Category Archives: Marketing

Building Business Connections With Twitter – Is It A Reality?

Can we really build lasting connections with something as simple as Twitter? Remarkably, it’s easier and more possible than it seems. People who tweet about what they had for breakfast and serious businesses alike have Twitter accounts, and those connections you seek are not out of reach. Here are some reasons why building a business connection with Twitter is not only a reality, but a practical method of generating those connections.

1. Since businesses are all trying to improve their social presence, they respond when people tweet at them.

Businesses, universities, and people alike have their own Facebook pages, YouTube accounts, websites, and, in many circumstances, their own Twitter accounts. Businesses are trying to appeal to the public and want to portray themselves well within the social media. Because of this, it is likely for a business to respond to you if you were to tweet at them. Give it a shot and see how that small connection can grow into a partnership.

2. You can make a great impression with just 140 characters.

People don’t always have time to read a manifesto about what your business is planning on doing or all the specificities and intricacies that lie in your field. But they would love to read a short, compact, concise description of who you are and your ultimate goal. Say what you want to say and say it quickly; people and businesses are more drawn in by a quick statement than one would think.

3. Business people will judge your appearance based on your intro.

First impressions mean a lot. Psychologically speaking, people will tend to think better of you if your first impression was a good one. This is why it is imperative that your first impression – especially with businesses online – paints you in a desirable light. We have all been told to not judge a book by its cover but, sometimes, the cover indicates a lot of the content. Make your cover reflective of you and your business in the best possible ways and you will be exceptionally more prepared to make solid, dependable connections with other businesses on Twitter.

4. Employees are people too! Networking with lower level employees is an easy way to network to the top.

Every massive structure is made out of smaller pieces. A few examples: the Pyramids of Egypt, the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower, etc. Thus, employees make up a large part of corporations and businesses, and connections can be and are generated through connections at lower levels. Because of this it is important that your tweets appeal to all kinds of people, including lower-level employees. In this way you can build the groundwork for business connections, if in no other way than name recognition and familiarity with the employees of a larger business. Over time those connections can easily grow to be much, much bigger, and a combination of connection to the lower-level employees along with continued presence on social media sites such as Twitter can help to expand your business’s influence and familiarity, creating more connections. Be persistent, and see where it goes.

Today’s guest post was contributed by John Monts, blogger for www.RueZiffra.com. John has a relentless passion for writing and is an extraordinary social media consultant.

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Is Your PR Agency Performing As Well As They Should Be?

Public relations is an important part of any business and so if your current agency are not performing to the standard that you expect then it could be holding you back from reaching your business goals. The relationships that you build with your clients and the public are so important to the functionality of your company and so if they are not as smooth as they ought to be then it could be time for more than just an oiling of the machine.

PR agencies are paid to increase your exposure whilst managing your reputation in the public eye so you need to regularly review this process to see if things are progressing in the way that you want them to. Consider these things about your current PR agency.

Senior Involvement –

In order for things to be done in the way which you have outlined then you will need to have regular contact with the chief decision makers within the PR company. Ask yourself how often you deal with senior account holders. If you are constantly having to talk with more junior members of staff then there could be an issue with the availability of the account manager or they could be avoiding you to buy more time. These junior members may indeed be great at their job but they won’t be able to make any big decisions and your account will not be managed effectively.

Understanding –

How much do you feel that the PR agency you work with understands the market in which you operate and the products or services that you sell? This is essential if they are to convey the appropriate message to the right people and if this information is not fully comprehended then it could drastically affect your campaigns. This is especially true if you work in a specialist industry such as technology. In this case you need to ensure you find a professional technology PR agency that fully understands how the tech market works.

Responsive Or Proactive? –

Are you always having to chase up the tasks that you set for your PR agency or are they always on top of things? Is it you that provides all the ideas for your campaigns or do they chip in with some of their own as well? A great PR company will not just convey your message in the ways that you set out but also suggested some of their own ideas to. If they are regularly contacting you with innovative plans then it shows they are giving a lot of time and thought to your campaigns behind the scenes.

Value For Money –

The biggest question that you should ask yourself about your current PR agency is whether you feel like they have given you a value for money service in the time you have been working together. If you don’t feel like this is the case then perhaps it’s time for a change. You may feel like they haven’t lived up to the promises they laid down at the beginning or maybe you have heard of another company that have achieved better results on the same kind of budget.

