Every new years eve, people make resolutions to better themselves in the upcoming year, but what about your business? Here at Commercial Capital Marketing Group we have laid out our goals and milestones that we want to achieve in 2014. A New Year business plan about where we plan on taking this company, what we plan on changing, and how are we evolving with the ever-changing Google updates.
Step back for the last 12 hours we have in 2013 and think about how you are planning on growing and enhancing your business in the next 12 months. Instead of changing your entire business plan around, how about just altering and building on your marketing?
First things first…
Are You Doing PR?
Sometimes I feel like a broken record when I constantly emphasize how important it is to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Running a PR campaign is the first step in creating a story and tagline around your brand to help your business stand out. Give your business a purpose by using your PR generated stories to create a connection with your consumers to help them recognize their issues and see the solution within your business. PR is a solid base to any other paid marketing services you have invested in.
How Social Are You?
Now that you have your PR campaign set, you need to harness that media attention and turn those viewers into loyal followers of your business. A lot of business owners are hesitate and skeptical about using social media to help generate leads and buzz about their brand. Does it even work in the financial services industry? Seeing is believing I suppose…
Here is what I found after typing ‘Financial Services’ into some social media platforms:
As you can see there is an abundant amount of financial businesses within the social media world. Social sites are reliable channels to distribute your content and build new business connections that you would not otherwise have access to through traditional forms of marketing. Engaging in Social Media platforms allows you to broaden your business outreach and establish your business as a dependable authoritative brand in the industry.
2013’s big impact on social media was the correlation between likes, shares, and Google authorship. But will they have the same impact in 2014? There have been rumors that since the spamming of Google Authorship in SERPs has taken over, there will be less of a rank weighing on Google Authorship. Something to keep in mind when deciding whether to build your 2014 financial business marketing plan just around social media or around big brother; SEO.
Here is a great resource for financial business professionals looking to tackle social media the right way: Financial Services: How To Bank on Social Media Success
What Are Others Saying About You?
For more developed and established financial websites, Reputation Management is important for maintaining a positive brand image. There are plenty of review sites where consumers rate their experience with a business. Making sure your company brand and image stay favorable on those sites, is crucial for future and returning clients. Frequently visit your company’s directory placements and use search engines to view any comments or reviews made about your business.
How Are You Targeting Your Audience?
Content Marketing is probably the industry’s most stable ingredient. Google updates over the last 3 years have constantly emphasized how vital unique, fresh, and engaging content is to your user experience and web rankings. This does not mean that throwing up a paragraph of text on your makeshift blog page will put you on the first page of SERPs. Content is a more strategic approach. You must first take the time to identify your audience, what they are looking for, what information they need, and what they already know.
Your Content strategy also should not just rely on text. Use visual media to create a story that can physically and emotionally capture your audience. Also, consider using longer tailed keyword phrases to build your content around. Google’s auto complete and the hummingbird update have shown how much more long tail phrases are going to impact SERPs and user experience.
For more on content marketing ideas see our Optimizing Content Through Social Media webinar.
Is Your Site Worth The Visit?
So you have brought the horse to the watering hole, but now you need them to drink. Great content and social outreach are the traffic herders back to your site, but great user experience is what will keep the consumers there. Analyzing your website’s overall usability is important for creating the best user friendly experience.
Do you have a site search bar on your page? Something worth considering including. With this past year’s Google algorithm updates, keyword data has become the equivalent to gold. Site search is one feature you can use to analyze the search terms users are submitting once they land on your site, helping you build content better around the higher volume search terms. Internal site search also provides your consumers with a more efficient way of navigating around your website, resulting in a better overall experience.
Other key factors to evaluate when looking into the usability of your site is simple menu tabs, clean and recognizable URL structures, engaging and easily scannable content. While keeping it simple is a great way to avoid cluster and frustrated users, be sure not to just make your site ‘black and white’. Including free business tools, apps, or printable documents is a great way to engage your users, enhance their experience, and encourage a return visit.
While each of these factors all have their own positives, it is necessary to include all of the above for a successful 2014 marketing campaign in order to increase your website conversions into loyal consumers. Here’s to another year in review and a new year of future revenue!