4 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2016

I know, I know; 2015 isn’t even over yet, and we’re already talking about 2016. Digital marketing trends move fast, so you always have to look at what’s next to stay ahead of the game and start adapting your strategy early. If you can pinpoint the major marketing trends of the next twelve months, you can begin budgeting for the change, and subtly change direction now. Take a look at these four new trends, and think about how you can move towards them.

United Nations of smartphone operating systems by Jon Fingas via CC BY-ND 2.0

1) Mobile and location-based marketing

Mobile growth had an important year in 2015. At the start of the year, mobile browsing finally overtook desktop and laptop browsing. More people are using mobile devices to get online than any other technology, a trend that is expected to continue to grow in 2016. We’ll also start to see wearable technology find its feet and establish itself, which means coming up with unique location-based marketing strategies. How can your company harness your customer’s location to its benefit? Finally, it’s time to start thinking seriously about developing an app.

2) Long-term relationship building

Until now, digital marketing has focused on short-term success. It’s been all about hitting certain numbers of Facebook fans or Twitter followers, and making quick, easy sales online. After all, the Internet provides a forum for real-time conversations with customers and prospects 24/7. The most successful marketers are slowly realizing that a more traditional approach might actually be more cost effective. By nurturing customers for longer, they can double or even triple their sales over time. Start thinking about a way to retain customers, and make the second, third, and fourth sale.

3) SEO is more important than ever

It’s no secret that Google is always updating its algorithm. Every year, the search giant introduces a new change, and every year, it gets smarter. That means your SEO strategy needs to change and adapt alongside it. We asked the experts at Pay On Performance about what SEO will look like in 2016, and here’s what they told us. First, we’ll need to be more careful and targeted with our keywords. Don’t add redundant or unrelated keywords to pages and posts, and focus on long-tail keywords for more traffic. We’ll also need more organic and natural back links to bring more visitors to our sites and blogs. Finally, we’ll need to focus even more on producing quality content and new metrics like ‘time-on-site’ and engagement. That’s what Google is looking for in 2016.

4) Social media is expanding

If 2015 proves anything, it’s that social media isn’t going anywhere. Many predicted that Facebook’s bubble would eventually burst, but it shows no signs of slowing down (although Twitter has hit a stumbling block). In 2016, Facebook will integrate itself even further into our lives, but it doesn’t end there. Instagram and Pinterest have posted enormous growth figures in 2015. Statistics also show they have much higher rates of engagement and drive more sales. These two platforms will be critical for you next year, so start building a strategy now.

Taking note of these trends now will help you get a head start on next year! Where do you think digital marketing is heading? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Are you thinking about adding new platforms into your social media mix? Does your digital marketing strategy need an overhaul? Let’s talk, so we can put together a plan for you.

p.s. Wednesday, October 21st is ‘Back to the Future’ Day. What technology from the 80s blockbuster do you wish we had today?

Riding my hoverboard to 2016,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about digital marketing, flying cars or otherwise):
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5 SEO Techniques That Will Boost Your Web Presence

Search engine optimization (SEO) is something that every website and business owner needs to use and understand. Here are 5 techniques to help you get started and boost your web presence.

5 SEO Techniques That Will Boost Your Web Presence

  1. Choose Your URL Carefully

It’s important to make sure your website’s URL is search engine-friendly. This is important when you’re setting up a website for the first time. The URL should be pretty easy to understand when people see it. It should include words that are recognizable and say something about what is contained on the web page. It’s easy enough to change your URL even if your website has been in use for a long time, so consider this option if you’re not seeing the right traffic.

  1. Focus on Keywords

It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of using the right keywords. They need to be used in almost every part of your website, including your titles, content and image names. You need to think about how your keywords translate as search terms. This is important because the whole point of SEO is to customize your website so that it’s easy to find on search engines. So when you have a web page, you should think about what people would type into Google if they were looking for it.

Try It: SEO Competitor Analysis Tool

  1. Get Linked Back to on Social Media

It’s vital to get links back to your website on social media. This means linking back to your website and trying to get links from other people and accounts. The first part of this is easy. You just need to provide links to your website alongside a short tweet that outlines what you’re linking back to. But it’s more difficult to get other people linking back to your website from Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms. It’s not impossible though. Building a strong following on social media and linking to other people’s websites will help.

