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5 Ways You Can Become a Digital Leader by 2020

In the digital world, even hindsight is far from 20/20. New, emerging technologies and “best practices” are changing the way that your business operates online. Given recent shifts in the marketplace, we can guarantee that if you keep the following points in mind, your business will be better set-up for success in the years to come.

1: Utilize the Digital Basics: Learn to Walk Before You Run

We can see the headline now: “2018’s Top 10 Emerging Digital Marketing Trends”. Think chatbots, artificial intelligence, programmatic advertising and experiential ads. What do all of these things have in common? They aren’t square one. Or, square two. Or, square three. Marketing your business is like building a skyscraper one floor at a time. You have to ensure that you have invested in and worked the kinks out of the foundation before your business soars to new heights. If you are considering investing money in new technology, you should ensure you have the following in place first:

  • An Effective Website Built to Grow – Is your website compatible with new and emerging technologies? Would improvements to the website lead to a higher ROI than the new tech itself?
  • Basic Digital Marketing Campaigns – Has your business tested and refined basic digital channels such as search, paid social, and remarketing?
  • Trained Labor and/or a Capable Agency – Does your business have the skilled labour to not just implement new technology, but understand its effectiveness and measure ROI?

If your business can check off all of the above questions, it may be time to think about adopting some upcoming trends. But, before you do so, ask yourself why you are thinking about this new tech. Is it to keep up with the Joneses? Or, is it based on business insights and a consumer need? These questions lead us into our next point to . . .

2: Focus on Marketing that is User Orientated

What came first, the chicken or the egg? With traditional advertising, this question was not a possibility. Your business recognized the need for advertising, found an appropriate radio station or billboard, and made an ad that communicated your message. A common misconception is that advertising always needs to be based on the how and the where. But, in reality, digital advertising allows you to focus on the who. And in the world of chickens and eggs, we would argue that the who always comes before the where and the how. Example: If you are advertising a new type of sugar replacement, you would likely take the following approach to advertising:

  • Traditional Advertising – Buy ad space on “The Food Network” or within weight loss magazines.
  • Digital Advertising – Instead of buying ad space on certain websites, target users have shown an interest in weight loss/healthy cooking content, and cut through the clutter by serving them ads regardless of where they may be on the web.

 

3: Invest in Tactics with a Long-Term Return

It’s no secret that certain advertising tactics take time to garner results, and that others will have cash in your pocket within 24 hours. At Snaptech, we have noticed many businesses like yours gravitating towards the latter. Most marketing mediums that do not generate results for a month or a quarter are being avoided, because of procrastination or the belief that a return will never be seen.  This type of thinking comes with substantial pitfalls and lost profits for your business. Essentially, because long-term tactics:

  • Are the road less travelled by – with fewer advertisers investing in tomorrow over today, you will be setting yourself up with a sustainable competitive advantage.
  • Cannot be recreated in a day – not just will you have invested in a competitive advantage, but it will not be easily recreated overnight by another business.
  • Are less prone to volatility – because platforms with immediate wins can be immediately implemented, the number of advertisers in the space changes rapidly and effects your bottom line.

So, given the information above, what long-term tactics should your business consider investing in?

  • Search Engine Optimization – Why does one business appear above another in the search results? Let’s just say that Google isn’t in the back end rolling dice.
  • Growth Driven Websites –  Most advertisers think that websites are a static object; either a huge investment or a small wireframe. Instead, think of your website as a roadmap, that you can grow and expand over time.
  • Building Up Your Brand – Creating a following takes time and money. But, once your business gets an engaged, loyal following, your products will sell themselves.
  • Content Marketing – What is better than seeing a great ROI on your paid advertising? Seeing a great ROI on your non-paid content. Invest in engaging pieces of writing, and reap the benefits.

4: Recycle All of Your Content

So, you have an incredible copywriter? Check. You’re having them write landing pages, web assets, social media posts and brochures. Check, check, check, check. All of the content just listed took them a full week to do, and all of the pieces contain different messages with a different purpose. What are the issues with this approach?

  • Brand Confusion: If your business has enough unique brand messages where every platform you communicate on requires a different voice and strategy, you probably need to re-evaluate who your brand actually is.
  • Consistency: If you are confused about your brand, chances are your customers are as well. What are they thinking if they see the words “World’s Best” here, “Lowest Prices” there, and “Handmade with Care” there?
  • Efficiency:  If your team is already writing an incredible piece of content, would it not be more profitable to launch it across all channels? Simple changes in language can make one article or branding message applicable to Facebook, email campaigns, web content, and any other online source.

5: Always Design for Mobile-First

2018 is the year of mobile. 52.2% of online pages visited are from a mobile device. Google is rolling out its mobile-first search index. More and more users are choosing to shop from their mobile device instead of their desktop. What does this mean for your business? Investing in responsive, mobile web design can be a deal-breaker for many potential customers and search engines. Being mobile-friendly will soon become a minimum requirement to appear high in the search results, and is already pivotal in maintaining customers once they land on your site. Is your website optimized for mobile? Try using the following Google Tools to find out:

The Time to Act is Now

Need to make changes to your web strategy? In the world of digital, acting quickly is just as important as taking action. Contact us today for a Digital Assessment to help you form an online strategy built for success!