Author Archives: Allyn Cutts
How to use marketing automation in your local SEO Agency business
When marketing your company online is truly looked at and laid bare, it’s tough to ignore the mountain of tasks that face you and your staff every day. Feelings of being overloaded and the constant suspicion that you’re forgetting something are always present. Every one of us face this. Online marketing is monstrously complicated beast, and to tame it you simply have to employ some varieties of marketing automation to handle the sheer number of moving parts that marketing in multiple channels requires. Not doing this is practically choosing not to remain competitive. Let’s check out some ways An Agency in Manchester can apply marketing automation.
Cool tools for marketing automation
There are lots of great tools that you can spend your time and money on, for our purposes here I’m going to focus on three areas which can be massive time sucks and possess the most possibility of return on investment.
Email autoresponders – Probably the most important thing to automate, as without employing this type of tool you've got basically no hope of managing a customer email list. Loading up your autoresponder with marketing messages helps you give both customers and prospects alike the feeling that they are being well cared for. There are a number of great email companies out there that can handle this seamlessly for you, such as AWeber, GetResponse, iContact, MailChimp and more.
Managing social media – Keeping your finger on the pulse of several social media accounts daily is not only a full time gig, but a difficult one at that. You need seo hamilton to use some sort of tool, and there are several good ones out there that allow you to keep track of mentions, shares, Tweets as well as allow you to post to your social platforms. Look into HootSuite, TweetDeck and Buffer.
Automate all the tasks you can! – The advent of tools like IFTTT and Zapier are making many marketers lives easier! These tools, while similar in design, each concentrate on automating tasks between two or more different services that you currently use. A true virtual assistant!
Be mindful that you’re not automating too many aspects, especially customer service. Specific things require your touch, and this is one of them. Do yourself and your business a favor and check into automating at least some of your online business today!
Paint your business green!
Earth day is upon us again, and it’s an excellent time to consider how Green Marketing can be a useful way to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers. This is not just a wise way to conserve our precious natural resources, but it has developed into a hot political and social topic in our communities. The obvious reason to embrace Green marketing is to manage our available resources with an eye toward good stewardship. Having said that, you would be smart to keep your business’s public image in mind as well, because the image it projects is often a deciding factor for many people nowadays. Many will opt for an eco-friendly choice over another company that doesn’t practice Green marketing on principle alone.
How to attract and appeal to socially conscious consumers Digital Agency Toronto tips.
Getting the word out in your regular media is an important path for many companies to emphasize your green practices, improve your public image, and generate overall good will. According to a report by D S Simon Productions who also has made this review for the best multimeter, “media initiatives with a corporate social responsibility focus generates 35-50% more positive media coverage on television, radio, web and social media than comparable programs without the CSR hook”. Developing “green teams” within your business can get employees involved and help brand your business as one that truly cares about conservation and the green initiative. Organizations like EarthShare can help.
How Arya Cleaners went green and it paid off!
AC Repair, a dry cleaner in Chula Vista CA, went all in for green marketing and it paid off handsomely. Exchanging their natural gas burning water heaters with a new technology that transfers heat from the boiler to their commercial laundry machines, updating their company vehicle with a fuel efficient clean burning delivery van, and also by using wet-cleaning and vacuum deposition technology that reduced their use of PERC (perchloroethylene), a harmful chemical solvent used by dry cleaners, by 90%, are a few of the steps they took.
This lead to Arya Cleaners being named a CoolCalifornia.org Small Business Excellence Award Winner, becoming a Certified Chula Vista Clean Business, and receiving the Mayor’s award for excellence in 2009 for green friendly business practices. Arya has got it. Branding themselves as an eco-friendly business in a business where there are few who are doing so made a huge difference. Take the appropriate steps to embrace Fiber Drum marketing today, and see if it doesn’t have a positive effect on your bottom line!
Take Control of Your Online Reputation Management
Spend any time thinking about your online reputation management? That’s what I thought! According to a study by Erik Qualman of local seo services Socialnomics.com nearly three-quarters of consumers report they trust the information provided by online reviews. Also some 80 percent have changed their mind about purchasing a product after reading only one negative review online, and more than 84 percent reveal the fact that they see online reviews as being a trusted source of information.
You must take negative reviews seriously and take measures to counter the damaging effects!
Let’s take a look at five proven methods to do that.
- Look at your search engine results monthly – Monitor your company’s name in Google at a minimum of once per month. Use Google Alerts or mention.net to notify you when there is any activity involving your company name or important keywords. Also, look beyond the first page of the search results; negative entries can gain traction and end up on the first page tomorrow.