It may even seem like your PR company doesn’t regard you as being that important. This may be because they have bigger clients with bigger budget that they are focusing more of their attention on, but whatever the reason this should signify that it’s time to move on.

If you don’t feel confident that your current PR agency are performing to your high standards then Chris Mayhew would recommend that you see what Eclat Marketing, a specialist tech pr agency in Surrey, can do for you.

Get More Conversions With Online Support Chat

The vitality of any online business is it’s customer base. Shopping cart abandonment generally happens because a potential customer became confused by the order process, or were unable to complete the required fields without assistance. By offering online support chat, you can increase online sales with immediate technical assistance around the clock, seven days a week. Your website visitors can easily communicate with the click of a chat button, live and in real time, directly with a real person using text, audio or even video chat.

Online Support Chat

With online support chat, your customers get the best of both worlds: the convenience of shopping online with the same personal and immediate service they expect in-person. Recent marketing studies have shown that proactive chat can increase conversion rates by up to forty percent, improve overall customer satisfaction and build brand loyalty. Chat operators have all the tools they need to help hesitating customers make a purchasing decision, and your customers have the security of knowing a real person is there to answer all of their questions.

Build Trust Through Interaction

Trust is built through interaction and positive experience. Providing constant support for visitors is a key element in converting them to customers. New customers are sure to appreciate the possibility of accessing support at any time during their stay on site, even if they don’t plan to use it right away. By offering support chat, you decrease service response time and increase customer satisfaction. However, the many web sites fail to immediately provide information to potential customers. Instead, they opt for online contact forms or telephone assistance hotlines. All of these methods draw visitors away from your web site. The longer visitors remain, the higher the conversion rate.

Online Support Helps Converts Customer While On Your Website

The majority of web site visitors are accustomed to instant gratification and convenience. These are the primary reasons why they shop online. By having online support chat available, you offer your visitors both. No more waiting in telephone queues or waiting for emailed response. This service allows your visitors and potential customers to have all of their questions and concerns answered and addressed without ever leaving your website to make a phone call or send an email. The longer you can keep visitors at your web site, the better your conversion rates will be.

There are many benefits to providing live online chat support, aside from increasing your conversion rate. This service also builds trust and customer loyalty over time. If your customers are aware that they can receive instant assistance on all of your products and services, they’re more likely to return for future purchases. This, in turn, increases customer satisfaction and brand recognition. Live online chat support also helps your sales staff with list-building. As visitors register or log in to initiate the chat session, they are supplying their email and contact information. These potential sales leads can be used by your staff for future promotions and special offers.

Increases Customer Satisfaction

Unlike traditional support tickets and telephone support lines, online chat support allows your visitors to remain right where they are. By allowing your visitors to remain in visual contact with the product or service that sparked their interest, the potential for a completed sale increases. Through positive experience and successfully completed transactions, customer loyalty grows, and the number of return and repeat orders increase. Visitor conversion and ongoing customer satisfaction is based not only on the quality of your goods ans services, but the quality of your customer care and support. If your visitors can see that customer satisfaction is a priority, they’re more likely to become customers.

In the point and click world of online business, your conversion rate is the defining line between success and failure. Millions of web site visitors means nothing if you cannot convert that traffic into sales. By offering online support chat, you can increase your conversion rate, build customer loyalty, and promote brand recognition.

This article was written by Leonard Geiger.  Len has a passion for consulting businesses on how to best embrace and maximize online strategies and tools. Prior to founding, Be Different Solutions, Len was CEO/Founder of WebIntellects, Inc., where he helped grow the business to support over 25,000 websites and provide services to customers in more than 90 countries worldwide.

How Sales Teams Are Generating Leads

Sales departments around the world are constantly looking for new ways to generate leads. In today’s economic climate, consumers are budget-conscious and want to ensure that they’re receiving the most value for their dollars.

This frugal attitude has forced representatives to adapt their strategies and find means of reaching out to consumers. Many businesses have developed unique solutions for finding strong prospects and bolstering sales revenue. Below is a look at three different tactics that can improve lead generation, but remember that you must carefully weigh your options because what worked for one organization might not be the best fit for yours.

Expanding into new markets
One solution is one of the most traditional ideas – expanding into an entirely new market. By moving into a new area, you’ll find consumers who have never had access to your goods or services, so there may be a significant demand. That said, you can’t simply open a satellite office because you must keep an eye on the bottom line.

