As 2019 kicks off, business owners and marketers should be thinking about what they can do to make their companies more successful in the new year. Near the top of the list should be finding ways to leverage social media channels more effectively.
Gone are the days when companies are able to treat social media as an afterthought. Today, social media platforms are where a business has an opportunity to consistently demonstrate its value and reinforce its voice. Rachel Strella, Owner/CEO of Strella Social Media and contributor to Social Media Today, outlines what can you do to bolster your brand’s success through social media in 2019.
1. The growing importance of personal branding to business branding
Particularly for small businesses, putting a real, human face to a brand name helps to build loyalty. A brand that’s more relatable, and has the human element, naturally garners more trust, and trust is essential for building relationships.
One way to humanize a brand is to promote the personal brand of the business owner or a high-level leader. This tactic has become a staple for many organizations, as demonstrated through guest blogging, podcast and webinar appearances, and other publicity opportunities. By enabling your audiences to get to know the character and expertise of company leadership, a business can strengthen its brand reputation.
2. Long-form content for making an SEO impact
While word count is not the only thing that can impact how prominently an article will appear on search engine results pages, SEO experts agree that long-form content can give you an edge.
Although Google doesn’t penalize blog posts if they fail to reach a certain word count threshold, it stands to reason that a high-quality article with 1,600 words will likely outrank a high-quality article with 500 words. It’s for that reason more publishers require guest authors to submit articles with a minimum of 1,000 or more words.
We’ll see more company blogs embrace long-form content, and incorporate it into their content strategies. Therefore, businesses that have found they aren’t getting SEO traction with short posts may want to “go long” and add more comprehensive articles, rich with information and insight.
3. Acceleration of personalized marketing
With more companies digging into their data and using it to create customized marketing campaigns which target individuals’ interests at different points in the buyer’s journey, the pressure is on.
Customers have come to expect brands to tailor special offers and discounts to their wants and needs. To accommodate that expectation, more businesses will need to consider targeted advertising and retargeting campaigns on social media channels.
4. Video’s prominence as the preferred form of content
According to research by Wyzowl, 97% of marketers say that video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service, and 76% indicated that it has helped increase web traffic and sales. That doesn’t seem far-fetched, given that 95% of people have watched explainer videos to learn more about a product or service.
Video allows for a company to put a face to the business. It enables prospects and customers to get to know who leads and works in a business. Video gives businesses an opportunity to show not only what they do but also “who” they are.
5. “Pay to play” – the path to more exposure
In 2012, brands could expect, on average, that 16% of their fans would see their Facebook updates. Fast-forward to 2018, and that reach plummeted to about 6% (often less).
With the diminishing organic reach of business content, most companies will need to invest in sponsored posts, boosted posts, and social media ads if they want to stay top of mind. Fortunately, social media advertising doesn’t have to break the bank; a small amount of money can go a long way.
Change: An Ever-Constant Trend
The one trend you can always count on resurfacing year after year is that businesses must, to some degree, adjust their social media approach to gain broader awareness and increase engagement with customers.
The thing about trends is that following them doesn’t guarantee success – pay attention to social media trends, but before you jump on the bandwagon, carefully evaluate before incorporating them into your marketing strategy, and ensure that you always remain consistent with your brand and business efforts.
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