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Tabitha Jean Naylor

Owner at TabithaNaylor.com Inc

Tampa, United States

47700 Followers

My Objective: to develop and implement marketing campaigns that are effective, ethical and deliver positive ROI for my clients.

I am a qualified, experienced and enthusiastic Sales & Marketing Professional. My passion for marketing excellence finds its roots not only in my accreditation's but also in the application of this acumen in my own business. This has rendered me a success to both myself and my clients. I appreciate the importance of high quality marketing and I deliver my services meticulously and comfortably.

My services comprise every facet of Marketing Consulting; I thoroughly assess the current inbound and outbound marketing procedures of an organization and provide comprehensive solutions that increase brand awareness, quality leads and sales revenue, while enhancing ROI on their marketing efforts.

I pride myself on being approachable, flexible, detail-oriented and results-driven. I enjoy the work that I do and I believe this marries well with my work ethic to produce high quality deliverables that actually generate the one thing all business owners need... results. Contact me at 727-424-7147 to learn more!

In addition to my work at TabithaNaylor.com, I am also the founder of Women Entrepreneur's Can (#WEcan), a digital a magazine for women who are entrepreneurs, startup founders, and small business owners that covers business planning, strategy, management, accounting, finance, sales, and marketing. The goal of Women Entrepreneurs Can is to help women overcome the unique obstacles faced in a business world that’s often dominated by men, while providing the knowledge needed to run a successful business.

Available For: Advising, Authoring, Consulting, Influencing, Speaking
Travels From: Tampa, FL
Speaking Topics: digital marketing

Speaking Fee $1

Tabitha Jean Naylor Points
Academic 0
Author 112
Influencer 696
Speaker 0
Entrepreneur 40
Total 848

Points based upon Thinkers360 patent-pending algorithm.

Thought Leader Profile

Portfolio Mix

Company Information

Company Type: Company
Business Unit: Marketing

Areas of Expertise

Business Strategy 31.61
Marketing 42.15
Sales 33.32
Social 34.10
Startups
Customer Experience 30.20
Entrepreneurship 38.13
COVID19 31.16
Customer Loyalty 30.08
Management 31.02
Leadership 31.92
AI 30.01
Business Continuity 31.70
Security 30.56

Industry Experience

Aerospace & Defense
Insurance
Media
Professional Services
Travel & Transportation

Publications

46 Article/Blogs
Direct Response Marketing Campaigns That Deliver Results
LinkedIn
May 05, 2022
There’s no denying that direct response marketing – when done right – is hugely effective. The problem is that It is often attempted in ways that are Ill-conceived and poorly executed. When that happens, the results aren’t good, and people give up on it.

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Tags: Marketing, Business Strategy

3 Ways You Can Use YouTube to Promote Your Small Business
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March 23, 2022
The post 3 Ways You Can Use YouTube to Promote Your Small Business appeared first on TabithaNaylor.com.

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Tags: Social, Leadership, Marketing

A Guide to Setting Up Online Orders for Your Small Business
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March 23, 2022
Serving your customers virtually, in a post-COVID world – has never been more imperative to the survival of small businesses. And with more and more customers seeking contactless and virtual methods of payment, not adapting to the new-normal is hurting your prospects for growth. If you’re th

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Tags: Social, Leadership, Marketing

7 Simple Referral Marketing Strategies for Your Business
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March 17, 2022
I want to let you in on a little secret.  Are you ready?  Okay, here it is: All customers aren’t equal. Don’t get me wrong, call customers are good customers.  But do you want to know who your best customer is? A personal referral. Customers who are referred to you are more likely to trust

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Tags: Social, Leadership, Marketing

Your Roadmap for Digital Marketing in 2022
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March 16, 2022
The post Your Roadmap for Digital Marketing in 2022 appeared first on TabithaNaylor.com.

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Tags: Social, Leadership, Marketing

3 Things Google Hates About Your Website
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March 12, 2022
The post 3 Things Google Hates About Your Website appeared first on TabithaNaylor.com.

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Tags: Social, Leadership, Marketing

How Can You Maximize Your Return On Marketing Efforts?
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March 11, 2022
Marketing is a necessary element of running a business. Without it, you will not be able to spread the word, generate interest, and draw customers to your business. Digital marketing has made it easier than ever for businesses great and small to reach potential customers, but like anything worth doi

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Tags: Social, Leadership, Marketing

3 Common Mistakes Everyone Makes with Facebook Ads
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March 09, 2022
The post 3 Common Mistakes Everyone Makes with Facebook Ads appeared first on TabithaNaylor.com.

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Tags: Social, Leadership, Marketing

Why Every Business Should Introduce Digital Marketing into Their Strategies
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February 04, 2022
Digital marketing is an umbrella term for all of your online marketing efforts. It includes everything from search engine optimization to email marketing to social media marketing. More and more businesses are realizing the importance of digital marketing and are introducing it into their overall ma

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Tags: Social, Leadership, Marketing

Top Tips to Boost Your Company’s Marketing This Year
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February 02, 2022
As we move further into the year, businesses need to evaluate their marketing strategies and determine what worked and what didn’t over the past twelve months. So if you’re looking to boost your company’s marketing this year, here are some top tips to get you started. Via Pexels Ev

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Tags: Social, Leadership, Marketing

10 Powerful Marketing Strategies to Use This Year
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February 01, 2022
Some of the very best marketing strategies that are ever used are the ones that reach out to people as the humans they are. Marketing is about far more than just numbers and it’s very important that any business owner understands that before they get into business. If you can’t understand your c

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Tags: Social, Leadership, Marketing

Grow Your Marketing Agency’s Business Reputation
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February 01, 2022
You know that having a good business reputation is vital if you want to grow your business. If people have a negative view of your brand and business, they could be completely put off from using your services. You know that to cultivate a positive reputation for your marketing company, you need to h

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Tags: Social, Leadership, Marketing

How You Can Market Your Service Based Business
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January 27, 2022
Marketing a service-based firm differs from marketing a product-based business in several important ways. The most significant distinction between marketing for a service firm and marketing for a product business is tangibility. When you promote a product, you have a concrete something that people c

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Tags: Social, Leadership, Marketing

How to Take Control of Your Marketing and Improve Your Brand
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January 21, 2022
Have you been spending lots of time and money marketing your business but have not seen the results from your efforts you were hoping for? Many companies devote time and money to their marketing activity but do not see a return on their investment. This is often because they take a scattergun approa

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Tags: Social, Leadership, Marketing

3 Ways to Improve Your Marketing Firm in 2022
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January 20, 2022
Marketing continues to play a crucial role in the modern world of business. Without advertising agencies such as yours to rely on, external organizations wouldn’t have the capacity to reach their target audience members, let alone engage them. Quite simply, there will always be a call for the prom

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Tags: Social, Leadership, Marketing

Become a Highly Successful Plumber: Ultimate Guide to Getting More Customers
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January 11, 2022
Many people are looking for a qualified plumber, but not everyone knows how to find one. The best way is through word-of-mouth marketing by providing your customers with the best service possible. This blog post will give you some tips on becoming a highly successful plumber and getting more custome

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Tags: Social, Leadership, Marketing

The Benefits of Having a Marketing Plan to Optimize Productivity
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January 11, 2022
A marketing plan can be a precious tool for any business. Marketing plans help you to set goals and increase productivity. A marketing plan can provide some benefits: increased revenue, improved customer experience, clear direction with measurable results, and reduced stress. It offers clear goals t

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Tags: Social, Leadership, Marketing

The Ultimate Step By Step Guide on How Entrepreneurs Can Increase Their Brand Awareness on a Global Scale
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December 28, 2021
Becoming a global brand is the dream of every entrepreneur; however, most businesses are still local. This leaves many entrepreneurs wondering how to start this process and if it’s even possible for their business. Photo by Randy Tarampi on Unsplash When starting to expand your brand, you need

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Tags: Social, Leadership, Marketing

Using Audio Content to Generate New Leads
LinkedIn
June 17, 2021
The digital landscape is constantly evolving, and audio content is growing in popularity at a staggering rate. In fact, according to recent reports, an average of 193 million - or 68% US population - listens to podcasts and audiobooks on a monthly basis.

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Tags: Social, Marketing, Sales

The 5 Biggest Email Marketing Mistakes That Are Costing You
LinkedIn
May 04, 2021
Currently, more than 316 billion emails are estimated to be sent out daily. Regardless of the industry you're in or what type of business you run, email continues to be one of the most cost-effective methods in marketing. It offers good ROI and incredible reach.

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Tags: Social, Marketing, Sales

Using Video Content to Generate New Leads
LinkedIn
April 29, 2021
In marketing, there are many tools at your disposal in order to convey a message that resonates with your audience. With technology at its all-time high and innovation second to none, the best tool one could leverage to market to their audience is video.

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Tags: Social, Marketing, Sales

How to Grow Your Business with Geofencing
LinkedIn
March 17, 2021
Geofencing is one of those things that can sound intimidating if you don’t understand it. That happens with any new technology. It’s unknown and sounds vaguely expensive, and you might think that you need a lot of experience to figure out how to incorporate it into your marketing.

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Tags: Social, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

How to Create Content for Your Business That’s Worth Sharing
LinkedIn
March 10, 2021
We all know that content marketing is the name of the game for businesses large and small. Content is king and all that. But how does a small business create enough good content to reach their marketing goals? That’s the question.

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Tags: Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Sales

Improve Your Email Marketing with These Tips from the Pros
LinkedIn
March 03, 2021
Even though it has now been around for decades, email marketing is still one of the least expensive, most effective forms of digital marketing. That’s good news because it means you can connect with your target audience without breaking the bank.

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Tags: Marketing, Sales

10 Marketing Tools We Are Grateful to Have in 2021
LinkedIn
February 24, 2021
It’s a new year and most of us are happy to be leaving 2020 in the rearview mirror. It was a tough year at almost every level and marketing is no exception.

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Tags: Marketing, Sales

Your 90 Day Post Covid Marketing Roadmap
LinkedIn
February 19, 2021
The first quarter of 2020 brought us an unprecedented situation with a global pandemic that shut down parts of the country and created economic uncertainty and record unemployment. For a lot of businesses, that meant taking a new approach to marketing.

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Tags: Marketing, Sales

How to Elevate Your Social Media in 2021
LinkedIn
February 08, 2021
The world of social media marketing is noisy these days. Getting your content to the people who are most likely to buy your products or use your services is akin to trying to flag down a car going 90 miles an hour on a six-lane highway -- when you’re in a building on the side of the road. It’s tough going.

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Tags: Social, Marketing, Sales

Let’s Talk About How to Promote Your Business with TikTok
LinkedIn
January 29, 2021
Everybody who hasn’t been in a cryogenic state for the past couple of years has heard about TikTok. It’s the newest social media platform where users create and share 15-second videos known as TikToks. While a lot of the content includes lip synching or dancing, more local businesses who target young audiences are turning to TikTok as a way of connecting with potential customers.

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Tags: Social, Marketing, Sales

How to Get More Conversions with Facebook Ads
LinkedIn
January 22, 2021
I’m willing to bet you already know a lot about Facebook ads. Facebook is still the most widely used social media platform with 2.54 billion active daily users as of the third quarter of 2020. Because of Facebook’s algorithm, non-paid content from family and friends are given priority in users’ feeds, making Facebook advertising a must for local businesses.

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Tags: Social, Marketing, Sales

7 Content Marketing Tactics Every Small Business Should Steal
LinkedIn
December 30, 2020
Ad campaigns are still effective, but the truth is they’re not as effective as content marketing. Bill Gates proclaimed “Content is king” back in 1996 and his words have proven to be remarkably prescient. Web users expect top-notch content from the companies they follow.

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Tags: Marketing, Entrepreneurship

Get More (and Better) Traffic with Your Local Business Blog
LinkedIn
December 23, 2020
You already know that content marketing is widely considered to be essential for your business. Maybe you’ve already got a blog that gets some organic traffic.

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Tags: Marketing, Sales

Holiday Promotional Ideas to Consider During a Pandemic
LinkedIn
December 16, 2020
The 2020 holiday shopping season promises to be unlike any other. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment rates are high, and consumers may be reluctant to do their shopping in person.

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Tags: Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Sales

Getting Back to Basics: Facebook Marketing 101
LinkedIn
December 11, 2020
You’re probably already marketing your business on Facebook. If you’re not, you should be – but it’s not just a question of having a Facebook page and using it. You’ve got to use it wisely if you want to get great results.

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Tags: Social, Marketing

Why SMS Marketing Should Be in Your Mix Right Now
LinkedIn
December 09, 2020

Marketing is always changing and the changes in 2020 have been profound, mostly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve all had to adjust our work and home lives as a result.




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Tags: Marketing, Sales, COVID19

What Will Digital Marketing Look Like in 2021?
LinkedIn
December 05, 2020
As 2020 winds down in the next couple months there are still a lot of questions that we can’t answer.

How soon until there’s a vaccine to Covid-19?

When will the pandemic end?

When will we return to business as usual?

For small business owners, that last question looms large. With COVID cases spiking across the country and the probability that we’ll be back to only essential businesses opening their doors to the public, it’s crucial to take a long view of the marketing landscape.

Because there are so many unanswered questions, the marketing trends for 2021 have a ..

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Tags: Social, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

How to Increase Customer Retention with Email
LinkedIn
December 02, 2020
New customers are great. There’s something undeniably exciting about attracting someone to your business who might not have found it otherwise. That’s the reason that new customer marketing gets all the attention. It’s the glitziest way to grow a business.

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Tags: Marketing, Customer Loyalty

Marketing Hacks (That Make Your Life Easier)
LinkedIn
October 15, 2020
Marketing your local business can seem like a full-time job. Most business owners can’t afford to have a marketing department which means that you’re adding marketing to all your other responsibilities.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Marketing

Facebook Ad Objectives… Explained
LinkedIn
October 13, 2020
Most local businesses should advertise on Facebook. That’s what I believe, and the evidence backs me up. It’s cost-effective and, if you do it right, it can help your business to grow.

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Tags: Social, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

What Are the Most Important SEO Metrics to Track?
LinkedIn
October 06, 2020
SEO matters. You don’t need me to tell you that – although I certainly have told you all about it!

Understanding the importance of SEO is one thing and knowing what to do with your SEO metrics is another. With so many metrics to choose from, how do you know where to put your focus? Which metrics can help you the most?

That’s where I come in. It’s a lot to ask any small business owner to learn everything there is to know about SEO. It’s a complex topic. But here are the SEO metrics that you really should be tracking, even if you don’t have time for anything else.

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Tags: Marketing, Entrepreneurship

Increase Your Website Conversions with These Helpful Tools
LinkedIn
October 01, 2020
In the world of digital marketing, traffic gets a lot of attention. Small business owners understand that without visitors to your site, it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to grow or sustain their businesses.

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Tags: Marketing, Entrepreneurship

TabithaNaylor.com Inc's Marketing Blog
Tabitha Jean Naylor
August 17, 2020
Advice, tips and strategies to help you achieve marketing success through an ROI-driven approach.

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Tags: Marketing

10 Practical Local Marketing Ideas You Can Deploy Right Now
LinkedIn
October 08, 2019
You already know that local marketing is the name of the game if you want to grow your business. The challenge – especially during this difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic – is choosing practical local marketing tactics that can help you without breaking the bank.

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Tags: Marketing, Sales, COVID19

TabithaNaylor.com Inc Blog
TabithaNaylor.com Inc
August 22, 2019
This is the official blog of TabithaNaylor.com Inc. It covers anything and everything related to digital marketing, from planning & strategy to metrics analysis and optimization.

