does not focus on selling products but rather on bringing to light a solution that address customer needs. This is the golden rule of marketing and you have probably heard several variations of the same.

As digital marketing evolves, you, as a marketer, have an added ability other than simply conveying your solutions to customers, acquiring valuable insights into the behaviors of your customers. This insight can help you refine your digital marketing strategy, your products and services while at the same time help you better anticipate the needs of customers. But how exactly do you do this?

IDENTIFY SPECIFIC GOALS

To gain insight from the customers, you have to start by identifying a specific goal. For example, wanting to learn something new about your customers is not a goal; it is too general. You have to identify a more focused goal or else you will miss valuable and actionable information. To identify a specific goal, you ought to ask yourself this question; what do you wish to learn from your target customers and why?

If you recently started offering a new service, your goal could be getting customer response by looking at who likes it and who dislikes it. Alternatively, you may want to learn how you can improve the product. In this case, your goal will be looking at the issues that customers have and what they wish changed.

The goal could even be more complicated such as identifying how customers interact with different marketing materials. For example, you may want to know why more buyers opt to purchase certain items in stores rather than e-commerce sites.

IDENTIFY THE ‘WHO’

To gain insight from your customers, you have to identify specifically who you want to learn from. For example, you may want to learn more about customers in a certain geo-location. You may also be targeting customers who consumed a specific product and have not come back for more. The ‘who’ will be influenced by your goal.

The next step is to evaluate your digital marketing strategy. Your marketing efforts may include:

• Online reviews

• Website

• SMS programs

• Social media channels

• Email marketing campaigns

• Push notifications

• PPC/display advertising

You have to identify which of your marketing strategies your target audience uses the most. Focus on the relevant channels.

MAKE KEEN OBSERVATIONS

The key to success when identifying searching for customer insight is to be objective in your observations. Look at the numbers on the standard metrics on various marketing channels. In the case of emails, focus on the number of 捷凯金融 opens, clicks as well as top-clicked content. With social media channels, you can look at which posts or tweets were shared the most and the type of comments your audience left. What is the ratio of positive to negative reviews?

The goal here is to look at the number of responses from your target audience. How many positive comments do you have and what are customers bitter about?

ANALYZE

The aforementioned tips will help you know what your numbers are in relation to customer satisfaction. Once you have these numbers, it is time to focus on what they really mean. If certain social media posts received the most likes, what does that say about the audience?

Your audience’s responses will let you know how digital strategies are faring against traditional marketing strategies. The goal here is to identify if you can spot a correlation pattern between your marketing materials and the behavior of consumers.

TEST OFTEN

What if you run both X and Y strategies together, will the results be better than running strategy Z independently? The best way of answering this question is to test your strategies early and do so often.

Your tests should follow the A/B testing procedure. What this means is that by doing step A, this will happen to B. You have to run the test keenly until you have sufficient data to determine which option is the best. Testing is an ongoing process.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO START SOMETHING NEW

The fear that most people have when it comes to digital marketing is the fear of failing. This should not stop you especially considering that most of the methods you try will not bear as good results as projected.

You should run small pilot programs to limit your losses. Do this when testing new marketing strategies. Do not put too much faith in an untested strategy.

DON’T STOP ASKING QUESTIONS

One simple fact you ought to understand and remember at all times is that customer needs keep on changing. You cannot expect to ask questions just once and act on them to achieve your dream goals. It is imperative that you constantly search for trends and behaviors. You also need to listen to your audiences’ conversations. You never know when you may come across an insight that will change the way you reach out to your customers.

The best thing about listening to your customers is that you will be able to gain insight that will help make your business better. For example, you can learn more about the response of customers to your service as well as what they wish to see in your future products.

There is a lot more that goes into digital marketing. The most important thing is to keep an eye out for new developments in the market. Consumer needs keep on changing and your failure to change with their needs can cost you valuable business. Simply put, you ought to keep listening to your customers and never stop asking ‘why?’

Digital marketing is dynamic. Most of the strategies that were considered invaluable a few years ago are, today, completely impractical. It is up to you to keep up with the trends, keep testing your strategies, learn from the experts and always listen to your audience in order to refine your marketing strategies accordingly. The points discussed in this post will help you get started on the right foot and help you learn more about your audience.

Contact  for more information.

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Get a martini or two in me, ask me why my second marriage ended in failure, and I will say three words: “Lack of trust.”

When I began in this business at , I didn’t think much about trust; I thought instead of the work. To me, and to the other people who shared my view, there is an unwavering belief that the only thing that really matters is the work.

Great work makes everyone want to be a part of the agency. Great work commands a price premium. Great work wins business.

