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Building up trust concept: Black alphabetic letters forming the
October 22nd, 2014 by: Chris Marentis

Reputation Conceptual Meter

Before any customer is ready to make a purchase, they must first believe that business has their best interests at heart. Depending on the products or services you provide, this trust can go a long way. Say for instance someone is looking at your business to install a new roof on their house. That’s an expensive undertaking and one that requires a decent amount of trust in your business to perform a good job. Otherwise, they will turn to a competitor with a better reputation. Truly effective local internet marketing is a matter of communicating your business’s credibility to your target audience in order to build and nurture that trust.

Identify Your Typical Customer

Your website is one of the best resources at your disposal to use to build trust among your customers. But to do that, you need to identify who are your most common types of customers and cater towards them. Being a contractor or home remodeler, a common customer may be homeowners who are established, been living in the same house for ten or so years, been saving up money and are now ready to make a change by upgrading their home. You know what their pain points are and what they’re looking for. Use your key demographics to mold together a design for your website that appeals to them.

This can be complemented by showcasing proper imagery and wording throughout your website. These established homeowners will share different tastes than a newly married couple who just purchased their first home. Consider their interests and experiences. An image of a family with several children and a dog will better appeal to established homeowners. Whereas a photo of a couple with a newborn baby will appeal more to newly married homeowners.

No matter who your typical customer is, your website can best establish credibility when it’s simple and easy to navigate. If it’s too complicated or unprofessional, your customers will get the sense that your company doesn’t care much about their needs.

Make It Personal

Once you’ve identified your top two or three types of customers, you will then be able to target them in a more personal manner. For example, to enable parents to get to know potential baby-sitters, UrbanSitter allowed sitters to post their own personal videos, which helped to build trust. Thanks to the videos, parents could see that these caregivers could be creative and empathetic, and ultimately the personal touch built trust, which ultimately led to more baby-sitting appointments.

Focus On Your Employees

When it comes to building trust, your employees can play a crucial role and can be some of your most important assets. Don’t be afraid to showcase their skills, talents, and personalities at local events or on your website. After all, your employees make up the experience your customers are going to have with your business. Let them get to know your employees so they can better relate to your brand and business.

On the flip side, make sure your employees aren’t sabotaging your marketing efforts by providing poor customer service. Employee customer service training is as important as marketing, if not more so!

Encourage Positive Reviews

Social media is a powerful tool for building trust. Build Facebook like buttons on your website so that customers can easily find your Facebook page and post positive reviews about their experience with your company. Research shows local marketing experts that consumers are much more likely to trust a Facebook review from one of their friends than they are to trust any marketing message from the company itself.

Speaking of social media, it’s critical that you keep most of your posts and updates positive. While most consumers are accustomed to negative news reports, they’re more likely to interact with and share positive content that they find on social media.


blog word on a sticky note against grained wood
October 16th, 2014 by: Chris Marentis

Light BulbsEven after your marketing team has gone to the trouble of creating engaging and original content for your blog, there’s still more that needs to be done. Unfortunately, simply publishing new content doesn’t guarantee people will visit your site. By following, content creation guidelines though, you can bring your content to the masses with just a few simple steps.

Use Short URLs for Social Media

First, make sure you’re sharing your new content with people who are already interested in what you have to say—your social media followers. That’s obvious. Use short URL services such as bit.ly or HootSuite to generate a short link that also enables you to track the number of people who click on your link.

Facebook and Twitter posts are most effective when they include an image, so be sure to include a photo that relates to your blog article. Most likely, you’ll be able to use the same image you used in the blog post itself.

And while you’re on Twitter, see if you can tweet the link directly to someone who needs the information you presented in your blog article. Sometimes people ask questions or express concerns on Twitter, and you can find these people by doing a quick search of some of the keywords in your article.

Try Using Shareable Quotes

WordPress has a great new plugin that enables blog owners to embed links to shareable quotes for Twitter. Pick out a few lines from your blog article that might be ‘shareable’ on Twitter, then use Tweet Dis to allow people to tweet just that line from your article along with a link to the full text. This gives readers the opportunity to share a line that resonates with them rather than the headline you chose for the article.

Leverage Pinterest

Pinterest’s growth is outpacing that of Facebook and Twitter, and it’s an incredible opportunity for local social media marketing professionals in some key industries to share their content. Before you post on Pinterest, you may want to create an image that includes a high-quality photo and the title of your blog article.

