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12 ways to improve your content marketing

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Content marketing is the secret art of persuading people through education and information, not smoke and mirrors. Customers educate themselves on the solutions to their own problems, and further educate themselves on why your solution is the one they need. Basically, you’re marketing to them with content that teaches, informs and inspires. So there’s no better time to improve your content marketing!

Your content usually appears in one of three forms: things you read, things you hear and things you see. That can be blog articles, web pages, whitepapers, ebooks, special reports, tweets,and so on. Email campaigns (87%) and educational content (77%) are the two of the most popular content marketing methods that B2B marketers use.

You also might use videos, photos, infographics and navigation schemes as 84% of people have decided to buy a product or service after watching a video. Or it could be podcasts, music, presentations or (again) videos. More than half of podcast listeners say they are more likely to consider brands advertised on podcasts.

When customers show up in your sales funnel, they’re already pre-qualified and just need to be shown how and why yours is the best possible product or service they need.

That doesn’t mean you can be boring and create mediocre content and just expect people to show up.

There are a lot of people out there who are creating interesting content and winning people over by being clever, humorous, and informative. They’re writing interesting copy, taking gorgeous photos, and producing high-quality video and audio content.

Improve your content marketing with a basic strategy

Person moving chess pieces

If you wanted to create a basic content strategy, you can follow these steps:

  1. Pick three to four frequent problems your product or service solves. Dedicate one topic per week for each month. You’ll cover all four topics in a month for blog articles and social media updates.
  2. Pick three to four themes for your strategy. Pick one theme per week of the month. For example, 1) how-to, 2) client case study, 3) typical client problem, 4) industry news analysis.
  3. Write one blog article per week about each theme. Post it to your blog as a way to boost your website’s SEO, but to also show your audience that you’re an expert in this field. (If you’d rather do videos or podcasts, do that too, but try to stick to the same schedule.)
  4. Build your social media audience. Do a search for people who are likely to buy from you and then follow them on Twitter and connect with them on LinkedIn and Instagram. Engage with them in regular conversations, don’t push out sales messages.
  5. Share industry news stories on your social channels. A great way to remind people of their pain points is to share news stories about them. If you sell a device that helps fleet drivers reduce fuel costs, share news stories about gas prices going up. And write blog articles that analyze the issue.
  6. Do NOT build a day-to-day or week-to-week calendar. I’ve known agencies that scripted out an entire year’s worth of tweets and social updates, plus blog articles, only to have the entire script collapse when something in the industry or company changed. Think guidelines, not schedules.
  7. Incorporate holidays and events. Be sure to take holidays or special events into consideration. Hotels should have themes for Valentine’s Day, conference schedules and so on. Accountants should talk about tax day a month in advance. And retailers should make plans for the major shopping holidays several months in advance.

I’m leaving out the basic, it-goes-without-saying elementary “secrets” to improve your content marketing that every other expert tells you, but they’re still things you should do anyway:

  • Understand your unique value proposition.
  • Define your audience and create personas.
  • Know your keywords.

Or my most-detested “secret.”

Write good stuff.

(Seriously? That’s not optional! And it’s certainly not a secret. That’s like your family telling you “Drive safely” when you drive to work. Boy, I’m sure glad you said something because I was just going to swerve all over the place. Basically, if being told “write good stuff” makes you decide to write good stuff, then you need to re-examine your life choices.)

But assuming you already plan on putting forth your best effort as the very foundation of your business’ existence, here are the other 12 steps to improve your content marketing.

1. Optimize your website’s SEO

Depending on how you’re doing your SEO, your website and blog may need a tune-up.

Run your site through tools like SEObility or Moz’s free SEO tools to check the overall SEO health of your website, and then make the necessary updates.

But it doesn’t stop there, because it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it process. This is an ongoing task that you will have to perform until you shut your business forever.

If you have WordPress, install the Yoast SEO plugin and you’ll be able to optimize every page and blog post on your website. Just follow the instructions to earn a “green light” for every page or post and you’ll know that you have covered the SEO basics for your site.

