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Why Companies Turn To Digital Marketing To Survive COVID-19

In the coming months, businesses are going to become more reliant than ever on their digital strategy. Without wanting to sound too alarmist, in many cases it will be the deciding factor in whether they make it through the tough times ahead.

The unprecedented, almost-total disappearance of all channels related to live events and conferences, and the increasing barriers on face-to-face business, pose an enormous challenge. Key to resilience is the development of ongoing contingencies to mitigate against this loss.

B2B companies in particular rely on the annual circuit of trade shows and exhibitions to network and build customer relations. In industries that are not digital-native, they may also be less sophisticated in their digital growth and customer relations strategies. For smaller businesses especially, used to getting new customers through word-of-mouth referrals or on the strength of a hard-won reputation, their loss is coming as a shock.

Larger companies are also now finding themselves in the position of having potentially lost millions through cancelled events. They won’t claw back the hours of time and expense spent on preparations for this year, but insurance and flexible cancellation policies will leave them with marketing budget to reassign. Digital is likely to be the clear winner here, and companies – including ones that may not so much as had a Facebook page before – will need to move into social marketing, content marketing, SEO and influencer-led campaigns.

Of course, this means there’s opportunities out there for the taking, if you are a B2B supplier in an industry that has been slow to adapt to digital marketing. A key factor in resilience is adaptability. If it’s standard in your industry to go out and meet new customers face-to-face before you do business, adapting may mean opening new channels over web or social media platforms where introductions can be made and relationships fostered. In the coming months, your prospective clients are going to be less open to the idea of letting you walk through the door and shake their hand – and no-one really has any idea how long this will last and whether this will lead to longer-term change.

As Scott Jones, CEO of 123 Internet Group, told me “We are in uncertain times, but with the increase of remote working and a collaborative approach, companies are turning to digital channels and embracing the transformation. We have seen a real spike during the last few weeks from companies wishing to create or update websites, launch new e-commerce channels and create social media campaigns focused on home-workers and a real focus on using influencers and SEO to reach new audiences.”

Being confined to the office – or even the home – rather than on the road on sales visits or at events, means marketers have more time to develop digital strategies. This means researching where your customers can be found online, and how different approaches and tactics might impact your success. If your organization previously put token efforts into digital channels – because like a lot of other businesses, you had built your networks offline and that had always seemed to work – now is the time to revisit them. That could be as simple as giving your website and social pages a refresh, or a more innovative approach.

Ratnesh Singh, head of global business at events technology agency Buzznation told me that he found out quickly that clients did not want to lose the networking opportunities provided by the conference circuit. On top of this, they are looking for new ways to spend their remaining marketing budgets. He said, “With our corporate clients, events often consume 50 to 60 per cent of their marketing budgets. They still want to spend that money and they are open to trying something new.

“There’s a window of opportunity here – when things are back to normal budgets will be going back into live events and that’s what they will be spending their time on.

“But if they see the benefits and opportunities that digital channels can offer, this will become part of their long-term marketing contingency plans.”

As well as offering immersive 3D virtual events, Buzznation has also found that businesses wanting to become more sophisticated in their use of live social platforms. Singh said “Clients are turning to Facebook or LinkedIn Live. Often these are platforms they have dabbled with in the past but never fully integrated into their marketing strategy. Now they see value in partnering with companies like us that know how to help them make the most of these channels, to achieve better production values and more targeted campaigns.”

It’s certainly true that the coming weeks, or months – or however long this situation lasts – will be a challenging time for any company that isn’t ready to think about how they will replace the opportunities that have been lost.

As long as businesses approach the shift to digital marketing strategically, there’s no reason why it should just serve as an emergency fill-in, but could carry on providing long-term value when the world eventually gets back to normal. And of course, it would make companies more resilient to deal with any future pandemics.

How To Think About Web Design To Market Any Kind Of Business In 2020

If you’ve ever grown your own plants, you know that they tend to grow toward the sun. This makes sense; they rely on the sunlight for sustenance, so they’re going to do everything in their power to make sure that they get as much of it as possible. To use an analogy, the same thing goes for online marketing. Companies want to be able to go in the direction of where their prospective customers are. They’re doing it for the same reason as the plants: sustenance.

Over the years of running an online marketing company, I’ve found that there are some often overlooked marketing techniques that have helped businesses, even niche businesses, to grow. Perhaps foremost among these, web design is a bigger deal than many people realize.

There’s More To Web Design Than Looking Good

So many small business owners often think that the only goal of a website is that it looks great. They want something flashy, eye-catching and attractive. That’s all well and good; it’s even important. However, good web design has many benefits beyond that, too. Quality web design should be easy to navigate in practically every way possible.

