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How to Design an Office to Impress Your Clients

You and your business space have only one opportunity to make a good first impression and stay in the pleasant memory of your clients. Of course, the best way to do so is to provide good service, have a welcoming and well-trained team and offer great prices for your services. However, your office can also make or break a deal, so make sure to pay attention to your office design and impress your clients in the best way possible.

Add color with textiles

According to The Psychology of Color, certain hues can have amazing results on your business. However, you don’t have to go and paint your entire office red to evoke excitement or black to say you mean business. Simple colorful decorative pillows or rugs can have a big impact too. They will also add to the feeling of comfort and make your clients feel relaxed.

Choose the right decoration

You can add color with textiles, but be careful with attention-seeking art pieces. The art you choose for your office should complement your color palette without drawing too much attention. Colorful wall art might look attractive, but it can also be quite distracting. However, do concentrate on finding original artwork. If you’re aiming towards a more studious design, you can install a bookshelf and fill it with classic works and useful books related to your business niche.

Introduce greenery

Plants, just like colors, have an amazing impact on people’s minds. They add life, fresh air and colors pleasing to the human eye. So, get a couple of indoor plants and impress your clients with your eco-friendly and well-decorated office. However, if you want to bring it up a notch and really leave a big impression, you can invest in green walls. They are growing in popularity quite fast and a lot of professional interior designers choose to incorporate them into office design. They will completely transform a boring indoor space, making it more inviting and fresh.

Smart and pleasant lighting

One of the main mistakes in office design is ugly fluorescent lighting. Instead, try to boost natural light in your space and spice it up with some stylish task lighting. Freestanding lamps are particularly interesting and useful, especially for lobbies.

Invest in good seating

Probably the most important part of every successful office is furniture. Sleek chairs and sturdy desks will give away the impression of professionalism. Furniture like high-quality Chicicat statement chairs will show your customers that you mean business.

Reinvent the reception area

Reception areas are slowly going out of fashion, especially for smaller companies that don’t have hordes of clients every day. However, companies that want to ditch the reception area are worried that their clients might feel confused and lost. But, you can provide your visitors with visual guides like wall signs or colored lines on the floor. These will make it easy to get around the office and you will impress your clients with your ingenuity.

Declutter for the win

Regular cleanups cost very little but leave a huge impact on your potential clients. A space that is clean and well-organized conveys a message that you’re a serious and responsible business that’s worth investing in. So, ban eating at the desk and provide the space with ample storage and garbage bins (recycling bins will additionally impress clients). Also, try to keep your cords in line with zip ties, Velcro strips and cord tubes for a completely neat and clean design.

So, don’t let your clients run in the other direction the second they see your workspace. Instead, welcome them with a beautiful, smart design and leave a long-lasting impression.

 
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Tips on Delivering a Successful Event Presentation

Planning a corporate event might be a daunting task. To make it informative, memorable, and fun, you need to make numerous decisions, from agenda constraints and printed materials to choosing the perfect location and menu. Still, this is a piece of cake when compared to delivering a powerful presentation that is supposed to boost your brand awareness. However, this shouldn’t discourage you. Even experienced speakers never feel 100% confident for the moment they step on the stage and start talking.

Here are several tips that will help you deliver a brilliant event presentation.

Rehearsal Makes it Perfect

No one appreciates speakers looking at the notes all the time. After all, the fact that you’re not prepared adequately indicates that you are not professional enough, as well as that you don’t appreciate your listeners. To ensure that your presentation flows smoothly, you need to rehearse your speech at least a couple of times. This helps you focus on your speaking style, body language, verbal cadence, and timing. By adjusting all these elements of your speech, you will establish better communication and look more confident.

Do your Research

To structure your presentation effectively, you need to do your research. Knowing the details about your target audience (their age, education level, industrial partners, and their niche) enables you to tailor your speech to their expectations. For instance, if your listeners come from a different industry field, then you need to start simpler than you would usually do and make sure that your speech is easy to follow. On the other hand, oversimplifying a particular subject matter when presenting it to the people from your niche might be annoying or even insulting.

