6 Ways to Update your Onsite Content in 2021

The challenges faced during 2020 taught consumers and businesses alike the value of e-commerce. One of the most effective ways to help your business flourish in the post-pandemic economy of 2021 and beyond is to focus on digital advertising. If it’s been a while since you seriously assessed your content, now is the time.

Top Strategies to Improve your Digital Advertising

Does your brand need a refresh in 2021? While an extreme change in branding can be confusing to existing customers, your website may benefit from some updating. Clever logos and trendy color palettes are only a small part of what makes a brand stand out above the rest. Your time and advertising budget is better spent on improving the customer user experience.

It’s difficult to be objective, but try to look at your website from the perspective of a first-time visitor and ask yourself the following questions:

1. Is my technology up-to-date?

Every layer of your technology should be updated and monitored to ensure your website runs optimally and remains secure for you and your customers. The cost of cyberattacks could ruin your business. Keep security software updated and perform regular checks.

2. Does my content apply SEO best practices?

Too many websites fail to rank in searches because they don’t take advantage of basic SEO. Simple things like using commonly searched keywords, adding alt tags, meta tags, and title tags can make a huge difference. And while you’re at it, make sure your content is free of errors and scores high in readability—shoot for an 8th-grade reading level.

3. Is my website ADA accessible?

You may think the answer is automatically yes, but are you sure? Some people with disabilities use the web differently than others. Limiting your site’s accessibility can not only cost you sales but could make you vulnerable to a lawsuit. You can learn more about web accessibility here.

4. Is my website mobile-friendly?

It’s no surprise that “doom scrolling” became a thing in 2020. Americans have grown to love our mobile lifestyles more than ever. If your business doesn’t already have an app, check into a progressive web application or PWA. A PWA is a website that looks and responds like an app but costs less to build.

5. Am I making the most of social media?

Americans spend hours every day interacting with social media. Decisions to visit a website or buy a product are heavily influenced by social media. Being active on all social media is probably the easiest and least expensive way to improve your digital advertising. Start by adding a “share” button to your content.

6. Are the images on my site interesting and up-to-date?

Images are a great way to get attention and encourage visitors to share the content on your site. When possible, use stock images or hire a professional photographer for product photos. Low-quality photos make a site look untrustworthy. Check the images on older blogs and other older content. Images that may have been fine when first used can become tired or even offensive over time.

Just as regular cleaning and rearranging are needed in a brick and mortar store, the content in your e-commerce store needs regular refreshing too. Get ready for record-breaking sales in 2021 by upgrading your digital advertising with these suggestions.

How often should you update your website for best results?

You’ve just invested significant time, funds, and effort into creating your company’s dream website. Now all you have to do is sit back and wait for the clients to come rolling in. But before you get too comfortable, you should consider the question: Just how often should you be updating your site? The answer depends on various factors, such as the type of update and current digital trends in website design. 

Why Updating is Important

In the past, analytics options were limited. Because of this, meaningful data wasn’t available, so updates usually only occurred every 2-3 years. In today’s digitally dominated world, however, new technology allows you to keep up with your website performance in real-time. This means you have actionable data that can be used to update your site whenever you choose. Some of the most common reasons for updating include:

  • Making your website more user-friendly.
  • Adding new products.
  • Experimenting with new mediums.
  • To address the shifting needs of your client base.
  • When your traffic levels are not where you want them.
  • When you have room in your budget.
  • As an upgrade to set you apart from competitors.
  • To boost your SEO performance.

As you can tell, your reasons for updating and the frequency of these updates will depend on a variety of factors. But here are some general guidelines you can follow when it comes to updating your website.

Website Content & SEO Performance

A steady flow of high-quality, original content is key to growing your brand and increasing your search ranking. That’s why it’s generally recommended to update your site with new written content at least monthly. By constantly monitoring the performance of your website content through ROI, bounce rates, and other data, you can gain a better understanding of what improvements need to be made to your site.

Google loves data and fresh data.  By updating older blogs with fresh data and adding new content as frequently as possible, Google will see your site as an expert in your category.  This is part of Google’s E.A.T. (expertise, authority, and trust)methodology for ranking sites they see as valuable.

Making Use of Growth-Driven Website Design

One big reason businesses update their websites is to increase their financial returns. When you opt for growth-driven site design, you stay more involved with your site, revisiting its design every few months. By regularly assessing your site design’s impact on marketing and sales metrics, you can determine when updates are needed. In the long term, this saves you money on complete site redesigns, which are much more costly than routine website updates. It also permits you to target specific problems that may be holding back your brand, like ineffective link placement.

