By Rachel Strella
Source: Social Media Today
As 2018 nears its conclusion, business owners and marketers should be thinking about what they can do to make their companies more successful in the new year. And I hope that somewhere near the top of their priorities list is finding ways to leverage their social media channels more effectively.
Gone are the days when companies are able to treat social media as an afterthought, or as a supplemental marketing channel. Today, social media platforms are where a business has an opportunity to consistently demonstrate its value, and reinforce its voice. Social networks are the go-to platforms where customers ask questions, offer accolades, and air complaints. No business can ignore the significance of its social media presence, because it influences how people perceive its brand.
So what can you do to bolster your brand’s success through social media in 2019?
I’ve always been cautious about making social media predictions because the ideal social strategy is unique for every business, however there are some online marketing trends I believe are worth considering as you evaluate which tactics will help grow your business.
1. The growing importance of personal branding to business branding
Particularly for small businesses, putting a real, human face to a brand name helps to build loyalty. A brand that’s more relatable, and has the human element, naturally garners more trust, and trust is essential for building relationships.
One way to humanize a brand is to promote the personal brand of the business owner or a high-level leader. This tactic has become a staple for many organizations, as demonstrated through guest blogging, podcast and webinar appearances, and other publicity opportunities. By enabling your audiences to get to know the character and expertise of company leadership, a business can strengthen its brand reputation.
I expect that businesses which embrace this in 2019 will have a distinct advantage over companies that hide behind their logo.
2. Long-form content for making an SEO impact
While word count is not the only thing that can impact how prominently an article will appear on search engine results pages, SEO experts agree that long-form content can give you an edge.
Although Google doesn’t penalize blog posts if they fail to reach a certain word count threshold, it stands to reason that a high-quality article with 1,600 words will likely outrank a high-quality article with 500 words. It’s for that reason that I believe we’re seeing more publishers requiring guest authors to submit articles with a minimum of 1,000 or more words.
I believe we’ll see more company blogs embracing long-form content, and incorporating it into their content strategies. Therefore, businesses that have found they aren’t getting SEO traction with short posts may want to “go long” and add more comprehensive articles, rich with information and insight, in order to both attract readers and give Google a reason to rank them more favorably.
3. Acceleration of personalized marketing
With more companies digging into their data and using it to create customized marketing campaigns which target individuals’ interests at different points in the buyer’s journey, the pressure is on.