The world of marketing remains in constant motion. Techniques and strategies that once dominated the industry have become obsolete. Either drowned in the tide of ever-evolving online middlemen or buried beneath the sands of social media content and Internet bylaws. We have already seen the rise and fall of several social media and search engine empires, once hallmarks of the business world, now all but forgotten.
Google reigns supreme as arbiter of the virtual world, so the best course of action is to learn what Google wants and plan the rest of your strategy around that. The nature of how Google itself works is in constant flux; the algorithms the information behemoth uses are constantly being altered to target different forms of information in different ways. The result is no one can game the system for too long. One must maintain a constant awareness of the changes that are taking place in the Internet world or risk being left in the dust.
As daunting as this all may seem, there are some constants to which authors can adhere that will greatly increase your chances of success. The first thing to remember in a world inundated with social media posts is that e-mail is still king. It is important to not favor one over the other, find a way to synergize email and social media networks so that they support each other and cover a wider range of current or potential clientele.
Marketing is a game of inches. This, above anything else, has remained constant in the business world since people started buying and selling things to each other. There are few “Hail Mary” marketing tactics that actually work. Your marketing strategy should be composed of small, carefully calculated steps—a reaction to measured analytics, fine-tuned trial and error. Remember, if you’re not measuring, you’re not marketing. Brainstorm ways to push content and pull a response from your target audience.
Content specificity is key. Let your audience know that you are an expert in your field. What do you know that they don’t? What do you have access to that they don’t? Originality isn’t always required, but relevance and intrigue is. Remember that less is more; focus the scope and wording of your message to have maximum impact with as few words as possible.
Winning the battle of priorities requires good subject lines for e-mail and social media. You have two seconds to grab someone’s attention with two words, today! People scrolling through hundreds of social media posts or scanning the sea of e-mails on their phones will put off or completely disregard you if you can’t prove your worth in two seconds or less. Create a sense of urgency, stress the importance of what you have to say, or risk being drowned out and forgotten.
The average person will subconsciously sort their e-mail into three categories depending on the criteria of the subject line. Some e-mails are opened immediately, some are put aside for later, and some are deleted. The major contributing factors to this decision are the who, what, and when of the e-mail. Who is it from? (How do people know you?) What is the subject? And when did you send it?
Nothing accompanies a great subject line like an image or graphic. Studies have shown that pictures get forty-seven percent more click-through activity than content without images. As with most things, balance is key; don’t rely too heavily on images alone, and make sure they are there to support and complement the existing material. Ensure that all your images are clickable and are linked exactly to where you want your clients to go. Presenting people with too many options will lead to lack of interest and a lost customer.
Treat reviews as currency. Reviews are the unofficial currency of the Internet, and the more positive reviews you can cultivate, the better. It is important to remember that negative reviews have a much greater impact than positive. Make sure you are constantly monitoring what people are saying about you and responding immediately to minimize damage done by negative reviews. If people see a negative review go unaddressed for an extended period of time, they will assume you don’t care, making whatever undesirable remarks were made that much more powerful.
Never stop fine-tuning your content and strategy for maximum marketability and impact.