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Tags: Marketing

5 Killer Digital Marketing Trends For 2018
linkedin
January 11, 2018
Few industries are more difficult to gauge than digital marketing, however, as you enter 2018, there are five trends that may be worth paying attention to as you plot out your strategy this year.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Marketing

The Secret Reasons Why Need Experiential Marketing… Now
linkedin
January 01, 2018
Does your marketing include live-action exhibitions that sell your product in a way that is interactive and powerful?

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Tags: Social, Marketing, Business Strategy

Let's Get This (Video Marketing) Party Started Already
linkedin
August 08, 2017
If shooting a video with your phone and uploading it directly to LinkedIn through your mobile app sounds like the best thing since sliced bread (or at least the best thing since sliced bread so far this year), then you’re going to LOVE what LinkedIn has coming down the pipeline since this feature will be available to all LinkedIn users in a few short months. And the lucky ones will have access to it much sooner than that (I’m not entirely sure if I’m going to fall into this category, but my fingers and toes are crossed, as are my dog’s paws).

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Tags: Marketing

2 Founders
Women Entrepreneurs Can Magazine
WeCanMagazine
September 01, 2013
Women Entrepreneur's Can (#WEcan) is a digital a magazine for women who are entrepreneurs, startup founders, and small business owners that covers business planning, strategy, management, accounting, finance, sales, and marketing. The goal of Women Entrepreneurs Can is to help women overcome the unique obstacles faced in a business world that’s often dominated by men, while providing the knowledge needed to run a successful business.

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Tags: Management, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Business Strategy

TabithaNaylor.com
TabithaNaylor.com
October 01, 2010
TabithaNaylor.com is a marketing firm that delivers ‘big agency’ quality at rates that are affordable for startups and small businesses. Services include Blogging/Article Marketing, Graphic Design, PR, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Website Design/Development and Web Copy (including landing pages)

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Tags: Marketing, Entrepreneurship

15 Videos
How to Increase Sales on a Shoestring Budget
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September 14, 2021

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Tags: Leadership, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

How to Curate Great Content for Facebook
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September 10, 2021

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Tags: Leadership, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

How the Latest in Strategic SEO Can Boost Your Marketing Strategy
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September 07, 2021

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Tags: Leadership, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

Getting Back to Basics Facebook Marketing 101
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September 03, 2021

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Tags: Leadership, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

Can We Still Use Flyers in Marketing
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August 30, 2021

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Tags: Leadership, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

10 Marketing Tools We Are Grateful to Have in 2021
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August 27, 2021

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Tags: Leadership, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

6 Reasons Your Small Business Needs Great Branding
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August 25, 2021

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Tags: Leadership, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

5 Hacks to Make Your Marketing Life Easier
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August 23, 2021

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Tags: Leadership, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

5 Common Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
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August 21, 2021

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Tags: Leadership, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

4 Things that can Make Your Blog Undermine Your Brand
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August 20, 2021

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Tags: Leadership, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

4 Marketing Strategies You Can Use to Increase Online Traffic for Beginners
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August 19, 2021

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Tags: Leadership, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

4 Creative Ways to Earn Passive Income Online in 2021
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August 15, 2021

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Tags: Leadership, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

The Importance of Visuals in Your Marketing Strategy | Tabitha Jean Naylor Marketing
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August 15, 2021

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Tags: Leadership, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

How to Generate Your Own EXCLUSIVE Real Estate Buyer Leads for $1-6 Each!
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November 30, 2019

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Tags: Leadership, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

Social Posting Services for Local Business Owners' Facebook Business Page
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November 23, 2019

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Tags: Leadership, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

Radar

Blog

21 Article/Blogs
A Guide to Setting Up Online Orders for Your Small Business
Thinkers360
May 19, 2022

Serving your customers virtually, in a post-COVID world - has never been more imperative to the survival of small businesses. And with more and more customers seeking contactless and virtual methods of payment, not adapting to the new-normal is hurting your prospects for growth.

If you’re the proud owner of a brick-and-mortar store, this article is about setting up systems to allow your customers, new and returning, to purchase from you virtually without the pain of visiting the physical location.

Before you an online ordering system to implement into your online presence, it’s important to understand what we’re looking for.

Your Online Ordering System Needs to Be Customizable

Ideally, our online ordering systems should merely act as an extension of your company or brand. When your online presence is too detached from your physical location’s tone and sentiment, it can scare potential customers away.

The best online ordering systems provide you with customizable options. This includes additions of your business name and logo to the interface and form fill-outs, as well as automated communication to ensure your customer knows the transaction has come through (receipt emails and thank-you notes.)

Your Online Ordering System Needs to Be Easy to Use

The least attractive feature of an online ordering system is a confusing interface. Your customers want the same seamless experience online as in real life, at your physical location.

An attractive and easy-to-use website with a smooth ordering process simply amplifies your business. You’ll get repeat customers, increasing the return-on-investment of your order systems. Don’t settle for clunky systems filled with gaps. Find your favourite brand or online stores and find out what they use.

Your Online Ordering System Should Collect Important Data

The ability to collect customer data can help you gain crucial insights about your small business. This includes the age and other demographics of your customers, best-selling products, and more.

With these data points, you can do the following:

  • Identify where you should focus your efforts on the marketing side of your business.
  • Know what products you need to keep in stock and when.
  • Create offers and promotions based upon what your customers like and interact with the most.

Data = improved customer experience.

Choosing the Right Online Ordering System

Something important to note: setting up these systems is relatively simple, because any reputable Software that you end up choosing will walk you through the process in 10 minutes or less. The crucial decision to make is which software you’ll be choosing and why.

We’ll begin by covering three excellent software services for restaurant owners. These cost-effective & easy-to-use programs will allow restaurant owners to set up online orders for their customers with ease.

1. ChowNow

ChowNow allows you to set up order placements from your website, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc, and can even help you create a mobile app for your business. Personalized app = customer-centric experiences, tailored and branded to your business. This in turn means repeat customers and a great experience!

Customers are especially likely to use their mobile devices or social media to place their orders. ChowNow is an option if you want to get really savvy.

With credit card processing included for online orders, menu creation, offer and discount possibilities, ChowNow can be purchased for $119 per month.

ChowNow is special because you get that crucial data about your customer’s favourite products, demographics and more.

2. Ordering.co

Ordering.co is one of the best programs on the market for restaurant ordering systems.

The software offers an automated customer support experience with an ordering website and app that aids customers with automated help in real-time, so you can keep on top of customer concerns/complaints without hassle.

The key ingredient to Ordering.co is the ease of access, ease of use and customization for small businesses. Taking less than an hour to set up, you can start a free trial today at https://www.ordering.co/en-us/.

3. GloriaFood (a free alternative)

GloriaFood is an open-source application (meaning free to use!) and was the first of its kind to ensure restaurant owners could create an online ordering system free of charge.

With that said, advanced options like credit card processing are part of the premium plans - meaning that for a fully functional POS, you’ll be looking to dish out some cash to see GloriaFood’s full potential. But for what it gives you free of charge, it’s a pretty great place to start.

Online Ordering Systems for Other Businesses

As the sole contender for this article as the best online ordering system for all businesses with physical products, services and brick-and-mortar locations, Shopify allows you, within less than a day, to set up a fully functional ordering system for any product possible, with a very soft learning curve for small business owners who may not be so clued up on tech.

Shopify allows you to create a fully-fledged store front for your business, allows customers to submit orders, tracks your accounting, and allows customers to leave reviews of your products.

On top of that, credit card payment processing is incredibly easy for businesses with the use of Shopify payments.

‘Shopify Payments lets Shopify users accept card payments without having to integrate third parties. Fees are: 30¢ for every online card transactions, plus 2.9% to 2.4% depending on your plan. In-person transaction fees are 2.7% to 2.4%.’

Ultimately, Shopify will allow you to have absolutely control over your entire small business’s online presence, without the hassle of hiring consultants, web designers or accountants. Products, purchases and payments all in one place.

Setting up Online Ordering Systems with WordPress

By a far stretch, WPForms is the best solution for setting up an online ordering system if you already have an established WordPress website.

Adding Online Orders

Once you’ve got your WordPress website set up, you can easily add an online form so that customers can order products online, particularly food or physical products from the physical locations. Now there are multiple ways to do this with WordPress.

First, you’ll need to install and activate the WPForms plugin, set up your orders and allow customers to purchase products through your website. Super easy for small businesses. You can check out the most useful video on the matter below.

Why Set Up an Online Ordering System?

Why go through the fuss of setting up online payments and orders for your customers? To wrap up this article, we’ve detailed below the key selling points of an online ordering system for your small business.

1. Safer and Healthier

To reopen, businesses need to set up shop to meet health and safety regulations. Owners must maintain social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic and using contactless ordering/payment methods ensures safety of all customers.

Shifting to an online ordering system for businesses means your customers can order and pay from the safety of their home. Remember: irrespective of rule changes, not everyone is going to be comfortable with public appearances for some time.

2. More Data and Less Margin for Error

One of the advantages of online food ordering for customers is that it ensures prices are totally secure, consistent and there’s less room for error when it comes to data for the customer, product information and customer expectations. Never miss a beat.

There’ll be less chance of incorrect charging, less time wasted sorting out mistakes and fewer apologies given to customers.

3. More Customers!

As the new-normal gets truly rolling, online ordering and payments are becoming more accepted and crucially, expected by your customer. If your menu and payment system is hassle-free and easy to use online, your regular customers will be recommending you to their friends, and sharing on social media, and letting people know how seamless the experience was.

Don’t get left behind: online ordering systems are pivotal for the survival of today’s small businesses.

Do you want to integrate online ordering to your website and not sure where to start? Connect with us today to learn about our hands-free solutions setup by our in-house team.

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Tags: Business Strategy, Business Continuity

What the Future Holds for SMS Marketing?
Thinkers360
May 18, 2022

Considering all of the different digital marketing options small business owners have these days to promote their business, you might assume that SMS marketing isn’t as effective as it once was just a few years ago.

However, you couldn’t be further from the truth. SMS marketing campaigns still do surprisingly well in a world that’s saturated with social media marketing. 

Specifically, local businesses can reap the potential benefits of SMS marketing since there’s little personalization required for regional marketing.

While the hype surrounding social media marketing is justified, SMS marketing has some surprising statistics that just can’t be ignored.

With that said, SMS marketing has a wide scope today and in the future. Below, we take a look at the benefits of SMS marketing, particularly for small to medium sized local businesses.

Why Tap Into SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing allows you to be right where your customers are the majority of their time - on their phones. It’s not only the most logical but also the fastest way to access your customers.

Experts at Forbes consider it to be the ‘tool of the future,’ and we certainly agree. Here’s why:

Fast Engagement

A cell phone user takes 90 seconds on average to respond to a text message. On the other hand, users take about 90 minutes to reply to an email.

While this alone is enough to demonstrate the efficiency of SMS marketing at getting instant engagement, marketers also need to keep the open rate in consideration.

Open rate refers to the percentage of texts or emails that the receivers open.

As compared to a 20% open rate for emails, 98% of the receivers open their text messages, making the letter a quick way to reach your customers.

Let’s say you’re a local bakery offering customized cakes for the holiday season.

SMS marketing is the fastest way to inform your customers about this offer. Meanwhile, email marketing is a slower channel, and the customer may open their email after the holiday season.

SMS marketing can help boost your email marketing campaigns too.

According to a Smart Insights report, sending a follow-up SMS like ‘Did you read our email?’’ can increase the email open rate by up to 30%. It’s a win-win on both sides.

High ROI

SMS marketing yields a 45% return on investment when used solely and up to 50% when applied in combination with other marketing channels like email or social media marketing.

It’s also a great way to funnel a customer through your omnichannel marketing approach.

For example, as a local spa you could send out an SMS message to those who opted-in to receive notifications about upcoming specials on your massage packages.

The receiver will read your SMS and head over to your website to get information about your services.

They’re also likely to visit your social media pages to read reviews and see user-generated content, such as pictures and videos.   In this way, SMS marketing can help bring traffic to other channels too.

Finally, they visit your business and signup for a massage. The trend is bound to continue into the future since 63% of the consumers still use their phone’s default texting app, and the number of people using SMS to stay in touch increased substantially in the future.

Considering this, 61% of the marketers intend to invest more in SMS marketing following 2020.

Cost-effective

If you’re a small start-up or a home-run business, you may not have the budget for email or social media marketing.

Fortunately, SMS marketing is an affordable alternative that gets an incredible response from the customers without breaking the bank.

Many SMS marketing companies offer subscription packages costing $50 to $500, depending on the number of messages you want to send every month and the keywords you wish to rent.

More importantly, you do not need to hire anyone to create graphic illustrations, shoot videos, take pictures, as you would in social media marketing.

You can either write the SMS copy yourself or hire a copywriter based on your needs.

High Responsiveness

Most businesses prefer using SMS marketing since text messages incite a quick response. 26% of the businesses use text messages to inform customers about coupons and discounts.

Even better, they manage to reach 67% of the consumers, which is an impressive reach.

Another way for local businesses to leverage SMS marketing is to allow customers to make appointments through text messages.

It has worked in the past - 44% of the consumers schedule their appointments through SMS - and it’s bound to work in the future.

Having said that, 53.75% of the marketers and business owners consider fast delivery to be the most significant benefit of SMS marketing.

Thus, the sooner local businesses jump on board, the better it will be for ROI and customer engagement.

Future Trends in SMS Marketing

In the coming years, businesses will focus on interacting with their customers through SMS. The concerning fact of marketing called conversational commerce is expected to come into play.

Basically, it refers to having one-on-one conversations with your customers.

For instance, you can let them ask you for sizing, product recommendations, or compare product options through SMS.

Although it’s non-promotional, it helps generate revenue and bring more customers into the loop.

Links in SMS

Another upcoming trend is sending links through SMS. In fact, the CTA is associated with the link. For instance, if you’re a local hair salon, you can send an appointment form to the customers through SMS.

They can simply fill in the form to book an appointment for any service. Similarly, businesses will be sending links for promotional offers, their social media pages, contests, and websites.

Rich Communication Services

Insert Maps

Rich Communication Services is a messaging technology that will allow businesses to add features like maps, videos, and chip lists into text messages.

For instance, as a local gym, you can send a map to your location to the target audience.

Similarly, local hotels and guest houses can send area maps to show customers the proximity of their business to nearby locations.

However, RCS is forecasted to become a trend later in the future since only 8.1% of the global mobile phone networks have adopted it so far.

In Conclusion  

Without a doubt, SMS marketing is one of the quickest and most effective ways to reach your customers. It’s actually the best when it comes to return on investment and open rate.

So, if you want to generate a high ROI and ensure a significant open rate, you should be writing the copy for your SMS marketing campaign right now.

See blog

Tags: Business Strategy, Marketing

5 Steps to Create a Lead Generation Report for Your Business
Thinkers360
May 17, 2022

Want to bolster your lead generation efforts? Creating an in-depth report is a great way to determine how well your current strategy is working.

By tracking your strategy, you’ll be able to see what is working and any areas that need to be improved. So, how can you create a lead generation report for your business? Find out everything you need to know in this useful guide.

What Is a Lead Generation Report?

A lead generation report is basically an analysis of leads for your business. It can show you:

  • How many leads you had during a set period
  • How quickly you acted on leads that came in
  • The lead conversion rate

You can create these reports for pay per click ads, or social media campaigns for example. Once you have the report to look over, you’ll be able to see if your lead generation strategy is working, or whether it needs to be adjusted to gain better results.

Lead generation reports are most commonly used by marketers, salespeople, and lead managers.

How to Create a Lead Generation Report

So, now you know what a lead generation report is, how exactly can you create one? This will ultimately depend upon the type of report you are wanting to create. For example, do you need a lead generation report for email marketing, PPC ads, or social media marketing?

Regardless of which type of report you are creating, there are some general steps you can follow…

Step 1: Consider using a specialist template

Creating a lead generation report can be a complex task, depending upon how many leads you need to analyze. For this reason, many businesses choose to rely upon specialist lead generation report tools.