4 Digital Advertising Tactics That Will Increase Your Search Engine Ranking

If you are in the process of rethinking your digital advertising methods, there are several opportunities to take advantage of. In today’s digital age, there are plenty of marketing methods that will help your business succeed and grow at an incredible pace.

For instance, more businesses than ever use methods like search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), and social media platforms. With the right strategy, these website optimization tactics can lead your business to new heights of success. Keep reading to learn more.

4  Digital Advertising Tactics That Will Increase Your Search Engine Ranking

#1: Search Engine Optimization

In recent years, search engine optimization has become an increasingly efficient way to market one’s business. Essentially, this tactic merges popular keywords and search terms into content that you post on your website.

For instance, if someone is searching for a local bakery, they might search the words ‘Houston TX bakery near me.’ This is what marketing professionals refer to as a keyword or keyphrase. When specific search terms related to your industry are used multiple times, Google stores and records this information. 

The good news is that you can use popular keywords to increase your search engine ranking. By incorporating a keyword into your website content, you will give your business an opportunity to move up to the first page of search results.

#2: Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay-per-click advertising, or PPC ads, is another popular tactic used to quickly increase your search engine ranking. These ads are made through the Google search engine and also incorporate popular keywords into their headings. 

The great thing about a PPC Google ad is that you ‘pay per click.’ While this might sound like it adds up, consider the amount of revenue you could make from one click alone. Although this is not necessarily a great long-term solution to beefing up your search engine ranking, it is a great option when used correctly.

#3: Social Media Marketing

In the past few decades, social media has become a front and center platform for effective digital marketing. Websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are quickly becoming a preferred method for business owners to connect with their customers. 

Additionally, these platforms offer a cheap, or often free, way to advertise sales, new products and locations, and even the latest trends in your industry. 

If you want an effective and easy way to communicate with your valued customers, take advantage of social media. Also, make sure you express the values and services that drive and inspire your business.

#4: Local Search Engine Optimization

Local search engine optimization is another great opportunity for your business to advertise in the community. This method is especially great for small businesses that may not have the budget for major marketing. 

Local SEO tactics utilize similar methods to regular SEO. However, this method targets the local and surrounding communities rather than the internet at large. Using Google Maps, you can increase awareness in your community about your business. Help your business grow today!

4 Tips for Effective Web Design

While website design is somewhat subjective, there are best practices you should follow for effective web design. The design of your site is one of the most vital factors when it comes to the success of your website. When choosing a Website Design Company, it is also important that they build it with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind as it’ll help you gain more visitors.

Visitors are quick to judge your credibility based on your website. As a result, you’ll find it also influences conversions, bounce rate, and more. Instead of playing guessing games or making assumptions, it’s in your best interest to do what’s proven to work when it comes to tips for effective web design.

1. Take into Account Page Layout & Formatting

One tip for effective web design is to know that the layout of your page is extremely important. It has to do with where you put content, links, and pictures, and even the size of the text you use. Ideally, you should use an average size font and take into consideration the color of the background and the font. You want your website to be easy to read. Avoid putting text in images because search engines can’t read what’s inside them. Also, pay attention to speed and make sure your website is fast for the best results.  

2. Do Your Keyword Research

It’s wise that you take your time to do some research on the keywords that you want to use on your website. Keywords are the primary factor used to determine SEO for a website. You can give yourself some direction when you’re planning out your website by knowing which keywords are best to use. You want to find out what people are searching for and to have a good idea of what the competition is like. Avoid overusing keywords and use them once about every 100 words.

3. Create Relevant Content

Another essential aspect of building a website is the content. One tip for effective web design is to create content that’s relevant and timely. Content is a very important part of your website.

You should plan out your content in advance and pay special attention to the homepage since this is what people will initially click to and it will help them determine if they want to keep navigating through and around. You need to pull users in and motivate them to want to read and learn more. Use common knowledge words and keep the content fairly simple to understand.

4. Pay Attention to Navigation & User Experience

Keep user experience and usability in mind right from the start, which will help with SEO. Keep the overall experience of using your website to be seamless and smooth. You also want your website to be easy to navigate. You create a negative user experience when it becomes frustrating to use your website and get around it. Your business might not only lose a customer, but it might negatively impact your SEO rankings as well.

