The trends in digital marketing are constantly changing. Every year brings new marketing strategies that need to be identified and integrated into the game plans of large and small companies, otherwise a lot of money will remain on the table.
When it comes to online search, Google is way ahead of the competition, accounting for 94% of all organic traffic and 96% of all smartphone search traffic. This makes getting your business on the first page of Google the most important factor in your digital marketing success.
The good news is that Google’s search engine algorithm doesn’t care if you’re a large or small business. Only those who use Google-approved techniques can see their website on Google’s top real estate – the first page of the search results page (SERP).
Let’s take a look at some simple hacks digital marketers are using to ensure their websites rank higher in the SERPs and get the most out of their traffic.
7 digital marketing hacks
1. Optimizing the email strategy
Email has been around for years, but it’s still going nowhere. Around 80% of marketers have reported an increase in email engagement in the past twelve months.
Another exciting statistic for anyone thinking about using more email in their marketing campaigns is that small business email marketing has the highest return on investment. Of course, this is only possible with a well-designed email that contains concise text and an appealing message.
One of the most effective marketing tools is the ability to segment your email marketing strategy to suit your customer base. For example, marketers constantly use the holiday season to offer incentives to their customers, such as discount codes for those who left their website with an item in their cart.
2. Using the AIDA formula
AIDA stands for attention, interest, desire and action. Here is a description of Lucidchart to show how it can be used in marketing.
This marketing strategy has been around for a while – 1898 to be precise. And guess what? It still works.
In fact, AIDA works great on almost all marketing channels to grab the reader’s attention, arouse a sense of desire, draw the strands of the heart and offer them a solution to their problem. This proven formula has been used in the past, is still used today, and should definitely be used when marketing a small business in the year ahead.
3. Comprehensive video marketing
Video has become a driving force in digital marketing, and that trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. In fact, research suggests that video will account for nearly 82% of consumer internet traffic by 2021.
Live and branded video are two of the most popular trends in video marketing right now, and people continue to find new and exciting ways to delight their audiences with video content.
The nice thing about using live video is that it is interactive and allows the audience to join the conversation by calling each other or leaving a comment that can be answered during the live session. It is estimated that live video will account for 13% of all video traffic by 2021, making it an excellent strategy for companies that are constantly thinking outside the box.
Contrary to popular belief, creating an explanatory, how-to or product description video doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. All you have to do is invest in a good camera and microphone, or you can even use your smartphone. Instead of spending a lot of money on expensive editing tools, you can use apps that are powerful enough to create a professional-looking video.
To generate more search traffic for your website, make sure to design it well, include informative content, and address a defined problem that your ideal customer is facing.
Optimizing the video on YouTube with relevant keywords increases the chances that your video will get more views. And pay special attention to the title of the video – it should sound unique and engaging. For example, “learning how to tie a bow tie” doesn’t sound as good as “learning how to tie the perfect bow tie”.
While there are plenty of videos on a similar topic, your content should stand out from the rest.
4. Creating novel content
The content you publish serves as the currency for your marketing strategies. While creating the usual blogs and articles is good for generating traffic, it is not enough to simply write content that will educate your audience. More and more companies are learning the importance of connecting with their audience. In fact, many successful brands are already using content that engages their audience along with content that educates them.
One type of content that is becoming increasingly popular is novel content. This is the content that is placed alongside the traditional content of blogs, articles, e-books and videos. Similar to videos, creating content that speaks to your audience is also possible through polls, quizzes, and competitions that allow the audience to vote or give their opinion on a specific topic. Try to keep this content relevant to your business.
Leaking content that seems to be inspired by the Snapchat model is also enjoying increasing popularity with the younger crowd. Expiring content will remain on your website or social media for a period of time before it is removed. This creates a sense of urgency that can encourage viewers to act. To entice your audience into using content that is being phased out, you can add a discount code that will appear for a limited time before it is removed.
5. Recognize the difference between marketing and branding
Anyone investing in online marketing needs to understand the difference between marketing and branding. Although these two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, their meanings are very different.
When it comes to the consumer, your brand is not the product or service you offer, it is the logo, website design and message across all platforms that you send to your customers. In other words, branding is how audiences perceive your company.
Digital marketing, on the other hand, uses tactics aimed at amplifying your branding efforts. This means that your marketing efforts should reinforce your brand’s message, and not have the opposite effect. However, this is the point where many small businesses fail as they use marketing campaigns that are more focused on their product or service rather than generating interest and cultivating a community on social media platforms.
Obviously promoting your product or service on social media is not going to help you build a community of loyal followers. In fact, it can even have a negative impact on the overall appeal of your brand to your audience.
6. Make good use of ads for local services (LSAs)
LSAs, or ads for local services, are similar to Google Ads, but they differ greatly in their effectiveness in promoting your products or services. In short, LSAs are pay-per-lead ads that are now showing up at the top of Google search results. Originally released in 2017, LSAs are slowly gaining ground and being rolled out to small markets as well.
Currently, LSAs seem to be focused on home service providers such as electricians, locksmiths, painters, home cleaning and plumbers. If you offer any of these services, it is time you started using LSAs to increase your reach. However, there is no doubt that their use will expand to other companies as well.
Unlike Google Ads, you don’t have to pay for clicks, but for leads that are relevant to your business.
Here’s how ads for local services work:
- You can set a weekly budget based on the average number of leads you expect.
- Leads can be challenged if you think they are irrelevant or not useful. If successful, the leads will be credited back to you later.
- Even though you may end up spending more than your average weekly budget on LSAs, the model makes it unlikely that you’ll be spending more money each month equal to the average budget in a week multiplied by the average number of weeks in a given case becomes month. Setting up your LSAs is also relatively easy and doesn’t require a steep learning curve.
With patience, using LSAs can be useful in generating leads. However, if you are a startup or small business on a tight budget, testing the LSAs may not be for you right now.
7. Be smart with SEO
Some people say that SEO is dead. We ask you to disagree. In fact, search engine optimization is more important than ever when it comes to indexing your website on Google. While SEO trends are constantly changing, Google seems to be focusing on the distinction between search and intent.
For example, the use of terms such as “Web Design Miami” could indicate web design companies while “Web Design Company in Miami” could begin to indicate job boards.
That means that in order to be successful with your SEO strategy you need to segment the queries you want to rank for and make competitive analysis a big part of your SEO strategy.
If we have learned anything from the past, it is that in online marketing, the best marketing practices still exist, and keeping your marketing strategy simple really works.
Digital marketing best practices provide small businesses with a guide on which strategy to use to improve their digital marketing results. However, these formulas are not set in stone, which means that you will need to keep tweaking your digital marketing strategy to get the best ROI.