Category Archives: Business online presence

Business Blog Ideas to Combat Your Writer’s Block

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

ideas for blogger's with writer's blockIt’s the bane of any business blogger’s existence: writer’s block. What do I write about today? What’s relevant to my audience? What else is there to write about?

Hopefully, your writer’s block is more than thwarting a whim; it’s an interruption to your content marketing plan, because a strategic content marketing plan is more effective than writing about everything and anything that comes to mind. We’ll give you a prime example: when we took over content marketing efforts, we inherited a company’s business blog. After a quick scroll through the business’ blog, we found that we had to completely start from scratch because the posts were about musings from going on a walk with the writer’s dog and other non-relevant content. Very few of the posts were about the company’s business or their audience’s interests—and who’s going to be driven to a website about if they don’t have any relevant and valuable content that can help them?

A strategic marketing plan also has another benefit; creating a content marketing plan leads to consistent content, the second ingredient in a successful marketing campaign. Unfortunately, creating consistent content also leads to writer’s block, leaving you searching for writing ideas. So how do you come up with new ideas for content?

Talk to your salesperson & business owner

A business blog is not—should not—be a one-person job. That’s not to mean that one person can’t do all the writing to produce content for the blog, but a GOOD business blog requires a village. Talk to your business owner or a salesperson for ideas. You don’t have to take up hours of their time, just have a simple conversation with them. At KD Interactive, we always get the input of a contact from the business, though many of them don’t think they have “blog ideas.” Once we start asking questions, we find they know more than they think. Ask your salesperson, “what are your customers asking about?” “What are the latest industry trends that appeal to your customers?” “What are common problems that your customers encounter?”

Research your industry

What are latest trends and new products? Are there any new solutions that you can make your customers aware of? Remember, one of your top business blog goals is to give value to your audience. Write a blog post that delivers with new solutions or products that resolve their problems, or new trends that they can utilize in their life.

Look at the calendar

What kind of services are your customers looking for this time of year? Are there any national holidays you get inspiration from? How is the calendar affecting your audience’s lives? Make sure you stay ahead of the game (another reason to create a content calendar) so you’re not late to the party. You don’t want your blog post to look like an afterthought.

Create a list

Most likely, you found this post because you’re looking for ideas—you’re not the only one. Give your audience what you want; a list filled with ideas, tips, or topics relevant to them.

Still don’t have any ideas? Or don’t have time to come up with ideas and create consistent, relevant content? If you find that you don’t have the content marketing expertise, time to keep posting content on your blog or that you’re losing steam in your content marketing efforts, outsource your blog to a company experienced in content marketing. Even though you are putting your blog content in an expert’s hands, don’t walk away. Your input is a valuable part of successful content marketing, so use these do’s and don’ts for working with a marketing company. (And be wary of marketing companies that don’t ask for your input).

Remember, content marketing is not an “overnight success” marketing tactic. A quality business blog is a marathon effort, built on relevant and regular content for your audience. If you stay in the marathon (even amidst the writer’s block), you and your customers can reap the rewards of a good, relevant business blog.

Why your Digital Marketing Needs to Mirror My Buying Experience

customer experience

Here’s what you should learn from my decision to replace this ugly door.

Like most marketers, we’re always trying to learn and build upon our training and experience to guide our clients. To give them the best advice, content and strategic knowledge so they can give their customers the very best customer experience. And sometimes, that experience we use happens outside of work hours—like my recent experience in a hardware store on a Saturday afternoon.

Why should you care about my experience? Not because I was shopping for the most fascinating product. I was shopping for a door—a regular, plain entry door. And my experience isn’t going to set off a viral backlash against the company, because it wasn’t negative. In fact, my in-person buying experience was perfect—so perfect that it reminded me of what we’re all striving to give our customers, what we’re all striving for when we talk about customer experience.

That’s why you should care. Because my experience is what you need to give your customers. Not want to give, but need to give. Studies have repeatedly shown that customers are willing to spend more for a product from a company that provides great customer experience—and they are likely to come back to you again in the future.

