Celebrating Work This Month

There are several “holidays” coming up this month that are centered around business. March 1st is both Employee Appreciation Day and National Sales Person Day. March 8th is International Working Women’s Day. The 29th is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day and March 31st is World Back Up Day (the day you should make sure you have a back up for various electronic systems like your website and computer).

There are several ways you can choose to incorporate these into your business. Some of those ways will help your employees or business associates. Some of these can help you market your product or service. And some of these can help you spread good will. Here are a few ideas for you:

  • If you don’t have employees, send a card or email to a business associate who has gone above and beyond for you and your company.
  • Send a card or email to an affiliate who has done especially well.
  • Post a blog reminding your business customers to do one of the above.
  • Post a blog sharing about one of the people you recognized in your business.
  • Post to social media about your appreciation for a business associate.
  • Post to social media reminding them to back up their computers or websites.
  • Find a way to tie the holiday in with something your company is doing. (blog post, social media post, etc)

Looking to the conventional holidays is a good practice, but take a look at those “silly holiday” sites. They are packed with valuable information that can help you blog, connect on social media, and more!

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What is Social Selling? What You Should Know!

Last week, I shared how ads aren’t getting as much value for the money as content marketing because ad blocking is trending up.  This week, I want to concentrate on what you can do instead. It’s called social selling.

1. What Exactly is Social Selling?
In a nutshell, it’s just as it sounds. Selling by being social on social media. It’s posting things about your company, its process, its industry, and other related tidbits in order to stir conversation that moves the selling process along until customers are ready to buy.

2. Social Selling Statistics You Need to Know:
So many people are on social media these days. Not only do they search out products and services on social media, but many prefer to ask questions through social media.  Here are a few marketing statistics:

  • Only 29% of people want to talk to a salesperson to learn more about a product, while 62% will consult a search engine.
  • Half of revenue is influenced by social selling in 14 common industries, including computer software, healthcare, and marketing and advertising.
  • Using social selling tools can increase win rates and deal size by 5% and 35%, respectively.

3. What this Means for Your Social Media Plans
It means you’d better make some! And, you had better be available to answer the questions your social media followers have in a timely manner.

If people prefer to get their information about a product or service online first, you had better be there or your competition will be! Once you establish your social media platforms as ones that bring value and elicit trust, you will have consumers asking their questions. And just as they will unfollow a Facebook page that is not active, they will view unresponsive pages as a company that doesn’t deserve their business.

Don’t just establish a social media presence just to have one. Spend the time to give your customers value and be responsive to their questions and concerns.

 

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What the Ad Blocking Trend Means for Your Content Marketing

A couple weeks ago, I talked about why content marketing is so important for your business.  This week, I want to go into a bit of depth as to what ad blocking is telling you about your content marketing.

1. Your articles and posts should not even resemble ads!
The number one most important thing you should learn from the ad blocking trend is not to make your content marketing look like ads! Consumers are pretty savvy. They know clickbait when they see it and they can feel ads clothed in information on the information highway.  So, make sure to give your readers the valuable information or entertainment they crave without making them feel like they’re being sold!

The idea of content marketing is to give value such that the consumer trusts your company and wishes to reciprocate when it comes time to buy.  The task is to make them feel so indebted to you that they not only think of you first when they are ready to purchase but feel bad about looking anywhere else to fill their need.

2. So what do you put in there and how do you get leads?
What you write about will, of course, depend upon your audience. Do your potential customers need to know something about your industry that affects them?  Do they want to learn how to do something related to your industry? Are they looking to be entertained? See a need and fill it.  More specifically, see a “want” and fill it.   

I said this on a Facebook women’s business group and got some flack for it, but after years of being in sales and owning my own businesses, I can tell you that it’s true.  People buy what they want and not necessarily what they need.  There are those who will not buy something even though they need it and others that will buy what they want even if they can’t really afford it. 

The flack I took for that was the concept that this thinking is bad for people and takes advantage of them.  I disagree.  Taking advantage of people is almost forcing them to buy something they don’t need or can’t afford by means of trickery or deceit.  Recognizing that people will buy wants and not necessarily needs is smart business.  If you know that most people who need something won’t buy it, you probably shouldn’t sell it.  If you recognize that your customers want X with their Y, then you’d better make sure your Xs have Ys!

3. Give value!
I cannot emphasize this enough.  GIVE VALUE!  If your potential customers want to be entertained, entertain them!  If they’d appreciate knowing something, share it. If they want to be the first to have something, let them know.  Whatever it is they value that will help your company reach its goals, make sure you know about it and are actively giving it to them.  

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Why You Can Get 3X the Leads with Content Marketing

The Content Marketing Institute, in 2017, reported that content marketing can get three times as many leads as paid search advertising.  That’s a rather bold statement, but here’s why it’s true:

1.  What IS Content Marketing
In order to understand why this is true, we need to understand what content marketing is.  According to CMI, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

The idea is to give your potential customers or clients information they value, which keeps them coming back to your site to consume.  This leads them to trust you and want to reciprocate your generosity by purchasing from your company when they are ready to buy-in to what you provide.