Stick to the 20-Minute Rule

Have you ever wondered why TED talks last less than 20 minutes? Well, that’s how long people can stay focused on your speech. Of course, if you are allotted an hour, this means that you should divide your presentation into smaller units. By breaking down your speech this way and connecting its fragments with smooth transitions, you will deliver your key points as independent wholes and manage them according to your preferences. Transitions indicate that you’ve moved from one point of the speech to another and help your listeners focus on what you’re currently discussing. This could be a brief digression from the topic or a joke that might not even seem connected to the subject matter.

Never Miss an Opportunity to Raise Brand Awareness

Every event presentation is an opportunity for you to promote your business and connect with the influencers in your niche. First, you can include your company’s case studies. This will not only establish you as an expert in your niche, but also boost your brand awareness. Of course, to stay on track, you should never be overly promotional. Second, you could consult a graphic design studio and customize your printed materials, create authentic brochures and flyers, and implement your logo to both printed and visual resources. Finally, you could even give out something for participation, be it promo materials or a signed copy of your book.

Tell a Story

Every good story is based on several elements, including the beginning, the climax, and the end. The same goes for your presentation. To make your presentation relevant, you need to structure it like a fairy tale, gradually boosting the listeners’ interest. Here is how:

  • The opening is crucial for drawing people’s attention. Inexperienced speakers usually waste those first critical minutes of a presentation on detailed explanations. Don’t do that. Once you catch your listeners’ undivided attention, you should introduce the background, by telling them why they are there and what they are going to find out. Never communicate the most important information at the beginning.
  • The climax is the longest segment of your presentation. Here, you need to explain an issue in a way that is easy to comprehend. Add a pinch of tension and make your listeners frustrated about a particular problem.
  • The end. Just like in a fairy tale, this part brings the solution to a problem. This is when you should explain how your products or services may make your listeners’ lives better.

Use the Right Tools to Improve Interaction

We all know that content is king. But, to deliver a powerful event presentation, you need to focus on how this content is presented. This is exactly when the latest tech solutions shine. Apart from PowerPoint, there are numerous platforms that will help you deliver positive experiences and give your listeners a reason to come back.

  • Interactive presentation platforms provide you with a wide range of resources, such as embedded videos, registration forms, and 3D product demonstrations. This enables you to take your target audience to a visual journey, deliver easy-to-remember content, and take their engagement to a whole new level.
  • Touch screens serve as an outstanding alternative to PowerPoint slides. They help you navigate through your content faster and more effectively and display multiple resources simultaneously.
  • Virtual reality is basically the future of event presentations, offering a new level of engagement through gamification. It helps attendees interact with your products virtually and visit distant places, without leaving a conference room.
  • Maximize your Q&A section, which is the backbone of your presentation. By taking advantage of new technologies, such as Catchbox, a soft wireless microphone you can throw to your listeners, you will break down barriers and make people’s participation much simpler.

To Wrap it Up

Once you have a few event presentations under your belt, all these worries might seem ridiculous to you. Until then, you should stay calm and try to have fun. Don’t pay attention to your every word or move. Instead, do something totally spontaneous to boost the atmosphere. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to connect with those listeners who seem really engaged with your speech, just like you would do in an everyday interaction. Good luck!

Emma Miller is a digital marketer from Sydney. Works as a blogger, Senior Editor for Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends.

 
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7 Important Marketing Tips for Health Professionals

As a healthcare professional, you probably know the importance of attracting new patients. Whether you operate a family care practice, optometry, dentistry or any other medical practice, you need patients to succeed. Without them, you’ll struggle to generate revenue and keep your practice financially afloat. You can attract more patients, however, by using the seven marketing tips listed here.

Encourage Patient Reviews

When a patient is preparing to leave your practice, ask him or her to leave a review online. Statistics show that 92 percent of patients read reviews of local doctors and medical practices online before booking an appointment. As your medical practice generates lots of positive reviews, patients will feel more comfortable choosing it instead of a competitor.

Create a Google My Business Page

Does your medical practice have a Google My Business (GMB) page? If not, you should create one. Operated by Google, this online directory is designed specifically for local businesses. Adding your medical practice here will allow patients to get directions using Google Maps or services powered by Google Maps. Additionally, you can use your GMB listing to information about your practice like hours of operation, accepted methods of payment and more.

