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Digital Marketing is today's marketing. As a small business owner who wants to compete and get new clients, customers and/or sales, you need to understand how digital marketing works. Besides that, you should also...digital marketing

  • Familiarize yourself with the different marketing channels available -- both online and mobile.
  • Figure out which social media networks are best to reach your target market.
  • Determine which forms of content -- blogging, video, animations, podcasts, pictures -- you are going to produce that will be of interest to your target audience.

One of the challenges is that all the digital marketing sources are constantly changing. This means you have to keep up with these changes.

Here are 10 Digital Marketing Trends that are Still Relevant

1. Live Video Streaming

In 2016, Facebook introduced Facebook Live Streaming Video. Ever since then, it's been a strong element in its platform and all the other social media networks have added this feature in one form or another. You can go live from anywhere as long as you have good WiFi and a camera on your smartphone, tablet or latptop computer. 

On Facebook, Live and Native Videos get more exposure than regular posts. A Native Video is a video that is uploaded directly into Facebook not just a YouTube or Vimeo link shared on your page. See, Facebook doesn't want users to leave their site. Thus, they give more reach and visibility to videos recorded live or uploaded directly. 

What You Need to Do:

Figure out how you can incorporate video into your marketing mix...

  • You don’t have do one every day. Once a month or even a couple of times a month should be sufficient.
  • Use your smartphone to create short how-to videos
  • Do voice-over recordings of PowerPoint presentations
  • Determine which format works for you — in ease of creation and amount of views they get
  • Fact: videos convert!

In fact, when video is prominently featured on a landing page, conversion rates can go up by a whopping 80%. ~ Convince and Convert

We offer webinars on video marketing. Click here for the Workshop calendar.

 

2. When it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Google will keep changing their algorithm.

It’s People-First marketing NOT keyword-first marketing. It’s all about the Customer Experience (CX), aka, User Experience (UX). Which brings me back to YOU MUST clearly identify and understand your Target Market. Users want to solve problems. Once you’ve identified your perfect customers’ pain points, then you can give them the content that will help alleviate the pain points. Yes, you still have to do keyword research, but more important is target market research.

What You Need to Do: 

  • Keyword Research: There are several free tools out there to do keyword research, but I prefer the Google Keyword tool. 
  • From the results, find the keywords or phrases that get the most monthly searches with low to medium competition. 
  • Use their suggestions of other phrases to write content on those topics. 

Here's a video on how to use the Google Keyword Tool:

3. Mobile-First

Mobile still dominates desktop when it comes to searches. In June 2021, Google released its Core Web Vitals Update. Basically, it has 3 components:

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This is how fast a page loads on a mobile device.
  2. First Input Delay (FID) – This measures how soon a visitor can interact with your page.
  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – This looks at the visual stability of each page. 

What You Need to Do:

Test Your Website Here.

If your website scores less than 80, you need to fix it. Otherwise, your SEO will suffer. The test itself will tell you what you need to fix. Some are easy fixes like removing large images from the top of your website. For others, you may need a web developler to help you. 

3. Local Personalized Content – “near me”

If you’re a LOCAL BRICK-AND-MORTAR business, this is important. (If you are a local consultant without an office where you want clients to go to or an ecommerce business, make sure you tell it to not show your address on Google Maps. People will search for things like, “accountant near me”. If your business is not in GOOGLE MY BUSINESS, with your location, you won’t come up. However, that doesn’t mean you have to add the words “near me” in your content. Google bases the search results on the user’s GPS and your listing in Google My Business.

What you need to do:

Go to Google My Business and make sure your listing is accurate and that everything is filled out completely. Take advantage of all the features they offer. 

4. Voice Search – “OK, Google”

This is something to consider when doing the copy (static content) on your website. People don’t talk like they write. Whether they’re using their smartphone, Amazon’s Alexa, Siri, Google Home or other voice command system, they’ll ask a question. It’s up to you to have the answer to the questions your target market is asking!

What You Need to Do:

A website audit.

  1. Go through your site and read the content on your main pages. Is it compelling enough to attract a visitor and KEEP THEIR ATTENTION? Does it answer their questions?
  2. Look at your meta tag descriptions – Is the question you are answering there? Meta tags are important as this what appears on the SERPs (search result pages). This is what a searcher uses to judge if the content of the site is what they were looking for. It should include your major keywords, but also offer enough information to entice a searcher to click on the link. If you don't have meta descripton, Google will take the first paragraph of a page. And it should be only one or two sentences or it will get cut off. 
  3. Go through your blog posts – are they all optimized? Do they have have the relevant keyword tags? Are they indexed in the right category? (And that’s not “uncategorized”.) Are the titles worded in the form of a question?

The best way to figure out what your target market is asking is to get to know them. That's where the research comes in.

5. Artificial Intelligence (AI) & RankBrain

In searching for “business plan”, below the paid ads, was the definition as well as related questions. The top box is called a featured “snippet”. Yep. Now machines are trying to do your thinking for you. Well, think about it. Sometimes when you’re looking for something, you’re not sure what to ask. You may enter several search terms in the box before you get the answer you want. Google’s AI, RankBrain, will come up with “people also ask” with other similar questions that you may be asking yourself. All in attempts to provide you with the best answer to your question. It’s machine learning as it applies to search. The AI has the ability to learn and categorize information to accurately match a searcher’s query.

