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Top Marketing Trends 2019

It is important for small businesses to keep on top of trends, especially in Digital Marketing. Here are the top things you should be doing in 2019 to get the most out of your budget and beat your competition.

Instagram

Social media is a rapidly growing industry. With over one billion active users worldwide, Instagram is an essential tool to connect with your customers. 64 percent of US adults aged 18 to 29 claim to be using the platform. Being an exclusively visual platform, users can post videos and pictures. Posting regularly on Instagram- at least twice a week – is a great way to connect with your customers. You can also use paid advertising options if you are looking to target a wider audience.

Live Video

In a survey conducted by Livestream in New York Magazine, 80% of the 1000 people surveyed said they would rather watch a live video that read a blog. In 2019, there are many live video platforms you can use, including Facebook Live, Youtube and Instagram. You are able to reach a more engaged audience as they have opted to tune into your live stream. This great tool for new product reveals, staff intros, how to videos and advertisements, is also cost effective and doesn’t take time to produce.

Chatbots

While only 15% of Americans currently claim to have used a chatbot, this is something that is predicted to grow rapidly within the next 2 years. Chat boxes pop up on web pages and answer customer’s questions, usually outside of business hours. It’s a great way to engage with your customers 24/7 and gain a better understanding of their needs. Plus once chatbots have been set up, the cost of maintaining and updating them is low.

Strong Content

The purpose of online content is to provide accurate relevant information to your customers. This will not only educate them but help to drive sales. Good content doesn’t have to be keyword heavy. It needs to help solve a problem and be useful to your customers. Make sure to add relevant, well-written content to your company’s blog and keep your website up to date.

Ever-Evolving Marketing Strategy

Staying on top of ever-changing digital marketing strategies is essential for your business to move forward. Something that is relevant now, may only be an effective strategy for half a year. Understanding Google’s rapidly changing algorithms, will help you to meet their criteria and better place your ads. Here at Cloud9 we stay up to date with fast-changing digital strategies so we can help with what will work best for you. Contact us by calling 604- 938- 4016 or email clientcare@cloud9marketing.ca.

We’re often asked how long it takes to see results with content marketing. Many businesses expect to see an increase in leads and sales immediately. But the truth is –no matter how great the content you put out – content marketing takes time and perseverance!

While it can be frustrating to not see the fruits of your labour straightaway, content marketing is a long-term game that allows you to deliver quality information to your customers. Seeing slow results in the first few months is nothing to worry about – here’s why.

It’s different to traditional advertising

Marketers are constantly debating how many times it takes for a consumer to see an advert before they change their behaviour. Some believe that the answer is 7, but for others the number can range anywhere from 3 to 20 times. Despite varying opinions, everyone can agree that advertising relies on showing products or services enough times in order to get a sale.

With content marketing, you need to come at it from a completely different angle. Unlike advertising, it is not meant to create immediate leads. Instead, the quality content that you put out serves to raise brand awareness – over time.

And runs on a different timeline

Often businesses start off strong with content marketing, but get tired and give up after a few months. With no immediate pay out, it’s easy to think that your efforts aren’t paying off. Because there is no instant gratification, and no guaranteed method of success, many give up on content marketing prematurely – before they are able to see improvements to their online visibility and customer interactions.

It takes a little experimentation

Learning how to write content that will rank well is a serious skill. It takes a while to understand where your audience likes to hang out online, and how they want to engage with your business. It also takes a bit of experimenting to find which type of content will work best for your business online – whether it’s blogs, articles, podcasts, videos or e-newsletters. Once you master the format, you have a way to target your audience uninterrupted, and teach them about your product or service in a way they find interesting and engaging.

And has different goals

Unlike advertising, the purpose of content marketing is all about building loyal customers and brand advocates. While an ad campaign can get you short-term sales, high-quality, engaging content has much more lasting power when it comes to gaining loyal consumers that trust your brand.

It’s complex!

SEO is changing all the time: Google changes it’s algorithm 500-600 times a year, and rarely lets everyone know of its updates. This means that there is no recipe for success with SEO. Rather, it’s a constant learning process of jumping through hoops, experimenting with content, and sticking with it!

While content marketing is a long-term game, it is something you should be investing in. Why? Because it works. Here at Cloud9, we can monitor and analyse your content marketing efforts to ensure you’re on the right track to producing great results for your business. To find out more, please get in contact.

startup content strategy to build brand awareness

So you’ve just launched a new venture with a shiny new website. How’s traffic? Non-existant? Well, here’s how to change that.

Search engines use various methods to determine page rank and position in search engine results pages (SERPs). A large part of that is determined by relevant and creditable links to your content, social media interaction, online discussion, articles and white papers, slide shares, videos, etc.

A start-up should focus on getting as much exposure as possible early on. There are several methods that help to build brand awareness, and they should all be considered.

It is very important to understand that without a solid content strategy that will genuinely appeal to users, social media efforts and other inbound marketing efforts will fall short and the return on investment will be very little.

Creating original content and utilizing tools such as article submission, eBooks, blogging, white papers, slide shares, videos and press releases will help to not only build brand credibility and improve your company website’s page rank (through link backs and shares), it will also give you something to talk about.

Once you have a solid content strategy and have built up enough of a library to feel it is worth presenting to the public, you reach out and you share it like crazy!

