Now that you’ve got a handle on digital marketing, here are 10 digital marketing trends every small business should factor into their plans.
1. Email marketing personalization via marketing automation
Nearly six in 10 marketers say personalization is their most effective email marketing tactic; in fact, emails that have personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. AI-powered automation tools can help you personalize email messaging by analyzing the data you capture about your email subscribers (such as what they open, click on and buy) and using it to deliver the right message at the right time.
2. Voice search
Voice search currently accounts for one third of all Google searches, and by 2020, is expected to account for one-half. Good general SEO will help you rank high in voice search, according to a recent study. But you can additionally optimize for voice search using keywords and phrases that sound the way people talk (“What bakeries are open right now?”) rather than the way they’d type into a search engine (“bakeries open now”). Creating an FAQ page on your website that answers questions people might ask about your product can also help optimize for voice search.
3. Content marketing overload
With so much content out there, are your prospects really paying attention? To keep driving customers to your website, make this the year you focus on creating less, but better, content. Instead of constantly churning out blog posts stuffed with SEO keywords, try crafting one or two really good, longer pieces of content a month. Content that answers prospects’ or customers’ questions in a way no one else is doing can really stand out.
4. Google My Business is more important than ever
Google search results prioritize Google My Business listings. As a result, many searchers don’t bother paging below these or clicking through to a website. they get all the info they need from GMB. Make sure your Google My Business page makes the cut by regularly adding new photos, posts, offers or videos and keeping your description current. You can now add Posts in Google My Business, too. Think of your GMB result as its own little website and add all the info you can to it.
5. PPC advertising comes of age
The Google search engine results page is getting crowded and fewer people are ignoring the ads at the top. Google’s algorithm is getting great at delivering relevant ads, and even being at the top of organic search results won’t get you the customer’s attention if that customer doesn’t scroll down. If you’re not already doing so, make this the year you incorporate PPC ads into your marketing plan.
6. Omnichannel marketing
Prospects use more than one digital channel to investigate your business. They might do an online search and see your Google My Business listing, click through to your website and read your reviews. That’s why all of your digital marketing efforts need to work together to promote a consistent branding message.
8. Online video
By 2020, video will account for more than 85% of all consumer internet traffic in the U.S. (Already, YouTube is the second most popular website, surpassed only by Google.) Today’s up and coming Gen Z, in particular, has grown up watching YouTube videos and it’s the place they turn to for the answers to everything. Videos that show viewers how to do something, help solve their problems, interview industry experts or provide an insider’s look into your business are all popular ways to attract attention. Creating a YouTube channel is free and exposes your videos to a wider audience. Also look into getting online influencers to review your products. it can make a huge difference to your business.
9. Tell your story
Consumers crave authentic interaction with businesses. They want to know your story. Be transparent about your business, your staff and your values. In the digital world, live-action or short-term video content such as Stories on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube creates a feeling of immediacy and intimacy that can help build a bond with your target market.
10. Social media backlash
Facebook privacy problems such as the Cambridge Analytica data-sharing scandal have driven some users from the platform, and if you’re targeting millennial and younger users, Instagram is the place to be, with the vast majority of its users aged 18 to 34. But Instagram isn’t immune from backlash either, as the platform recently took steps to remove inauthentic likes and fake followers from influencers’ accounts. Remember, honest interaction is more important than numbers.
What digital marketing tactics do you currently use, and which are you planning to add to your arsenal?