3 Key Services You Need for Your Digital Marketing Strategy

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Whether you’re just starting to think about digital or already have an SEO and content strategy, making sure you have certain foundational services can be key to saving you time and improving your results.

To develop your online brand and help customers find you amid all the competition, here is a quick guide on three cost-effective digital tactics you should have in place.

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Google My Business

Google is one of the most-visited sites in the world and everybody with a device uses it multiple times a day to help inform their purchasing decisions. Did you know it also has tools available to help your business grow?

Google My Business is a platform that presents your business on the right side of the search results page and includes photos of your business, reviews, listings, and, best of all, a space to create social posts!

Using Google My Business will allow you to put your best foot forward the moment prospects start searching for your business, impressing both current and prospective customers alike.

 

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Listing/Directory Services

Crafting an attractive website for your business takes plenty of time and effort, but that attractive website isn’t helpful if people don’t know where or how to find it.

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! draw their listings data from different directory services all over the internet. While many of these services provide accurate information, it is important for business owners to set up accounts on as many of these sites as possible so they can ensure the accuracy of their phone numbers, addresses, and website URLs.

 

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Review Management

Reviews are the lifeblood of a business. The very first thing customers do when someone recommends a company is to check out the general consensus of their online reviews and, most importantly, how the company responds to the comments.

Taking the time to respond to your reviews in a polite and friendly manner can show how much you value your customers and that you are also gracious and willing to fix mistakes if you receive negative feedback. It may take 30 minutes out of your day to do, but the positive effect it can have on your online reputation can’t be replicated anywhere else.

If you’re looking for proven ways to stay in your customers’ minds and consistently promote your business, give the staff at RSVP – Upscale Offers for Life & Home a call today at (888) 958-7787 or visit us online to see our customizable solutions.

The Buyer’s Journey: How Your Customers Really Find You

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How Your Customers Really Find You

Marketing today can require a comprehensive strategy that includes both online and traditional direct methods to maximize your chance of qualified prospects finding and choosing your business. In today’s digital world, what is the best way for you to stand-out during each part of the buyer’s decision-making process?

 

Awareness

It all starts with awareness. While methods like radio, newspapers and direct mail are primary sources for stimulating customer interest, they also search online using keywords and/or look at Google listings as part of their initial research.

 

Findability

Findability

The customer is searching, using Google, apps, directories, voice search and more. How easy is it for them to find you? It’s essential for you to know the findability of your own business and identify any inaccurate or missing online listings, which can easily improve your ranking on search engines.

 

Reputation

The customer has found you! Your website is well-designed, simple to navigate, and contains great information on your products and services. Do you have great reviews? A business’ online reputation directly influences whether someone decides to do business with you or not. In fact, 84% trust online reviews as much as word-of-mouth from their friends.

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Conversion

All the pieces are now in place for the customer to choose you. Will they? Conversion refers to the percentage of potential customers who take a specific action, such as calling you or booking an appointment online. Some tools to increase conversion are a website featuring a clear call-to-action, a web form, an online calendar, or the ability to purchase your products via an app. Don’t be one of the 22% of businesses who aren’t satisfied with their conversion rate, when you can use one or all of these tools to make it easy for a customer to connect with you.

 

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Advocacy

The experience your customer had with you and your product or service should result in advocacy. They should want to continue doing business with you. People often share their thoughts through social posts, online reviews, or blogs. This is the best press you could ask for when it comes to promoting your business, so it’s important to know what’s being shared and harness its power effectively.

If you’re looking for proven ways to stay in your customers’ minds and consistently promote your business, give the staff at RSVP – Upscale Offers for Life & Home a call today at (888) 958-7787 or visit us online to see our customizable solutions.

Print Advertising: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

In print advertising, artwork is the initial impression that consumers have of your business or product. It’s the first step in gaining the attention of the buyer you are trying to sell to. That visual typically is the difference between if the person decides to pay attention to the pieces of your advertising- the verbiage, the product or service itself, and the offer, or moves along to what captures their attention next.

Almost every day I have conversations with business owners and decision makers who ask about how their artwork should look. It’s an important question and comes up so often because many people just aren’t sure how to go about it. Most people (including me) know what they like when they see it but don’t know how to express that verbally or artistically. That’s ok though, and the reason why my company employs very talented and artistic designers. I trust them implicitly because they’ve proven their professionalism with our clients consistently through the years. And they’re not just artists, they know what works and what consumers like.

