Looking to get a head start on your 2019 Digital Marketing Strategy? Here are 3 tools you can implement, and tips on how to make them work for you!
1) Google My Business (GMB)
Google My Business (GMB) is a free online profile page that helps businesses remain visible in Google Search and Google Maps. It is not a new tool. In fact, it has been around for a LONG time. Most likely you have set up your Google Business Page, and haven’t done much since, which is understandable. There really were not that many features to take advantage of.
However, I consider GMB the forgotten child that will be making some waves in 2019.
The use of mobile and the launch of the new Google Assistant, along with consumers wanting quick and easy access, are to thank for this new trend. (If you have not seen the new Google Assistant based on AI, make sure to watch this short video on it here – trust us, it is really cool!).
In 2018 GMB already started adding in some additional and exciting features for businesses. One change was adding intuitive steps to ask visitors of a business to leave a review on the GMB profile. We also recently saw GMB enable a Q&A feature that allows consumers to ask questions about your business directly on the profile. Additionally, businesses can now go beyond just a business category listing, and add in a business description, and posts that will promote sales, events, etc. These are just some of the recent changes.
” In 2019, I predict we will see more functional features on GMB pages that will allow consumers to interact with your business in real time and without having to leave the GMB profile.”
In 2019, I predict we will see more functional features on GMB pages that will allow consumers to interact with your business in real time and without having to leave the GMB profile.
With Google Assistant, things such as ordering food, making appointments, requesting more information or a call back will start to be done right through GMB pages regularly. Having accurate information on your GMB page is imperative to functionality. While appointment setting is already available, I think it will become more frequently used in 2019. There will be more instant conversations between businesses and consumers via GMB. On this profile page, there will also be more use of video, and even lead generation options for businesses.
How to make GMB work for your business:
If you are not already, I recommend using your GMB page to the fullest extent for your business, starting with the basics and then taking advantage of the new features from this past year. That way, as new features roll out, you will have an up to date profile and can stay ahead of the game.
A Chatbot is a term you may have heard of recently if you follow any digital marketing blogs. Essentially, a chatbot is a computer program designed to simulate a conversation with human users over the internet. It can be used on your website or through messaging platforms like Facebook.
Being a social media marketing agency, we ♥ chatbots. Not only are we seeing more messages to Facebook business pages, but overall consumers do not want to fill out a form or email a question and WAIT for an answer. Chatbots allow the conversation to be automated and instant when you are not available. Chatbots can be set up and programmed pretty simply to answer basic questions, direct a user to an area of your website, or let them know their message was received and you will be in touch shortly. Think of it as having a 24/7 Customer Service department!
In 2019, I predict you will see more businesses using chatbots and in return, consumers will start to expect more immediate answers from businesses and prefer to spend their money with businesses that respond quickly and get them the information they need. Consumers will know and expect to have conversations with bots, we already talk to our phones regularly. As long as your business chatbot is helpful and easy to use, consumers will welcome the experience.
How to use chatbots in your marketing:
We advocate using chatbots in two main ways: as a customer service tool (as we explained above) and as part of marketing campaigns on social media. This can help you generate leads. Chatbots should be set up on your website, landing pages, and on your Facebook messenger app. Our favorite tool for chatbots is Many Chat. If it is a simple workflow you can set up these chat bots yourself with a free account. However, for more complicate uses, it is best to work with an agency.
3) Social Media Stories
Snap chat led the way, and now Instagram sand Facebook have followed with similar formats. These social media platforms and channels with their ‘instant feeds’ and ‘stories’ have changed the social media game. All 3 of these allow posts by businesses. Posts are featured for only for 24 hours at a time. The posts are short lived, but the results are far reaching.
Businesses that use these options in their social media marketing strategies will be able to reach more viewers and connect with their audiences at a deeper level. These 24-hour posts on Instagram and Facebook are featured at the top of the feeds before regular posts and are quick and easy to scroll through. Facebook business page posts regularly have a very low reach, so utilizing the story is a great option. Snap chat works in the same way, 24-hour posts at a time, but the setup of Snap Chat means posts need to be done on location in real time.
I predict in 2019 that businesses using social media stories will connect with their core audience, grow, and survive. Especially if they are trying to reach the millennial consumer pool.
Consumers want to see more ‘raw’ short clips and videos, and more behind the scenes posts on social media. They want instant info, content and posts that allow them to connect to a business and understand it. According to Facebook IQ, of Consumers Surveyed, “39% have become more interested in a brand/product after seeing it on Instagram Stories.”
These are the type of posts that these stories lend themselves too versus more polished looking photos and professional videos. I am not suggesting forgo professional photography or videos, they have a place in your marketing, but the use of stories and simple posts will be a must in 2019 and beyond.
How to use social media stories in your marketing:
The tools are already there, but you have to start using them internally within your business. A social media marketing agency can help you with strategy and coaching, but these types of posts are most authentic when the businesses are willing to use them internally as well. For example, having staff members share team pictures or quick posts of themselves at events or with customers in real time. We recommend starting with Facebook or Instagram Stories, since if you are already using these channels, you only have to check off one extra step to post to your Facebook story, a few extra steps for Instagram stories. This ‘Guide to Facebook Stories’ by Social Media Examiner is a great place to get started if you do not want to hire an agency.
Now is the time to start planning your 2019 Digital Marketing Strategy. I predict that Google My Business, chatbots and social media stories will all shine in 2019. Not sure if these are right for you or how to start, contact us today for a FREE 30 Minute Consultation – Schedule it on Our Calendar HERE