By Dave Howell
1. Optimise your images
Whether you’re developing content for your website or focusing on mobile platforms, speed is king. Consumers are time poor. They want rich experiences on your website, whether they access it on their desktop PCs, smartphones or tablets, but they’re not prepared to wait.
Optimising your images for fast download is vital. Your customers will wait no longer than two seconds for your web pages to load, according to analytics platform Kissmetrics. Applications such as Photoshop and Pixelmator make image optimisation fast and easy.
2. Use video content
The world has fallen in love with video. Technology company Cisco has estimated that by 2017 video will account for nearly 70 per cent of all consumer internet traffic.
Video can be used in all manner of ways to attract visitors to your website. Like images, it also needs to be optimised for mobile, as Ooyala’s Global Video Index claims a tenth of all video is consumed on these devices. Tools to turn you into a movie mogul include Animoto and Wideo, which offer a range of tools and cost effective pricing.
3. User generated content
The utilisation of user generated content has continued to grow, as it’s proven to be a powerful means to validate a business, its products and marketing messages.
According to marketing platform Crowdtap, millennials find UGC 35 per cent more memorable than other media.
However, care needs to be taken when using UGC within your marketing campaigns. Permission from the UGC source should be obtained to ensure the content is seen as legitimate. Talk to your customers about their experience. Their responses can form the basis of a successfully UGC campaign.
4. Responsive design
Many sports retailers have been developing an omnichannel approach to their businesses for several years. Ensuring your store’s website is accessible on a number of devices is now vital.
Simply allowing customers to view your existing site on their mobile devices isn’t good enough. You need to ensure your website is flexible to display properly on a number of devices. In many cases, this will mean a redesign of your site to ensure it’s responsive. One quick way to do this is to adopt a responsive theme for WordPress, which offers a great content management system.
5. Connect with social media
Shout about every piece of content or news you post on your website on all the major social media channels.
Combining Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and perhaps a video social network such as Vine gives your business a number of ways to reach your customers.
Match the type of content you have with the right channel. Don’t try and place masses of information on Twitter, where news and coupon announcements are ideal. Get into the habit of thinking social with everything you do.
6. Pay attention to SEO
Use the right keywords throughout your website. Breaking up text with subheadings that can be scanned and ensuring URLs also contain your main keywords are still valid for SEO.
Online marketing specialist Moz says that while in the past it was all about getting the click, now search engines are seeing how people interact with your website. Are they going back or are they finding the answers they’re looking for when they’re on your site? Today it’s about the post-click activity. Not only do you have to get the clicks, but you have to satisfy user intent as well.
7. Start blogging today
Writing a blog is an excellent way to connect with your customers. It also gives you the opportunity to enhance the content on your website.
Take care not to turn all your blog posts into little more than sales pitches, as this will quickly turn off your audience. Create content that engages with your customers. Support their interests with well crafted, original content.
8. Build your email list
Communicating directly with your customers via email is a tried and tested method of increasing sales and maintaining loyalty. Even in an age of social media, the email has consistently proven itself to be a powerful marketing tool.
Create emails that have strong subject lines and easily read content that’s of interest to readers. A call to action will drive readers to your website, where a clear and concise landing page should be waiting for them.
9. Produce an app
Consumers love their smartphones and the apps they use. Indeed, they would rather use an app than a mobile browser.
App design can be expensive, but there are a number of low cost options. One of the best is to use WordPress to create your app content and then a service such as AppPresser or Reactor to create a native app for iOS and Android.
10. Build your links
Marketing your business to potential customers can be achieved in a number of ways.
Why not guest post on relevant blogs? Your content will then link directly back to your website. Become active on forums by offering expert advice, but don’t use these spaces to pitch for sales, as you are there to help.
Put help pages on sites like HubPages or EzineArticles. If you have specific experience or knowledge, why not write an ebook and place it on Amazon? Your author page will link directly back to your store’s website.