Finally, keep in mind that your blog is going to play a critical part in your SEO efforts. A site with a great blog that is only partly keyword optimized will outperform a site that is greatly optimized but doesn’t have a blog. That’s because Google wants to see lots of written content, and a blog is an excellent way to provide that.

2. Think about your searcher’s intent

Whiteboard planning session for webpage content

Very often, people will optimize their sites with Google’s search bots in mind. Make the bots happy, give the bots what they want and you’ll rank high for your keywords.

The problem is, the bots don’t buy from you. Also, you may not actually care about the keywords you rank for. And eventually, a bot-first strategy will fail because you forgot the people.

Some unscrupulous SEO pros will tell website owners they can get them a No. 1 ranking. The problem is, they’re ranking for really esoteric long-tail keywords — “finger exercises for big data practitioners with degrees from Big 10 universities” — that don’t actually do anything.

Think of why people come to you in the first place. Do they have a problem? What kinds of problems? People even ask their phones or Google that question:

“How can I redesign my house on a budget?” “What should I do after a car accident?” “How do I stop my faucet from dripping?”

Write blog posts and rewrite your web pages to answer those exact questions. You can also do comparisons and reviews of specific products or services, comparing yours to your competition. Or review products that your customers might use, but you would provide for them, such as a heating/AC company reviewing different AC units.

3. Optimize your website for mobile devices

Google now ranks websites based on how well they perform on mobile devices. It doesn’t matter whether your visitors are using mobile devices or not. Even someone looking at your site on a laptop and 30″ monitor will only find your website if it’s mobile-friendly.

Use WPTouch Mobile Plugin if you have WordPress, or better yet, make sure your website is designed with HTML5 elements. If you don’t have WordPress, you still need HTML5. As long as your website looks great on a mobile phone, you’ll improve your rankings.

That also means adding small file-size photos that are roughly 900 pixels wide and 100 dpi resolution. Those load faster on a phone, which also helps your mobile rating.

4. Create INTERESTING content

Think twice before you publish that how-to article or explainer video, said the guy writing a how-to article. They’re usually boring, lack emotion and cover the same material as 1,000 other articles. (Said the guy whose article has 12 WHOLE STEPS!)

  • If you really want to interest people, write cool stuff about cool topics.
  • Write the in-depth, advanced, 401-level material super-secret knowledge instead of that 101-level stuff everyone else does.
  • Tell us how to use the Hero’s Journey storytelling model in our case studies. Do an interview with a notable leader in your field.
  • Do a Q&A session with your staff and ask them things like, “What’s your favorite non-business book?” or “When did you first decide to get into this field?
  • Have everyone answer the Proust Questionnaire.
  • Or develop your own Proust-like questionnaire and ask your staff and partners to answer it.

5. Post photos and videos to your Google My Business listing

Camera view screen in focus

When people do searches for products or services, oftentimes, Google will often show several business listings. One way to make sure your listing appears near the top (which puts your website at the top) is to add photo and video content to your Google My Business (GMB) listing.

After you’ve claimed and optimized your GMB listing — you <em>have</em> done that, haven’t you? — you can start adding photo and video content to it to help your Google rank but to also show your customers, followers and fans that you’re keeping the listing up to date.

Post videos of commonly asked questions.

If anyone ever emails you with a “How do I …?” question, turn that into a two- to three-minute video, as well as a blog post.

Post the video to YouTube and then embed it on your GMB listing.

6. Develop a voice and a personality

Most people write in a very serious, business-like tone. It’s rather dry and uninspiring, and it doesn’t convey any emotion or pull people in. But if you adopt a distinct voice and personality for your content marketing, you’re more likely to win people over because you’ll touch them.

Emotionally. I mean touch them emotionally.

See, my voice/personality is often humorous and lighthearted. Other times, I’ll adopt a personality or teacher voice, or put some Dad energy into my writing.* And in a lot of cases, I’ll use first person so you feel more connected to me as a writer.

* Be sure to get your car serviced before winter sets in.

