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blogging will get you leads
November 26th, 2014 by: Steven Eastlack

blogging will get you leadsIn addition to educating and informing your customers, business blogs come with a host of benefits and opportunities to generate leads, which are necessary for the growth of your company.

First, it’s important to keep in mind that any customer who ends up on your business website may not be sure that your business is still running. If you have an updated blog, on the other hand, they’ll know that you’re still open for business, and that your business is most likely thriving. So in this way, simply having an updated blog is the first step to welcoming new customers.

Turn Your Blog into an SEO Machine

Google and the other major search engines are constantly scanning websites for fresh content, including blog content. If you’re updating the content on your business website regularly, the search engines will find this content and reward you with a higher search result ranking. Also, it will be easier for potential customers to find you based on their online searches.

In the long run, a solid content creation plan will save you advertising dollars as well. Instead of paying for pay-per-click or PPC ads, for instance, you’re generating more leads by simply posting informative, engaging content for your customers. All that costs your company is time.

Harness the Power of Social Media

Colourful Infographic ElementsAny time you post new content to your website, you should also use it for social media marketing. That way, your followers can share it with their friends on social media, and you can even start a conversation on one of the large networks such as Facebook or Twitter.

Build Loyalty Among Your Customers

Encourage customers to keep up with your company by inviting them to subscribe to your blog content. If they are alerted to your new posts, they’ll be more likely to read it—and to share it with their friends on social media. Although we usually associate blog posts with text articles, you can also post videos, white papers, infographics and more. Be creative.

Educate Your Customers

Ultimately, the goal of blogging is to provide your customers with something they want or need. When you provide it to them, you’re establishing trust and credibility, which are necessary to win over more customers. Use your blog to answer any questions your customers may have about your products and services. Even after they’ve made a purchase, they’re still likely turn to your company for advice and expertise.

 

 

Once you’ve written your blogs, you’ll need to learn how to master social media to get the most out of your blogs. The Facebook Marketing Guide for Local Businesses will take you step by step on how to set up for Facebook business page for optimal success in addition to creating a strong mass of followers on the social media giant. Click on the image below to learn more!

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online reviews
November 25th, 2014 by: Chris Marentis

online reviewsFor several years now, consumers have turned to the Internet to learn which companies and brands they could trust, and local marketing experts have come to find out that consumers are much more likely to trust a friend’s review than any marketing piece. In fact, online reviews can be a great way to attract new customers—as long as those reviews are positive, that is.

Unfortunately, the occasional negative review is inevitable. Sometimes consumers post scathing online reviews for only slight problems, and it’s impossible to prevent them from doing so. In these cases, it’s best to respond with a cool head and try to minimize the damage. Here are a few ways businesses can respond to negative online comments and spin them into positives:

Write Back Quickly

It’s critical for brand owners to respond to negative comments as quickly as possible. Otherwise it could appear as though your company has something to hide, or that you’re trying to hastily undo the problem before responding. However, don’t respond so quickly that your response is inaccurate; you don’t want to have to correct your response later.

As soon as you can, acknowledge the reviewer’s concern and promise to resolve the problem. If possible, try to resolve the issue offline. Provide the consumer with an email address or phone number they can use to contact a representative who can help them.

Apologize Sincerely for Wrongdoing

Consumers are likely to forgive and forget any problems or negative experiences they may have had with your company if you simply admit fault and apologize for it. If you deflect blame or make excuses for wrongdoing, they’re likely to become even more enraged.

Take your apology one step further by offering to make it up to them. If they received poor service at your restaurant, for example, give them a coupon for a free entrée and invite them to visit again—this time, service will be better.

Know When to Ignore Comments

A see-saw balance weighs good and bad options with thumbs up andDespite your responsibility to respond to consumer complaints quickly and professionally, it’s also important to remember that some comments and reviews simply don’t merit a response. If the post is vulgar or just plain mean, you don’t have to respond. Also, limit your contact to people who have a specific complaint about a particular interaction with your company. If the customer is only saying, ‘This is a horrible company and I’ll never do business with them again,’ you don’t have much to work with.

Professionalism is Key

Few companies avoid negative online reviews, but companies that are professional, helpful and honest always come out ahead. To learn more about how your business can better manage its reputation, our reputation management handbook will be of assistance.

 

Learn how to manage your reputation online with Surefire Social’s Reputation Management Handbook.