Publish Health-Related Content

You can attract patients to your medical practice’s website by publishing health-related content. According to the Pew Research Center, 59 percent of adults have searched for health information online within the past year. Whether it’s the difference between a cold or flu or how to treat a fever, prospective patients are always searching for health information online. Health professionals should capitalize on this trend by publishing health content on their website.

Paid Search Advertising

Another effective marketing channel for health professionals is paid search advertising. Also known as pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, it involves displaying custom ads in the search results. Both Google and Bing have paid advertising services, known as AdWords and Bing Ads respectively. Using these services, you target local users around your medical practice, paying for each click your ad receives. Since paid advertising platforms like AdWords and Bing Ads offer local targeting, it’s a cost-effective way to promote a medical practice.

Search Engine Optimization

You don’t have to necessarily pay to get your business listed in the search results. All major search engines display organic results, which are not part of their respective advertising service. Performing search engine optimization (SEO) on your medical practice’s website will encourage a higher search ranking. After you’ve identified the keywords for which you want to rank, you can begin optimizing your site.

Keep in mind that SEO is a longer and more methodical process than paid search advertising. Furthermore, there’s no guarantee that you’ll achieve a number one ranking. As long you use the right SEO tactics, though, you should notice an improvement in your site’s rankings.

Create an Email Newsletter

An email newsletter is an excellent channel on which to promote healthcare practices. If you run a dentistry clinic like Carolina Crossroads, you can send patients reminders about upcoming cleaning appointments as well as tips on how to brush and floss. Over time, an email newsletter will increase your practice’s brand visibility and help you attract new patients.

Incentivize Referrals

It’s not uncommon for patients to refer a medical practice to their friends or family. If you provided a patient with exceptional service, he or she may recommend your practice to family members in need of professional healthcare services. You can encourage even more referrals such as this, however, by offering an incentive. For example, you can reward patients with a 10 percent of coupon for every new patient they refer.

Following these seven marketing tips will set your medical practice on the path to success.

 
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Top Reasons Your Business Should Invest Heavily in Social Media Marketing

Marketing your business is a constantly evolving challenge. There are many advertising options out there, and all of them can get results. But very few of them offer the same advantages that social media marketing (SMM) offers. Here are the top three reasons why your business needs to be going all in on social media.

Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Landing Pages

Big media reaches tons of people and has its place in your overall marketing strategy, but there’s nothing better than going directly to your target market. Social media allows you to bring very targeted traffic to your website. Once you narrow down your niche and find which social media platforms your target customers use most, push heavily into those channels. If you’re using accurate client personas and are focusing your efforts properly, the traffic you receive from your social campaigns can convert at a very high rate.

Instantly Connect with Your Customers

One of the best things about social media is its ability to put you directly in touch with your customers and potential customers in a way that they feel comfortable interacting with you. They might not fill out a contact form. They might dread dialing your toll-free number and going through a million options with the chatbots. But they’ll leave a comment on a Facebook post or answer back to an instant message on Instagram. You can receive a lot of information about what your customers want from you based on your SMM campaigns, with every post giving you immediate feedback.

When customers leave comments on your social posts, respond in an appropriate way, even if it’s just to give their comment a like or to drop in on their page and like a few of their posts too. You’d be surprised at how much of an impact this can have on some of your followers and how they feel about your brand. This, along with help from a program like Shaw Media Marketing, can also improve your search engine optimization.

Build Your Brand Cost-Effectively

Let’s face it. For many small businesses, the biggest draw of social media is its low cost. Advertising through big media campaigns is simply not an option for them. Social media marketing is so much more affordable and more cost-effective than traditional media, making it a no-brainer for your business too.

But while you can set up accounts and use social media for free, that doesn’t mean that you need to rely only on sweat equity to accomplish your goals. Paid social ads offer a great ROI and deserve a large share of your overall marketing budget due to their ability to target your chosen demographics with laser-like precision.

If you’re still sitting on the fence regarding social media marketing, there is no better time than the present to make your decision and get started. Don’t be intimidated by your lack of expertise in all things digital. Just get started. Consult a professional if you need more info, but don’t keep sitting back watching the opportunities pass you by.

 
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7 Marketing Tools & Technology Tips for 2018

As we move into the New Year, thoughts inevitably turn to what we are leaving behind in 2017 – and what we can look forward to in the upcoming year!