Your voice can be serious, proper, fun, friendly, confident, admiring or inspirational. Think about how you normally speak to your friends and customers and then start dictating your writing. If you need some help, dictate a possible blog article into your phone’s recorder as if you were explaining a concept to your friend, and then upload the audio file to Otter.ai  to transcribe that into text.

Clean it up, get rid of the “umms” and “uhhs,” and make that your article. The tone of voice you used there is your website —and company’s — voice and personality.

7. Answer complex questions

I’ve said it elsewhere, but if you want your content marketing to stand out, avoid that 101-level of information. Stop writing lists about “10 reasons to hire an interior designer” or “5 ways to lower your taxes next year” because it’s the same boring nonsense that everyone else has posted.

Instead, dive deep into the weeds and esoterica of your field. Pick those questions that can’t be answered in just 500 words. If you take 2,000 words to deal with a topic, so be it.

Search marketers are finding that long content is actually performing better than short content.

This article is more than 2,000 words, and if you’ve read this far, then it’s clearly working.

8. Share personal stories and vulnerabilities

Book open on a desk

People buy from people they like and trust. One way to do that is to share stories about yourself that show you in something other than a heroic, gets-it-right-all-the-time light. Share stories where you learned tough lessons. Share stories of your mistakes. Share stories about your fear.

One of my favorite articles on my work blog deals with how, as a writer with more than 25 years of experience and four books under my belt, I still deal with imposter syndrome on a regular basis. It didn’t get me a lot of business, but I heard from other people with whom that article resonated because they also deal with imposter syndrome. I even had a couple of clients say something about it. It helped them understand me better and deepened the relationship.

You don’t have to uncover buried secrets that you’ve never told anyone. But it’s okay to share your feelings about certain topics if it will, as Simon Sinek says, help people understand your Why.

9. Start using TikTok and other short videos

I’ll confess, I’m not a big fan of TikTok. I see the point, I see why people like it and there are a few TikTokers I subscribe to (@bdylanhollis, @bmotheprince, @cheechandchong). I’ve even toyed with using it myself. But while I may not use it, I believe it will be the “Next Big Thing” in social media and content marketing.

There are already 1 billion people using TikTok worldwide and 100 million users in the United States, which makes it one of the largest social networks out there. TikTok is not an ideal B2B marketing tool.

I can’t imagine many manufacturers saying, “We need a new freight shipper! To the TikTok!”

But if you’re trying to reach Gen Z, you definitely want TikTok: 47.4% of active U.S. users are between 10 and 29, but the over-30 crowd grew 5.5 times from 2020 to 2021.

So if you’re in any kind of B2C market, TikTok and/or Instagram Reels need to be on your content marketing plan for 2022. If you don’t have a knack for video, then consider hiring some college students to produce some videos for you. Hire some kids from the film-making department or the theater department and ask them to produce some TikTok videos about your product.

10. Measure everything

You don’t know what to improve if you don’t know how well you’re doing. So you need to measure everything you do. Even a basic Google Analytics setup can tell you how well your website and blog are performing, and what you should do about it.

Do you receive more web visitors when you publish a blog article? Then publish more articles. Are your how-to articles outperforming your product review articles? Then write more how-to articles.

Similarly, take a look at your Twitter analytics, Instagram analytics (if you have Instagram Business), and even your LinkedIn and Facebook pages’ performance. See what kinds of content are seeing positive engagement from your visitors and fans, and do more of it. The things that are not performing well? Do less of those, or figure out how to make them better.

11. Hone your skills

This is important for anyone doing content marketing themselves. Whether you’re a professional content producer, or you have to write blog articles and shoot videos as a small part of your job, as you get better, you’ll improve your content marketing too.

(Honestly, this step should be No. 1 on the list, but it disrupted the flow of the whole piece.)

That means deliberately practicing new skills and techniques you want to improve.

Photographers and videographers, that means shooting content every day. A professional photographer friend told me that he didn’t get good enough to become a professional until he spent several months shooting photos every single day. He learned about framing, composition and point of focus, but only because he shot photos for two to three hours a day.

