“You know… maybe I’ll wait till tomorrow to grow my business.”
Said no business leader ever.
While an attitude like that may be a stretch, waiting to address some critical areas of your digital footprint today, as you consider your strategy for the future, is just as foolish.
We’ve seen it all too often.
Businesses losing out on growth now because of their contempt of the familiar and the allure of the new and shiny.
Yes, new opportunities and choosing the right online channels to target with great content in 2020 is one key to growth and a fantastic ROI from your digital marketing spend.
But some businesses are missing an opportunity for growth now, and risking to compound, not solve their problems when they start driving more traffic in the future.
So, what online channels should you be prioritizing as you look towards 2020?
Website Content & SEO
Surprised to start here? You shouldn’t be.
Imagine calling a business for the first time (who does THAT anymore?) and the first person you speak to can’t answer your questions and is abrupt and unfriendly.
Not a great first impression to say the least.
Unfortunately, that’s how many websites present.
Businesses are quick to think of their website as an online necessity, while for most, it is the MOST valuable online real estate they own.
- 70-80% of people research a company online before visiting or making a purchase
- 75% of consumers admit to making judgements on a business’s credibility based on their
- 76% of website visitors are willing to share their contact details in exchange for valuable content
Are we sure people are finding us?
Proper search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the biggest challenges we hear facing business owners today.
With only 7% of online searchers making it past page two of Google’s search results, ranking higher on Google should be an immediate aim for your business.
Good SEO (and therefore more FREE traffic!) relies on keeping your website content current, engaging, and targeted around frequent search terms for your business.
Engaging a trusted digital marketing partner to assist in content strategy and tweaks on and off your website to satisfy Google’s ever-changing algorithms should be a priority now heading into 2020! A little work can make a big difference.
Are we showing how we’re different?
When someone lands on your site it should be clear to them what problem you solve and how you are different than your competitors.
Branded content that is engaging and built to communicate your uniqueness in the market is key for telling your visitors why to do business with you and will keep them engaged on your site, bolstering your SEO.
Prioritizing SEO and getting good quality branded content on your website today will not only establish it as the foundation you need for success with new channels in the future but will help you reap the benefits of attracting and converting more traffic today.
Finding the Right Channels For Your Business in 2020
With a plethora of choices on where to invest your digital marketing dollars, getting an idea on which channels are the right fit for your business is important.
These simple questions can help start the discovery.
- Is your business’s typical sales cycle long or short?
- Is your product or service already well known?
- Do you rely on repeat business?
- Is your marketing budget reasonably large or small?
- Who is your target audience or ideal customer?
Long or Short Sales Cycle?
A shorter sales cycle may mean that paid search ads targeting your specific product or service are a good option since typically, getting traffic is the chief concern.
A longer sales cycle may require retargeting clients to stay in mind (Facebook), email nurture campaigns and developing cross-platform (Email + Social + Blog for instance) content for education and persuasion.
Well Known or Newbie?
New brands, products and services may need to focus on introducing themselves to their market to attract attention. Instagram, Facebook, blogging and other content marketing approaches may be best here – especially focusing on visual platforms (Instagram) for aesthetically pleasing products.
Established products may be able to focus more on driving traffic with paid search ads or conversion ads on social channels like Facebook, where traffic is directed to landing pages to produce sales.
Repeat business or transactional?
If creating brand loyalty is important for upselling or future business, consider channels that help you stay top of mind with your customers. Posting content on social channels, blogging or email marketing through a CRM tool may be best to keep them engaged.
If your business relies on new customers, once again, paid search ads or social media advertising to drive sales could be the best place to focus your attention.
Large or Small Budget?
Understanding this is a relative term, large budgets are those that can be sustained over time and take advantage of multiple channels or bigger scale campaigns.
Smaller or one-time budgets can fit well inside paid search or social advertising that accommodates (and can be easily restricted to) any budget size or be invested in for instance SEO services, which can be metered out hourly.
Who am I targeting?
Many businesses are finding success on LinkedIn in their desire to connect with other businesses. In fact, more than 90% of B2B companies prefer LinkedIn for their product marketing over other platforms.
For B2B businesses, understanding your ideal customer’s demographics (location, age, gender) and psychographic profile (interests, hobbies, habits) can help you determine where to find and engage with them, online.
The choices are many, and while having a presence on a number of digital channels may be beneficial, take heart, it usually isn’t necessary.
Regardless of platform or channel, remember that changes in the way social channels share your organic content means a focus on paid ads will most likely be required. Organic reach is great, but can’t be relied upon solely to grow your online presence, attract more customers and build advocates for your business.
Determining which channel(s), type of content and campaigns are best to pursue will be unique to every business. Pursuing the right channels with the right content will be key for any business expecting growth from their digital marketing in 2020 and should be thought through sooner than later.
Must Have Content for 2020 – Video (& Images)
Did you know that YouTube boasts the highest amount of monthly active users of any digital platform second only to Facebook?
Statistics tell us that the majority of your customers would rather watch a how-to video than read an article, are much more likely to remember information from something they watched vs. something they read, and on some platforms, are more likely to share a video than other type of content.
Done right, video has the power to drive deeper engagement, reach more people and communicate to them more effectively. “Done right” being the key here.
Prioritizing the production of great video content for all of your online channels will help you attract, retain and convert more customers.
And don’t forget great images! We’ve been trumpeting the importance of imagery on your website, social posts and blogs for years now.
75% of visitors to your website make a judgment on your credibility as a business simply from the design of your site and initial impressions are formulated in as little as 50 milliseconds!
Yes… looks are important.
But with the rise of image searching capabilities on phone and desktop, great quality images that are associated with your product or service online will also play a role in earning you more traffic in the years to come.
As Pinterest’s founder and CEO Ben Silbermann put it, “a lot of the future of search is going to be about pictures instead of keywords.”
Including great visuals in your content and on your website doesn’t need to be difficult. Taking a few extra seconds to search free image databases like Unsplash.com are simple ways to spice up your online presence and position yourself for the future of search marketing.
Channels Gaining Traction in 2020 - Chatbots, AI, and Voice Searches
Chatbots are quickly emerging as powerful tools to help businesses engage customers, reduce their workload (imagine never having to answer “What hours are you open?” again) and even qualify and close sales. They are a slick new technology that packs a big punch for surprisingly small development cost.
AI (artificial intelligence) and the rise of voice searches are also slowly changing the landscape for how businesses are found online.
Some have predicted that in 2020, 50% of searches will be by voice rather than typing, holding considerations for how you create your content.
What questions are your customers asking? Do you have content that Google can scan on your website to answer them? Your on page SEO will be critical to being ready for voice search.
Getting insights into what your ideal customers are looking for and ensuring your FAQ’s or blog answers them, are easy additions.
Ensuring your Google My Business details are updated for any “Siri… find a… (dry cleaner, sushi joint, dog walker) near me” requests is key. For the eager, investigating “schema markup” for your website content with a reputable SEO company could pay big dividends on Google search.
Every business wants to grow.
The trick is deciding how.
Don’t wait to shore up the foundation of all your digital marketing efforts, your website. Nailing the content, flow and engagement for your visitors now will reap benefits right away. Then, watch your returns compound when you add those shiny new online channels to your digital marketing strategy in 2020!