Online marketing is an important tool for modern businesses. The challenge with online marketing is that the playing field is constantly changing. Your company needs a flexible strategy that can adapt to changes quickly. You and your colleagues should plan to meet regularly to discuss your marketing efforts and how they are working. Even if only one person in the company deals with social media, you should plan as a team.
Changes in social media
Think about how much social media has changed since the introduction of sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and lead-generating services (ones for payday loan leads, etc). Five years ago, some marketing managers didn’t think about these tools at all. Now, they’re a critical part of any company’s strategy. Print, television and other types of advertising are still important as well. A good strategy integrates all of these pieces to make a social media campaign that has the best chance of reaching potential customers.
Many businesses choose to work with a consultant to help them keep social media campaigns up-to-date. They may also hire graphic designers and website developers to make the work of social media less cumbersome. Specialists may be able to do this work quickly and at a lower cost than you expect. Often, it’s cheaper to hire an expert than to try to do the work in-house. It’s important to pick a strategy that works for your business over time. You may be able to do some social media campaigns on your own and hire assistance for others.
Flexible strategies mean that your company can adapt to new changes. It’s important that you analyze your marketing plans on a frequent basis. Evaluate all the new trends in social media and determine whether you are effectively addressing that trend. You’ll need a knowledgeable staff member who understands trends in social media. A marketing consultant can also help in this area. You can work with a consultant on a monthly, quarterly or other basis to evaluate your social media campaigns and their effectiveness.
Keep in mind that you cannot develop a static marketing strategy and expect it to work over the long term. The days of planning all of your marketing and advertising for the next five years are over. The world changes too quickly. Customers rapidly change their behavior. Today, many consumers search for information on businesses before they make commitments. They search for business ratings on sites like Yelp! before they determine who they want to work with. They may ask for referrals through social media like Twitter or Facebook. Customers sometimes decide what they want or need by looking at sites like Pinterest or Instagram.
Some companies have found ways to market themselves with tools that customers already use. Restaurants and bars encourage customers to post pictures on Instagram. Retail businesses often advertise specials through Facebook and Twitter. Other businesses reward customers by encouraging them to share information on social media. For example, some companies run contests that customers enter by retweeting or reposting information on Facebook. Some businesses allow users to pin products to Pinterest. Companies have to develop these strategies quickly to keep up with new customer behavior on the internet.
A constant presence
Social media marketing has to be constant in order to be effective. You cannot post occasionally to Facebook and expect to have an impact. Your Facebook page needs to be interactive in order to attract visitors. You can use a Facebook site to invite customers to events. You can also share coupons with them or invite them to discussions. Whatever you do, it has to fit in with the way customers are currently using Facebook. Customers change their behavior on Facebook constantly due to changes in the tool itself. Your Twitter account also needs to be active on a regular basis to keep users interested.
Users often stop following Twitter accounts that don’t offer new or useful information. Many users find information from hashtags or sponsored tweets. The person in charge of social media at your company must stay aware of the latest trends. He or she should constantly check for new social media trends platforms. He or she should then evaluate how best to integrate new social media trends into your company’s efforts immediately.
Search engine optimization
There are a number of marketing sites on the internet that can help you understand new trends in marketing. You can learn how to naturally place keywords for search engine optimization (SEO). It’s important to keep abreast of new SEO tools because search engines are constantly evolving. You may have an SEO strategy that works for now, but becomes stagnant due to changes in Google or in customer behavior. It used to be acceptable to place lots of keywords in articles to improve your search engine ranking. Today, that kind of keyword approach is ineffective and can even harm your search engine rankings.
If you are blogging, you may already be using the WordPress tool. WordPress is constantly changing. New plug-ins and tools are constantly being developed. You should ensure that you are using the latest version of WordPress and that you are taking advantage of all of its features. You may need to hire a web development professional on a temporary basis to help you optimize WordPress. An experienced developer can quickly set up the plug-ins that you need most. It’s often cheaper easier to hire someone than try to learn all the ins and outs of WordPress yourself.
There are a variety of tools that can help you evaluate your marketing efforts. You can check page views, incoming traffic on your website, retweets and other social media statistics. If your company offers discounts or coupons through social media, you can determine which ones are being used most. This will give you reliable information about which marketing efforts are working and which ones aren’t.
The most important part of your marketing strategy is your ability to stay current and adapt to new trends. You may find it helpful to work with a consultant who is constantly focused on these trends. If you handle marketing on your own, remember that you need to evaluate information frequently and thoroughly. What tools are bringing in new customers? How can you integrate new trends into your company’s marketing strategy? Are you doing things that aren’t working? If so, how can you adjust to make your efforts as effective as possible?