There are a lot of platforms that provide templates you can use. These help to speed up time, and make analyzing your leads much easier. Take a look online and you’ll find a ton of free templates, or you can pay for lead generation report software.

Step 2: What information will you track?

Whether you are creating the report yourself or using a specialist template, you need to identify what information you are going to track. For inspiration, some of the metrics analyzed in a lead generation report include:

  • Total number of leads that came in
  • The rate of conversion
  • Cost of conversions
  • How long it took you to follow up on the conversions

Consider the most important metrics you’ll need to track, then create a list.

Step 3: Use an Excel spreadsheet

If you aren’t planning on using a specialist template, the easiest way to create your own report is through an Excel spreadsheet.

You’ll need to first insert each metric into the spreadsheet. Then, to monitor results, you’ll want to use your CRM or PPC analysis. Results can then be entered into the spreadsheet.

This manual method of reporting can take up a lot of time. Therefore, if you can invest in automated reporting tools, it could be well worth the added expense.

Step 4: Bring all your lead generation efforts together

If you want to gain a true picture of how your lead generation strategy is working, you’ll need to bring all your efforts together. This means, analyzing results from email marketing, social media marketing, and PPC ads.

Step 5: Analyze the results

The final step in your lead generation report is to analyze the results. Ask yourself:

  • Where are the leads coming from?
  • How many converted into customers?
  • Which platforms deliver the best results?
  • How long did it take you or your team to respond to leads?
  • How well are each of your lead generation strategies working?

Take time to analyze the results, and again if you struggle to do it manually, consider investing in professional software. If you want to gain the benefits of lead generation reporting, you need to do it accurately. This can be difficult when you are new to report analysis.

The above are the main steps to follow when you want to create a lead generation report. You can track your results weekly, monthly, or quarterly. The more frequently you assess your results, the more effective your lead generation strategy will become.

See blog

Tags: Business Continuity, Business Strategy

How to Bounce Back from a Sales Slump
Thinkers360
May 13, 2022

Bad news... There really is no way to avoid a future sales slump. Whether you run a seasonal lobster shack off the coast of Maine or a year-round surf & turf restaurant in Hawaii, you are bound to experience a short period when your bottom line fluctuates.  

Sales slumps can happen because of new competition, off-season demand, or a slew of other simple problems, the thing to remember if you have to push forward. The best tool in your arsenal as a business is consistency. Stay focused on the long-term goals of your company and do your best to be proactive about any short-term slumps, and you will have a successful strategy.

In the meantime, here are a few tips and tricks to keeping your sales flow moving forward even during the worst of times.

Engage with Social Media

Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. It offers a direct line of communication to your customers in fun, engaging, and attractive visual posts. Keep the pedal pushed down on your social media marketing to ensure your viewership and follower base do not dip into dangerously low levels. Host a social media contest with a unique Hashtag. There are currently 3.78 billion social media users globally, which is about half of the entire population. That means there are bound to be people who will appreciate your business.

If you're a grooming business. Put on a promotion for funny pet photos with the tag #myfunnypet and watch your numbers go back up as everyone from our local target market to the toy poodle owners in Siberia begins celebrating their goofy four-legged friends.

Celebrate Loyalty

Too often, the knee-jerk reaction to lower sales is to immediately seek new marketing channels for lead acquisition. While this isn’t a bad idea, don’t go deep into that end of the campaign pool and neglect your loyal customers. Around 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers. That means the people helping you keep the lights on the most are the ones you've already built a working relationship with. Reward them with updated news, exciting early offers, and coupons to encourage them to purchase during an off-season.

Streamline and Perfect

A sales slump is a great time to reevaluate your business process, customer journey, and sales funnels. It gives you the ability to do some quality A-B testing and review all the touchpoints of your customer experience. You can also get a breath of fresh air long enough to poke your head up and see what your competitors are offering.

This could be the chance to rebrand your company or update essential online visuals for your website, social media, and more. Think of the classic ice cream shop that closes for the winter months. When they open back up, they create a lot of buzz with new flavors or some kind of comfortable outdoor seating area that signals to customers they are strong, growing, and ready to engage.

Maintain Communication

It costs 5 times as much to acquire a new customer as to keep a current loyal client. The easiest way to maintain your existing customer base is to continually offer them value in the form of communication. Minor updates via email or social media show you’re still there and preparing for the next wave of orders. This is a great time to get customer feedback and develop your brand story. A compelling story with an emotional trigger alters our brain chemistry, making us more trusting and willing to engage with new ideas.

Airbnb is a master class in brand storytelling. The name alone conjures images of A-Frame forest getaways built by individual hosts creating unique local places to stay for your next adventure. Attaching a high-quality story to your brand identity goes a long way to maintaining communication and loyalty with your current and on the fence customers.

Market or Die

A sales slump means you have fewer leads. Now is the time to engage in some quality lead magnets. These are low-cost trade-offs for encouraging higher sales that you and your team can quickly create. Consider writing a short guide for your product or service that you offer for free in exchange for email information. Maybe now is the perfect time to launch your new video series on how to prepare for a marathon to support your custom line of running shoes. Offering high value for your customers is a great way to wrap them into your sales funnel and encourage future sales.

Again, make sure you involve your social media campaigns with any kind of new lead magnet. A sales slump is the best time to focus on your paid advertising. It means you need eyeballs on your brand to offset any current losses.

Add Value

Do your best to avoid cutting prices to compensate for leaner sales numbers. You do not want to devalue your products or services. In fact, you want to add value if possible.  Rewards & incentives are a great way to keep your customers coming back.  Nobody can turn down the dopamine buzz from a great deal. Focus on delivering what your business does best and let user-generated content like online reviews to increase the perceived value of your business.

Starbucks has an promotion where they will offer customers a free drink for their birthday in return for signing up for their loyalty program. They didn’t change anything to the product side of their business but instead added value to the loyalty side of being a customer. That is smart marketing!

Wrapping it Up

The point is a sales slump is not the end of the world. A little preparation and proactive action can go a long way to ensuring your company can weather even the harshest of storms. Practicing a few easy steps can drastically increase the perceived value of your brand and customer loyalty. This leads to more future sales and clients who are willing to sing your praises through online user-generated content and customer referrals.

The reason for the sales slump may be out of your hands, but if you keep your marketing nose to the grindstone during those slow times, it will pay off as customers come back around.

See blog

Tags: Business Continuity, Sales

How to Encourage Repeat Buyers… Again and Again!
Thinkers360
May 11, 2022

The greatest superpower that small business owners have is great service. With incredible service comes repeat customers and referred customers who also become repeat customers!

By providing a delightful customer experience, people remember positive interactions with your small business and eventually return to your business again and again.

In this article, we will reveal a number of important ways to generate repeat customers, so you can start seeing familiar faces return as soon as next week.

Use personal forms of communication (as well as traditional)

These suggestions assume you are actively collecting emails & phone numbers to re-engage your customers with future updates, promotions & news about your business.

Email is still the preferred medium for customer communication. Functionally, it works great. You can let customers know about your most recent deals, promotions, and new products - but at the risk of being cold. You might be coming off disconnected and formal.

SMS-marketing, (also known as text marketing) can prove to be a powerhouse for customer engagement, assuming they have opted-in for it.  With an open rate of nearly 99% SMS messaging puts your business message right where your customer is looking all the time – their phone.

Don’t forget to add personalization into your campaigns.  You want your customers know they are thought about. It’s as simple as selecting the ‘First Name’ field into your outgoing messages and using their first name instead of just “Hey” or “Hello” “Hi”  

… And can make an immediate good impression.

Remember the customer

You can personalize the experience for your customer simply by remembering small details about them.  For example, if they mentioned they have children, or grandchildren - ask about how they are doing during their next visit.  Are they dog lovers?  Maybe ask them how their dog is doing.  This is such a simple thing to do, but it makes a huge difference.  Moments like these make customers want to return to your business.

Reach out to customers you haven’t heard from in a while

There are also plenty of customers who purchase from you once or twice (almost a repeat customer) then you never hear from them again. Life gets in the way! To re-capture these customers, find out who has gone quiet and reach out to them with a re-engagement offer. Send them a friendly email or text to remind them that you care and want to serve them more of what they came for in the first place.

Remember: You should never prioritize acquiring new customers over satisfying existing ones.

Why? 

Because it can cost up to 5 times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain an existing one.  Don’t assume that your existing customer base is already loyal to your brand and doesn’t need to be treated with same fantastic service they’ve come to know and love. No matter if they’re a brand new or long-term customer you need to give them a reason to come back

Customer churn is a silent killer of small businesses. (That is, how many customers use your business once and never return.) When you incentivize old customers to come back with great service, good offers and strong rewards for being repeat customers, you’ll unlock an immense force for business growth.

Respond fast!

Being there for a customer when they need you is imperative to whether or not they become a repeat buyer.  90% of customers rate an immediate response (30 minutes or less) as important or very important to their questions and inquiries. (per Hubspot).

Gone are the days of “Call us for more details…” Your customers will bombard you with questions and comments from a variety of channels nowadays. Phone, email, website forms & chat, social media platforms & more!

In order to achieve the illusion of an all-seeing, spotless customer experience, your staff need to be present on these platforms at all times. But don’t worry, that’s what Social Media Dashboards like Buffer and Agora Pulse are for.  You can handle all communication & engagement through for all of your social media platforms though them. 

Customer Loyalty Programs = Gold Mines

Undoubtedly the most effective way to generate repeat customers for your small business is an attractive customer loyalty program. The right royalty program can skyrocket your sales so make sure you do your research ahead of time and choose a program that works best your business. Examples of a high-performing loyalty program include:

Offer First-Time Purchase Discounts to Customers

Present Offers in Exchange for ‘Reward Points’

Celebrate Customer Birthdays with Discounts/Coupons

Give Out Rewards for Referrals

Using a CRM to Make This All Possible

Wait...What’s a CRM?

CRM is short for ‘customer relationship management’ software and it’s a tool businesses use to manage potential and existing customers. Some initial benefits include:

  • Simplifying your lead management process (never lose out on a potential sale by remembering every encounter!)
  • Getting data-driven insights about your customer base (what they like, dislike and what their purchasing habits are.)
  • Making your sales process more efficient (keep on top of customers who just need a little push to buy.)
  • Providing a better customer experience (by providing news, updates and even support in real-time from your CRM.)
  • Increasing your productivity as a small business owner (saving you money & time.)

Most reputable & effective CRM software will only set you back between $50-200 per month. Although there are free alternatives as well as higher priced options as well. Ultimately, a CRM is the backbone of the modern digital business, and it’s the secret recipe for establishing a network of repeat customers.

Here’s 5 ways in which a CRM could help your small business generate repeat visitors:

  1. Circling back: a CRM will keep your customers in the loop! If you’re savvy enough to have the next few months planned out with sales and promotions, you can set up automatic campaigns (email & SMS) that inform your customers on exact dates about your deals.
  2. Valuing the new customers: with customer data being tracked in a CRM, at the click of a button you can see what products are hot in the past week, month or year and keep track of individual customers’ specific buying habits.
  3. Email marketing campaigns: you can use a CRM to send out bulk emails to customers who have opted into your communication, and most reputable CRM programs will allow you to personalize these campaigns (addressing them by their first name, sending out a discount on their birthday, etc.)

Exceptional Customer service is the key.

I can’t be more serious when I say that customer service is imperative to the survival and upkeep of your business, and it’s likely the single most important element to achieving repeat customers.

Your ability to connect with customers (beyond their point of purchase - meaning when they no longer matter financially, you need to treat them like they’re family) demonstrates your dedication to their needs and goals as customers.

This is how you earn a customer’s business, repeatedly time & time again.  And referrals too!

In Conclusion

No small business has ever failed because they have too many repeat customers. Invest in a CRM to boost your small business this year and pair that with a loyalty program. Once you have everything setup, you will have the data you need to re-engage old customers and treat your repeat customers like royalty – this is the only formula for success you will ever need.

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Tags: Business Continuity, Business Strategy

Digital Marketing 2022: The Future of Marketing:
Thinkers360
May 06, 2022

November through to January is one of the most exciting times for digital marketers. It's the time where budgets are drawn up and the new marketing strategy is solidified.

As a small business owner, you don't have a team of marketers working on your behalf to formulate a winning digital marketing strategy to ensure your marketing efforts are a success. Because of this, it can be intimidating to plan your marketing strategies for the upcoming year.

But that’s okay because we've spent our time, looking at all the data that matters to identify the key digital marketing trends that you need to follow in 2022.

We've identified the best digital marketing trends that are working right now to generate leads and grow your business today, and through 2022.

What Are the Trends of the Future?

It’s no surprise that digital marketing is an absolute must for small businesses nowadays and there’s no shortage of strategies you can chose to focus on.  But this year marketing channels like content marketing, social media marketing, paid social media advertising were utilized by more businesses than ever before.   

In 2022, content marketing was one of the leading forms of marketing used by businesses. Brands with a blog generated over 67% more leads than ones without a blog, and the revenue for content marketing will exceed $300 billion in 2022.

Social media marketing has also skyrocketed, with 54% of social media users using these platforms to research products. Since the average user spends just under 3 hours a day consuming social media, it's clear to see why marketers have prioritized these marketing tools over others in 2022.

Digital marketing is especially useful for small business owners because it’s cost effective, has an extensive reach and is instrumental for building brand awareness and trust.

But we know it can be overwhelming to develop your digital marketing strategy as a small business owner – especially if you don’t have much experience with digital marketing.   

So with that in mind we've put together a list of key trends that you need to know about in 2022 to create a successful digital marketing strategy that keeps your business profiting all year.

Here are some of the key digital marketing trends you need to follow in 2022:

Influencer Marketing:

In 2022, influence marketing is worth over $13 billion. We live in a time where consumers trust sales influencers recommendations over traditional celebrities, with 49% of consumers using influencer recommendations to influence purchasing decisions this year. For teens and younger demographics, this number is even higher - with over 70% of teenagers relying on influencer recommendations for purchases.

Social commerce is more powerful than ever before thanks to the power of influencers. Social commerce allows you to use influencers and micro-influencers to sell products directly to new customers on social media networks.

Influencer marketing is a significant trend in digital marketing strategy that will continue to boom in 2022. The rise of mico and nano-influencers means that small businesses can capitalize on this exciting marketing, and there is a high return on investment on influencer marketing expenditure. For each $1 invested, businesses can make up to $6.50 ROI on influencer marketing.

Conversational Marketing is “IN”:

Conversational marketing refers to the use of chatbots and live chats for marketing purposes. Able to provide users with instant access to customer support, conversational marketing makes your business accessible to customers 24/7.

A powerful marketing automation tool, leading brands utilize conversational marketing tools to aid with data collection, qualify leads and provide premier customer experience services.

The best part about conversational marketing is it’s fully automated.  It literally works for you in your sleep, and can be set-up fairly easily.

Facebook, Wordpress & Wix all offer chatbot artificial intelligence tools that small businesses can use today.

The Power of Short-Form Video:

Short-form video is skyrocketing in popularity. The growth of social media channels such as TikTok and Instagram reels has caused short-form video to become a booming digital marketing trend. It's important to incorporate short-form video into your digital marketing strategy.

Short, snappy and to-the-point, short-form video marketing allows you to share key marketing messages in 15 seconds. These marketing messages are memorable, engaging and resonate with consumers. Expenditure on short-form video is predicted to rise in 2022, and many leading marketers are investing more into it this new year.

Brand Challenges & User-Generated Content:

The rise in short-form video marketing is giving rise to other digital marketing trends such as brand challenges and user-generated content. Both of these offer prime marketing automation opportunities and allow you to produce interactive content with existing customers.

Interactive content is key to boosting engagement with your digital marketing efforts. Many marketers incorporate brand challenges into their marketing strategy in order to boost the amount of user-generated content created by existing customers.