With that being said, I have learned from many years of experience the difference between good and bad artwork:

 

Good

– Simple clear message

– Holds interest

– Stong call to action

 

Bad

– Requires the reader to work hard

– Missing attention-getting elements

– Can’t tell what you are really trying to offer

 

Ugly

– Full of clutter

– Low-quality images

– Overuse of color and fonts

(Graphic Designers nightmare)

 

Avoid the temptation to include every product or service line you offer in your ad. Don’t make the prospect have to think about or evaluate everything and the kitchen sink you threw in there. They don’t want to think and they’ll ultimately move past your ad and forget all about you. Tell your prospect we are Acme Company, we make your life better, and do it for 40% off. That’s it.

If you’re worried about leaving out something you think might be important then include your website address. If the prospect wants or needs more information they will gladly take the time to visit your website and learn more about everything you do and why it’s important to them. Your website is your encyclopedia, your print advertisement is not.

 

Contributed by Jeff Vice

What my clients taught me about advertising

There’s an abundance of articles on the internet that will discuss the top 5, 10, or 12 mistakes businesses make with their advertising.  With this article I’m going to take on some of those “mistakes” from the perspective of actual clients that I’ve worked with for many years.

No Commitment

A common attitude of small business owners about advertising is that because they don’t know ahead of time if a particular advertising vehicle will work for them, they want to “try it out”.  They want the opportunity to pull the plug on their advertising quickly and save money if they perceive it’s not working for them in a very short amount of time.  I get it, most business owners are allergic to not wasting money and can’t blame them for feeling that way.

Of all the clients I’ve had in advertising the ones that commit to a long term vision of advertising are almost always more satisfied with their advertising than those who take the short term outlook.  Clients with the long term outlook will talk about how their advertising efforts grew in a positive way and consistently over time.  Clients who “try it out” have come and gone before their prospects even knew they were there and become severely skeptical of advertising their businesses.

By the way, the same concept applies when I talk with prospects. I can always tell when they say they’ve tried everything or think advertising doesn’t work, it’s because they always just dipped their toe in and never reaped the rewards.

When the phone rings

One of the ways that advertising can be tracked is with a dedicated tracking phone number.  With this tool business owners can definitively know from which advertisement the call came from.

An interesting thing my clients taught me about the value of a tracking phone number is that it went way beyond being able to see which ad the call came from.  Neither one of us knew in the beginning a tracking number would turn out to be more than a tracking tool.

We learned that many times (more than they might like to admit) that the initial call was handled badly and likely gave a bad impression of the business as well.  Most owners have one person dedicated to answering incoming calls.  After setting up this system the business owner makes no effort at monitoring those calls or overseeing how those calls are handled.  Even I was surprised at how aloof, un-friendly, or unhelpful those who answer phones can be.  It can be a very awkward conversation at the time to point out how badly their calls are being handled, but ironically it helps solidify the value of the ad in the first place.

Get used to talking

Small business owners typically wear many hats in running their businesses.  In many cases the owners’ business is based upon a talent the owner has to offer their clients.  On the flip side owners are not always good at the business side of the business.  That means that they may not be very good at selling their product or service or may not be comfortable in working with other people.

This usually shows up in communicating with their clients after the initial sale.  Their clients have an expectation of how things should go after the sale.  Communicating with their client is essential, and keeping them in the loop will go a long way in handling expectations when the unexpected occurs.

In the owners mind the project is going good and will look fabulous when it’s finished but the client is thinking something different.  I’ve learned those that communicate well have much happier clients than those who don’t.

Keep it simple

Clients whose message is short and sweet typically express more satisfaction in their marketing.  They have trained their prospects to focus on a small number of products or services they have to offer and in turn prospects will do just that. There’s a nice side effect to this too.  Most of the time those few products or services offered allow the business owner to showcase his or her highest quality and typically have higher margins. On the other hand, it’s unnecessary to throw everything and the kitchen sink in an advertisement.  It confuses the message and leads the prospect to believe that the business is just a jack of all trades and master of none.

Once the business has the attention of the prospect and has generated the initial call, that’s when the business owner will have the opportunity discuss additional options or services.  It turns out talking about other options or services you have to offer at that time usually goes really well.  I’ve even had clients tell me that their clients will add on services after the job has started because of the open communication, which not only led to more revenue but better client relationships.

Know your limits

One last thing my clients taught me about advertising.  Leave the artwork and design up to the professional designers.  I learned that one the hard way.  I am not good at the layout and design aspect and that is the case for many business owners as well.

Submitted by Jeff Vice

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