Since you’re reading this, you already know that having a strong digital presence isn’t just optional anymore. It’s essential. And as we slide out of 2023 and roll into 2024, as always, the landscape continues to evolve, which means so should you and the strategies you’re using. So buckle up, and let’s dive into the things that are changing and ways to keep you riding the waves of successful digital marketing.
2023 Digital Challenges and Trends
This past year has been largely about things like your engagement on social media, pushing quality content, and the rise of influencer marketing and collaborations.
Still, it’s not all been smooth sailing. Competition is fierce, and it’s not going to get any less so moving into the new year. Shrinking organic reach on social platforms like Instagram and Facebook, and yes, even TikTok, only makes it that much harder. Pay-to-play is more prevalent than ever, so it’s wise to factor that into your marketing budget.
2024 Potential Digital Changes
The writing’s on the wall, and a lot of changes we’re already seeing now, but they will continue to evolve as we move into 2024.
Tech Evolution and the Rise of the Machines
Kidding. Kinda. But there’s no arguing that AI has made a huge splash in the realm of business, and AI and machine learning are only going to keep hogging center stage for the foreseeable future. These technologies are being used across the board in many industries and in marketing in particular, which will help businesses like yours analyze consumer behaviors like never before. The result will be more effective and personalized campaigns. Good thing since we’re stuck in the pay-to-play universe!
Beyond the analytics, you’ll see more intelligent chatbots and support systems, changing the land of customer service completely, along with AI playing a strong role in optimizing content and helping businesses create more engaging, effective communications. AI will only become more sophisticated as time goes on, so why not be an early adopter and put it to work for you?
The Evolution of Consumer Behavior
Along with all of the AI hoopla, customers are becoming more aware of the digital footprint they leave behind. Data privacy concerns are real, so you’ll need to be open and transparent about how you collect and use your customer’s information if you want to gain and keep their trust.
This also means ethics and social responsibility are becoming increasingly in demand from popular brands, or customers simply won’t engage. Ultimately, your authenticity and alignment with customer values will become an even bigger piece of the puzzle when creating your brand messaging if you want to ensure it resonates with your audience deeply.
Strategies to Improve Your Digital Presence
Different strokes for different folks, depending on the needs of your business, but these are a handful of our favorite strategies for improving your digital presence and getting your business out there.
Ever heard the old saying, content is king? Well, it’s true, but the kingdom is expanding! That means you have to think beyond just blog content and articles and consider other content avenues, like videos, podcasts, interactive infographics, and even audiobooks, depending on your business and industry. However, don’t skimp on quality. No matter the type of content, it pays to make it your absolute best, even if that means you sacrifice quantity and have to put out fewer pieces of content.
Remember that content marketing (done well) helps you build the credibility of your brand and helps you engage with the right people. It’s not merely selling something; it’s providing value to your audience… the kind of value that keeps them coming back again and again. For example, perhaps try creating a series of blog posts to tackle the most pressing challenges your audience struggles with and then promote that series through your social platforms with a targeted campaign.
Other Ways to Help Make It Happen
- Embrace the beauty of a content calendar. Develop content that is aligned with what your audience wants and needs and is also aligned with the goals of your brand.
- Embrace experimentation. After all, it’s the spice of life! Try things like webinars, podcasts, blog content, and videos, and study your results to see what resonates with your audience the loudest.
- Embrace analytic tools and number crunching. If that gives you hives, embrace hiring someone skilled to do it for you. But you’ve got to track key metrics like click-through rates, conversions, and engagement if you want to have a clue what’s working and what isn’t.
Being largely a digital world these days, that personal touch has really become lost. However, you can boost it once again by making a point to personalize the user experience of your website visitors and people who interact with your brand and by personalizing your content. Again, this requires some data crunching so that you can truly understand your audience and then tailor your strategies to suit their wants and needs.
Not only does personalizing your content improve the experience of your users, it also helps cultivate loyalty to your brand and really helps you as a business owner express that you truly understand and value your customers and audience. For example, one way to add personalization to your strategy is to offer personalized product recommendations based on what your visitors have looked at already. Assuming you have an e-commerce storefront set up! This is exactly what Amazon does, and they kill it in the sales department.
