Online Presence

Marketing activated website

Sure, I’ve already mentioned the need for a website, but the term website has lost much of its meaning when we think about what it really does. We need a new term and I’ve taken to using Marketing Activated Website to describe what we need today. (Hat tip to Justin Sturgis of Systemadik for sharing this term.) A marketing activated website turns your website from a digital brochure to a fully-functioning platform that can do a lot of your work for you. A marketing activated website can help you:

  • Get found
  • Build trust
  • Educate
  • Inform
  • Nurture
  • Convert

Can you see why it’s so important? To make sure you’re building a website that will actually convert leads, keep the following in mind throughout the design and development process:

  • On-page SEO to increase your rank in search engine results pages and help you get found online
  • A promise to your audience – Visitors want to feel assured that when they visit your website, they’ll get the answers they are looking for.
  • A simple user experience – Make it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for.
  • Engaging content to boost conversion
  • Calls to Action (CTAs) to drive visitors towards the next step you want them to take
  • Visual branding to engage your audience
  • Mobile optimization – Google is now penalizing sites that are not mobile-optimized.
  • Trust elements – Using testimonials on your website lets visitors see the value you’ve provided in the past.
  • Personality – Humanize your brand to help establish an emotional connection between you and your audience.

Content with editorial approach

To get your audience’s attention, you need to create valuable content for them that is educational, informative and addresses the problems and symptoms they’re experiencing. There needs to be a strategy behind each piece of content you produce. You need to know:

  • Who the content is for
  • Why you’re creating it
  • What it will say
  • Where it will live
  • How it will be promoted
  • How to measure the success of the content to improve results over time

problem solving marketing

How to effortlessly include problem solving in marketing

Refocus your messaging

Your ideal customer should always be top of mind and it is imperative that your message is directed to them and resonates with them.

They want to see a message that revolves around solving their problems. It should be clear and concise so that they have little doubts as to how you can help them.

It’s not uncommon for businesses to focus on themselves, products, and services in their messaging. It’s important that you scan your content and refocus your message on your customers and the problems they want to be solved.

Create trigger phrases

This is a bit time consuming, but worth it. Break down the solutions you sell and the benefits of what you do. Map these back to what I like to call “trigger phrases.” These should be attention-grabbing statements or questions and should come from the point of view of your customer, not your own.

Develop an attention-grabbing headline

Take a second and write a bold statement that might be the first thing anyone who visits your website will see and test this headline with your ideal clients. Ask them to be honest and details in their feedback.

Online reviews can also provide valuable insight for writing these headlines. They can often write your promise for you.

Be educational and informative in your content

Be helpful with the content you create, even if it doesn’t directly discuss your products or services. Show that you are knowledgeable on the issues they are facing in a variety of formats. Content is essential to any business today so get started on writing blog posts, creating how-tos, recording videos, and so on. Through content, show them that you are experts in the field that will help to make their pain points go away. Providing actionable advice can go a long way.

Make your prospects’ and clients’ lives easier through content upgrades

As part of your lead generation efforts, provide valuable information through content upgrades that people can download by giving at the very least their email address. This allows you to nurture them with additional helpful information down the road, which will continue to remind them that you are there for them and have the answers they are looking for.

Be responsive to comments, emails, and social media

Remember, these channels should not be one-way streets, they should be conversation tools. By responding quickly and providing thorough answers on these platforms, you’re just giving them one more reason to trust you and see you as an authority in your field that has their backs.

Dive deeper than basic keywords

Keyword research is essential for speaking to and getting your audience’s attention, but to really have an impact, go further than the surface level keywords and focus on long-tail keywords to really get targeted and get to the root of their problems.

Personalize your lead generation efforts

While problem-solving in itself will help drive you towards success, to really make an impact in your market, you must be unique and creative in how you solve these problems because everyone in your industry is trying to address the same problems.

Are you focusing on problem-solving in your marketing efforts? Have you seen a change with this type of focus?

Online Reviews

Increase Your Visibility with Online Reviews

How to Increase Your Visibility with Online Reviews – Effectively marketing your business has always been about finding a way to stand out from the pack. After all, grabbing their attention is the first step in client conversion. But the act of drawing customers in has truly become an uphill battle in a world so heavily saturated with choice.

