As a freelance marketer, I'm always being questioned (usually over coffee) what marketing trends to look out for in the future. As the online-marketing world is a dynamically changing phenomena, I'm always hesitant to say what 'the next THING' is going to be. Today, I'm sharing with you my 5 top (not to mention easy) tips on how you can improve your marketing RIGHT NOW!
1. Create meaningful content
You've probably heard the term 'algorithm' before if you've ever tried to improve your 'Google ranking' or 'organic Facebook reach'. Put simply, these elusive algorithms are a set of somewhat mysterious rules made up by companies such as Google, Bing and Facebook that determine who sees your content.
- Utilise tools such as Google's Keyword Research tool to understand what keywords relate to your business, and develop content accordingly.
- Use Alexa to research peers websites and find out what types of content resonates with your shared audience. Now this isn't about becoming a copy-cat: it's simply about sparking ideas, and then putting your own spin on the topic area.
2. Develop your mailing list
By now you probably know I'm a huge fan of mailing lists - it's why I created a free e-course on the topic. But I really can't stress enough how important it is for any type of business that wishes to engage in an online environment.
Whether you're a service-based business, or you're a physical store that's just beginning to dabble in the online world, your mailing list is the key to connecting with your audience and reminding them how you can help them!
More often that not, people scrolling through their inbox that click on your email are likely to click through one of those links to your site. When on social media your audience may become more caught up in getting as much new information as possible, in as short amount of time.
As another bonus, your email list is one of the only platforms where you have 100% control over the content that shows up for your audience. Once they've opted-in, it's only a matter of not being sent to the junk mail folder, and you've got a captive audience at the ready - no confusing/mysterious algorithms in sight!
3. Stop being scared of social media
I'll admit, I was pretty wary of getting on social media in a business sense. As a marketing strategist, and developing social stragies for clients, I knew that I needed to be on Social Media in order to grow my business, but I just didn't feel like I wanted to be strapped to the thing. I liked to come and go as I please, without feeling guilty if I didn't show up for a few days at a time! Once I made the leap, it wasn't half as bad as I thought!
So if you're anything like I was, and are still hesitant to start growing your business using social media, here's a few of my tips:
- Pick one platform: I started out with Instagram, however soon realised that Facebook allowed me to share my message with my tribe in a much more authentic way. Whilst I'm still on Instagram, I tend to keep it to more of a personal sharing platform, full of images that inspire and excite me. Facebook is generally where I'm sharing content, tips and behind-the-scenes looks at my business.
- Don't take it so seriously. Ok, I'm all for the strategy - in fact I love the strategy. But if one of the things that is holding you back from embarking on social media for your business is being scared of sharing your brand on the platform, I want to encourage you to just have fun with it. Start of by just sharing from the heart, and then as you get a little more comfortable you can start to analyse what's worked and what hasn't and start to develop your strategy from there!
4. Become a videographer
2015 really was the year of the video. Whether you're posting on Youtube, Vimeo, Instagram or even Facebook - the truth is, video is a great way to not only get your face infront of your tribe - a must for the relationship marketing age, but it's also a great way to provide additional education on your products/services and your knowledge in general to your tribe.
Video, being a much more interactive and engaging tool than blogging or social media alone allows your audience to delve into the topic area a little deeper without really having to read an entire long-winded blog post!
If you're a little scared of the video-machine, try your hand at Snapchat or Periscope, where your videos aren't set in stone for eternity and you can afford to be a little more candid on-screen.
5. Get mobile
In 2015 Google introduced an algorithm (one of the ones they've told us about) that affects how your site is ranked according to it's mobile optimisation. With over 50% of internet searches being completed on a mobile device, Google decided to shake things up, and make an algorithm that either enhanced or devalued your SEO ranking on a mobile device according to whether or not the site was mobile compatible.
Your Google ranking is one thing, but hands up if you've ever Googled a product whilst standing in a physical store - just to see if you can get a cheaper price, or find out a little more about the product before you buy! (It's okay - I'll admit I've done it too!). Chances are, if your potential client is browsing your site on a mobile device, and it's NOT optimised for their viewing pleasure, then they're going to get pretty fed up and leave sooner rather than later!
With X amount of the population owning a smartphone device, chances are you're going to be seen on mobile, so you could at least be looking your best!
6. Pin It!
I know I mentioned Social Media before, but I feel that Pinterest deserves a special mention. Whether you're selling a product or marketing your services through content creation, Pinterest is a rapidly fast-growing platform for sharing your business in a viral sense. Making sure that your content includes 'Pinnable' images and your products shots are Pin-worthy can increase your chances of your sites content being shared over and over and over again across the interwebs.
I recently evaluated a big-wig peers site, using Alexa.com and realised that roughly 5% of her site traffic was coming from organic SEO search, and over 50% was being directed to her from Pinterest alone. That's a pretty big load of traffic to be missing out on!!
Make sure you've upgraded to a Business Account and installed Rich Pins on your site, to really optimise your content for Pinterest.
There you have it, 6 Marketing trends you can't afford to keep ignoring. Which one will you implement first?