In the Tech and the Marketing worlds it is usually a good idea around this time of year to peer at the horizon and predict a number of innovations and groundbreaking products in both of these worlds. After all, if you know in advance the tools and tech that will be lighting up 2018 then you are already a step ahead of the competition.

Apps

Downloading and use of apps is growing year on year. What’s more, because Apps are a medium people choose to download and use, they already come with a cachet of agreeability from the customer that is not typically generated by things like promotional e-mails.

These things in fact tend to alienate customers – reading rates for promo e-mails hover around 5% – so finding new ways to communicate with the customer is of growing importance – mobile apps may be just the things to do this.

Go Mobile

Very much in line with the above tip, it is worth noting that Mobile devices, mainly phones, are now the number one way that people browse the Internet. Around 51% of web visits are now performed on mobile phones – which also represents a year on year growth of 25%.

The savvy marketer therefore is going to be making sure his website is mobile friendly in 2018.

Visual

Experts are predicating that 2018 is going to be the year of the video. In an increasingly crowded marketing space, marketing experts are predicting that a into a more visual space is going to help some companies get the edge in garnering attention.

In a recent poll by HubSpot, some 45% of marketing pros stated an intention to add YouTube to their marketing plans in 2018.

Audio

Podcasts are big business – many of them achieve in excess of 100,000 downloads per week, and they can have a very loyal listening fan base.

What’s more you can tailor your advertising easily. Sell male grooming products? Get an advert into a sports based podcast.

Facebook – But Not as We Know It.

When it comes to marketing, Facebook is a giant and everyone wants to be involved. But, it’s very popularity, the sheer numbers of adverts and pushed posts can leave users immune to marketing via Facebook.

That’s why in 2018 smart marketers will be pushing Facebook Live. An Experiment at SearchEngine Journal found their Facebook Live posts received 178% more views that a normal Facebook entry.

Educate

No matter if you are making videos, podcasts or written articles the trend in 2018 will be toward education in your material. First it was inspirational themes, and then it was quirky and funny. Now the marketplace is clogged with these types of messages, consumers are looking for something else to engage them.

Educational material allows you to build a voice the customer trusts – and listens to.

Tell Someone Else’s Story

No wants to read your blog about your product.

They do want to read about your product can be used to save time for busy Mom’s, how it can help them relax after a hard day’s work or hw it can improve the lives of impoverished children.

Don’t push your product in 2018, push it’s story – and make it cross platform. Make videos, post blogs, create podcasts.

Integrate

That is our final lesson too – and it’s going to be a big part of marketing in 2018 – advertise across multiple platforms. The days of spending big on a TV ad and waiting for sales to roll in are over.

In 2018, the great marketing campaigns will generate word of mouth on Twitter, they will have Facebook posts carrying links to Youtue videos.

Jen Starr is part of the community team at Next Day PC. Jen enjoys staying on top of the latest tech trends and sharing how new tech can positively impact people’s lives.

 
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Things to Do Before Starting an Online Business

While more and more people are obsessed with the idea of starting an online business, a lot of them are still completely oblivious of all that it takes to succeed in an industry. There are some issues that need to be resolved beforehand and some infrastructure to be laid down. Nonetheless, this course of action often eludes new entrepreneurs, which causes a wide array of difficulties further down the line. In order to avoid this becoming a serious problem, here are a few things you must do before starting an online business.

1. Gather the funds

Although it is true that some online businesses can be started with as little as $500, this greatly depends on the industry you are in.

At the very least, you need to pay for website design, monthly subscription fees for software you use and the cost of registering your domain name. This is, of course, in a situation where you If, on the other hand, you are in retail, you also have to think about the cost of manufacturing/paying the supplier. Needless to say, you need to bear in mind that the less money you aim to invest, the more effort will be required on your part, which doesn’t always seem like a smart trade for those who are already preoccupied with their day-job.

2. Separate your personal from your professional life

Perhaps one of the hardest things for a first-time business owner is finding a way to separate their personal and professional lives. This needs to be done both emotionally and financially. When it comes to the former, you need to try and restrain yourself from trying to micro-manage everything, seeing as how your personal relationships might suffer because of it. Moreover, you are putting yourself at risk of burning out early, just when your business might need you the most. As for protecting your personal finances, you need to register a company as soon as possible, so that, in the event of failure, you do not lose your personal savings to repay the investors.

