Spring represents new life, growth, and resilience. The emergence of new flora and fauna inspires us to look to changes within ourselves – to slough off the old, dead debris and start anew. People start cleaning out their houses, dusting off their furniture, preparing their gardens, and donning a sunnier attitude. With the myriad exciting changes coming to the digital marketing world this year, perhaps now is a great time to reevaluate marketing strategies, as well.
The world of internet marketing forces us to constantly adapt to its ever-changing environment. Search algorithms are becoming more intelligent; automation platforms are evolving, and social media is providing marketers with more insight than ever before. On average, brands dedicate roughly 15% of their marketing budgets solely to content creation, and for good reason. Content marketing came out on top this year as the most effective digital marketing tool, ahead of big data and mobile marketing. So, how do we adapt to the future of content marketing and integrate this mixed bag of marketing tools?
Get Your Hands Dirty and Dig In to Social Media
Once you post something on the internet, it stays in one place. So it’s up to you to drive traffic to your post before it becomes just another page floating in the ether of unnoticed web content. This is where social media has always been helpful, and it’s only getting better. By the end of this year, companies that aren’t engaged with social media may as well be left in the dust, so be sure to maximize social media sharing by joining multiple networks and catering content to each. Use Instagram or Pinterest to promote images relevant to your brand; post links on twitter; host polls on Facebook, and come up with creative and interesting ways to keep people clicking and sharing.
Sow Your Content Like Wildflower Seeds
Now is a great time to start researching other areas to distribute content. While a website and blog are an absolute must in this day and age, that’s not going to put you ahead of the competition. The more content you have spread across the web, the more noticeable your content will be to those little SEO bots. Marketing experts are predicting the resurgence of guest blogging, and it’s a bandwagon that’s worth jumping on.
The trick to successful guest blogging is to look for the holy tri-force of all content marketing: high-quality, relevancy, and interest. If you’re going to guest post your content, it had better be good. While guest posting is a great way to market your brand to a targeted audience while increasing traffic, it’s only effective if both your content and the hosting site are of the utmost quality. Subpar, spammy content is no longer tolerated, and it is actually penalized by Google.
Shine a Little Light on Big Data
Data analytics are powerful tools often used incorrectly or not enough, with only a rough 5-10% of companies consulting their data before designing a new marketing campaign. The mountains of data collected by these tools can make analysis seem like a daunting and time-consuming task. There are far too many businesses only using analytical tools for keyword research – but there is so much more to what these powerhouse platforms can do! Is your brand an avid social media participant?
Link social media management tools to your analytics platform to track which posts garner the most clicks and shares. Are you a fan of e-mail marketing? There’s a platform for that, too – and it lets you track clicks from links in your e-mail campaign all the way up to the purchase point. Want to see the bigger picture? Use cross-platform, integrated analytics to view data from all of your campaigns in one dashboard. You can track traffic behavior, sources, conversion rates, and type of content being viewed. Analytics tools allows businesses to monitor target market behavior in tangible ways and provides you with the insight to build relevant, high-quality, customized content.
Reap the Benefits of Mobile Optimization
It is projected that mobile searches will far surpass desktop searches by the end of this year, so mobile optimization shouldn’t be a new concept to businesses. In fact, if your company site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, it’s going to start hurting your marketing campaigns. Starting April 21st, Google will begin ranking websites based on mobile optimization and penalizing those that aren’t. Keep in mind mobile optimization goes beyond displaying content across devices – the content itself needs to be catered to smaller screens and easier clicks.
Bigger CTA buttons are easier for touch screen clicking, while consolidating headlines will keep them all in one line of text. Try to achieve a balance in keeping quality content while leaving more room for large CTA buttons. Keep your mobile audience in mind when creating content, but don’t neglect the desktop experience while doing so. Consumers expect to be able to move seamlessly between mobile searches and desktop websites, so make sure all channels are up to modern day standards. With mobile optimization, balance is key. With a balanced and thoughtfully designed campaign, you should be able to see your search rankings and conversion rates soar quickly.
As the future of technology continues to change, so must our digital marketing strategies. Content marketing is the giant in the digital world right now, and it is only getting bigger. Every update that takes place breeds a new host of tools, tricks, and challenges, and only the businesses that embrace these fluctuations will stay on top.
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