The Engagement Crisis in Content Marketing and Social Media
Social media mediums are proliferating at a rapid pace in today’s culture that places a high level of importance on the social interaction that is encountered on such sites. As these sites have grown, companies from all areas of business have flocked to take advantage of social media platforms and market their products and services. However, recent studies have shown that the level of engagement from social users has dropped dramatically in recent years. On the contrary, this study also showed that companies are investing more time and money in these social media sites than ever before. This has raised concern among social media experts who say that it could be a result of the decreasing organic social reach coming from the users, and/or the overcrowded market.
I have noticed this decrease in engagement first hand, especially over the past 6 months or so. Websites like Facebook and Twitter have made functioning throughout the sites easier than ever, meaning less engagement is needed from the user. It seems to me that people who use these sites regularly are only partially aware of advertisements that fly by their faces when they are scrolling through their timeline or newsfeed. As the study has shown, this has resulted in a decrease in exposure for companies that are now paying more than ever to have their content displayed on these social media sites. As the writer of the article mentioned, the opportunity cost, or the risk over reward ratio, has steadily decreased as of late. It has made advertising on these social media sites more tricky to use efficiently. It is more important than ever now for companies to be up to date with trending apps and new platforms. With so many sites available for a company to market through, it has become more crucial than ever for each marketing department to make the absolute most out of each advertisement opportunity.
The Psychology of Social Media Marketing in 2016
It could be argued that social media sites are the most rapidly changing part of the internet with new apps and websites opening annually, and popularity bouncing back and forth between existing platforms. Also, new functions and abilities are always being introduced to these sites and apps that directly effect social media marketers in some situations. Social media sites are trending towards being the best way to market to the target audience, depending on what area of business the company is in of course. I personally believe that social media has become the most effective way to market, especially in the retail industry, but the statistics haven’t reflected this just yet.
In the Huffpost Business article, the writer Kate Cook suggests that each social media platform has its own unique audience, and each audience uses that site or app for a particular reason. For example, the article says that Facebook users are “constantly scanning and scrolling through news feeds that are filled with content from pages, groups, and of course ads.” Later in the article Cook suggests that the typical Facebook user is looking to “be in the now,” as the author states. These users want to be connected with their friends and know relevant information that keeps them in the circle, therefore they are frequently checking their news feed for the newest information. This is important for companies to understand when marketing on sites such as Facebook because the way advertisements are presented and displayed can make the difference between being noticed or not.
In essence, the author wanted to convey the message that each platform has its specific group of users that are looking for specific things. A company that understands this is able to take advantage of particular sites or platforms that will give them a better chance of reaching their goal. With so many different options, its crucial that a company picks the right platforms to avoid wasted advertisements. In my opinion, Facebook and Instagram are the most ideal platforms to market through because of the type of users that can be reached. Both are largely used among the young population, and Facebook especially is growing more and more within the older communities. Both sites have users that are looking to be up to date with the latest and greatest things that their friends are sharing, which can be enticing for a company that can break into these “friend groups.” With that being said, i do agree with Cook when she says that each company needs to evaluate their particular situation and customer base and decide where these people are located, as far as social media goes.
SEO and its Growing Importance
Search engine optimization is defined on Google as “the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.” For example, a surf shop wants to appear as a top result whenever an internet browser is searching for a surfboard or wet-suit. This helps to attract potential customers in the direction of a companies website, and away from a competitor. This ranking system is important to businesses because it exposes potential customers to the company’s products and services. There are tons of search engines that a company could choose to market through, but Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft sites dominate a large majority of this market.
A new type of business emerged with the growing importance of SEO, and it centers around experts who specialize in optimizing the use of search engines. These companies work with businesses that are both big, and small, to make sure that they are getting the exposure they pay for. I personally believe that this is a great option for businesses, especially smaller start-ups that need the exposure to get the wheels turning, so to speak. As you will see in the video, there is more to SEO than just improving rankings, and these specialized companies work towards other goals as well.
SEO National Commercial
“We focus on more than just rankings, we look to increase brand awareness and existing revenue stream, and improving keyword positioning is just icing on the cake.” SEO National, for example, focuses on increasing traffic, getting more converting customers, and increasing sales. Having an efficient SEO plan, or using a specialized company to do it for you, has become more and more important in the business world because of the possible benefits a company can reap from it. I believe that, outside of landing page optimization and having an effective website, SEO is the most crucial part of managing an internet site of a business.
It is a common misconception that SEO is primarily paid advertising. Although that is a portion of it, SEO goes much more in-depth into the process of maximizing the number of visitors.
Critical SEO Stats and Trends (2015)
The Importance of Landing Page Optimization
“Landing page optimization is the process of improving a page to increase the percentage of visitors who actually purchase a product or provide their contact information for future sales.” This is according to a blog from an individual at Temple University who later went on to mention that in a more basic form, landing page optimization is simply making your page more effective in achieving your goals. In my opinion this is the best definition because it applies to a much larger group of sites. Since not all sites are out to sell an item, the best landing page isn’t always one that makes a viewer buy something.
There are several things that go into optimizing a landing page, and it varies based on what each website aims to do. With that being said, there are still a small group of basic techniques that all landing pages should employ in order to be as successful. First and foremost, a page must look appealing and flow from topic to topic. The landing page should also have a smart SEO plan in place which allows the page to gain as much exposure as possible. Lastly, the page needs to have quality content that will keep the reader entertained and interested.
