The number of ways that the internet has changed the face of modern business is probably incalculable at this point. There’s almost nothing, from finances to staff communication, that the internet hasn’t updated, changed or completely revolutionized. And there’s one place where that impact has been felt more strongly than just about anywhere else, and that’s in marketing. Marketing used to be a combination of carefully constructed broadcasting campaigns, direct mail, and face to face advertising. Now, those things are still there and still very much important, but they’ve been all but completely dwarfed by the incredible force that is online marketing. The importance of online marketing isn’t really that much of a mystery, after all, customers spend the vast majority of their time online these days and now, thanks to wearables and smartphones, there’s almost never a time when they aren’t connected to the internet in one way or another. But this doesn’t mean that your online marketing is going to take care of itself. Far too many businesses fail to capitalize on the incredible power of online marketing simply because they don’t know how to use it properly. In order to make sure that doesn’t happen to you, here are a few areas of your online marketing that you could probably stand to improve and develop.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, used to be so simple. You’d simply fill your website or blog post up with keywords and watch it rise through the ranks of sites like Google. These days, that simply won’t do for a couple of reasons. The first, and most obvious, is that this kind of SEO creates content that no one actually wants to read. The best kind of SEO happens when it is seamlessly integrated into the content itself without seeming jarring or out of place to the reader. Not only that but sites like Google now actively blacklist pages that use this kind of technique. If you want your site to be on the first page of a search engine, then you’ve got to be able to create dynamic SEO that engages with readers. Now, don’t expect this to be easy, plenty of businesses make the mistake of assuming that SEO is simple and failing spectacularly. Companies like Digitalico media are indispensable for a lot of businesses as they can help you create incredibly well-integrated SEO from the ground up.
There was a time when just having a website at all was enough to make your business stand out. These days it’s more unusual not to have a website. It’s basically considered the standard for every single reputable business out there. This means that customers have much higher expectations for the quality of your website than they did even a decade ago. If your website is ugly, confusing, or difficult to navigate, then you’re just going to end up turning off customers who might otherwise be interested in your business. It might sound harsh, but customers can be incredibly shallow and fickle. Even if you have the greatest product in the world, if your website looks amateurish, then that’s going to color their entire perception of your business from the very start. They’re simply not going to have the same level of faith in you if your website looks like it was made in the late nineties. Look at some of the most successful online businesses of the last few years and try to figure out what makes their websites so successful. A lot of the time their site will be both elegantly designed and easy to navigate. Don’t worry about making it flashy or exciting, as long as it’s functional and looks good, that’s what matters.
Even those who saw the rise of the internet as a force within the world of business coming from a mile away probably couldn’t have predicted just how important social media would become. Not just in business but in all of our lives, social media has changed the way many of us interact on a pretty fundamental level. It allows us to share more of our lives than ever before, as well as helping you to keep in contact with anyone no matter how far away they are. As soon as social media secured itself as a driving force in modern society, there was no way that the world of business wasn’t going to get in on the action. The problem is that, despite knowing how important it is, many businesses simply don’t realize how to use their social media properly. They assume it’s just a matter of putting the same kinds of marketing techniques to work in a new venue. But that’s never going to work. Social media is such a radically different, personal, form of interaction that you can’t simply use traditional marketing methods on it. Instead, you’ve got a create a focus on treating your customers as individuals and communicating directly with them. Creating interesting content that is going to resonate with your customers in a meaningful way. If you’re able to do that then you won’t even need to go chasing your customers at all, they will often come looking for you instead.
Here’s a bit of harsh truth for you: customers don’t care about your business. It’s not exactly what you want to hear, but sadly it is very true. Customers don’t care about businesses; they have too much to worry about in their own lives to be concerned with the status of some faceless organization. But there’s one thing that customers do care about, and that’s people. It’s an inherent part of human nature to care for other people, and this is absolutely something that you can capitalize on. Every company should have a blog, and you should use that blog to give customers a peek behind the curtain. Let them see the people behind the business. Introduce yourselves, tell customers the things that you’re passionate about, give opinions and make observations. These things are an incredible way to humanize your business and to connect with your customers of a fundamental human level that you simply wouldn’t be able to otherwise.