I can't believe we are already halfway through 2017! Time flies in the digital marketing world when you're having fun.
Now is a good time to ask yourself: Is your business where you thought it would be at this point in the year? Are you happy with your growth? Do you feel that you are blowing your competitors out of the water?
If you answered "no" to these questions, don't worry, there is still time to turn things around. With so many digital marketing techniques and fads out there, it can be hard to know what to do. I've come up with 5 ideas that could help improve your growth. Check them out!
1. Live Streaming
Live streaming became pretty big in 2016 when Facebook rolled out Facebook Live, allowing brands to interact with users in real time. In addition, Twitter started providing their users with the ability to stream directly from the Twitter App without using Periscope.
While live streaming is accessible and established now, you need to refrain from just jumping right in. Before you begin, take the time to come up with a strategy. Create authentic content that will improve your brand and your company growth. Some examples of such content could be:
- Events: Keep your customers and potential customers up to date on what's new and exciting with your brand. Use the event to showcase a new product. You can also broadcast an event that your company is holding.
- Explainer Videos: Explainer videos are short (60-90 second) online marketing videos used to explain your company’s product or service. It should educate and entertain. They are a great way for any business to jump start conversion rates. Viewers are anywhere from 64-85% more likely to buy after watching a product video. Think about using them on your website's homepage, a landing page, or a product page.
- Behind the Scenes: Give your followers an exclusive look into your company by shooting some behind the scenes footage. Show them how your company operates. Put faces to the names that they have probably seen while digesting content on your site. This helps to humanize your brand and lets people see a side of your business they haven't seen before.
When thinking about your live streaming content, remember to keep in mind the questions that your ideal customers want answered. Create videos that help them solve their pain points with your solutions. A great resource to check out is this blog on marketing video concepts to help drive leads. Remember that video can give your website an advantage in search results because it doubles the amount of time people spend interacting with your site — a strong indicator to Google that your content is valuable and relevant.
2. Focus on the Data in your Conversion Rates
All conversions are not created equal. Whatever your business may be, it's probably safe to say that your database consists of a wide array of customer lifetime values, based on their purchases. It's important to dig in and find out who your most valuable and least valuable customers are.
Here's an example of what I'm talking about. Let's say you own a coffee shop. You have that customer that comes in every morning before a long day of work to get their caffeine for the day. They order a large coffee, with soy milk, extra hot, with a shot of mocha, and a shot of caramel. A customer such as this is far more valuable than the one that comes in only when there is a Groupon deal for half of a large coffee and stays in the coffee shop to use up the free Wi-Fi.
Most likely, a small percentage of your customers are making up a big portion of your revenue. So just who ARE these customers? This question can be answered by the data you probably already have. Some analysis can reveal metrics such as gender, age, location, and other behavioral data.
From there, assess the data you have surrounding your marketing efforts. Find out what channels are converting the best and integrate these findings with your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Every ad that’s served and clicked, every interaction on your website or mobile app, and every social interaction has the potential to become a rich part of that customer data set and can be used to predict the value of future prospects. Focusing on this overall data and high customer lifetime values will help you allocate your marketing dollars more effectively, resulting in a higher ROI.
3. Conduct a Website Technical Audit
From a marketing perspective, it's essential to audit your website. This can lead to improved website performance, enhanced SEO, and even an increased number of conversions.
There are 2 main parts of a website audit, technical and content. I'll go into more detail about the content audit below, but for now, let's just talk about the technical audit. You want to make sure your website is technically up to par, resulting in an enhanced user experience. You want to look for things such as:
- Responsiveness - Is your website mobile-friendly? With 75% of internet usage coming from mobile, it is clear to see it's important to have a mobile responsive website.
- Find and Fix Error Messages - Errors, such as 404 messages, are annoying and just lead users to a dead end. Use a tool such as SEMrush or Google Webmaster Tools to find these errors and broken links to better your site's user experience.
- Consistent Website Design - Humans are visual creatures. To ensure a good user experience, it's important to check your website for consistency in both design and content. Your site should be familiar to users as well easy to navigate. To learn more about the difference between good and bad web design, check out this blog.
- Optimized Site Structure - It's important to have your site optimized for search engines. Those pages that are not internally linked to from other pages on your site are less likely to be indexed. At the same time, your site's architecture should help users to have a seamless experience as they are guided through the sales funnel.
4. Conduct a Website Content Audit
When performing a content audit to determine website effectiveness, you should focus on the content housed within your website, from actual website pages to blog posts and landing pages. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Is Your Content High Quality? Start by thinking about your content from the perspective of your buyer persona. Good, quality content should appeal to their interests and help solve their problems. You want it to be valuable, well written and leave the reader with actionable next steps. Review content that is new as well as older content. For helpful tips on auditing old content, check out this blog post.
- Is Your Website Content Following SEO Best Practices? You want to conduct a keyword analysis to audit your content for on-page SEO. Review your keyword performance and the target keywords that you are using on your site for relevancy. It's also important to look at elements such as URLs, meta descriptions, and page titles to make sure they are optimized to best practice.
- Is Your Website Content Optimized for Conversions? It's obviously great to have really high traffic numbers, but what happens with those leads is even more important. This is where having optimized calls-to-action (CTAs), landing pages, and offers come into play with your website performance. These are valuable tools used to capture information on your leads so you can nurture them. Do you have content offers for every stage of the funnel? Do your landing page forms ask appropriate questions? Are you effectively using CTAs throughout your site? Ask yourself these questions to determine if your site is generating leads and converting them the most effective way.
5. Snapchat Advertising
Snapchat ads are not going to be for every business out there. Before you jump in, determine if this will be something that's beneficial for your brand. Last year, Snapchat surpassed Twitter and Pinterest to become the fastest-growing social media company in the U.S. Digital-marketing researcher eMarketer estimates that U.S. advertisers will spend as much as $804.5 million in 2017 on Snapchat advertising.
So, how can Snapchat ads help your business? Snapchat recently expanded its ad offerings with these 3 new innovations:
- World Lenses - World Lenses is an extension on their Sponsored Lens, which already let advertisers turn users' selfies into ads. With the Sponsored World Lenses, advertisers can also create content for the rest of the photo beyond the face, including floating 2D or 3D objects, interactive content, and other items.
- Audience Lenses - Audience Lenses allows advertisers to buy regionally targeted Lenses for the first time. They are based on location and demographics and tie into Snapchat's Lifestyle Categories. Advertisers can use this data to position a campaign for certain audiences.
- Smart Geofilters - This ad type allows users to activate branded overlays. The new types of geofilters can automatically add a variety of information to snaps, such as high schools, colleges, airports, states, cities, neighborhoods, and ZIP codes.
As I mentioned earlier, Snapchat ads are not for every business as Snapchat tends to attract a younger audience. With the expanded targeting options, it could be a great way for brands to reach a highly desired millennial audience.
There is so much to look forward to in the digital marketing world. With new innovations around every corner, there is no shortage of exciting ways to engage with your prospects and improve your growth.
Marketing success doesn't happen overnight. It takes thoughtful strategy and research to grow your business. Learn more in our "8 Steps to Online Marketing Success."