Hootsuite’s 2022 State of Digital marketing research just published is a mammoth 300 slide opus that details statistics about the global digital output and branding activities.
I picked out the main pieces for business owners with websites who want to grow and sell via their online presence.
First off no surprise the Internet is growing massively. in 2012 just over 2 billion users to just under 5 billion in 2022 I reckon by 2030 the entire world will have access to the net.
Search engine optimisation, which is a term I hate using, it sounds like cheating. There should be a more wholesome terminology for us that just want to put out content that is readable to search engines but is more organic for human eyes to read, be entertained by, as much as any business can, and be effective and relatable that highlights you as a thought leader and someone who is passionate about their industry and the end user would get a good experience from. But SEO we will stick with.
SEO is still top of any activities you must be doing to insure your website is seen and you build your brand message.
However I still see so many business owners unsure what is involved with SEO and a lot of it is outsourced, the challenge with that is you lose control of your brand message and it could be detrimental.
Simple SEO steps like:
Know your audience and what kind of keywords and key-phrases they are likely to use on search engines to find your business and use these keywords and phrases to let search engines know who you are reaching out to.
Writing blog posts for your site and other sites
Adding your business personally to Business directories with good traffic and content
Using social media is still a powerful signal to Search Engines you are passionate about what you do
Back linking is still an enigma to many, and seems only outsourced people promise this can be achieved. Having your website link on other website with very good traffic is so important to search engines. But again having links to spammy sites and gambling has the opposite effect, so be careful.
Chat and messaging sites
Messenger apps like Line, WhatsApp and Telegram are here to stay, and business owners need to start realising that people like the direct link to a brand they feel they can talk to you at any time like they would do friends or family, on the train or at work, coffee shops and keep in touch.
You should strive to have a group on messaging apps where you as the brand can reach out instantly to your members with latest offers and products or services. They don’t have the barrier of having to download a new app for your business as they already use these apps, it is just one click to add your business as a contact, yet I still see few sites with the QR code to their instant Messenger.
Customer reviews are really important
Recently I was asked why is that business above us on Google local I said well just look at how many reviews they have! The more reviews more often means you are higher in Google search. Get back to all your old clients now and offer them a discount or a free sample for a review.
One thing interested me was how many people use financial services online nearly 30% of all internet users are either trading currencies, buying and selling cryptos, NFT’s or just trading stocks online each day.
The top social media sites
No surprise Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Tik Tok are top of the tree, but there are some site that are consistently in the top ten and are a lot easier to understand and simpler to build your brand exposure to like Quora:
If I was researched I would say hardly anyone I know utilizes Twitter correctly, and few have ever added content or answered questions on Quora, but there it is if you take away the Chinese apps and then Twitter and Quora are prominent business marketing vehicles so ignore these sites at your peril!
Over half of all internet users will look you, or your brand up online before or after they peruse your website, and if you have videos on your site and You Tube, a good blog page with personable content and you are clearly visible as the owner or CEO you will be doing better than most!
Influencers are gaining strength
There will always be an influencer that comes across as a bit cheeky, by approaching a Hotel with a deal for a few nights free stay in return for promotion or access to their online network. While few Hotel managers take exception at these approaches and they go viral as a kind of cat fight.
Brand owners in the main know that using influencers with huge followings can be most effective, ask yourself who is the main influencer in your area of business and would they be worth buying a happy meal for a post on their page?
Business to business influencers are coming to the fore those of us who write about the business experience and offer an online lifeline and sympathetic ear for the lonely and bleeding hearts of startup founders sat at home alone whilst your partner is at work paying the bills in the hope they make it someday.
Thailand is all about online purchasing
If you are doing business in Thailand amongst other countries, then if you don’t have a e-shop or they cannot buy online then you are leaving a huge fortune on the table!
How much is your online spend?
Seems a massive part of any business’s budget is for online branding! It is not going to go away anytime soon and your competitors are spending big online!
My Key takeaways from my prospective of the Hoot suite research is:
Have a good look at your SEO it is still top priority
Back linking can be done in house it is not always an outsourced activity!
Do you blog consistently and share on other sites? it is more important than ever
Do you have your business represented on all the top social media sites?
Are you reachable on messaging apps?
Do you know who your top influencer is?
Have you reached out to your customer base for reviews?
If you are in financial services what is your digital tech like? Can your clients trade, buy shares or cryptos online or through an app?
If you do business to Thailand make sure they can buy online from you.
Spend more on advertising across social media, your competitors probably are already!
if you would like a copy of the full report, (300 pages) go to hootsuite