  1. Make Use of Internal Links

Internal links are one of the most basic, and one of the most important, parts of getting your approach to SEO right. It’s a simple and easy way to improve the traffic to your various web pages. It’s also helpful for visitors who might like what they’re reading and want to see what else you have to offer. This doesn’t mean you should go over the top with it though because then it will look unnatural. Make sure that the link is natural and relevant to the text if you want the best results.

  1. Get Extra Help

There’s no reason to try and take everything on by yourself. If you’re not an SEO expert, then it’s always a good idea to get help from external companies that specialize in this area. Of course, you can do the basics, like the things mentioned above, by yourself. But for the more complex tasks, it could be a better idea to use the expertise of someone else. This guide will give you more information about tools and companies that can help with your website’s SEO.

SEO is an important part of your marketing strategy. If you have any questions, we’d love to talk.

Cheers,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about SEO, your web presence or otherwise):
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Peanutized: How to Encourage Fans to Engage With Your Brand

Have you been Peanutized?

Get Peanutized: The Peanuts Movie's interactive promotionI took the plunge this afternoon. After seeing the fun creations in my Facebook News Feed the past few days, I couldn’t resist anymore. (Ah, the power of social media…)

Get Peanutized is a cool microsite that 20th Century Fox is using to promote the upcoming release of The Peanuts Movie on November 6th. You can turn yourself into a character in the movie by selecting everything from your hair style and color to the shoes on your feet. So 20th Century Fox provided the site and is now sitting back and watching people promote their new movie for them. Genius!

People will share their creations and promote the movie, because it’s fun and engaging. At our core, we want to socialize with others, even brands. How can you encourage fans to engage with your brand?

  • Give out swag: For CCC’s 3rd anniversary, we threw a week-long party and invited our fans to join in the celebration. By engaging with us (and therefore spreading our message) on social, fans were entered to win cool swag with a special retro look. It was a success! In addition to increased engagement on our networks, we developed some new advocates for our brand.

 

  • Hold a contest: Ask people to post photos of your products in action to be entered to win a prize. Remind them to tag you and/or use a special hashtag, so you see the photos and others can too. This is also a great way to share tips or helpful hints about your products. No physical products? No worries! Utilize the aforementioned fun swag and ask fans to post photos of themselves (or others) showing off your promotional products wherever they are — on vacation, at work, etc.
  • Join the conversation: Don’t just respond to messages and comments directed to you; reach out to people when appropriate. Search relevant keywords and hashtags to find conversations you can join and people you can help. The key is to provide helpful information, not to sell. Nobody wants you to bust into their conversation with a sales pitch. But if you have helpful DIY tips, writing advice or relevant experience to share, they may end up becoming a customer down the road.
  • Open all lines of communication: Communicate with your customers where they’re comfortable, whether that’s Facebook Messenger or over the phone. Let people know the myriad of ways they can contact you, and you’re much more likely to hear from them. According to Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s Ad Chief, “messaging via Pages has doubled year-over-year-over-year, and some companies have told Facebook that it is now the primary place for them to receive customer service requests.”

However you choose to engage with your fans, put some effort into it. Don’t create an app that doesn’t offer any value. Don’t set up presences on every social network and then forget about them. If you don’t have the bandwidth to be everywhere, choose what fits your company the best and will benefit your customers the most. Consider bringing in outside help to manage what you can’t.

And always keep an eye on the future. You never know when you’ll be able to share your first virtual reality (VR) ad or beam up fans to your event location. How cool would that be?!

Engage With Us on Engagement

How do you encourage fans to engage with your brand?

Do your fans show a preference in how they contact you?

What cool technology would you love to utilize someday for your brand?

Who’s your favorite Peanuts character?

p.s.Looking for some ideas to spice up your marketing? We can help!

Peanutized and lovin’ it,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about engagement, the Peanuts gang or otherwise):
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Ten Common Misconceptions about Quick SEO

CCC welcomes Eve Haugen to the blog! Anyone with a website (or blog) is always looking to improve his or her search engine optimization (SEO), and of course, you don’t want to wait to see the results. Insert quick SEO — tips and tactics to give you a quick boost in your search rankings and website traffic. Eve’s here to share her knowledge on the subject and dispel ten common misconceptions about the practice. Enjoy!

The science of SEO is constantly evolving. Although a long-term strategy, it can also yield quick results with the right tactics. While there is a range of tips on how to get around quick SEO, the misconceptions about it are galore and the people spreading such rumors are the ones who have hardly dabbled in it.

