Four Digital Marketing Investments That are Worth the Time and Money

Courtney Myers's picture
Contributor
Courtney Myers
Contributor
Courtney Myers wrote:

It seems that around every corner, there is another digital marketing tool advertised to help you build your brand following, improve your reputation and boost your bottom line. While there are certainly plenty of solid bets among the myriad options, it can be difficult to discern exactly where to begin. Seeing as only 34% of companies with a digital marketing initiative have a defined web-based strategy built into their overall marketing focus, it stands to reason that knowing which tools to invest in now can be a valuable asset to your knowledgebase. As such, let’s take a look at four digital marketing investments you can’t go wrong with, to give you a solid foundation when pursuing new, more technologically advanced opportunities.

1. A mobile-responsive, technically-sound website. A majority of customers now access their data via a handheld smart device. If they pull up your webpage, blog, podcast or e-newsletter, what are they seeing? If the images are wonky, slow to load, or simply non-existent, it’s time for a makeover. The same goes if your text is difficult to navigate, your page organization is all over the place, or the entire thing is difficult to maneuver and decidedly not user-friendly.

Ensure every part of your web-based presence is optimized for mobile and technically sound. If you’re unsure whether or not your pages are responsive, there are tools such as the Google PageSpeed tools, which can give you feedback on your site performance, along with ideas on how to optimize and improve it.

2. Search engine optimization. It’s 2018, and more people are using voice-activated search to conduct online search queries than ever before. If they search for your industry niche, where will your website show up? Will you be at the top of the list on the first page, or will you be somewhere in the fifth or sixth page, lost among a sea of competitors? Moving further into this year, successful companies won’t just be those with carefully curated blog posts that meet all aspects of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy.

While you’ll still need to mind your keywords and link building, a new initiative is making sure your content is in a natural enough form that it pings when a voice search is activated. For instance, a prospective customer is far more likely to speak aloud a phrase such as “pet kennels near me” or “where to board my dog for the weekend” rather than “boarding kennels for dogs Sacramento, California.” If your long-tail keywords are unnatural and difficult to clearly pronounce, you could miss out.

3. Consistent and compelling content creation. Here’s a pro tip: You aren’t required to post on your business blog every single day. In fact, it can be difficult to come up with something creative, relevant and useful that often. Yet, it is important to post at least a few times a week, and to do so consistently. As you churn out informative, interesting and helpful content, your readers will be compelled to check back in with you, and that’s a valuable way to capture their long-term interest. Rather than churn out tome-length, text-heavy blog posts, consider switching up the format a little and utilizing images and even video in your blogs to up the visual interest.

Moreover, remember that online content is more than just a blog. It also entails your social media postings, which should also be consistent and regular, as well as website articles, white papers, data slicks, case studies, presentations and anything else that establishes you as a thought leader in your space. Before you create any type of content, however, ensure that you thoroughly understand your target users and take into account their preferences and pain points to create information they’ll actually take the time to read.

4. Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and other tech-savvy tools. It comes as no surprise that today’s customers are more discerning and demanding than ever before. Still, though it might be more difficult to do than in years past, capturing their attention remains a top initiative across the board. One way to stand out, get noticed, and build brand buzz is to incorporate an element of interaction and intrigue into your virtual presence. This is where technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and more come into play. Forward-thinking companies are those that leverage this innovation to propel themselves forward and get people talking.

For instance, some grocery store marketers are creating custom AR-powered displays that pop up in the food aisles when customers scan a particular code, revealing more detailed information about a particular product. From robo-advisors in the finance field to personal robotic shoppers in the retail space, the opportunity is ripe to utilize these capabilities across myriad industries.

Leveraging Digital Marketing to Stand Out in a Competitive Space

The web consists of a vast array of competitors, each only a click away from turning a prospect into a paying customer. While there are multiple ways to leverage digital marketing and get your voice heard above the rest, it’s important to analyze your business niche, core product or service offerings, and target customer base before moving forward with any program. Still, these four initiatives have stood the test of time and will only grow more necessary as the years progress. Will your business be able to keep up?

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