The Blog


Effective marketing strategies are ever-changing. They constantly need to be modified based on the changes and development in media and communication. Considering 2013 is quickly coming to an end, make the most of your business in 2014 by taking into consideration a few trends.

social-media-logos

 Social Media will be a MUST.

Social media will move from “maybe” to “definitely” in 2014. It will no longer be considered just a free promotional tool. It’s becoming increasingly important to incorporate social media into a company’s overall marketing strategy. It helps broadcast the message, keeps customers engaged and allows for a well rounded relationship between a business and customer. When developing a marketing strategy for 2014, social media will help strengthen your relationships but it will also give you direct access to notify your fans about events, rewards, perks, etc. We’ve seen this year that social media is a conversational marketing tool that if used correctly, can take your brand to a whole new level.

Mobile Madness 

We all know that people use their phones all day long. Over 1.2 billion people access the web from their mobile devices. They email, text, post, search and more. With this being said, the chances of someone stumbling on your site through a mobile device are very likely. According to Google Insights, 77% of mobile searches are done in a location, work or home, in which a computer is readily available and 61% of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience . These statistics prove how crucial it is to make sure your site is mobile friendly.

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 2.53.55 PM

Think images

Consumers respond well to engaging visuals. The consistent trend in 2013 of sharing images (and video) has been growing and visual content is becoming an increasingly important part of any solid content strategy. Image-based social media sites like Pinterest and Tumblr are likely to grow requiring businesses to become more savvy about sharing photos on their websites and blogs. The number one concern is to consider what your consumers respond to as we move into 2014.

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 2.44.54 PM

 Think video

Video is key when developing a marketing strategy. It’s the easiest way to deliver your message to a enormous amount of people for a small amount of money. With all the social sites catching onto the video trend, micro video will continue to rise in popularity. We’re seeing more movement toward user generated video sharing through smartphones.

Cisco predicts 85% of all internet traffic in 2015 will be video so it’s safe to say video and social media will continue to grow. As far as brand videos go, engagement is the main concern. Number of views is always important but the focus is shifting away from that number and more towards the levels of engagement with the viewers. Brands are now concerned more with whether or not their messages are impacting their consumers positively after they’ve viewed it rather than being focused only on the number of those who have seen it.

What are you changing moving into 2014? Let us know in the comment section below!

75

75 percent, that’s the percent of executives who told Forbes that they watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week. Not to mention all online video users are expected to double to 1.5 billion in 2016.

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 12.51.33 PM

If you’re not using video marketing, you’re missing out on a huge market opportunity. According to ComScore 89 million people in the United States are going to watch 1.2 billion online videos today. When you post an online marketing video to a business website you can attract numerous leads. You could spark the interest of future talent, attract business from a potential client in need of your services or develop a new important contact. This is an easy way to quickly showcase what you have to offer. Video is a great way to get your elevator pitch out into the world and allow it to bring leads to your doorstep.

A huge advantage of video marketing is that it allows you to reach millions of people within a short time without spending a large chunk of money. The benefits for your business could be enormous. There is no other form of marketing that can offer such impressive results at such a low price. Some argue that video may be the most effective way to get a message across. This is because it appeals to multiple senses. The use of sound engages the viewer while the images evoke feelings and drive home the central theme. It also requires less attention to retain the information when you’re watching a message opposed to reading one. Use of audio visuals helps gain the trust of the audience as they understand that it takes time and effort to produce the messaging. This shows that you care enough to put serious time into your marketing efforts in order to create a positive overall impression or impact.

Another advantage video provides is the amount of time it keeps viewers on your website. Your audience is more inclined to poke around after being impressed by an informative video. They’re likely to remember your site if they remember your video. With all the different social media platforms today, it’s easy to distribute links to your videos as well. Greatly enhancing the sharing potential is the fact that 92% of mobile video viewers share videos with others. If your videos live on your website, this enables the opportunity to engage with hundreds or even thousands of customers.

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 1.29.32 PM

Video marketing is essential for success and will most likely lend to more exposure over time. Ad campaigns die out and are constantly in need of a new approach. The opposite has proven to be true with video. The right marketing video can continue to bring you new leads and interest for years to come.

