Instagram stars, YouTube creators are the right change makers for brands that are trying to go beyond the traditional promotional strategies. With each passing day, visionaries are innovating the social media outlets to improve upon the user experience. Online marketing is huge in the corporate circles today and these latest social media trends are taking the social media game a notch higher. These trends have starkly changed how people are sharing information across different platforms and made it easier for brands to directly communicate with their target audience.
From a preferred clean interface and design to more emphasis on visual content, social media marketing platforms are changing, and they are changing for the better. Let’s take a look at some of the trends that are game changing for online marketing in 2016.
1. Live Streaming is All The Rage
This is excellent to boost engagement. Whether you are a small firm or a corporate giant, living streaming can be a powerful tool that needs to be part of your social media strategy. Planning an event?- why not involve your customers through a live stream of the event. Don’t just stream the event, make it interactive by answering viewer questions and giving them a peek at all that you have to offer. How about a tutorial or behind the scenes video that shows your audience how things work. Get a lot of questions from your customers on your services? Well, a Q&A video session is just what you need to get their interests piqued.
2. Instant Articles, Instant Likes
Earlier to read an article mentioned on a social media platform, you had to click on a link which was directed to the website. But no more waiting! With instant articles foraying into the world of social media, you can scan through the articles in seconds. Read whatever you like on the spot and on the go, slow internet connection notwithstanding.
3. The Visual Power
There is no denying that there has been a noticeable shift in how we communicate online. Visuals are captivating and are excellent to engage with your customers and followers in a creative manner. Researchers found that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%. That’s a lot! The rapid, visual transfer of information in entertaining formats is welcome and shared by customers around the world. Pinterest has become one of the fastest growing networks, and Instagram is experiencing massive growth and high rates of engagement. Instagram is the perfect platform to display your product in an artsy and creative way. Source your target/ideal audience and promote your services using the power of visuals.
4. Buy Buttons Are Making Life Easier
Advertisements on social media platforms have been around for a long time, but the instant buying aspect is taking it to a new level. Now that customers can buy or order products directly from the like page, businesses are benefiting from social media marketing. This a fantastic feature, since social media users can buy products without even leaving the app, allowing for a great user experience. This feature is especially beneficial for the fashion industry. Businesses can directly target their ideal customers and get more traffic directly to their product page.
5. Work With Social Media Influencers
This trend is catching up this year, with brands leveraging influencers popularity and reach, to spread their brand message. Social media influencers work hard to build large, engaged followings, they know what their audience wants, and are experts on their followers’ needs. Use this connection to your benefit by giving them the creative freedom to present and promote your brand/product on their platform or channel. Always look for influencers who match your brand’s values, influence your target market, and who will promote your service/product with great zeal.
These are some of the social media trends you need to implement in your online marketing strategy to garner success and customer love. So, what are you waiting for? Start building your empire today!
The success of your business in the online space is dependent on many factors. While the quality of your product or service is one of the prime focus, establishing your business as a force to reckon with online goes way beyond that.
Establishing a strong customer base and earning their patronage, while still continuing to attract new ones, calls for taking into account many different features of your business. And, in a highly technology driven world, your company’s website is one of your greatest assets.
As a small business owner if you think building a fan base on Facebook, sharing content on Twitter, or posting images on Pinterest and Instagram is good enough for your business, you are highly mistaken. A central digital home is essential for your business, or else you risk scattering your efforts and missing out on an incredible opportunity to engage with your current and potential customers.
What happens when a user lands on your website and does not know what to do? They bounce out of there, leading to a high bounce rate for your website, which ultimately hurts your SEO strategy. According to Neil Patel, " often, high bounce rates are due to the primacy of design over function "
Many a times businesses redesign their website to make it look current or aesthetically pleasing, only to experience higher bounce rates and lower rankings after its launch. The mobile bounce rates are as important as the desktop bounce rates.
Your website has to do more than just look good; it has to work well. This brings to the fore the importance of its many features. Does your website give your customers what they are looking for in a minimum amount of time? Is it clean, simple, and uncluttered? Does it represent your business in the best light possible? These are some of the questions that will help you decide if your website design is helping or harming your business.
Designing a website that appeals to your customer’s sensibilities while also being a problem solver for them is a very crucial task for any small business. Discussed below are 20 best practices in website designing that you should follow to grow your business with a sound online marketing strategy.