Choosing a Website Design Company

Are you ready to take your web design to the next level? The

The Importance of CX (Customer Experience) in Web Design

Your website is a critical part of the customer experience. Every element of your site must serve a purpose. When customer experience isn’t a focus on web design, the brand’s ability to attract and retain customers is affected. And any brand design agency worth its salt will swear by that simple fact. In this article, you’ll discover why customer experience has to be a top focal point when designing a site.

What is Customer Experience? 

Customer experience is the sum of all customer interactions. That includes engagement with various touchpoints (online and offline).

Your website’s purpose goes beyond aesthetics. It’s a crucial touchpoint that’s often the determining factor of customer satisfaction. And how people feel about a company is based on each person’s overall experience with that brand.

Thankfully, you can control or architect customer experience by paying attention to it.

Improving Customer Experience on Your Site

The website’s usability and the way you handle communications with your customers should be flawless. In other words, you should create a website that’s easy to navigate and maintains an impressive design. However, that’s easier noted than done. That is why you need a customer journey map.

What is a Customer Journey Map? 

A customer journey map is an illustrative representation of the steps your ideal customers take when engaging your brand.

“As a brand design agency, we use customer journey maps to inform design decisions. It offers a clear picture of the kind of experience customers expect and should receive” – GreyBox Creative.

Consider going through the process of creating one for your website. It allows you and your team to do the following.

  • Visualize the motivations and pain points of customers
  • Uncover potential interaction snags and address each one
  • Align the business goals with customer needs
  • Improve each touchpoint on the website to increase conversions

Benefits of Improving Customer Experience

  • Customer retention – According to a PWC study, 32 percent of consumers will walk away from a brand after one horrible experience. Therefore, improving customer experience should increase consumer retention.
  • More word-of-mouth referrals – People generally talk about good experiences, so you can earn more positive recommendations when customer experience is spectacular.
  • Increase customer loyalty – Consumers usually stick with brands that consistently provide excellent customer experiences. As a result, an investment in customer experience is a revenue-generating opportunity.
  • Win more customers – Improving customer experience eliminates friction or potential bottlenecks in the sales process, making it easier to onboard new customers.
  • Better consumer engagement – Good customer experience can create the right conditions, making consumers more willing to engage and share information with brands.
  • Mitigate risks – Companies that provide great customer experiences earn more consumer trust. When people trust your brand, most will come to you first whenever there’s a problem or complaint. Therefore, you can better manage your brand’s reputation.

Wrapping Up

Your website is an integral consumer touchpoint, so customer experience should be among the top focus. Take a look at your site to see where you can improve things for the customer. Balance aesthetics, usability, and convenience for best results.

Ensure Google Ranking Factors By Outsourcing To SEO Professionals

Should you or should you not outsource SEO? There are a lot of factors to consider before making that crucial decision. Many companies are hesitant about outsourcing SEO. They have their own way of doing SEO and fear that others may not be able to do it as well. In other words, trust is a factor when deciding to outsource SEO or to handle SEO in-house.

That said, outsourcing SEO will benefit your business greatly. As they say at Red Canyon Media, “Outsourcing SEO saves you time and effort that could go towards more important assignments.” The key to success with outsourcing SEO is execution. In this article, we will discuss top Google ranking factors as well as why brands outsource and how to outsource.

Important Ranking Factors To Know For Google

There are many factors that impact your ranking on the search engine results page (SERP). That said, here are the most important ranking factors out of the 200+ that you need to know must.

  • Backlinks – Links from other sites that come to yours need to be credible and relevant to your cause.
  • Business Listing – Consistency is key when it comes to your name, address, and phone number (NAP) being the same across the web. 
  • Content Depth – It is important that your content is thorough in relation to your keywords and is easy to understand.
  • Freshness – Many websites like news sites need fresh up to date content that gives their readers value.
  • HTTPS – People trust websites that are secure so work to get your SSL or website security credentials up to date.
  • Keywords – Make sure that keyword usage is the right amount and avoid overusing it to achieve quality content.
  • Mobile-Friendliness – Make sure your website is accessible and compatible across all devices (mobile, tablet, desktop).
  • Page Speed – Make sure your website page speed is fast in order for users to stick around while achieving low bounce rates.
  • Searcher Intent – Make sure your web page is relevant to what your target audience is searching for.
  • Social Signals – Always check your social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) to see how people are responding to your brand.

All these factors are paramount in determining how you stack up amongst the sea of online brands. Always work to be ahead of the game in each above category to have an advantage over the competition.

Why Do Brands Outsource SEO?

A common misstatement that people say about outsourcing is that they think everything needs to be outsourced. Not everything needs to be outsourced. Outsourcing only specific SEO jobs will help you focus your time on other important business situations. Here are some key situations in which outsourcing will benefit you.