As shown on the image to the right, in searching for “business plan”, below the paid ads, was the definition as well as related questions. The top box is called a featured “snippet”.

RankBrain, an artificial intelligence algorithm, modifies the weighting of other algorithms over time to place more importance on some than others.  It also plucks out the important keywords from questions or longer searches to be able to ‘understand’ questions and answer them as accurately as possible. ~ SEMRush

Now you must be asking, “How do I get my answers as the ‘featured snippet’. Here’s Google’s answer to that question:

When we recognize that a query asks a question, we programmatically detect pages that answer the user’s question, and display a top result as a featured snippet in the search results.

What You Need to Do:

Identify the user’s intent.

What does the searcher expect to find when querying your keywords? Answers to their questions and problems. What are they asking? Use Q&A sites like Quora to see what people are asking in your field of expertise.

6. Unique, High-Quality Content will be Key

Absolutely – Quality over Quantity! Don’t forgo quality in order to get more content out there.

  • No fuzzy graphics — there is no excuse! You can create high-quality pictures with free online, easy-to-use graphics programs like Canva. Download free, license free, online pictures and graphics from sites that I list in this blog post. And don’t steal!
  • Proofread before you publish or post — read your blog post aloud to yourself. Even your social media posts!
  • Preview your blog posts before publishing — Do the graphics look good? Does the eye of reader make a natural progression down the page to your Call-to-Action?

Why unique?

“Most Americans are exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 advertising messages a day!” ~ Convince and Convert

What makes what you have to say or show unique? What makes you different? How is your content different from what your competition shares?

What You Need to Do:

Plan out what content you’re going to create.

7.  Reshare Your Content on Social Media

Resharing content can increase engagement by over 600%!

So you publish your blog post at 9 am and share it on all your social media networks at the time. Someone that logs on at 3 pm or in the evening probably won’t see it unless they have you in a Twitter list or on a Facebook group; or have your posts showing first (a Facebook feature). You can manually schedule it to republish on your social networks using tools like HootSuite (ad link), Buffer or TweetDeck.

Another way to give your content extra exposure and traction is to publish it on LinkedIn. At the end of the post, add the line, “This post originally appeared on______” with a link to the original article on your blog. Your site still maintains the authority because there is where the post originated. Yet, on LinkedIn, you validate your expertise by showcasing what you know and how you can help people. You can now write articles on LinkedIn as yourself or as your company. 

There’s a WordPress plugin I use called Revive Old Posts. For free, you can reshare psots to Twitter and Facebook. With the upgraded version, you can also reshare to LinkedIn. I think it’s worth it just to save the time of manually scheduling. You pick the time frame and you can exclude posts that are not “evergreen” or are time-sensitive. Also, if you're just starting out with your blog content, wait until you've got at least 20 posts so it won't be sharing the same thing over and over again. You can set the time frequency depending on how many blog posts you have. For instance, I have over 120 and I have them going out every 2 hours. 

Think of it this way, your perfect potential customer could have missed it the first time it went out! This also helps with SEO!

What You Need to Do:

Don’t be afraid to reshare your content.

8. Blogging – a CORE part of your Content Strategy

Blogs are rated 1 out of 5 the most trusted sources of information online.

People ignore the paid ads in Google search and go for the organic content, because they know that that’s where they’re going to find the authentic answers to their questions or problems.

I hold classes for SCORE Greater Phoenix on and SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing regulary Click here to register for the next one.

9. Big Data, Analytics and Insights

Going along with all this marketing comes tracking what’s working and not working. Enter Analytics! Analytics aren’t as scary as they seem and you don’t need to hire an analyst to understand them or to get valuable information from them. Besides Google Analytics, each of the networks has insights and analytics available even if you don’t pay for advertising.

You must check these at least once a month so you can judge which posts were effective and what isn’t bringing you business or doing what you expected. [Related: Determine Your Key Metrics Before You Start]

All the networks also use the data garnered from users to help you find your target market niche. Additionally, they assist you in targeting your perfect customer. That’s why you need to Define Your Target Market first and then do some research on them. For instance, if you’re on Snapchat trying to reach Baby Boomers, you’re not going to be successful. If you want to reach 12-24 year-olds, then yes, Snapchat is a tool for you.

What You Need to Do:

Get into the habit of checking your analytics at the end of each month.

10. Set Goals, Plan Your Strategy and Develope a Tactical Plan

This all may sound overwhelming and it can be. 

What You Need to Do:

  1. Set SMART Goals
  2. Come up with a strategy to help you accomplish those goals.
  3. Set up a tactical plan -- or to-do list for you to implement the strategy

A SCORE mentor can help you with all this! Click here to schedule a free mentoring session!

Check out Giselle's classes at Greater Phoenix SCORE!

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About the Author(s)

 Giselle  Aguiar

Giselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, content and digital marketing consultant and trainer. She specializes in market research, strategic planning, social media and marketing automation setups, training and coaching.

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Trainer and Coach, AZ Social Media Wiz
10 Digital Marketing Truths You Need to Know