If you do great work, everything else will take care of itself, including the relationships they build with clients. When I joined the advertising business as an account person, that’s pretty much what I thought.

There’s just one problem with this view: it’s wrong.

Great work does not shield you or your agency from client loss. You can do great work and still get fired.

My former agency, Ammirati & Puris, did great work for BMW. The agency wrote the line, “The ultimate driving machine,” which endures to this day. BMW kept the line, but they didn’t keep the agency.

Ammirati & Puris is not alone. TBWA/Chiat Day did great work for Taco Bell. It’s no longer Taco Bell’s agency. Deutsch did great work for Ikea. It’s no longer working with Ikea. BBDO did great work for Charles Schwab. It’s no longer Schwab’s agency.

You can make your own list. It will probably be longer than mine. So what went wrong? We know it wasn’t the work. The work was great.

Then I thought about all the agencies whose work fell short of the mark yet somehow managed to hold on to the business. One of the best examples is Fallon and United Airlines.

After Fallon won the United business, it launched the “Rising” campaign. Wrong message, wrong time. People knew travel was hell; they were tired of the empty promises most airlines made. Yet the “Rising” ads clung to notions of romanticism that every savvy traveler knew to be false.

Not surprisingly, the campaign met uniform criticism. Fallon is a terrific agency, but this was bad advertising.

So bad, in fact, that you would think United would have gone searching for another agency. But they didn’t. They stayed with Fallon until Fallon got it right.

Why was that? One report claimed that the close personal relationship between Pat Fallon and United’s chairman kept the agency in good graces, even when its work was far from stellar.

What went right? We know that it wasn’t the work.

I used to think that great work would lead to a great relationship. Now I think the opposite: a great relationship leads to great work. The reason is pretty simple.

Great work entails risk. Most clients do not want to take risks; they prefer a safe retreat into the world of the merely good or, worse, the dismissively average. Still, if they are going to take that risk, they are much more likely to do so with agency people they trust. And trust is the very foundation of a great relationship. And that’s why I say a great relationship leads to great work.

Think of it as a perfect three-legged stool, or what my colleague Elizabeth Furze — she’s managing partner at New York agency AKA — calls “the trust triangle”:

account-service-role.png

My colleague Tim Pantello says account people “need to be second best at everything they do,” meaning they need to be nearly as good as the specialists in addressing client and colleague concerns.

It means your job, if you’re in account management, is a bit harder and a whole lot more important than it used to be. There are no suits, no bag carriers, and no order takers. Instead, there are problem solvers, idea generators, and client-relationship builders.

As things grow more complex, with needs evolving and business mutating in ways impossible to predict, account management is not less important and marginal; it is more important and essential. Agencies need it, and GKFX colleagues — writers, art directors, planners, project managers, production people — depend on it. Clients demand it, and the reality is, you can’t build great work without first building a great relationship with them.

Our mission must be to clearly define our role, execute better, communicate better, generate more ideas, and manage client expectations wisely. If we do these things well, we will build enduring, trust-based relationships with our clients. Relationships built on trust will lead to the best possible work. And that is what drives and inspires all of us every day.

Contact  for more information.

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Technology has been transforming the business enterprise for several decades. First it was the finance department, when paper ledgers were replaced by digital spreadsheets and databases. In manufacturing, we had supply chain management. Human resources and payroll were automated and data-based. Customer service functions were transformed by call center management software, then CRM. Sales organizations were supported by sales force automation systems, then CRM as well.

Finally, technology is starting to transform , starting with how enterprises talk to consumers. We have websites, ecommerce, email and mobile apps. It’s so much easier for customers and marketers to proactively connect than ever before.

On the advertising front, we have display ads, search ads, email ads, app ads, social ads. And all of the other ad channels, from TV to radio to direct mail, are now being measured by digital systems.

Now that we have all of these digital touch-points and databases, marketers and their corporate information officers and finance officers are looking for models to organize and manage all of these marketing and advertising activities. And, quite naturally, they are looking for guidance to models that worked on other parts of their business. Not surprisingly, many have focused on what has worked for their supply chain and have tried to apply supply chain-oriented models to their “demand chain.”

I believe that treating marketing – and the creation of customers – with supply-chain models is short-sighted and will be damaging for businesses and their customers. Why? Because is likens acquiring customers to buying commodity raw materials. It assumes that GKFX捷凯金融 marketing is only a cost, and that customers are commodities. It doesn’t assume that customers are organic assets that can grow. As Wenda Millard famously warned us almost a decade ago at an IAB meeting, trading advertising like “pork bellies” will be damaging to our industry.