  1. Outsource when you and your team have many things to do at once.
  2. Outsource when dealing with repetitive SEO tasks such as link building.
  3. Outsource when overwhelmed with keeping up with ranking factors and constant algorithm changes.

When you’re about to decide whether to outsource SEO or not, consider the time your team spends on SEO tasks instead of other important work. You will save money by outsourcing SEO as opposed to doing it in-house.

Three Steps To Outsourcing SEO

Once you decide that you want to outsource your SEO tasks, follow these three crucial steps:

  1. Set up a system such as an SOP (Standard Operating System) to ensure that jobs are performed to specifications.
  2. Hire a freelancer or a white-label agency to carry out SEO tasks.
  3. Work to manage your tasks via project management software like Basecamp or working with your white-label agency.

Outsourcing SEO Saves Time And Maximizes Performance

It is clear that outsourcing SEO tasks will help maximize the performance of your team. In addition, this saves you and your team time and money that could go to other important tasks. Looking for a white-label agency that achieves quality results, then consider the services Red Canyon Media offers. With quality services like these, you will be doing you and your employees a huge favor.

10 Types of Social Media Posts Consumers Want

Marketers prioritize content based on what they think their customers want to see. However, a new study shows that what brands post doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with the social posts consumers want.

In the report, 1,253 consumers and 2,060 social media marketers were surveyed.

What is working, though, is that customers and marketers agree on what the top ten content types are. Marketers just don’t always seem to post about these in the most profitable ratio.

Let’s first look at the top ten types of posts that are mutually beneficial to marketers and customers.

10 Types of Social Posts Consumers Want

What customers want to see most are posts about discounts for sales, posts that showcase new products and posts that teach something. The latter is in-line with many of the how-to videos brands like Tasty have based their model around. Think instructional cooking videos and crafts, that’s what we’re referencing here.

Statistics show that 72 percent, 60 percent, and 69 percent of customers prefer this type of content, respectively, when interacting with content online.

When thinking about content consumption, these are the types of posts your potential customers want to see:

  1. Sales and discounts (72%)
  2. Showcasing new products (60%)
  3. Posts that teach something, instructional (59%)
  4. Entertaining posts (56%)
  5. Inspiring posts (49%)
  6. Company announcements (41%)
  7. Posts that tell a story (37%)
  8. Showcasing a company’s personality (23%)
  9. Showcasing company employees, the crew (13%)
  10. Posts that are partnerships with influencers (12%)

In exactly this order, your customers are waiting and hungry for you to drop these kinds of posts for them to consume.

What Marketers Usually Post

You may be thinking, “Why is this an issue? I already post these kinds of content pieces.” And if you do, you’re on the right track.

The problem marketers are running into is the ratio in which these posts are being shared. According to the report, 61 percent of marketers post content that teaches something, following by 58 and 53 percent of marketers who post content that tells a story and posts that inspire, respectively.

On the list, these kinds of posts rank at number three, four and five. The top ten content pieces being shared by marketers are posts that:

  1. Teach something, instructional (61%)
  2. Tell a story (58%)
  3. Inspire people (53%)
  4. Company announcements (51%)
  5. Entertain, kills time, is funny (47%)
  6. Are about new products or services (46%)
  7. Showcase a company’s personality, (44%)
  8. Highlight employees, the crew (24%)
  9. Discounts for sales/coupons (18%)
  10. Influencer partnerships (16%)

It’s a clear determination that marketers just aren’t prioritizing the content their consumers really want to see. But, it’s not at all unfixable.

How Consumers Engage With Posts

Consumers can watch and read your content all day, but what is important is if they engage. The study shows that consumers are more likely to like and share entertaining posts. Of those asked, 51 percent claimed they’d interact with this kind of post with a like. And, 44 percent would share it.

Of the ten, consumers are more likely to interact with posts about sales and discounts and inspirational posts as well.

For consumers, they’ll engage more with content that will help them or someone else. Sixty-Seven percent of them would like content about a sale, 51 percent would share it. Equally, 44 percent of them would like and share inspirational posts.

Where Consumers and Marketers Agree

Marketers are not psychics, they aren’t always going to get it right. But according to this report, there were a few places in which both marketers and consumers agreed on content priority.

Two types of content that were equally prioritized on both sides were instructional videos and posts that entertain. We know from personal experience that people enjoy taking a break from a hectic day and spending time watching how-to videos, hilarious fails and reading funny memes.