Ranking factors of Google's search algorithms

Ranking factors of Google’s search algorithms

So, here are some of the SEO myths – If you are alert enough, you will immediately package these practices in a box and throw them away.

  • Google will NOT build strategy for you: This is a well-followed mantra of website building. You build a website fattened with content and you expect traffic to flow into it. Well, it doesn’t! That is why SEO professionals are still needed. You need to pay attention to the best keywords, develop your user’s experience (UXD/UED), insert links and ensure fast page downloads so that your website stands out.
  • Stuffing your page with unnecessary keywords can instantly get you a better rank: Well, that is not a good SEO tip. Keyword density – the number of keywords found on your page that determines the relevancy of your work – should never exceed a certain maximum. Keyword density may be an important metric for ranking a page, but it isn’t the only one. Your keywords also need to be relevant to your material. Don’t add them randomly because they always stick out.
  • Adding unnecessary promo boxes and ads can give you more clicks: Times have changed, and with it, mindsets. It’s best to do away with these ads as they hardly generate extra clicks. People are no longer interested in them.
  • Guest posts do not matter: Hell yeah, they do! Moving posts from guest bloggers to your page is an excellent technique to generate quick traffic. Recently, Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, drew attention to the importance of guest posting and promoted it on his blog. Well, he said it, so is there any reason to doubt it?
  • Link building can be ignored: A content marketing team greatly benefits from a link builder. Link building is an important aspect of Google’s ranking schemes that give you a greater visibility to the outside world. Especially back links – when you acquire back links in relation to your content, you make it visible to a larger audience. It’s a much needed SEO tip for good promotion.
  • Quick SEO is all that matters – after all it’s just a one-time strategy: SEO in its essence is a long-term process that requires immense planning, but in case you’re in a hurry, quick SEO tips can be of great use. However, these tips should only be used once in a while.
  • SEO is just a one-time strategy – do it quickly and get it done: SEO requires a continual investment of your time and energy. Otherwise, your website’s content just rots. Continuous SEO integration helps in keeping the competition away and allows you to keep track of the continuously evolving techniques.
  • We can miss out on the social buzz – after all we are in a hurry: Google doesn’t care about the number of Facebook shares or your Twitter followers but successful social buzz can put your content right in front of your target market. It helps in building links, search engine discovery and spreading of content to the outside world.
  • The flashier, the merrier: Excessive use of flash content can go against your desired SEO results as search engines mostly understand the language of HTML.
  • SEO is easy so anyone can do it: SEO is not child’s play; even quick SEO techniques require an able hand who knows how to implement them. It requires care and analysis and well-informed people can help you with this.

Well, these are just a few misconceptions about SEO techniques, which stem from people who are still fixated on black hat SEO. These unethical techniques are supposedly cheap and easy to work with, but they can cost you dearly.

Remember, quick SEO can work for a certain time frame. Once, twice – that’s okay. But never fall into the allure of quick SEO all of the time.

Eve Haugen, author of this post


Eve Haugen
is a freelance writer, whose passion in writing drives her to craft articles that are engaging, informative and meaningful. Her partnership with QuickSEOResults has given her an opportunity to take her writing to a new level.

A Simple Step-by-Step Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Clearly Conveyed Communications is excited to welcome Ramya Raju, an experienced freelance web design writer from India. Ramya has written a step-by-step search engine optimization (SEO) guide for CCC’s readers, so you can improve your search engine rankings and website exposure. This is the first post in a 4-part series that will be published on Thursdays for the next month. You can learn more about Ramya at the end of the post. Enjoy!

SEO

The Internet is largely becoming the primary home for most businesses, and to be competitive, websites need to have better SEO to be noticed. But all businesses do not have in-house SEO expertise or consultants to lend a hand due to budget constraints, and the amount of available information on SEO is so overwhelming that many companies shy away from doing the right things.

This guide shares SEO best practices, so businesses and individuals alike can benefit without the need to pay a professional.

SEO basics for the website

You may have heard that link-building is a popular SEO practice, but nothing works if your own website is not optimized. It is imperative that your own site carry the most important elements that will help and support other steps that you need to take for successful SEO. Ensure that the following elements are present and clearly carried on all the pages of your site, especially on the homepage.

Important rule you shouldn’t ignore while performing SEO

SEO for websites has to follow a strict code and conduct according to the guidelines set by Google. The most important rule is do not ‘overdo’ the further steps which will be discussed. There is even a penalty on websites who have over-optimized keywords and are stuffed with more key phrases than necessary. Instead, add four or five keywords that are optimized to suit your website on each page. You can even use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to learn the best suited keyword phrases for your site.