User-generated content is content that is created by consumers and is key for building brand trust and awareness. Consumers are more likely to trust content that is created by other consumers, and it requires minimal marketing efforts on your behalf.

Blogs and Website Content Are Still In:

Blog and website content is still popular and will continue to be popular through 2022. You can utilize AI tools like Answer the Public to find what your consumers are searching for and develop a content strategy around it.

As of 2022 over 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing. Effective content marketing will help you rank higher on Google's search results, which means more targeted traffic for your business! 

Your Email Copy:

With an average return on investment of $36 for ever $1 spent it's important to include email marketing in your digital marketing strategy.

But your email marketing results are only as good as your email copy. Create engaging email copy to compel your subscribers to click on your email offers and purchase you’re promoting.  Once you have a customer email list, you can literally create sales on demand.  So make sure you keep your list engaged with content that matters to them.   

Wrapping up…

Digital marketing isn’t the future of marketing, it’s right now.  And it's more important than ever for small businesses to capitalize on it now.  

By implementing any of the digital marketing trends we mentioned above, you can take full advantage of powerful marketing strategies that will vastly improve your ROI digital reach with your audience.

See blog

Tags: Business Strategy, Marketing

7 Out of the Box Content Marketing Ideas to Try in 2022
Thinkers360
May 04, 2022

As we close out 2021 and look ahead to the new year one thing that has become blatantly obvious is that – now more than ever content marketing should play an important part in every small business’s digital marketing strategy.

If you want to stay one step ahead of your competitors online than it's crucial to create content that engages, educates and is relatable to your audience.

And now you can stand out from the crowd with these 7 out-of-the-box content marketing ideas, that you may not have considered.

Instagram Filters for User-Generated Content:

Instagram is one of the most popular social media channels available for digital marketing today. Over one billion users enjoy Instagram every single month, with the average daily use time sitting at around 30 mins per day.

Marketers love to target Instagram, as over 200 million users visit a business page every single day. Plus, 81% of users use the app to research various products and services prior to buying. Instagram stories are a popular content tool marketers use to promote businesses, products and services.

User-generated content is powerful, because people are more likely to trust real people.

92% of consumers will rely on referrals from others when deciding to purchase a product, and 79% will use user-generated content to sway their purchasing decisions. Instagram filters aren't expensive to produce and offer a unique, interactive way for users to create their own content for your brand.

Guestographics:

Guestographics are guest infographics. There are both images and text in this piece, and it is published on or linked from multiple websites. It's not unusual for brands to collaborate on guestographics for a specific use. Establishing stable connections and establishing brand awareness are both attainable through this method. 

In addition to publishing an infographic on your website, you can create guest content that includes a link to it on another website using the guestographic concept.

Guestographics are powerful because you can use them to boost SEO using backlinks, build brand awareness and create new connections with other brands.

The best part about using guestographics is that they are free to create. You can use Canva to create a guestographic for your social media today or hire a graphic designer for a fully custom design.

Instructographics:

Instructographics are infographics that explain how to do something in an engaging manner. Instructographics are a great addition to your content strategy as they are easy to digest and showcase your product and how to use it effectively.

You are only limited by your own creativity when using instructographics for step-by-step instructions or other how-to guides.

The best thing about them is that they are free to create using online sites like Canva (or hiring a graphic designer) and record a better share rate than other forms of content. 

Whiteboard Videos:

Drawing on a whiteboard can be an effective way to explain a point, process, or product visually attractively for artists, graphic designers, or people good with a marker. 

You can use whiteboard videos for almost anything that can be illustrated. Whiteboard videos create a sense of curiosity as the viewer waits to see how the rest of the story unfolds. Plus, the illustrations are pretty entertaining to watch. 

Creating whiteboard videos doesn’t take a special skillset, especially with whiteboard video making programs like Doodly or MySimpleShow.  But just like giving a speech, you may need to practice prior to recording to ensure everything flows smoothly.

Carousel Posts:

Carousel posts involve posting multiple photos and videos into a singular post. These are super popular at the moment and record a higher engagement rate than static posts due to the fact the user has to swipe to see more information.

Carousel posts are an effective way to share information with your audience. Aim to include a call-to-action within your carousel post to improve its effectiveness.

Screencast Videos:

You can use screencasts to explain how to do something or solve a problem in simple to follow steps. The screencast format also allows you to create videos such as tutorials with relative ease. It is a great way to answer the most important questions that get asked over and over again. 

Your voice is heard and your story is visualized when you create a screencast, rather than just a static video. Other content marketing methods lack the personal touch that screencasting offers. The best part? It’s super easy to get started using a laptop or PC.

Work With Influencers:

Influencers are a great way to add instant credibility to your business. Plus you don't need a massive budget to work with influencers. Micro and nano-influencers are perfect for small businesses looking to get started with influencer marketing.  

Best yet, these influencers already come with a built-in audience which can help boost engagement on Social Media and drive targeted traffic to your business.

How to find micro influencers for your business?

  • Turn to your fans
  • Research Hashtags
  • Connect with local bloggers
  • Or use tools like Pixlee

Final Thoughts:

The types of content marketing you choose to use doesn’t have to be complicated. By following some of the ideas listed above - you will be well on your way to creating fresh, exciting content that will put you one step ahead of your competitors.

But no matter if you prefer to write blog posts, make videos or create social media content getting creative with your content is a sure-fire way to boost engagement and win more leads.

See blog

Tags: Business Strategy, Marketing

10 Facebook Ad Tips to Boost Your Results
Thinkers360
April 29, 2022

You know that your business has so much to offer. Your products & services are top tier. Your customers love your business.  Still, there you are clicking on every search result, hoping to find that holy grail strategy when it comes creating a successful FB ad strategy.

You’re trying to promote your business using Facebook Ads, but nothing is really working all that well, and don’t know where to start.

If this is you, then keep reading.

There are several “Facebook ad tips” type of articles already on the web however the majority of them provide superficial instructions such as "Install a Facebook pixel" or "Create a Facebook audience."

I know you’re sick of reading the same old rehashed tips & strategies that you probably found on other blogs.   So, let’s get down to the meat and potatoes of what it takes to really have success when creating Facebook ads.

In this article we’ll cover the 10 most important Facebook marketing optimization tips to help you take your campaign to the next level.

If you want to reach every member of your target audience and stay ahead of the competition, you'll need to optimize your Facebook ads both before and after they go live.

“So just be prepared to work for it if you want results… The good news is that it is well worth the time and effort.”

So, what exactly are these ten effective Facebook optimization techniques I'm referring to?

Continue reading to find out!

1. Increase the number of likes and shares on your Facebook page.

When it comes to your Facebook posts, likes and shares are vital when regarding social proof. If other people appreciate the ad, it must be a good product, right?

You have two options when creating a Facebook ad campaign, the default being to generate an entirely new piece of content for each ad set and campaign. But the "Use current post" option is frequently overlooked.

It is, however, a very effective technique to increase the number of likes and shares for your advertising.

You should use the "Use existing post" option to aggregate all campaign post engagements into a single ad.

If you're wondering how certain advertisers get hundreds or thousands of likes on their Facebook ads, it's likely using this exact optimization technique.

The simplest approach to create numerous ad campaigns with the same content is to first post the promotional post to your company's Facebook page.

Then, anytime you create new campaigns or A/B test variations, you may choose the post which already had social proof linked to it. I bet you didn’t know about this one. But sit tight, because there are many more to go.

2. Make use of the FTO (fast takeoff) technique.

It may take a few days to build up enough momentum for the results to improve.

It may take a while for the campaign to become live, especially if you're dealing with a limited budget.  That's why I prefer to use rapid takeoff - or FTO - methods to speed up the optimization process.

The FTO technique works as follows:

Allocate daily or lifetime budgets that exceed your anticipated budget when beginning a new campaign.

But avoid using expedited delivery since Facebook will prioritize ad delivery speed over quality and expense.

You can evaluate what’s working and what needs to be improved once your ads have received over 10,000 impressions. Then you can lower your budget after the initial campaign launch to meet your entire intended expenditure.

However, that after each new change, you need to give Facebook at least 24 hours to modify the performance of your advertisements.

Consider waiting at least 24 to 48 hours after making significant modifications to your campaigns before drawing any conclusions.

3. Make your calendar more efficient.

Are your Facebook campaigns active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reaching your target audience?

Analyzing your Facebook ad accounts is a crucial aspect of Facebook optimization. And I've found that certain days and hours are always better than others.

Go to your Facebook Ads Manager reports and use the Breakdown tab to break down your ads by day to discover which days of the week provide the most conversions to the lowest CPA.

To determine the optimum times, use your performance data from your previous Facebook ads. Then you can set specific time frames when your audience is most likely to respond.

This data allows you to easily identify which times of day (in the time zone of your ad account or in the time zone of your print time) perform best for whichever KPI is most relevant to you.

You can then use this data to create an hourly timetable for your campaigns, to make sure that they only run during the most active times of the day.

4. Ad fatigue may be avoided by rotating your ads.

This means that the CPC will skyrocket when your target demographic has viewed your Facebook ad four or more times. And that sucks!

So, how can you make your Facebook ad campaign more engaging so that people don't get tired of seeing it?

Here's a quick Facebook optimization tip to help you avoid ad fatigue:

  • Create a variety of ads using various Facebook ad styles.
  • Create an ad campaign with multiple sets of ads, each with a distinct message, and schedule each set of ads to run on a different day of the week.
  • People will see a fresh ad every day as a result, and your advertising will not appear monotonous.

Keep things fresh and entertaining. Now let’s go on to tip number 5.

5. Make your ad placement more effective.

When it comes to Facebook advertising, the location of your ads has a significant influence on expenses.

So much so that, depending on ad location, CPC might vary by more than 550 percent.

Log into Facebook Ads Manager and utilize the Breakdown tab to break down your campaigns by placement to find your top-performing ad placements.

Go ahead and optimize your campaigns when you've discovered your top-performing ad placements:

Increase your bids on ad locations that are doing well. If a top-performing ad placement performance falls short of your expectations, simply remove it from your ad set.

Location, location, location. Now let’s talk about testing.

6. Always run A/B tests on your ideas.

Finding out what works is an important element of Facebook optimization.

What better approach to learn about the best-performing ad creatives, messaging, or audiences than to do a Facebook A/B test?

However, not everything should be A/B tested.

Consider which ad element can have the most impact on CTR and conversion rate when brainstorming A/B testing ideas for Facebook.

I propose that you begin by evaluating your:

-Ad language, especially the headline, is important in ad design.

-Offer of exceptional value

-Advertisement placements

-Buttons that prompt people to take action (call-to-action)

-Methods of auction

-Objectives of the campaign

7. Test different variations.

Many Facebook advertisers make the mistake of attempting to test too many different ad components at once.

Before taking any inferences from our test findings, you should gather at least 100 conversions (i.e., clicks or leads) for each option. If you can expect 300 or 500 conversions per each variation, that's much better.

8. Decide on the best campaign objective.

The first choice to make when creating a new Facebook ad campaign is the campaign objective.

The campaign goals inform Facebook what your ad campaign's ultimate aim is, which aids Facebook's algorithms to work for you. For best results, optimize your ad serving.

In other words, you're instructing Facebook how to optimize your ad campaign automatically.

Choosing the proper Facebook ad goal during the campaign creation process is critical, since it will affect how your advertisements are delivered and how much they cost each result.

9. Remove "converters" from your target demographic.

Optimizing your Facebook targeting is another method to expand the reach of your campaign without going over budget.

It's pointless to keep presenting the same advertising to someone who has already engaged in it. These leads should be forwarded to the next stage of your marketing funnel, where they will be targeted with new messages.

If you’re marketing a service and someone already purchased it, for example, you shouldn't spend any further ad revenue, showing your ad to that person again.

Instead, you may establish a special Facebook audience of converts and leave them out of your campaign.

10. Create rules for automated optimization.

Did you know that in Facebook Ads Manager, you can create rules for automated optimization? Well, you can and I can tell you that it’s a “hidden” gem.

Facebook Automated Rules is the name of this function. And anyone doing business on Facebook may use it for free.

Four things can happen automatically if the rule conditions are met:

-Deactivate the campaign, ad set, or ad individually.

-Send a message to the ad manager.

-Change your budget (raise / reduce your daily / lifetime budget by...)

-Manually adjust the bid (increase/decrease the bid by...)

Conclusion

Just keep in mind that optimization is a never-ending process of trial and error. While it is not a simple process, it is well worth the time and effort as it’s one of the most effective strategies to gain new customers & clients.

By applying just a few of the techniques outlined in this article you will see a boost in your ads effectiveness without boosting your ad budget.

Now that you have the tools you need to create successful campaigns, what are you waiting for?  It’s time to get your hands dirty, create, test and see what works for your particular business.

Lastly, if you found this article helpful, share it with a friend or two. They will be super grateful to learn these advanced jedi optimization tricks for Facebook Ads too! 

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Tags: Business Strategy, Social

7 Underrated Social Media Strategies You Should Be Using Now!
Thinkers360
April 27, 2022

Growing your small business’ social media presence is crucial to your success, especially in today’s digital age. While you may think otherwise, lacking a social media presence in today’s online ecosystem is the downfall of most modern businesses, ultimately categorizing your business as irrelevant and non-existent in the eyes of consumers.

Having an active social media presence not only allows you to promote your business but it allows you to share your brand story, engage with your customer base, and reach those you wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to reach.

In short, having an active social media presence can have a major impact on the growth of your business, the reputation of your business, and ultimately, the bottom line of your financials.

So, how do you begin to grow your social presence? By employing efficient and effective social media strategies. Luckily, in this article, we’ll be sharing several tips and strategies that your small business can immediately implement!

Below are seven (7) of the most underrated social media strategies that small businesses and local businesses alike can implement immediately for success:

  • Build Trust Through Influence
  • Use Automation Tools to Streamline Your Business
  • Humanize Your Business with a “Behind the Brand” Approach
  • Focus on the People, NOT the Profits
  • The Three C’s: Create Consistent Content
  • Use Platforms that Your Target Audience Uses
  • Utilize Your Cover Image for Promotion

Build Trust Through Influence

Influencer marketing is a popular social strategy used by brands, large and small, employing other non-compete brands, relevant influencers, and PR events to promote a product or service.

While influencer marketing is most commonly used to promote a brands products and/or services, however, there’s a larger benefit that most overlook, and that’s consumer trust. After all, there’s no denying that people trust people more than they trust brands and businesses.

As a small business, A-list influencers are unlikely to be within your marketing budget. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t implement an influencer marketing strategy. By using micro influencers, local accounts of relevance, and user-generated content, you can begin to build trust through influence.

Finding suitable micro influencers doesn’t have to be difficult either. In fact, there are several resources available within your grasp. Aside from the obvious manual search that can be effective but time-consuming, there are also social media management platforms available for search.

You can learn more about finding local micro influencers by using sites like Social Blade and People Map.

Use Automation Tools to Streamline Your Business

Besides the tools used to search for relevant micro influencers, there are also several automation tools available to be used at your discretion. Not only will these tools allow you to streamline your operation, but it will make your marketing strategy much more automated so that YOU can put your time towards growing your business.

Whether you need to automate your social media posting schedule or your digital ad bidding strategy, there are tools that can help.

The following is a list of tools to look into:

  • Sprout Social: Social Media Management Platform
  • Hootsuite: Social Media Management Platform
  • HubSpot: All-in-One CRM Tool
  • MailChimp: Email Marketing Automation Tool
  • AdRoll: Advertising Automation Tool

In any business, big or small, time is money. By saving time on tedious tasks, you save money in the long run, ultimately allowing you to grow your business in real-time.