As a marketer, you should capitalize on this.

How to Prioritize Content for Consumers

In 2019, instructional videos and entertaining content needs to be at the top of the priority list. Restructuring the way marketers share is essential, so, you’re also going to want to move content about discounts and sales to the top of the list.  Consumers care more about how they can save money on their favorite brands and services, give them a way to do so.

Merge Content Pieces

A good idea would be to merge some of these hot content pieces. Pin a coupon code or link to a how-to video for some of the products used in the video.

In-print, some retail brands are following this tactic. In 2018, we’ve seen an increase in published store-focused magazines that feature recipes, style tips and more attached to coupons for the products featured inside. Everyone from TJMaxx to grocery store tycoons are heavily marketing their products this way.

If it’s turning readers into conversions in-print, it will do the same online.

Keep the Logo, Drop the Backstage

It’s clear that customers are not that interested in content about a company’s personality or their employees. It seems harsh, but even if you have an office on a rainbow filled with unicorns working at the desks, customers just want to see what you can give to them that will make them laugh, cry, motivate them or…. help them save money.

Going forward, focus more on branding content with your logo. An example of this is a logo credit at the end of in-house or licensed videos. When scrolling through video feeds, customers are more likely to learn about a brand based on whether they see a logo repeatedly after great videos they watch. They rarely look at who published the video in the profile line.

The same is true for articles they come across. Always remember to remind viewers of who provided the great content at the end of videos and articles. Also, keep team exposure to a minimum unless it’s accompanied by a good story, Buzzfeed style.

Overall, the concept is to fight the urge to post what you think consumers want to see. It’s better to listen to them, watch their reactions to other content and analyze what is already popular within your target audience. Then, provide that style of content to your consumers.

What Your Social Media Marketing Team Needs To Succeed

The only constant in the marketing world is change — and change is exactly what you need to expect in 2019. Even before the last holiday present is unwrapped and the smell of pumpkin spice coffee fades from the air for one more year, it’s time to start planning your strategy for the new year.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Our Top 3 Social Media Marketing Predictions For 2019

We spent some time pouring over our crystal ball for you in order to put together a list of social media predictions that you can use. Here’s what we saw when the mists cleared:

1. Platforms Will Be Prioritized Differently

Facebook has long been the mainstay for social media marketing. While it’s hardly dead, it is aging — in more than one way. Demographically, Facebook is static (at best) in most age groups — or even slightly declining. It’s become the main stomping ground for older consumers — Generation X and Baby Boomers while younger generations hang out in far more interesting corners of the internet.

It is no surprise that younger consumers are moving to Instagram, Snapchat, and even Twitter. That’s where you need to go if you’re trying to find the Millennials and anybody in Generation Z. Around 78% of “kids” between 18-24 years of age are on Snapchat and 71% are on Instagram. Twitter isn’t quite as popular, but it attracts a decent showing of consumers in every age group except for those over 50.

Focus your marketing efforts accordingly, my friends! You don’t want to abandon Facebook, but you need to get your brand out there on some of the other platforms as well or risk getting left behind!

2. Marketers Will Embrace Video

Why does a fortune teller peer into her crystal ball instead of just waiting on the spirits to text her the information she needs? Because the human brain just prefers visuals. Send a message in a text and only about 10% of people are going to remember. Send a video message instead and about 95% of people will retain it!

Consumers love visuals and video is undeniably on the rise. If you haven’t already started adding video content into your marketing, you’re falling behind. Videos are the number one thing that you need to be pouring into Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat to be successful on those platforms.

Video traffic is expected to account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic in 2019. Get your vlogs, video ads, live streams, product demos, tutorial videos, and interviews going. Focus on giving your consumers a good story, inspiring them in new ways, and making them laugh. If you work with influencers, encourage them to get on Facebook Live or Twitter Live for better engagement.

Consumers like videos because they’re easily consumable. Chatbots offer bite-sized pieces of information that consumers can immediately use. Video also has an organic feel.  By design, video makes it easy to offer something the consumer wants — whether practical knowledge or entertainment — rather than just sell them on a product. Whatever videos you use — even ads — need to be organic in feel and nurture the relationship with the consumer. Don’t just make claims about your products — tell a story or entertain your consumers instead.

3. Chatbots Will Be Everywhere

While we were looking in the crystal ball a chatbot popped up and offered to send the next three predictions straight to our email. That way, we didn’t have to remember to check back.

Why not?

Chatbots are quickly taking over. Consumers like them because they can accomplish a lot of mundane, routine tasks rather quickly, like providing the answer to a simple question or resolving a complaint. Chatbots are also immediately available, no waiting necessary!

