I spent Thursday and Friday of last week at the Southampton Digital Marketing Summit 2017 #DMSSO17, and am providing so feedback on my findings from the two-day event.
It was a really good event but it was interesting that a lot of it was focused on search, either search engine optimization or pay-per-click advertising but there were some really interesting statistics that came out from it.
They now reckon that over 60% of searches are on mobile and one of the most interesting ones is probably that 20% of searches that are currently done through the Google app are done by voice and that by 2020 they are predicting that actually 50% of all searches will be done by voice which is something you really need to think about with your business, promoting your business online and how you’re going to link with that particularly with the fact that actually a lot of voice searches are linked to local searches as well. In addition, you need to think about the devices that are driving voice searches and what they use for a search engine behind the scenes – Alexa from Amazon and Microsoft Cortana are both powered by Bing. Siri from Apple was using Bing until September this year.
Another hot topic they were talking about at the summit was a major rise in paid adverts across digital marketing platforms and how these can now be targeted very much at your custom audiences so that’s something to think about.
One interesting observation from me was that there wasn’t that big an emphasis at the summit on social media. There were a couple of sessions but it really was focusing on the whole content marketing, search engine marketing side of things and I can understand why that appearing in search results is more likely to lead to sales as people are looking for your services at that time (this is called attraction marketing) rather than your advert appearing on social media and hoping somebody will visit it, known as interruption marketing.
As 2016 comes to an end and 2017 looms over the horizon, I thought it was time to stare into my crystal ball and see if I can predict the big things that will happen with digital marketing in 2017. It will be fun to look back at this post towards the end of 2017 to see which, if any of them, will come true.
Video – even more important in 2017.
Let’s start with something that’s a safe prediction – video will be even more important for digital marketing in 2017 than it is in 2016, which is saying something as it’s a major influence in Facebook and Twitter’s algorithm already. The functionality of Facebook Live will continue to be enhanced and the use of Facebook Live will get even better results in their algorithm.
There have also been announcements of live video streaming developments both for Twitter and Instagram and I wouldn’t be surprised if LinkedIn and others followed suit.
In summary, you really need to include using video within your digital marketing mix in 2017.
Augmented Reality and 3D
The success of Pokemon Go earlier this year was the first real demonstration of augmented reality, where the digital world was overlaid on the real world, in real-time. There will be more games like this in 2017 and this will lead to digital marketing opportunities for business.
The 3D world is also developing at pace. Facebook has made an investment in this technology, as our many of the games consoles and Samsung are now promoting a 360-degree camera to support it, so it’s coming. I don’t think it will be big in 2017 but I can see it happening in 2018.
Google – it’s plans will influence your website
Google will continue to refine its algorithm and these will focus on improving the ranking of websites that perform well on mobile devices, so your website needs to be designed for mobile. Key things to focus on are a mobile responsive design, use of AMP pages and quick loading pages. I predict a further refinement to Google Adwords too. Oh and don’t forget to post those videos onto your website too.
Facebook will continue to go from strength to strength. Video and Facebook Live will become increasingly important and influential in the performance of posts. I am expecting some augmented reality and virtual reality features to be introduced in 2017, but these technologies are still in the development and experimental phase so it is difficult to predict exactly how this will be done. Back the right option and you will get an advantage but there will be many false starts. The developments that have started in Messenger for businesses will continue to deliver additional features.
LinkedIn was purchased by Microsoft in 2016 and I believe that their influence on LinkedIn will grow in 2017. Some areas of LinkedIn, such as the company page, have already been revisited and revamped and this will continue across 2017. I can see groups being re-vamped as LinkedIn groups seem to have lost out to Facebook groups in recent years.
Twitter is going to have an interesting 2017 and its success or otherwise will depend on who eventually buys Twitter and the direction of travel they take it in. Salesforce were rumoured to be the most likely buyer and if this is the case then there is the potential for some exciting developments towards the end of 2017, assuming the sale takes place early in 2017. Whatever happens as far as the potential sale, I predict there will be enhancements made to the paid advertising feature.
