Most business owners know that digital marketing techniques are essential for increased growth. But knowing exactly how to execute those techniques (and which should be included and prioritized) isn’t always as straightforward.
That’s why you need some insight from the experts. Whether you’re launching a brand new venture or are thinking of seriously overhauling your marketing strategy this year, here are a few key points to keep in mind.
You know what they say: you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. Digital marketing strategies are most effective when they cover a range of diverse areas. What’s more, your strategy needs to be flexible; since algorithms and trends are always evolving, you’ll need to roll with the punches. As Jeff Stinslow from Chief Internet Marketer points out, “You have a plan until Google punches you in the face.” That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t develop a plan at all; it merely means you’ll need to adjust your strategy when needed.
Of course, search engine optimization remains an essential part of digital marketing plans. Curtis LaPrise from EmberSmith notes, “I’m a firm believe that technical SEO will continue to be a basic building block of any strong SEO strategy [in] 2019. If your site is not mobile friendly, page speeds are slow, or your site can’t be indexed properly, you just won’t rank well in search results — no matter how amazing your content is!”
Still, producing incredible content is a priority for marketers operating across virtually all industries. Blog posts, white papers, and social media posts are vital components in 2019, but you might want to consider thinking outside the box to create dynamic content that sets your business apart.
Quique Lopez from Panorama Press stresses the importance of having video content as part of marketing strategy offerings: “Internet video traffic accounts for 80% of all consumer internet traffic. It is clear that agencies need to include video in their offerings or risk losing the client to someone who does.”
Many businesses are also branching out into other forms of media, like original news content and podcasts. Jennifer Moss of Moss Web Works explains that this can be a great way to increase your ranking — provided you take the right steps first: “Google is now ranking news sources and podcasts above website results. If you create original news content, make sure to register as a news source. If you produce a podcast, make sure its registered in Google Podcasts.”
No matter what kind of content you create, you’ve probably focused on obtaining links back to that content in order to increase web presence and authority. The need for high-quality backlinks isn’t going away in 2019, as Justin Grau of Mullen Marketing explains.
“Backlinks are going to continue to be just as important as they have ever been for building authority and increasing your SERP rankings,” says Grau. “I think people need to spend more time researching and performing link building strategies around keyword rich anchors as opposed to naked URLs and brand name anchors. Unless you have a special need for ranking your brand name, keyword rich anchors are always going to have a greater impact on ranking your content than anything else and it is more natural. One last note I would say about link building is to focus on quality, not quantity.”
Truth be told, your entire strategy should be centered around quality, rather than quantity. By providing diverse types of content and being willing to switch up your strategy, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the curve and give audiences what they really want.
That brings us to our next point: the importance of knowing and reaching your audience. Getting more specific with your marketing demographics can ultimately serve a business far better than attempting to reach anyone and everyone. When your net is cast too wide, you’re going to end up with fewer viable leads. For the sake of lead generation, you’ll want to hone in on the practices you use to appeal to users in your target demographic.
This idea is backed up by Gustavo Morais of ST8 Digital, who says: “Digital marketing will keep moving towards becoming the dominant force in a connected world. Just by truly understanding your business, your audience, and your position we can guarantee a sustainable digital marketing approach for future business growth.”
Tyler Walsh of Farmore Marketing echoes these sentiments, as well. “We are seeing a shift in digital marketing to high-value audience growth and engagement,” says Walsh. “Many of the companies we work with are looking to use their current media channels to connect with members of their community. The primary objective now has shifted toward driving high-value engagement instead of reaching the most amount of people. The growing accessibility to audience insights has made accomplishing this new objective much, much easier.”
Chad Barnes of SEO Skyrocket has noticed a significant change by communicating clearly to specific demographics, as well. “As we communicate the practices and benefits of conversion rate optimization (CRO) to our target market (local service providers), we’re seeing MEGA interest and our efforts have (thankfully!) produced serious results.”
It’s not enough to know your audience well; you’ll also need to understand how to reach them. Want to target a local demographic but aren’t sure where to start? Kalpana Murthy of WSI has an excellent idea: “If you are targeting local market, watch out for the soon-to-be released local campaigns and discovery ads from Google. These are great additions to your marketing tool kit.”
As technology continues to evolve and consumer behaviors start to change, it’s up to marketers to embrace emerging trends — even if they seem totally foreign. Voice search and AI-powered technology are growing in popularity with each passing month, which means marketers can’t shy away from optimizing for digital assistants and other tech.
Don Dodds of M16 explains how the digital marketing landscape has changed in recent years: “Eight years ago, I was encouraging clients to make the transition to responsive website design. 10 years before that, I was encouraging potential clients to evolve past having a brochure website. For the last two years, I’ve been encouraging clients to optimize for voice search. SEO is evolving and unless you pay close attention to the changing needs and desires of consumers, your business will be ‘Netflixed.’”
Jacqueline Sinex of Webii also believes that marketers will need to make changes based on these newer innovations. “Search engines are not backing off on seeking quality content, and building educational and newsworthy content has great impact. Voice search will continue to climb as well, so strategize how to write content that Alexa and Google Home can explain.”
While it might sound like digital assistants are making marketers’ jobs harder, don’t forget that artificial intelligence can also provide you with access to information you might not have had before.
As Monica Sirignano of Big Gorilla Design points out, “With the growth of machine learning and AI and the abundance of software readily available, we’re able to gather more pertinent data on visitors and customers and understand their behaviors in a more informed way. This is an area that we definitely see continuing to grow, as it allows marketers the ability to understand their target markets better, and gives companies more insight into their customers, as well as their future directives.”
In other words, these technological advancements can really help you reach your other marketing goals — assuming you’re taking full advantage of the opportunity.
Although keeping up with the latest marketing trends can be a challenge, it’s typically a welcome one for dedicated marketers. If you want your business or your clients to succeed in 2019, you’ll need to stay on top of the latest and greatest in the digital realm.