When you’re running a business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the different tasks you have to handle on a daily basis, such as product or service development, research, customer service, sales, administration, human resources, planning, and more. However, business owners of all types need to be sure that in their busyness they don’t neglect one of the most important factors in a growing, successful venture: marketing.
In particular, regardless of whether you run an online or brick-and-mortar organization, you must have a focus on online marketing. With the competition for attention and engagement from customers more cutthroat than ever, you need to find ways to stand out from the crowd with your marketing.
It pays to study this area in depth, whether through a business degree like this William and Mary MBA or via online short courses, in-person seminars, books or other avenues, but you can read on to get a taste of some of the top online marketing ideas to grow your business over the coming year.
Live Video Content
There has been a focus on video in recent years, particularly as social media sites like Facebook and search engines like Google place high importance of them when ranking content. Now, though, live video streaming is becoming a tool to add to your marketing arsenal. Live videos are especially popular on social media platforms as people become more interested in digesting “in-the-moment” content.
This type of video is helpful for businesses because it allows them to connect directly with their current and potential clients in real time. Viewers can become more engaged with brands because they get to follow their stories on the spot and feel a part of the action. Live video is beneficial, too, for broadcasting live about your products and services as they’re released or about special offers.
If you’re interested in getting in on this trend, check out some key platforms like Facebook Live, Periscope, YouTube Live and Instagram Live. Use tech tools to provide information on your offers, updates and news, guest interviews, brand messaging, Q&A responses and more. Try to give viewers insights into your business world, events and corporate culture that otherwise might not be available to them.
After the phenomenal success of the augmented-reality (AR) marketing campaign Pokémon Go a couple of years ago — it generated millions of dollars for the company and got huge numbers of people interested in AR apps and other tools — there has been a rise in the number of businesses utilizing this option for their marketing.
We now know that consumers are ready for more AR experiences, so look into ways your venture can capitalize on this. You might design your own app, for instance, or incorporate augmented reality into your advertising, product creation or even game development. The trend has only just begun and still has a lot of room for growth and evolution.
Native advertising is a particular type of advertising whereby corporate content is posted on blogs, websites and other platforms, designed to closely resemble the type of content the publication usually posts. However, this content is actually paid for by an advertiser and designed to help with its branding and promotion of its wares.
Native advertising has been growing significantly of late as consumers more often ignore standard advertising (since they’re bombarded by content all day long). This form of advertising is beneficial because it typically leads to higher engagement rates than standard banner ads. It also fits more easily and unobtrusively into the user experience since native content is designed to be aligned with the interests of readers and to be a natural fit for the web page where it’s posted.
Data Visualization Tools
You might not recognize the term “data visualization” straight away, but you’ve probably heard about some of the tools that deal with it — and that make life easier for marketers. Data visualization tools are designed to help people analyze, interpret and utilize the huge amounts of information that get collected about customers now. These tools save time, energy and stress and usually lead to more accurate insights than more manual methods.
You can use tools such as Tableau, QlikView, Plot.ly, FusionCharts, Carto, Sisense and Microsoft’s Power BI to interpret raw, numerical data in an objective way. In turn, this will help you understand who to market to, how and when to do so, which platforms to advertise on, the types of campaign structures and language to use and more.