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With the start of a new year, comes the exciting opportunity to make a refreshing new start. The gyms are flooded with people trying to reach their fitness goals (or drop those extra holiday cookies), and people are making lists to get organized and healthy. Your digital marketing plan is no different. So, in 2018, why not resolve to get creative and do something different and/or new with your content marketing strategy. The Internet is changing every day, so it’s important to remain flexible to the environment and update your modern marketing playbook accordingly.

In honor of the new year, I wanted to share a few of our new-year marketing resolutions with you. Give one or all of these tactics a try to see what sticks for your business!

Explore Facebook Messenger Bots

Don’t worry, bots aren’t taking over… yet. But they are the future. As marketers, we are easily attracted to shiny new marketing tactics, and bots are definitely the new buzz about town.

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You may have noticed the growing number of businesses that are starting to utilize Facebook messenger for one-to-one communication with prospects and customers. For consumers, it’s an easy, convenient platform that's already part of their digital routine. And, Facebook showcases the standard response time for each organization you message, so more active pages have a chance to start more conversations.

With third-party companies like ChatFuel and ManyChat, it's easy to create communication bots for Facebook Messenger.

  • What is a Messenger Bot? Essentially, a bot is a simple computer program automates the process of chatting with a user. While they may not be able to answer every question a consumer has, bots are able to answer common questions and help route users to the best support person for their question.

  • Get Started with Bots: The most common bot-builder platforms are easy to use and don't require any coding. Think about how you can use them to automate customer service, nurture your leads, or stay top of mind with your prospects and customers!

Start a Facebook Group for Your Business

Chances are that you are probably a member of a group on Facebook. There are all types of groups out there. So, if you are a member of a Facebook group socially, you may be wondering how to best utilize the same concept for your business.

A business-focused Facebook group is all about building relationships. The most successful business groups focus on creating value, answering questions, and solving problems.

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The number one thing you'll want to avoid on your business Facebook Group page is being salesy. Just like your blog, you want your content in the group to be educational and unbiased. Answer members' questions quickly and share useful information.

Give Trigger Emails a Try

Emails are still a solid marketing tactic, but there is a lot of competition in this area. And to make it even harder, Gmail's promotional tab can make it harder to break through to your customers.

So, how do you rise to the top of the competition in your ideal customer's inbox? What if you could send an email at the exact moment you knew they would be looking at their inbox?

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Trigger emails do exactly that. They watch the behaviors of your leads and learn when the best time to send an email would be. Using machine learning, SaaS companies like Seventh Sense can analyze the behavior of your email list to identify the day and time that's most likely to drive engagement for each individual person on your list.

Test Long-Form Content

From content pillars to long LinkedIn posts, there's been a shift towards longer content (as long as it's interesting and useful).

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After several years of prominence for micro-content, it seems like people are starting to engage with longer content online. If you haven't already, try playing around with longer social posts, videos, podcasts, and blogs to see how your audience responds.

Remember that every industry and target audience is different, so just because it works for some businesses, doesn't necessarily mean that it will work for you.

Organize Your Site's Content with Topic Clusters

With a major shift in Google's search algorithm last year, it's important to organize your site in a way that helps silo similar content together.

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It's now more essential than ever to spend time combing through the content on your website and putting together topic clusters that allow search engines to better understand the flow between the different pieces of content on your site.

If you aren't familiar with content pillars and topic clusters, I'd suggest you start with this overview post.

Optimize Your Content for Featured Snippets and Voice Search

The way we search is changing drastically. Just ask Alexa, or Siri, or Google Home.

With the prevalence of digital assistants, it's important to optimize well-performing content for voice search. If you have pages that are ranking on the first page of Google, make sure that your content is optimized to answer questions quickly and efficiently.

Conclusion

While these are just a few of the strategies you can play around within 2018, it's important to stay ahead of the trends and not expect to get the same results by using last year's marketing playbook. Besides, you never know when you will find that special unicorn that proves to be ultra successful.

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