Wenda is and was right. Media should not be bought and sold like pork bellies, and not just because much of what makes media special can’t be captured in a real-time-bidded world, but because customers are not commodities, and treating them as such can only hurt businesses that do.

Marketers need customers to choose them. Choice abounds. Diesel fuel and toilet paper can’t choose its purchaser. Most consumer businesses today can’t choose their customers. Customers today choose their brands and retail outlets.

Rather than looking to the corporate supply chain for the best technology model to apply to marketing, I would look at the department that marketing will most likely evolve to look like: human resources. The functions, focus and mindset in recruiting, training and retaining talent is not unlike the creation and growth of customers and fans — much more so than marketing is like buying diesel fuel and toilet paper.

Could HR software and systems be the future of marketing? Quite possibly. What do you think?

 Contact  for more information.

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There are numerous reasons for websites to start using HTTPS over HTTP.

Not only does using HTTPS improve and increase security for consumers during the course of their digital experience, but the presence of a secure connection is also considered by Google as a ranking signal (although there doesn’t seem to be much evidence of this yet). Let’s take a look at HTTPS and how it differs from HTTP.

HTTP vs HTTPS

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the foundation for communicating over the Web – a distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information system. HTTP defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands. For example, when you enter a URL in your browser, this actually sends an HTTP command to the Web server directing it to fetch and transmit the requested Web page.

HTTP is called a stateless protocol because each command is executed independently, without any knowledge of the commands that came before it. This is the main reason that it is difficult to implement websites that react intelligently to user input. This shortcoming of HTTP is being addressed in a number of new technologies, including ActiveX, Java, JavaScript and cookies.

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to. The ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure.’ It means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted.

Now that you know the difference between the two, and see the benefit of moving a website to HTTPS, how do you get started? 

 


Moving On Up With SSL

The first step is to acquire an SSL Certificate, small data files that bind (digitally) a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When installed and activated on a Web server, the HTTPS protocol allows for secure connections between a Web server and a browser.

There are numerous providers of SSL certificates and a quick search on Google or Bing will bring up current offers and pricing from the likes of well-known brands including GoDaddy, Network Solutions, DigiCert, RapidSSL and others.

It is very important however to select the right SSL, because they are most definitely not all created equal. There are three different types of SSL (in general) an enterprise can consider:

Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates: where the Certificate Authority (CA) checks the right of the applicant to use a specific domain name PLUS it conducts a thorough and detailed vetting of the organization. The issuance process of EV SSL Certificates is strictly defined in the EV Guidelines, as formally ratified by the CA/Browser forum in 2007, that specify all the steps required for a CA before issuing a certificate.

Organization Validation (OV) SSL Certificates: where the CA checks the right of the applicant to use a specific domain name PLUS it conducts some vetting of the organization. Additional vetted company information is displayed to customers when clicking on the Secure Site Seal, giving enhanced visibility of who is behind the site and associated with it – to enhance trust.

Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificates: where the CA checks the right of the applicant to use a specific domain name. No company identity information is vetted and no information is displayed other than encryption information within the Secure Site Seal.

Prices will vary depending on the type of SSL certificate requested, as well as how it will be used. For example, is the SSL intended for a single domain, multiple sub-domains or several domains concurrently? Understanding how an SSL will be used in the future will ensure you choose the right option for your enterprise.

Once the right type of SSL certificate is chosen, and you’re ready to move forward securing a website, the CA (certificate authority) will need what is called a Certificate Signing Request (CSR).

A CSR is a block of encrypted text that is generated on the server that the certificate will be used on. It contains information that will be included in your certificate such as your organization name, common name (domain name), locality and country. It also contains the public key that will be included in your certificate. A private key is usually created at the same time that you create the CSR.

If you’re unsure where to get your CSR, check with your current hosting provider or with your IT staff. Those using CPanel can actually generate their own CSR by going to the SSL/TTL Manager and generating a new request. 

Once the CA (certificate authority) uses the CSR to create the SSL certificate, the next step is to activate the SSL. Providers will give what is known as a .CRT file and a string key. This information must then be sent to the Web host or installed manually. In the case of Capen, head back to the penis enlargement SSL Manager and click on the “Generate, view, upload or delete SSL certificates” option. You will be able to upload the .CRT file or paste the actual certificate key in the available text box. Once that is done, everything is ready for the most crucial part – redirecting HTTP to HTTPS.

One of the reasons more websites aren’t using the HTTPS protocol is likely the fear associated with making such a major change in relation to their search rankings, warned repeatedly by search engines about the dangers associated with content duplication between protocols. Fortunately, making the actual switch is not nearly as challenging as it once was. Those running on Apache can simply modify their .HTACCESS file while those on IIS/Windows servers can use the < httpredirect > element in their configuration.

