With the Internet being a major marketing tool today, businesses continue to look for different online strategies to expand their client reach and increase brand awareness. As 2014 rolls along, several trends are expected to influence and shape the landscape of online marketing. As explained in an article by Mashable:
Companies are increasingly using the Internet to market their services and boost their reputation through online content. Strategies like search engine optimization (SEO) and social media optimization (SMO) are currently being utilized by businesses and organizations to make it easier for their target audience to view their articles and social media pages. While both methods are proven to be useful in generating traffic and improving visibility on the Net, certain ethical rules are being implemented now to ensure that the content posted is credible and isn’t meant only to trick search engines into boosting the page’s rank. An article posted on the Practical ECommerce site further suggests ways for a company to capitalize on another internet marketing strategy: the pay per click marketing.
No company can resist the multitude of marketing and reputation-building opportunities offered by the Internet. Unfortunately, due to limited restrictions, the Internet can also be used to destroy reputation, given the cutthroat competition on the market. If not rivalry, the consumers’ freedom to post and comment about their opinion of a product or service may trigger status downfall. In an article written by Lauren Simonds for Time, the importance of online reputation management is explicitly discussed, including how businesses operating online can prevent small unnerving issues about them from being magnified, or reverse the impact of an existing issue.
Sometimes, businesses get so caught up in the race to reach the top spot on SERPs that they forget that search engines are not the only way their customers find them. According to research, more people are starting to use local search to find businesses in their area. As such, having a strong local online presence is important, especially for small businesses. That said, here are a few simple tips to remember for effective local small business marketing:
Every business looks for ways to attract new customers, including increasing their visibility online. However, as Jon Rognerud explains in his piece for Enterpreneur.com, it can be challenging to get higher search results “The goal of search engine optimization is to have the search engine spiders not only find your site and pages but also specifically rank the page relevance so that it appears at the top of the search engine results. The process of optimization is not a one-time process but requires maintenance, tuning, and continuous testing and monitoring.”
Many companies think that content, rather than aesthetics, is the most important component of their websites. However, the past few years have shown that the layout and design of websites must be given equal value because Internet users tend to stick to web pages with attractive layouts. Forbes contributor Haris Bacic encourages website owners to start reconsidering the visual appeal of their sites in 2014.
Investment News published an article that talked about the social media optimization (SMO) trends that are expected to kick into high gear this 2014. Without going into specific details, the article emphasized five types of SMO that today’s dynamic social media marketing services are offering—including image-sharing, micro videos, and high-quality information articles. The article also predicted that social media sites like Google+ will become even more influential, considering the increasing number of companies that have begun using them for networking and communication.
Pay per click (PPC) strategies may be simple, yet they’re effective enough to warrant little to no supervision. However, Michael Arnold of Business 2 Community says that PPC ads actually need to observe proper timing (i.e. be constantly supervised) to be even more effective. For example, PPC ads need to be modified for certain holidays, like Valentine’s Day or Easter, so that they wouldn’t look out of place when an Internet user encounters them on a website.
Reputation, particularly for businesses, is an important aspect that needs to be carefully managed in order to preserve credibility. An article on reputation management dated November 12, 2013 on the Forbes website focuses particularly on online reputation and why it needs to be supervised:
Entrepreneurs start a business with profit gain as one of their target goals. To accomplish this, they know they have to spread the word about their products and services. However, John Follis of Smallbiztrends.com writes that many business owners fail in their marketing efforts because they take on the tasks themselves.