Humanize Your Business With a “Behind the Brand” Approach

In today’s digital world, consumers see through the noise. In other words, while brands were once able to hide behind their content, consumers now value transparency and relatability more than ever. One way to practice transparency and relatability? Get personal with your audience and share an inside look into your business’ processes, people, and culture.

This can be achieved by going live on social, incorporating brand faces into your content, sharing an inside look into the behind the scenes of your operations, and personally engaging with your community.

Building customer trust is key for a business’s success. How you do that is by being transparent, honest, and relatable as possible. Humanize your brand and begin to see your business flourish on social media!

Focus on the People, NOT the Profits

While content is king in the world of social media, too often, businesses saturate their content with promotional material and sales tactics. As mentioned in the previous tip, consumers see right through this. Consumers don’t want to be sold something; they want to be a part of something greater.

By shifting your focus away from profits and promotion and towards community engagement and relationship building, you’ll quickly began to notice that your audience is more likely to invest in your brand, share their positive experiences through reviews and other user-generated content (UGC), and openly share their feedback with you.

This is helpful for several reasons. Not only does it limit the amount of spend you need to put towards marketing and promotion, but it also creates a free source of influencer marketing (UGC), builds brand reputation, and ultimately grows the bottom line of your business.

By focusing on the people rather than the profits, you’ll ironically begin to see the profits pour in!

The Three C’s: Create Consistent Content

As mentioned above, content is king. While it’s smart to focus your content around your community rather than promotion, it still requires you to develop an effective content marketing strategy.

Content is the backbone of most businesses in today’s day and age, especially those of a smaller stature. It’s what allows you to stay relevant; it’s what provides value to your customers; it’s what allows you to share your message; and it’s what allows you to build brand awareness.

Simply creating content, however, is not enough.

You need to create compelling content that your audience engages with, consistently, And during the times they’ll most likely see and engage with it. By building out a monthly content plan using a content calendar, repurposing old content, and experimenting with different content ideas, you’ll start dialing in what works and eliminating what doesn’t.

Moreover, you’ll be able to remain relevant and continue to provide value, ultimately increasing engagement and and experiencing a greater ROI.

Use Platforms that Your Target Audience Uses

It's no secret that social media is an incredible tool for your business. However if you're not active on the platforms that you're target audience are on you efforts are largely for nothing.

Take Nike for example…Their audience is so vast that all social media channels are relevant. Now consider a small, local automobile shop who’s target audience is 45–55-year-old males. Sharing content on TikTok, for example, is likely going to be ineffective because, well, how many 45–55-year-old males are on TikTok seeking automobile content?! Instead, Facebook is likely the most relevant platform.

Learning who your target audience is and where they spend most of their time online is a surefire way for choosing the correct platform(s) to share your content and capitalizing on

your audience’s attention.

Use Cover Images for Promotion!

Your social media pages are highly visible assets for your business.  Especially Facebook because there is only one thing everyone notices first – your cover photo.

This is the holy grail of visual real estate on your page.  A virtual billboard for your business that you really should be tapping into, and the odds are, you’re not.  Don’t waste this opportunity with just your logo a lame vision statement.  Use the space to promote your business!  You can promote sales, special discounts, upcoming events, important news, announcements and more.  This strategy is super effective but not used nearly as much as it should be.

Before you know it, you'll be converting more of your fans into customers and will continue to repurpose your cover for future promotions.

The content shared on social media is key, and now more than ever your social media presence plays a role in the success of your small business. By implementing the tips discussed throughout this article, you’ll be able to gain a better understanding of your audience’s behavior, thus being able to make better decisions surrounding the content that you post!

And don’t be afraid to experiment along the way! Social media is fluid and constantly changing, and so should your marketing strategy.

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Tags: Social, Business Strategy

5 Businesses Using AI to Get Ahead of the Curve
Thinkers360
April 22, 2022

Artificial intelligence has come leaps and bounds from a far-away pipe dream to a staple in millions of small-to-medium businesses across the globe, with large-scale international companies not going a day without it. As small business owners, AI may still seem like that distant possibility - but now, more than ever - it’s affordable, accessible, and necessary for small businesses to inject into their operations.

In today’s market, you don’t need a sufficient knowledge on artificial intelligence to realize the savings and growth potential of using AI for your business. And the worst mistake? Believing that AI is no more than just a few chatbots installed on a company’s website, or a few auto-generated images to upload to your Facebook page. AI is skyrocketing business growth, and it’s best not to get left behind.

So how are the small businesses of today leveraging AI in clever, intuitive ways? Let’s dive in.

1. Identify gaps in the market for new products (Dialog)

Small Marketing firm Dialog, founded by Mark Thompson, are using AI data collection tools from Tensor Flow (an AI software library) to gather data on hot products in their clients’s markets and collecting all of the conversations across the internet taking place about those products. This helps Dialog identify opportunities for their clients to innovate on their product lines, using Tensor Flow’s AI data harvesting tool to beat out the competition.

The tools are free, so Mark had no problem introducing this solution to his team and serving his clients with it.

Brands & companies in the coming decade will be able to seamlessly develop and launch products that truly resonate with their audience, because mass data collection takes the guesswork away from ‘what the customer wants’. Dialog are using these tools to serve their own marketing clients but consider what help this would be to large-scale commerce brands like Nike or Gucci.

2. Get help writing fantastic content (WPBeginner)

Syed Balkhi, founder of small online education business WPBeginner, has begun exploring artificial intelligence as a means of churning out high-quality, high-value content for his company website without the hassle of hiring external writers, editors and copywriters.

AI-generated copy has hardly reached terminal velocity yet: for most solutions available in this space, the tools can often result in hilariously poor and robotic outcomes, rendering the content near useless. But Syed’s team don’t use it for raw, unedited and perfect copy.

‘While it’s not at a stage where you can just plug in keywords and get a fully useful article, it has reached a point where it can assist your current writing efforts in powerful ways’ he told FastCompany in July. If your business lives & breathes online content in written form, it’s time to consider AI-generated copywriting software - just be aware of the current quality of the work (which is constantly improving!)

3. Take strain away from your team with Customer Support AI (OneIMS)

If your small business thrives on powerful and meaningful customer support, you should explore the possibility of implementing customer support AI into your operation. Particularly if you’re dealing with a large sum of clients or a product that requires a great deal of hand-holding (advertising campaigns, intricate software, marketing) it’s essential you make efforts to alleviate the stress on your support team, which may be just one person or a handful.

The mindset-shift small businesses need to make regarding their support is that not all customer touches, Q&A’s or queries need to be answered by a human. OneIMS, led by Solomon Thimothy, uses AI-generated responses to customer support questions to reduce the workload of their teams, so they can focus on the product, the queries that do require a human touch, and growth.

Larger Businesses leveraging AI to Stomp Out Competition

Facebook

This platform is a minefield for misinformation, scaremongering falsities and fake news. The team at Facebook know this well, and use artificial intelligence in the form of DeepText, a text understanding engine, to understand and interpret the content and emotional sentiment of the millions of status updates and posts that Facebook users submit every day.

Further and perhaps more creepily, DeepFace allows the team to automatically identify you in a photo that is shared on their platform. The company also uses artificial intelligence to automatically catch and remove images that are posted on its site of an explicit or vengeful nature.

Alibaba

Chinese company Alibaba is the world's largest e-commerce platform that sells more than Amazon and eBay combined. Artificial intelligence is crucial to the company’s daily operations, and uses similar technology as Dialog to predict what products customers want now, and will want in the near future.

With natural language processing, the company automatically generates product descriptions for the site, so they don’t have to worry about hiring writers. On a more futuristic, worldwide scale - Alibaba uses artificial intelligence in its City Brain project to create ‘smart cities’. The smart cities use AI algorithms to help reduce traffic jams by monitoring every vehicle in the city. Further than that, Alibaba is even helping farmers monitor their crops to improve yield, cut costs, and provide their own customers with better produce.

Artificial intelligence supports businesses, both small and large, by helping reduce manual work and enhancing productivity, on top of keeping labor costs down and production up.

Ultimately, it is becoming increasingly necessary for small businesses to, at the very least, consider researching how AI can help them grow their business. From a small firm like Dialog to a commerce giant like Alibaba, the companies that are staying ahead of the curve are leveraging this fascinating new tech for rocket-ship growth.

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Tags: AI, Business Continuity

Testimonials, Reviews & Recommendations – What’s the Difference?
Thinkers360
April 20, 2022

Customer testimonials, reviews, and recommendations can all have an impact on your business, either positively or negatively. When brands and companies provide an exceptional experience, reviews, testimonials, and recommendations act as an undeniable mechanism for growth and customer engagement. Amazon does a brilliant job of rolling all three into its e-commerce platform, and reviews and recommendations have become a large part of the brand’s success.

Source: https://www.ecomengine.com/blog/use-amazon-reviews-website

This article looks at the difference between reviews, testimonials and recommendations, and why they are all critical for your business.

What Is a Review?

Nearly 90% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase, with 56% reading at least four reviews. A review is what is said about your business, product, or service. Reviews can be either positive or negative, but you shouldn’t remove bad reviews from your site. Instead, look at responding to solve the problem, showing you are transparent and customers can trust your company.

As reviews are managed by a third party (other customers), they are perceived to be an honest view of the buyer experience.

What Is a Testimonial?

A testimonial is about who is saying something rather than what they are saying. For example, a message from another reputable company with positive messages about your business inspires trust and confidence.

Source: https://optinmonster.com/9-customer-testimonial-examples-that-you-can-use-on-your-website/

97% of B2B customers cite testimonials and peer recommendations as the most reliable content type. Furthermore, a customer testimonial placed alongside more expensive items has been shown to increase conversion rates by as much as 380%. If something is good enough for the founder of Yoast (see image above), which has over 5 million active installations, it must be good enough for me.

What Is a Recommendation?

A recommendation is when someone recommends your business, products, or services to someone else. It will typically happen via word-of-mouth when another consumer asks for an opinion about a brand and wants to know why they should decide to work with or use them. On social media channels such as Facebook, recommendations are now part of the platform.

Source: https://www.genuinelikes.com/blog/ask-recommendations-facebook/

If a customer recommends your brand or product when asked the question, there is an opportunity to reach a target audience of people that are interested in what you offer.

How to Get Reviews, Testimonials, and Recommendations

You could go about getting reviews, testimonials and recommendations in two ways. The first is to plead with people to write a review or testimonial after using your product and build a campaign around doing so. The risk here is that although people may be willing to leave some feedback, it won’t be as authentic as when they do it without any prompts. So how do you get customers to mention your company without asking them? The answer is to provide the best possible customer experience.

Source: https://smartercx.com/8-top-customer-experience-quotes-of-2018/

If you take the time to understand what your customers need and solve that problem, they will be happy to share their experience. For example, suppose your target audience expects fast delivery and you always ensure they get what they need within 24 hours. In that case, there’s a good chance they will leave a positive review or testimonial and recommend you to others.

Reviews tend to be quite spontaneous as customers decide whether they are happy or unhappy in the heat of the moment. However, for testimonials, you need to choose your customers more carefully. When people read testimonials, they will look for quotes from people like them, or those that they admire. Businesses should choose people that are most like their target customer and who had problems that you could solve. For example, you can see the brand below has a specific audience in mind with the testimonials.

Source: https://blog.appsumo.com/testimonial-examples/

You can collect testimonials after purchase or from long-standing customers further down their lifecycle. If you run a subscription service, for example, it might make sense to ask for testimonials 12 months into the customer journey.

A recommendation will be inspired by an exceptional experience with a business. You need to give existing customers a good reason to recommend you to prospects. What does your business do that is unique to the competition to ensure that you are always front of mind?

Again, it all comes down to putting the focus on the customer rather than the product or service. If you listen to customers and make their problems go away, they will recommend you when the time is right.

Methods for Getting Reviews, Testimonials and Recommendations

There are several ways to influence your customers into leaving reviews and testimonials and providing recommendations. Below are three ideas you can try.

  1. Referral Schemes – you could offer rewards when customers recommend your business to friends and family.
  2. Approach loyal customers who are likely to be brand advocates. You could even try tagging them in blogs and social media posts if relevant.
  3. Add a “leave a review” link to every communication that you send.

Each of these, combined with a stellar customer experience, can be an excellent way to get customer responses.

Using Reviews, Testimonials and Recommendations in Marketing

Once you have all of these reviews, testimonials, and recommendations, you need to make sure that you use them. Typically, you will show reviews on your website against the products or services they are relevant to. As mentioned earlier in the article, be sure to embrace and respond to any negative reviews and perhaps even reward the customer for providing helpful feedback.

Testimonials could be in the form of text, images, or videos. For example, you could encourage happy customers to take photos and share them via social media. Publish success stories on your website and within marketing materials.

As for recommendations, you can promote any referral schemes in marketing campaigns to generate awareness. Some business will set up customer focus groups, including loyal supporters and asking them to recommend new features for the product development roadmap.

Summary

Reviews, testimonials and recommendations are all valuable and powerful business tools. Ultimately, the key to each of them is delivering the best possible customer experience. Happy customers support your business, recommend it to others, and act as an inspiration to prospects. Furthermore, all three are budget-friendly, giving marketing teams time and money to spend on other investments.

“If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.” – Ray Kroc, Founder McDonald’s

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Tags: Customer Experience, Marketing

When is it Time for a Website Refresh?
Thinkers360
April 15, 2022

You’ve heard the old adage… You have 6 seconds to convince a website visitor that your website is the website they’ve been searching for – before they hit that back button.

So keeping your website up-to-date is no longer a matter of preference, it’s a matter of survival.

If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your website, it might be a good idea to consider updating the elements  on your website like the content, the design, adding new content or completely overhauling your website as part of a major redesign.

Does your website need a refresh?  Keep reading to find out!

So What’s a Refresh?  

A business changes as it grows.  The same is true with your website.  As you create your website, make sure it reflects the business it represents.  

Your website's design will become outdated over time, that’s just how it goes. What was popular 2 or 3 years ago, can feel painfully outdated now (remember keyword clouds?)  So refreshing the design is necessary to remain competitive.

Does Your Website Need a Refresh?

If your website has been up for a while, it may be a challenge to know when it’s time to update it.  But here are some signs it’s time.  

  • The design of your site is not appealing anymore
  • Conversions are low
  • Nothing is interesting or exciting on your website
  • Ineffective communication with website visitors
  • Leads aren't coming in like they did before
  • Bounce rates are high

Recognize any of these?  If so it may be time to make some minor updates or revamp your entire website. It just depends on your situation.  

Here are 7 ways you can refresh your website

1. The Basics

Let’s start with the basics. The look and feel of your website can be dramatically updated simply by choosing a more modern fonts set to revamp its overall look. Even small changes can significantly impact transforming an old site into something new and impressive.  Google fonts is free, and offers many great options.

2. Consider a redesign – when you need more than the basics

Your website plays a big part in the identity of your business.  The way your website looks will have a big impact on the way your visitors feel when they land on your website.  What will their first impression be?  Are they going to want to do business with you?  You are not doing yourself any favors by still using outdated stock graphics and imagery.  

Your brand's identity is shaped by elements like layout, fonts, colors, etc. To keep your website looking crisp, determine which sections have aged gracefully and which areas need improvement.  

  • Replace your outdated images & graphics with a mix professionally taken photos of your staff and business along with some carefully curated high end stock images.
  • Choose a simple, clean font will make your site look sleek and modern. For example, Google Fonts offers many free typefaces.
  • An updated color palette can also improve the experience of your visitors.

3. Improve Your Communication

We’ve talked about the 6 seconds you have to grab your visitors attention and keep them on your website so it’s not a surprise that there's little time for you to get your message across.

Regardless of what you sell, the customer is primarily interested in how you will help them solve their problem. It's always about them, whatever you say.  So make sure visitors can find the content they are looking for without a lot of clicking around. 

