When organizations start planning their digital marketing efforts, they often ask themselves a series of questions:
While asking and answering these “whats” are important, they are not the right ones an organization should initially ask. Instead, they should start with a defining question: “What do I want to accomplish?”
Answering this provides direction, motivation, and a clear way to measure and understand progress. Without a clearly defined objective, an organization may struggle to improve because it could lose focus, make bad decisions, and implement counterproductive actions.
It’s no secret that social media platforms are popular. According to the Pew Research Center, over 3 billion people use social media each month (42% of the total global population!), and all age demographics within America have a healthy presence on social networks.
The most popular networks used in America are Facebook (60.6%), Instagram (37.4%), and Snapchat (30.9%). According to the research firm Comscore, young people spend the most time on Facebook in comparison to other platforms.
Because many people spend a lot of time on social media platforms, it makes sense for businesses to “follow the eyeballs” and have a presence there to drive awareness and conversions. However, many businesses are not effective at connecting with consumers according to social analytics firms:
To avoid these issues from occurring with your business, it’s crucial to have a strong social media marketing plan. Fortunately, that can be accomplished by following six simple steps.
When a business considers the ways it can drive more performance, Search Marketing should be the opportunity it prioritizes first. That's because Search Marketing generates awareness with consumers who are actively expressing interest in a product or service. It also drives website traffic most likely to convert by being at the right place at the right time.
For example, let's say that a pizzeria wants to increase its delivery sales. To accomplish this, it gains a strong presence on Google's "pizza delivery" search result pages. By appearing in front of hungry-for-pizza searchers, it can increase awareness with its target audience and generate more sales by fulfilling the desire that sparked the consumer's query.
Search result pages have two parts that are served by different practices:
The traditional ways a small business could advertise used to be very straightforward but limited. For example, a business could generate awareness for a product or service by placing ads in the newspaper, running a television spot, displaying messages on billboards, sending mailers to households, and so on.
However, the marketing landscape has changed drastically due to the Internet. Small businesses can now drive cost-efficient performance through targeted search listings, social placements, and more.
To illustrate how the Internet can serve small businesses better than traditional channels, this post compares Paid Search listings (ads that appear above natural results on Google/Bing/Yahoo search result pages) to ads within a local newspaper and a local mailer.
Facebook has offered its users the option to message businesses for some time, and Google has offered limited capabilities since July 2017. However, Google is making a bigger effort to encourage its searchers to engage businesses through messaging.
Here is a screenshot from a mobile device with a significantly larger messaging button:
For comparison, here is a screenshot with the regular button layout:
If and when Google makes the new messaging button permanent, businesses will need to figure out ways to respond to these messages in a timely manner because the searcher/consumer is going to expect a timely response that answer there questions or serves their other needs. This will add to a business's already heavy workload. It will also require mastery of Google My Business since that will be the hub for message delivery.
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