Some create eye-catching billboard ads, some dream up clever YouTube videos, and some… “twerk”? When it comes to getting a message across, everyone has their own unique strategies for marketing an idea. But for those who’d prefer not to compete with Miley Cyrus’ outlandish (yet attention-grabbing) VMA performance, we’ve compiled a list of our four favorite marketing tips and strategies worth taking on in 2014: viral marketing, responsive design, semantic markup, and localization.
Viral Marketing: “Ship Your Pants”… It’s Cool.
In early 2013, Kmart released a rogue YouTube video that taught us how to turn a little wit and a sense of humor into a successful viral marketing campaign. (If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching these 35 seconds of hilarity yourself, check out the video below.) “Ship My Pants” had audiences in shock as if they had just seen a replay of the Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake Superbowl performance; it was scandalous, memorable, and too outrageous not to talk about.
Somewhere beneath the amusement, this viral video achieved more than gathering the attention of a large audience with over 20 million views. Upon release, “Ship My Pants” encouraged an influx of traffic to the Kmart site as indicated by the search terms during this time period. This analysis speaks for itself.
Awesome! The best part is that it doesn’t take a mega-corporation to pull off this stunt. In fact, you only need three things:
- Take a stand on an idea. Be bold, clever, inspiring, or ground-breaking. The key lies in evoking such excitement in your audience that they can’t wait to share or promote the message for you. This part may be a bit tricky; gauge your audience, and play on their emotions. Remember that it’s okay to be provocative! Not everyone will agree with your message.
- Share it. Get started by posting the message on blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. If successful, your audience will do the leg work.
- Follow up. Funnel energy to your website or company by communicating with your audience in comment sections as well as web pages. In many cases, continuing with similar advertisements or a sequel to the campaign can encourage further growth.
Still stuck at Step #1? No problem, we’ve got more tips.
Responsive Design: One Size Really Doesn’t Fit All
Roughly 46% of persons browsing the Web do so on mobile devices, so why gear your website only towards desktops? Lengthy loading times, and awkward fitting content on devices send searchers running in no time. It’s ugly. Our next SEO resolution focuses on keeping traffic on your site longer, and wanting to return over and over again.
Two words: Responsive design.
Responsive design entails fitting content and images to different electronic devices through fluid grids and re-sizing of webpage elements. This tweak can take your website from annoying and problematic, to one gorgeous, streamlined website that may be easily accessed through a variety of outlets (desktops, cell phones, tablets). Take your site to new heights by applying responsive design with the termed “adaptive design“, which detects functionality of devices in order to tailor website behavior to specific technology. Consider how swiping functions are enabled for the website when accessed via cell phone or tablet.
Responsive design was so 2013. For crying out loud, do everyone a favor (including yourself) if you haven’t done so already, and make your website responsive. This will prepare your website for the approximated 75% of mobile searches (Econsultancy) that lead to “follow-up actions” from further searches or purchases.
Get Down with Semantic Markup
Sema… wait what? HTML codes utilized for adding metadata to content? Simply put, semantic markup refers to “meaningful” identifiers or language that may be included in website content for improving the ability for search engines to navigate and filter page information. In other words, Google now understands that Blue Ivy is the name of a person (odd, I know), not a plant, and that Fifty Shades of Grey is a novel.
What advantages does semantic markup have for website owners? These tags aid search engines in sorting out pages in terms of relevance and importance; therefore, you can add significance to text so that it may be more readily available on SERPS. For example, search engines note <H1> tags as the main (most important) header or keywords. By inserting this tag, the page will be more likely to rank higher for the specific terms enclosed in the tags.
Other than the terrific benefit of being found by more browsers, semantic markup may also enable more flexibility and future security of content. The Internet constantly changes, and so do the robots that dissect it. Through adding quality HTML tags, website content may be secured and withstand future updates as the language will continue to be easily read by this technology. Similarly, with semantic markup, re-styling of a website may be done with ease while avoiding timely content adjustments. Semantic markup is a no-brainer.
Local Optimization: Bring it Arooouuund Town
An estimated 4/5 of searchers utilize their mobile devices to conduct local searches. For businesses marketing online, local listings and social media local accounts (our favorite Google+ profiles) are a weapon of mass destruction (of your competitors, of course). Take a tip from our local expert Amber Robinson, who urges website owners to create local profiles with accurate and relevant information to channel leads to your business (check out a few of her tips in her local SEO secret sauce).
As easy as it may seem, many companies neglect the social side of search engine optimization. Bamboozle your competitors by kicking it up a notch on the local side of SEO. You’ll be glad you did.
What are your favorite marketing strategies or resolutions for starting off 2014 with a bang?
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