Facebook just recently added a new map feature to its location-based awareness ads so that brands will see a higher number of people visiting their locations. The social media website also has the ability to tell each company how many people visited their locations based on the ad. While most ads on the site in the past had included some sort of link to offer the store location, in many cases the landing pages at the end of the links were designed for desktops so that mobile customers were not able to use them effectively. Since the ads normally run on mobile phones, Facebook decided to include maps that are a part of the ad format so that there will be no issues with users being able to view the location of the brand.
Increasing Customer Visits
What makes the built-in maps even more useful is the fact that they are not Facebook’s own map product used to plot a location as part of the website’s mobile app. Instead of creating their own map product, the in-ad maps use the mapping tools that are built into people’s phones such as Google Maps or Apple Maps as part of their GPS system. When a mobile user views the ad on their mobile phone they will be able to click on the map built into the ad and immediately get directions to the store as well as view its hours and retrieve its phone number. This new feature in Facebook ads is a part of a bigger goal of helping brands push people into visiting physical locations and tracing their digital ads to determine the results. Google has been pushing this same goal by showing mobile ads that highly businesses near a person’s location as well as putting ads in Google Map’s search results. Facebook and Google are both part of a race to use location tools to increase customer visits to stores based on viewing digital ads.
Tracking Foot Traffic
Facebook will be able to estimate how many people visit brands by taking advantage of users that share their location and even tracking when people appear near a business location. The website will also poll people to determine whether they in fact visited these locations. Advertisers that use these new ads with map tools will be able to see how they affect their foot traffic and as well as the age and gender of visiting customers. They will also be able to see how these stats have changed over the past few days, week or month. This new feature of Facebook ads could be a useful way for companies to get involved in location advertising so that they are able to bring more people into their physical locations.
While technical SEO is an important aspect of search engine marketing, some businesses rely too heavily on their technical optimization strategies instead of focusing on something more substantial to stand out against competitors. Technical SEO can seem like a crucial skill to marketers who have little experience with HTML code but aside from following Google best practices there is not much more you can accomplish with it to improve your search rankings. Differences between types or methods of technical SEO are very minor and insignificant so putting too much time or energy into this aspect of marketing will not help you get closer to your goals. Technical SEO strategies do not offer much possibility for distinguishing yourself from competition and it is more important to focus on creativity as well as unique and memorable content.
Focus on Content and Strategy
The technical aspects of SEO are of course very important groundwork and they do play a role in marketing that is impossible to ignore. In a sense, SEO is standard for most businesses and your competitors will have many of the same practices in place for their technical SEO. Without SEO of course you would risk losing all of your organic traffic but it does not do much to further increase your traffic over time. If you want to go beyond just using technical SEO that means focusing on less superficial aspects of marketing online such as strategy, content and backlinks. It is vital to think about the bigger picture with SEO and how you can use it as a tool to solve problems and reach business goals. Having something meaningful to provide website visitors like a good piece of content is a more valuable pursuit in order to increase traffic. The user experience is most important when it comes to SEO because they need quality and relevant websites available for their search.
Creativity and Relevance
When you consider who you want to run your SEO campaign, consider more than just technical skill. You should think about their role as a creative problem solver and marketer who has their finger on the pulse of social media. Marketers should of course consider technical SEO as a necessity but it is the minimum when it comes to creating a successful effort for increasing traffic. Working on SEO also means finding creative and unique ways to make your company more attractive and useful to consumers so that you are truly providing them with what they need. Your website and content must give your customers the information they are looking for so that you are creating traffic through relevance rather than technical tools.
Allowing your company to grow and expand in a competitive market can mean targeting new demographics or finding different ways to reach a larger consumer base. One of the important groups that marketers must focus on now is the millennials who represent the next generation of consumers. Millennials are part of the younger generation who reached adulthood in the new millennium and they may have unique needs when it comes to making buying decisions. People in this demographic are especially attuned to technology because they grew up with internet access in an electronics-filled environment. Marketers need to consider special tactics when trying to reach this demographic so that they can stand out and keep up with competitors.
Stay Current with Social Media Trends
To gain the attention of the younger generation it is important to know where they are and place yourself there. Most marketers are well-versed in Facebook and Twitter but newer social media sites are growing in importance such as Instagram, Snapchat and Vine which are used mainly by the younger generation. Having a brand presence in places where millennials hang out can help you get your foot in the door. Being creative and engaging on these sites with content that makes people laugh or contains interesting ideas and stories can have a real impact. The most important thing is to be where they are and have fun rather than directly or aggressively promoting your brand. Communicating to millennials can be easier if you understand their language and talk the way they talk. Paying attention to how the younger generation communicates with each other and what they respond to most often should be a key element in your marketing strategy. A great way to stay current with what millennials are interested in is to hire some so that they can tell you what is hip and relevant for their generation.
