According to a recent Google study, people are spending more time online than watching television and consuming all other media combined. An average person spends around 5 hours and 40 minutes online every day and no more than 4 hours and 15 minutes watching TV. Even though you probably already know that online advertising is the fastest growing medium (by far), you should also keep in mind that the medium is evolving every day. Nobody expects that you stay in touch with everything in the digital world, but it is foolish to think that you do not need to know anything. Therefore, if you want to stay relevant in 2016, here are a few tips about digital marketing.
- SEO Is Not Going Nowhere
Every year, there are many publications that loudly declare, “SEO is dead”; well the truth is that SEO is not dead – it is simply evolving. In fact, in a 2015 Econsultancy poll, almost 80% of US agencies said that Search Engine Optimization provides excellent Return On Investment. While the algorithm updates may shakeup the industry, there are SEO consultants and agencies that can help you navigate and interpret the new changes. In addition, you should try to find a distinctive domain name with perhaps a different TLD. While .com domains are still dominant, a different TLD will make your company stand out. Therefore, you should try and find an alternative, like domain.me, choose a unique domain name and improve your SEO efforts.
- Mobile Strategy Is a Must
Two years ago, mobile finally surpassed desktop searches, and ever since then, having a mobile-friendly website became necessary. If you do not optimize your website for mobile, your whole business might be in jeopardy. According to the Mobile Playbook, more than 55% of consumers will not recommend a business with a badly designed mobile website and we all know that bad word-of-mouth can kill your business instantly. More than 60% of people in the United States own a smartphone; the market is big and if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you must have a responsively designed mobile website.
- Great Content Equals Great Rewards
To put it simply – content brings visitors to your site. Infographics, “how-to” blog posts, GIFs and even memes can drive more traffic and spark the interest in your services or products. Of course, you need to outline your content strategy carefully before you start creating content or hiring writers, graphic designers, etc. According to a 2015 CMI study, while almost 90% of marketers use content marketing as a part of their overall marketing strategy, less than a third of them (32%) have a well-documented and defined strategy.
- Implementing Conversion Rate Optimization
Right away, you should know that CRO is not free; in fact, it can be pretty costly. However, if you want to engage your visitors and ultimately complete more conversions, you need to hire a professional agency to optimize your website. If you have an eCommerce site, CRO is even more important; with cart abandonment rates at around 75% (according to Listrak statistics); it would unwise not to optimize your cart pages for conversions.
Digital marketing and branding is equally important as product development, because everything your costumers experience is the product. This year, with the predicted growth of 12.9%, Internet will become the largest medium for advertising, according to Media Post. In most cases, an average customer will find out about your product or service online, long before experiencing it first-hand. Therefore, if you choose to ignore digital marketing altogether, you will only cause problems for your company and product.
John J. Stone is a business consultant and editor at Bizzmarkblog. He is a devout believer in the notion that form should always follow function and that developing the ability to think outside of the box is a prerequisite of being a successful entrepreneur.