Google just launched a great resource for Marketers and Companies. In their latest email, Google announced their debut of “the new Think Insights, Google’s hub for marketing insights and inspiration for advertisers and agencies. On google.com/think, you can learn about the latest research in digital marketing, be inspired by creative brand campaigns, and find useful products and tools. You’ll also find industry-leading case studies and Google’s latest research, strategic perspectives, interviews with innovators and experts and more—all to help you make the most of the web.” Check it out!
Within this exceptional portfolio of marketing insights, Google share the Zero Moment of Truth collection which provides great resources to gaining customers, understanding consumer behavior and highlights to the decision-making process.
Really great information and probably one of the best resource for marketers in today’s marketplace. Thanks Google!Read More
How to Optimize Your Social Media Efforts
We often get asked to train companies on how to best use Social Media and have compiled a list of ways to optimize efforts. This is by no means a complete list, but a good overview on improving Social Media efforts.
- Brand your page-create great cover photos-a picture is worth a thousand words! Change your covers often as every change you do on social media gets placed in the news feed.
- Be sure to fill out the “About” section completely! Insert addresses, list as a as brand or organization if national so that company profile and web address is shown in about section snapshot
- Having over 1,000 fans/followers will increase traffic multifold!
- Personalize your profile! Link the branded pages to your personal page or build a “persona page” and link the pages. This will add traffic as well as build relationships. I have seen hotels pick a “character” at the hotel and build a social media campaign around their persona…builds relationships and makes the hotel about the people.
- Be sure to add like boxes, social share buttons on all pages of the website.
- Post multiple times per day, throughout the day.
- Use a consistent strategy for content posting…engage with questions, surveys, information, events, blog citations, calls to action, specials, shout-outs to vendors and customers, testimonials from customers, stories from the team….the list is endless!
- Images , images, images AND videos….they generate more shares and comments!
- Ask for followers and shares
- Promote offers!
- Purchase ads on social media sites to promote
- Promote events and use the tools in social media that allow you to do this!
It’s sometimes hard to find time to set up a blog for your business, but it is a great way to increase SEO and traffic for your company website. Circulating new blog posts and articles each week or month is a relatively easy way to socialize with new and old clients and business connections, post fresh content and build awareness for your branding. Your marketing staff can come up with a schedule of blog post topics geared to events on your calendar, seasonal specials, any relevant local topics, and more. Alternatively, you can hire professionals to develop and post content for you on a regular basis.
Be creative and generous with content that readers will find interesting and informative, so they will keep coming back for more. Let readers feel that they are “insiders” by sharing glimpses behind the scenes at your business, or giving them a sneak peek at an upcoming event or special. And don’t let your topics stop at your front door – highlight other local businesses that you can partner up with, as well as upcoming events or industry news. Use your imagination to provide interesting content for prospective customers.
By developing a strong site structure, and using key words in your website content, blog posts and articles, you’ll be able to heighten your search engine rankings and improve your online presence. Having authority content online can also better connect you with other websites associated with relevant and quality businesses. It’s a great way to increase the flow of traffic to your company’s site, or keep it at an all time high.
Attracting and converting visitors is paramount in today’s competitive marketplace. In order to see business growth, your messaging needs to be pushed on a multitude of platforms with the sole purpose of driving traffic and conversions. In today’s market climate customers have a tremendous amount of information at their fingertips through the web and social networks. In fact, because of this proliferation of information, buyers don’t engage in a purchase until much later in the sales process than they did just a few short years ago. According to Sirius Decisions, Inc., “70% of the buying process is now completed by the time a prospect is ready to engage with sales.” It is also now rumored to be between 7 to 20 times for a marketing message to be seen before someone purchases. Understanding this puts a lot of pressure on your marketing department.