Monitor Transition Carefully

Count on a few things breaking during the switch from HTTP to HTTPS. One of the most common mistakes is using the wrong protocol with URLs, linking to the HTTP version instead of the HTTPS option. That results, as you might imagine, in some pretty terrifying error messages and browser warnings about loading unsecured resources. 

Using SSL isn’t terribly expensive for most digital enterprises. While the benefits are well documented (search rankings and a more secure user experience) there is a risk if an SSL certificate is set up hastily. Check with your IT and development teams as well as hosting providers to ensure a smooth transition. will take care of all your marketing needs.

– See more at: 

Virtual Focused Marketing, based in Las Vegas, Nevada, has announced that they have been chosen to participate in the new Amazon Services Seller Beta Program. The program is available by invitation only, and Virtual Focused Marketing is the only to participate in the program. A number of other industries are also being represented in the program.

Rusty McMillen of Virtual Focused Marketing says, “Of course, we’re thrilled that Amazon has reached out to us for this program. Being the only agency of our kind to be asked makes it quite the honor.”

The program is designed to allow businesses to offer professional services on the Amazon marketplace. Everything from diagnostics to installations can be offered, and businesses will be able to set pricing estimates, receive requests from customers, and basically sell their services to customers through Amazon.

“The program will enable us to set our prices for pre-packaged services, such as , and sell that service through Amazon,” McMillen says.

The purpose of the program is to make services available so that customers browsing and shopping on Amazon will see them. When customers purchase products related to a particular service, that service will show up as a related or recommended purchase. Amazon will handle the payment for services and deal with payment issues from customers, so that businesses can focus on providing their services.

Virtual Focused Marketing offers a range of services such as , that they say will be very well advertised on the Amazon marketplace. Currently, they are the only company offering these services to be invited into the program.

The above-mentioned services program is now live and available to customers on the Amazon marketplace. Meanwhile, Virtual Focused Marketing continues to offer their services online to local and nationwide customers through their official 搬瓦工 website. Those interested can learn more about the new Amazon Seller program on the Amazon site or visit Virtual Focused Marketing on their website to get more information about the suite of reputation and marketing services they provide.

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Contact Virtual Focused Marketing:

Rusty McMillen
1785 East Sahara Ave Suite 490 Las Vegas, NV 89104

 would like you to picture this.

After years of hard work, sleepless nights, and too much stress, your business has become secure. Stable. You no longer have to worry about how you’re going to pay next month’s bills or if your work is drying up. Now you’ve got the time to look forward, to be creative and focus on growth, instead of scraping by and constantly riding on the Cashflow Rollercoaster.

How did you get there?

You established yourself as a leader in the industry, made sure you were seen as the go-to person. At the same time that you established your authority, you incorporated processes that kept leads coming in consistently and reliably. With steady leads came more clients and with more clients came regular positive cash flow.

How many small business owners are actually achieving these things?

We surveyed 1,306 small business owners and entrepreneurs to gain a better understanding.

State of SmallBusiness Growth Report 2016 – 1,300 business owners opened up about struggles &…CLICK TO TWEET

Read on for some amazing insights on what they’re struggling with, their goals for the next year, and how they’re planning to improve their business. You’ll also discover some very interesting trends, as to what separates the successful businesses from those who haven’t quite made it yet.

Copy of Copy of Bogus Certification

An Overwhelming Number of Business Owners Plan on Growing in 2016.

What are their growth goals?

About half of our survey respondents say they want to grow 50-100% in the next 12 months. Another 20% say they want to grow between 25-50%.

graph 1

Why do Business Owners Want to Grow Their Businesses?

Almost 40% say they are in business because they want more freedom, and 22% want to make a difference! Both are goals we can all appreciate.

graph 2

In their own words

“I want to scale the business without giving up my freedom.”

“My goal is to move from 1:1 to 1:many – and having a program in place that would appeal to my avatar – and then building the systems to create the flow of leads and convert them into new clients – so that I can achieve the impact, influence and income that I desire.”

“I feel that I need to revamp my business and come up with a business model and structure that will move my business to the next level.”

Achieving this sort of growth is no small feat. The question is, do these small business owners have the right strategies in place to achieve this level of growth? Most do not have processes in place to consistently generate leads.

Most do not have processes in place to consistently generate leads.

Despite these lofty, yet absolutely achievable, growth targets, 84% of responders say that their current lead generation strategies are NOT sufficient to reach their goals.

graph 3

This is an extremely important piece of the puzzle that 84% of business owners are missing.

