The marketing landscape is constantly changing. If you’re not careful and proactive, it is easy to get left behind. For marketing to be as effective as possible, you have to be able to keep up!
Erik Qualman shared in Socialnomics to reach 50 millions users: in Radio it’s 38 years; TV it’s 13 years; the Internet is 4 years and the iPod is 3 years. Facebook added 100 million users in less than nine months; iPhone applications hit 1 billion in nine months.
In other words, you continually have to adapt to stay relevant to your audience.
Take a few minutes for a short self-checkup to see if your marketing strategy is current or outdated.
1. Your Marketing Strategy is Outdated If You Aren’t Using Video Yet
Youtube is the second most-used search engine in the world. Without video content, you’re missing a huge chunk of your potential audience. In addition to that, optimized videos can rank very highly in traditional search engine rankings, especially Google, which owns Youtube.
Beyond their importance for search rankings, video is a powerful way to connect with your potential customers. Consumers are increasingly looking for brands with personalities, brands that excite them. They’ve come to expect more than text and basic graphics on company websites.
Video can entertain, educate and sell your products and services in a way that resonates strongly with today’s multimedia-obsessed society.
There’s also the social media aspect. Using video on Pinterest will set you apart from the crowd, as nearly all the content on the site are photos. Embedding video in LinkedIn profiles (using the Slideshare or Google Presentation applications), is still rare enough to make a real statement for those that use this capability.
And of course, video is shared frequently across all social networks.
2. Your Marketing Strategy is Outdated If Social Media Isn’t Included in Every Part of Your Strategy
BrightEdge Technologies did a study last fall that found that the homepages of almost half of the top 10,000 websites studied had no social links installed. Social media buttons make it much easier for visitors to share content with their network. For example, BrightEdge’s research showed that sites with a Twitter share button were shared nearly seven times more frequently than those without the button.
Social sharing buttons make it easier for email recipients will share messages they get. They’ve also been shown to increase click-through rates by 115%. This simple step more than doubles the engagement you get with your email marketing campaigns.
Your prospects and customers are on social media – you should be too. Give them ways to connect more deeply with your brand and learn more about how you can improve their lives and stay updated with the latest news. The loyalty you engender can pay off big time.
With that in mind, make your social network profiles as visible as possible on all your marketing materials, from your business cards and brochures to your website and TV commercials.
3. Your Marketing Strategy is Outdated If You Aren’t Optimizing for Mobile
As of May 2012, 10% all internet usage is accessed via mobile devices, according to Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers.
That trend is quickly increasing. In fact, Google predicts that by the end of this year, 1 billion people globally will use their phones or tablets as their primary point of internet access.
In light of mobile web’s rapid growth, it’s no longer optional not to have a mobile-friendly website, even if your business is a one location brick-and-mortar store. Search Engine Land indicates that
“Google found that 92 percent of smartphone owners in the US seek local (offline) information via their devices, and that 89 percent of those people took some form of action after such a lookup. Beyond this Google said that 25 percent of people in the US made a purchase after a local lookup. In addition, in the US, 51 percent called a business and 48 percent actually went to the business location.”
4. Let’s not forget about email.
In Knotice’s Mobile Email Opens Report for the second half of 2011, we find that open rates increased by 36% over the course of the year. Despite that fact, 39% of marketers have no strategy to optimize their email campaigns for mobile, while 37% have only a “basic” strategy in place.
This is a huge missed opportunity! When you think about the difference in screen size between a smartphone (which has a 4-inch screen at the most) and a desktop computer, it’s not difficult to see why emails and the webpages they link to have to be structured differently.
You should respect your customers enough to give them the right kind of experience, whether they’re looking at your marketing materials on their phones, tablets or computers.
We’ve seen an increase in the use of mobile apps, SMS marketing and QR codes (half of smartphone owners have scanned them and 18% make a subsequent purchase) reports Mashable. Clearly, it’s very important and increasingly profitable to reach your audience through their handheld devices.
So, how does your strategy stand up? There are many more ways to stay on the cutting edge of marketing trends, but these four can have the biggest impact on your customer engagement and brand recognition. If you’re behind the curve, it’s time to catch up. The benefits will far outweigh the cost and effort you put into the process.
Donnie Bryant is a direct response copywriter and marketing consultant. He specializes in radically improving businesses with Stealth Salesmanship and Strategic Marketing. Find out more at http://donnie-bryant.com/.