The New York Times explains that you must ensure that your cost per sale will increase at a higher rate than your overhead expenses. The favorable ratio ensures that your profits will at least remain the same even though you’ve added new expenses. Consider management training courses to learn how to evaluate your fiscal situation before taking this route.

Conduct seminars
Sometimes the best strategy is hosting seminars to teach consumers about your business and what makes you stand out in your industry. The Small Business Advocate notes that it’s more efficient to bring multiple people together at once than it is to hold numerous meetings.

Additionally, you can go digital by hosting webinars instead of in-person conferences. The online option is very simple and can help you break into new markets because you aren’t confronted with logistical hurdles like traveling to remote locations.

Hosting webinars and providing consistent content online can not only help to enhance the bottom line, but help develop customer loyalty.  If people know you provide good information and a reliable product, they’ll keep coming back to you and view you as a leader in your industry.  You can also get ahead of your competition by providing content that answers the questions you know your customers regularly ask.

Give it away
This is another great example of how producing content can generate business.  In some cases, traditional ideas fail to generate leads, especially online. Cyber security is a priority for many consumers, so they may hesitate to give you their contact information. However, Mike Volpe, vice president of marketing for marketing software provider HubSpot, believes that you can attract new customers by giving them a free offer. This could be a basic version of your product, a small gift, an e-book, an inforgraphic, a video, a whitepaper and other options.

“Many web visitors don’t want to engage in a personal conversation, but they are willing to give you their contact information in exchange for some valuable content,” Volpe told the National Federation of Independent Business.

Scott Murray is the Social Learning Evangelist for TrainUp.com, the web’s largest career marketplace.  He is also a contributor to TrainUp.com’s Training Insights Blog, a series of blogs dedicated to career and professional development.

How To Get Good Online Reviews For Your Business

More business owners are realizing the value of positive online reviews for their company. The impact online reviews can have on a business is strong, regardless of the industry. With the power to locate, research, and decide which businesses at a customer’s fingertips, a company wants to ensure that the image they see is a positive one. Customers that see good online reviews for a business are going to be more willing use that company. Savvy shoppers know that any business is going to only say good things about the company. However, reading positive reviews from customers holds much more influence.

But how do you get customers to write good reviews of your business?  In some ways it seems simple (and it really is), but the key is to be both honest and careful in how you get your reviews.  All it takes is a little effort to start building up your internet presence and receiving positive feedback from customers.

Ask For It

While this may seem like digging for compliments, or being pushy – it’s not. Truth is, unhappy customers need no encouragement to write an online review…most can’t wait to write a scathing (and usually poorly written) “review.”  Happy customers, on the other hand, often don’t think to go online to write a review.

If a customer tells you how happy they are with your service, ask them if they would mind putting that on Yelp. If a customer mails you a glowing letter, call them up and ask them if they would post that on Google Places. To take it one step further, add incentives. Offer an online coupon to everyone who writes a review of your company on a specific site, positive or negative – this is not bribery. If you have receipts, put a request at the bottom of the receipt. You could hold a monthly drawing of everyone who wrote a review of your business on a given site.

Help the Customer Help You

While many people use the internet to research businesses and products, many have not ever written a review. A good way to encourage the customer to give you a review is to help them to do it. Have a brief how-to on your website, include a brief explanation in your newsletter, offer help from yourself or an employee.

Respond to All Reviews

By responding to all reviews, both online and in your business, it can lead to more positive reviews. If a customer has a complaint, respond online apologizing and if a valid complaint, fix it. Offer the customer a reason to come back and use your business again. If a positive review, thank them and let them know how valuable their patronage is. Responding to reviews shows the customer that you care about what they think.

As more and more customers go online to decide where they want to shop, eat, fix their car, or any other business use, it is essential that any business not only be aware of their online reputation, but work hard to build it up. Positive online reviews for your business are the best references you can have.

Louis Rossmann is a straight shooting tech guy who specializes in repair and LCD replacement.  Contact him through his Rossmann Group website.

4 Tips For Starting Your Own Internet Marketing Agency

With a low startup cost and the increasing relevance of online marketing today, establishing an internet marketing firm for oneself has become a profitable business practice today. However, not everyone is a success story. By following these four pieces of advice, you can help ensure the safety of investing in a startup online marketing firm yourself.

Keep it Simple at the Start

Internet marketing firms can offer a vast array of services to businesses. Whether this is in the form of online PR, SEO, PPC campaigns, or web design, the choices of what these firms offer may seem endless. However when you first start, keep your business practices simple and limited to what you, your firm, and employees are best at. For example let’s say you have the best of the best in SEO at your start-up. Specialize on providing companies with SEO services only. There are several particular advantages to doing so.

