The one thing you can be sure of is that Digital marketing is continually changing.

What worked yesterday might not work today.

My goal is to help you keep on top of the latest practices and emerging strategies in digital marketing.  We are going to consider five areas where the industry is seeing the most change.

1) Video Marketing 

 

More than ever video content keeps gaining steam. Video now loads faster and is much easier to consume on a tiny screen.  People can’t get enough of video, and as a matter of fact, 45% of people watch at least one hour of video a day, according to Hubspot.

Since people consume more video than ever, brands are eagerly looking for ways to satisfy this demand. According to one survey, 82% of businesses say that video is a key component of their marketing mix, and 83% say that it brings them a solid return on investment (ROI).

The key to a good marketing strategy is to make sure the video is not only branded and entertaining, but also educational.

Did you know when trying to seek information on a business, people prefer to get it through video as compared to a text article or web page.

According to Google half of internet users seek out a video related to their intended purchasebefore visiting a store. This fact means that having video versions of your blogs, product pages, and campaign materials is quickly becoming an expectation rather than a nice-to-have feature.

Many of our clients ask us to turn their blog posts into videos for this very reason.

The good news is that providing a video in these situations can quickly boost your marketing performance. For example, adding a video to a landing page can increase that page’s conversion rate by 80%.

In your business try to think of ways to duplicate or replace content with video. By including more videos on your websites, emails, landing pages or social media posts, you can improve conversions and deliver on the demands of your audience.

2) Online Reviews a Major Focal Point 

 

With the increase of mobile devices like iPhone, iPad etc. online reviews are even more important than ever. Before making a decision people check out reviews.  These reviews can influence the products they buy or don’t buy.

According to Forbes, when people read reviews, they generally expect a rating above 4 out of 5 before they will be interested. 85% of people also trust these reviews from strangers as much they would a personal recommendation from someone they know.

What you might find shocking is that Internet users are most likely to say that online reviews are their most trusted source. While an average of 23% of people say that they prefer recommendations from friends, family or colleagues, 31% would prefer to pass judgment based on what reviews say.

It makes me think of QVC and HSN. When you look at purchasing a product you can click on the reviews tab and see what other people have to say.  I love reading these reviews.  When you get great review after great review you feel more confident in making the purchase.  Yes, there are times you find negative reviews but if those are few and far between it helps in your decision-making process.

Reviews can also become a significant source of reputation damage. If you aren’t monitoring your reviews and proactively adjusting your customer service strategy accordingly, you could be losing customers left and right without realizing why.

The best strategy for small businesses is to ask every customer or patient to give you a testimonial or review.  What was their experience like. What I always find fascinating when I work with clients is that people will have a fantastic experience with their purchase and never say a word.  But then you have those few customers/patients who can’t wait to say something negative.

How can you balance these reviews? Make sure that before you ask for a review or testimonial, you ask the person how they feel about your product or service. If there are any issues, handle them right away.

Next, you want to make the process of giving you a review super simple.  In working with many dentists and chiropractors, I have the doctors ask the patient for the testimonial after their appointment.  Having a camera set up in an area so people can sit down and review your service enables you to get more reviews.

You see people may love you and what you do but once they go home they get bogged down with life and giving you a review is not a top priority for them.  When you get that review before their leave your office, it makes their life and yours easier.  Let me also be clear that you can never have enough good reviews.  As a matter of fact, the more great reviews you have, the more they water down that one of two that would complain no matter what you do.

If need be, you can send out a quick questionnaire to your customer or patient for them to fill out and send back via email.

You should also ask people to leave you a review on Yelp or Google.  Let them know how much you appreciate their taking the time and effort to do that.

By the way, remember I mentioned having a video review before your patient or customer leaves the office?  These videos can then be posted on Facebook right away as social proof.

 

3) Use Chatbots Offer Customer Service 24/7

Imagine having a staff member available 24/7 to offer customer support. Well, today you can and here’s how.

When you visit Facebook and go to a business page more than likely, you will see the “message” button.  These are Chatbots which are a computer controlled program that’s designed to interact with people who visit your page.  When you click on the message tab, you will see a window pop open, and you type in your message.  Using these message bots enables you to run a simple conversation without the person realizing it’s all AI (artificial intelligence). Chatbots can be used in a variety of situations.

For instance, if you have a website for your service-based business, you can have a chat window automatically pop up and ask people if they have any questions or need help finding specific information

Chatbots have gained traction among larger businesses. “I’ve been testing them out the last six months, and the results have been off-the-charts,” says agency CEO Michael Tasner. “The crazy thing is, if you set up the bot correctly, it’s very tough to tell if you’re talking to an actual person or a bot.”

You might be thinking you don’t have the budget to have a chatbot for customer service, but they can be very cost effective.

Having the right chatbot means you can easily find out what your customers/patients, or website visitors need help with.

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