In 2019, consumers can use chatbots to check on an order, book a flight, refill a prescription and order delivery. Since bots are fairly new right now, this is your chance to leap ahead of the curve. Putting a chatbot in place could mean the difference between making (or keeping) a customer and losing one to a brand with a chatbot that makes ordering a pizza easy.

The Other Keys To Social Marketing Success In 2019

Before our crystal ball ended the service call, it offered one final image to guide you through the next year:

Let’s talk about what the crystal ball is saying here.

You can’t survive without making use of additional resources to guide your social strategy. 

What You Need In Your Toolbox

  • A Content Development Team: You don’t have to have a large content team, but you do need a team that understands how to effectively create and distribute content for maximum engagement. If you don’t have the resources to handle the job in-house, partner with a company that can help you.
  • Analytical Software: About 53% of marketers say that analytical software is a driving force behind their strategies — and we understand why! Data-driven decisions are the best decisions. Google Analytics, for example, can tell you how customers find your website. You can also make good use of tracking codes to check the power of every social campaign you create. The information you get back tells you what works.  You also learn what doesn’t work — which can keep you from investing too deeply into a failing strategy.
  • More Content — You need new content in order to keep people interested. Influencer content is very important these days because consumers listen more to each other than they do advertising messages. Remember: it’s no longer good enough to simply make a great product and tell people about it. Now, you need to involve them in your story if you want to get noticed.
  • Publishing Software — You know you need to publish regularly on social if you want to raise the level of engagement you get from consumers. But, who has the time? Publishing software like Sprout Social and MeetEdgar can get your posts out there at the correct times on each platform — and relieve you of the hassle. If you don’t know how to set publishing software up for yourself, there are small business marketing services like ours that can get you set up in a jiffy!  Reach out to Blue on any of our social sites to find out more.

The Takeaway

A lot of brands simply don’t put enough of their resources — financial or physical — into their marketing to be successful. Pulling together the resources for all of this when you’re a small brand can be rough, but you have to think of it as a necessary investment.

Before the magic mists close and hide the future from us again, take a good look at where you are now and where you want to be at the end of 2019. To get where you hope to be, you need to embrace the changes that are happening in social marketing right now. That includes the increasing need for video content and the growing importance of chatbots.

You also need to put sufficient resources into your social marketing efforts if you want to see results. Make use of as many free analytical tools as possible, but don’t overlook the value of professional assistance or a dedicated social marketing team of your own.

How Consuming Social Media Has Changed

In 2018, social media came of age! Twenty-one years ago, the completely forgotten social media site – SixDegrees – gave us a glimpse into our connected future. Now, social media is the always-on portal to our real-time world.

If you use the internet, you’re consuming social media. It’s a fact, 98% of internet users are on social channels already. Social media sites are where everyone hangs out. About a third of our online time is spent on social media – over two hours every day and growing.

But social is fluid – reflecting the fads and trends of its audience. There are constant subtle shifts in platform parameters. Savvy marketers don’t wait for an authoritative organization to conduct a survey regarding their business. Instead, they get the news from their social analytics.

Where Are Your Customers Hanging Out Now?

Because social media is growing up alongside its consumers, it’s in an ongoing state of change. What’s cool for a teen can’t be the same for a millennial or Gen X audience. Social is a global age-sensitive phenomenon.

We all know the demographic at Facebook is skewing towards an older cohort. Snapchat is the darling of Gen Z. And every channel has something unique to add to the mix. However, what we’re seeing here is a clear heads-up for visuals and video.

Already marked as the key trend for 2019, video content is driving the percentages seen in these 2018 user changes.  Here is proof the power of visuals. Visual content is more likely to get shared on social media.  In fact, Snapchat users share over 9,000 videos per second!  

How Long Do Consumers Stay on the Major Networks?

Facebook and YouTube are the superstars of social. And they’re the top two platforms for video. But, like great hair or a cheeky smile, the top social channels all have special qualities.

Still, it’s a distracted world. Digital consumers can be juggling on average as many as eight social networks! The thing to remember here is that your audience hasn’t necessarily moved away from Facebook. Instead, the way they use Facebook has changed in recent years. Your consumers have likely added another network to their mobile home screen or they spend time where the visuals are more appealing such as on Instagram.

To find how your consumers have migrated – look to the demographics! Has there been a seismic shift in the user base of the channel? Facebook experienced an exodus with concerns over data privacy and sites like Google+ were canceled entirely for similar issues. Social media algorithms are constantly changing. These are all issues that reflect in the numbers as the network addresses user’s anxieties.