Other social media
Pinterest and Instagram will continue their rise in prominence within the digital marketing sphere and there will be a social media channel that develops from left-field. I don’t know which one but either SnapChat or WhatsApp appear to be well placed.
Is this the year of the small business app?
I read an article recently that predicted the death of websites and the advent of app only internet marketing. I wouldn’t go that far, but I can see the introduction of simple apps for small businesses becoming more popular, especially as we consuming so much of our digital information via mobile devices and apps work so well on them … definitely one to keep an eye on and even if it doesn’t happen in 2017 it is going to happen in the next few years.
In summary, it will be interesting to revisit this post regularly during 2017 to see which, if any, of these predictions comes true.
Finally, I would just like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year, where digital marketing plays a big part in your success.
Helping you with your digital marketing
If you would like help with your Facebook marketing or any other aspects of your digital marketing, call Red Knight Solutions on 02392 265725 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about how we can help your business thrive online.
Phew, what a relief. You’ve finished writing your blog post and you’ve avoided the 7 content marketing mistakes that I recently wrote a blog post about, but now what do you do with it? How do you get people to read it? Here are 7 steps you should take to maximise the exposure of your blog post, without spending any money.
Step 1 – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Make sure you have maximised your search engine optimisation when you published your blog by:
including appropriate key words and phrases within the text of your blog;
using appropriate file names and completing alt-text and description fields for all of the images you have used in your blog; and
Completing SEO meta data on your blog post, especially page title and description.
Step 2 – Facebook
Post on your Facebook business page
The first place to post your blog is Facebook. Post it on your company page, making sure it pulls through an appropriate image. If it doesn’t pick up an image from your blog, then upload one to go with it.
Share on your Facebook timeline
Lots of people think they’ve done what they need to on Facebook at this point, but they are wrong and are missing so many opportunities, as sharing your post from your business page on your personal timeline will increase the number of readers, as your friends and family (well at least some of them) will want to read what you have written and hopefully think it is worth a reaction, comment and maybe even a share. If you can encourage them to react to it in some way it will help, as getting interaction is part of Facebook’s algorithm on deciding whether to display a post in somebody’s timeline.
Share in Facebook groups
Don’t stop there though. Have you joined any Facebook groups that relate to your business? Yes, then you should share your post in all those groups too. If you’ve not joined any groups yet, then there is a great opportunity for you to expand the reach of your post and for many unconnected people and businesses to learn about what you do by joining relevant groups, participating in conversations in those groups and posting your content there.
Step 3 – Twitter
Tweet your post from your business Twitter account, using appropriate hashtags and images. If it is relevant to a specific follower, then you could send them a direct tweet or direct message to allow them to connect.
Once you have tweeted your post from your business account log into your personal account, retweet your business account post and like it too.
If you are using any Twitter automation tools, such as Twitter Jukebox or Social Jukebox, then remember to add your post as appropriate to ensure that it is included in your automation.
Step 4 –Linked In
Post a link to your blog as a status update on your LinkedIn profile and if you think your blog is an interesting read you could consider copying it and posting it on LinkedIn as an article. This will give all your connections an opportunity to see your post.
If you think your blog is relevant to some of your contacts, you could also send them a direct message which includes a link to your post and an appropriate message as to why you have sent them a direct message about it.
Don’t forget to also post an update on your LinkedIn company page too. Your company page may well have a different set of followers to your LinkedIn profile.
Finally, post your blog in all the relevant LinkedIn groups you are in. Although not as popular as they once were, groups are still an active area of LinkedIn and posting will help attract additional readers.
Step 5 – Google+/Google My Business
Don’t forget to add your post to your Google+/Google my business page too. Although this is unlikely to bring you that many direct readers, it does help one very important reader – Google, Which means that this is one of the most important actions you can do.
Step 6- e-mail marketing.
If you are running an e-mail newsletter, don’t forget to add your blog posts to it. If you’re not running one, then sharing blog posts is a great way to start developing your e-mail newsletter content.
Step 7 – On-line forums.