3. Postponing worries about customer services

Everyone knows that customer service is a vital component in the success of a company. What they disagree on is how early on you need to resolve this issue. A vocal minority argues that this is something best left for later on, while the majority of experienced business owners argue that this can be a devastating mistake leading to the inevitable demise of your company. Therefore, your customer service needs to be among the first things you deal with and if you don’t believe you can handle this adequately in-house, outsourcing might be a good idea.

4. Having loose hiring criteria

A mistake that is probably the easiest one to sneak up on you is believing that the talent will come later on and that, for the time being, you can loosen up your hiring criteria. Needless to say, the very launch of your company is where you are supposed to shine the most, which is why allowing just about anyone into the company may cause irreparable damage in the long run.

5. Spreading yourself too thin on social media

Even though there are over a dozen important social networks out there at the moment, you don’t have to be equally represented across all of them. Retailers of gadgets and software have the greatest odds of appealing to their audience on YouTube, while those focusing on arts and crafts might have better luck on Pinterest. Furthermore, teens are the most common audience on Snapchat, while Facebook is believed to be a predominantly female network. Overall, you need to identify your target audience and focus the greatest portion of your efforts on one or two channels.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the greatest problem with the above-listed tips is that not all of them are logical or intuitive, which makes them easy to overlook. Sure, everyone knows that hiring the right people and dealing with your customer service is important, but not everyone knows just how dangerous skipping any of these steps may turn out to be. If you’re lucky, you will never have to find this out the hard way either.

 
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Restaurant Owner? 3 Ways To Get In Touch With Customer Satisfaction

As a restaurant owner, you know that customers are the lifeblood of your business. If you’re willing to listen to those customers, you’ll be better able to respond to their needs and steer your business in the right direction. Unfortunately, it can often seem impossible to get accurate information on customer satisfaction from those who work for you. Instead of depending on employees for this information, why not get it directly from your customers? Below are three ways to help you keep an eye on the satisfaction of your customers.

Be Active On Social Media

If you want to stay connected with your customers, you’ll need social media accounts. These accounts will cost your business nothing, though you’ll need to spend time managing these accounts. Not only do they help give you a presence in the lives of your customers, but they give your customers a unique way to get in contact with you. It’s become increasingly common for customers to air their grievances and ask questions on social platforms, so you’ll want to be available to help them whenever possible.

Make sure you actively monitor these channels and make them useful. If you want customers to contact you, make sure someone is always standing by to answer questions. If you can be proactive, customers will actually go out of their way to let you know how your business is performing.

Cultivate Reviews

Customer reviews are a precious commodity these days. Not only do they help you get more information from your customers about what you are doing right (or wrong), but they also help provide valuable information for those who are thinking about visiting your business. If you really want to get in touch with customer satisfaction information, you must make sure to have a presence on major review sites.

At a minimum, make sure you leave a spot for customer reviews on your own website. You should also take advantage of Google’s reviews and Yelp. Make sure to boost customers who respond positively and to respond to anyone who responds negatively. In many cases, a respectful and helpful response to a negative review can still help you when it comes to customer satisfaction. Keep an eye on these reviews, as they’ll often help you determine how to steer your business going forward.

Ask

If you really want to know what your customers are thinking, try asking them. Having a survey made is quick and fairly painless but it can provide you with a wealth of information. Many customers may log onto a review site will still fill out a questionnaire in person, especially if there is a reward for doing so. If you format the questions correctly, you can even get good data.

Make it as easy as possible for customers to take these questionnaires. Provide an option for doing them in your place of business, but also give them the opportunity to do the survey online. If you do have an online survey, make sure it is optimized for mobile devices so that customers can do the survey on the go. If you give them the tools to give you information, you’ll find that most customers are happy to tell you what they think.

Keep track of social media, use review sites, and don’t be afraid to ask your customers for input. With the right tools at your disposal, you can gather information and help your business to focus on the areas that will bring in more customers. These tools require constant monitoring and updating, but they’re ultimately among the best ways to make sure that your customers are happy.

 
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Social Media Strategies: 5 Tips for Small Business Branding

Social media has changed the way business is done all over the world. Weary of advertising saturation in other media, the majority of social users prefer to do business with brands they’ve connected with on social networks. No matter the size of your company, the key to building your brand is following the right strategies on the major social sites. Those who fail to capitalize on this are missing many opportunities. For building up your small business’ online presence, it’s practically a necessity. Here are some strategies to use in social brand building.

