When you think of convenient, affordable, fast food (we didn’t say healthy), you generally think of McDonald’s. That is because one goal of the McDonald’s franchise is to establish brand loyalty in their customers at an early age. They achieved this by strategically choosing their locations, such as near churches and schools, to ensure the highest volume of young visitors (not to mention brought in a beloved happy clown to be the brand’s mascot). Likewise, time and money pressed parents are more inclined to bring their children there to eat because of the convenient locations (i.e., try to find an airport or mall without a McDonald’s close by), and their affordability (hello, dollar menu!). McDonald’s used a variety of facets that were consistent with one another to create their identity and elicit a certain emotional attachment and response from it’s consumers.
From an early age, Ronald McDonald sure was the king of turning your frown upside down. Pure joy is the only way to describe the feeling of sitting in the back seat of a car as a child, looking out the window, and seeing those big golden arches approaching. After all, nothing could make you happier than a happy meal. But that warm fuzzy feeling that was a lot like love that you got just by seeing the McDonald’s sign? That was branding success.
WHAT IS YOUR BRAND?
On the surface, your brand can be a type of product you sell, a symbol, your company name, or your logo design. But your brand makes a much deeper impact than what you look or sound like. Your brand is what you are recognized for, the impression you leave on the customer, your reputation, and what makes you stand out. Your brand is an emotion that the consumer associates with you or your product or service. It’s the mark you leave on more than just a product, but on the world. Simply put, your brand is your company’s identity. So, is your brand conveying what you or your company stands for, who you are, and who you want to be remembered as?
BEFORE YOU CAN SUPERSIZE YOUR BRAND YOU MUST DEFINE YOUR BRAND
- Determine how it is that you want to be known.
- Analyze the products and services that you offer.
- Realize core values of your company (i.e., what drives your business).
- Specify the focus concerns and needs of your target audience.
- Identify your area of expertise, your talents, and your best qualities.
3 WAYS TO AMPLIFY YOUR BRAND
- Build A Website. The value and importance of having a website cannot be overstated. A website is your brand’s biggest asset, not only as a marketing tool but as a way of establishing credibility, and subsequently trust between your brand and your consumers.
- Create A Blog. Blogs keep your readers in the know about new developments involving your brand. However, you should also be writing things relevant to what your readers are interested in or articles that answer their most asked questions. Additionally, having a blog will increase your website SEO and provide you with great content to share on social media. More importantly, a blog will establish your brand’s authority in your area of expertise. When a brand writes educational articles that are relevant and informative, consumers put more weight on their knowledge and know-how and will more easily trust them to solve their problems (i.e., purchase from them to satisfy their needs).
- Socialize. Engage. Repeat. Social media is so big right now that consumers expect brands to regularly engage with them on there. In fact, 72% of consumers expect a response within an hour to complaints posted on networks such as Twitter. If you want to get to truly know your audience and if you want your brand to be known for genuinely forming relationships and resolving your customer’s issues, your social media presence (i.e., what you post, how you speak, and how you handle any issues on there) should reflect that. Social media is also a fantastic networking tool used to connect with complementary businesses that will strengthen your company by linking up to share resources or even collaborate. Moreover, you can easily keep up with competitive brands so that you can drum up ways to stand out from them and get your potential consumers to choose you instead.
Your brand is one of the most important factors to achieve success. Remember to stay consistent among all channels so that you customers always know what to expect from your product, service, and company. Also, your customers do realize that there are human people behind a brand, so don’t be afraid to be yourself! There is nothing that will drive your audience away like being a robot with non-personalized responses. Show your customers your human side and genuine concern and understanding for their needs and they will be so much more likely to remember your brand in a positively GIANT way.
Want more tips on how to elevate your brand? Leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you!
During a time where consumers are using their smartphones for approximately 151 minutes, spending time in front of a computer for 103 minutes, and utilizing a tablet for 43 minutes every day, you would think that having a well-constructed company website would be a no-brainer business decision. Yet, shockingly, over half of all small businesses still doesn’t have a website.
Aside from it being one of your best marketing assets for brand awareness and visibility, a website establishes credibility and creates a link of trust between your business and your potential consumers. Actually, when surveyed, 94% of consumers said that bad web design alone is the number one reason to mistrust a business or organization. That means that companies with a website that are just poorly designed, are missing out on a lot of prospective clients. This number doesn’t even account for a lack of a having a website altogether.
When companies are asked why they don’t have a website, the reasons most often cited are cost and a perceived lack of importance. These reasons can only be attributed to not knowing the true power and reach a website really has. First, the costs of having a website do vary, but the price is next to nothing when the value is considered.