Speaking of communication it’s a good idea to sprinkle in a variety of compelling and relevant CTAs on your site.  Believe it or not, your visitors aren’t mind readers so you need to tell them how they take the next step.  CTAs provide various options for the visitor to take action, such as:

  • “Call Now”
  • “Book Your Appointment Today”
  • "Join Now by clicking here,"
  • “Get started Today”
  • “Connect with us Today”
  • “Get your free ______ today”
  • “Signup today and get ________ “
  • And don’t forget about social sharing buttons.

The most important thing is that your CTA’s should be well-designed and strategically placed in areas where clients can easily see them. 

Pro tip: Make sure that your CTA’s contrast well with the rest of your design but don’t get blend into the rest of your content.  CTA’s are most effective when they look like buttons.

4. Improve Your User Experience

You must design your website so that the customer can navigate through it quickly. Your site will attract more visitors if it is easy to navigate. Just a few changes to your menu and checking that every link works can make a massive difference in the over all user experience.

  • Your navigation consists of links connecting your website's pages. Carefully examine all your website pages and make sure they are still relevant and organized.
  • Test your links.  Make sure that they don't lead to 404 Error (Page Not Found). This makes your website appear not maintained and sloppy. Take a look at all the links on your site, including internal and external, and ensure they're taking your visitors where you want them to go.

5. Analyze Your Website Content – And See Where You Stand

It's not only about looks when it comes to refreshing a website. Your site must be considered current.  Ensuring that what you are saying is valid, helpful, and readable to your visitors. So how can you determine whether your content is new, high-quality, and up-to-date?

By conducting a content audit.

A content audit is intended to assess which links get indexed by search engines, which need to be refreshed and no longer exist. Here are some basic steps you need to follow:

  • Compile all your databases and sitemaps. The sitemap is a document that lists your site's pages, videos, and other files along with their relationships. Data from your website is organized into your website's internal database.
  • Your site's URLs are indexed by web crawlers who collect content throughout the Internet. An algorithm can be applied to web crawler data to find relevant links in response to specific search terms and keywords. We recommend using Google Analytic, Google Webmaster Tools, and Screaming Frog for crawling website content.
  • Content auditing can go beyond essentials: You can use titles, descriptions, and word count as primary criteria for content auditing. All of your content entries should contain these elements. 
  • Check organic search, conversions, publish date, time-on-site, page views, load speed, and mobile-responsiveness, too.
  • The number of conversions divided by unique visits is the conversion rate. By measuring this metric, you can determine if your website traffic is profitable.
  • Time-on-site is pretty self-explanatory: it's the amount of time your visitors spend on each of your pages. Content audits can benefit from this metric since you get a clear idea of the performance of your online content.
  • A page-per-visit measurement indicates how much content is viewed per visit. In most cases, it is presented as an average, which is calculated by dividing the total number of visitors by the total number of page views.
  • The slower your page loads, the fewer pages search engines can crawl, affecting your search engine rankings.
  • Take a good thorough look at your content: Identity what content no longer reflects your current business and goals and delete it. Do you need to rewrite or update anything? Is there anything that needs some attention?

Note: It is essential to perform two separate content audits if your website has Desktop and Mobile versions as their codebases are different.

6. Competitor Analysis

You should also examine how your competitors' sites can be improved while evaluating the same areas where yours could be better. Are they doing anything new on their website that is working? Is their website more responsive than yours? Have they made updates to their website recently?

Aside from seeing what your competitors' websites look like, it would help if you also figured out which websites link to them. Is it possible to obtain links from these same websites, or can you get links from other high-ranking websites? This is authority backlinking 101 & makes a huge impact on your rankings.

7. Make Sure Applications Are Maintained

Now that you have updated your contact information, added some fresh content, and checked for broken links, make sure that all of your web apps are functioning properly. For your tech to keep pace with your business growth, it must adapt and grow along with it.

App management practices include testing and debugging software, enhancing technology and site functionality, updating and maintaining existing security protocols, maintaining new browser versions, creating and maintaining 3rd party integrations, and more. It is very important to maintain your website's modules, code, plugins and integrations to avoid various issues.

Honorary Mention: A Mobile-Responsive Website

This one is obvious and goes without saying.  But nobody is surprised when I say smartphones are the most popular way people access the web.  And a lot of them never use anything other than their phone so to say mobile responsiveness is important would be an understatement. 

Plus Google favors mobile web-optimized websites in its search rankings and penalizes those that aren't.

In conclusion, keep it simple. Think marathon, not a race.

A website refresh can be as extensive as you want to make it… Just like any renovation.  Although we’ve covered many small changes you can make to your website some will make a much bigger impact than others.  But do not under-estimate the end result. 

So what now?  evaluate your needs and make a plan of attack – and then get started on it.  There’s no time like right now.

See blog

Tags: Marketing, Business Continuity

5 Ways to Repurpose Content and Grow Your Customer Base
Thinkers360
April 13, 2022

The greatest thing about the content that businesses create is that it can be consumed in so many ways.  The written (or typed) word, video, audio, and other creative outlets like AR and VR technology make it possible to take an original piece you’ve created and change its delivery for an entirely different method of consumption.  Essentially, you’re recycling the content that you’ve already made and putting it back out there in less time than before.  This helps your business get more value out of your investment while also enabling its distribution to various channels where it can reach a new, broader audience.

The Criteria of Repurposing Content

Before you start you want to make sure you’re not flying by the seat of your pants for the sole purpose of creating “new “content.   For example, what are your goals for repurposing?  Do you want to reach a new audience? Do you want to spend less time creating something brand new?  Are you interested in developing a new distribution channel? 

These are the questions that will give you a sense of direction and once you’ve decided on this, you want to understand the intricacies of these channels.  For example, if you want to create video content from a blog post you need to understand how this platforms audience reacts and what they’re looking for.  Finally, determine whether your content really needs to be repurposed.  Although it may perform well as an article on your blog, it doesn’t mean that its success will correlate with evergreen video content.

Now that we’ve covered the criteria of repurposing content, let’s discuss the different ways to making your content shine.

1. Video

Converting a blog that you’ve written into a video is an incredible way of targeting a broader audience that wants to consume your content already.  It does require more work to begin with but the reach on platforms like YouTube make it an excellent way to share your message initially. 

Once you have this content up and available, you may be tempted to share it as it is, but don’t get caught up with sharing your new audio-visual masterpiece.  Instead, take your video that you put on YouTube and break it down into smaller components.  These shorter video formats are perfect for sharing on social media like Facebook and Instagram while also doubling their utility as ads. 

If you’re sharing information that discusses a topic your audience cares about, considering sharing the audio portion as a podcast.  To think you could recreate all of this content from a single blog post article is astounding, so be creative with it and discover how to distribute it to your audience.

2. Social Media Posts

If your business is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, this is especially useful for you.  You can take the same content that you wrote on Facebook and copy and paste it on Twitter. Nice, now you have two pieces of content but let’s add a third.  Screenshot your Twitter post that you created and share it on Instagram; this type of content is constantly being consumed by users on the platform so utilize this phenomenon to your advantage. 

On LinkedIn, take your screenshot from Twitter and post it with some more added context.  LinkedIn loves images that are shared with more information and storytelling is key on the platform so double down on telling your story.

3. Email Newsletters

The world is a busy place and even though your content may be amazing, it doesn’t always mean it’ll reach your audience.  Take an existing blog post and make it more conversational and to the point, then create a series of emails that you can deliver directly to your mailing list. By doing this, you’re able to still provide valuable information to your customers and prospects without them having to search for your content and leave their inbox.  To be clear, don’t paste a link to your content in the email. Instead, deliver it as the content of your newsletter and do it in chunks so that it is easily consumed.

4. Infographics

Did you know that people remember 10% of the information they hear out loud VS 65% of the information they see in a visual?

And people following directions with both text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions

These are incredible pieces of content that are loved by basically everyone. 

Why?

They are 30X more likely to be read from top to bottom than a typical blog.

They get 3X the shares as any other type of content on social media

And they are quickly consumed, easy to digest, and deliver value all in one place.  For visual people in your audience, this form of content is right up there with video and should be part of your repurposing effort. 

Many blogs come in the same form as the one you’re reading now so be sure to trim the fat and focus on where the value is created. 

Remember, infographics are meant to display information graphically so cut most of the words out; your audience will thank you for it.

5. Blog Posts

The last piece of the puzzle, repurpose existing blog posts by updating them to become more relevant.  Many high performing blog posts for your business may have knocked it out of the park years ago, but as time has went on so has the performance of this content.  This is because the information in it is likely outdated and needs a revamp.  By updating your blogs by adding and removing different parts, you’re able to recycle your message with data and information that develops authority and shows your audience that you’re delivering value consistently.

Repurposing content can send you off into many directions that provide value to both your company and your audience.  Like anything else you do in your business, you want your efforts to be successful and content recycling is no different.  We’ve covered the different criteria you need to cover before deciding what to repurpose and the different methods you could use for your efforts.  Not only will this help you, it will also help your team and your audience as well.  It’s a win-win-win situation that’s great for everyone.

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Tags: Business Strategy, Marketing

9 Ways to Use Content to Grow Your Email List
Thinkers360
April 07, 2022

There’s no denying that email marketing is effective, but it only works if you have a list of qualified and engaged subscribers who are eager to read your content.

Sounds easy, right?

A lot of businesses have email lists that have stagnated because they’re not doing anything to attract new subscribers. They’re not sure where to start and as a result, the people who visit their website aren’t taking the extra step to opt in for emails.

What can you do about it? The answer is right in front of you. All you need is to make it easy for people to sign up and then give them a reason to fork over their email address. Here are 9 things to try.

#1: The Pop-up Opt-In

I know… I know. Pop-ups have a bad rep and if you use them improperly, they can be a real nuisance. A lot of people use pop-up blockers, and you might worry that a pop-up won’t be effective as a means of attracting new subscribers.

The key to using a pop-up effectively is to time its appearance to the moment when the person reading your content is most likely to opt in. You can run A/B tests to figure that out.

#2: The Slide-In 

If you don’t like a true pop-up but like the idea of having your opt-in form appear at an opportune moment, you may want to consider a slide-in instead. They provide many of the same benefits of a pop-up without the stigma.

Your slide-in can be timed to appear at the moment when a site visitor has read a particularly relevant piece of content or finished watching a video. The timing is essential and here again, you should do some testing to determine the timing that delivers the best results.

#3: The Squeeze Page 

What if you have more than one lead magnet that you want to use? It’s common for businesses, particularly those who have multiple audiences they want to target, to create multiple checklists or guides to give away. The key is connecting each visitor with the guide that’s most useful to them.

The solution is creating a separate squeeze page for each lead magnet. The sole purpose of a squeeze page is to “sell” visitors on your content and convince them to complete your lead form to get it. Think of them as mini sales pages and use direct response copywriting to get the results you want.

#4: The Header or Footer Opt-In

Perhaps you’ve tested pop-ups and slide-ins and found that they don’t work for your target audience. If that’s the case, you might want to consider putting your opt-in form at the very top of your page or at the very bottom.

The header opt-in works in the same way as the toolbar option – it will be one of the first things your site’s visitors see. A footer opt-in has the advantage of being there when a visitor has finished reading or watching your content. If they have found the content to be relevant and useful, the chances are good that they’ll be in the right frame of mind to provide an email address, so they don’t miss out on your future content. Consider something like FREE Weekly Marketing Tips in Your Inbox to capture reader’s attention and make it clear what they’ll get if they subscribe.

#5: The Exit Intent Opt-In 

One of the best times to capture leads is when a visitor is navigating away from your page. They’re at the point where they have finished reading your content and are, in theory, primed for a request to get additional content from you for free.

Exit intent opt-ins can be in the form of a pop-up. They appear when the user either hits the back button or tries to close out of the page. Like pop-ups, exit intent opt-ins can be used in a bad way. For example, some sites don’t allow visitors to leave without opting in. That’s not a good idea because it can frustrate visitors at the moment you want them to provide an email address.

#6: Blog Sidebar

If you’ve got a blog that gets a decent amount of traffic, you can use its popularity to attract more subscribers for your list by adding a subscription sidebar to the main blog page. With a sidebar, people who read your posts have an easy way to see more of your content.

Your opt-in could allow people to get updates when you post new blog content and receive coupons and offers. Just make sure to specify what opting in means, so people know what they’re getting.

#7: The Comment Check Box

If you have a blog, then you may want to consider adding a subscribe checkbox in the comment field. People who do this usually put it at the bottom next to or directly beneath the Post Comment button, which makes it impossible to miss.

This option is particularly effective if you’re already requiring visitors to enter their email if they want to leave a comment. The checkbox adds a subscription with a single click – what could be easier?

#8: Ecommerce Opt-Ins 

The final option you may want to consider is giving people a way to opt-in on your eCommerce site. Two examples are these:

  • Show a pop-up offering a coupon or discount code for people who opt in
  • Include a checkbox on your purchase page for people to opt-in after buying your products

People who have visited a sales page or bought a product are likely to be in the right frame of mind to want to hear more from you – so you might as well make it easy for them to do so!

Building your email list is essential if you want to grow your business. The 9 possibilities we’ve listed here can help you do it in a way that appeals to your visitors and help you attract the leads and customers you deserve.

See blog

Tags: Business Strategy, Marketing

How to Use Hashtags to Grow Your Business
Thinkers360
April 04, 2022

Even if you’ve never used one in your marketing before, you’ve seen hashtags on social media. They’re the words after a post, each one starting with the # sign. They help people who see a Tweet, Instagram post, or Pinterest image to find the content and understand what it’s about.

While it’s easy enough to add hashtags to your content, it requires skill and attention to do it artfully. In this article, we’ll explain how to choose and use hashtags to attract new followers and – this is what you’re here for – increase your profits.

What is a Hashtag? 

Let’s start with the basics for those who don’t know. A hashtag is a word or phrase that appears after the # symbol on social media. There are no spaces, and the goal of a hashtag is to make it easy for people who are interested in your business and content to find you.

Hashtags can be serious or whimsical. Community hashtags can crop up week after week and year after year. For example, #ThrowbackThursday (or #TBT) is a hashtag that has been making the rounds for over a decade. In fact, #ThrowbackThursday was started by Sports Illustrated all the way back in 2006!

Hashtags can be related to topics or events. For example, if you’re someone who owns a landscaping business, you might follow these hashtags, all of which we found on Twitter:

  • #Landscaping
  • #Lawn
  • #Lawncare
  • #PropertyMaintenance
  • #GroundsMaintenance

We also saw examples of lawn care and landscaping companies jumping on community hashtags such as #SpringAhead because – let’s face it – spring is when a lot of us start working to get our lawns in shape for summer cookouts and lawn games.

Tips for Finding Relevant Hashtags

One of the most important elements of using hashtags is choosing the right hashtags to reach your target audience. It might be tempting to throw ten hashtags onto every post, but you’ll do better with well-researched hashtags that are relevant to your business.

Let’s start with Twitter, the birthplace of the hashtag. When you log into your Twitter account, you’ll see a menu that includes a search option. When you click it, you’ll see a Trending tab. If you click on that, you’ll get a list of trending hashtags and topics. You can also use the search function to find hashtags that are relevant to your business.

There are some tools you can use to research hashtags as well. These include:

  • Hashtagify Me is a free tool that you can use to find hashtags for Twitter and Instagram.
  • HootSuite allows you to manage your social media and helps you find hashtags that are relevant to your business with its “Streams” feature.
  • Google Trends is free to use and can help you find trending topics that you can use in your business Tweets and Instagram posts.
  • Pinterest Trends is free and has a list of trending searches plus a search function.

We suggest putting in some time researching hashtags. If you find someone that you think could be a good business connection that has used a relevant hashtag, follow them. You may be able to connect with them in a way that helps both of you.

Tips for Using Hashtags 

What should you do with the hashtags that turn up in your research? Here are some suggestions.