That’s what I received. I had an errand to run in a nearby town. As long as I was there, I decided to drop in a local hardware store because I needed a door. My door had been damaged a few weeks ago but was still functional, so I had been doing research online about kinds of door materials, what I needed to purchase a door (measuring, knowing which way it swung, etc.), and general pricing.

I went into the store and found the door display. I started wandering around, browsing through the options and happy to be doing some pressure-free research (remember I wasn’t there to buy, just to look). Eventually, a salesman—we’ll call him “Bob”—came over and asked if I needed any help. He was friendly, and he answered all my questions with knowledgeable answers. I knew from my previous research that he knew his stuff. While I was there, I noticed that many of the doors were on sale, and he told me everything about the sale—including that that day was the last day of the sale. When we were done, I thanked him for his help and let him know that I was just looking and would be back with my husband the next day. Honestly, I did not intend to come back. I just wanted to call my husband and give him the information I had learned.

Fast forward 30 minutes later, and I was back in the store. I had talked to my husband, and he gave me the green light to buy. I came armed with more questions about storm doors because we wanted to replace both doors at once. The same salesman, “Bob” saw me looking at storm doors. He nicely answered all my questions, made several suggestions, and was incredibly patient as I made my decision. Incredibly patient. When the transaction was done, he wrote up the sale for me.

So what should you take away and apply to your content marketing (and digital marketing efforts) from my perfectly normal buying experience?

Your customers will come to you before they buy—several times, in fact. Treat every contact like they are a potential customer. It’s your job, via content marketing and social media, to be “Bob.” Be relevant and be there (“there” is the social media platform where your customers are), so you are available when it comes time for the customer to buy your product. Answer their questions with your content and your customer service replies on social media. Be prompt, especially when replying on social media, where studies have repeatedly shown that customers expect a response within a few hours. Be human and very patient. Make each customer feel like they are your number one concern, especially when you can’t face-to-face interact.

Create the right opportunity for a customer conversion. The store had a sale and a knowledgeable salesman: the perfect ingredients for a customer conversion. “Bob” answered my questions and didn’t pressure me to buy (to be honest I think he was shocked when I came back). You need to do the same thing online; create a blog with the information they need, and the opportunities to convert to a sale. This can be done through convenient links, great call-to-actions, visuals and lots of good, diverse content. You want to make your customer comfortable and build their trust so they buy from you once—and are willing to come back.

You don’t have to sell products online to create this same pleasant buying experience for your customers, but you need to strive for perfect. We pointed out how to use digital marketing even if you don’t (or can’t) offer e-commerce in a recent blog post, and this experience exemplifies why. If you “wow” a potential customer online, if you make them comfortable with your knowledge and interactions, if you speak to their pain points, they will reach out to you. We’ve seen it happen for our clients. If you use your digital marketing tools to create a great user experience online, they’ll send you a message on social media requesting an appointment. They’ll walk into your business ready to buy. So the next time you don’t feel like you have the energy to write another blog post or another minute for social media, know it’s important for your customers and potential customers. And if you don’t have the time or knowledge to devote to creating and building a great customer experience, contact a company that can. Your customers will thank you if you do—just like I’m going to do when I send an email tonight to the hardware store about how great “Bob” was to work with.

5 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About SEO

search engine optimizationWe recently saw a graphic that pointed out that what you often view as basic or common knowledge, others see as advanced—and often you don’t even realize it. It made us realize: they’re RIGHT. We have found that saying to especially apply to search engine optimization (SEO), an online technology many don’t understand, and is dogged by SEO lies and misunderstandings. Perhaps because of the latter, there seems to be a lot of basic things that people don’t understand (even beyond the terminology and acronyms). So, without further adieu, here are our answers to some of the things people don’t know about SEO (or at least get you started):