It’s the same for us writers. If you want to be a better writer, you need to read books and see what outstanding writers are able to do. Don’t read blog articles, because most of them aren’t that good. Read books from established and well-known authors.

Borrow their techniques and tricks, and then practice them in your normal everyday writing: emails, reports, even your social media updates. If you want to learn how to cut adverbs, do that everywhere. If you want to learn to write short sentences, practice it constantly. Soon, those things will become a habit and you can move on to the next technique.

12. Hire a professional

Artist working on tablet

If you just don’t have the time to improve your content marketing skills, but you want to improve your actual content marketing, then hire a professional. There’s no reason to muddle through it and try to make slow improvements, even while you’re putting out less-than-stellar content. That doesn’t help you in the short or long run.

Think of it this way: If you were to offload all the stuff from your job that isn’t the stuff your business actually does, how much more money could you make?

If you’re an attorney who bills by the hour, how many hours do you lose when you’re doing the books? If you’re a building contractor, how many projects could you do in a week if you didn’t have to do your own estimating or get supplies from the lumber yard? If you have a technology startup, how much time do you want to spend dealing with HR issues or managing payroll?

In these instances, it’s going to save you a lot of time and even make you a lot of money if you outsource those tasks to a trained professional who can do it faster and better than you. That not only frees up some additional time for you, but it can also even give you time to make some extra money to pay for that person’s work.

This is true for content marketing, too. If you hate writing or don’t have the time or expertise to do video editing, then hire someone to do it for you.

Just like every other skill you learned, improving your content marketing is an ongoing process. Some of these things can be done a few times a year, but others need to be done on a constant basis (i.e. practice every day).

Editor’s note: If you need help with SEO, social media,  and more, the experts at GoDaddy are here for you! GoDaddy Social, SEO Services, Website Design Services and Logo Design Services can help save you time so you can do what matters for your business.

Concluding thoughts

Even if you do just a few of these steps in 2022, you’ll see a major difference in the quality of your content marketing, which will lead to increased web traffic, which can only lead to more sales. Pick the two or three that are easiest to tackle and start on those. As you get them under control, pick another one or two and work on them.

And in all cases, if you need help, call in a pro. Don’t spend many hours mucking around with a solution that doesn’t quite do the job for you. This is your company, so make sure you do it right the first time and then reap the benefits that come from it.



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5 Ways to Control Your Inventory So It Doesn’t Control You

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Managing inventory is a task that can make or break your small business. With too much inventory, profits suffer and storerooms overflow. With too little, items get back-ordered, customers get frustrated and business is lost. And striking a balance is hard, especially with disruptions to the global supply chain in the last few years causing delayed deliveries.

While you can’t control the supply chain, you can take steps to prevent common problems like product shortages and excess stock. Here’s how.

1. Stick to the story

Donna Daniel owns and operates three connected small businesses in Claremont, California: The Grove Clothing, The Grove Home and The Outdoor Store, which sell women’s clothing, home goods and unisex adventure-themed gear, respectively. To run all three of her stores, Daniel needs to keep an impressive variety and quantity of inventory in stock — and ensure it moves quickly to make room for seasonal items and new shipments.

To keep her inventory cohesive within each store, she arranges it in themed displays — or what she calls “stories” — which tie together dozens of different items to appeal to a color, season or activity.

“I don’t buy anything outside of the stories,” she says, which helps her collect data on sales and seasonal trends, and keeps her stock to what’s most likely to sell.

She keeps most of her inventory on the shop floor, with stock in each store’s backroom and larger items in a nearby storage unit. In the backrooms and warehouse, she stores items according to product type and size — not by story — so employees can easily restock displays and substitute a similar item if necessary.

2. Double down on your reliable inventory

“Just-in-time inventory is much more difficult to do today,” says Mark Baxa, president and CEO of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, a global trade association for supply chain professionals. Baxa adds that since the supply chain is less stable than it was pre-pandemic, businesses may need to lean on their most reliable products and vendors.