Post a link to your blog in any on-line forums that you are a member of. If the forum has a good reputation, then this can have additional benefits to your SEO as your post will act as a backlink to your site.
Bonus Step – Other Social Media Sites.
Depending on the nature of your business and the style of your blog then there are other social media sites you may wish to post your blog on too. These include Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.
Lots to remember.
There is a lot to remember when it comes to posting your blog. I have developed a checklist to help me remember all the different steps I need to do and I’m very happy to share it with you. If you would like a copy please complete the form below and I will e-mail it to you.
Content marketing is currently seen as THE way to get your website optimised on search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo (often referred to as SEO), but many business owners are disappointed with the results of their content marketing. Are you making one or more of these mistakes, so you are not getting the business results from your website that you are expecting?
Mistake 1 – Not understanding what content marketing means
Content marketing is a generic term used by digital marketers to describe using the content on your website to promote your business. By making sure that the text you write on your website pages, together with the pictures and video you include on it are focused on using the right words and phrases to describe your business and the services, you help Google, Bing and Yahoo understand the more about the goods and services your business offers and will show them high up in their search engine results pages when people enter those terms and phrases as a search.
Mistake 2 – Not knowing the words and phrases people would type into a search engine to find your business
This may sound obvious, but have you spent any time thinking about the words and phrases that people type into search engines that you would like or expect your company to appear on page one of google for? If not, it’s time to start thinking about them, writing them down and making sure they appear in appropriate places on your website.
Mistake 3 – Targeting individual words and short generic phrases rather than longer, more specific phrases.
Trying to get ranked for individual words and short phrases is very difficult, as you will be competing with other businesses both nationally and internationally. It is much better to try to target your content at longer phrases that are more specific. Although there may not be as many searches performed for these longer phrases, you will stand a much better chance of ranking highly for that phrase. It is also likely that the person undertaking a specific search is a much hotter lead as they are searching for something very specific and your business will be a very good match for them. For instance, it was very difficult for one of our customers to rank highly in search engine results for the phrase “Find A Care Home”, but they are now on page one of Google for the phrase “help find a care home for my elderly relative”.
Mistake 4 – Not including locations
Expanding on mistake 3, when people are searching for businesses and services they are usually looking in a particular location, so it is really important that you include location references in your content where possible. For instance, our client mentioned above is based in Hampshire and operates across Hampshire, Dorset, Surrey, Sussex and the Isle of Wight, so including these details in their content helps them to rank highly for phrases such as “help find a care home for my elderly relative in Hampshire”.
Mistake 5 – Not writing content very often
How often and how regularly do you write content for your website, either updating your pages, adding blog posts or news items? Website visitors like to see that the website they are looking at has been updated recently, so Google and the other search engines like to see this too. The best way to achieve this is by setting up a plan detailing when you are going to blog and what you are going to blog about. Doing something at least once a month shows that your website is alive and well.
Mistake 6 – Not using or optimising images
Do you include photographs, pictures and diagrams as part of your website content? It is a good idea to do so to break up your website content and make it more readable. When you add images to your website it is very important to use descriptive file names and include all descriptive details in all the fields available as Google, can’t see the picture in the same way you and I can and needs help to understand what the picture is about. You can do this by renaming the file, so for a photo rather than it being called img00012.jpg you could call it A person using a mobile phone to browse the internet.jpg.
Mistake 7 – Not using the meta data fields correctly
Sorry that this is a bit techie, but it is important to understand that within a webpage there is some additional information, known as meta data, that is not displayed when looking at a website but is used by search engines to get a better understanding of what the page is about. The two most important meta data fields for content marketing are the page title, and the page description. The method of updating these for your website will depend on the system you use to run your website. For instance, if you use WordPress to run your website then the best way to do this is to install a WordPress plug-in designed to help with SEO. The two most commonly used are All In One SEO and Yoast SEO.
Taking action to resolve these content marketing mistakes will go a long way to helping you move up the search engine rankings. If you would like help with this, please call Red Knight Solutions on 02392 265725 or complete the form below.