Website = Online Storefront

A good analogy is to think of your website as a store. For many small businesses that don’t have physical storefronts, it is, for all intents and purposes, an actual store. When you walk into a store, you want to be able to move around. You want to be able to check all of the wares out — easy access to what you came for, as well as exposure to some items that you might not have realized exist. That’s a well-laid-out store in practically any industry.

Read more: How To Think About Web Design To Market Any Kind Of Business In 2020

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING TRENDS FOR 2020

The increased proliferation of social media, alongside advances in AI technology, means the capabilities of digital advertising platforms are changing and improving all the time.

Below we run through some of the biggest updates on social media in 2019 and what we can expect looking ahead into 2020.

What changed for social media marketing in 2019?

Improvements to the Facebook Ads Manager interface

Facebook is always making small changes to the design and functionality of Business Manager. But in April of 2019, the Ads Manager interface was redesigned to incorporate a number of new features. They included:

  • New navigational experience in Ads Manager – this update made it easier for advertisers to navigate through multiple ads and ad sets.
  •  Integrated search and filter function – a combined search and filter bar let advertisers search or select filters to find ads, ad sets or campaigns.
  •  Dynamic action bar – now shows only the most frequently used actions, making it easier to determine what changes may have affected your ads.

Introduction of Messenger Ads & Chatbots

AI-powered chat services are popping up on many sites worldwide — it’s never been so important to incorporate them into your 2020 marketing strategy.

Chatbots and Messenger ads empower marketers to give prospective buyers full focus, enabling maximum engagement, and converting them into paying customers.

Read more: SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING TRENDS FOR 2020

Website Design Trends for 2020

2020 is moving quickly. Already 2 months in and business is not slowing down.

It is time to begin updating your website to meet demands. As the year goes on, new announcements will spike interest amongst new and prospective customers. Be ready to have a high volume of customers browsing through your website at any given moment.

Since it is the turn of a new decade, why not spice things up and revitalize your existing website? Change is always good, especially if it can benefit the flow of traffic your business receives. With that being said, there are plenty of ways you can revitalize the look of your website to keep customers interested in your page.

Maybe it’s time for a new look! No, we are not talking about rebranding, just changing up the interface of your website. You wouldn’t want it looking 2019, that was last year’s trend. It is now time to add a more meat to the bone and keep users and visitors interested with an eyecatching new look.

What new interface will help revitalize my website?

We have the trendiest website looks that you can pull inspiration from!

Website Trends:

1. The 3D Look:

People are attracted to anything that pops out on a website. Through the right 3D animation, you can help potential and returning customers visualize your product or better understand what your company does.

Read more: Website Design Trends for 2020

How Important are Hashtags to Social Media Marketing?

The modern-day hashtag has come a long way. From its birth name, the octothorpe, to being called the pound symbol used when dialing phone numbers to now being referred to as a hashtag, used to categorize topics on social media, that little symbol has been through a lot.

The hashtag’s first appearance on the web was found on the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) application in 1988. Within the IRC, people could chat with one another about specific topics in channels labeled with hashtags. Example: if you wanted to chat about flowers for your yard, you’d go to the channel “#gardens”. Pretty simple, right?

Well, in August 2007, Twitter user and social media expert Chris Messina changed the history of digital marketing with a single tweet.

Not long after Messina’s now-famous tweet, hashtags started popping up across Twitter and their official use was instituted by the company in 2009. Other social media platforms noticed and soon adopted the hashtag as well.

Do They Drive Engagement?

Nowadays, from a digital marketing standpoint, how are they beneficial? Hashtags help drive engagement by linking consumers directly to brands. On Instagram, they help sort and organize the content posted by the platform’s 1 billion active monthly users. Not only can users search for a specific hashtag in all social media platforms, but on Instagram and LinkedIn, they also have the option to “follow” a hashtag. This allows content from a specific hashtag to pop up in the users’ newsfeed. So whether they’re following or just searching, using hashtags relevant to your brand helps reach consumers who normally wouldn’t have been exposed to your brand’s content.

Read more: How Important are Hashtags to Social Media Marketing?

 

4 Questions to Boost Your Social Media Marketing

Companies of all sizes today are looking to improve the effectiveness of their social media marketing — and with good reason: Digital platforms are constantly innovating the way that brands are discovered, shared and experienced. The data speaks for itself: The number of worldwide social network users is expected to reach 3.09 billion monthly active users by 2021, and global internet users spend some 136 minutes per day surfing social networks. Many organizations have responded by allocating more resources to digital marketing — technology now accounts for 29% of total marketing expense budgets, according to a recent Gartner estimate, and digital ad spend for 2020 is estimated at about $385 billion.

Yet these numbers are a double-edged sword. Consumers today react to products, services and ad campaigns in real-time through social media, creating new demands on organizations. Generating and sustaining high levels of engagement and enthusiasm online requires clarity around the firm’s goals and values.