Other Ways to Help Make It Happen
- Embrace using your customer’s data to help you segment your audience. You can group them by things like preferences, demographics, or behaviors.
- Then, you can tailor all of your content and offers around those different segments, for instance, in an email newsletter.
- Embrace continual learning and growth. Gather more data and update your segments as needed.
Using Visual Media
Since things like Instagram Reels and TikTok videos aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, this means your commitment to visual content is more important than ever. The goal is to create content that appeals to your audience visually and is highly sharable if you want to excel at engaging them. Using amazing visuals is an excellent tactic in broadening the impact and reach of your brand. One example method to doing this is by creating a video series of how-tos that align with the types of products or services you offer and cross-posting those across different social media platforms.
Other Ways to Make It Happen
- Assess your current content strategy and figure out ways you can incorporate more visuals into it. Maybe it’s infographics; maybe it’s images; maybe it’s videos. Use what works for your brand and your current level of skill.
- Embrace platforms like Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts to create small but impactful visual stories related to your brand.
- Make sure all content you produce is strongly aligned with your brand’s message and voice.
Analyze and Work the Data
Yes, this aspect isn’t for everyone. But the truth is, it’s easier than ever for regular folks like you and me to do this sort of stuff. There are a number of simple tools available to help you gather insights you can use to improve your business. Or again, hire someone who actually likes that sort of thing to do it for you if you’re able.
Just don’t shy away from collecting the data and crunching the numbers. Your bottom line will thank you, because when you can make decisions based on cold, hard facts, there’s a bigger likelihood you’ll see favorable results. Data is what helps you understand what’s working in your business and what isn’t. You need it. Just do it. M’kay?
Other Ways to Help Make It Happen
- Determine a few of your best key performance indicators (KPIs) to track and analyze that are related to your presence online.
- Review the data you collect on a regular basis so you can spot trends and things that may need improving.
- Make data-informed decisions based on the information you collect, and rock your business like a digital boss.
Mistakes to Skip
In building your digital presence, there are a few mistakes you’ll want to skip altogether that are surprisingly common.
- Avoid Ignoring Your Mobile Audience: Seriously, a huge portion of web traffic today comes from mobile. Your user experience needs to be on point, and that means catering to your mobile visitors.
- Avoid Jumbled Branding: Keep your voice and visual aesthetic consistent across all the platforms you use so you don’t confuse your people and water down your impact.
- Avoid Poor SEO: You can’t get by without it if you want to be visible online. Otherwise, you’ll be chopping trees in a forest, and no one will notice.
- Avoid Skipping Analytics: Yes, unless you love that sort of thing, it can be daunting. But skipping it is detrimental to your business. You need data to know what’s working and what isn’t full stop.
Tools to Love
Tools abound, with new ones all the time. Find a few of your tried and true, and stick with them to avoid constant new learning curves. A few of our favorite tools you can use to make life a little easier in this digital world are below; your mileage may vary. Most of these recs have free options, which can be great for smaller businesses bootstrapping their way up the digital ladder.
- Google Analytics: You can track your website traffic and user behavior with this comprehensive little tool.
- Hootsuite: This one is a well-known social media management platform you can use to track your social media engagement and schedule posts so you’re not glued to your phone.
- Mailchimp: This platform offers a decent free version of its email marketing service, with audience segmentation and automation features. If you’re a larger business, you may need a more robust option.
- Yoast SEO: This is a great little plugin if you build your site using the WordPress platform that helps with site optimization and making your content attractive to search engines.
- Canva: If Photoshop gives you hives, Canva might be your new best friend. It’s an easy way to create content that looks nice and branded, no matter your needs, and it does offer a free version if you’re just getting started.
There you have it, friends. If you’re ready to improve your digital presence, you’ve got to be proactive. Hopefully, this guide will serve as a helpful resource to get your brand on track. When you’re willing and able to pivot and adapt, you can build a business that doesn’t just survive but thrive… no matter what year it is! Here’s to 2024!