How To Overcome Six Surprising Marketing Challenges in 2014

Six Marketing Challenges In 2014 And How To Meet Them

  The majority of ecommerce webmasters were taken completely by surprise by the release of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm. Even more surprising were the changes that the smart search engine caused in the way we market our online products and services. The reason we were taken so far off guard by these marketing challenges is in the kind of changes that took place. Everyone, right down to the last marketer, expected massive changes in the way we apply SEO, yet very little has changed on that front. With the exception of a long tail keyword comeback and the call for more informative content, our SEO strategies will remain the same. So what has changed? The answer may surprise you.  

Top 6 changes that Will Affect your Marketing Strategy in 2014

  1. We are no longer selling products to customers; rather, we are solving people’s problems with our products
  2. Social engagement is no longer something we might or might not use as a marketing strategy in some of our marketing campaigns; rather, it is a necessary daily marketing credo that is vital to our success
  3. Content is no longer king; rather, content is a deity… a demigod to be worshipped and to which sacrifices should be reverently offered
  4. We are no longer telling people the virtues of our company and products; rather, we are teaching people how to enrich their lives and showing them how to get the most benefit from our products (Or services)
  5. Our Brand is no longer something we want people to remember; rather, our Brand is our life’s blood and a symbol of our company of which we must ensure that as many people as is humanly possible recognize, know by heart, and think about often
  6. Finally, search engines no longer rank us by content, keywords and links alone; rather, they rank us by an overall effort in SEO including keywords, links, content, and most importantly… our ability to answer the questions being asked of it thoroughly and in a meaning way

The Hummingbird Did Not Cause These Changes

As you can see, these are not the kind of changes one would expect with the emergence of a new algorithm that understands the context of a search query rather than focusing on the individual keywords. That is because the Hummingbird did not cause these changes. There has been a shift in the way people respond to marketing over the last year. It was subtle at first; yet, the further we as marketers delved into social media marketing, the more evident the shift became. Fortunately, there is a way to solve the problems we face in the year ahead and that solution lies in the very same social websites that have become the focus of our marketing efforts.  

A Few Tips for Audience Building

The building of a loyal audience will help marketers address each of the six changes facing us in 2014. By building and continually growing our targeted following, we can overcome the obstacles that present themselves in the years to come. The most important question that now lies before us is how to build such a following.  

1)  Brand Recognition

  1. Choose an icon, image, or logo that catches the eye and instills itself into the hearts and minds of everyone who sees it
  2. Use your Brand icon consistently over all of your social profiles as well as your websites, blogs, and email headers
  3. Attaching your logo to your bios used for forum participation and guest blogging efforts
  4. Get your logo in front of the public eye in every way possible. Be creative and make your Brand available to everyone

2)  Content Marketing

  1. Increase not only the volume of content but the quality of your content
  2. Seek to write content that answers questions, solves problems, and adds value to readers lives through “How To” articles and posts and include teaching videos
  3. Use more than just your own platforms by guest blogging and article submissions

3)  Social Engagement

  1. Become involved in numerous popular social media websites including Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn
  2. Focus your efforts in social media as the voice or face of your ecommerce business by building business pages, company pages, fan pages in the various sites
  3. Divide your efforts between posting helpful content related to your products and services and engaging in social interaction with others on a more personal level. Always respond to posts or tweets and join in discussions unrelated to work being careful to be consistent, adding meaningful responses that add to the value of the discussions
  4. Join social groups related to your niche and be active in them (Remember to include your Brand logo)

Why Build an Audience?

The highlights above are just a few of the creative ideas that you can employ to build your audience. There are many other ways in which the creative person can add to their loyal following including newsletters and other email strategies. Audience building must be a vital part of your marketing plan in the coming years. Having a large and constantly growing audience accomplishes the following.
  • Very often, the customers that follow you answer questions from other potential customers on your social fan pages by telling the asker how the product solved similar problems or relating the experiences they enjoyed with your product or company
  • A social media audience grows itself as they share with others
  • Your engaged audience will not only share your posted content with others, they also know those individuals within their close circle of friends that would benefit the most from your content and products, thereby creating pinpoint targeted traffic for you
  • An audience built by you creates dynamic testimonials and is quick to defend you on the various social media venues
  • The loyal audience with whom you regularly engage can be a huge help in advancing your Brand and gaining even more recognition for your company

2014: The Year of Social Opportunity

Any way you slice it, the year 2014 is a social marketing opportunity that can turn your sales around and really get your products moving. Building an audience is not easy. It can be a very challenging and time consuming undertaking; yet, the rewards and ROI are more than worth every moment you spend engaging your social media contacts. (ROI = Return On Investment) It is a strategy that promotes self growth as it expands itself with almost every new user. Each time you gain a customer on social media, they share your information with a growing number of friends that also share your information. If done right, social media can really help your company to thrive. We offer one final piece of advice. Tie all of your social media websites to each other, (And use that Brand logo consistently) as well as tying them to your blog where you keep the highest quality “How To” posts and engaging information about the benefits of the products that you sell. Place your social sharing buttons prominently or at both the top and bottom of the posts. Build your audience and have the best year ever.