With so many social media and digital marketing options now available, it can be overwhelming trying to work out what you should be doing first. At the same time, it's also a very exciting time for marketers and business owners, with so many powerful marketing tools available to help escalate and grow their business, sales and exposure.
In this post, I recommend concentrating on and implementing the following "must have" tactics in 2016 to see fast, powerful and reliable results in your sales for your business.
Note that these tactics apply across the board for both large and small businesses, in both B2C AND B2B, as all people are "consumers"; this is now P2P, People-2-People marketing.
1. Consumers are Social - Being on Social Media is a Must
In 2016, having a social media presence for your business is a must, not a choice, if you want to expand your customer reach. Businesses need to seriously adopt and add social media as a strong marketing channel to gain exposure exponentially - here's why:
- 65% of American adults now use social networking sites - a nearly tenfold jump in the past decade. (Pew Research)
- Young adults (ages 18 to 29) are the most likely to use social media - fully 90% do, compared to 12% in 2005. (Pew Research)
- At the same time, there has been a 69-point bump among those ages 30-49, from 8% in 2005 to 77% today. (Pew Research)
- Usage among those 65 and older has more than tripled since 2010 when 11% used social media. Today, 35% of all those 65 and older report using social media. (Pew Research)
- Internet users have average of 5.54 social media accounts (GlobalWebIndex)
Google has integrated social media data into its organic search engine algorithm and to date, organic rankings may now rely on up to 70% on social media.
You can see that social media pages are being found more frequently in search results. And social media profiles are often amongst the top results in search listings.
As a business, you should post updates regularly and respond to those who contact you via social channels promptly. Google considers activities such as social engagement, comments, and website visits to be ranking factors.
Quite simply, social media is the future of marketing.
2. Consumers and Visual - Incorporating Images and Videos is a Must
Figures show that consumers are becoming increasingly visual and prefer images, videos and infographics to other types of content.
Visuals are memorable and effective, because they help people process, understand, and retain more information more quickly.
Using images, making videos, visual presentations and infographics is a very effective way to convey your message to your customers.
- Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images. (Source)
- Visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. (Source)
- Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images. (Source)
- Tweets with images earned up to 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets. (Source)
- Shoppers who view video are 1.81X more likely to purchase than non-viewers. (Source)
- Using the word "video" in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65% and reduces unsubscribes by 26%. (Source)
- Midway through 2015, mobile video plays exceeded 44% - up 74% from 2014 and up a whopping 844% since 2012. (Source)
- Between April 2015 and November 2015, the amount of average daily video views on Facebook doubled from 4 billion video views per day to 8 billion. (Source)
3. Consumers are Mobile - Responsive Website and Mobile Marketing is a Must
A responsive website ensures users have a consistent experience on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices.
The need to have a mobile-friendly website is the norm and no longer an item to place on the back burner to address later. This past summer, Google announced that, for the first time mobile searches surpassed desktop searches. Add to this the fact that in 2015 Google's algorithm started to prioritize sites that had been optimized for mobile devices.
According to Statista.com the forecasted number of mobile users in the U.S. for 2016 (as seen in the graph below) is estimated to reach 198.5 million unique users.
Considering that in 2015, nearly 52% of users spent a majority of their time using mobile apps like Facebook, Twitter, and social media based as well as business based apps, these numbers will only increase in 2016. Billions of internet activity signals are occurring at a rate that Google is absorbing, dissecting and rolling up into rankings & authority.
This forecast shows the number of smartphone users in the US. from 2010 to 2018. For 2016, the number of smartphone users in the US is estimated to reach 198.5 million. Source
4. Consumers Are Hard to Reach - Paying for Exposure is a Must
Boosting content to your current fans so that they see your content in their News Feed is a must. Numbers show a continuous decline of all-things-organic on all the main platforms. Relying on organic reach is not effective anymore.
Advertising is the only sure thing you can do to grow an audience on social media. Paying for advertising allows you to reach your specific targeted demographic. This is so powerful. You can market to a particular age group, gender, location, and other parameters - something that has NEVER existed in marketing before.
Do you have your 2016 advertising budget secured?
5. Consumers are Searching - Being on Google My Business is a Must
Google My Business is the replacement for Google Places for Business. It's a key part of Google's strategy to simplify the process of harnessing the power of the Google suite of tools to get more traffic to your business.
This means that AdWords, Insights, Google+, Maps and Search are all closely tied into My Business, making it easier to use and more powerful than its predecessor.
Due to the unparalleled reach of Google and their services, plugging into the Google My Business network means your customers and clients can now find you more easily through Search, Maps, and the recently revamped Google+.
Google My Business doesn't just serve traditional businesses with a storefront. You can also sign up and instead of listing your business address, add the area you serve or just details of your brand.
- Make sure your business is registered with Google My Business.
- Set up your Google My Business Brand Page.
As business owners, we have to adapt and change to meet the needs and demands of our customer base to be successful. These "must have" tactics I've outlined above will help you do just that.
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