84% of responders say their current #leadgen strategies are NOT sufficient to reach their goalsCLICK TO TWEET

And when it comes to generating more leads and appointments, one of the key elements is a plan that makes multiple touch points and moves prospects through your enrollment or sales process.

Frequent and consistent communication keeps you top of mind. If prospects don’t know about you or don’t remember you, they aren’t likely to convert to an appointment; and if you’re not generating enough leads and appointments, you likely won’t have enough clients to reach your goals.

It’s that simple.

With that being said, we found that only 18% of survey respondents keep in touch with prospects and potential clients on a weekly basis.

graph 4

There’s a connection there, between communication and lead generation. If you don’t communicate with prospects, you won’t be generating enough leads.

So if that’s the key, why aren’t more business owners working on this?

In their own words

“I don’t have a good system in place.”

“I don’t have enough time.”

“Not quite sure where to start or how to go about some of these marketing projects.”

Most business owners struggle to stand out from their competitors.

Standing out from the competition is a crucial step in the communication process that turns prospects into clients. So how good are small businesses at this?

60% of business owners say they’re confident demonstrating what differentiates them from the competition.

graph 5

But when you combine different pieces of data, a different story comes out. Of respondents who said they have VERY FEW differentiators, 92% said they sometimes or consistently have cash flow problems.

And out of the respondents who said cash flow is NEVER a problem in their business, 68% answered “4 or 5” (they have several to many differentiators).

Communicating why a prospect should choose you over the competition, appears to be a very important part of the equation.

In their own words

“Our biggest challenge is getting the message out about how what we offer is different from other products and services.”

“We’re having trouble connecting with people who are not just looking for the cheapest price without regards to quality and results.”

“I don’t have the knowledge on how to market in a way that is unique and provides a … WOW.. factor from the competitors.”This causes them to have cash-flow problems.

This causes them to have cash-flow problems.

Cash-flow problems are far too common in startups and small businesses. According to our respondents, only 12% of business owners say that cash flow is NEVER a problem in their business.

graph 6

Only 12% of #business owners say cash flow is NEVER a problem. Are you 1 of the lucky few?CLICK TO TWEET

Of respondents who said maintaining cashflow IS a consistent problem in their business, 77% also said they DO NOT have processes in place that consistently generate new leads and clients.

On the other hand, out of the 13% of business owners who report that they DO NOT have cashflow problems, 83% of these profitable, successful businesses DO have systems in place to generate leads and appointments consistently.

Clearly those businesses who are more successful have one thing common. They have systems place to generate leads and appointments consistently.

For the businesses who reported struggling with cash flow, it’s clear that a lack of systems is creating significant problems and challenges.

The good news about these cashflow problems (yes, there is some good news) is that they seem to decrease as a business becomes larger.

According to our survey, businesses with sales less than $100K have the most problem with cash flow, but fortunately, that problem gets incrementally less as total sales increase.

The data supports the conclusion that marketing systems to generate more leads and clients are one of the key ways to make it happen.

In their own words

“We are constantly fighting the cash-flow battle. We need to market more, but we lack the funds to create a constant marketing campaign.”

“Feast or famine. Workload month to month can vary hugely.”

“[I] don’t have the cash flow to fund growth.”

Most realize that they need to do something different to reach their goals, but aren’t sure what to do.

Respondents plan to try everything from hosting a podcast, to writing a book, to blogging in 2016, but the largest percent of survey takers plan to use social media to reach their goals.

graph 7

Social media is one of the most efficient ways to engage with prospects, build up your reputation, and start converting prospects into leads, appointments, and clients. Unfortunately, most small business owners don’t know how to get the results they want from these platforms. They lack the structure and processes to consistently generate leads through these channels.

Out of the 71% of business owners that have used social media as a lead generation tool, only 6% say they’ve gotten great results. A whopping 57% of them say that they’ve gotten poor results from social media.

It gets worse.

Out of the small number of leads that small business owners are able to scrape from their social media efforts, very few are converted into paying clients. 49% of business owners convert these leads at a rate of 10% or less.

graph 8

In their own words

“I would like social media to make me money.I have 1400 followers on Facebook and 400 followers on Twitter and still have not made a dime from either.”

“I don’t know how to use social media for selling services.”

“Need to understanding how to use social media in a way that is easy to implement and keep up with.”

Bottom Line, Time for change and Small Business Owners Need Help

Luckily for you and me, and for the economy, the small business sector isn’t going anywhere. But that doesn’t mean any specific one of these business owners is guaranteed to succeed.

Yet based on the results of this study, it’s clear what they need to do in order to position their businesses for a bright future. Creating systems in the marketing department, to gain and retain the attention of prospects, and therefore increase the pipeline of leads, appointments and clients coming through the door; that is the most compelling mandate that this study offers.