Choose the Right Network

If you’ve tried several social sites already without much success, you’re probably squandering your time and effort. It’s important to discover which social network is right for your company. Pinterest, for instance, is visually oriented, while Twitter limits you to 140-character posts. First, you should identify which social site your market segment prefers according to demographics, then allow yourself time to learn the formats and etiquette that each particular set of users expects. When you feel you’ve got it covered, then create a profile on the next and start linking the two.

Create Visual Branding

If your visual look is too varied, people following you from one network to another may get the feeling that they’re dealing with a different company. Come up with a visual look to your brand that followers will recognize and become comfortable with. This is part of building trust. Come up with logos, image and media types, slogans, avatars, and color schemes that will give your social media posts a distinct look. Be sure to use the same photo filters, as well. Your visual style should reflect your official company site and be consistent across all your social media profiles.

Develop Your Character

Branding is also very dependent on the message you put out, or your brand voice. This also has to be consistent and appealing. Your company culture, philosophy, social causes, and everything else that makes up who you are as a company should be a part of your social posts. Discovering just exactly what your voice is could take some time. Be sure that it’s positive and expressed in an authentic manner. Finding ways to express it effectively will help audiences connect with your company at a more emotional, intuitive level.

Focus on Core Topics

No matter which social media platform you use, you’re liable to see many posts, even from your loyal followers, that you find objectionable, intriguing, or hilarious. Keep in mind that as a business, you’re best response is always to remain neutral and professional. Don’t get drawn into conversations on topics that might be offensive or that have nothing to do with your company or industry. Have a clear list of topics that you think will really benefit your business and your followers. If you have an employee or service manage your social activity, set clear guidelines upfront on what is or isn’t acceptable.

Use Digital Tools

Employ whatever analytic tools are available to track your progress. The relative success of each post could help you discover the content that works best on each social site. Particularly if you operate a B2B company, take advantage of other online tools to support your social branding. For example, add your company’s social information to Crunchbase. This site is a business data firm used by companies like Xyngular, investors, and more to track startup activity and small business growth. This can help key players in your industry find you.

It may seem like an uphill battle when you start out as a relative unknown. It will take some time and patience. But a strong social media brand can become the best and most productive marketing tool you have.

 
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Marketing Marvel: How Technology Bridges the Customer Information Gap

The internet has transformed the way that companies communicate with their customers, presenting businesses with new challenges as well as fresh opportunities for growth. Since potential customers have hundreds of pages of information at their fingertips when they are browsing the web, businesses should expect them to research, compare and communicate with each other during many of their buying decisions. Conventional tactics centered on simple name recognition are no longer enough. Modern companies must create a complete customer experience and manage their relationships with consumers in a broad variety of digital environments.

Accessible Customer Service

Even though most potential customers have reliable access to a phone, they won’t necessarily be inclined to call a customer service or support line. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t want to talk to company representatives about their questions or concerns. Many companies take the first step towards making a connection by adding a dynamic chat functionality to their site or mobile app. This allows visitors to initiate a text conversation with a company representative whenever they need with no pressure or obligation. Essentially, marketers must be willing to connect with their audience in any way possible wherever they are.

An interactive chat feature may not be suitable for all businesses, but companies of all sizes must find ways to engage customers. Many people prefer sending an email or using an app instead of making a phone call or using on-site chat features, so it’s important to offer these options as well. Contact information should be prominently displayed across the site to ensure visitors can find it quickly and easily. Creating a positive customer experience also means building a solid customer service department with a budget and oversight appropriate for its importance.

Gathering Accurate Feedback

No company is perfect, so chances are high that at least some of your customers are not completely satisfied with their experience. While this does not necessarily indicate that the company is doing something wrong, it does mean that there’s something they could change to broaden their appeal to consumers. Every business should seek feedback from their customers so they can turn their marketing efforts into a science. For many, the challenge is getting accurate and reliable reviews.

