Written by: James Ponds
Marketing strategies and best practices seem to change daily, making it difficult to keep up with them. While most tactics depend on your particular business and industry, here are some general tips to implement in your marketing plan.
Optimize Your Website
You’ve probably heard the term Search Engine Optimization thrown around a lot recently. That’s because SEO is the lifeblood of most websites. After all, if your customers can’t find you when they search for you, what’s the point? Even if you’ve been making your content SEO-friendly, it may be beneficial to conduct a technical SEO audit to make sure everything is working as it should. This can help you find areas where search engines might be penalizing you so that you can fix them and improve for the future.
Focus on Creating Valuable Content
Customers, especially younger ones, are hungry for quality content. An overabundance of flashy digital ads has turned them into white noise, making it difficult to make an impression by advertisement alone. Instead, earn your audience’s trust through informative or entertaining articles, videos, and infographics that you know they’re interested in. Keep sales pitches and links as subtle opportunities instead of making sales the whole point of your article. This shows that you care about your consumers and understand them, rather than seeing them as just another buyer.
Maintain a Social Media Presence
If your target audience is on social media, you should be there too. You don’t need to be on every platform, but figure out which platforms will be the most effective for your business, and get involved. Maintain your organization’s voice, but adapt it to be more personable and approachable when you post and comment. You’ll seem more transparent and relatable to customers. There is no need to post every day, but regularly releasing content and responding to all questions and comments will go a long way.
Incorporate Video Into Your Plan
Video continues to take over the internet with YouTube coming in as a top search engine, and it isn’t going away. Take advantage of this by finding ways to incorporate videos into your marketing strategy. Try a casual behind-the-scenes feature for social media, film a demonstration of a product or service to post on YouTube (and social media), or create a virtual tour of your facilities to put on your website. Don’t be afraid of working in a few long-form or highly informal videos as well, as both are gaining popularity.
Use Data to Inform Your Decisions
Now more than ever you can track the return on your marketing efforts. From Facebook to Google, you can know exactly what’s working and what isn’t. Pay close attention to this instead of taking a shot in the dark with your money. Test new strategies, but ultimately invest your big bucks into what works. If the results aren’t what you thought they would be, don’t waste time arguing with the data, and figure out what you need to do to capitalize on what’s performing well.
Remember Your Audience
Your customers are individuals with human desires and needs. You’ve probably done plenty of research on who they are and what they want from your company, so don’t let that get lost in the newest trends. Just because something is the most popular thing to do doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your organization. Find ways to better reach your audience, and invest in those. Ask them how they prefer to communicate, where they heard about you, and what they want from you in the future, and then adjust accordingly. That will earn their trust and loyalty more than any fancy ad could.
Even though it can be frustrating that the marketing landscape is ever-shifting, that’s also what makes it a fun and rewarding endeavor. Revisit your marketing plan often, don’t be afraid to make adjustments, and stay audience-focused, and you will be able to keep your organization thriving in new territory.