Why You Should Lend More Budget to Social Media in 2019

It’s no secret, social marketers are adding to their budgets. With everyone online all the time, digital marketing is the key. And marketers must grow to meet customer expectations.

But here’s the catch, more platforms are moving towards a pay-to-play model.  While organic engagement is still possible, it won’t be long before organic visibility is a thing of the past.

What are your goals for social? What does your brand need to achieve? Why are you on social media anyway?

Goals and objectives could be:

  • Making more sales
  • Growing brand loyalty
  • Increasing customer retention

Chances are you’ll need that bigger budget to compete with social advertising. But before you spend, identify your aims! Getting the most bang for your buck takes planning. Don’t forget to build on social successes by analyzing your past performance, constantly. Pay close attention to top performers based on engagement and the type of content that drives the most traffic with the lowest bounce rate.  These are indicators of content marketing winners!

Compare digital to traditional advertising when most of the world is online. Not surprisingly the move is toward bigger spends on social.

Increase Marketing Staff To Compete

Social media is an astonishing mass communication tool. But someone has to write the tweets, create the content, answer the comments. And then campaigns don’t run themselves.

Streamlining operations is the mantra of businesses everywhere. But where do your social marketing efforts go without more staff?

Create Video

It’s not the number of hands in the game. It’s what those hands are doing. Creating a video, responding to clients and visitors, and dishing up answers for customer questions may be tops. Is there more?

Automate Solutions With Chatbots

Yes! Start filling the gaps with automated solutions such as chatbots to provide customer service and software to help with the content creation process. Use what you have.

Start An Employee Advocacy Program

Do you have loyal employees? Encourage them to share company kudos on social media with tools such as Bambu by Sprout Social.  Need help setting up your employee advocacy program or gamifying your system, that’s part of what we do here at Blue! Get in touch with us on any of our social sites to talk more about how you can amplify results with employee interaction.

Turn your staff into brand ambassadors. Promoting the company softball game, or the Christmas charity drive with their network of friends and family shout authenticity to your social audience.

Get your social marketers working smarter, not harder.

Other Departments Where Social Marketers Can Make a Difference

Here’s the point. What kind of impact do you expect from your social efforts? Social engagement drives results across the board. One hand washes the other. For example, sharing website teasers (like blog posts) sends visitors to the website to read more.

Pique the curiosity of casual social visitors and they’ll visit the website for more information. Offering something for free – an ebook or report – might get you their email address. Another lead to add to your list!

Tailor your social interactions for specific results. Every department gains from a well-planned social strategy.

Important Features & Strategies for Social Marketers

Useful features change as social media evolves. What worked in 2016 could be useless in 2019. Likewise, strategies must adapt to the new landscape. Marketing plans for next year will guide your actions. Effective planning exposes where you’re failing or succeeding.Social marketers rely heavily on social analytics. A constant refrain from business owners is, “I’ve spent $$$s on this campaign, what’s my ROI?” Different social media analytics tools track specific data.

It’s crucial to know what posts are working for you and what posts are falling flat. With tools like Sprout Social, you can engage in social media listening, respond effectively, involve your team, record information about your users like a social CRM, track engagements, tag incoming and outgoing posts, and more!  If you’re looking for more comprehensive reporting in your social media analytics, we can help set that up for you!

Social Marketers’ Must-Have Tools

Social media management tools are the big guns in social marketers’ arsenals. A close second is social media analytics software. Social marketers know they need to measure their results.

The tools that count for social marketers are the tools that help them do their job.

In Summary…

Where does your audience spend their time? How do they consume content?  Social marketing is all about your brand. How it solves your audience’s problems. Are you spreading a consistent message that covers your client’s needs?

Delight and inspire your readers with content they can’t resist. Visual demonstrations create a potent impact.

Graphic content is dominating social media and the appeal of video is a solid bet. When social media works, nothing on the net can take its place.

Grow Your Business With Social Media Advertising

If you’re not utilizing social media advertising in 2019, your business is in for a rude awakening. With 37% of the world’s population (2.8 billion people!) using social media platforms, you cannot afford to ignore it any longer.

Google and Facebook have created a very successful business model for themselves by continually updating their search algorithms. Businesses are encouraged to invest more money in digital advertising with every update.

This year, it’s going to be pay-to-play, more than ever. Are your numbers still dropping? Why are you still not investing in social media advertising? Love it or hate it, in any industry you need Google and social media ads for active growth in 2019.