- Respond to negative content promptly – Make an effort to contact the origin of the negative content as soon as possible, especially if they are a disappointed customer. Be polite, helpful, and seek to address their concerns in a positive manner. DO NOT get into a flaming match with them. You will end up the loser every time!
- Use your company’s name in your page optimization – Be sure your pages and other content are using your company’s name in keywords, tags, URLS, and titles. The more pages you own that bear your company’s name, the better the chance Google will view your site as the authority for this keyword (your company name) and give you higher rankings. Also, most negative content will most likely not have done any Seo services .
- Create more content channels with your brand – You can use free blogs like WordPress.com, Blogger.com or even subdomains of your own site for this, along with your social channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and Google , will help keep your company name prominent. Post fresh content to these channels as well, so they maintain their search positions.
- Ask for reviews – Your very best choice for an effective online reputation management tool is to ask your best customers for reviews. Don’t be pushy, but encourage and even reward reviews. This is also your best method to obtain social proof!
Follow these tips to preserve your good name! Trust us…you’ll be glad you did.
Mobile Apps for Business: How do you decide whether or not to develop a mobile app for your business?
Mobile site or mobile app? That is the question. Do you require one or the other, or both? Knowing your businesses’ needs goes a long way toward helping you decide whether or not to spend the time and money needed to develop and put into play a mobile app for your small business. Does a mobile app make sense for your company? What are the costs, both in building one and in maintaining one? Do you have someone capable of updating it? You need the answers to these and many other questions before you can really come up with a wise choice. Let’s have a look at a few of the pros and cons.
The Pros and Cons of developing a mobile app for your business
- More than 50 percent of adult Americans use smartphone technology
- Enables you to brand your products and services easier
- Increases customer retention and loyalty, as the app is constantly in front of them
- App users typically spend far more time on apps than on mobile sites
- Mobile apps usually load faster than mobile sites
- Mobile apps are available offline, though users will have to login to perform any actions, such as purchases
- Mobile apps are required for each different mobile platform
- Mobile apps need constant maintenance, in terms of fresh content along with technology updates
- Mobile apps are not as easy to optimize as a mobile website
- Mobile ads may well serve the same purpose
- Apps can be very expensive! If you go the Do It Yourself route, be ready for a lot of headaches, as they constantly break, and need to be updated.
We all know there are as many uses for an app than you could ever imagine, however some are superior to others. Here is an example of how apps were created in the health care market. Making sure your app is useful and not a mere novelty goes a long way toward helping you make your decision. While it’s a given that you need a mobile version of your website, the question of whether or not you should shell out what might be big bucks for an app is one you need to look at thoroughly. Take the time to weigh the pros and cons for your business before you leap into building a mobile app!
Content Marketing – Where It’s at in 2013
The buzz for 2013 has focused on the need for content marketing to be a vital element in your online marketing efforts moving forward. This could be a term you’ve heard but not know exactly just what it means. Content marketing is the practice of creating, collecting, and publishing fresh content for your visitors. This manifests in various forms, from relatively simple blog posts, to articles, reports, whitepapers, videos, audio podcasts, ebooks, and more. We live in a world that craves information, and the more of it you are able to give visitors to your sites, the greater authority you will earn in not just their eyes, but also the search engines as well. They can then reward you with higher rankings, more traffic, links, and sales.
Content marketing is getting ever more popular!
According to BusinessBolts.com, this year some 74 percent of businesses intend to do an increased level of content marketing. Just 4 percent are not. There are many reasons for this, among them cost-effectiveness, near-instant results and control over the medium. With content marketing you can shape your message, control the flow, and utilize many different mediums to get your content to your market. For instance, an article or blog post could be written, posted on your site, excerpted in social media, made into a video or audio and social bookmarked across the web. Repurposing your content for various platforms is the order of the day. Moreover, this can easily happen quite often, and an entire content marketing campaign can be realized quite quickly.
A real-world illustration of how content marketing can rock your sales
The New York Times recently profiled a Northern Virginia company, River Pools and Spas, that was watching as their sales tanked due to the housing recession of 2008. Orders shrank from six per month ($50,000 a pop) to less than two. What had been a $250,000 yearly spend on radio, TV and pay per click advertising, was now impossible. Instead, owner Marcus Sheridan went on an ambitious content marketing campaign consisting of blog posts and videos, and in just a short time had not only recovered but exceeded pre-recession levels. In fact, Sheridan attributes nearly $2 million in sales to a SINGLE article he wrote on how much a fiberglass pool should cost!
