Staying up to date with your marketing strategies is not an easy task, especially if you want to stay ahead of your competitors. In this technology driven social environment, you need to be able to keep up with shifting consumer interests by incorporating unique and effective digital marketing strategies. However, identifying the successful tactics and platforms out of the plethora of ineffective technologies claiming to be the “best” can be a full-time job. Put more resources towards product development instead of the time-consuming vetting process warranted by budding digital marketing proposals by staying on top of the latest trends. We’ve compiled five marketing trends to keep an eye on in 2020 and where we believe our partners should be investing their marketing budgets next year.
1. Influencer Marketing
You have probably heard about famous YouTubers like Logan Paul and Ryan’s Toys Review, as well as Instagrammer Kylie Jenner. These are monumental voices in the current social world with a following so large, that their simple endorsement can cause notable shifts in consumer behavior. Although getting one of these personalities to endorse your brand would be an incredible amount of money, a more affordable option is available. For those with more modest budgets, a micro-influencer may be able to give you results on a smaller, more local scale. You might be asking yourself “Why should I invest in a social media influencer?” The answer is simple: it gets results.
Micro-influencers may not have the clout of the big names above, but still entertain audiences between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. Followers of influencers tend to want, or already have, values and beliefs similar to the influencer. So, finding influencer support consistent with your brand image will draw similar consumers to your offerings. Word-of-mouth has always been a strong contributor to sales and a mere suggestion, whether from a close friend or social influencer, is often enough to merit a purchase decision. Our own client, BigShots Golf, has taken advantage of this tactic! The Pittman ladies of the “Wherever I May Roam Blog” created content for the recreational golf local and shared it on their Instagram feed which has over 13k followers. This has immediate brand awareness benefits to our client and adds instant credibility-backed by the simple support of a popular local blog.
2. Voice Search
Since 2018 voice search has been a trend on the rise, and in 2020 it’s going to be crucial to have content optimized for this capability. The way we search for content online is changing! Voice-only search effectively removes the screen from the equation, allowing desktop and mobile users to bypass scrolling and clicking in favor of simple verbal commands. Google (and many others) has already made substantial updates on its search engine algorithm, focusing on NLP’s (Natural Language Processing). With over 20% of Google’s searches currently coming from mobile, it’s easy to understand why this is getting a lot of attention from search engine platforms.
Users are looking for quick answers and a better user experience so ignoring this particular trend may actually have a negative impact to your bottom line. If your consumers have trouble finding you or your products/services through their preferred method of search, it is likely they will find someone else who facilitates that process for them. For next year, focus on making sure your website is compatible with this new age user by having your SEO team optimize its content for voice search.
Chatbots allow for seamless communication between two parties in order to accomplish some sort of action. Many chatbots have a structure similar to a search engine, filtering and combining keywords in an attempt to understand what the user is asking. Chatbots are used for a variety of functions like scheduling appointments, answering customer questions or requests, and aiding in the sales process. Having a “trained” chatbot is crucial for brands that offer online customer support. Your website may have a “Frequently Asked Questions” page, however, the user often has unique questions that warrant additional support. In a time of abundant competition, it is critical your company is prepared to address customer concerns in a timely manner or you risk losing the business to your direct competitor in mere seconds. In cases that an FAQ page is unsatisfactory, a chatbot can be programmed to answer questions and make logical decisions on the fly. In 2020, assess how you communicate with customers digitally, and perhaps a chatbot may be a simple solution to streamline your communication process.
4. Micro Moments
Do you know that moment when you reach for your phone to answer a message, turn on music, or Google something? That’s called a micro moment. This is the term for the few brief seconds in time where a decision is made to act on something and where preferences are shaped by the experience you have performing the action. What happens in these micro moments is a unique and assessable exchange of human and technological interactions and brands need to be ready to deliver what’s expected from them in those specific moments. In recent years, mobile usage has increased. Google even has a whole library dedicated to the subject, which means this trend is going to be more and more significant in the near future. How can we leverage these moments to learn more about how our customers interact with our digital marketing? This is why it’s so important to have your brand’s points of contact sharp and concise in every digital channel.
5. Social Commerce
Social commerce is a technique allowing retailers to sell products on social media platforms and therefore connecting the voices of the people directly to the products they love to share. With Instagram planning to hide likes in the near future, brands will start linking influencer content to shopping tools as a way to measure ROI. Besides that, having fewer steps to make a purchase is a no brainer. Users can buy products or services without even leaving the social channel. For example, they can swipe up inside Instagram Stories for access to affiliate stores, or use Facebook Marketplace for local deals and offers. Not only are social channels focused on growing audience numbers, but also building awareness and engagement, which increases the desire to make in-app purchases. This is certainly something that will be growing and being refined in 2020, and could be a way for you to reach your customers where they already spend their time.
As an agency that keeps up to date with digital trends, Strategic Marketing can provide you with solutions that have stood the test of time, as well as the emerging successful strategies that will help brand growth. If you believe any of these trends could be in your marketing plan for next year, don’t hesitate to contact Strategic Marketing so we can show you how to leverage these new tactics for actual results.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a common tactic for just about every business, as it is a surefire way to reach the top of the search engine results page. This can increase website traffic, which ideally drives more sales. Oftentimes, Google AdWords, now called Google Ads, is considered the king of PPC advertising. It promotes itself as an easy-to-use, DIY way to break into search engine marketing. While this can be a powerful and effective method for your business, there are some limitations to keep in mind. If not managed properly, your AdWords campaign could turn into a money pit. However, there are other ways to run a successful PPC campaign. Here are a few reasons why AdWords might not be enough for your business.