A good mode to be in is consistent engagement across multiple platforms. The role of your marketing department now includes engaging customers on multiple levels and through a variety of platforms. They should be using every strategy out there and determining what is most effective. The best practices here are to stimulate activity. Focus on developing messages that are shareable, have calls to action and engagement. Below are just a few of the options to stimulate multiplication of messages.
All content should be developed to highlight these key factors; uniqueness, what is in it for the customer, and credibility. If you own a hotel and say it is quaint, do you publish pictures and testimonials that back this claim up? Do you have videos on YouTube or pictures on Pinterest that showcase your quaint hotel? Do you connect to Trip Advisor reviews or Google Reviews on your site and promote this in social media and email campaigns? If you talk up the community and area in which the hotel is located as a part of the uniqueness of the hotel, do you provide information on the surrounding area and link to supporting information on your site and other sites? Does your messaging support what is in it for the customer? The focus of all content is that it satisfies the customer and answers their questions. The trick to developing successful marketing messages is to give the impression that you are not marketing, but delivering valuable information that will be clicked on and responded to.
I just love this story and had to share it with the world….
Ducks Quack – Eagles Soar
Harvey Mackay, tells a wonderful story about a cab driver
that proved this point.
He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey.
He handed my friend a laminated card and said: ‘I’m Wally, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my mission statement.’ Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said: Wally’s Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment…
This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!
As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, ‘Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.’ My friend said jokingly, ‘No, I’d prefer a soft drink.’ Wally smiled and said, ‘No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice.’ Almost stuttering, Harvey said, ‘I’ll take a Diet Coke.’ Handing him his drink, Wally said, ‘If you’d like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today..’ As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card, ‘These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d like to listen to the radio.’
And as if that weren’t enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he’d be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts…
‘Tell me, Wally,’ my amazed friend asked the driver, ‘have you always served customers like this?’ Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. ‘No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day.
He had just written a book called You’ll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, ‘Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.’
‘That hit me right between the eyes,’ said Wally. ‘Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.’
‘I take it that has paid off for you,’ Harvey said. ‘It sure has,’ Wally replied. ‘My first year as an eagle,
I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don’t sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can’t pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action.’
Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I’ve probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn’t do any of what I was suggesting.
Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.
How about us? Smile, and the whole world smiles with you…. The ball is in
A man reaps what he sows. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up… let us do good to all people.
Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar
Have a nice day, unless you already have other plans.Read More
Blogging is another great factor in multiplying content. Generate informative and entertaining blog content that can be submitted for popular votes and rankings on sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit, driving more readers back to your site. You should also post a link to each of your blog posts on your social media sites such as Google +, Facebook and Twitter. For Google + be sure to implement the “Authorship” link to assign your content to your Google + profile. This great tool tells Google that the blog content or web page content is written by you and it will feed into the Google Search by keywords listed.
On the other side of blogging, you can comment on other blogs as part of an active discussion and a way to develop relationships with other businesses. This is often called “social-bookmarking”. You may include a link to your site content, perhaps a blog, as a part of your signature when you leave comments for others. This not only builds links back to your site on various strategically chosen blog pages, but also starts to build your industry presence and expertise through your insightful comments.
Blogs are one way to generate informative content about your property and events, and taking it a step further by creating original content in the form of articles that can be syndicated online is another component of a successful link building strategy. Create articles that highlight your niche, special services, restaurants, events or even your community as a destination. These articles should be consistent with your messaging and help to build your online identity. By submitting these articles to niche industry sites not only shares your company’s pertinent, targeted information, but your articles will reach customers and create links back to your site. You may also want to tag these in Google + as the ‘Author’ and to push through other social media sites to magnify your messaging.
The approach to messaging, positioning and branding within the mix of available marketing platforms can be intimidating. The goal is to use traditional marketing methods along with spreading content across the web. Put online tactics such as blogs, articles, press, email, phone, webinars, info-graphics, video, pay per click ads, and banner ads to work for you. All of these efforts will lead to higher sales….higher rankings…more readers….more followers….more influence which equates to GREAT Marketing!