Being a small business owner can be overwhelming for a variety of reasons. Keeping up with digital marketing trends can be one of them. As we head into 2019 there will be plenty of content aimed at earning your business for a wide range of digital marketing services. To help you weed through the madness, we’ve put together a 2019 Digital Marketing Checklist that should help you set your priorities for the upcoming year.
2019 Digital Marketing Checklist
1. Social Media Engagement
Even if you’ve been living under a rock, odds are you’re aware that social media has a huge impact on brands and business in general. A recent marketing study by Wolfgang Digital highlighted just how important social media has become, finding that Facebook engagement has a stronger conversion rate correlation than a website visit.
“Here we can see that the average conversion rate for a Facebook engagement is double that of the website conversion rate. So we can infer that a social engagement (like, reaction, comment, share) is twice as valuable as a website visit!”
2. Website Speed
Here’s a statement that shouldn’t surprise you: people don’t like waiting for things. In today’s 24/7, short-attention span universe, people have even less patience than past generations, which is why your website speed should be a top priority for 2019.
According to a recent Neil Patel article, studies show:
- 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less
- 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load
- A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions
“SEO is dead!” is shouted across the interwebs every year, but every year those naysayers are proven wrong. Sure, there are more voice searches and Google continues to change its algorithms and search experience to include “zero-click” searches, but that doesn’t mean SEO is dead, it means it’s evolving.
There are more and more ways to optimize you web presence than there ever have been. At the end of the day, your customers and prospects are searching for information and you need to find the best ways to show up when they are looking for your products or services.
The sun rises, the sun sets, SEO is a MUST.
There’s never been a more affordable time to invest in video. Though video production can still require a large financial investment, the cost of producing quality video has come down quite a bit, making the barrier for entry easier for smaller companies and brands. The stats show that it’s worth the money too:
- By 2019, internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic.
- The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video.
- Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text.
For many brands, video in 2019 is a must.
5. Google Ads
If you’ve ever noticed the “ad” icon next to a result in a Google search or have wondered why you’re seeing an ad for a site you’ve previously visited on a completely different website, odds are the answer is Google Ads.
Formerly known as Google AdWords, Google Ads provide brands and marketers with a platform to reach new customers and remarket existing and prospective customers. From search ads to display, shopping, and YouTube, the Google Ad network provides a wide range of opportunities to stay top of mind.
If you aren’t currently running a Google Ads campaign, you might find that some of your competitors are running ads on your brands terms — and odds are, they are probably stealing some of your business.
6. Email Marketing
Email? Yes, that’s right. Though it may seem like an antiquated technology, email is still a dominant form of communication.
If you’re looking to connect with your customers, email is the way to go. From sharing company news, discounts/sales, or providing added value or customer support, email can go a long way to building brand loyalty.
Just think about it. When you order a product, what’s the first thing you expect? An email. When the order ships? An email. Not only are these opportunities to reassure your customers that their order is on the way, but you can also find ways to go above and beyond.
The stats back up these sentiments:
- More than 85% of adults send or read email
- 99% of email users check email EVERY DAY, some up to 20 times per day
- ROI of email marketing is 28.5% better than direct mail
- Every dollar you spend on email marketing brings you $38 in return
For those of us that are less tech savvy, that’s user experience and user interface design. What’s the difference?
User Experience Design helps define how the user interacts with your brand or product and ensures that they are able to get the information the need in a fluid manner. You could think of UX as the utility pipes running through a house. They make sure information gets from point A to point B.
User Interface Design focuses more on the visual communication aspects of a website or app. These designers ask the question: how will we communicate X to our customers in an elegant way? Think of how many different icons or visual cues you’ve seen used on websites and apps. They may seem subtle, but can go a long way to providing customer satisfaction.
If you need some stats to prove the investment in UX or UI is worth it:
- If your content is not optimized, 79 percent of visitors will leave and search again.
- Eighty-eight percent of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
- One study showed that a well-designed user interface could raise your website’s conversion rate by up to a 200 percent, while better UX design could boost conversion rates up to 400 percent.
When written properly, blogs can completely transform your web presence. A well written blog post can accomplish the following:
- Drive quality website traffic by ranking well on Google
- Increase social media engagement
- Position your brand as a thought leader
- Be used as a lead generation tool
- Be repurposed for email newsletters and videos
- Build trust and reengage new and existing customers
If you haven’t started blogging yet, you’re probably falling behind your competition. But as people say, better late than never. Make it a goal to get your blog off the ground in 2019.
9. Using PR to go Viral
If you want to get major publications and media outlets talking about your brand or product, one of the best ways to do so is through a PR campaign.
Journalists and news producers often rely on news wires to find interesting and relevant stories. If your company has a major update, such as a rebrand or a new product launch, a PR campaign can provide a great boost that works in conjunction with your other digital marketing efforts.
By getting a major media outlet to highlight your brand or product, you further increase the odds of “going viral” or at least creating some serious buzz about your company.
The best digital marketing campaigns combine PR with social, SEO, email and Google Ad strategies to ensure that no matter where your target audience turns, your important announcement can be found.
10. Community Engagement and Local SEO
In 2019, getting involved in your community is more important than you think. Sure it’s important to give back from time to time and it obviously feels good to volunteer ones time towards a positive cause, but did you know that community engagement can also impact your local SEO?
Local SEO is a focus for businesses that specifically service people within their area. Think restaurants, lawyers, retail shops, etc. Having a strong local SEO presence affects your ranking on Google, helps people easily find and learn about your business, and positions your company as a local go-to for your specific service.
So how exactly does community engagement affect local SEO? To name a few reasons:
- You can earn website backlinks from local charities or non-profits that you work with
- Local news outlets will often jump at the opportunity to cover businesses that give back to the community
- You’ll build connections with other business owners and influencers
- You’ll build trust with the local community, which will positively affect your brand
To put it simply, if you’re a positive force in your community, the next time someone searches for your service they are going to have a built-in positive association with your brand.