  1. SEO requires research. If you want to get max results from a SEO program, you have to know things—or find them out. The first, and most important, piece of information is identifying your audience. Who are your customers, and potential customers? What do they want to know? What problems do they have? If you want to know if a SEO firm is genuine, ask them about their keyword research. Legitimate firms do an extensive amount of research to get the best results for their clients.
  2. You don’t have to put a lot of effort into SEO. SEO can be intimidating and overwhelming. There’s so much to know, and the list seems to keep getting longer: website structure, content optimization, graphic alt text descriptions…you get the idea. While optimizing a website takes a lot of effort, you don’t have to be the one to put in the effort—or to keep up with the latest evolutions in SEO. The answer: outsource to a company that can. There’s nothing wrong with trusting another company with your SEO program, social media or content marketing. To be clear: that doesn’t mean you won’t have to do ANYTHING. Your SEO firm needs your input to create and manage an online marketing presence in line with your business goals.
  3. Even if you don’t sell products online, you still need local SEO. Local search engine optimization technology can get you in front of search engine listings in towns and cities within a 10, 20 or 50 mile radius. Even if you don’t sell products online, or have any interest in e-commerce, you need to integrate search engine optimization into your marketing strategy to drive potential customers to your brick-and-mortar location. With more than 90% of users turning to search engines for information, local SEO technology (like KD Interactive’s) can get your business website in local potential customers’ organic search engine listings using long-tail keywords your audience searches for. Statistics don’t lie: 54% of Americans have substituted the Internet and local search for phone books (comScore), and a startling 95% of smartphone users have looked for local information (Source: The Mobile Movement Study, Google/Ipsos OTX MediaCT , Apr 2011).
  4. SEO is always, ALWAYS evolving. Today’s SEO is not your grandma’s game of stuffing a page full of the same keyword. In fact, those kind of old-school SEO tactics, and black hat SEO tactics, can get your website penalized and kick your company off the digital map. Like most online marketing tools, SEO is a freight train running down the tracks. If you’re tired of trying to keep up, find a company that does.
  5. SEO is an integral part of your online marketing strategy. One of our clients, a flooring company, saw their website traffic double in just four months because of search engine optimization. In 30 days, their unique visits increased 122% and hit an impressive increase of 200%. Website traffic is just a number unless you can convert those visits to customer interest. The flooring company receives form submissions every week from potential customers, with 60% of those visits stemming from their search engine optimization package. Fact is: local SEO works. If you have any other questions or want to see it in action, ask us. Breaking down the basics of SEO, and making it work for you, is our job—and it’s one we don’t take lightly.

How to Increase Local Sales with Digital Marketing

using digital marketing to close local salesJust because your company doesn’t sell products online, or have any interest in e-commerce, doesn’t mean that you don’t need digital marketing. Statistics don’t lie: 54% of Americans have substituted the Internet and local search for phone books (comScore), and a startling 95% of smartphone users have looked for local information (Source: The Mobile Movement Study, Google/Ipsos OTX MediaCT , Apr 2011). So how do you use digital marketing to your business’ advantage?

  1. Get your primary audience’s attention. There are a number of ways to accomplish the goal, but the first step in the process is to follow the first rule of marketing: know your audience. Who do you sell to? Who is looking for your product? Once you have that key piece of information, invest your marketing budget and efforts into digital marketing tools that work (and marketing experts recommend): search engine optimization, content marketing and social media marketing. Contact a company that specializes in local search engine optimization (SEO) and can use their technology to get you in the top search engine rankings on Google, Yahoo and Bing in surrounding areas. They can create information that your audience wants and use their knowledge of conversion rates to turn them into customers. In addition, they can find social media platforms where your audience is at and create content for your website that they want to click on. The result: a multi-channel digital marketing strategy designed to get your audience’s attention, build trust and convert them to customers (and is far more affordable than you would think!).
  2. Create great headlines. All great website and content marketing headlines have a commonality: they speak to your audience. Whether that is through an attention-grabbing headline (e.g. 5 things you’re doing wrong) or a title that speaks to their pain point or entertains them. Common examples of good headlines include:
    • Questions (How can I fix this?)
    • List (5 Ways to fix your problem)
    • Shocking (5 Horrible Mistakes You’re Making Fixing Your Problem)
    • What’s not a good headline? A title that tricks the user and doesn’t deliver. Don’t produce a headline to get their attention, or uses all the key words that your audience is looking for, and doesn’t deliver any value. Remember, the best way to sell to a customer is to build their trust. Misleading them has the opposite effect.
  1. Use different media and visuals. Don’t use a one-size-fits-all mentality when planning and selecting visuals for your digital marketing efforts. Create videos and graphics for every different preference, or purchase them. Use them on your social media channels, on your website and in your content marketing channels for maximum impact.
  2. Craft a strong call-to-action (CTA). The definition of a CTA is not always about a purchase. A call-to-action can be a graphic, asking your audience to contact you with questions (remember you want to build trust) or inviting their input (about a product, a funny picture, anything). Whether writing a draft for new page on your website or writing a post for your blog, don’t forget to include a CTA.
  3. Keep testing. A website is not a static animal to be published and left for 5-10 years. Rather, evolve your website, social media, content marketing and digital sales tactics to fit your customers’ needs (remember they come first) and improve their buying experience. That’s what so great about online marketing: it changes and morphs with the world (think about the impact of mobile devices on digital marketing). Your job, as a B2C or B2B company—remember it’s all about marketing to humans!—is to grow with it.