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Business Analytics
November 24th, 2014 by: Chris Marentis

Business AnalyticsIt’s no secret to online marketers that instead of listening to what companies have to say, consumers turn to the Internet to learn about the products and services they need. That’s why the challenge is only increasing for sales and marketing professionals. Thankfully, your team’s sales and marketing forces can work together to find new ways to reach online consumers and turn their interest into sales leads.

Understand the Buying Process

Before you delve into a sales and marketing strategy, it’s important to understand how the typical online consumer behaves. Without this understanding, you may connect with the consumer at the wrong stage of the buying process. Most consumers follow this pattern before they decide to make a purchase.

  • The Awareness Stage: During this stage, the consumer has just become aware of a need or a problem in his life, and he’s beginning to look for a solution.
  • The Consideration Stage: The consumer is actively considering solutions to his problem; this is when most of the research occurs.
  • The Decision Stage: After the consumer has done his research, he’s now ready to make a decision. At this stage, the consumer has already resolved any objections to the purchase.

The goal for local marketing experts is to help the sales team identify which buyers are in each of these stages of the buying process. If they can direct the sales team to consumers who are in the decision stage, they’re likely to turn many of those into sales conversions. On the other hand, the sales team jumps in too early—say, during the awareness stage—the consumer may be turned away because he’s not ready to make a decision.

Determine the Quality of Each Lead

Converting Leads To SalesTime is valuable for both sales and local internet marketing professionals. That’s why it’s so important for marketers to assess the quality of each lead before handing it off to sales. If marketers can pinpoint high-quality sales lead, the sales people will have a much easier time converting those leads into sales.

Without input from the sales team, however, it is difficult for marketers to know which leads are high-quality. It’s helpful for the sales team to teach the marketing team what to look for in a sales lead. You might want to encourage them to compare two sales leads and explain why one is better than the other. If there is no two-way communication between sales and marketing, the marketing team is likely to continue handing low-quality leads to the sales team, and sales will suffer as a result.

 

Want a website that search engines crave and one that generates and converts leads? Surefire Social’s Website Audit Handbook can help your website accomplish just that. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of your site so you know the areas to exploit and where to improve. Your website is one of the most powerful tools your business has. Why wouldn’t you want it performing at its maximum potential? Just click on the image below:

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Pay Per Click Mouse Concept
November 21st, 2014 by: Brian Seskin

Pay Per Click Mouse ConceptEven if you have designed the perfect landing page, it’s worthless without effective pay-per-click or PPC ads. Fortunately, if you can get the landing page and PPC ads right, you’re likely to find high sales conversion rates and increased web traffic.

Here are a few tips to keep your PPC ads on track:

Make Sure Your Keywords Match Your Landing Pages

When users click on ads that lead to landing pages that don’t quite relate to what they were expecting, they can become frustrated. That’s why it’s so important that your keywords accurately describe the content on the landing page. If your click-through rate is less than about 5 percent, your keywords and landing pages may not be matching up.

If you’ve checked to make sure that your keywords and landing pages match up, and you’re still seeing a low click-through rate, it may be time to improve the landing page itself. Make sure it has a clear message and a strong call to action.

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Eliminate Ineffective Keywords

Be sure to take the time to review your keyword performance. When you discover through your analytics tools that some keywords just aren’t working, eliminate them and try to find words that click with potential customers. Only keep words with a high click-through rate.

Write High-Quality Ads

When it comes to PPC ads, every word matters. If your ads aren’t performing well, it may be time to take a closer look at your ad copy. Including keywords in your ad copy increases the likelihood that someone will click on your ad, so local internet marketing professionals should always try to put keywords in the ad title, description or in the body of the ad.

Pay Attention to Your Daily Advertising Budget

If your daily budget runs dry before a certain time of day—say, before noon—you could be missing out on customers who shop after they get home from work. For this reason, it’s important for online marketers to use ad scheduling to ensure that you’re reaching out to customers when they’re likely to be online. By keeping an eye on when your customers are making purchases online, you can set your ad budget to deliver the most ads at those peak times.

The Bottom Line

Managing PPC ads takes a lot of time and money for online marketers, but the payoffs can be huge and it’s important to do all the legwork involved in running effective marketing campaigns. Don’t be afraid to change your strategy if it’s not working. For help with PPC campaigns, it may be best to work with a local SEO company.