Marketing using the digital channels is set to increase in 2015. Both small and large businesses will allocate more funds to spend on digital marketing in 2015 and ahead. Digital marketers are set to face some tough challenges because of constant algorithm updates made by Google and latest feature additions on leading social platforms like Facebook. Let’s discuss the biggest challenges that digital marketers will face in 2015 and the possible solutions for those.
Challenge 1 — How to Promote a Small Business On a Limited Budget?
Promoting a small business that has a limited budget is always a challenge. Google’s search algorithm is a little biased towards brands although the search engine giant denies these claims. If you are to promote a small business then focus on the below solutions to get the spark needed without having to spend too much.
Solution — Segment Your Strategy — Increase Local Citations, Connect With Local Influencers and Earn Local Backlinks.
Small businesses often want to succeed locally and segmentation is one of the key strategies to look into. Try segmenting your audience and focus on increasing local citations and backlinks. The below pointers might help:
- Find out the key influencers and connect with them on Twitter and Facebook. Inform them about the products and services of your client and wait for free mentions and even backlinks.
- Claim the business on local listing sites like Google MyBusiness, Yahoo Small Business, Bing Places for Business, Yellow Pages, Yelp, Facebook, FourSquare and LinkedIn, etc. If possible, claim top citations by category and on the basis of city.
- Make use of social sites like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. and target your desired audience. Getting organic social leads is not easy but proper segmentation and a little creativity will do the trick for you.
- Use the trackbacks feature in Google Analytics and check who is linking back to your site. Analyze which content is getting linked and try producing some more similar style content to increase your chances of getting natural backlinks.
- Create link baits, even a single shot of link bait article in a month might help.
Challenge 2 — How to Earn Natural Backlinks?
Earning natural backlinks has remained the most secretly kept SEO strategy for years. Some strategies have been leaked but some still remain a secret. The biggest secret of earning natural backlinks is by creating content which the users will love to read and share. Creativity here is the real secret for gaining backlinks, don’t ever dare to buy backlinks, or else the Penguins might ruin your business’ presence on Google.
Solution – Focus more on link earning and less on link building. Find new and creative ways to make your content go viral.
Below I am sharing some awesome strategies for earning natural backlinks:
- Create link bait pages — list types, how to types, viral videos, newsworthy topics, infographics, event coverage, influencer interviews, case study, etc. are all great examples of link bait pages.
- Create epic content — something that has not been told before. People like something unique.
- Participation in conferences and live events or gaining sponsorships provides excellent ROI in terms of getting natural backlinks.
- Build connections with fellow influencers and wait for the links to flow towards your site.
Challenge 3 — How to Increase Social Engagement without Noise?
Social engagement is extremely vital in this internet age. Social sites have become an integral part of personal life and brands are making the full use of targeting consumers in every possible way they can. But many brands fail to realize the difference between focused and relevant social marketing as compared to noise. Businesses should not poke at the customers often just to increase their engagement rate. A proper reason for engagement is the prime priority.
Solution – Build customer relationship based on customer loyalty and brand value. Don’t over-promote and instead focus on increasing word-of-mouth promotions.
Here are some tips to increase social engagement without sounding too noisy:
- Solve consumer problems via social media. A strategy for Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus is important. Participating in communities is a vital part of Google Plus Marketing.
- Don’t always promote your products or services. Share what the users will love to see.
- Build relationships between your brand and prospects.
- Use social community building and influencer marketing platforms like Influencerconnect, GuestCrew, Sverve, Klout
- Provide a meaningful reason to people to talk about your brand.
- Enhance your product and customer experience to encourage people to talk positive about your brand.
Challenge 4 — How to Make Use of Universal Analytics and configure the site for multiple devices. How to proceed with Mobile SEO?
Solution – Implement Universal Analytics and test it. There is nothing better than practical approach. Measure conversions from mobile and implement strategies to boost mobile SEO.
You can add a new property or upgrade an existing property to start accessing the main benefits of Universal Analytics. Read the below tutorials for more help:
- Get started with Universal Analytics
- Step by step guide to set up Universal GA
- Complete guide to Universal Analytics Upgrade
Mobile SEO and App SEO will be on a rise. You need to make your site easily accessible on a variety of devices without harming the overall user experience. Some great tutorials on making your site mobile friendly are shared below:
- Choose your mobile configuration
- Signal your configuration to search engines
- 14 changes required to have a mobile optimized site
- Configure your site for Tablets and Feature phones
- How to make your emails mobile friendly
- Avoid common mistakes
Challenge 5 — How to Use Influencer Marketing As the Ultimate Strategy for Branding?