Tell Top Influencers

Most business owners and marketers know the top influencers in their industry. When you have new blog content to share, be sure to let these prominent people know through Facebook, Google+, or even a personal email message. It’s possible that they will see value in your content and do some of the sharing load for you. However, if you reach out to influencers, keep your communication to a minimum; you don’t want to bombard them with an email, Facebook message and Twitter message all about the same article. In general, an email message is the best bet.


Social media concept. Communication in the global computer netwo
October 15th, 2014 by: Chris Marentis

content

Content marketing can bring enormous success to your company—but only if it’s properly executed. Too often businesses fail to create content that engages their customers on multiple platforms, and there are a few main reasons for this.

Keep Advertising to a Minimum

First, even though the ultimate goal of your business blog is to generate more business, it’s important that it doesn’t come off that way to customers. Your first goal should be to create content that your customers want to read—and that means that it can’t be one long advertisement for your company.

To connect with your target audience, you’ll need to talk about more than your products and services. Think outside the box. If your company sells lawn mowers, don’t just write about all the types of lawn mowers that you sell. Try writing about how homeowners can create their own landscape plans, mowing etiquette tips, and anything you can think of that your customers might enjoy.

Appeal to a Narrow Audience

If you try writing to everyone, you’ll end up reaching no one. Think of your typical customer and write with his or her needs in mind. Making your audience too broad will only make your content seem vague and generalized. People want specifics and details when they’re looking for help.

Avoid Over-Editing

It’s always a smart idea to get an extra set of eyes or two to read over your content to catch errors you may have missed, but sometimes editing can go too far. When too many people in too many departments read over your work, it can sometimes be reduced to nothing. Sometimes it’s best to skip over all of these edits and critiques and enable your local internet marketing professionals to do what they do best.

Make It a Priority

For too many businesses, content creation is simply not a priority. When it comes to content marketing, make sure you’re utilizing the talents and ideas of your entire marketing team. Unfortunately, it’s common for some members of these teams to sit out of the content creation process and this can mean you could be missing out on some great blog ideas and content.

Measure Your Success

If executed correctly and with the customer in mind, content marketing can boost sales and drive new business. In this data-driven age, it’s important to track this success so that you can continue to make it a priority for your business. Be sure you’re using website metrics to prove that your content is making a positive impact on your company’s bottom line.


Spreading The Word - People And Arrows
October 13th, 2014 by: Alexandra Reichenbach

iStock_000017727905_Small

We find ourselves in an era where it’s no longer enough to simply have great content. Whether it be in the form of a blog, e-book or webinar, if your content doesn’t get shared, its impact will be minimal to nonexistent. Thanks to the convenient social media sharing buttons that are now widely available, it’s easy for your customers to pass along your content to a friend. However, where many fall short is not knowing how to create content that encourages others to share it. This question troubling many marketers has a few solutions that could help the creation of engaging content.

Establish Yourself as an Expert in Your Field

When people share your content, they’re in essence pledging their support to your company. They feel confident that what your business provides is valuable and can benefit others. Otherwise, they wouldn’t share your content. After all, they have their own online reputation to look after.

That’s why it’s critical for a business to establish themselves as a leader in their respected field by publishing credible articles that are based on fact. Because of the position you hold in your industry, you’re privy to inside information on new products, cutting-edge technologies, and the latest trends. Make sure you put this knowledge to use by sharing it with your customers in the form of engaging articles that they’ll want to share with their friends.

Do Your Own Research

It’s easy to scour the Internet for various research findings and polls that relate to your business. With this information, you can then write an article or possibly an e-book that explains your take on the research. Even better, conduct your own research by polling your own customers. It can be as simple as an informal email survey.

Ask Customers What They Want

By keeping the lines of communication between your company and your customers open, you can ensure that your content creation is on track. Every once in a while, ask your customers for their input. Do they want more research-based articles? Do they want funny articles that will get their friends laughing? You’ll never know if you don’t ask. After all, the best way to figure out what your customers want can be to just ask them!

Take a Closer Look at Your Content’s Performance

It’s always a good idea for local internet marketing professionals to take a close look at how their marketing has performed. In this case, measure only content sharing and find out which five pieces have been shared most often. Take note of what these five items have in common and try to write more content that follows the general idea of some of these articles without directly repeating it. Consider specifics such as the title of the post as well as the images used in conjunction with the text.

Keep It Positive

It shouldn’t be surprising that most social media users are more likely to share positive news online than negative news. So keep your tone positive and try to find the most optimistic angle of every story.