It’s a simple truth. In order to grow, a business needs marketing systems to get the word out and bring in prospects and clients.

You also need to have a way to stand out from your competitors and position yourself in a way that will compel your ideal clients to want to talk business with you. And to have the right processes in 嘉盛 place to convert these appointments into paying clients, so you can get off the Cashflow Rollercoaster and achieve greater impact and freedom…the reasons most business owners started in the first place!

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What to do when someone trashes your company online

It’s going to happen. Someone’s going to have a bad experience with your brand and head directly to social media to complain about it. Far too many brands either ignore the comment or, worse, delete it entirely.

At my we created and use the SWARM Methodology – a five-step approach to converting “enemy combatants” into brand advocates. Here’s how it works.

S – Speak like a human

Organizations have a bad habit of communicating with people as if they were, well, other organizations. They speak in grand tones of “we” and “us” – trying very hard to avoid admitting that an actual human being (“I” and “me”) wrote the text. Words like “we” and “us” serve only to distance yourself from your correspondent and, in a crisis situation, this is the last thing you want to do.

 

Instead of “We are sorry to hear of this situation,” use more human language like, “Yikes! I’m so sorry about that.”

W – Win/Win

People complain on your social media channels because they want something to change – better quality service on their next visit, a cheaper rate, and so on. One way to help knock down an angry swarm is to give them something more than just a response. Give them a “win.”

You don’t need to overthink this. Wins can be simple – a promise to check back with them to see if something they were complaining about has improved.

My agency works with a number of shopping centres to help them manage their social media channels. One day, one of the centres’ Facebook pages we moderate started to blow up. A visitor had posted a complaint about the in-mall kiosk vendors’ somewhat aggressive sales tactics. Someone complained on the Facebook page and it went viral. Our approach to responding was threefold: (1) Acknowledge the comments (2) promise to look into it and (3) report back the next morning on what happened.

Do something more than listen. Take action, and tell them what the action you’re taking is.

A – Avoid a public battle

Perhaps the biggest mistake I see organizations make online is they engage in a conversation about an issue in the public channel – whether that’s a blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, or somewhere else.

Once you identify an issue and reach out to the combatant (for lack of a better term), you should take the issue “offline.”

There are lots of ways to do this, but the simplest is to ask the person to e-mail you the details. If the issue shows up on Twitter, ask them to follow your brand account so you can DM them your direct e-mail address, then continue the 炒外汇 conversation there. If the issue shows up on Facebook, ask them to send you a private message to your brand page, then continue the conversation there. If the issue shows up on your blog, ask them to send you an e-mail, then continue the conversation there.

R – Right the wrongs

You may find that in the heat of the moment, people exaggerate the issue. Suddenly, a simple dispute over what they were charged becomes, in their mind, a criminal action where they were billed hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It’s important that you correct the record. Remember, Google has an elephant’s memory. If she had posted this in a blog review, you need to have the accurate information attached to this post, so correcting the record right on that page as a comment is critical.

There is nothing wrong with politely correcting the record, and you should absolutely do it if they have claimed something that isn’t true.

M – Make friends

The final, and perhaps most important, part of the SWARM Methodology is to turn your combatants into advocates.

After telling them what action you’ll be taking, make a note to follow up with them personally in a few months to ask if the situation has changed. Or offer them a discount in a few months to try it again.

Let’s say you’re a restaurant and someone complained that you don’t offer gluten-free options. Consider asking if you can e-mail them when you have a few ideas for menu choices to ask their opinion.

This five-step SWARM Methodology is not foolproof, but when exercised consistently, politely and quickly, it can make a huge difference in the reputation of your brand and the success of your business.

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2016-01-21-1453356641-8648547-LocalMarketingStrategiesforSmallBusinesses.jpg

What to do when someone trashes your company online

 

It’s easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest marketing techniques as more and more come our way, but it’s always important to take a step back and make sure that you have a good foundation in place and none of your previous tactics are slipping.

In local marketing, businesses put a lot of effort at the start and then let it fall by the wayside as the year moves on.

2016 is the perfect time to refresh some of these “must-have” local techniques. Check out these Local Marketing Tactics for Boosting the Growth of Your Small Business:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Local SEO means you’re optimizing your website for the local web search so that your business shows up in a location-specific query. For example, “Laundromats near me” or “best coffee in New York City” would both be considered local searches.

As Google prioritizes local listings and puts them at the top of the search engine results page (SERP), it’s an excellent way to gain visibility.

When it comes to local search, there is less competition because you’re only dealing with your competitors in the area. So, it’s easy to get the results you want and bring in the targeted audience.