If you don’t have the time, or resources internally, to take on these digital marketing channels, outsource. We’ve said it before: there’s not shame or blame in outsourcing. Rather, it allows you to focus your efforts on what you’re good at (like running your company) and puts your digital marketing efforts into the experts’ hands. Experts who have the expertise and knowledge of evolving digital marketing trends and can convert them into local sales. It’s a partnership with great results, and a great return on your investment.

5 More Online Marketing Mistakes You’re Making (Part 3)

digital marketingWhat’s worse than trying and failing? Not trying at all. We’re continually amazed at business owners and managers who view online marketing as an unknown abyss never to be crossed or even attempted. Or worse, they take a stab at these digital marketing tools, give up and make a snap judgment that “it’s just not worth it.” We understand the hesitation. To be sure, digital marketing is a marathon that takes time and effort—far more than it appears on the surface. You just write a few sentences, add them to your blog and post them to Facebook and Twitter right? Or you take a few photos and upload them on Instagram and Pinterest?

If you’re reading this, chances are you know that’s not true, and how easy it is to slip into common online marketing mistakes. We’ve written about some of these mistakes in two separate past blog posts and how you can learn from them (Part I & Part II)—mistakes that everyone makes, from the smallest shops to the largest brands:

  1. Not focusing on your local customers online. The world-wide web is a big, big world. It’s easy to feel lost among all the sites, and for your customers to feel that way as well. Who can they turn to when they have a problem? How can they find a local business they can trust? That’s where search engine optimization can give you that local connection, even among the billions of websites online. Search engine optimization is an affordable digital marketing technology that can propel your website to the top of local search engine results, if you contact a digital manufacturing firm with proven results. What does that mean? It means when local customers search for your services and products on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, they find your website, and all your great content, at the top of the listings.
  2. Abandoning your social media sites. Social media has many advantages: a free connection to your customers (and potential customers), unsolicited testimonials, ability to provide excellent customer service, and a chance to sell your business and products. That’s why it’s a head scratcher when a business jumps on social media and then abandons ship. Or worse, when someone from the business starts a social media profile, adds a few posts on an inconsistent basis and then abandons it. If you decide on a social media site that fits your business, go ‘all in’—either allocate time to post regular and relevant posts, or hire a firm that can.
  3. Using the ‘if we build it, they will come’ philosophy. Don’t just set up a Facebook or Pinterest page without spreading the word about your social media presence. Use these tips to make sure the world knows your company is social (and responsive to their feedback!), and that you’re ready to start giving out information and insider tips on your new page or profile.
  4. Not following through on content marketing. Don’t let down your potential customers by giving them this content marketing trap: finding an article with a title that makes them think they’ve found the latest and greatest information they’re looking for, only to find that the article is full of outdated information and that the blog hasn’t been touched for years. It doesn’t reflect well on your company or build trust with your potential customers. If you find you can’t keep up with posting content on a regular basis, contact experts that can.
  5. Not integrating your marketing efforts. Don’t treat your print, media, content marketing and social media marketing like it’s a stand-alone feature. One hand should know what the other is doing for optimal marketing results. Create a promotion plan, and use a consistent voice. Your customers associate everything they see and hear about your company with your brand; it’s up to you to make sure all the dots connect. If you don’t have time to connect the dots, outsource. There’s no shame or blame in putting your marketing efforts in the expert’s hands. At the end of the day, you’ll find that working with an online marketing firm can make the marathon easier—and help you avoid all those common online marketing mistakes.