Although at first glance Google AdWords seems like an intuitive and straightforward tool, it is quite the contrary. AdWords is a game you have to master through experience, testing, and diligence. For those with limited time and small budgets, this isn’t always an option. Failing to select the right keywords and optimize your bids correctly could be a costly mistake.
Potential to Lose Money
Without the tested knowledge and familiarity of Google AdWords, your campaigns could be spending more money than they make. If your PPC ads neglect to meet Google’s evolving guidelines, your quality score will decrease. The lower your quality score, the more you have to pay for the keywords you want. Keyword selection can be a challenging task that requires the proper experience, especially when you’re competing against large companies for particular search terms.
Beware of Google’s Recommendations
It’s good to remember that Google is a business. This means that their goal is to make money off your AdWords campaign and maximize their profits. They’re likely to recommend that you pay more and opt for popular (and expensive) keywords to rank the highest on their results page. These recommendations are good, but you have to be smart about your strategies. This requires testing the results to see what price you actually end up paying per click. You can then adjust your settings based on your business needs, rather than checking the box on everything Google wants.
Requires a Lot of Manpower
While setting up a Google AdWords campaign is easy, setting up a cost-effective campaign is a bit more demanding. The details matter, so setting up everything just right will take time and effort. Not to mention maintaining your campaign is a whole other story. This can include optimizing keywords regularly, analyzing success as measured by your specific parameters and editing ad copy among other tasks. It’s an ongoing process that calls for committed manpower.
SmartClick – a Powerful PPC Solution from Strategic Marketing
Strategic Marketing offers a fully automated pay-per-click platform called SmartClick. This effective tool can manage your paid search campaigns across all major search engines, including Google, Bing and Yahoo. SmartClick can track your campaign’s phone calls, emails, form fills and other web events back to the keywords that generated them. Rather than setting up an AdWords campaign yourself, use SmartClick to maximize profits while saving you time. To learn more about our PPC advertising platform, contact us today by visiting our contact page or calling (561) 688-8155.
Your business’s online reputation precedes you when it comes to consumer purchase decisions. That’s great news if your business has a strong reputation but can be a major issue if your reputation is less than stellar. While negative reviews can sting, they don’t have to prevent your business from reaching its highest potential. With the right reputation management strategy at the helm, you can put the bad reviews in the past and move your business forward. Thanks to social media and countless review sites, word of mouth travels fast. This makes reputation management crucial for growing your business and increasing your customer base. Read on to learn how an effective reputation management strategy can help your business as well as some best practices.
Build Trustworthiness Online
When the rubber meets the road, consumers trust people more than ads. Your online presence can become trusted and credible if customers have encouraging things to say about your business. Managing your reputation properly will keep your record clean by highlighting the positive aspects of your brand. A positive online reputation is powerful enough to establish your business as a dependable leader in its industry.
Enhance SEO Rankings
Not only do online shoppers trust people more than ads, Google and other search engines do as well. Search engines are smart enough to promote the best possible websites on the results page, and take into account what people have to say about your business via reviews and social media sites. A solid reputation management strategy can help to improve search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and result in higher rankings.
A trustworthy business coupled with high visibility in search engine results can lead to an increase in revenue. Purchase decisions may lean in your favor as long as consumers find value and credibility in what you have to offer. Reputation management will improve the chances of someone finding your business and becoming a loyal customer. Growing your customer base will grow your bottom line, so the impact of your online reputation is considerable.
When it comes to managing your online reputation, it’s important to be proactive rather than reactive. If you’re ready to build an effective reputation management strategy, there are several things to consider. Since your business’s reputation speaks volumes to potential customers, make sure that you implement best practices into your approach. We’ve outlined a few important ones here, so keep reading to learn how you can make the most of your online reputation.
Respond To Your Comments – Good and Bad
While responding to positive comments can be an enjoyable task, responding to negative ones is where it gets tricky. Negative reviews can be damaging to the reputation of your business, so make sure to address them. Offering a response in a timely manner and making a genuine effort to right any wrongs can reassure unhappy customers, encouraging them to return to your business. This is also appealing to outsiders who see that you’re a responsive company who cares about their customers.
Generate Plenty of Positive Reviews
Given their value to search engines, you’ll want as many positive reviews as possible. Your review generation tactics should go hand-in-hand with reputation management in order to keep these reviews positive. As mentioned, search engines prioritize websites that have consistent, relevant and unique customer reviews since this type of content is highly useful to consumers. An efficient way to approach review generation is with a platform that automates the customer survey process, generating reviews for your business around the clock.
Stay Attentive to Your Online Reputation
Although this may seem obvious, your online reputation needs to be managed full-time. There are online reputation management tools that makes this a very plausible task for your business. These tools are able to automatically survey the internet, monitoring issues and opportunities that can help your business build trust and credibility. Reputation management services can generate prompt customer feedback, alert your business when negative feedback is posted and allow you to showcase your brand in a positive light.
Powerful Reputation Management with SmartRep – Strategic Marketing
Strategic Marketing is a full-service advertising agency that has a solution for businesses looking to improve their online reputation. Our reputation management platform, SmartRep, allows your business to maximize positive customer feedback and easily handle potentially damaging reviews. Our automated software will publish positive reviews to various review sites and social media pages. This powerful reputation management software makes generating and managing online reviews simple, with an easy-to-use dashboard. To learn more about SmartRep, contact us today by calling (561) 688-8155.