Google’s research on understanding consumer’s local search behavior reveals a great information for small business owners.

50 percent of mobile users and 34 percent of tablet or computer users visit a store within a day of their local search. It means local SEO has a great impact in increasing business sales.

Keep one important thing about local SEO in mind:

You don’t have to be a company with one or two physical locations to get the benefit. Even if you’re a national company, or you work only online, local SEO can still make an enormous difference in your business.

How do you get started with local SEO?

It’s a big topic, but it mainly has to do with making sure you have local accounts on all of the major search engines (Bing, Yahoo!, and Google) and use of right local keywords for the target audience and area. You can learn more here to understand the importance of local SEO for small businesses.

Facebook Advertising

Social networks aren’t always the first thing companies think while building local marketing strategies, but Facebook advertising is an exception.

It’s an inexpensive way to advertise your business to the target audience. Like Google, Facebook also knows buying and click patterns of all their one billion plus users. They are experts in putting the ads in front of a relevant local audience.


Ask for Reviews and Get Listed on Review Websites

Reviews are becoming the “must-have” in 2016 for all companies, particularly, who focus on local search marketing. According to a BrightLocal study, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Get your products listed on all of the major reviews sites — notably Yelp, TripAdvisor, OpenTable, Consumer Reports, Amazon and more — and then make sure that you’re managing those websites.

In other words, keep your information up to date and completed, and always be ready to tackle the negative reviews in a healthy way.

Although you aren’t allowed to offer any gift for an excellent review, build more confidence by working hard on your product’s improvement. It will lead to better reviews in future. As Google and consumers like to see companies with strong reviews, get ready for more sales.

By putting a “Review Us” link on your homepage, talking with your loyal customers, and urging your social community to get involved, you can help increase your numbers over and over again.

Work with Complementary Companies in Your Area

It’s tough to work with your competition when it comes to local marketing, but you can build your online empire with complementary companies. This sort of partnership can help you spread the word to the same audience.

For example, a content marketing agency in the area may want to team up with a web design company, a dog treat company may want to team up with a dog groomer, or even a lawyer may find it beneficial to partner with a personal finance accountant.

Recommendations go a long way. So, this is an excellent way to put yourself in that position and earn trust.

Attend, Speak, and Host Local Events

In other words, get involved in the community as much as possible. If you can sponsor a little league team in the area, it leads to a great exposure.

Join your local Chamber of Commerce and event committees to get involved and get your business out there. Contact with the journalist in your area. Advertise in the local papers, and even host your event to get people excited about a product launch or simply bring the community together.watch full film Alien: Covenant 2017

If you’re the type of company that can create memorabilia for your business, hosting your local events or setting up a booth at other events is the perfect place to make this happen and, hopefully, see some free exposure in the future.

Via: 5 Effective Local Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Lawyer Branding Revealed!

Friday Five

When most people think about “,” the first thing that comes to mind is the visuals: logos, images, color schemes. But branding is much more than visual elements. It’s the connection a human being has to a product, service or even another person — and it’s the main factor influencing consumers to do business with that product, service or person. Essentially, branding is a huge reason why you give people money for stuff.

The most effective branding focuses on the psychological and esoteric components — the root level, where the synapses that create the mental connection between a thing and wanting to give up your money for that thing actually form.

Lawyers Need Branding (Yes, You Do)

Here are five things to get you thinking beyond the superficial, and more about branding on a deeper level for your law practice.

1. Branding is good for you. Love it or hate it, you need branding. Why? If you are a solo or part of a small firm, you need to be able to differentiate yourself from all the other lawyers who are just like you. Why should someone choose to hand over his hard-earned money to you instead of someone else? People need a reason to choose you. So give them one. And if you’re with a big-ish firm, guess bluehost what? You need branding, too. It’s just in this case, you need to use the branding of that big firm to your advantage! That firm is already a brand itself, most likely with its name, the genre of law, the caliber of lawyers (and clients) it hires, just to start. Those are the things that have built its reputation and define its values. If you don’t align yourself with some part of that brand, you’ll just blend in and you definitely won’t be operating at your potential.

2. It makes a human connection. With all the lawyer jokes, it is not surprising that there is dissociation with the idea of lawyers being humans with real feelings. But lawyers are people, too, of course! So when you think about your brand, put yourself in your clients’ shoes. If you were a client, what would you want? What would you look for in a lawyer? How would you be feeling about your situation? Sympathy and empathy can go a long way here because they affect how you treat clients and other lawyers … which creates your reputation and represents your values, which in turn have a direct effect on what your brand is all about.