The Infamous Heavy Hitter, Facebook

Facebook alone has over 2.27 billion monthly active users, making it the universal platform for business advertising. It takes the guessing game out of marketing for you.

Want to know who your demographic is? Facebook’s analytics will tell you precisely by what age, geographic location, interests, and more about your followers. If you don’t already have a social following, you can bank on Facebook being a solid starting point.

With social media and Google ads, you get results on the first day of ad spend. The platforms will tell you with impressive accuracy how many of your targeted customers will see your ads. 

Ads on Facebook are some of the most affordable, with campaigns starting at just between $1.50 and $5.00. Larger investments see larger returns. Social media ads on Facebook allow you to tailor campaigns to drive traffic to your site, increase engagement, motivate shopping, and more.

Other A-Team Players in Social Media

Facebook has been controversial lately, and you can undoubtedly find successful results on other platforms. However, Facebook owns Instagram, which has over 1 billion active monthly users. This is a vast sweep of the market share.

Still not feeling it? LinkedIn and Twitter have your back!

LinkedIn is more powerful and relevant than ever, especially for B2B businesses. With over 250 million monthly active users, if you’re targeting other companies, you need to be using LinkedIn. Budgeting your ad spend on this platform is a brilliant choice for your business this year.

Who’s Your Target?

Twitter is another solid choice. With over 326 million monthly active users, it’s a diverse demographic that almost any business can find their clientele within. Let’s get general for a moment:

Are you targeting a younger audience? You should probably consider Instagram, which is heavy on visuals and popular with the hip youth of today.

Facebook is quickly going to the parents, grandparents, cousins, and aunts and uncles. The cool kids are “opting out” after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Extra thanks to a series of outrageous privacy issues.

Is your ideal client a more mature professional? Twitter is still going strong with white collar users, which also includes aging hipster millennials. They are likely to be found on LinkedIn as well.

Social Media Success Story

It was between 2006 and 2007 that Facebook blew up, becoming a household name. Facebook has gained millions upon millions of users each year ever since. Other platforms also quickly gained steam during that period.

Social media is snowballing, and changes so frequently, that many business owners feel overwhelmed and inept with it. Digital marketers have come to the rescue. Just as lawyers regularly study the law to stay up-to-date, you will fall behind if an expert isn’t consistently honing your social media presence and advertising.

Just having a social media presence is vital. If your business gets a new lead, this prospective customer is going to cross-check you on social media, and if your pages come up empty, dated, or non-existent – they are gone.

Posting content regularly is a modern business survival tactic, but will not provide active growth. You’re going to have a hard time growing your business organically.

What’s Your Budget?

Consider a digital ad spend and make it substantial. Anything less than hundreds of dollars is going to bring minimal results. However, there are hacks and tricks up every digital marketer’s sleeve that can save you big on ad spend.

For example, you might budget out $600 a month for social media advertising and Google ads, and as you optimize those ads, your cost-per-click can come down significantly. You may only use half your budget for the same results.

Digital marketers are going to scream at me, but it’s not unheard of to just hit the “boost” button and apply $5 +/- to every post you make. 

You’re better off taking a targeted approach, but just $5 will make a difference. You will have much more engagement and reach. If you’re a start-up or a struggling business lacking a decent ad budget, then DIY and put that card in your pocket.

Search Engines, Google vs. YouTube

What about search engines? Google is becoming more saturated every day. It’s getting harder to climb the ranks without spending top dollar, especially for competitive markets and keywords.

You’ll have to bite the bullet at first and try a few different ad campaigns to see what brings the best ROI. However, YouTube is quickly becoming the next Google. People are searching YouTube daily for everything from an easy pancake recipe to jumping a stalled car.

Google is no longer the only source of instant information, and you’d be wise to get involved with YouTube. YouTube now has over 1.9 billion monthly active users. Google owns YouTube, and the advertising is just as calculated and useful as Google Ads, yielding good PPC averages.

Are you noticing a pattern? The biggest online platforms are monopolizing their markets. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s going to be pay-to-play in 2019. Facebook and Google are making sure of it.

If your website is an essential aspect for your business, and likely it is, then being found on search platforms is very important. However, if you’re more of a local and geographically based business, then social media is a better focus. Not to say that search ads or social media are more important than the other, they indeed go hand-in-hand.

The best approach for a business that wants active growth is to layer their digital advertising budget across Google, YouTube, and social media ads. You need to spend some time and money on digital marketing to keep your business relevant in 2019.