One of the most amazing of recent marketing marvels is the ability to track and verify individuals to ensure their feedback is legitimate. Businesses can use third-party services, like OpenTell, that match receipts to customers when they submit a review of the company. This can greatly improve the quality of feedback, which is essential for actually using it to achieve meaningful results. Even if reading critical remarks is a little painful, it can be an immensely powerful tool for fueling growth and retaining customers.

Marketing Automation and Software Solutions

Customer relationship management (CRM) has become cannon for many modern marketers thanks to software solutions that offer extensive information management capabilities. CRM software tracks and sorts comprehensive databases that include details regarding individual customers, including all of their prior communications with representatives, purchases and interests. This allows both customer service and marketing personnel to do their jobs more efficiently and accurately.

Adopting a CRM tool may feel like a big step, but many of them are actually designed to be user-friendly and intuitive. The platforms can be accessed by people at different authority levels and departments throughout the company, creating a central hub for information that is constantly kept up to date. Some software tools also allow users to automate certain aspects of their marketing efforts, like email reminders or follow-ups, with room for customization when desired.

Technological development may be a disruptive force, but it is also one that spurs change and improvement. Businesses that learn how to change with the times and harness the potential of digital marketing tools have much to gain from their efforts. Connecting with customers, understanding the challenges they face and finding ways to help them address concerns is still a top priority. The key is to use technology to improve the customer experience and deliver better, faster and more satisfying service.

 
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6 Innovative Ways to Use Pinterest

Pinterest is a valuable and easy-to-use marketing channel for your business or personal interests. With over 150 million active Pinterest users and over 50 billion pins, you may think that your own image boards are getting lost in the shuffle. It’s important to check now and then on your followers. Understand who they are what they like so you can tailor your boards to engage their interests. While many other people on Pinterest are doing the same thing, there are some creative strategies you can use to make your own pins stand out.

Develop Iconic Images

Companies like NuSkin have used pictures to convey not only their products, but also the feel and Think about what images can become icons that people will associate with you. It could be your building façade, a local landmark, your own portrait, a piece of iconic art, a signature product, your logo, a mascot, or anything else that can provide appeal and instant recognition of your focus or organization. Just make sure you have the legal rights or permissions to use any images from outside sources. Start using it in your marketing and feature it prominently on your boards.

Tell a Story

Take stock of your company history or personal journey and progress, from your humble beginnings to your current state. Hopefully you’ve saved some past photos that you can use to tell your story in a sequential or before-and-after format. People will engage better with a meaningful story. Brainstorm for some original but relevant stories such as awards, successes, charitable endeavors, or friends and customers you’ve touched by providing exceptional services. If you can come up with an on-going story, audiences will keep coming back to see the latest pins.

Use Video

Don’t forget that you also post videos to Pinterest. The higher the quality, the more people will engage with them. But you don’t need to invest in major productions. Shorter, to-the-point videos will get your message across without requiring any commitment from viewers. For example, a restaurant might post videos as brief tours of the kitchen and dining room, smiling customers enjoying a meal, and so on, alongside photos of delicious foods.

Be a Resource

Use your boards and pins to convey information. The right photos and captions can explain a lot to your followers in easy-to-understand, succinct terms. You could talk about your processes, hobbies, passions, product features, industry standards, and more. Take the opportunity to educate followers on your particular mission, relevant facts, and technology. You could even develop boards and sequences of pins to produce how-to manuals for your products or services.

Behind the Scenes

Pinterest photos and videos are a good way to highlight the people behind your or your organizations. It’s easier to connect emotionally with people than with things. Post quality photos of yourself and your family or leadership team, conferences and meetings, people hard at work, and company picnics or other social events. By portraying not just your products and services but yourself and your team as real, dedicated, and positive, you’ll engage followers at an empathetic level.

Hold Contests

Public contests can be a great way to both promote your company and come up with new ideas. Make it something fun and interesting but still relevant to your brand and industry. Offer a prize that will generate interest and encourage participation. It could be something as business-centric as coming up with a new ad slogan or product idea, or just popular interests like the best chili recipe. Think about seasonal contests like photos of the best pet Halloween costumes. You can garner attention both in advertising the contest, sharing pins of the entries, and eventually the winners and runners-up.

Your marketing on Pinterest is really only limited by your imagination. While you’ll want to keep things professional, don’t be afraid to have some creative fun or even get wacky on occasion if your followers are OK with it.

 
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