 

Everyone is talking about the recent Google headlines. They all range from something along the lines of “Hummingbird -Google’s biggest change in years,”  to “Algorithm adapts to the new age.” So what exactly does that mean to the average Google user? We’ll break it down to explain pretty simply what this change really entails.

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 11.47.50 AM

Google Hummingbird allows for much more complex searches to be understood by the search engine.

Previously it would pick out keywords from your entry and deliver your results that way. Now you can enter, “What services does Spiracle Media provide in Charlotte, North Carolina?” The new algorithm takes the search query data, understands it, links it, retains it and then answers it through the Knowledge Graph. More naturalistic or ‘conversational’ search terms are now more important than ever. There is now far less focus on individual keywords and more on their collective meaning.

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 12.45.24 PM

Another change to take advantage of  is the comparison feature. Previously when you were trying to compare two different products or services you would need to conduct two separate searches. After your searches were complete you would have to manually list and decipher which option was the best choice for you. Hummingbird allows Google to be a Comparison Engine and do the work for you in one search and half the time.  “White bread vs Wheat bread”, for example brings up a comparison chart of the nutritional facts of both breads. More complex search queries, once they’re understood, provide greater data to Google search that can be used to widen and deepen the search results.

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 11.42.03 AM

 

With the switch to Hummingbird, it’s obvious that the search is getting smarter. This change affects 90% of searches worldwide. Businesses that used to rely on simple keyword strategy to rank in search will find themselves re-thinking their strategies, especially since Google has quit reporting keywords in Google Analytics making it very difficult to create a SEO strategy around them.

Facebook has the power to take your business to the next level if you use it correctly. It’s a free and useful tool allowing you to be your own media outlet. Your fans on social sites sign on to be entertained and informed, not overwhelmed and bored. Here are some mistakes to avoid in order to attract and keep as many fans as you can.

Picture 9

Poor use of images: People are more inclined to click on a post if they’re attracted by an interesting image.  Social media is a very visual tool and it’s important to take advantage of that. Using few or no images at all is not a smart use of your time. In order to become your own media outlet, snap pictures on a regular basis so you have plenty of content to work with. Make sure your images are clear and interesting unlike this image to the left. Images are an easy way to show off your products or services and when you combine them with a short amount of text you’ll have an engaging post for your followers to respond to.

Not interacting with your followers: Once you’ve managed to engage your followers enough for them to respond or comment on your posts, make sure you’re interacting with them. Humanize your brand by ‘liking’ their comments and have conversations with them. This is a no-brainer way to easily develop personal relationships with your customers which increases their loyalty to your brand.

Picture 4

Arguing with followers: There will always be that one follower who leaves a nasty comment, provides negative feedback or is just a tad rude. Let them say what they please but DO NOT argue back. Check out this huge mistake Amy’s Baking Company made when they let their emotions get the better of them. After your customers have voiced their concerns, express your willingness to help publicly. By addressing the issue openly, people can view how you solve problems with your customers. The most important thing to remember is that negative feedback on your social site wont do nearly as much damage as handling the situation poorly. The way Amy’s Baking Company responded to their customers went viral. This post alone was liked almost 100 times and shared 48 times. Yikes! Remember, when you become your own media outlet you develop a reputation from these sites. The better idea is to ask them to chat with you over email in order to talk through the situation privately.

Being absent: It’s the worst to seek out a company’s social site for information and find out they’ve been dormant for 6 months. That alone can be quite the turn off for customers. Social sites require you to be consistent and that consistency is what your customers will appreciate and respond to. If you disappear, your customers will likely venture elsewhere to find the answers they’re seeking.

Being too present: This no-no goes hand in hand with the previous tip. Don’t bombard your customers with posts. It’s annoying, and they’ll hate you. One of the most common reasons people un-follow a page is because too many repetitive posts are clogging up their news feeds. There’s a healthy balance between being absent and being overzealous. You want to aim to provide your customers with just enough information to keep them engaged. One post, maybe two a day is plenty for most businesses.

 

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!