Fresh, Unique Design
Look at your website as a reflection of your brand. What you put out there is what your customers will think of your brand. And, for a first-time visitor it is the first impression of your business. If you use an off-the-rack template to design your site, it is going to end up looking like one of the million websites out there, failing to create that unique impression you were hoping for.
Use great color and contrasts along with soothing fonts to grab the audience’s attention. Lots of white space with well-balanced colors, stunning images, and visual elements that talk about your service or products are a great way to engage your audience. Choose design patterns that are comfortable and easy to navigate. Your brand needs to stick in your customers’ memory, so you have to be unique.
As Eric Portis says,
There is a growing generation that is moving away from desktops and taking to mobile technology like their mobiles and tablets. So, your website design needs to be accessible on all the different devices that your potential customer might be using.
Apart from earning you brownie points from the search engines, it will also help boost your customer base. Potential customers come to your site looking for specific information, and rarely to read everything on there. A website visitor usually skims through the headlines and looks at graphics and images.
Add text color if you want to emphasize any information. Make the headlines interesting as customers usually do not go beyond to read the content if they do not find the headline interesting. The action buttons and links should be unambiguous.
Effective Call To Action
You want every visitor to convert into your customer, thus, boosting your sales. Your CTA is what prompts them to take that next crucial step, so, it is imperative that it is well placed. Ideally your CTA should be located in the header and footer of each page as well as inserted throughout the site content.
There should be a sense of urgency in your CTA. Something like “Sign Me Up” will get you far more conversions than a straight hyperlink. Include a CTA after the product or service description. Asking the user to get in touch and sign up for more information should be accompanied by a link to help promote this action. It should direct them to a contact form, your email or phone number.
opines Neil Patel. This means there are two major speed fans you’ve got to be looking out for: search engines and your customers. The reason why any customer would love a fast loading website is pretty obvious. And, search engines love what website users love.
People today are pressed for time and are an impatient lot while browsing websites. So, slow load time will directly impact your conversion rate. If you have a site design loaded with graphics, make sure you have the hardware infrastructure and bandwidth to support the designs. If you have a large customer base and expect substantial traffic to your website, picking good hosts to improve the site load time becomes even more crucial.
Design And Development
You need to both design and develop your website to get it up and running. However, the skills needed for design and development are typically different. Hence, you may want to leverage different people for both the jobs. Front-end developers focus on what your users see when they visit your site and back-end developers focus on interaction between the server and databases.
Get a competent web developer and designer who can work on multiple areas of web design, information architecture, usability engineering, web content management systems, web server and database administration, project management, network security, and SEO.
Your domain could tell the visitors what your business does or could also be used as an effective way for people to easily reach your site. Finding the perfect domain for your business could be a frustrating experience. If you are unable to find a URL that matches your business name, try changing the name or finding an alternative URL that includes or complements the name.
Consider how the URLs will look to the search engines and your users. Try to use natural sounding names for your URLs and titles which should not be a problem if you use content management systems like a WordPress blog.
SEO And SEM
For a small business, efforts spent on one marketing initiative could take away from other initiatives. SEO and SEM are highly specialized fields and require considerable efforts and time to perfect. However, SEO and SEM campaigns can provide great leverage to small businesses, hence, should not be overlooked.
Consider the search engines when you design your website. Bear in mind all the factors that appease the search engines so that your business gets higher rankings and, thereby, attracts more customers.
Images are capable of triggering strong emotions. People tend to resonate strongly to specific forms that look similar to what they know and like. Placing the background images wisely is crucial to drawing the readers’ attention. Avoid using images below texts. Use a good fit of image size and quality to file size. Choose images that fit seamlessly with your design and have high enough resolutions.
Also ensure the selection of your images are not slowing down your website loading time. Don’t design for style’s sake, but design for your users.
Website’s extensions are used to enrich the site with additional comfort functions for the users. Include social media tabs so that if your users want to share your articles, this makes it easy for them. Build your website as a dialogue platform to increase user engagement. Comments are a great way to open the doors for dialogue to happen.
So, incorporate these neat little features to help extend your website in making it more user friendly for your customers.
Icons are a great way to provide ease of use to your customers. People comprehend images a lot faster than reading lines and lines of texts. Between text and images, they will naturally be drawn to recognize images before anything else. So, use icons to make the website navigation a breeze.
There are different kinds of icon sets available for different design styles, like flat icons, elegant icons, and hipster icons.
