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Thursday, February 25, 2016

7 ways to boost your business in 2016

In today’s competitive marketing world, content is king. As a business, you should be creating interesting and relevant content on a consistent basis; developing a brand identity and recognizable personality that stands out in the online crowd.

Creating content that naturally attracts visitors to your site because they want to learn about your product or service is called inbound marketing, and is the new norm. You want to draw people to your business by offering them something they want to read, learn or see. Images with quotes, quizzes and interactive web pages engage users and inform potential customers about your product, activity or service.

That being said — when looking forward and planning your inbound marketing strategy for 2016 you should keep a few key aspects in mind.

Mobile devices are becoming the most widely used tool to access online content —people are attached to their phone or tablet and almost never leave home without being connected. With that in mind, it’s critical that your website is responsive and designed for easy mobile interaction. In fact, in 2015 Google released a new ranking algorithm that ranks sites optimized for mobile higher than those that are not.

Video is rapidly becoming the number one way to market your product or service. People like to watch videos that make them laugh or cry, and intrigue or inspire them. Right now Facebook is competing with YouTube by encouraging users to upload and post videos directly to Facebook (instead of sharing a link from YouTube); Facebook has increased impressions for video posts, resulting in a larger demographic seeing your content. If you’re faithful to the traditional video sharing platform, YouTube offers ways to promote your videos through Google Ad words. Right now you can receive a $100 credit if you spend $25.

Writing about topics that interest your target audience can only boost your Search Engine rankings, and attract new customers. Write about experiences, customer reviews, current events and more. Make sure to include beautiful images and links to your website. Creating a schedule is helpful. Plan 3 months of weekly blogs and social media posts and stick to your deadlines. It takes time, but it is useful and eventually attracts significantly more people to your site. See an example of a schedule below. Click here to download this beautiful calendar template by half asleep studio.

Honest code and content
In the past (and sadly still happening today) many marketers and SEO companies tried to cheat Search Engines by hiding keywords on backgrounds and other such nefarious, unethical strategies to boost rankings. This does not work. Google’s algorithm punishes sites that try to cheat. The best way to boost your rankings through target key words is to write natural content, and include those key words in your website’s text — use alt tags for images; use h1 tags for the most important headings and h2 etc. Follow the rules and you will go far.

There are many social media platforms and according to your target audience you will want to focus more time on certain ones. You should be posting relevant photos, links, and videos on a consistent basis. How often you should post varies across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and all the other many new ways of socializing. Try creating or using hashtags, post about current events and holidays, and engage your followers and friends. Use your posts to create a brand personality.

Positive reviews and testimonials that you receive on TripAdvisor and Yelp should be shared on your website — share them and blog about them. It’s also important that you respond to every review — positive or negative. When responding to positive reviews, be creative and find a way to connect with the customer. Use negative reviews as an opportunity to show that you are customer service oriented. Rather than being defensive or aggressive show that you want to rectify the situation. Angry customers can be converted into avid fans if you handle their concerns with respect and recognize their feelings.

Email marketing is not dead. In 2016 a vast majority of people will be reading their emails on their phones or tablets. If you have a legitimate email list, send your readers quality content or offers, even shareable graphics such as animated gifs. (Animated gifs in email campaigns are a fun way to catch attention and obtain clicks. Here is a tutorial on how to create an animated gif in Photoshop.) Use email campaigns as leverage to gain business from repeat customers, or even attract new subscribers to your lists. The perfect tool to do this is Mailchimp. We cannot recommend Mailchimp enough – it is an incredible, FREE, online tool that makes email marketing easier than ever.

There are many other ways to enhance your inbound marketing strategy and bring in new business, but the number one most important thing to do in 2016 is to create valuable, shareable content and get it out into the world.

Go and create! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

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