If you want to grow your business profitably in 2019 and avoid the frustration and cost of trying to fix poor results after the fact, this may be the most important article you read all year.
I read several blogs a week, attend multiple conferences, listen to podcasts and am a member of 3 mastermind groups. All of this gives me exposure to trends in the marketing world before they are commonly known.
When a subject comes up once it may not mean much, but when I start seeing signs in multiple places I know that it’s coming.
My predictions for 2019;
First, an online presence that you control is going to be more important every year. Now, what this looks like is continually evolving. A few years ago, just a website was considered an online presence. Now your site must be responsive, and you need to be active on some form of social media so that your customers can interact with you. Your audience doesn’t want to be talked AT. They want to be talked WITH.
That leads us to conversations. The more conversations you can have with your customers the better. They’ll feel connected to you in multiple ways.
You have an online presence in many places many of which you don’t control. Do you know what your presence is like?
There are more than 70 directory sites on the web and that number keeps growing. Do a search for your business name. You’re going to see your website, and then possibly:
- Your Facebook Page
- Your Google My Business Page
- Your yelp page
- Your Yellow Pages directory
- Your Citysquares page
- Your Chamber of Commerce listing
- Plus so many more!
How are you managing your presence on these sites?
Are your name, address, and phone number the same on all of these?
I was talking to a Lawyer who didn’t get to represent a case worth many 1000s because the person searched for his practice online and the number on his Yelp page wasn’t his number.
You’ll also find reviews on many of these sites, have you answered them? There are tools that help you do this, and if you want more information about one reach out to me.
Your Marketing Message:
The most important component of your online marketing is your messaging. This has been the truth for years and it’s going to continue to grow in importance.
Until you have a message that resonates with your audience, you’re not going to get results.
You can have a ninja setup in any media and if your message is off, you’re not going to get a return.
However with a great message that resonates with your audience, you can have an average technical set up and get outstanding results.
It’s easier and cheaper to hire someone for the technical setup for your marketing than it is to hire someone to create your messaging.
I mentioned, people want to have a conversation with you. What tools are you using to handle this? Most consumers aren’t interested in talking on the phone and everyone’s email box is overflowing. So what do they do?
Many are switching to a messaging app. The most popular in the US is Facebook Messenger.
We’re seeing incredible open rates and results from Facebook Messenger campaigns at a great price.
Consumers are loving them so far and the tools Facebook has built in is impressive. It’s even possible to sell items right from Facebook Messenger without leaving the app.
This tool is going to become more important to your business’s success over the next year.
These handy pieces of software help you manage your messaging audiences.
They can interact with people messaging you and point them in the direction they want to go. Then you can jump in and take over the conversation at the proper time.
These are inexpensive, and you’ll be seeing more of them as Facebook Messenger usage continues to grow.
Facebook had a tough year in 2018 thanks to some poor publicity, and they’ve been working hard to fix it. They’ve done a good job as far as users are concerned.
The changes they’ve made have made it a bit more challenging for advertisers. It takes a better system to make Facebook work, but once you have it set up Facebook has continued to perform for our clients.
One area that will continue to work on Facebook is Groups. When you set up a group and interact with the group members, they see your post organically (free).
This is a powerful way to connect with people most interested in what you sell. If you don’t have a group in your business, look at setting one up.
Other online platforms have continued to grow and thrive and the largest is Instagram.
The number of regular Instagram users and the engagement on it has continued to grow.
It is a Facebook property and you can post paid ads on Instagram from the Facebook ads manager.
With the changes that have happened over the year, it’s my guess is that Instagram is rapidly heading to where Facebook is as far as organic reach for business pages.
Every month you’re going to see less reach with your Instagram business page, unless you use paid advertising to reach people.
For those of us that understand how to use paid advertising, it’s going to continue to work well, for those relying on “Free” traffic they’re going to see their business shrink.
This is going to be increasingly important. Your audience likes to watch video.
There is a time and place for it, but the time and place is getting more often.
This may be a promotional video or it might be information or it just might be fun – but all of it will work.
You’re going to have to get comfortable creating and posting video content on your pages
Email has been the profit driver of online marketing for years.
Being able to place a message in someone’s inbox for FREE for all this time has worked and will continue to work.
There are going to be some challenges as consumers deal with inbox overload, but there are still many sales to be had from email.
The key is to make sure you engage your audience on other platforms and encourage them to share their email address with you so you can offer them products to buy via email.
People are more willing to buy from email, and people still use their email regularly. After all, most have it for work and they’re used to looking for deals in their email boxes.
If you’re going to succeed with online marketing you’re going to need to be committed to making it happen, and you must be consistent.
You can’t promote and sell at Christmas time and then go dark until the next selling season comes around.
When you do that you, lose connection with your audience. Like I said earlier, they want to have a connection and conversations with you – not just buy from you
You’ve got to reach out to your customers regularly even when you’re not selling. When you do you’re going to see your sales go up.
This even means seasonal businesses who are only open a limited time every year.
Integration with Offline
If you only sell online you’re going to be missing some prime opportunities for connecting and selling to your audience. Now offline can be anything from the location of your business to direct mail, to print or broadcast ads.
Combining online and offline ads will get you the best results for your money.
If you only sell offline, you’re missing a chance to connect with your audience where they’re at.
They are hanging out online, spending hours every day on their phone, tablets, and computers.
When they see you offline and then encounter you online you’re going to see your sales go up here too. And for those who are just getting started online, you’re going to see fast results.
The importance of integrating online and offline is going to continue to grow as more businesses move online.
There you have it. Those are my predictions for 2019.
We’ll have to look back in twelve months to see how I did with my predictions.
Keep reading this email every week and I’ll keep pointing out trends as they unfold.
Have a great day!
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