As I said before I believe each website will have its own set of techniques and strategies that help landing page optimization. For example, I came across a non-profit site when doing research for one of my classes and I noticed that each landing page had very few words on it. However, this site had about ten pictures on every page that I visited, and since the site was raising awareness for a certain type of cancer, most of the pictures were tear-jerking images of kids who were in bad shape. One would think that a lack of words could be damaging for a company that is looking to raise money and awareness for a disease that is not very common, but this site was extremely effective because of its emotional appeal that it achieved through the photos. This strategy would not work for many websites, but because of the goals of that particular group, it was a very effective method.
Digital Display Ads To Surpass Search Ad Spending in 2016
It has been something that experts have seen coming for years and years; 2016 will mark the time that digital display advertisement spending will surpass search ad spending. This comes from estimates made by the website eMarketer. This site predicted spending will reach “32.17 billion this year in the categories of video, sponsorship’s, rich media and banners.” It was also mentioned that this spike in spending will especially be tied to social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
It was noted in the article that Facebook claimed just under thirty percent of the display ads from 2015, which doubled Google’s stats. This suggests that companies are more interested in their ads being on social media sites than search engines, which is a relatively recent phenomena. I think this will obviously continue in the future as social media sites grow and grow. I also believe that this is clearly a better and more efficient way to reach consumers in companies target audiences. Especially if the companies are trying to reach high school, college, and even post-college individuals, social media seems to be the way to go.
Some consumers may have already noticed this rising trend of digital display advertising in places such as YouTube and Facebook. I have personally noticed this trend, especially when watching YouTube videos. This will effect the price to advertise as the demand for such ads will continue to grow with spending. That means companies will look for ways to be more innovative with the limited time they have on ads such as videos or online commercials. I think consumers will start to notice that ads will become more eye-catching and attention grabbing. I have seen companies such as Geico start to use strategies that are less talkative and more theatrical, by this i mean that these ads seem to use the idea of “actions speak louder than words.”
5 Upcoming Technologies That Will Change The World of Content Marketing
Content marketers know all too well how quickly the industry can change, and they are being reminded of that fact once again. As the article states, “the rate of change in the content marketing world is as fast as it’s ever been,” and it seems there is no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Knowing that the market will change at some time, whether it is a new strategy or game-changing technology, allows for experts to predict what the next thing coming will be.
The experts predicted that Virtual and Augmented Reality will be the next great thing in the content marketing world. This encompasses things like videos that will further connect the audience with the businesses. I agree that virtual reality will make a huge splash in the content marketing realm. Also on the list was instant articles and social purchasing, coming in at second and third respectively. Instant articles are stories that can be pulled right up without having to leave the site that the user is on, in other words there is no third party involved. Social purchasing is another concept that isn’t exactly new, but more or less untested. These are both simple concepts that I have come to appreciate as a consumer. Live streaming improvements and self-updating algorithms brought up the last two predicted game-changers coming in 2016.
In my opinion, the five listed innovations were not so “predicted” as the article leads the reader to believe. I, as a consumer, have personally seen all five of the methods named in the past couple months. However, I think that the first three technologies will certainly make an impact in the content marketing world. Virtual reality and social purchasing are making the process so much easier for the consumers that it is hard to imagine these technologies won’t make some sort of impact. If anything they will lead to tomorrow’s innovations and technologies. Although these are all relatively new concepts, one can be assured that more changes are on the horizon that will change the content marketing world even more.
Digital Institute Embraces the Social Media Sphere
Digital marketing is a rapidly evolving method for businesses to reach out to their potential customers and has proven to be more cost-efficient than other more traditional methods. It is, in my opinion, now the most efficient way to go about trying to reach new audiences and demographics. Over the past few years this form of marketing has transformed into an online media-dominated market. This change has helped to sustain the rapid growth of online marketing, and the strategies and tactics associated with it.
Online marketing has created the need for companies to emerge who can “teach financial advisors how to utilize key digital concepts and ideas in their daily practice,” as the attached article states. ShoeFitts Marketing Agency is one of those companies, and they are revolutionizing the way people can learn social media strategies and ideas, on top of how to go about executing them on one’s own. The CEO will be doing a live broadcast monthly covering a range of topics. For example, the January 21st, 2016 broadcast will cover the latest trends, business opportunities, and more. Sheri Fitts, the CEO of the company, said she believed today’s businesses needed to embrace the growing digital marketing, and begin to understand how to use the power of social media and similar mediums to reach potential clients.
I believe this new live broadcasting will be revolutionary for financial services professionals and businesses alike. This will also give marketing and advertising agencies an easy way to educate their employee’s in today’s hottest trends and strategies when relating to the social media dimension, so to speak. Sheri Fitts will not only profit from this, but also inspire others in her field to expand the way they are reaching out to their own target audiences. A live broadcast is pushing the limits of where ShoeFitts and similar companies have gone before, and this seems to be just the start. As the digital marketplace has showed before, it changes on a seemingly daily basis. Fitts and other innovators will surely be trying to improve this live broadcasting method.
All quotes were taken from article.