While this may look like a strange addition compared to the two prior points, it’s another key and related asset that weaves in with the others and yet stands on its own as well. By visual media we are referring to the use of images and video online. Images and video are important and vital to communicating on blogs as well as in social media. Yet, not just as an addition, visual media has now created its own social networks. Images and video are central to platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, which have gained massive amounts of users in the past year alone. These networks are thriving on their own and they also drive traffic and awareness to other sources such as websites and blogs. When people are busy and inundated with content, images can communicate and differentiate. Taking seriously the need to communicate visually is critical to the online success of any business today.
While it may seem like the “old man” in this group of digital tools, e-mail continues to be an important and valuable tool that businesses must leverage to compete. E-mail marketing is the ability to send bulk e-mail messages to hundreds or thousands of customers or interested parties that have at some point opted in to allow this communication. Study after study shows that a business that takes seriously finding ways to grow their e-mail list by capturing leads and then sending relevant and timely messages to the list offers a great way to grow sales, inform consumers, and remain top-of-mind.
Mobile sites and apps
Get used to it. Mobile is here to stay. With nearly one out of two Americans using a smart phone and the percentages rising monthly, mobile is going to be an important part of any businesses online strategy. First off is to ensure visitors to your website and blog get a clean and helpful experience when on their mobile device. Mobile is not simply a website or blog in a smaller fashion but intentionally narrowing down information and presenting in order to best communicate in the smaller and unique space. With smart phones, data plans, and app stores becoming commonplace, businesses wanting to compete need to understand the needs of their customers and communities, and deliver the type of mobile experience via mobile sites and apps that increase interaction and loyalty.
In summary, each of these five items is important in its own right in this digital age. The priority for each will be driven by the needs of one’s customers but each has important value. When collectively implemented in ways that complement each other, these five keys help drive business success in this digital age.
Mike Gingerich leads the Social Application division of web design company, Digital Hill Multimedia (http://www.DigitalHill.com). He is a co-founder of TabSite.com, a leader in Facebook fan page tools for businesses. TabSite offers brands the power to boost Facebook marketing with contests and promotions. For more information on TabSite, please visit www.tabsite.com.