Successful digital strategies are not about aesthetics or style, but a fit between what your brand promises and delivers. To develop your strategy, ask yourself the following questions:

Read more: 4 Questions to Boost Your Social Media Marketing

What Is Web Design?

Quite often, web design is used interchangeably with web development, but are the two synonymous? In this article, I take a look at what web design entails in a bid to enlighten those who would like to pursue a career in web development and those who just want to satisfy their curiosity on the subject.

Web development and its 3 heads

The web development process generally involves three main phases. These are web designing, front-end development, and back-end development. Each stage is normally done by a person who specializes in that particular phase of development, although there are some web developers with more than one skill. A person with skills in web design, front-end, and back-end development is known as a full-stack web developer.

Not all developers end up as full-stack developers. If you identify with the philosophy that a jack of all trades is a master of none, then you should be content with specializing in one aspect of web development- like web designing.

A web designer plays a crucial role in the creation of webpages. A webpage is a document you access when you visit a website. The two words-webpage and website- are sometimes used interchangeably, but that is a story for another day. So what does a web designer do?

Designing the web…
The web designer creates a layout of elements that appear on a web page. The elements range from text, images to videos.

A logo and favourite icon (favicon), are among images that can be found on a webpage. The logo and favicon are part of a brand. Sometimes the web designer is tasked to design the brand or to ensure that existing images are in a certain format and size for the best user experience(UX). The logo typically appears on the navigation panel of a webpage while the favicon is visible in a web browser’s history and it may also appear on home screens of mobile devices.

Fonts and colours on a webpage are also chosen by a web designer and they usually resonate with the brand. The web designer comes up with colour scheme codes for use by developers later in the development process since colours are rarely referred with their names in web development. The web designer also makes sure that the correct fonts are used. Now you might be wondering what skills should a web designer possess?

Read more: What Is Web Design?

Three Social Media Marketing Trends To Watch In 2020

With the new year here, it’s time for marketers to solidify their strategies for more productive, effective results. The marketing landscape is constantly changing and evolving, and if businesses don’t keep up, they’ll see a drop in conversions and revenue.

For social media, this is especially true. Users continue to interact in different ways and use social platforms to engage with brands they do business with. In 2019, 79% of the U.S. population had a social networking profile.

Imagine a business that doesn’t know the first thing about how to use social media to engage their customers. You may have a large following, but if you don’t utilize your platform, you won’t see positive results.

It’s important to keep up with the upcoming social media marketing trends so you and your team create a strategy that’s effective and fruitful. Here are a few trends to watch in 2020 that you can apply to your social media marketing strategy.

Building Online Communities

What keeps users coming back on social media time and time again? When you get tired of the memes, acquaintances’ life updates and baby photos, what entices people to continue using social platforms in their leisure time?

Read more: Three Social Media Marketing Trends To Watch In 2020

 

5 Ways SEO & Web Design Go Together

When you’re trying to improve your website’s performance, it’s important to remember that you have to focus on numerous factors simultaneously.

In both life and digital marketing, we tend to give all of our attention to one or two important elements while neglecting something else that can turn out to be equally as important.

If you want to do better in the SERPs, it takes more than just SEO.

Your website also needs to be designed well, or you risk squandering all of that organic equity you have been building.

SEO and web design work together more seamlessly than many people might realize.

Their components mingle and flow together so well that, when executed correctly, your website visitors should not actually notice anything about what you have created; they should simply start navigating through your site.

So, what are those elements where SEO and web design collaborate? Check out these five ways they are used together.

Read more: 5 Ways SEO & Web Design Go Together

 

4 Secrets of Website Design Project Success

The internet has “democratized” many aspects of modern life and business. For example, anyone or any business can easily have a website today. That’s a good thing.

This means that anyone or any business can design or supervise the design of a website. That’s not always a good thing.

Unless they’ve received some training, most people aren’t good designers when they first start out and you know the old saying: You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

If you’re designing your own site using WordPress, WIX, Square, or any of the tools provided by the various web hosts, or if you’re hiring a freelancer to design your site, you need to have some command of what’s important for your site and how you should approach the project.

Let’s start looking at our four secrets of successful website design and project management from what may be an unexpected point of view: your mobile website.

1. Start with the little screen

I think most website owners still consider their mobile site a secondary consideration, but it should be at the top of your list for two solid reasons:

·         Mobile is rapidly catching up to desktop for website viewing, and

·         Designing for mobile forces you to seriously consider what you want your website to accomplish.

The second point above is the one I want you to focus on. Experienced creators know that creation is easy, editing is hard. And, this is especially dangerous when creating a website, because you aren’t limited by space.

Read more: 4 Secrets of Website Design Project Success

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