Courtney Cowan, owner and founder of Los Angeles bakery Milk Jar Cookies, keeps supply needs and consumer demand stable with a very consistent product line. Her 16-flavor menu has “changed very little” in the bakery’s nine-year history, though she leaves room for a rare seasonal standout to join the rotation. Since her store pre-mixes and preserves dough in a deep freezer, she can ensure that her bestsellers are always in stock.

Though some businesses may prefer a bit more variety, in uncertain times — over-ordering on go-to products with a dependable profit margin can help fill the gaps and keep sales steady.

3. Keep products moving

Longtime retailers know that while running out of inventory is bad, having too much can be worse. “Too much backstock eats up all your capital,” Daniel says. She prevents this from happening by planning ahead and using sales sections to make room for new merchandise.

Daniel reorders seasonal inventory as far as a year ahead by using recent sales reports as a baseline. But with this commitment to hundreds of new products arriving every month, she makes sure that items don’t sit on shelves for more than a few weeks.

“I do not like merchandise hanging around,” she says, explaining that if an item isn’t clearing out quickly enough, she’ll move it to the sales rack and discount it until it’s gone.

Though selling an item for a fraction of its original price may seem painful, it may be worth doing to keep inventory moving and keep customers coming back for new products.

4. Get to know your supply chain

Especially in periods of supply chain disruption, getting to know your vendors can make a big difference in your day-to-day operations. “Hold your supplier base accountable,” Baxa says. He suggests finding the “shortest path” possible, including finding local and sustainable suppliers, to help ensure consistent, reliable supply.

Daniel follows the same principle, sourcing her inventory from mostly local vendors so she can pick up items instead of shipping. She weighs several factors, including production time, available quantity and shelf life to figure out how much to order and how often.

Cowan’s inventory is perishable, so she needs her wholesale ingredients to arrive on a tight schedule. Her bakery receives truck deliveries directly from the restaurant supplier Sysco and wholesale store Costco, which keeps her supply chain close to home.

“We keep it as centralized as possible,” Cowan says. For special ingredients like nuts and candy, she places advance orders with small online vendors.

Clear communication with vendors can help business owners figure out limitations, plan ahead and mitigate risk.

5. Use a point-of-sale system with inventory management tools

For the past five years, Daniel has been using Lightspeed, a POS system with standout inventory management tools. The software can track her inventory across all three of her stores, and it generates reports that help her analyze seasonal sales data and follow her businesses’ growth.

This data is essential for her to plan reorder points and determine which items will reliably sell. Especially with a small staff and multiple locations, an all-in-one POS system can help minimize costs and labor.

Best POS for inventory management

Lightspeed Retail POS

Cost: Software $69 per month (billed annually) and up. Hardware quote-based.

Lightspeed’s retail point-of-sale system is built for inventory management. It can keep detailed records of your products across multiple locations and set automatic reorder points, so you don’t run out. The software also offers employee and customer relationship management tools, as well as advanced analytics features on its higher-priced plans.

You have the option to use a third-party payment processor, or Lightspeed’s in-house processor with per-transaction fees at 2.6% plus 10 cents for swipe, dip and contactless payments and 2.6% plus 30 cents for keyed-in transactions.

Square for Retail

Cost: Software free and up. Hardware from free card reader to $799 terminal and up.

Square’s retail-specific POS software offers inventory management tools and multi-location capabilities as well. The free version has a variety of other useful features including reporting tools, customer and employee management. Email marketing, loyalty programs and payroll are available with a higher-priced plan or as a paid add-on.

Though its inventory management isn’t quite as deep as Lightspeed’s, Square’s user-friendly interface and accessible pricing make it a great choice for most retail businesses. Payment processing fees vary per plan, but with the free retail plan, costs are 2.6% plus 10 cents per in-person transaction, 2.9% plus 30 cents per online transaction and 3.5% plus 15 cents per keyed transaction.

Shopify POS

Cost: Software $29 to $299 and up. Hardware $49 and up.

