Four Simple Steps to Convert Customers into Advocates

Turning satisfied customers into advocates of your services, products or brands is a very powerful marketing tool.  Every day, the influence of Social Media in purchasing decisions grows exponentially!

Your customers wield tremendous influence over their FaceBook Friends, Twitter Followers, LinkedIn Connections etc. So, how do you turn your customers into your own army of brand evangelists?

Try the old Social Media Four Step!

Step One:

Do Great Work! Always strive to exceed expectations. A delighted customer will happily tout your business to others. They’ll take great pride in having found such a great company to deal with. They will even make your company part of their own identity. Ever see that Apple logo sticker in the back window of a car (or VW Bus!)?  

Step Two:

Engage The Customer! Actively get your customers involved in your product or services. These are the folks you want advocating for you so you better be sure you’re all on the same page! Ask for their opinions about, and recommendations for, improvement to their experience with your company. By engaging your customers in the process, they will feel even more invested in you, and therefore become more willing advocates.

Step Three:

K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Silly! Make it really easy for customers to advocate on your behalf. Provide several simple resources to talk about your company.  Have a strong social media plan in place with several outlets for your customers to talk about you.  Invite them to “like” you on Facebook and write a recommendation or testimonial.

Step Four:

Ask! Let your happy, delighted customers know that you would greatly appreciate their help in spreading the word about their wonderful experience with your company. Invite them to join your LinkedIn contacts and recommend your services. Have them follow you on Twitter, comment on your blog, Pin you to their Pinterest board – whatever! By developing your company’s social media strategy you’re creating a platform for your advocates to some advocating.  Where is your company on the social media spectrum?

Step Four and a Half:

Don’t forget to set up your mostly free accounts up in business directories; i.e. Alexa, Citysearch, Merchant Circle, Yelp, etc.  These directories allow you to put in your company background information, contact information and keyword tags for search engines. Once you’re listed on these directories your brand evangelists have yet another place to can tell the world how wonderful you are!

 


Rev Up Your Direct Marketing Campaigns With QR Codes!

Quick Response Codes or QR Codes consist of a pattern of black squares arranged on a white background.  Pick up any item at your grocery store (or anywhere else for that matter!) and you’re likely to find a QR code. In stores the code brings up price, description, shelf location, etc with one swipe of the code scanner – for a streamlined and accurate checkout process.

For marketing, this super-barcode is used quite effectively to take a prospect from a printed mail piece in their mailbox into the digital domain.

QR Codes offer the all-important element in marketing known as ENGAGEMENT.

By including QR codes on your direct mailer you’re offering an easy, interactive channel to begin a dialog. Once a prospect scans the QR Code with their Smart Phone they are whisked away to the digital side of your company. Maybe it’s to a specific webpage on your site or to your latest online video OR they may land on a page that greets them by name (Howdy Fred!)

And here’s where the fun starts!

Because the QR code can contain UNIQUE information about everyone on your prospect list, not only are they greeted by their name, information they may otherwise need to type in (address, city, state, zip code etc.) is pre-populated – again to streamline the engagement process for the prospect. PLUS (and this is a big plus) you can track results of your campaign TO THE PERSON! This allows for highly effective follow up activities such as triggered emails, special offers etc. that turn interested prospects into customers!

How can you effectively use QR codes in your direct marketing efforts? 

The possibilities are endless – and surprisingly inexpensive to implement.

QR code marketing campaigns provide you, the marketer, precise measurements of a campaign’s effectiveness and an immediate, simple call to action.  QR Codes offer a logical link between your direct mail marketing and your online presence. But most importantly, they Engage The Customer!

Direct Etc. will work with you to develop a direct mail campaign that effectively blends all your marketing efforts.  Contact us today for more information.

 

Why Are Keywords Important For Your Website?

Keywords are what a person types into a search engine when they are looking for something online.  So, it is important when creating content for your website that you choose the right keywords for search engine optimization (SEO).

After all, there is no point in having a website if the website is not found by potential customers! 

How do you determine which keywords to target?  Start by developing a list of possible keywords that describe your services or products.  Then search for them on Google and see who shows up in the search results.  This will show you if the keywords are really relevant to your website and show you which competitors are showing up. From this information you can do a complete analysis using various web tools available, i.e. Google Keyword Tool, WordTracker, Market Samurai, etc. to determine your primary and secondary keyword lists.  The primary keywords will be used for your Onsite Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which includes content, title tags, meta descriptions, alt tags and H1 headers.  The secondary list can be used in promoting your website with online pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.

When you start implementing the keywords into your website, remember to create individual pages that are relevant to just a handful of the keywords.  This will give you a high quality content ranking with the search engines.  If you try to put every keyword on every page, this will result in a poor quality content ranking and the pages will be penalized by the search engines.

Remember, all of your competitors are doing SEO on their websites as well.  Trying to compete for a single keyword is very difficult. But you can target longer keyword phrases that closely match your target market. This approach will make it easier for you to come up on the first page of search engine results pages (SERP’s).

For example, if you are mattress company it will be very difficult to come up high with the term “mattress” because of the competition.  But, “mattress for sale online” would be easier for you to work with.

So, if you are ready to build a business website or have one already that is not ranking well in searches, we recommend the first thing to do is a Keyword Analysis – this will give you the strongest foundation to build a website that will be FOUND!

A word of caution, SEO is an ongoing process that can be quite time-consuming – especially to be done correctly.

The importance of being found at the very moment someone is looking to buy cannot be overstated. Consider seeking out the services of professional. The investment will pay off in the end.

Why Do You Need Social Media Marketing?

Social media is a growing and powerful resource for companies to enhance their brand’ offer special promotions and to keep your company engaged with your customers; you need to embrace social media! You can easily see how many promotions are being done by companies on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Digg, etc.

The first step is to set up your social media accounts and develop your company profiles.  Now the fun begins! Your company website, blog, Facebook page and Twitter presence must be updated with relevant, new content including images, text and video at regular intervals. These updates reflect the latest information about your company’s products and services.

Social media allows for interactive dialog between your company, your customers and your prospective customers. Hopefully most of this dialog will be positive, but on occasion you may need to respond to a negative comment. Social media is a great way to address a negative situation right away. By being proactive, most people will feel your company is worthy of their trust and their business and that you willingly address and solve problems, rather than ignore them.

Through your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media outlets, customers are able to write testimonials or reviews of their experience with you.  Since people are using information they find on Internet and through social media in their buying decisions, it is imperative you embrace social media, or be left behind your competition.

A strong social media marketing campaign will give the opportunity to connect with millions of potential customers from all around the world.  It is estimated that by the end of 2012, Facebook alone will have over 1 billion users!

Social media is here to stay.  You may need help in determining and implementing your social media strategy. There are many firms that specialize in this area of marketing. You should consider getting expert help to get the most bang for your buck.

More and more brands are using social media to launch new products and promotions.  View this recent report on CBS News – http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7416824n&tag=showDoorFlexGridRight;flexGridModule