Hick’s Law, which is often summarized as “the paradox of choice,” states that when people are presented with more options, the time they take to make a decision actually goes up rather than down. We need to learn to empathize with the paralysis customers feel when trying to make a choice and actively address it if we want to win their business.

1. Reviews Equal Visibility

The goal of every single business owner on the planet is to have customers and make money. (If they say it’s something else, they are lying. Or they don’t understand their own business.) So while being “the best-kept secret in town” may seem like a compliment on some level, it’s really the opposite. In the end, being obscure is a great way to become obsolete.

Ensuring that you have plenty of quality online reviews is a crucial first step for getting bodies in the door or eyeballs on your site. Those businesses with the most reviews and highest average ratings are going to get more traffic both digitally and physically than those with very few reviews.

2. Reviews Build Customer Trust

Let’s be real: By and large, consumers simply no longer trust businesses. You can scream from the mountaintops all day long about how awesome you are, but if that sentiment isn’t being echoed by your customers, their peers will take note. Ratings and reviews have become a reputational shortcut—a digital marker of quality if you will.

3. Reviews Are Key to Customer Retention

Bad reviews are the worst. But get used to it; they’re part of the deal. You can’t prevent them, you can’t erase them, but you can control how you respond to them. Did you know that the simple act of addressing a negative review increases the chance that customer will patronize your business again by 16 percent? However, when you choose not to respond, that number decreases by 37 percent.

And, frankly, no response is still a response. Silence says so much; it tells your customer that you don’t care enough about their negative experience to even acknowledge it, which only serves to make a bad situation worse. Every single review is an opportunity to learn more about your customers and how to communicate with them effectively.

4. Constant Review Generation is Vital

It’s not enough to amass a pile of good reviews one time. Your review stream must be steady and continuous. 77 percent of customers now say that reviews more than 90 days old are irrelevant, so you’ve got to focus on keeping things fresh at all times.

Google’s algorithm openly rewards businesses that have what they call “high review velocity.” In other words, businesses with more reviews and that are reviewed more frequently are ranked more prominently in search results. The problem is that generating reviews isn’t as simple as you might hope.

An average of just one in ten customers will leave a review unprompted. The other nine? They’re too busy living their lives to spend time writing essays about your product or service. But if you reach out and ask them for their feedback, a staggering amount of them will at least consider it. How, then, do you ask?

Most marketers would assume that providing customers with incentives—whether in the form of discounts or cold hard cash— would be a surefire way to get them to compose a review, right? Wrong. Studies show that, in fact, the opposite is true.

5. Get Local, Get Personal

Reaching out to consumers locally and cultivating ongoing reviews there is the fastest way to boost your customer base. After all, 76 percent of all online searches for local business result in foot traffic within 24 hours. Those people are going to go somewhere for their meatball sub or their monogrammed towels; how do you make sure they find their way to you? Well, by making sure they’re able to find a plethora of positive, detailed reviews about why they should, of course.

Far too many businesses leave review generation and management up to fate. Do. Not. Do. That. You’re leaving money on the table every single day by neglecting to nurture this aspect of your brand presence. Providing canned responses to reviews is just as bad. Customers can tell when you’re doing that. And while automation can help in some instances, it really robs the interaction of the nuanced tone that comes from engaging with a real person.

sms campaigns

SMS Campaigns

A few years back, SMS campaigns seemed like they would be the next big thing with mobile marketing, and then the buzz started to fade, which begged the question, “is SMS marketing dead?”

To that, I answer “no,” provided it is implemented correctly.

There are still a plethora of benefits to SMS, or text, marketing, including:

  • Instant
  • Direct to consumer
  • High open rate – Over 95% of SMS messages received are opened and read.

A major downside with this tactic is the ability to easily come off spammy. To avoid this, be sure you get permission from recipients before you begin marketing to them via text message.

When it come to SMS, be clever and unique in your messaging and offer true value. As easy as it is to market to your audience, it’s just as easy for them to opt out, so be sure to keep them engaged.

With mobile campaigns, always keep in mind that you are putting these together for real people. Strategy must be at the root of all of these tactics. You must understand your goals and audience first and foremost, and create an authentic, genuine, and valuable campaign around them.

As already mentioned, measure, measure, and measure. Kee modifying and testing your tactics until you find a method that gets the results you’re looking for.

Are you currently implementing mobile campaigns as part of your overall marketing strategy? What have you found successful? What are you struggling with?