Strive to Be Genuine
A crucial thing to keep in mind for marketing to millennials is to focus on campaigns that are authentic and original. The next generation is always searching for something that is unique and original and they love the new ideas that can come with technology. Engaging in new technology in an authentic and interesting way can help you communicate in a way that reaches millennials effectively. It is impossible to plan a viral video because what makes something viral is always a genuine moment experienced by a real person. For marketers, you need to focus on being as real as possible and making something fresh, funny and engaging that will reach a new audience.
Mobile has been one of the most transformative technologies for marketers with numerous opportunities to reach people through their smart phone use. Location based marketing is now a huge element that many in the advertising world are not utilizing to its full extent. What makes tools like geolocation important to marketers is that it can provide the chance to be relevant, contextual and helpful rather than producing advertisements that people don’t want to see. Using location data for advertisements has been proven to improve campaign performance by as much as 45 percent. Geolocation has become a part of a consumer’s routine in their everyday life and it represents a useful tool for marketers to connect with people based on where they are and how that relates to their buying decisions.
Location Information for Consumers
Consumers use geolocation as a way of looking for a place to eat or drink as well researching products while they are in a store. Their smart phones are something that they rely on to help them make more informed decisions as a consumer through information related to their current location. Marketers that provide product information and content based on location can give customers a more valuable interaction in real time. Research has shown that 72% of consumers will respond to call-to-action advertising messages when they are located near the retailer. It is surprising that with this data only 23% of marketers are using geotargeted data in their mobile strategies. Marketers incorporating geolocation strategies will be taking advantage of a huge opportunity.
Advertisements and Alerts
Marketers can use geolocation to alert consumers about promotions, gifts or sales to help drive customer loyalty. Incentive campaigns can include some type of alert using geolocation data to reach people near the retailer. Marketers should develop and implement an effective geolocation strategy to stay relevant and take advantage of a modern advertising tool. Competitors may already be involved in strategies known as geo-conquesting where they target other similar brands’ locations with their own aggressive offers to local consumers. Creating your own geolocation campaign can help prevent other companies from taking over the market share because they are more adept at using mobile marketing tools.
While many SEO efforts and other types of marketing strategies are focused solely on a company’s search rank on Google, there may be other websites to consider for a more effective campaign. Google is traditionally thought of, especially in the marketing world, as the most common place for people to input their search terms. Although the Google market share is currently at 63.8 percent, other search engines like Bing at 33.5 percent are now being considered a competitive threat. Even if the majority of your marketing efforts center on Google, it might be useful to consider competitors as another place to become more visible online.
Looking at Threats to Google
Even though Google may seem like the one and only place that people search for the information they are looking for, the company has to consider competitors like Bing and Yahoo because they have a similar format. However, in spite of the existence of these other search websites Google’s most significant competitor is actually Amazon. People are beginning to go to Amazon for product searches much more often than they do on Google. Another major competitor is Apple because they support ad blocking that prevents content from loading and especially ads from Google’s Double Click for Publishers and Double Click Ad Exchange which is a major blow to their revenue. Facebook is also broadly known as a significant competitor to Google because it is more effective at driving traffic to a website through a news cycle. Competition for Google can even come in the form of messaging and texting as people simply ask their friends instead of performing a search.
When considering Google’s competitors and the threat that they may pose to the major search engine, it can be an opportunity for marketers to expand their strategies. Instead of focusing all SEO efforts on Google, marketers can begin to develop a campaign for scaling their sales on Amazon and targeting results from product searches. With the ad blockers that Apple has created now harming Google, it might be a good strategy to incorporate native advertising as a way to promote on the web. Facebook advertising is also a very important aspect of marketing with the amount of referral traffic it can produce to other websites. Other social media websites can be incorporated as well but Facebook represents a significant platform to pay attention to. Since messaging and recommendations from friends are also a threat to search engines, think about building your brand so that you become a company that people will suggest as a solution. Google may be at the core of most marketing strategies, but branching out and diversifying to its competitors can help build a more effective campaign that reaches a wider range of customers.
