In 2019, no savvy entrepreneur can afford to ignore online marketing. With literally the whole world connected through the power of the web, online marketing makes it possible for entrepreneurs of any size to build and nurture a sense of community with people all around the globe.
Your ideal community is out there. Now you just have to connect with them.

Online marketing can help you find your ideal audience wherever they may be — and once you start building a community around your brand, online marketing strategies can help you continue to strengthen and deepen these important business relationships.

Effective marketing is a key component of successful business development for any entrepreneur, but what it takes to be “effective” changes constantly.  In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, the fast-paced rate of change can make it easy for entrepreneurs to feel that they’re falling behind.

To help you make the most of your online business presence, here’s an overview of the top online marketing trends you need to know for 2019:

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

When it comes to online searches, Google is king.

When people go online to search for a product or service, chances are high they’re using Google Search. In fact, as of 2016 (the last time the company released an official updated figure), Google was reporting “trillions” of searches on their platform each year.

If an ideal prospect for your business could be searching online for the kind of product or service you offer, you want to make sure they can find you on Google.

One of the primary ways to grow your business through Google searches is by using Google Ads. Google Ads allow you to pay to have your listing appear at the top of the results when people search for specific terms or keywords.

When you’re starting with Google Ads it’s important to know your goal — are you looking to get more calls, more visits to your brick and mortar store, or more traffic to your website, etc.? You also want to consider whether you’re targeting a specific geographical area or trying to reach clients around the world. Come up with just 3 short sentences to promote your unique offer and choose your budget, and you’ll be ready to start experimenting with Google Ads.

The other major way to promote your business in Google Search is through Google Shopping.  Google Shopping campaigns make it possible for you to show an image-based ad in the results of product searches, typically in comparison with other vendors who are offering similar products.

To use Google Shopping effectively, you want to create a campaign with the buyer’s intentions clearly in mind.  It’s also important to monitor what your competition is doing. When you use the right keywords for your product listing ads (PLA), you can generate powerful results.

Facebook AdsSocial Media Marketing (SMM)

One of the hottest online marketing trends for 2019 is social media marketing. Everyday, more and more people are spending hours on social media.

A recent survey by the Pew Research Center finds that the majority of Americans are now using social media, with over 73% of American adults reporting that they are YouTube users and 68% reporting to be Facebook users.  Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter, and WhatsApp are all popular too.

As these platforms become ever more part of mainstream daily life, the opportunities to use them for advertising are increasing as well.

Facebook Ads are by far the most popular choice to reach a highly targeted audience. Now that the Facebook umbrella also includes Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, you can create a Facebook Ad that can be shown on all these platforms.

One of the major reasons to use Facebook advertising is because you can target very specific audiences. You can narrow your audience by age, gender, location, and – most significantly – by interest. So, if you really understand your audience and what they like and follow, you can create targeted Facebook Ads to engage them.

YouTube Ads, under the Google platform, are also becoming increasingly popular.  With YouTube ads, you can reach potential new customers and have them take action when they are watching or searching for videos on YouTube.

One of the best features of YouTube Ads compared with other online marketing tools is that it’s relatively less expensive while still being highly targeted.  For example, keywords are generally less expensive to target in YouTube than in Google Search. Also, if you create a TrueView ad (the standard YouTube video ad type) you only pay when a viewer watches at least 30 seconds of your advertisement or if the viewer takes action on your ad.

Google AnalyticsSearch Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the online marketing practice focused on increasing traffic to your website by organic (non-paid) means. When it comes to growing your online visibility, you need to be focused not only on the quantity but the quality of the traffic to your site. If you want to be successful in your search engine optimization, you need to know the ABCs of SEO:

  • Architecture – you need to ensure your website has the right architecture in place to ensure speed, security, and easy readability and interaction across desktop, tablet, and mobile.
  • Backlinks – you want to demonstrate that you are a trusted authority in your industry by getting other high-quality websites to link back to your site.
  • Content – you need to promote your brand with substantive, authoritative content, including the right keywords in the right places.

Master your ABCs and you will indicate to the Google algorithms that your web page is an authoritative, quality resource that should appear at the top of Google Search results.

MailChimpEmail Marketing

One of the most successful online marketing strategies is to encourage potential customers to sign up for your email list, and then nurture that list by sending valuable content on a regular basis.  It’s one of the best ways to get new potential customers to know, like, and trust you while encouraging return customers to buy again.

When it comes to email marketing you need to make sure that your emails are 1.) getting delivered to your prospects’ inboxes (not their spam), 2.) getting opened (not immediately deleted), and 3.) getting engagement (not skimmed and dismissed).

One of the best ways to improve both your email delivery and reputation is to establish a schedule that is consistent and frequent.  You may want to experiment to figure out which days/times seem to be best for your ideal community. What’s most important, though, is regular engagement that offers value.

Pro Tip: consider using an automatic follow-up email. By automatizing your follow-up, you save yourself time and effort while offering another opportunity for engagement from followers who may have missed your initial email if it happened to come on a bad day or time for them.

YouTube AdsRetargeting/Remarketing

One of the most sophisticated and effective forms of online marketing is retargeting (also known as remarketing).

Potential customers who have already engaged with or shown interest in your offer are generally much easier to convert into paying customers than new cold traffic. With retargeting strategies, you can focus your marketing efforts on these leads.

Both Google and Facebook offer ways to track how people engage with your ads and then allow you to set-up actions to re-engage with them.  Did someone click on your ad or watch your video, but not follow through?  You can set-up your advertising campaigns to make sure your offering will show up on their feed or their search results page next time they’re online, keeping you front of mind.

If you have an existing email list or list of social media followers, you can now use it to promote your advertisements to these people when they’re on any of the Google or Facebook platforms. You can even use this data to find and target similar audiences.

2019 promises to be all about better customer experiences through more effective targeting and automation, so make sure you’re ahead of the curve as you build your business and your ideal brand community this year!

This article was recently published in the February 2019 issue of Millennium Inc. Magazine.Millennium Inc. Magazine February 2019

Menachem Ani

Menachem Ani ()

Online Advertising and eCommerce Expert with over a decade of success developing high-impact marketing strategies for online retailers and lead-generation clients.

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