Unlocking the Local Potential (&Results) of Local SEO

seo image_croppedOur Twitter bio says, “We’re a group of problem solvers with a goal: increase our clients’ website traffic through #socialmediamarketing, #contentmarketing, #websitedesign and #SEO.” We take our social media profiles as personally as we take our clients’ goals (which are VERY personally), so we’re not lying when we say we achieve your online marketing goals.

Recently we were contacted by Laser Tech Systems, a local company, who wanted to get on the digital map. They had utilized traditional marketing methods, and were looking for online marketing solutions. After a full analysis of their business, products and industry, we recommended two online marketing tools to get them found in local search engine results, generate website traffic and keep them at the top of search engines in local towns and cities. We got them at the top of search engines just a week later. Most importantly, their results were localized, with their company showing up in cities and towns search results within 30 miles of their location including a major metropolitan area. Our work yielded long-term results; their printing firm has remained at the top of the major search engines—Google, Yahoo and Bing—since launch. Better search engine results have meant more digital exposure for their business, and stronger opportunity for online conversions.

So how can you get the same results?

  1. Choose a firm that can prove they can get your business found on major search engines. Make them prove it with reports and testimonials, not just promises. No optimization firm can see into the future, but we can prove the value of our product based on the success of other clients who have used our optimization services.
  2. Ask the hard questions. Ask potential firms if they are resellers, or if all the work is done in-house. Don’t overpay a reseller who outsources your optimization work to another firm. Another question: is your SEO localized? Users want local results when searching for products. Being at the top of the results for Tampa, FL customers when your store is based out of Madison, WI is not going to bring customers to your door.
  3. Trust the professionals. This seems counterintuitive after the last two points. Once you are confident in your firm selection, trust their professional writers. Give them the information specific to your business—other marketing materials and what your company excels at—so they can produce content for your website that have the same voice as your other marketing efforts.
  4. Contact KD Interactive. We check the boxes on all the above criteria, and can meet your online marketing goals. Your goals are our goals, and we deliver results—-just as we did for Laser Tech Systems, and continue to do.

5 (More) Online Marketing Mistakes You’re Making

company execMistakes breed inspiration, and inspiration breeds blog posts that help us all improve. We’re building on our last post 5 Online Marketing Mistakes You’re Making with five more common mistakes that we see business owners and marketers make every day marketing on the web and social media. Are you making these common online marketing mistakes?

  1. Not remembering the #1 rule of marketing. Though it’s the rule of successful marketing, many business owners and marketers forget that we’re reaching out to people—real, breathing people. That’s why it’s so important to use another guideline when producing marketing pieces: the two R’s of Social Media Marketing. What do your customers want? Who are you talking to?
  2. Ignoring hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. Hashtags are a valuable way to reach “outside the box”—and, no, we’re not talking about thinking creatively. Adding hashtags to your tweets and Instagram posts exposes your tweets and posts to another audience—to users who are following the hashtag or looking for information on that topic. If you’re tweet or post is useful, this is a sure-fire way to gain followers.
  3. Thinking your social media sites will grow on their own. If you want to gain followers, fans—whatever the social media user base is referred to on your social media site—you need to tell people. Use these ways to spread the word about your site, and don’t forget to give people a reason to want to follow your site.
  4. Making “knee jerk” decisions. This happens to business owners in so many different ways: by responding to an angry customer without thinking (find out how to respond professionally here), selecting an SEO firm without doing research, by tweeting or posting without thinking about the ramifications of what you’re saying. Proper social media posts, choosing the SEO firm that gets results, even responding to customers via your website or social media, takes careful thought (and sometimes training). If you don’t have time, don’t risk it. Look into outsourcing, training or to other business owners for information.
  5. By responding to your customers once a week. It’s not enough! The average American’s time online is growing, giving them more opportunities to reach out to your company with questions through your website and social media. Ignoring their questions, or waiting too long, is a definite way to lose your customers’ interest, and their business. Respond to inquiries (read how to set up an efficient customer service system here) within a few hours of the question, even if it’s just with a “Thank you for your question. Can you please give us more information so we can answer your question completely?”