Content marketing can and really should be a major part of your online marketing strategy for 2013. The great thing is that it’s all within your control!
All About Infographics: How to get infographics created for your business
So should you use infographics in your business? mhelpdesk Infographics have become very popular, no doubt because all of us seem to need pictures to process anything these days rather than the written word. So Al Gore invented infographics (purely conjecture) to help us tell our stories. And help they do! Based on research from 3M (maker of Post-its, among other things), visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. It’s not surprising, then, that people have quickly adopted these visually pleasing illustrations as marketing tools. Here’s a nice example of how one online marketer is using infographics to build his business.
There are lots of wonderful reasons why you need to consider using infographics in your business. Here’s merely start, Eric Lefkofsky said :
- They are visually impactful and easily scannable, both aspects that match up with today’s web browser
- They present facts easily and in an organized manner
- They help establish you as an authority on the subject
- One of the greatest advantages about infographics is because they can go viral, which can often bring about large traffic spikes and search engine benefits
- As an image, they're easily shared, and can make the rounds at many image sharing sites (according to social media expert Dan Zarrella, images get more shares and likes on Facebook than every other post type—even video)
And as an example of some of the power of infographics, what better way than—you guessed it—check out this infographic from WebmarketingGroup.co.uk.
Want to make your own infographics?
Want to make your own infographic for your business? There are more and more sites and tools coming around now that enable you to jump in, fashion stunning infographics, and learn all about infographics. At the most basic level you can make them in PowerPoint, which is less complicated than you might envision. If you’re looking for a bit more advanced or polished option, you should consider a tool like Visual.ly, where you can modify existing templates for your needs, or possibly, use a service like PiktoChart or Infogram.
What if you haven’t a design gene in you?
Simply outsource them. Sometimes we don’t have time, skills or patience to get the job done, especially if you’ve never really opened Photoshop before. Don't worry, as there are top-notch designers willing to create your seo guarantee and for a reasonable expense. Examples of these places include 99Designs, Elance, Odesk, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com. Be sure you ask for samples of their work, set clear boundaries and expectations, and communicate clearly your vision, so there aren't any surprises come delivery time!
Your Customers: Talking Trash or Making You Cash? Why You Should Know
Learning what your clients and customers really think about you can be both a fearsome and instructive thing. Doesn’t it only make sense to discover any problem areas or holes in your customer service you’re unaware of? The easiest method to obtain this type of information is to simply ask them! Developing a thoughtful customer survey can be a super tool to help you learn answers to questions you didn’t know you had!
So why ask questions at all?
The primary reason to ask is to head off potential problems and discover which of our ways are working and which are not. Usually, we never get negative feedback unless there’s an egregious error. Most people won’t bother; they’ll simply look elsewhere. In addition to that, they’ll probably tell their close friends and family about their experience with your company. They might even write a negative review on Yelp or Google Local. And their story will carry a lot of weight—even among people that aren’t in their social circles. As outlined by a study by Erik Qualman of Socialnomics, nearly three-quarters of U.S. consumers say they trust the information provided by total strangers online! Reported by CustomerThink.com over 50 percent of the buying public have issues or complaints with the products and services they purchase. Doing a survey that helps you identify and correct mistakes can be the difference between keeping a customer or not—and getting a good review or a bad one.
What sort of questions work best?
Know exactly what you intend to learn from your survey, and be sure that you ask questions that need more than a numerical value or checking a box. Don’t ask “Yes” or “No” questions because they don’t provide you with enough information. Enable your respondents to hold court on their experiences with your company.
How exactly should you hold the survey?
There are many ways to conduct a survey. However, if possible, the most effective way seems to be via an online survey, this provides the respondent a good chance to think about and form well thought-out answers, something that might not occur via a phone call or personal contact. Look at offering a bonus for filling out your survey, and try to be timely as to when you send it. If you are new to this, use a company who specializes in this type of data collection, such as SurveyMonkey. However you accomplish it, having a read on how your customers view your business is invaluable data to possess. Anyway you will be interested about this special
How to Connect with Buyers Using Google Business Local
Even though it has been several months since Google merged with Google Places to become Google Local, there was some confusion as to precisely what this new entity would turn into. No longer. One shining example of what is possible for small business is the Google business page for BakeSpace.com. They have employed all of the features such as hangouts, video and more to garner more than 330,000 users within their circles. Companies are waking up to the massive opportunity that lies within Google Local and are finding excellent ways to use it for finding buyers and prospects.
