New Year, New Strategies

After the most eventful year in modern memory, many marketers will be dusting themselves off and heading back to the drawing board to prepare for another year. It is more important than ever for businesses to maximise their online engagement for their website and social media channels. 

With a dramatic shift to the digital sphere occurring as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic, industrious businesses need to ensure that fresh strategies are implemented to ensure customer satisfaction, boost organic traffic and maximise the potential of your digital presence. 

Automation is the future 

AI programmes such as Chatbots are revolutionising the way in which consumers interact with brands. These systems are in place 24 hours a day, can provide support during non-working hours and aid customer service staff during peak hours. Research carried out by Ubisend indicates that 35% of customers want to see more companies using chatbots, and Oracle found that 80% of companies plan to use chatbots in 2021. In order to stay ahead of the curve, brands ought to be looking at implementing an AI system.

Once these customer engagement tools have been set up, the next step is to ensure that they are effective and that they complement your support team. A video chat option can simplify the usual form filling method utilised by chatbots, by providing a virtual face to face communication. Streamlined AI software as well as the option for human interaction drives up traffic, as issues can be resolved faster and a more comprehensive user experience is offered.

Excite your customers 

The most vital aspect of boosting your online engagement is to identify with your target audience and attract people to your channels. Many businesses spend time and resources ensuring that their websites are mobile friendly and reducing loading times, but neglect to appeal to the person behind every statistic. If someone doesn’t feel that a brand is interested in them or concerned with their wellbeing, they may well jump ship to somewhere that does.

Give your target market an incentive to engage with your social media accounts and website. The most well-known, and often a very effective, method of incentive is to promote discounts and special offers. With 61% of consumers saying that they use discounts with brands, this is an extremely reliable way to cement loyalty amongst your customer base. Well-executed contests such as quizzes and giveaways can have a similar effect.

Stamp your brand identity 

Every successful business has a set of core values, key messages that resonate with their audience. Whether you are in the process of building your brand from the foundations or are firmly entrenched within your sector, what your company promises should be clearly articulated on landing pages and social communications. If you successfully connect with your customers, you will certainly see a marked improvement in your engagement figures.

Prioritising SEO is essential to gain the upper hand in a highly competitive field, and to increase your client and customer base. It is a multifaceted and often complex marketing organism, one that requires careful research and planning to utilise properly. Taking the time to understand its many features will ensure that your online content and website always draw attention.

Content Creation

Without the use of SEO, your company website would not feature highly on Google searches, social media and marketing content would gain hardly any traction and driving organic traffic to your business would be immensely difficult. Research conducted by the marketing company BrightEdge indicates that organic searches are the primary driver of website traffic, making 51% whilst paid searches (PPC) takes up 10% and social just 5%.

Regardless of which industry or sector you are in, organic traffic takes up the largest portion of your engagement figures. Often people will avoid clicking on Google links that are clearly labelled as advertisements, instead opting for the search results directly below them. Without strong SEO in place such as specific keywords and meta descriptions, your website could fall to the bottom of the pile and miss out on a huge proportion of traffic. 

Ensuring that your website is optimised is just one part of the SEO puzzle, producing organic content is another crucial factor in gaining traction. Whether you upload them onto your web pages or social media platforms, or both, creating fresh content boosts your SEO ranking and provides material to engage with your target audience. Content can take a multitude of forms from blogs, videos, infographics, web page content and social media posts. By creating engaging, informative content can generate interest in your brand and increase your organic engagement.

Getting technical

Creating your own content and optimising it with keywords is a vital aspect of your SEO strategy, but ensuring that you have a solid grasp of the technical side is critical to success. Google is the primary search engine used by consumers and should be your focus point, so take the time to understand the way its algorithm works to make your website compatible with its searches.

Make sure that your website is user-friendly on all its pages and is easy to navigate. Go over it with a fine tooth comb to balance the keyword density, optimise the meta descriptions and title tags as well as ensuring compatibility with mobile devices. Google Analytics will help you to keep track of all your engagement figures and allow you investigate what your target audience is responding to. SEO is an excellent marketing tool  for your business, so take the time to fully understand how it works and how it can aid you best.

As we approach 2021, taking a fresh look at existing marketing strategies and analysing new developments is essential. Now is the time to closely examine your goals, enhance your decision making through performance metrics and adapt to the ever-changing landscape facing all brands and businesses in the new year.

Doing your research 

The stalwarts of digital marketing, pay-per-click advertising (PPC) and SEO for example, are certainly not new elements for marketers to contend with. It is the way in which they evolve that is of interest to brands developing new strategies, so conducting market research is vital to understand the fluctuations of your target audience’s interests and needs. Establishing the intent of your audience when they search for content is the first step to achieving better search ratings and producing more engaging content.

In 2019, Google announced and rolled out their BERT update that improved the understanding of people’s searches, namely the subtle nuances of language that computers struggled with. Since this huge update, Google’s search algorithm has become even more advanced at interpreting various kinds of natural language enquiries. Optimising your content with SEO keywords that reflect user intent has resulted in a user engagement increase of an enormous 667% for some brands

PPC campaigns certainly don’t seem to be going anywhere soon either, with responsive search ads (RSAs) now seemingly becoming the default search format due to Google’s implementation. RSAs eliminate the need to manually figure out the headlines by mixing and matching the combinations to determine which create the most compelling ads for customers. Augmenting this technology into your strategy could save valuable time and resources, providing the edge to your upcoming ads.

Stay in tune with your audience 

Making sure that your brand values and ethics chime with the desires and passions of your target audience is key to ensuring success for 2021. This success isn’t just about optimising your advertisements and researching the market, it’s also dependent on observing the traits of your audience. According to research, up to 41% of consumers actively shift their business away from companies who do not reflect their values of inclusivity and diversity.

Modern audiences, especially younger sections of society, have begun to shy away from the typical, homogenous groups often represented in previous marketing and advertising campaigns. Representation for people with disabilities, as well as a variety of races, genders and religions is essential for these audiences when selecting their most trusted brands. In a similar vein to inclusivity, the modern consumer takes an avid interest in environmentalism.

With 81% strongly feeling that companies should protect the environment, communicating an eco-friendly stance to your audience can pay huge dividends for your upcoming campaigns. This can take many forms from unveiling a new product that is sustainably sourced, to creating ad banners that champion your commitment to a particular environmental issue. 

The key to successful marketing materials is to always centre it on the relevant audience, whilst preparing the relevant research and technological tools to maximise your engagement. 2021 is sure to bring new challenges, but opportunities will abound for enterprising companies.