Shopify’s point-of-sale system is geared for businesses that primarily sell online. The software tracks inventory, hides out-of-stock products on your website and offers basic inventory analysis. It also facilitates drop-shipping, curbside pickup and local delivery options, plus access to vendors and third-party applications.

Shopify helps businesses manage inventory across online and in-store locations. Its Pro version can create purchase orders, run inventory counts, perform advanced inventory analysis and generate low-stock reports. However, it’s not ideal for a business that only sells in store. Payment processing varies by plan, with in-person fees starting at 2.4% with Shopify POS Lite.

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14 community management tips for meaningful connections with customers

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Community building blocks

The idea for sharing community management tips came to me about a year ago. That’s when I synced up with the GoDaddy Community team to host a webinar for small business owners. As hundreds of attendees rolled into the Zoom, I had a realization: “GoDaddy has a strong community.”

Behind every good brand and business, there’s a solid community of supporters, stakeholders, and sometimes, even haters.

But building a community and maintaining connections is one of the most misunderstood and least talked about topics within the small business world. For a business with fewer than five employees and a handful of customers, community building might seem like just another marketing tactic that is just out of reach.

To help small businesses build and manage an online community, I asked other business owners and marketers what community management tips they had for creating meaningful connections with customers.

14 community management tips to create meaningful customer connections

Given that creating and maintaining a strong community can help retain and attract customers, consider following these 14 community management tips:

  1. Be quick to address negative experiences
  2. Filter out spam
  3. Showcase success
  4. Send a postcard
  5. Get your customers involved in important decisions
  6. Bring Up topics that encourage engagement
  7. Provide talking points and engage with your community
  8. Engage regularly
  9. Be the face of your brand
  10. Choose a channel that works
  11. Create content that addresses customers’ specific needs
  12. Consider a brand ambassador program
  13. Reward loyalty
  14. Recognize the importance of inclusivity

Read on to learn more.

1. Be quick to address negative experiences

A bad customer experience can quickly escalate to a brand reputation crisis, and the company’s response must be fast to revert the situation.

Monitoring social channel mentions is an easy way to keep an eye on conversations surrounding your brand and detect potential concerns.

Once a customer posts a comment that threatens your brand reputation, listen, honestly apologize and be willing to solve the issue in the best possible way. Your unsatisfied customer will feel appreciated and perhaps even become a brand advocate.

-Rebeca Sena, GetSpace.digital

2. Filter out spam

The most important thing you should be doing in regards to community management is interacting with your community, and you cannot do that properly if you have to work through a bunch of spam. There are many programs out there, even some within the different social media sites, that can filter out spam in your comments and messages so you can focus on addressing your community. Plus, getting rid of the spam and moderating harmful comments creates a better space for your community to contact you through.

-Jacob Dayan, Community Tax

3. Showcase success

Develop case studies from your successful community members. This is a practical way of propagating the core values of your online community and encouraging new users to join your community.

The more these members contribute to the community, the more impact these case studies have. You can start by creating basic reports to identify the members who are actively contributing high-quality content, assisting other members, and elevating the community.

-Hasan Farahani, Yocale

4. Send a postcard

postcard with other travel items

Many of my customers spend $15–$20K on medical care in Latin America. I send my customers handwritten postcards to remind them of their journey, thank them for their business, and to stay engaged while they recover from procedures like dental implants or plastic surgery.

The cost in time and money is very low, but a human touch in the healthcare space is increasingly rare.

-Wesley Jacobs, Apollo Medical Travel

5. Get your customers involved in important decisions

Taking the time to follow up with your most active customers and getting their insights on important decisions makes them feel like their opinions are truly valued and cared for.

In the long run, this forges a strong connection between you and your audience that relies on more than simply a transaction.

An added benefit of doing this is that you may even get some eye-opening suggestions and creative ideas that could end up benefiting your business.