First, it provides you the opportunity to know the lay of the land. As you provide this one service, you’ll have time to understand what other services your clients need (or want) and can respond in turn to meet those demands at a later time.

Keep Things Small

Keeping your business and staff gives you the chance to test the waters of the market. Whether that market for you is local, national, or global is up to you. However, committing to a large staff that offers a broad range of services could be dangerous if you don’t know how well things are going to go. A degree of market uncertainty is a risk every business faces at one point. Keeping staff limited through the provision of one key service keeps costs and risk low during your initial startup phase.

Establish a Business Plan

What services is the company going to provide? How much will you charge?  Where will the office be? Before you start the work itself, you will want to create a business plan in which everything is organized so that on your first business day you can be providing your services without any kind of hindrance. The last thing you need to encounter while carrying out business is issues with pricing or office location. Not only does this take away from the work that should be done in providing your marketing services, but such issues can look unprofessional to potential clients. Have such questions and uncertainties settled before you begin to conduct business.

Check out the Existing Market

Who are your competitors? The marketing may be oversaturated, someone might be charging less than you or clients may simply not want the services you’re providing. Along with taking all these variables into consideration prior to starting an internet marketing business, there is a particular question in which the answer generally characterizes the success of the business.

That being, what do you do differently, what makes you the better choice? The advice of being unique, differentiating yourself from the crowd, standing out from the pack, may be something you’ve heard your entire life. Just as it applies to academics or employment, the market is no exception. If you can provide an innovative unique take on online marketing other firms can’t, you have an inherent advantage in the market.

Ricardo Casas is the CEO of Fahrenheit Marketing in Austin, Texas. Fahrenheit’s team provides a multitude of online marketing services to help you maximize your firm’s exposure to potential clients at a level you need it, be it local or global.

Branding & Vending – The Visual Impact

Branding is all about the visuals. The impact it has on the target audience needs remain ingrained in their memories. The audience needs to connect the visual message a product conveys with a strong association to the brand. Once this connection has been firmly established a potential customer is far more likely to choose this product over another. The branding of key consumer products like clothing, accessories, food and beverages is particularly crucial to their success.

Branding and vending – the inherent relativity

Branding is a science. No one knows for certain what will work and what won’t, and why a particular technique is successful in some campaigns and not others. Hence it makes sense to take a risk when it comes to branding and advertising a particular product – trying new and radically ways of doing things will often pay off. Soon you will find that you have developed a connection between the brand and the consumer so strong so that the consumer is confident enough in the product to buy it again and again.

One very good example would be customizing the vending machine to match the essence of the brand and the dispensing product. The vending machine is the perfect platform to reach a target audience and is adaptable to suit any location. Due to the significant size of vending machines their visual impact can be very striking indeed.

Vending machines for branding – the new trend in advertising

Vending machines are the new billboards when it comes to branding and projecting an appropriate image. For example, Diet Coke has come up with the slimmest diet coke bottle dispensing vending machine. The machine’s slim-line body is synonymous with the diet aspect of the cola. This certainly appeals to the psyche of the consumer who will feel reassured that it’s not only the cola that is ‘diet’ but the machine too! Of course another more practical advantage of a slim vending machine is that it can fit almost anywhere and is eye-catching due to its uniqueness. This adaptability helps to sell products as consumers will be excited to see a vending machine in a location they wouldn’t always find one.

Not Limited to Cola Vending Machines

Along the same lines, coffee vending machines can also evoke certain feelings to the coffee drinker prior to their consumption. How? New coffee vending machines have a photographic close-up of coffee beans on the front panel of the machine. This picture serves dual purpose. First, it indicates that the vending machine serves coffee that is made of carefully selected high quality coffee beans. Second, the sight of the coffee bean reminds the consumer that they are drinking coffee made with fresh and rich beans for that ultimate coffee taste.

Vending machines acting as a reflection of the brand is creative advertising at its best. Glossy vending machines with stunning visuals will soon be found in every possible location – offices, service stations and shopping centers alike. It’s an innovative trend that is here to stay and, if used wisely, can render the same effect and impact as other higher budget campaigns.

Toni O’Sullivan is a writer for KLIX, the vending machine service by Mars Inc. Toni a keen Marketeer with extensive experience in vending.