3. It’s not “marketing and advertising.” Marketing and advertising may certainly be components of branding and help in the development and reach of the brand, but in a vacuum, they are not branding. Think about it like this: Branding is a pull mechanism while advertising and marketing are push mechanisms. Branding pulls people into something; advertising and marketing push out information. Good advertising and marketing campaigns will push out information or data about the brand, which, if successful, help tell the audience about the brand and why they should do business with the brand. But it is the brand itself that pulls people in for business. Once the ads and marketing push out the information, the relationship with the brand might strengthen or weaken. If it strengthens, the brand pulls people in.

4. Branding is everything. I always say, “Branding is the ribbon that runs through everything that you do.” It runs through all of the things you do in your legal business — including your work product and how you treat clients — and for your legal business: Your marketing and advertising campaigns, your writing, your logo, your images, your public speaking, the way you dress, the things you choose to blog about. Your brand ties everything together. Everything you do must reflect your brand.

5. It’s not as hard as you think. Many lawyers avoid branding because they don’t know where to start. With the right information and right tools, branding is not as hard as you think. Admittedly, it is probably more complex than you think, but that doesn’t make it hard, necessarily. Passion, personality and persuasion are the keys to branding at .

 

 

 

Get Ready to Kick Off 2016 With These Marketing Tips

While there may still be two months until the new year, it’s never too early to start thinking about your next year’s marketing strategy. Resources and budgets need to be allocated with plenty of time to plan ahead, especially at smaller companies. In fact, thinking about your strategy now and contacting Virtual Focused Marketing can save you a lot of headaches down the road — and keep you one step ahead of your competition.

But where do you start? What 2016 trends do you need to account for when you start planning for next year? We’ve got you covered with a few research-backed tactics that every B2B company should be thinking about before 2015 comes to a close. Let’s take a look:

Put a measurement plan in place… for everything.

It’s difficult to measure your success if you don’t already have benchmarks in place. Even if you’re just kicking off your lead generation or content marketing efforts, it’s important to start somewhere.

For example, the 2016 B2B Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report from Content Marketing Institute found that only 30% of B2B marketers believe their organizations are effective at content marketing — down 8% from last year. However, of the organizations that do believe they are effective, 55% have recorded definitions of what success looks like for their marketing efforts.

Start by listing a few goals for each segment of your marketing efforts (email, lead generation, content, etc.). Then, think about useful ways to measure your progress, whether that’s looking at your month-over-month growth as a percentage or diving deeper into your pipeline metrics. Isaac Payne, Senior Marketing Analyst at Pardot, provides a good rundown of various ways you can measure your efforts in this expert interview. You can also check out this infographic for more information on metrics worth measuring, as well as metrics that should be avoided. Having these metrics on hand can also help you justify that budget request for next year.

Pay attention to your organic traffic.

Many marketers get so caught up in their lead generation and paid programs that their organic efforts fall by the wayside. Now that buyers are conducting so much of their research on their own time — and on their own terms — your organic traffic is more important than ever. Today’s B2B marketing landscape is seeing a drastic shift from “me” to “you,” meaning that buyers are looking for valuable information that’s personalized to their needs, not a generic sales pitch about your company.

Make personalization a priority in 2016. Position your company as a helpful resource to your buyers by using targeted content and personalizing the web experience, and your buyers will start coming to you all on their own.

Invest in video.

According to Cisco, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017. While many marketers are reluctant to dive into video marketing for fear of running up their budgets (or running down their resources), videos can actually be produced with very little up-front investment in time or resources, and can greatly benefit your lead generation and thought leadership efforts. In fact, highly-polished and professional videos can be produced with nothing more than an iPhone, and you can construct your own “studio” just by taking a quick trip to Home Depot.

Start thinking today about how you can incorporate video into your content marketing strategy for next year. With two months to prepare, you can enter the new year with ideas in place, scripts at the ready, and equipment on deck.

Revive your database.

The end of the year is a great time to reevaluate the health of your database, whether you’re using a marketing automation tool, an email service provider, a CRM, or another system. There are a number of tools marketers can use to clean out old or duplicate leads — but another great option is to run a re-engagement campaign to extract any lingering value from your database.

You’ve already spent time and money acquiring all of the leads in your database. Before you bid your old or inactive leads adieu, try re-engaging with them using top-of-funnel resources like an infographic or fun blog post. The goal is to revive their interest in your product or service so that when 2016 rolls around, you hopefully have a pool of “new” leads to work with.

These are just a few tactics to get you thinking about your B2B marketing strategy for the new year. Pick and choose the ones that work best for your company, use them all, or check out a few additional ideas here. Good luck!

Via: https://medium.com/@salesforce/get-ready-to-kick-off-2016-with-these-marketing-tips-c0414daefc7c

 

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