And that is where social media comes in. Social media is in essence the curation of content. It gives everyone the ability to share content as they see fit. Which gives the end user the control over how extensively your content is shared – unless you use fan blockers or other forceful tactics, which are not recommended if you want to build “goodwill” with your fan base.

If you do not have anything original or well thought-out to share, people will simply and unapologetically move on and not look back. Which, of course, you don’t want. You want to be the source that people flock to for solid information and share with their friends, colleagues, coworkers and so on. But that is only accomplished when the product is good.

We get a fair amount of start-ups asking for just social media. And while, a solid social strategy coupled with Facebook advertising and perhaps contesting can yield good results in terms of social media fan growth and engagement, it may not be the answer to increasing traffic to your web site and ultimately into the sales funnel or develop into leads.

So, is a content strategy important for start-ups? Most definitely.

content marketing

If you’re reading this, you’re probably already sold on the idea of using content marketing to benefit your business. However, you may still be looking for ways to get the most out of your content marketing endeavors.

Here are four suggestions for making your efforts more worthwhile:

1.    Post content that your customers want: You might think that you should write your blog about your business; after all, a lot of people do just that. However, you need to remember that customers really don’t care about you as much as they care about themselves. You can actually take advantage of this by providing customers with content that they want and getting their attention in exchange. You can post any type of content that you believe will help you achieve this goal. The content might be a video, a how-to article, or a detailed guide, but it should be something that will draw customers to your site and make them more likely to become interested in your business.

2.    Mainly write content that is for the benefit of your customers and only promotes your products occasionally: People are interested in reading articles that benefit them. They do not find posts that praise products particularly appealing. If you provide customers with content that they want to read 9 out of 10 times, you’re more likely to create a reliable target audience.

3.    Post “cornerstone” content on your site: This type of content is categorized and archived in such a way that customers will have no trouble finding it. It also remains valuable for extended periods of time. KISSmetrics provides cornerstone content with its marketing guides, Copyblogger provides it with a sidebar, and River Pools and Spas exemplifies it with its Pool 101 content. Cornerstone content brings you excellent ROI (returns on investment) because it benefits you over time.

4.    Look at  other sites to see the types of content customers want: Visit the websites of other business owners in your industry to get an idea of what people seem to enjoy reading. You can find out how many tweets and shares certain types of content get to figure out what is popular. You should also be aware that creating posts about Twitter or Facebook is sure to get you a lot of shares. Although you shouldn’t limit yourself to writing exclusively about these subjects, doing so on a regular basis will definitely increase traffic to your site.

Contact us to find out how Cloud9 Marketing can help you develop a solid Content Marketing Strategy.

content social media marketing

Is there really a difference between Content Marketing & Social Media Marketing?

There is definitely some overlap between content marketing and social media marketing. However, these types of online marketing are actually separate and unique. They have their own points of focus as well as goals and processes. To eliminate any confusion you might have regarding content and social marketing, let’s take a look at some of the factors that set them apart from each other.

Primary Focus of the Marketing Work

Social media marketing activity is concentrated within social networking sites themselves. Marketers with a social networking focus post their campaign updates directly onto pages on Twitter, Facebook, and other similar sites. When they create content, they specifically use these sites to reach their target audiences.

In content marketing, on the other hand, the focus of a campaign is the website for a brand or specific product.  Social networks are certainly used in content marketing efforts, but the networking sites are typically used to backlink to content that has been posted on the brand or product website.

Forms and Length of Content

In social media marketing, the content must be adjusted to fit the nature of the networking site that is being used. For example, text must be no more than 140 characters long if it is being posted to Twitter; likewise, marketers fare better on Facebook if they create games and quizzes. In this method of marketing, brands must use social networking sites in the same manner that everyday users do.

In content marketing, however, it is possible to post longer and more diverse pieces of content because a brand website is being used.  Brands can format their postings like media publishers do. They may publish blog posts, eBooks, videos, infographics, and more.

Objectives

Social media marketing and content marketing can both be used for a variety of purposes, but social media marketing mainly focuses on two goals. First, it is used to create brand awareness (i.e., to stimulate discussion and activity in regards to a particular brand). It is also used for the purposes of retaining and satisfying customers. Brands can use social networks to engage in direct discussion with their customers, who may have questions or issues regarding products.

The website-based nature of content marketing allows businesses to better focus on generating demand.  Well-developed content sends prospective customers to a brand’s website, bringing about lead conversions and possible sales.

Online Marketing: The Evolution

Social media marketing is currently the main focus for a majority of marketing departments. Content marketing is still a fairly new concept, and as such remains a less popular option at this point.

However, these two forms of marketing are interrelated. They are both part of the continuing evolution of marketing. The Internet has given every brand the opportunity to communicate with its customers directly, and social media marketing and content marketing both make it easier for brands to do this.

Naturally, social media marketing came first in the evolutionary process. This is partially because it allows brands to access users directly. In general, the content is also posted in shorter pieces, making the publishing process quick and easy.

In time, though, content marketing will have the edge as brands grow more familiar with the idea of being publishers. It is true that this version of marketing involves longer content of a higher quality and that brands must draw in audiences through their own websites. Still, content marketing has the potential to produce more powerful results by allowing brands to communicate more closely with their customers and find more leads.

Contact us to find out how Cloud9 Marketing can help you with your Content Marketing and/or Social Media efforts.