Title Tag

The title tag is comprised of the information that tells the search engines what your website is about. It should be kept under 70 characters and should carry essential info like your business/brand name and keywords that are specific to the page. In HTML code, the title tag is placed between the <HEAD></HEAD> tags on the top of the page.

Meta Description

Meta descriptions are written for specific websites to add additional information that search engines can use. Though it’s debatable whether meta is really useful for getting a search engine ranking, it nevertheless is still important since anyone searching for the website will get to see the meta under the search result. Using the right keywords in both the title tag and meta description are essential to having your site highlighted when a user searches for it. This makes the search result stand out for anyone who is searching for the specific keywords you use.

Advantage of using WordPress

If you use WordPress to host your domain, then you can take advantage of free plugins like All in One SEO, Platinum SEO and SEO by Yoast. These plugins are optimized to help you easily add title tags and meta descriptions to your site, and you can even find further SEO tips if you use premium plugins like Scribe SEO.

We hope you enjoyed this introduction to SEO basics for your website. Tune in next week for part 2 of this 4-part series, Content Is King and Other Essential Elements of SEO. Same bat time, same bat channel!

Pic credit: “SEO” by Singapore SEO Company is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Ramya RajuRamya Raju is a freelance web design writer with 8 years of extensive blogging experience on a variety of online publishing and social media platforms. She generally writes high quality articles on travel, photography, SEO, web design, English courses and other general topics as requested. Ramya, an extrovert with a passion for photography and anthropology, enjoys travelling to different countries to discover new cultures and experience life with the locals. You can reach her at ramyaraju896@gmail.com or visit her online at http://www.colorcharacter.com/uk/.

Get Social: 4 Easy Ways to Join the Conversation

At CCC, we’re always telling people to join the conversation. Social media is, after all, about being social. Then one day, a client asked us how, and a light bulb went off. Hey, there’s a blog post in there somewhere!

Make It Personal

When you thank people for sharing your content or answer a question that someone’s posed, why not make it personal? Refer to people by their name (spelled correctly). Look at the user’s profile or recent tweets and mention something that catches your interest. It’s a great way to create dialogue and make someone remember you. As you develop relationships, it’s easier to ask about or note something of interest to people you’re routinely conversing with. Until then, make the extra effort; people will appreciate you.

Do A Little Soul (& Keyword) Searching

Search for popular hashtags and search terms in your industry, so you can check out what people are talking about. (If there are terms you’d like to search consistently, save a search in your social media software or set up a Google Alert.) Join appropriate conversations (not with sales pitches!), and share relevant discussions with your fans and followers to hear their thoughts. This is a great way to stay on top of trends in your industry, gain targeted followers/fans and discover new business opportunities.

Facebook search

You can search for hashtags and keywords on Facebook too.

Hashtag to Happiness (Within Reason)

Searching hashtags is also how you will know which ones to use in your posts to gain the most traction. You can see what type of posts use a particular hashtag if you’re trying to decide between #video, #videooftheday or #videoads, and choose accordingly. It varies with each platform, but generally you don’t want to use more than 2-3 hashtags on a single post. “Overhashtagging” (my word) makes your content difficult to read and turns people off. Remember, space is at a commodity, whether there’s a specific character limit or not. Most people will not take the time to read lengthy social media updates.

Related reading: #Hashtags: Big Business or Bust?

Get Social

Talk to people. Answer questions, ask your own. Engage with other users’ content, and encourage others’ to do the same with yours. Don’t just lurk or broadcast information. Social media is a two-way street, not a one-way marketing vehicle. The more you engage, the better you’ll do. Share others’ content. Leave thoughtful comments. Converse. Be social, and others will be social with you. It’s amazing how branching out to other Facebook Pages, Twitter profiles, LinkedIn pages and profiles, blogs, etc. will encourage reciprocation and help you grow your network.

So there you have it…. How do you join the conversation?

  1. Make It Personal
  2. Do A Little Soul (& Keyword) Searching
  3. Hashtag to Happiness (Within Reason)
  4. Get Social

What would you add to this list? Chime in with your thoughts, recommendations and insight below. If you have questions or would like more information on anything mentioned in this post, let us know. We’d be happy to help you join the conversation!

Get Social,
Jaime

Get Social with CCC!
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