Effective online marketing takes time and effort, so don’t cut corners. Do your research and keep up with SEO and social media marketing trends, or hire experts who can. You’ll find the rewards from a well-thought out online presence to be worth the time and funds, plus you’ll save the embarassment of common online marketing mistakes.

5 Mistakes You’re Making in Your Online Marketing

company execThey may be unintentional, or the result of bad advice. Whatever the cause, business owners with good intentions trying to harness these new web trends and technologies repeatedly make the same online marketing mistakes—and don’t achieve online marketing results because of it. Are you making the most common online marketing mistakes? You don’t have to walk around with a label on your back, or shout it to the world, but you should be aware of the most common online marketing mistakes:

  1. Thinking that a functional and beautiful website is enough. “There,” you think, “I’ve invested in this website. Customers come and find me!” Unfortunately that’s not how it works. Customers have a lot of online options, and studies have shown that they make more than 60% of their purchasing decision online. Another stat: more than 90% begin their internet search with a search engine. So how do you get your new website found? Contact a reputable company that can achieve results with optimization, updated content and social media marketing. These three concepts get your website found by local customers—and keep you there.
  2. Putting the same posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram. Social media sites are not “one size fits all.” Each site has its own audience and set of rules. Your manual or automated cross post is going to be obviously out of place and not achieve the results you set out to achieve. If you want a presence on all social media sites, outsource your social media marketing to the experts.
  3. Not making regular social media posts. Neglecting your social media pages, or posting sporadic bursts of  posts and tweets, is an unintentional way to get lost among the thousands of social media pages who update regularly.
  4. Not backing up your marketing with excellent customer service—including online customer service. If you are online, if you have a Facebook page or Twitter profile, customers expect you to respond within hours, if not minutes. Whether it’s an email through your website, or a post from one of your customers, use these steps to build a system to respond, both professionally and promptly.
  5. Selling too much. We can hear you, “but that’s why I’m online! That’s why I invest my time and money.” Today’s customers don’t want to be barraged by advertisements and sales pitches. You’ll find that your engagement numbers—those responding, liking, favoriting and asking questions—quickly decrease. Don’t get us wrong: it’s okay to offer discounts (in fact customers follow your company for that reason), but your job is to be helpful and offer your customers assistance so they can find what they need. If you don’t know how, outsource your online marketing efforts to a company that can.

Knowing and not knowing the rules and latest trends in social media can mean the difference between social media success and failure. So why would you trust just anyone to manage your social media pages? Don’t trust your efforts to any intern or the youngest employee in your company. Trust your company’s image, and social media success, to social media experts who can maintain a stellar social media presence—and achieve the goals you set out to achieve when you started your Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram profile.

Why would I want my business to be on social media?

social media_croppedYou can almost hear the exasperation in the voice of a business owner asking the question, can’t you? Exasperation or not, this question is excellent because creating a solid social media presence for your business takes work and time. Yes that’s right—work and time—because a good social media page needs relatable and relevant content on a regular basis to get results. It’s also valuable to stay up-to-date on the latest social media trends, which is another piece of the social media puzzle that takes time.