-Harry Morton, Lower Street 

6. Bring up topics that encourage engagement

Meaningful connections need to originate from a common source that offers a moment of relatability, which can further build brand trust. Social platforms offer numerous opportunities for these types of exchanges. When managing your social community, bring up topics that encourage engagement so you can connect on a level that goes beyond the basic company/customer relationship. In doing so, the consumer will feel more at ease to comment, ask questions and even provide more detailed feedback.

-Lindsay McCormick, Bite 

7. Provide talking points and engage with your community

It’s important to recognize that community management is an ongoing responsibility. If you want to see your community thrive, you must create opportunities for customers to voice their opinion, communicate with other community members and provide you with feedback. Finding success is contingent on your ability to encourage participation from users, so you must provide talking points and give them plenty of avenues to stay involved.

If you leave your community dormant without your administrative oversight, engagement will start to dwindle as fewer users initiate conversations and take part.

Communities rarely function autonomously, so be sure to play an active role as you connect with and safeguard your community.

This gives you a chance to speak with your customers on a personal level, helping you learn about their likes, dislikes, objections and pain points directly—all of which are crucial in building meaningful connections with customers.

-Mike Grossman, GoodHire

8. Engage regularly

The best community management tip is to engage regularly and don’t neglect questions or threads you didn’t start—even better if they aren’t getting a lot of feedback. If you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to regularly interact with your customers, make sure you’re commenting often and have a badge next to your name letting them know you’re a moderator or part of the company. That will really cement that feeling of connection and letting members feel heard. Plus, we’ve found that a community manager can really breathe life into a topic by offering input and pushing it to the front of that community for more engagement.

-Sylvia Kang, Mira

9. Be the face of your brand

Revealing the human side of your brand is without a shadow of a doubt an efficient strategy to boost your customers’ connection. It conveys transparency and accountability, building a stronger human bond. Consumers tend to trust people more than a company, and showcasing real people will make you and your brand easier to remember and trust.

-Chiara Sternardi, Passport-photo.online

10. Choose a channel that works

social media apps on iphone

The best way to build an authentic community is to have everyone communicate using the same social media platform. Make that a crucial part of your strategy.

If it’s a professional audience that you’re going after, choose LinkedIn. If it’s a broader audience, use Facebook or Instagram. If it’s a young audience, try Snapchat or WhatsApp. If it’s a politically charged audience, maybe try Twitter.

YouTube is a great way to encourage people to watch videos that provide clear instructions on how a product or service works.

Users flock to YouTube for instructions on everything from how to change batteries on a device to playing scales on a guitar. The comment section can be useful for feedback purposes, and it also can be a way for customers to communicate with one another.

-Joel Jackson, Lifeforce

11. Create content that addresses customers’ specific needs

By creating audience and buyer personas based on different client categories, content marketers can create social content that speaks to people rather than just industries. Learn where your customers hang out online using your social media demographics. Then, narrow those results using audience research to help you define a specific audience and channel. You can then customize communications by researching the LinkedIn profiles of potential customers. Doing so will allow you to identify different stakeholders within the organization and determine their pain points. You can then create better content that addresses their challenges. But it’s all about finding an interesting angle for each segment.

Content that is too broad won’t result in authentic engagement with your followers.

Social media posts that offer helpful information are guaranteed to stand out in your clients’ feeds, resulting in more likes, shares and leads.

-Daniel Tejada, Straight Up Growth

12. Consider a brand ambassador program

A great way to create authentic connections with customers is with an acquisition and advocacy program like a brand ambassador program. For example, if a user can get five people to sign up for a service or product, they become an ambassador.

These brand ambassadors can help your business acquire new users. You can reward them with swag and access to special products or services … maybe even a special event!

-Jennifer Pieniazek, Resume Now

13. Reward loyalty

You can create meaningful connections by rewarding loyal customers to show how much you appreciate them. Just like any relationship, whether it’s personal or professional, people appreciate rewards. Show your customers that they matter and are top of mind in your decision-making. That’s how you create a stronger, more loyal customer base—one that will continue to pay attention for new initiatives and future rewards.

-Alyssa Berman-Waugh, Level Home, Inc.