  • Find people who may be able to help you market your products. For example, say you make custom wedding cake toppers, and you notice a local baker posting pictures of wedding cakes with the hashtag “CakeTopper. You could DM the baker and ask if you can send them a sample topper and – if they like it – they can feature it in one of their posts and use the same hashtag.
  • Look for trending hashtags and figure out how to make them relevant to your business. For example, if there’s a holiday coming up, you can use holiday hashtags to suggest your products for gifts or for use at holiday meals or gatherings.
  • Combine hashtags to expand your audience. Perhaps you’ve added a new service or a new product to your lineup. Expanding your hashtag vocabulary can help you get your social media content in front of a new audience.
  • Create a custom hashtag for your business. We would suggest using this idea sparingly. In many cases, creating a new hashtag may be the equivalent of screaming into the void. However, if you can come up with a memorable hashtag that helps you differentiate yourself from competitors, then go for it!

A word to the wise about using hashtags. A lot of big companies have made huge missteps when trying to capitalize on trending hashtags. An Insider article from 2019 highlighted a list of Instagram influencers who promoted themselves using 9/11 hashtags. Please don’t copy their mistakes.

Examples of Effective Hashtag Use

Let’s look at a few examples of effective hashtag use. The first is from Kentucky Fried Chicken, which jumped on the #NationalFriedChickenDay train to promote its meals. Although they’re a national chain, any local restaurant that serves fried chicken could do the same thing. Keep your eye out for relevant tags that are trending nationally and use them to your advantage.

An example of a brand that did a great job of creating its own hashtag came from Charmin, who launched the #TweetFromTheSeat campaign. The campaign was certainly helped by the fact that Charmin is a national brand, but the injection of humor into your social media posts is a great way to get people to pay attention to your content.

Finally, let’s look at a hashtag fail that illustrates why it’s so important to research any “new” hashtag before you try it. When Burger King launched its new low-fat French fries, it used a #WTFF hashtag that was meant to stand for “What the French Fry.” What they didn’t know was that #WTFF was already a hashtag – and those two Fs stood for different forms of a word that you can probably guess.

The takeaway is that hashtag marketing can be extremely useful for local businesses if you do your research, choose hashtags thoughtfully, and don’t try to shoehorn your content into a hashtag when it isn’t appropriate or relevant.

Now, get out there and start hashtagging!

See blog

Tags: Marketing, Business Strategy

Your Customers Are Here How to Identify Your Audience and Find Them Online
Thinkers360
March 31, 2022

We’ve all had the experience of looking for something and not being able to find it. It’s frustrating and time consuming and can feel like a pointless exercise if we’re forced to keep at it for long.

For a business owner, there’s nothing more frustrating than knowing there’s an audience for your product or service and not knowing who they are – or where to find them. In this article, I’ll break down the process to help you first identify and then locate your audience, so you can fine-tune your marketing and get the leads you need.

Identifying Your Audience

We can look to social media for some guidance in how to identify an audience. If you have an existing customer base, you can begin by analyzing it using two categories of information: demographics and psychographics. From there, you can use information about the problems your product or service solves to narrow your search.

Demographics

Demographics are easy, so let’s start there. Demographics are facts about your customers (and your target audience) that can help you identify them. They include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Geographical location
  • Education level
  • Income level
  • Marital status
  • Employment/industry

Having basic information about who your customers are can help you identify the right target audience for your services or products.

Psychographics

Psychographics illustrate your target audience’s interests and preferences. For example, if you run a gym, some interests to consider might include the following.

  • Health
  • Fitness
  • Weight loss
  • Running

You could also consider pop culture interests. If you own a clothing boutique, you might target people who watch fashion shows such as Project Runway or Say Yes to the Dress, or who follow fashion designers such as Christian Siriano or Ralph Lauren.

Benefits/Problem Solving

Finally, you should give some thought to what problems your product or service solves, or what benefits it provides to the people who are likely to buy it. Here are some questions to ask yourself.

  • What types of people might have the problem I’m trying to solve?
  • What solutions are they looking for?
  • Why do they need a solution – that is, what are their pain points?
  • What am I offering that’s different from my competitors?

Asking these questions may help you fine-tune your demographic and psychographic requirements. By the time you have worked your way through all three categories here, you should have a good idea of who is in your target audience.

How to Find Your Audience Online

After you have identified your target audience, it’s time to think about where to find them online. Here again, there are multiple methods you can use, alone or in combination, to find your audience.

Let’s start with social media, which can be extremely useful for connecting with your target audience. You can use demographics to identify the sites where your audience is most likely to be, so let’s start there.

  • Facebook is the largest social media site and skews the oldest. 69% of Americans have a Facebook account and with the exception of people age 65 and over, a majority in every age group use Facebook.
  • Instagram users skew much younger than Facebook users, with approximately two-thirds of Americans under the age of 30 active on the platform. There are more women than men who use Instagram.
  • Twitter users encompass only about 22% of the US adult population and more men than women use the platform. Twitter users tend to be urban and educated when compared to other social media platforms.
  • Users of Pinterest skew heavily female and tend to be affluent and educated. They encompass every age group, although it’s worth noting that the smallest demographic is people over the age of 65.
  • LinkedIn users tend to be under the age of 65 and highly educated. They mostly live in cities and suburbs and are more likely to be looking for professional services and products than consumer goods.

You should also consider the type of product or service you sell and where people are likely to look for it. We’ll talk about Google later, but on social media, here are some general guidelines.

  • Facebook users look for all types of goods and services, ranging from consumer goods to business products and services at every level.
  • Instagram is likely to be most useful for selling products although some services can lend themselves to Instagram as well. For example, any service where you can show before and after photos is a good match for Instagram.
  • Pinterest users are accustomed to finding products on the site and often “Pin” products for later purchase.
  • LinkedIn users tend to be professionals and are most likely to search for business products and services.

For example, if you have a clothing store, it probably makes sense to find your audience on Instagram and Pinterest. If you own a law firm, LinkedIn and Facebook might be the best choices.

Search Engine Marketing

In addition to finding your audience online, you must make it easy for your audience to find you. Search engine optimization and marketing are designed to help people in search of your products and services find you.

SEO comes down to having a properly optimized website and a well-established online presence. You’ll need to target the right keywords and identify the search terms that people in your target audience will use when searching for a business like yours. You’ll need to make sure that your site is mobile-friendly and optimized for voice search.

At the same time, you should standardize your online listings and claim your listings on review sites such as Yelp and Google. Most consumers search for businesses online before they decide where to buy a product or obtain a service. Having reliable information about your business and good reviews will make your business more visible on Google and other search engines.

Understanding who your audience is and where to find them is a must for every business. Once you have identified who you’re selling to, you’ll be able to fine-tune your marketing campaigns and you’ll spend less to attract new customers.

See blog

Tags: Marketing, Social

Here's the Trick to Sending Bulk Emails without Spamming
Thinkers360
March 28, 2022

Is your email open rate low? If the answer’s yes, then it may be because your bulk emails are being marked as spam.

Nobody likes spam.

Once your emails are flagged, they’re far more likely to miss your subscribers’ inboxes and land in the junk folders. There’s no denying that’s a bummer.

The good news? There’s a process you can use to increase the likelihood that your emails will reach their intended recipients. It might seem involved but once you’ve done it, you should see an increase in your open rates – and it will be easy to maintain your non-spam status going forward.

Step 1: List Maintenance

It’s common for business owners to believe that having a lot of subscribers is better than having a few subscribers, but that’s not true. You’re better off with a small list of engaged readers than a large list of people who mostly ignore your emails.

Start by identifying inactive subscribers, meaning people who haven’t engaged with any of your emails in the past 90 to 180 days. Then:

  • Send one last email to try to reengage them
  • After a few days, delete any addresses that remain inactive

Deleting inactive subscribers helps because it minimizes the chances that people who don’t want to be on your list will mark your emails as spam. You’ll also eliminate invalid or abandoned mailboxes where incoming emails are labeled as spam. Finally, you’ll increase your engagement rate and that plays a role in how email providers flag spam.

Going forward, it’s a good idea to review your list regularly – once every two months should be often enough – and send out a reengagement email to inactive accounts. That way, you’ll stay on top of list maintenance and minimize the chances of things getting out of control again.

Step 2: Rewrite Your Subject Lines

The next step is to review and rewrite your subject lines. Some words are highly correlated with spam. We’re talking about words like:

  • Free
  • Bargain
  • 100% free
  • $$$
  • Guarantee
  • Password

You should also avoid writing headlines all in capital letters or with exclamation points. Anything that is too gimmicky or “salesy” may be a problem because spam filters are programmed to flag these words and formats.

A good way to determine whether your subject lines are spammy is to open your spam folder and compare what you’re writing to what you see. If your subject lines would be more at home in the spam folder than in your inbox, it’s a good sign that your subject lines should be rewritten.

The best email subject lines are short and to the point. A good rule of thumb is to keep your email subject lines to no more than 8-10 words or 60 characters. But the shorter the better.  That way, people can read the whole subject line in their inbox. Also, make sure that the subject line of your email reflects the content of the email. Nobody likes a bait and switch.

Step 3: Create High-Quality Content 

Do you spend time crafting the content of your marketing emails or are you churning them out in a rush? If it’s the latter then it could be that sloppy or careless content is hurting you.

Start with the basics. You should be proofreading every email carefully before you send it. If spelling and grammar aren’t your strong suits, use Grammarly to catch mistakes.

You’ll also need to keep your emails brief and to the point. While some people may not mind getting emails that take 20 minutes to read, most people prefer something they can skim or read quickly. If you have that much to say, break up your content and create an email series.

Be careful not to include too many images. It’s good to break up text with images but many email providers block images as a matter of course. If you aim for 80% text and 20% images, you should be safe from most spam filters.

Step 4: Avoid Image-Only Emails

We’ve lost track of how many times we’ve seen spam emails that consist only of images. Why? Because spammers often use images to hide text because email providers can’t “read” images. Image-only emails are automatically more suspicious than emails with a good balance of text and images.

We get it. It might be tempting to avoid HTML hassles by creating a beautiful graphic of your email content and sending it to your list, but you shouldn’t do it. Not only are image-only emails more likely to be flagged as spam, they’re also often not readable. Some email providers automatically block images.

You should also keep in mind that image-only emails are not as user friendly as text-based emails. People who are vision impaired often rely on text readers to read email. These readers are incapable of reading images and that means that you’re potentially rendering your emails useless to anybody who uses a reader to access them.

Step 5: Use a Legitimate “From” Email Address

If you get a lot of email, then we’re willing to bet that you also see a lot of email address that follow this format: no-reply@companyname.com

You might think that you’re saving some time and aggravation by making it impossible for people to reply to your emails. However, there’s a catch.

A lot of the time, people don’t notice the “no reply” part of the email and they will try to respond anyway. That means you’re potentially missing out on a chance to engage with your subscribers – but that’s only part of the problem.

The bigger issue is that one of the things that email providers look at when deciding whether an email is spam is the sender’s email address. Not every “no-reply” address will get flagged as spam, but many will. That means your emails may not make it to your subscribers’ inboxes at all.

Another benefit of eliminating “no-reply” email addresses is that subscribers often can’t add them to their address book or safe senders list. When we subscribe to email lists, we always like to add the sender to our address books as a way of ensuring that their emails make it to our inboxes.

So, an easy fix is to simply create a valid email address and use that to send your bulk emails. Yes, you may need to filter through some responses – but at least you’ll know that subscribers are receiving your messages.

Step 6: Include an Unsubscribe Link

It should be easy for your subscribers to leave your list.

Wait, what?

Hear us out. Legitimate businesses only want subscribers who are genuinely interested in their products or services. It’s a waste of money to continue to send emails to people who aren’t opening them. Making it easy to unsubscribe is a way of signaling to email providers that you’re not someone who’s trying to rip people off.

Let’s say someone decides that your emails are no longer useful to them – for whatever reason. They look for an unsubscribe button or link and they can’t find one. What’s their next logical step? They report your email as spam because it’s the only obvious way to get rid of it.

That’s not what you want. The unsubscribe link should:

  • Be placed in the footer of your email where everybody expects it to be.
  • Be easy to read – that is, don’t hide it in an image or in a long sentence.
  • Not require anybody to log in or reply to you to unsubscribe.
  • Require one click (ideal) or a maximum of two clicks to unsubscribe.

You should test your unsubscribe link to make sure it works as intended. You may want to ask people why they want to unsubscribe, but a one-click unsubscribe link is ideal. It should be as easy as possible for people to opt out of receiving your emails.

The bottom line is that it’s better to have a pared-down list of engaged subscribers than it is to have a huge list comprised of people who aren’t all that interested in what you have to offer. The steps we’ve outlined here will help you refine your list and avoid being labeled as spam.

See blog

Tags: Marketing, Security, Social

Why Every Single Small Business Needs Digital Marketing
Thinkers360
March 24, 2022

Digital marketing isn’t optional.

The fact remains, though, that only 84% of businesses have a content marketing strategy as of early 2022. 16% don’t.

If you’re one of the people who has put off digital marketing or done it haphazardly, it’s time to get serious about it. You may have claimed your Google My Business listing – and that counts as digital marketing. It’s also the bare minimum you can do.

So, with that in mind, let’s talk about why every small business – including yours – needs digital marketing, and which marketing strategies we recommend.

What is Digital Marketing? 

Some small business owners don’t understand what digital marketing is and that’s part of the problem, so, let’s start with a definition.

Digital marketing is the sum of any efforts you make to promote your business online. It may include:

  • Email marketing
  • Blogging
  • Search engine advertising (PPC)
  • Social media posting
  • Social media advertising
  • Business listings
  • SEO
  • Video marketing

The key to making the most of digital marketing is choosing the strategies that are most likely to deliver the results you want.

Target Local Keywords 

The first thing you need to recognize is that in the world of digital marketing, everything is local. If you try to compete for the same keywords used by big corporations with huge marketing budgets, you’re going to lose. You’ll get far more bang for your buck if you think local.

Local keywords should be a combination of industry-specific words that identify what your business does and local words that let people know where you are. For example, a dentist in Minneapolis might target words such as:

  • Minneapolis dental practice
  • Twin Cities dentistry
  • Emergency dental care Minneapolis

You get the idea. You want the words you target to be specific to both your business and your location. Google prioritizes local search already and optimizing your website and ads for local keywords will give you the best possible chance of connecting with people in your area.

Claim Your Local Listings

A big part of digital marketing is creating a consistent online presence. A person who finds you on Yelp should have access to the same basic information about your business as someone who searches for you on Google or someone who navigates directly to your website thanks to a referral from a friend.

Local listings such as Google My Business, Yelp, Angie’s List, and others act as online directories. They’re there to help people find the businesses they need. If you haven’t already done so, you should claim every listing for your business. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to update and standardize all information to create a seamless presence.

Use Social Media Wisely

Social media should be part of your digital marketing strategy. As of 2022, 3.8 billion people worldwide use social media. Your customers use social media.

The trick, of course, is to know which social media options your customers prefer. B2B companies should focus on LinkedIn. Any company with a visual or aspirational product would do well to invest in Instagram and Pinterest marketing. Most small businesses can benefit from having a Facebook presence.

Once you’ve decided which social media accounts to create, you still need to use them wisely. That means using both organic posts and advertising to connect with your target audience. Small businesses can focus on local customers by using carefully-chosen hashtags and participating in community events such as Throwback Thursday.

Don’t Forget Email Marketing

Email marketing isn’t the new kid on the block, but it is still one of the most cost-effective digital marketing strategies around. It’s particularly effective for keeping existing customers engaged and coming back to your business.

If you don’t already have an email list, you can build one by creating content to give away and advertising it on Google or social media. If people want to download the content, they’ll need to provide you with their email address.

You can get the most from your email marketing by creating unique content for the people on your list and combining it with special coupons and giveaways.