Most marketers are aware of the value of incorporating mobile engagement in their advertising strategies but unfortunately many are struggling to get the results that they want. Some issues with mobile engagement are a result of bad habits that are failing to get the type of interaction that marketing companies want from their customers. Here are some of the problems that could be contributing to a lack of success with mobile marketing.
1) Spamming Users
Most mobile users view notifications as a distraction and many marketers may make the mistake of “spamming” their customers with too much information. You should be strategic about using push notifications instead of sending every user updates. If you try to personalize notifications based on user behavior you will most likely see better open rates and retain more customers. When sending a push notification you should first think about the audience and the behavior it best fits with so that you are not simply sending out another annoying distraction.
2)Taking Advantage of Personal Data
For the most part, customers are okay with companies using their personal information but only as a way to create a more personalized experience for them. They expect an app to apply their personal preferences and factor their location into the content or messages sent. On the other hand, marketers can sometimes cross the line and use the personal information in a way that betrays the trust of their customers. While personalization is important, privacy needs to be respected at all times for a better relationship with your customers.
3) Focusing on the Wrong Metrics
Marketers know the importance of data and getting marketing efforts tracked, analyzed, adjusted or even abandoned based on results. In some cases, the data that marketers focus on is discrete campaign results that miss the true impact of the broader implications. Focusing too much on short-term metrics can be a mistake even if they seem promising. It is a better idea to understand the importance of lifetime value and observe the ripple effects of an engagement campaign beyond the short-term.
4) Using Only an App
Utilizing apps can be a great benefit to you since they are where your most loyal customers interact with your brand. However, the mobile experience now involves so much more including widgets, push notifications, email, remarketing and the mobile web. These all represent mobile engagement opportunities that marketers should consider instead of focusing solely on an app. Remarketing could mean targeting existing customers on social media sites like Facebook based on how they have engaged with you. Data insights about app users’ behavior, interests and preferences can help guide you on the best mobile opportunities to incorporate.
While most SEO efforts now focus on producing high-quality content and then amplifying that content through social media, companies should also consider ways to prioritize their SEO content in order to get the best results. SEO needs to be both relevant and useful, which can help give you some guidelines in terms of how to prioritize. Content should usually be prioritized based on intent, striking distance, search volume and conversion metrics so that you know it is going to be effective content that will engage customers. Before you start prioritizing you should first consider and define your goals so you can create a plan for your SEO content. If one of your goals is increasing traffic you need to look at your website analytics and ranking tools to get an idea of what opportunities you have to drive traffic with your existing assets. You can look at “striking distance” keywords which rank of page two of major search engines. Moving these keywords to page one can help boost both traffic and revenue especially if they have a lot of volume and transactional intent.
Finding and Filling in Gaps
Once you define your goals and find striking distance keywords you can then look at your existing content. Reviewing your content and performing a gap analysis can help you determine if there are any gaps you need to fill in so that your content is effective at every stage of the buyer’s journey. While you need to appear in search results for high-converting keywords it is also valuable to be visible in SERPs throughout the research phase for buyers so that your brand is present and on their mind. You can also look at your competitors and see where they have no presence so you can fill in gaps there by building content in those areas. It can also be helpful to communicate with other departments so that you know of any important content initiatives that need to be optimized or prioritized by intent and search volume.
Promoting Content through Social
Once you have prioritized and created your content you need to focus on promoting it through social media. High-quality and engaging content should be shared on social media platforms which will attract more social endorsements and links and ultimately improve your visibility in search engine results pages. You can also promote priority content through paid social which can help improve your results and can be relatively inexpensive. All your efforts to promote can help make your most important content more visible and drive more traffic to your site. Although the first step in an effective SEO campaign is creating great content, prioritizing and then amplifying your content is what will really create the results that you want.
In the past, computers were only capable of performing functions they were programmed to do and they had to be dictated each move through a rule-based program. Now technology has evolved to the point where marketers are able to use systems that employ something called “machine learning” which uses algorithms to figure out patterns in data. A machine learning system uses a pattern-matching model that is initially set up and then matches incoming data against the model. If the match is off then the system can adjust the factors shaping the model until it recognizes the actual pattern. What this means for marketers is that machine learning systems can produce useful insights and recommendations on how to achieve certain goals or answer specific questions.
Machine learning can be used to analyze user behavior and figure out which strategies work for achieving certain goals. The platform can create a model for what appears to work based on what you are looking for from customers. For example if you wanted to find out what causes customers to unsubscribe from your email newsletter you could use the platform to analyze data and find out the number of emails you can send to certain types of customers before they unsubscribe. You can also use machine learning to help you figure out how to generate better content for emails, web pages and other marketing material. Some platforms can find new prospects that resemble your most responsive customers and advertise to them through the method that will work best.