So why should your business be on social media??? Why? Good question, and we have equally good and solid reasons for your business to take the leap to social media:

  • 60% of customers make a purchasing decision without picking up the phone. One of our clients recently said to us, “It used to be that people would call, and I would have a chance to educate and sell to them. Now it’s not that way.” It’s true: people pick up a computer to decide what product is right for them or what company provides the best service. They make the decision when they want to (or are available to do so) on a mobile device easily at their finger tips. In the case of social media, people are on these networks daily anyways, so why not research the best companies while checking out the latest viral videos?
  • Customers expect customer service within minutes of their inquiry. We’ve all heard the frustration from a customer who has been put on hold way too long by a company. This is your chance to provide excellent online customer service promptly (learn how to handle a disgruntled customer in our recent blog post), leaving a lasting impression with your customer that will guide their next interaction and sale with your company.
  • Social media is your 24/7 connection to your customer. Consumers are retired, work first, second or third shift, are driven by their kids’ schedules…they’re busy. A recent study found that consumers expect your brand to be on social media, even if they don’t follow your page or profile. That means they expect you to be there, so they can reach out to you when they are available. We’ve seen potential customers schedule appointments with our clients while at work through social media, ask for information about a product through blog comments, and ask questions about services through social media posts. If you’re not on social media to answer their inquiries, they’ll reach out to your competitor for answers.
  • If you provide excellent products and service, your customers will let other customers know. We’re not going to lie to you. Not all customer reviews are good ones, but the good reviews are fodder for more good reviews—and for potential customers to find out what others think of you. Don’t cheat by asking your family and friends to leave reviews. Instead ask your satisfied customers to leave reviews on your social media sites. If you do get a customer with a bad review, make sure you respond promptly, sympathetically and with an apology if necessary.

Love what you hear about social media, but still don’t have the time? There’s no shame or blame in outsourcing your social media efforts to experts who can maintain your social media sites using your voice and the latest social media marketing information. The simple truth is that building a functional and beautiful website just isn’t enough anymore. It’s time to up the ante on your online marketing efforts. It’s time for your business to be on social media.

Business Marketing New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

seo image_croppedDon’t be one of the 92% of people studies say fail to keep their New Year’s resolution. You’re a business owner, you don’t have any room for failure this New Year—only room to grow your business. To accomplish that BIG New Year’s resolution, don’t feel you have to make a novel of New Year’s resolutions for your business. Instead, stick to this list of five manageable New Year’s resolution that you can keep throughout the New Year:

  • Establishing a complete online presence for your business. For many business owners, this means setting up a functional, aesthetically pleasing website and that’s it—which is an incomplete online presence, to say the least. With millions flocking to social media, your business is missing a golden opportunity to connect with your customers, and potential customers. Creating a complete online presence not only means creating a website that can be found, but also reaching out and drawing in customers through landing pages and social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
  • Getting found on major search engines. Search engine optimization, SEO, is not dead. To the contrary, SEO is a valuable tool for any business looking to get found in local search results. How do you get started? Find a digital marketing company that not only promises SEO results, but achieves them—and can show you through reports. By utilizing SEO technology, customers can find your website through major search engines, connect with you through social media (which also comes up in search engine results) and contact you through your online form, email or by coming into your retail location.
  • Staying found on major search engines. Just establishing a website is a strategy that also gets your business left behind, at least in the eyes of major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. A website devoid of new content—video, articles and resources for web visitors—is a website that does not stay in the search rankings for long. Add new content to your business website and social media sites that fits the two R’s to stay on search pages—or find a digital marketing firm that can produce the content that keeps you at the top of the search engines.
  • Maintaining a social media site all year long. Finding out the best social media site for your business is step one.  Every business has a social media niche—a social media site that fits their brand based on the demographics of users. Step two is to maintain the quality content that is posted to the site. Regular updates are key to growing your social media followers, and connecting with your customers and potential customers. If you can’t maintain a social media site, outsource to social media experts who can maintain your social media site with quality posts based on the latest information.
  • Jumping into video marketing. Statistics don’t lie. A social media posting with video is 12 times more likely to be shared than a post with just text. In addition, website pages that include video are ranked higher on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing than text-only pages. Videos are your chance to show case your products and connect with your customers, giving you an edge over your competitors and a 24-7 chance to tell your story.

Don’t procrastinate fulfilling your marketing resolutions—and don’t just trust anyone with your online marketing results. Choose a company with experience who has achieved results. Contact them today, and make your New Year a happier year with online marketing results.