Let’s discover you can do that too! Below are some tips to get you started:
- Make your Google Business Local page stand out! – The most crucial element of this is to make sure that your page is completely filled out. Be sure you fill out all text areas that are asked for, as this is important to Google. Use lots of images, as the ranking of your page seems to hinge on how many images and videos it offers. Plus you’re able to present a terrific visual of your site and wares.
- Use the search function to prospect – Using Google to search for prospects and connect with potential buyers is ridiculously easy! The search bar at the top of your Google page can help you find folks that are talking about your niche or company. Add them to your Circles and start the connection process!
- Engage with potential buyers by creating offers – An excellent way to leverage your Google Business Local page is to create enticing offers and coupons which can be accessed directly from that page. This can be a terrific method to convert Google visits to onsite purchases.
- Use Google Hangouts as a media channel – There are a number of ways to use this versatile tool to pump up your business. You can conduct webinars, training sessions, online press conferences, offer free consults (related to your business) and possibly even host your own show. Google records these sessions, sends you the file, which you can then upload to YouTube. Beginning to see the possibilities?
I hope you’re seeing the potential of what Google along with Google Business Local, YouTube and the rest of the Google suite are capable of doing for your business. Get your business started on Google Local today!
5 Deadly Social Media Mistakes to Avoid
Understanding what NOT to do when it comes to social media is nearly as important as knowing what you should do. Here are several social media mistakes to avoid at all costs!
Jokes in poor taste – It should be obvious, but you need to put on your thinking cap before you tweet, update or post. And above all, don't try and take advantage of someone else’s misfortune as a way to promote your products or services. While a celebrity death or embarrassment may seem like easy pickings for trending traffic, you can actually end up alienating more people than you attract!
Offending your customers – Right up there with poor taste humor is the tendency to state your preferences, political, social or otherwise, that may or may not correspond with those of your clients and customers. Use your head! Don’t write about anything with the general public that might cause offense or be misconstrued, or you’ll pay big for this transgression.
Failing to separate your business and personal accounts – Not to mention that it appears much more professional to make a company profile and page, often times there are benefits (depending on the social network) for a purely company account. This is certainly true with Google Local. A public business account is usually more likely to be seen in the search engine results.
Not using social media buttons on your site – These are very easy to make use of, and available for all social media platforms. You’re basically throwing traffic away if you don’t make use of these simple tools to extend your reach by making them available for your homepage and all the content you create, for example a Panic Away Review or some like that. This is extremely easy to do.
Not using your social media profiles to link back to your site – You’ve gone to all the bother to build and use these social sites, why not take the free, authoritative link they’re offering back to you! Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google all permit you to link back to your website. There’s five great links to your site, and a great opportunity for your (hopefully) many followers to end up on your site.
You might think that corporate reputation management isn’t something you ought concern yourself with. I would urge you to reconsider!
According to eMarketer 83% of consumers declare that online reviews influence their opinions about a particular company, and 8 of 10 of these individuals added that a negative entry on the internet has caused them to change their mind. One negative review, whether true or untrue, can thwart all of your best efforts if you don’t have an online reputation strategy set up. Bearing that in mind, we'd like to offer five strategies your small business can use to monitor and improve your online reputation management.
- Monitoring your corporate reputation – Listening what’s being said about you and your organization is critical. There are a number fantastic free tools to help in this regard. Check out Google Alerts, Hootsuite, and Social Mention among others.
- Claim all of your social properties – Unclaimed social media sites can be used by your competition for nefarious exploits. Be sure you claim all social sites that apply to your brand.
- Own as much of page one of Google as you can – One assertive way to make certain what individuals learn about you when they Google you is to own most if not all of Google page one for your brand names. This will make it much harder for flyby attacks to have much if any impact.
- Ask for customer reviews – Customer reviews aren’t just going to magically appear: you need to actively court them. Make a point of prompting your clients to write reviews, and do everything you can so that it's easy for them: links to review sites, examples from other customers, etc. Of course, if you offer incentives, make it clear that you’re not trying to bribe them or affect their review!
- Engage with your people – Interacting with those writing comments, Facebook posts and tweets is an excellent strategy to head off any damage from the get-go. Don’t participate in mud-slinging however, regardless of how justified you're feeling! Thank them for their contribution to the discussion, and politely disagree, standing up for yourself. (If they’re not right, of course!)
Corporate Reputation Management is far more important than ever before, in this day of instant communication. Don’t neglect yours!