2017 Digital Detox: A Guide to Your Healthiest Marketing Self – Part Two

January 20, 2017sparxoo_admin

We’re back for round two of 2017 trends from the Xoo. We promise we won’t rhyme the entire time. 😉 (Be sure to check out the first round of digital marketing insights.)

By this point in January, the shiny newness of those New Year’s resolutions is bound to fade away. That’s the reality of resolutions: Achieving your goals requires some hard-fought and consistent effort. But don’t worry, we won’t leave you hanging. Take a deep breath, grab a healthy snack and let’s continue with the 2017 Digital Detox.

Resolution #6: Arbitrage the Long Tail

Own your niche this year. You have a badass personality already, so why not have a unique product to go along with it? Long-tail marketing means using longer product or service descriptions in order to land highly qualified leads. You know those people who know exactly what product they’re searching for and are dead-set on buying it? Long-tail marketing caters to them.

Start: Specifying. We know that your store sells snack bars, but do you also sell gluten-free, low-sugar, organic snack bars under $2? There’s your long-tail. The more you refine your niche and create an intentional demand, the more likely you are to recruit highly qualified leads.

Stop: Using generic terms to promote a product or service. Those short-tail keywords are saturated and competitive — and arguably boring. Plus, they won’t give you the big leads we know you deserve.

Continue: Creating good content and sharing it. From social media and digital PR promotion to lead nurturing campaigns, own your niche by sharing your unique product or service across all channels to help boost authority with search engines.

Keep in mind: it’s still great to try to rank for multiple short tail keywords in addition to long tail terms, it’s just more competitive and harder to achieve. But little by little, a little becomes a lot.

Resolution 7: Upgrade your Front-End

Sure, your website was beautiful last year, but now it’s just so…last year. The ever-evolving tech landscape forces web developers and designers to constantly improve their skills and portfolio in order to keep up with the changing times.

Start: Reacting…with React. This buzzworthy program lets you build interfaces without rewriting existing code. *Time saver alert.* It also allows you to develop responsive web features, as seen in the project management tool Asana. As you type in one column, the reactive code pushes the content to an additional column with room for more details, again saving you time (and effort).

Stop: Using old technologies. AKA, your competitors are training harder than you right now by updating their legacy tools.You don’t have to quit cold turkey (although we recommend it) but consider phasing in newer versions of web interface solutions, like Vue and Flexbox, to get your site up to par.

Continue: Putting up with Internet Explorer…for now. Our fingers (and toes) are crossed in hopes that 2018 will be the year we say goodbye once and for all.

Look out for the intensified use of JavaScript this year. Better yet, join in on the fun. Take these new programs and create a more fluid (and engaging) user experience.

Resolution #8: Build an A-Team

If the influx of superhero movies in 2016 has taught us anything, it’s that you need a diverse team — with a range of skillsets — in order to survive and be truly kick-ass. We all know that the Avengers would be nothing if it were just Iron Man running the show. But by combining the power of Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, and a slew of other superheroes, it became that much easier for the Avengers to overcome evil. The same can be said for your digital marketing crew; one superstar, all-around marketer will not produce the same badass work as one digital guru, one content creator and one savvy developer. Moral of the story? Staff for specialization.

Start: Identifying the areas you need to improve. Storytelling? Email automation? Development? Set a baseline of organizational needs so you know which qualities to look for in potential hires.

Stop: Hiring average employees. In this case, “average” means not specialized or cutting-edge, particularly in the areas you’ve identified above.

Continue: Encouraging current employees to improve their skills. It’s easy to get comfortable in your day-to-day routine but unless you’re really a superhero, you could probably stand to earn a few more certifications or take a few specialty courses this year. What do you have to lose?

Rather than searching for a jack-of-all-trades, develop a well-rounded team of employees who take command of their respective fields. World domination is right around the corner.

Resolution #9: Make Lemonade (AKA Learn How to Rebound)

In 2016, Beyoncé showed us how to turn life’s lemons into lemonade (in the form of a mega-successful, multi-platinum record album). And as marketers, there’s a lesson for us in that. While we may not be trying to upend the music industry, we can follow Queen Bey’s lead to turn business turmoil into an action plan for success. So when chaos arises and the marketing odds just don’t seem to be in your favor, here’s how to make your rebound:

Start: Looking at data. Open your Google Analytics and dive into your metrics. Did your numbers start to decline after a specific campaign? Can you attribute a surge in traffic to a new website update or an internal modification? Analyzing these trends is key to your next move.

Stop: Being afraid of failure. Thomas Edison failed repeatedly before finally inventing the light bulb, but he never backed down. Instead, he used each failure as a lesson and fuel to improve. So don’t expect to nail everything right away; learn your lesson, correct the problem, and try again.

Continue: Empowering your team to take chances. Equally as important: Continue holding them accountable for learning from every campaign or project’s outcome.

Your mom was right: Tough times don’t last, but tough people (and marketing agencies) do.

Resolution #10: Tell a (visual) story

As much as we love the written word, text alone is no longer enough to connect with an audience. However, graphics, photos and videos can turn a simple piece of content into a memorable and actionable story.

Start: Leveraging interactive storytelling. Graphs, maps and animations can bring a story to life. Test interactive content across social media channels to figure out what works for your audience (and have fun with it, too!).

Stop: Ignoring live video. Yes, the “Go Live” button on Facebook is daunting, but the feature allows your audience to contribute to the story through on-demand questions and comments. Your imperfections are what make you beautiful, and your audience will appreciate the human nature of real-time video.

Continue: Using best practices for mobile content, because mobile is here to stay. Think less text, more photos and graphics. No one likes reading novels on iPhones.

To stay relevant in the digital world you must adapt to the changing content landscape. Think of this as a fun challenge—one with room for growth and opportunity. That’s what a resolution is anyway, right?

There you have it. A total of 10 resolutions. 10 ways to turn 2017 into the kick-ass year you want. Download the full 2017 Trends Report for more with detailed points and insight into the digital year ahead.

Digital marketing success might not be easy to achieve, but the best things never are. With this action plan for success and the Xoo for support, you’re destined to go far.