Influencer marketing is not new, but recently it has gained momentum. The ideal formula for finding the value of a particular influencer is derived by the below formula:
Influence = Audience Reach (# of followers) x Brand Affinity (expertise and credibility) x Strength of Relationship with Followers
Influencers are people who have excellent knowledge on a particular topic and as a result, a lot of people follow them on social media channels. They have the ability to impact purchase decisions and as such brands are ready to spend any amount to have key influencers become the face of their brand.
Solution: Discover the right influencers, engage with them using the right channels and monitor the results.
The below strategies for influencer marketing will surely provide the maximum benefits for overall brand promotion:
- Create a buyer persona and identify key influencers using platforms like BuzzSumo or Traackr.
- Use Google Alerts to get real time updates on content focused around your main keywords. You can easily find people who are talking about a particular topic on a regular basis using this free tool.
- Prepare a list of influencers and rank them according to their influence and reach.
- Analyze the behavior of your identified influencers and develop the next strategy as to how you can approach them to spread your brand.
- Inspire participation or recruit influencers to take the next step.
- Measure the reach and engagement. Analyze both primary and secondary conversions arising out of influencers.
Challenge 6 — How to Increase Conversions and Decrease Expenses?
Every business owner wants conversions in as little investment as possible. As digital marketers, we all wish to help our clients to generate the maximum ROI.
Solution – Make use of GA data. Focus on AB/Multivariate testing to identify areas where more attention is necessary.
Here are some key strategies that might help:
- Analyze the top conversion channels and invest heavily on them.
- Exclude brand related terms from PPC campaigns where organic listing can be easily achieved.
- Target exact match keywords under PPC campaigns in place of broad match. Certain exceptions apply.
- Adopt low cost marketing strategies smartly like email marketing and SMS marketing.
- Focus more on commercial long tail keywords that can easily generate sales.
- Cut down money on creating unnecessary content required for creating unnatural backlinks. Instead, create quality content and post them on your blog. This will reduce your expenses and increase your chances of acquiring more traffic and natural backlinks thereby increasing conversions and decreasing expenses.
Challenge 7 — How to Keep Your Website Safe From Google Penalties?
Google has taken some strict measures to combat webspam and this has ultimately helped SEO’s and digital marketers to see real value by adopting to organic marketing strategies instead of webspam. Keeping your website safe from Google penalties is really easy if you don’t throw it on any newbie’s hands who promises to get you rankings and traffic in a few weeks.
Solution – Take a pledge to follow Google guidelines.
Follow the below strategies to keep your website safe from any existing and future Google webspam algorithms:
- Read the Google Webmasters guidelines and link schemes very carefully.
- Monitor website’s overall link profile and remove unnatural backlinks as soon as you detect any.
- Keep away from buying links.
- Don’t create pages that target keywords instead of your targeted audiences.
- Stay away from FFA site backlinks. They won’t help but they might harm.
- Monitor duplicate content pages on your site on a regular basis. Remove duplicate content from the site before Pandas detect it.
- Don’t indulge in any form of cloaking or cheap link building activity like forum and article spam. These strategies won’t help in 2015.
Challenge 8 — How to Measure Online Success?
As per Julian Saunders, CEO, High Impact SEO, “Measuring online success has always been a difficult task. One of the essentials still remains segmenting your audience and demographics and determining the key channels driving conversions”.
Solution – Determine KPI’s, set goals and measure it with the help of GA.
Before you start tracking your online success, make sure to have key performance indicators in place. If you don’t set proper KPI’s, then you cannot measure success. The below reports under Google Analytics might help:
- The Top Conversion path view under Multi Channel Funnel report.
- Goals Overview under the Goals report.
- The Ecommerce Conversion
- The Assisted Conversion view under Multi Channel Funnel report.
Great! You are all set to drive in more revenues in this New Year by implementing some really scalable and high value conversion optimization strategies. Are you planning to implement some new strategies in 2015 besides those discussed above? Please share your thoughts with us.