An Important Trend
Because machine learning platforms can provide valuable recommendations on how marketers can reach goals and improve their results, it is now a growing trend in the world of digital advertising. Experts suggest that within two to five years most platforms will be able not only to find patterns but also adapt to new situations and challenges. The belief is also that within a year there will be a dramatic increase in the number of marketing applications that employ machine learning tactics. While a machine may not be able to make all the marketing decisions that are important to maintaining a successful brand, a platform that understands customer patterns and can predict their behavior is invaluable to advertisers.
Marketing online can come from a combination of different sources but one of the most important platforms is social media. Many companies are still struggling to get the most out of their social media campaigns because it can be difficult to stand out with so many competitors trying to get the attention of customers. For businesses that are less savvy about social media they may feel that their posts are not effectively engaging customers. With so many social media channels available and so many ways to market it can be hard to develop the right campaign that gets the results that you want. However, there are certain strategies and tools to consider that may help improve your success in social media marketing.
Strategies for Twitter and Facebook
In terms of social media websites, twitter and Facebook are two of the key platforms to communicate and stay in touch with customers. Twitter is something that works best if you keep up with it often and are constantly connecting with your followers. It can be a good idea to use Twitter as a way to send a thank you every time your company is mentioned and respond to questions as quickly as possible, often in the same day. Facebook is a way to post content that is longer than Twitter but it is still best to keep posts simple and ask questions instead of making statements to increase interaction. Utilizing Facebook ads is also a great method for reaching more people and increasing your followers.
Using Images and Content to Engage Followers
When posting on social media, whatever platform you are using it is helpful to include images as often as possible. Photos and also animation through GIFs are more likely to attract attention to your post and make people stop browsing to look at a visual image. Images and videos can also work well with your efforts in SEO optimization. While an image can bring them in, you also need great content accompanying it to keep the customer’s attention. You need to provide content that will make people want to click through because it has sparked their interest. Keep your target audience in mind as you create content and think about what they are looking for from you. If you create something that provides an answer to some of their questions then they are more likely to read through your content.
Community and Inspirational Campaigns
A good social media strategy means more than having a lot of followers but instead building a community. If your posts have a lot of personality and humor or are entertaining to your followers then you are more likely to see interaction. It is important to converse directly with the people interacting with your posts so that it feels like a two way communication every time you respond. Finally, your social media efforts should include cross-channel campaigns that include an emotional or inspirational component that will get people more involved. Use powerful stories that will engage followers and get them to stand behind your brand.
Having a website that works well on mobile phones is a key strategy in modern internet marketing no matter what your goals are with your campaign. If you are looking to redesign for a more mobile-friendly site there are a lot of things to consider before you dive in. For one thing you will need to choose between responsive web design and behavioral web design or BWD. Using a BWD or an active web design allows you to employ a step by step design process using analytics data and testing. If you are looking to do a full website redesign BWD is a good choice because you will have a six to twelve month redesign cycle and it will give you the best odds of success. Once you make a choice about redesign methods you can start the process and figure out the best plan for completing the task.
Value Proposition and Calls to Action
When in the process of a redesign it is important to keep your old website around so you will have the opportunity to test some things before you make the final move. As you work on redesign you can do some A/B tests on your existing site so you ca see the difference on your new site. Some questions to ask yourself when testing are what is working on your current site and what is not working. You need to test out your value proposition which is basically the combination of copy, images and offers that inform the visitor that they are in the right place for what they are looking for. Using the right language to communicate key information as well as powerful images can help connect with your visitors as soon as they reach the site. Your mobile site should also have calls to action with the right kind of language that will convince them to move to the next step. Test calls to action in exit-intent popovers, entrance popovers, and scroll triggered overlays can be carried over to the new site.
Building Trust in Your Brand
Your mobile site should offer visitors information about return policies to help you handle risk reversal. Visitors often fear that they might purchase the wrong product or get spammed after filling out a form. You need to build trust among your visitors and strategically place brand logos and symbols on your mobile site so that consumers know who you are. You can also place logos of other trusted brands if your company is a member of an association or you carry certain certifications that people might recognize. Your mobile design should include an effective landing page that stands apart from the main site and is well-designed for high conversion rates. For each new decision you make about your mobile site you should test any suggestions on your current site to make sure they will work with the redesign.