Three Ways Businesses Are Dropping the Ball

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As we inch through the year’s first quarter the pressure is on to reach new heights with your online marketing strategy. With most businesses and industries experiencing a decline in sales from the traditional post-holiday slump, now is the perfect time to re-strategize.

Most businesses are consistently dropping the ball online when it comes to their social media strategy because they don’t really know where to start. Trying to catch up to the changes in the social media marketing world is like trying to win a marathon while you’re stuck on a treadmill. You can feel the calories burning but there’s no progress to show for it.

If you want to experience success with your business in the social world, you need to stay ahead of the trends. Easier said than done you say? Not exactly…there are still a few strategies that are known for success, yet surprisingly underleveraged by almost all businesses.

Video Marketing

Expect to hear this repeated continuously as we move forward: record more videos. Ninety per cent of online shoppers at major retailer’s websites find video helpful in making shopping and buying decisions. The odds are high that even you are influenced by video marketing online since 75 per cent of executives admitted to Forbes that they watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week.

So why should you change your sights to incorporating online video into your marketing strategy? Aside from the fact that videos have been shown to influence buying decisions, the odds are high that your competition is currently under-leveraging it in their strategy, leaving you a limited window of opportunity to get ahead.

Forty six per cent of people are more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video. These are odds and statistics that no reasonable businessperson can be ignoring. If you are not getting results from your videos, the question isn’t whether or not video is an effective strategy; the question is whether or not you are executing it effectively.

Mobile

I was in the mall recently going to buy my nephew a videogame that he wanted for his birthday when I noticed a young boy asking his mother if he could borrow her smartphone. As I wondered what he could possibly need it for, he did a quick search and piped up and told his mom, “I want that game, Mommy.”

He used the phone to Google reviews of the video games in the store before deciding which one he should use his gift card to buy. This smart kid is your future consumer and his skills and level of discernment are already frighteningly good.

Customers aren’t just using their mobile devices to make buying decisions, they are actually using them while inside the store to do it. This story has many morals but just remember this: if your website is not optimized for mobile, you are about to get cut out of your customers’ online experience.

Experts are saying that tablets and smartphones are progressively eliminating the need for PCs in the average consumer household and in case you haven’t noticed, tablets and smartphones are both mobile devices. iPads have taken their stronghold on the marketplace with no sign of retreat ahead. Is your business ready for it with a mobile friendly website?

Centralizing Power

Many businesses that are having the most success online are steering away from Facebook to social sites where you have more control such as Twitter, LinkedIn and (most importantly) your own blog/website. This is an area where most businesses drop the ball because their strategy greatly depends on the co-operation of each social network.

Any business that built a following on Facebook knows a thing or two about how the social giant likes to control how you reach your own fans, even after they have “liked” your page. The more your strategy depends on outside resources, the less power and control you retain to make results happen for yourself. Your goal should always be to get your audience to your turf where you make the rules.

Not only is blogging a great tool for search engine optimization (SEO), it gives you the opportunity to position your business as the industry leader.

Education-based marketing has been shown to increase trust, build value and help accelerate the sales process with new leads.

If you aren’t incorporating some form of education-based marketing into your website, you have to ask yourself a serious and very important question: where are your prospects getting value from you before the sale? Think about that because the answer could very well carry a cash incentive for your bottom line.

It’s All about Assets

No matter what your next move online might be, think about where your digital assets lie. What are the “tangible” things that your business owns online? Your email database and the reach of your blog are good examples because they are assets that you directly control.

Focus on building your house before you start to build everyone else’s house online. Even if you aren’t prepared to make sweeping changes to your marketing strategy, make sure everything you do is growing your internal assets. At the end of the day, that’s really all you have.

By Melonie Dodaro 

Melonie Dodaro, founder of Top Dog Social Media has been dubbed by the media as Canada’s #1 LinkedIn expert and social media strategist. Linkedin Corporation has sought out Melonie as an expert to provide training to their premium members. To learn more about Melonie visit TopDogSocialMedia.com

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