If you are in the process of starting up a business or the owner of a newly established business one of your key considerations is going to be how you invest in your marketing.
After the contracts are signed, you start bringing in revenue, or get approved for a business loan, allocating funds, between advertising, office space, and promotional material can add up.
Marketing is extremely important in the process of scaling up your business to a successful and profitable company. You might have an innovative business idea, insightful research and incredibly hard working employees but without the correct marketing your start-up is set to fail. Hard work does not always pay off, but magnificent marketing does.
When investing in marketing it is important you consider what platforms and people will work best for your business.
Social media is an essential element of 21st century marketing. A business today cannot survive without it. However, there are thousands of social media platforms and not every single one will benefit your business so it is important that you take time think about and weigh up the different options. As you are deciding which platform to choose you must always keep your target customer in mind. The entire point of social media marketing is to put you in contact with your best audience, so make sure you find out where your audience is hanging out online. Do not be fooled by data like followers, while this suggests an audience once was present it does not guarantee an active audience: in fact, a 2019 report claimed as many as 50% of all Facebook accounts were fakes while only a portion of Twitter users have been active in the last month. Once you have located where your active audience are residing you can start to differentiate your marketing for each platform.
Marketing should be adapted to each social media platform. For example, if your chosen social media platform is Instagram you should focus your marketing on image based and heavily branded content, if your platform is Twitter you should build loyalty by making your audience feel more connected to you or if your platform is LinkedIn you should tailor your marketing messages to other businesses.
Alongside the dominant social media platforms you might also want to investigate what niche social media sites could work well for your business. There is an endless list of niche sites available online for every business: for example, Untappd is a fantastic site for beer lovers while Ravelry is a go to site for all knitter enthusiasts.
Alongside social media you might also want to launch your own website or Kickstarter for crowdfunding. If you are choosing between a website or a Kickstarter there are positives and negatives to both.
Firstly, both platforms would require a lot of time to be invested. Your website is a representative of your business standards and professionalism so you must make sure it aesthetically represents this. Similarly, launching any project online on Kickstarter is going to require a lot of time investment. Most campaigns run for 30 days and that it without taking into account the months of preparation work preceding and following the campaign.
Secondly, both platforms will require expertise. A website will predominantly be text based so communication must be concise and persuasive. This might entail the extra expense of hiring a writer to produce material that will attract an audience. In contrast, previous Kickstarter pages have shown that video resources are often successful. Creating a compelling video is not an easy feat: not only will you need a great script but you will also have to consider purchasing recording and editing equipment and learning how to successfully utilize it.
To maintain a consistent marketing presence for your business you may want to bring in an in house marketing expert or hire an agency. Again, there are pros and cons to both.
For smaller businesses, hiring an agency make be an expense you cannot afford. However, it is worth noting that most marketing agencies do not work for one company alone and instead divide their time between many. This means a part time wage compared to an in house employee who might demand full time pay.
If you are a larger business your marketing might be too complex for just one person. Most marketing employees specialize in one field, and unfortunately this would mean losing out on other fields. An agency, however, would be able to bring to the table many marketing professionals who all boast different expertise. What’s more, those who work in agencies will constantly be learning and adapting to all the businesses they serve, and this differentiation can only work as a positive for your business.
If you are looking to hire a marketing professional or agency it is vital that you bring in the right talent for your business. Ensure that you are hiring people who completely buy into your business ethos and will be loyal to your business. Working alongside a dedicated marketing professional or agency will make the process of setting up your business far less lonely or overwhelming.
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Voice search has recently become more important than ever before. The future of SEO strategies and search optimization in general highly depends on the Internet users’ ever-changing habits, and marketers are advised to take this into consideration.
There are a few causes for the enormous growth of the popularity of voice search starting from 2013. The main reason may be the usage of mobile phones, as voice recognition programs have become trendy even among older users.
As technology improves with each update, the error rate of voice search plummets. Behshad Behzadi, noted during SWSW 2016 that the speech recognition error rate has been reduced from around 25 percent two years ago to just 8 percent today.
The goal for voice search in 2017 is to go above and beyond voice recognition and evolve into voice understanding. This involves several changes with respect to:
context based on frequently used apps
keyword research based on spoken queries
However, smartphones are not the only devices suitable for voice recognition. Amazon has released Amazon Echo, a hands-free speaker controlled with voice. It can hear the commands even when loud music is playing. At the same time, Google made its own voice-activated speaker, Google Home. Devices like these allow users not only to play music by uttering simple phrases but also to search for information without the need to type, giving answers immediately.
It is evident that search queries are different when people say them aloud rather than when they type them. More conversational language is used, replacing accurate keywords with longer, naturally-flowing questions. A user will more likely say “Where is the nearest Chinese restaurant?” rather than “Chinese restaurants London”. This means that your content should be written in a more natural manner and, instead of an abundance of keywords, there should be questions that would resemble the user’s speech (starting with “where”, “what”, “when”, etc.). Try to implement this into your blogs, posts and other written media.
Now is the best time to start implementing the strategies that voice search experts suggest using. As voice search is increasing in popularity, it is essential to optimize your website for it if you want to be a strong competitor in the business market.
There’s no denying that voice search is a one of the biggest trends of the digital age. With massive improvements to Siri, Google Now and Cortana, SEO marketers would be wise to closely examine voice innovation and think beyond text-based queries in 2017.