of seeing negative reviews that may only be libelous and derogatory in nature.
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The biggest problem for digital marketing strategists is that it becomes extremely hard to compete against big companies for top keywords. Imagine how many thousands of brands you will have to compete against the keywords ‘hotel’ and ‘restaurant’, for example.
These days, a successful internet marketing strategy is all about placing your website at the top rank for keyword phrases that are still relevant to your niche. So, instead of using ‘hotel’ in your search engine optimization efforts, the trick is to going for long-tail keyword phrases, turning it to ‘top hotels in Hanoi Vietnam’.
Even top digital marketers such as Jeff Bullas can attest to the effectiveness of this strategy.
In his search engine asset, he ranks both first and second for the keywords ‘social media facts’ – and that is compared to more than 200 million results!
This position alone has helped him bring more than 30,000 visitors to his website every month. Organic search rankings can indeed be very effective when the right strategies are followed.
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No matter how awesome you are at producing informational and share-worthy content, it is nearly useless when no one gets to read it.
Another digital asset that you can put to good use for your business this 2016 is social media. Despite not being able to get a hundred percent control over how many people sees your posts, it cannot be denied that social media is still an effective medium in spreading word about your brand and your content.
It does take months and even years to grow a community on social media. However, when you do create a loyal and engaged tribe, you can be sure that you have an awesome crowd to help distribute word about your brand.
Big businesses such as Red Bull and Coca-Cola have now used a publisher mindset in order to build their following, reach and engagement in an organic manner.
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Nearly every year, content marketing makes it to the top of the list of digital marketing strategies to implement and 2016 is no exception. Among all digital marketing activities, content marketing has been viewed as one with the greatest commercial impact this year.
As a brand and business owner, content through blogs, website content and social media is extremely important in helping people become informed and educated about your products and services and other topics revolving around the niche.
Coming up with an effective content marketing strategy is all about putting yourself in the shoes of your target audience and making sure that your articles, videos and images are something that they can easily relate to.
Content also encompasses all type of online multimedia. It is not just about creating share-worthy articles but also images, videos and infographics.
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You have probably only heard of this term today but marketing automation is not something new.
In fact, it has already become a $5.5 billion industry as more and more people start to understand its importance and the convenience it brings to many businesses.
Marketing automation is all about automating a part of the marketing process, if not all of it. This means automating and scheduling emails, social media, content publishing as well as segmenting contacts and so on.
Because a business is able to automate certain processes, it is able to scale itself at a cost-effective manner without having to spend as much money and time on resources compared to if things were done manually.
Many huge businesses have been able to attest to the effectiveness of automating their marketing processes and are able to grow, reach and even exceed most of their business goals with minimal effort.
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Here’s the thing. Creating great content for your brand is an awesome endeavor. But, it can also be really costly in terms of time, money and resources.
So, what’s a company to do? Crowd source content, of course!
If you look at the brand Go Pro, for example, they rarely make their own content. In fact, most of their videos were submitted by users who have created great videos through their own efforts without expecting the company to pay them. Many times, recognition from a brand is all fans need to keep creating great content that their favorite companies can use.
In January 2015, the top game franchise in YouTube was surprisingly Minecraft – and this happened even though the company has not spent a single cent on traditional advertising. To give you an even better look at how successful they are at crowdsourcing, about 96.6 percent of the top 20 gaming videos in YouTube were all made by fans and 41 percent of these were on Minecraft.
As long as you keep your customers happy and satisfied through your service or product, you can easily enjoy free content from them even without you asking them to do so.
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Social media may be a top internet marketing strategy that you want to focus on this year but it certainly does not mean that it does not expect anything in return.
Competition has become extremely tight these days, even on social media, and platform engineers continue to tweak and modify their algorithm making it hard for business owners to reach even more than two percent of their fan base organically.
However, many digital marketing strategists have also found a huge disadvantage in going for social media advertisements compared to traditional ones. The biggest reason for it is that they are extremely cheap considering how targeted the audience can be.
Because of this, it is obvious that the increase in demand also means an increase in the pricing.
Despite this, it is already pretty clear that paid advertising in social media and perhaps in other forms in the internet will become huge in the coming months.
Companies will have to prepare themselves and expect to shell out some amount of money in order to get their brand names out there.
Ad Blockers and Native Advertising
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No one likes seeing those annoying pop-ups and advertisements because they ruin the ‘natural feel’ of navigating a website.
However, in the recent years, the use of ad blockers has become widespread among browsers and operating systems.
Ad blockers are obviously an internet marketer’s biggest nightmare and the only digital marketing strategy to get around it is to embrace native advertising.
As the name suggests, native ads look, read and feel very much like it is a non-promotional content so that it is not banned by ad blockers. In addition, native ads are much friendlier in the eyes of a consumer who does not like it when brands shove their products and services into their faces.
Mobile versus Desktop Traffic
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Mobile used to be considered a second screen but it seems that the tide has changed.
With an expected 2 billion smart phone owners this year, it is pretty obvious why mobile is starting to become the screen of choice for most online consumers. It is cheap, convenient and can pretty much do most things that desktop units can.
Business owners, therefore, have to take advantage of this shift in screen and make sure that their websites are responsive or come with a mobile version.
This not only means that a faster loading time is even more advantageous, it also means that your website should:
- Be able to capture email leads through mobile
- Be easily read, viewed and navigated around
- Has an interface that does not require a lot of finger tapping
Optimization for Digital Assistants
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Let’s all admit it: we are getting lazier and lazier every day. Even the simple act of doing an online search with our hands has become a tiresome chore – thus the popularity of digital assistants.
We cannot get away with it so the only way an online business can ride the wave of a trend and make sure that they do not get left out is to embrace it.
An integral part in your internet marketing strategy is to make sure that your sites are optimized for digital assistants to easily find it.
You certainly do not want Siri, Cortana or Alexa to get left out.
Growth of Virtual Reality, Wearable Technology and Internet of Things (IoT)
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Nothing else is more exciting than seeing technology present in your watches, sunglasses or even your ref magnet. How convenient can things get in the future? According to Hubspot, wearables will get an adoption rate at 28 percent in 2016 – and that is huge.
Earlier this year, Oculus Rift has also made its way into the market and technology giants such as Google and Facebook are already starting to invest their resources on virtual reality.
What does these things all mean to the digital marketer?
This means that you should provide more data for every move that your target audience makes. In the coming months, it will become more and more important how people think when they are on the Internet.