14. Recognize the importance of inclusivity

To create meaningful connections with customers, recognize and accept diversities within your community. Each of your customers will differ in terms of their culture, orientation, ability and life experience. It’s imperative that you celebrate these differences and welcome input from individuals of all walks of life as you advocate for equity and inclusivity. This will develop your community’s reputation and attract diverse groups in greater numbers.

Communities that cater to just one group of people almost always become echo chambers, creating a suboptimal environment for connections to form and important discussions to take place.

By listening, asking questions, and welcoming input from diverse groups of individuals, you’ll cement your community as a welcoming place for diversity and insight to flourish.

In doing so, your ability to build a rapport and create meaningful, lasting connections with your customers will blossom.

-Patrick Casey, Felix

The community management tips used in this article were gathered using Terkel.
Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at terkel.io to answer questions and get published.



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Growing a Business

How Online Presence Makes Your Business More Trustworthy

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Have you ever made a dining decision based on a review you saw on the internet? You may have picked a product because it seemed “more trustworthy” online. It’s also a deal breaker if it isn’t handled correctly.

Customers are more inclined to believe in your company if it presents itself well on the internet. Whether a startup or a large corporation, your online appearance and behaviour matter to your consumers if you own an offline or online company.

Online presence

Why Should Your Business Go Online?

In addition to being available for your consumers, here are other reasons to consider your online presence.

It Improves Your Company’s Accessibility

When you don’t sell anything online, a solid online presence can help you make more money from the internet if you aren’t engaged on social media.

Before making a purchase, most consumers do internet research to learn more about the company and the goods. Being at the right place at the right time is simply good business.

It Takes Care of Your Marketing and Branding

An internet presence provides a steady supply of customers for your company. Customer feedback and social media participation may help boost purchases. It’s easier for consumers to identify your online presence with a website or social media account.

It May Boosts Your Company’s Credibility

Having an online presence is essential for your organisation to be taken seriously. A startup might have difficulty being accepted as a legitimate organisation in its early stages. It’s essential to have a strong internet presence before people take you seriously. It’s easier to get quick loans at gdayloans.com.au to expand your company.

It Aids in the Comprehension of Your Target Market

When you have an online presence, you can engage with your audience in a two-way conversation to get valuable feedback or evaluations. In addition, it helps you learn more about your prospective consumers and the things they’re looking for. If a restaurant uses polls on its Facebook page, it may determine which specials and goods are most popular with its patrons.

Businesswoman building an online presence

How Can You Evaluate and Enhance Your Company’s Web Presence?

Analysing your online reputation simply means monitoring what others say about you online. Then you make it work for you.

You can monitor and enhance your company’s online appearance by following these three steps.:

Monitor Mentions of Your Business

Monitoring your company’s internet mentions can help you track what’s being said about you and mitigate unfavourable publicity. This can also help you identify communication gaps.

Google Alerts can help you track online references of your company. Set up notifications for your business/product name and relevant keywords, and you’ll be alerted promptly whenever you’re mentioned anyplace online.

Analyse Your Website Traffic

The source of your traffic (and how much) might assist you in evaluating your internet presence. It may be necessary to expand your internet activities beyond your website. For example, low social media traffic might imply a poor social presence.

Tracking your website’s traffic with Google Analytics might reveal secret traffic sources that your Google search may have overlooked. It will also help you find unnoticed remarks or backlinks.

Assess Your Social Media Engagement

Your social media presence affects your online reputation as well. Active consumers on your social media platforms help build trust and confidence.

Consider checking a company’s and a competitor’s Facebook accounts. You may observe that one firm interacts with clients while the other has a few likes but no comments. Which do you prefer?

Social media presence for startup

Bottom Line

An active social media presence gives the impression of reliability while also conveying a sense of humanity and authenticity. Your audience will be more engaged as your social media presence improves.

To keep up with your target audience, you need to be one step ahead of them online. The first step is to become well-versed in everything your consumers discover about your company through the internet. Your internet presence must be understood, monitored, and improved to reach this goal.

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