Tips for successful Social Media and Digital Marketing in 2014

medium_6834016045There is going to be a greater push by businesses and marketers in Social media and Digital marketing in this year 2014! Going by the increased internet and especially smart phone penetration across the world, access to information and the ability to share information with one another is one of the key reasons for businesses to seriously look outside traditional offline marketing 2014 and beyond.

Here are certain tips put together for you to increase your online exposure and bottom-line for your business this 2014.

With changing search engine ranking dynamics, it is no longer prudent to look at SEO as the ‘only’ online marketing option. With the influence of Social media on search engine ranking, things are getting more complex for businesses to generate leads and sales online. Content between social media, website, email and online advertising overlap, and so measurement, statistics and conversions (ROI) have become integrated with a holistic view required to measure online marketing results.

For increased success in online marketing for your business in 2014 here are some tips:

Short term & Long term Strategy & Plan

Going about Social media marketing is not to have the ‘Wild West’ mindset with a ‘shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later’ approach. Similarly promoting your product on the social networks should not be influenced by your mood swings either. Having a clear plan – both for the short & long term will help in understanding the time, resources and budgets required to make the marketing plan a success. Since there are more than a dozen social media channels, a clear strategy will help in defining the target audience, goals, budgets, resources and the media channels to focus on.

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Making your Social Media marketing Personal & Human

Using software tools to automate your posts or to reply to your social media comments can save you a lot of time, but it kills the very essence of Social media, as it is about being social and your interactions with people being human, making your conversations more engaging and personalized.

 

 

A Mobile friendly website

Having a website that renders well in all types of devices is a big ‘must-have’ in 2014. Dozens of market study reports have suggested beyond doubt that a very large percentage of smart phone users shop using their mobile phones and among which a larger majority have had negative experiences or switch to a competitor after such an experience. Bottom line is a responsive (mobile friendly) website is a must for online business

Email Marketing and growing Email lists

Most of you may have used some kind of email marketing in the past, with varied results. Email marketing in 2014 is going to get stronger with focus on email for mobiles. So if you are sending out mailers, check if they render correctly on mobiles. Also ensure that you grow your email ‘opt-in’ list with more of people who want to hear from you, rather than going for purchased email database lists.

Social Media Advertising

Advertising on social networks is becoming a part of the online advertising strategy for online marketers. ‘Organic’ growth and reach on social media is a very slow process, and the prospects of reaching your final customer can be boosted by spending advertising rupees. In fact Facebook has admitted recently that organic reach will fall unless brands start using paid advertising. By spending on advertising, you stand to gain organic followers and once you reach a significant number, organic reach becomes much easier.

Google+ (Plus)

This social network from Google is second only to Facebook in terms of number of users. So it is very important that your business has a presence on Google+. Because of Google Authorship, your content will get more visibility on search results and can get indexed faster. With a Google+ page, it becomes easier to rank your website for keywords related to your business.

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Track and Measure Results

To measure the success of any marketing effort, it is important to track your results and be on top of things. Since all online marketing channels overlap and influence the final outcome, it is important to focus on the quality of traffic rather than quantity.

–          Website Analytics: Google analytics which provides a free version for website monitoring has undergone many upgrades making it better with more tracking features including finding data about traffic from social networks, mobile visits, and email marketing conversion statistics apart from the regular data like unique visits, bounce rates and referral sources of traffic.

–          Social Media Analytics: is not a simple job, with measurement parameters varying from one network to the other. Fans/followers, +1s, likes, shares are some of the data that would have to be reviewed from time to time to monitor your results and success.

–          Email Marketing insights: With every email marketing campaign, don’t just look at the number of people who have opened, but also spare some time to look at statistics like the number of times, the email has been opened, and the links that the recipient may have clicked, and if there are any conversions from the campaign in term of forms that have been filled or anything that was downloaded from your website. This should give an idea in terms of the interest of that subscriber and also serve as an indicator of the performance of your campaign and if you need to repeat it or scrap it all together.

With the social media and digital marketing landscape undergoing drastic changes, I hope these tips will help you prepare for the larger battle to out beat your competition and grow your business to greater heights in 2014.

Wishing you all the best for your marketing plans for 2014. If you liked this post, share it with your friends on the social network of your choice using the links below.

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