Advertise on YouTube

YouTube advertising is something that a lot of local businesses miss out on because they don’t understand how effective it is. Fully 90% of consumers say they have learned about a new product from seeing an ad on YouTube.

Marketers agree that pre-roll skippable ads are the most effective format for YouTube ads. However – and this is anecdotal – we’ve noticed an increase in the number of short, non-skippable pre-roll ads we’re seeing. Consumers are less likely to mind sitting through a 15-second ad they can’t skip than an ad that’s longer and not skippable.

YouTube is owned by Google and that’s one reason that YouTube is a great option for retargeting customers who have visited your site without buying anything.

Encourage Reviews

You already know that reviews are important. You should consider them an essential part of your digital marketing strategy.

If you’re not already doing so, start encouraging customers to write online reviews. You can ask them in person if you have a brick-and-mortar store or, if you have an email list or Facebook account, ask them to leave a review and link to your preferred review site.

Optimize for Mobile

It’s safe to say that in 2022, all digital marketing is mobile marketing. We don’t mean that nobody accesses a website or social media on a computer but it’s a fact that mobile search has surpassed desktop search and almost everybody has a smartphone.

In practical terms, that means you’ve got to be sure that your website is optimized for mobile. Ideally, you should have:

  • A mobile responsive design that looks equally good on any device
  • Mobile-friendly content
  • Clickable buttons

No mobile user should need to zoom in to hit your call to action button or scroll horizontally to read your blog posts. There’s no excuse for ignoring mobile users – so don’t do it.

Digital marketing is here to stay – and it’s time to take it seriously. By focusing on the marketing strategies we’ve mentioned here, you’ll be able to differentiate your business from competitors and attract a steady stream of new customers.

See blog

Tags: Marketing, Business Strategy

Google Local Service Ads Explained
Thinkers360
March 21, 2022

You want to connect with local customers who are in the market for the services you provide. You’ve probably spent some time optimizing your website. You may have paid for Google Ads. But if you’re not focusing on Google Local Service Ads, you’re missing out on the most highly qualified leads around.

What is a Google Local Service Ad? Why should you care? Keep reading to learn more.

What Are Google Local Service Ads?

We talk to a lot of small business owners and a lot of them don’t know about Google Local Service Ads – so let’s start with the basics.

Google Local Service Ads are ads that appear at the top of Google’s search engine results page when someone searches for a local service.

If you know anything at all about digital marketing, you know that having an ad for your business appear right at the top of the Google SERP is a huge advantage.

Google Local Service Ads aren’t available to everybody. You need to earn a spot there based on your ratings and that’s because Google guarantees the services of the companies whose ads are displayed.

Components of a Google Local Service Ad

The first thing you should notice about Google Local Service Ads is that they highlight reviews by displaying your average rating and the number of reviews available for prospective customers to read. Considering that nearly 9 out of 10 consumers rely on online reviews to make purchasing decisions, it’s impossible to put a dollar value on having a high review rating displayed at the top of the SERP.

When a prospective customer clicks on a Google Local Service Ad, they will see additional information about your business, including:

  • Your business phone number and address
  • The services you provide
  • Your hours of operation
  • The areas you service
  • Business highlights such as your BBB rating or awards you have received

Scrolling down allows people to see your Google My Business reviews. While people do check other review sites such as Yelp or Angie’s List, Google My Business reviews are the most trusted and viewed reviews online.

How Do Google Local Service Ads Compare with Organic Search?

One of the questions we hear most frequently about Google ads in general has to do with their efficacy when compared to organic search. It’s a valid question.

It’s undeniable that earning a spot at the top of Google’s organic search results is a huge advantage. Research shows that the first three organic listings get the lion’s share of clicks. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • The #1 listing gets 28.5% of clicks
  • The #2 listing gets 15% of clicks
  • The #3 listing gets 11% of clicks

In total, the top three listings grab 54.5% of all clicks. By the time you get to the 10th spot, the listing gets only a 2.5% click-through rate. Companies on the second page are even lower – and most searchers never get that far.

You may have read that a lot of people skip right over the ads that appear at the top of Google – and that’s true, as far as it goes. However, Google Local Service Ads are different. Here’s why.

The first thing to note is that typical Google ads include a headline and what essentially amounts to a sales pitch, like this:

In other words, it’s obviously an ad – and just as many of us skip past commercials when we can, we also prefer to skip online ads when they are trying to sell us something. We prefer to do our own research.

What differentiates Google Local Service Ads from traditional ads is that they don’t look like ads. What they look like is a recommendation of a top-rated business. That makes them instantly more valuable and more trustworthy than regular ads in the eyes of consumers. Another way of looking at it is that they combine the benefits of advertising – most importantly, a spot at the very top of the SERP – with the benefits of organic search.

What Are the Differences Between Google Local Service Ads and Google Ads?

You probably already know how traditional Google Ads work. To have your ad displayed on the SERP, you must bid on your chosen keywords and beat out the other people (or at least most of them) who are bidding on the same words.

You must earn your way to a Google Local Service Ad but there’s no bidding process. The other key differences are:

  • Google Ads are pay-per-click and Google Local Service Ads are pay-per-lead. That means you pay only when a prospective customer contacts you via the ad.
  • Google Local Service Ads are Google Guaranteed, which means that Google will refund a customer’s money if they’re not satisfied.
  • Companies “rank” for Local Service Ads based on the number of customers they serve and their average review rating.

A Google Local Service Ad is a stamp of approval from Google and is therefore more valuable than a traditional PPC ad.

How to Get a Google Local Service Ad for Your Business

Let’s review the steps to get a Google Local Service Ad.

  1. Check your eligibility by going to Google’s local service homepage and clicking the Get Started button.
  2. Create your Local Ad Services profile, including your name, your company name, the services you provide, and other relevant information. Be aware that you should list only the services for which you have licensure.
  3. Submit the required paperwork. Since Google is guaranteeing your work, you must submit copies of your licenses and other documentation.
  4. Complete the background check. Google conducts background checks on you and your employees. Google pays for the background checks and the process is simple.
  5. Set your advertising budget. Once you’re confirmed, you’ll need to decide how many leads you’re prepared to pay for each week or month and submit that to Google.

Once you’ve completed the steps, your ad will appear if you rank against other verified service providers in your area.

If you can qualify for a Google Local Service Ad, we highly recommend taking advantage of their benefits. They offer an easy way to get qualified leads every day.

See blog

Tags: Business Continuity, Business Strategy

How Your Business Can Benefit from Chatbots
Thinkers360
March 17, 2022

Businesses who have adopted the chatbot trend have been able to support and scale their business operations by offering convenient and efficient communication to their customers. Implementing chatbots has also helped businesses increase their sales, by providing 24/7 chat support to customers who need questions answered before they buy. So, what is a chatbot and how can your business benefit from one? Sit tight! We’re about to unpack everything you need to know. 

What Is a Chatbot? 

A chatbot is an automated messaging system or computer program that interacts with your customers on your behalf. Chatbots are integrated into the back end of your website and pop up as a chatbox on the front when a visitor reaches your website.

Welcome to the Future! 

In 2001, A.I. might have spurred images of a young Haley Joel Osment. Jump forward 18 years and A.I. (artificial intelligence) is at the heart of modern-day advertising and marketing. In marketing, the role of artificial intelligence is to anticipate the customers’ needs and provide the information or resources they need to make a purchase decision. 

If you’re trying to get your head around how artificial intelligence is used in marketing today and how you can leverage it in your business, start with understanding and using your own chatbot. 

How Does It Know What to Say? 

Your chatbot is prepopulated with a series of questions, answers and resources to help your customers through their purchase journey. Think of it like a smarter, more engaging FAQ channel. The prepopulated list of questions and answers is meticulously mapped out and tells your chatbot how to behave or respond when certain actions are taken, or questions are asked. 

More advanced chatbots and virtual assistants can be customized to do a lot more than handle customer queries. They can be integrated with booking systems and other communication platforms enabling people to make reservations and purchases.

Chatbots for the Hospitality Industry (Hotels and Restaurants) 

20 years ago, you might have found Trudy or Kenneth at a desk answering the phone and taking reservations in a dusty old reservation book. In 2019, you’ll find Trudy and Kenneth enjoying the finer things in life while their chatbot takes care of bookings and reservations for them. 

Benefits of Chatbots for Hotels and Restaurants

Here’s what you can expect from effectively implementing a chatbot on your hotel or restaurant’s website:

  • An increase in direct bookings. Visit Skyscanner or booking.com to see their reservation tool in action.
  • Reduction in office hours. A chatbot can handle many questions and activities that would otherwise be managed by a receptionist. 
  • A better understanding of the different profiles of guests and travellers and appropriate offers based on their profiles. 
  • Better customer experience. Guests can opt-in for information on things to see and do in the area, helping them get the most out of their stay. 
  • Better customer service. Guests can get the support they need 24/7. 
  • Better customer satisfaction. The ease of booking through a chatbot is unbeatable!
  • An increase in reviews. Emails requesting reviews get lost in a busy inbox. A chatbot prompts reviews which are quick and easy to submit. 

Best Chatbots for the Hospitality Industry

Our recommendations for chatbots in this industry are TrilyoHiJiffy and LivePerson.

Chatbots for the Retail Industry

Simplicity makes sales. If retail brands make it easy for their customers to buy from them, they will! Chatbots help retailers make more sales by providing customer support and customized suggestions to shoppers, increasing the chance of a sale.  

Benefits of Chatbots for the Retail Industry

In retail, some of the benefits of implementing a chatbot include:

  • Less abandoned carts. We’ve all added items to a cart and failed to check out (for whatever reason). A chatbot reminds you to checkout, encourages you to complete your purchase or offers you a discount if you check out within a certain timeframe.
  • Enhanced and smoother customer service. Chatbots are available 24/7/365 to answer any concerns a visitor might have about a product. Knowing everything you need to know about the product increases the likelihood of you making a purchase. 
  • Customized post-sale offers. Chatbots can send custom offers and information to customers based on their previous purchases. 
  • Increase in conversion rates. Lack of sales on an Ecomm website is often as a result of a poorly designed conversion funnel. Chatbots make the purchase journey super simple helping increase conversions. 
  • Driving sales! All these benefits combined naturally drive sales. 

Best chatbots for the retail industry

IBM Watson AssistantBold 360 and LivePerson.

The Top 3 Best Chatbots

There are hundreds of chatbots available to you. Some paid, some free. Some basic, some customizable. Here are our top picks for chatbots in 2019 and 2020.

LivePerson

The thing we love most about LivePerson is that it is suitable for all industries. Text messaging, Google Rich Business Messaging, Apple Business Chat, Line, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Google AdLingo can all be integrated into the chatbot. 

Inbenta

Designed for the needs of enterprise brands Inbenta has a simplistic interface and can handle simple demands with a high level of intelligence. The best feature Inbenta has to offer is the ability to detect when the conversation needs a human to step in. 

IBM Watson Assistant

Suitable for big brands and businesses, Watson Assistant has been designed by IBM, the leader in A.I. solutions. This chatbot is a lot more advanced and recommended for larger businesses who require more extensive support and chatbot capabilities. 

Regardless of your personal views on talking to a robot, customers set the demands and don’t really have a preference when it comes to dealing with a robot or a human, as long as they get what they need*. Your business could very well be a chatbot away from better customer support, happier customers and more sales. So, what have you got to lose?

See blog

Tags: Business Continuity, Business Strategy

7 Simple Referral Marketing Strategies for Your Business
Thinkers360
February 07, 2022

I want to let you in on a little secret.  Are you ready?  Okay, here it is:

All customers aren’t equal.

Don’t get me wrong, call customers are good customers. But do you want to know who your best customer is?

A personal referral.

Customers who are referred to you are more likely to trust you and become loyal customers that have bigger budgets.

So, if you haven't yet implemented a referral program into your marketing strategy, you're missing out on a substantial opportunity for growth.

When it comes to conversion rates, referral marketing consistently outperforms.

Add statistics

It's a bold claim, but statistics show that people who come to you through referrals have the best chance of engaging with your company, purchasing your products, and remaining loyal:

Now that you've learned about the potential of referral programs, here are some easy referral marketing strategies for your business you can start implementing today.

1. Choose Your Referral Incentive

When it comes to the best referral marketing strategies, there is no receiving without giving. You have to first decide on a reward that works for your business.

Think like the customer. What kind of offer or incentive will motivate them to talk about your product or service with a family member or friend? Try to answer their question of “What’s in it for me?” It can be as simple as giving a flat fee in return, or more complex like a point system contest.

But whatever incentive you choose, make it relevant to your product or service. If you’re in the business of selling coffee, your reward could be something as simple as free pound of their favorite premium roast. This way, you can be sure that the people referred are coffee lovers who’ll likely keep buying from you.

2. Choose the Right Time

Imagine signing up for a service or a product and being asked to share it with a friend before you even get a chance to use it. You know right then that is not the right approach.

The best time to ask your customers to share your product is after you deliver on your promises. It’s when what you offer solves the intended pain points and makes their lives better. Only then will they be eager to recommend your product to someone they know will enjoy it as much as they do.

If you're a local personal trainer, for example, the best time to ask your clients to bring their friends is after you've helped them achieve their goals, whether it's losing weight or building muscle.

3. Consider Rewarding Both Sides

Hands down, the best strategy you can implement to maximize the effectiveness of your referral program is not only to reward the inviting person, but also the person who is being invited.

This strategy works because it’s a win-win-win situation where everyone included is happy. Your current and new clients both have something to gain, and you make a new customer in the process.

DropBox is a shining example of this strategy's effectiveness. Their two-sided referral program gives both the referrer and the referee more storage. And In just 15 months, they managed to skyrocket their user base by a whopping 3900%!

4. Create a Dedicated Page for Your Program

This may sound obvious, but it’s often overlooked. If your client has to sift through several pages to find your referral program, you'll get little, if any, results from your program.

You need to create a dedicated page for it, that’s easy to find.  Complete with a large, bold headline that grabs your customers' attention and content that clearly explains the terms of the program.

After you create the dedicated referral page, it’s time to direct your audience to it.  You can do this a few ways, one way is by adding a simple “Refer a Friend” button on your homepage that will direct those who are interested to your referral program page to get all the details.

You can also place a link at the end of a follow-up email when you thank them for purchasing from you. Whatever it is, you need to make it easy for them to find.

5. Make it Simple and Pain Free

You don’t want to give your customers any reason to NOT participate with your referral request so keep it simple and easy to do. The quicker your customer can understand what they need to do and what they stand to gain, the better.

6. Use a Tool to Build Your Program

It’s no secret that there are many parts to creating and managing a successful referral program, which can make it difficult and time-consuming.

But it doesn't have to be that way, though! There is plenty of referral tools and software options available that will help you set up and manage your referral program pretty easily. Here are a few ones to get you started:

  • Referral Rock: Referral Rock helps any business get more customers using the most powerful and underutilized asset, the happy customers. It automates every step of the process to scale and consistently measure the success of referral marketing. It helps to acquire customers, scale best practices and build brand awareness.
  • Invite Referrals: Referral marketing software that is multiplatform, fully customizable, and easy to use. There are plenty of features to go around as well!
  • Revetize: Another excellent and user-friendly referral marketing tool. The best part about Revetize is that you only pay for the features you use.

7. Set Yourself for Growth

Congratulations! Your killer referral program is bringing in a steady stream of new and satisfied customers and they all love your business. So, where do you go from here?

Now you need to keep these new customers and clients around.

Another excellent idea is to remind them that your referral program can benefit them too. Keep in mind your happiest customers are your best are also your best source of new customers.  They'll almost certainly refer another friend, who will likely refer yet another, and so on. This way, you’re setting your company for exponential growth.

See blog

Tags: Business Strategy, Customer Experience, Marketing

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