The layout of the website determines how the site’s elements are aligned. Creating a proper layout is akin to clearing the chaos. Minimization is the key. It does not mean you only put half of your functions in there. Rather, put all the functions, but sort, cluster, and align them. The shorter and easier the website, the better your conversion rates will be.
If it helps your users, then follow conventions where appropriate. This way you are giving your users what they automatically expect out of you. Being consistent with your layout eases the use and allows faster navigation.
Mobile Device Accessibility
One of the foremost principles of a responsive design is to ensure the browsing experience is evenly matched for all devices and every user. This means your site’s visual appearance should change without causing any content or function loss, no matter the device your user is logged into. Given that in the present times more than half of the traffic come from mobile devices, it is best to check your website for mobile flawlessness.
You can test your site by grabbing your browser window and dragging it to become smaller. Reload the website and explore the result.
The importance of testing your website on a regular basis cannot be emphasized enough. It is a key factor for creating a great website or web application. A polished product or service will get you satisfied customers if nothing else, and that should be the key priority for your business.
Testing will help you avoid having to deal with customer complaints. Even adding a small plug-in or any small update can cause interference with your core service. So re-test after you have added any feature.
It is essential for you to know that users of all kinds visit your website. This means the design of your website cannot be heavily focused on one segment of users. Small businesses or businesses in local markets, should especially consider users with slow internet connection. Catering to their needs in the spirit of being accessible to all will make your business more endearing to your clients.
Keep the design and navigation consistent throughout the site. Do not create unrelated designs for different pages. Keep the overall design and layout similar for all the pages.
This is an important aspect of collaborate web projects. Without documentation your chances of failing are much higher. Include a tool your team can access in the development process. Also use the comment functions in the programming language to explain your sections.
Bad documentation can result in exponential communication needs, task repetition, and can lead to much confusion.
As Brian Dean says," you can have the best design elements in the world. But, if they are squished and cluttered, the… "
Simplicity and symmetry is what you should be aiming for. You can achieve balance even with asymmetrical layouts if you consider weights and position of elements in your design.
Your visitors should be able to browse your site without a single thought. Help your audience be lazy and invest in their comfort if you want to earn more customers. Striving for simplicity is an investment not to be underestimated.
The whole reason you are building a website is to deliver information about your product or service for which you need informative content. Creating quality content is crucial for users and for search engines to index your site. Poor content will cause a visitor to quickly leave your site. So, keep the content current and relevant to what the user is looking for.
Avoid duplicate content as you will be penalized by the search engine. Also, do not overload your site with content. Keep the content limited, but rich and well presented.
Planning ahead will save you time and money. Doing mockup gives you opportunities to correct all the errors. If these errors crop up and have to be corrected at a later stage, it could cost you multiple digits. It is best to discuss the mockups with everyone involved in the project. This way you can get on a common ground and then start building afterwards.
This is a real time and money saver, and will give you a website that is error-free and running smoothly.
Your website is a reflection of your brand. How you design your website speaks volumes about your brand. So, it would help to keep that in mind while choosing the design aspect of your website. Every design aspect should further the credibility of your business. Optimizing your site’s search ratio is the best way to make your site visible to your audience. So, ensure your website plays its part in helping your users comprehend your brand’s goal.
Designing a functional and user-friendly website is definitely a necessity. Your customers will want to know more about your products and services, and how it can benefit them. A dedicated website is the easiest and fastest way for them to do so.
A company’s responsive web design is one of its biggest marketing tools. It acts as a medium between the business and their audience, and helps them determine if they want to do business with your company or not. Your website has the potential to grow your business, not just locally, but even globally.
Design a website that makes your users go “wow” instead of “how”.
Companies are making the safe move to the digital marketing world, and paring back their budgets on traditional marketing methods. Customer engagement has moved to the online world given the rise in devices connected to the Internet. Hence digital marketing expenditure in many organizations account for a major part of their marketing budget.
15th December, Tuesday marked the end of a Twitter monitoring tool that is Topsy. Topsy officials made the announcement by quoting that “we’ve searched our last tweet”. Till now, many of you must be aware that the site shut down and redirects directly to a page promoting iOS 9 search capabilities. Apple purchased this tool two years back in 2013 for more than $200 million. The reason for the sudden shut down is still under veils.
Now that it’s official that Topsy will no longer be working, people are making efforts to search for its alternatives. To make it easier for you, we have listed down some of the most effective options for Topsy.