It makes logical sense that a person would become loyal to a company they trust who has gone out of their way to give them value, but to better understand why content marketing is far superior to ads, we need to identify one very powerful statistic.

2. Ad Blocking
You and I both know how annoying ads can be. We record our favorite shows so we can fast forward through the commercials. We ignore all the ads on social media, and we know friends who block ads on their browsers.  According to 2018 Marketing Statistics, here are some alarming ad blocking stats if you’re considering paid advertising as your main source:

  • 87% of people say there are more ads than two years ago.
  • Adblocker Plus, the most popular ad blocking app, has reached 300 million downloads worldwide.
  • 64% of ad blocker users do so because they believe ads are annoying or intrusive.
  • Ad blocking in the US has increased from 15%-30% since 2014.
  • 91% of people say ads are more intrusive today than two years ago.
  • 73% of people dislike pop-up ads.
  • 4 out of 5 of people have left a webpage because of a pop-up or autoplaying video ad.
  • 72% of consumers say they would have a lower opinion of a brand if they subjected the consumer to a pop-up ad.
  • 81% of consumers have closed a browser or exited a webpage because of a pop-up ad.
  • 70% of people dislike mobile ads. Mobile ad blocking has increased 90% year-over-year.

3. Here’s what you need to do
Knowing that there is a growing distaste for ads, why waste good money to place them where your potential customers will ignore them at best?  Why not give them value, make them trust your company, and bring you top of mind when they in the market for what you sell? Spending money on content marketing pays off!

However, to make it so, you’ll need to not only give them value, but be predictable and do so consistently or they won’t come back. If you don’t want to do that yourself, contact me!

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Here’s why you can’t afford NOT to hire a copywriter!

Are you starting 2019 with a plan for your business? I hope so. It’s been said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” January is a GREAT time to start planning your business achievements for the year.  Part of that plan should include marketing and a HUGE part of marketing should be giving your customers/clients value.

Research shows that a customer will buy only after being exposed to the product/service about seven times.  These days, ads are either ignored or actively despised so you can’t hit up your potential customers with an ad seven times before they’ll not only NOT buy, but they’ll have a very poor opinion of your company.  You need at least six times when you give them valuable information that leads them to want your product/service.

In order for this to work, you MUST give them a reason to come back to your site.  And that brings us to what I call soft sales like your blog and social media posts. These posts give your customer valuable information without a direct sales pitch and that means you’ll need to invest in good quality blog articles and social media content.

The myth many small business owners believe is that they can’t afford help unless it generates immediate income.  But just the opposite is true.  You can’t afford NOT to invest in good content for your blog and social media accounts.

One way is to invest your time and talent.   Even if you are a good writer, you need to factor in your time.  How long would it take you to write a good blog post? A few hours?  For some of you, it’s a few days!  If you spent that time developing your product/service or if you spent that time talking to customers and made some sales, how much would those hours cost you?

The other way is to invest your money.  If you can’t afford the time to write or don’t like to write, you can invest a little money and have a professional copywriter do it for you! It may not generate immediate income, but those blog posts and social media content will bring you an audience ripe for your product or service in the near future!

The larger your audience, the larger your sphere of influence and the larger your profits!

Building a business takes time. Building your audience takes time too.  You can either do it all yourself or you can invest in your business and have a professional build your audience leaving you more time to build your business.

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Marketing Myths Part 1

I’ve been around a long time and have heard some incredible marketing myths told by the Gurus over the years.  I’m going to talk about them periodically on the blog here so stay tuned.  You might want to subscribe. <WINK> It’ll keep you from some monster marketing faux pas!

The first one in the series is something I heard a while back.  While it’s not as popular to do intentionally, it is done by accident and through laziness ALL the time. Especially on social media!

Several years ago, a few Marketing Moguls made it a practice to intentionally spell words incorrectly.  The idea was to appear as if the owner of the business was just “one of the guys.”  Marketing materials can often come across as slick, “hypey,” or even sleazy.  So, to sound more down to Earth, the sales copy was peppered with some misspelled words and grammar errors.

At one point, I was convinced this was done as a way to avoid having to spell check all those long sales copy squeeze pages that were so popular at the time. However, whether you are doing it in an effort to come off as honest, to avoid hiring a copywriter, or because you’re just lazy, it’s not a good practice.  Here’s why:

1. Language Nerds
They are everywhere and in every market.  What’s more, they will NOT purchase from a company that spels words incorrectly, insert’s appostrophe’s where they don’t belong, and doesn’t corect typos!

2. Grammar Nazis
There are is a large customer base out there that has a problem with those social media memes that share how LOL Cats has poor grammar. They don’t think it’s cute, they are actually annoyed.

3. Sophisticated Buyers
If your company sells to a more sophisticated clientele, they’ll notice, and it probably won’t give them the warm fuzzies. It will, more likely, make them highly suspect of the quality of your service and the integrity of your company.

Your sales copy should reflect not only your customers’ expectations but your company’s image. If you’re not sure you want to take the time to write it all yourself, call me!

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