Just yesterday I was in desperate need for decorations for an upcoming birthday party I am planning and when a local well known party store was sold out in the theme I required, I did what most consumers do. I took to the internet in search of an alternate store that might carry what I was looking for. However, it was every consumer’s worst nightmare. There was only one other party store in the vicinity, decreasing the odds that I would be bringing home my supplies day of. I had never heard of this second company before, so I decided to check out their website before driving over. Unfortunately for me and for that company, their website did not exist.
Like most consumers do, I had expected to find a website. When this company failed to deliver on that aspect, they were already disappointing me before they even had a chance to serve me. At that point, it didn’t matter if this company was truly credible or ran a fantastic business, they didn’t leave that impression on this customer. I didn’t have time to waste driving over to another store that might not carry what I needed, or might not even exist at all for that matter. So, I sucked it up and drove home knowing that I was going to have to order everything online from company #1.
The value of a website comes down to one really important GIANT reason that your business should care about:
- POTENTIAL SALES
- Your visibility among potential consumers plummets with every second you aren’t online, because you better believe consumers are.
- Without a website, or with a poorly designed one, consumers are not going to trust your business. Simply put, the impact of your web presence determines the way potential consumers view your credibility as a business.
- Consumers will purchase products online from a website when they cannot find what they are looking for locally. Why not be that company offering what they are looking for when local shopping doesn’t work out? If it’s not you they choose, it’s your competitor.
- Nearly all consumers (97%) research and/or purchase products online. Even if they ultimately do not purchase from you, they are more likely to come across your name, which increases brand awareness.
- If it’s your website that answers the consumer’s questions, you are building a relationship with your audience without even knowing it. Therefore, that consumer will remember that it was you that last helped them by solving their problem and will be more likely to come to you in the future.
Again, not just any website will be effective and your number one goal when creating your website should not be solely focused on sales. However, it is an important byproduct of utilizing a web presence as marketing tool that cannot be overlooked. Your company needs a website if you want to make consumers aware you exist, if you want to stand out, if you want to win out over your competitor, if you want your customers to trust you, if you want consumers to CHOOSE YOU.
Still not sold on why a website is vitally important for your business? Give us a call today at 888-481-5526 or leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you!
Every brand wants to drive more traffic to their website. More traffic = higher probability of more sales and more revenue for your business. Surely, you have already search engine optimized (SEO) your website to ensure that you will appear in the top search results that your targeted audience is wading through (at least we hope you have anyway, if not, please give us a call). Yet, you are probably still waiting for those visitors to arrive and it feels like it’s taking as long as Christmas. Well, the good news is that you can start reaping near immediate benefits by using pay per click (PPC) advertising to convert more leads into sales for your business.
You’ve probably already heard of it but in case you haven’t, pay per click is an internet marketing method where you design and create an ad and then a search provider such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. will take that ad and promote it for you (for FREE) to the people searching for what you are advertising. You are probably thinking, “What’s the catch? Nothing is free”. Well, unfortunately, you are correct. You do have to pay the search provider but only for those who click on your ad (hence the name – pay per click). What makes this strategy cost effective is that you aren’t paying a search provider for every second that your ad wastes away on the internet. Instead, you are paying only for the visitors that are interested enough in what you are advertising that they have directly clicked on it to learn more information or make their purchase immediately. However, using the pay per click method isn’t entirely mistake proof.
3 tips to make the most of your pay-per-click budget:
1. Targeted Keywords. Since you are paying for each person that clicks on your advertisement, you want to make sure that those who are clicking are the ones most likely to make a purchase. For example, you don’t want to just choose keywords that are being searched for the most. While “automobile insurance” might be keywords with a high search volume, using the keywords “automobile insurance quote” will create a more targeted audience that is focused on those showing their intent to purchase by their search containing the word “quote”.
2. Negative Keywords. You picked out the best keywords that will guarantee your ad appears in all the right searches. But did you think about the keywords that will make your ad appear in the wrong searches? If you sell high-end automobiles, you are going to want to eliminate your ad from popping up in searches for “video”, “images”, and “pictures” because those keywords do not signal intent to purchase anything. We suggest building a negative keyword list and filling it with words that are more recreational, which will in turn minimize your PPC spending. Don’t waste your money on needless clicking.
3. Landing Page. Imagine you were the customer and you saw an advertisement for a product at the exact moment you needed and were willing to purchase it. Yet, when you clicked on the ad, you were redirected to a page that seemingly had nothing to do with the advertisement that intrigued you enough to click in the first place. You wouldn’t go rooting around the website for your product would you? You’d probably hit that back button and find what you needed elsewhere. So, don’t expect your customers to do anything different, either. Make sure that once your visitors have clicked your ad that they are sent to the specific page of your site that talks about or sells the product or service in the ad or else you risk losing their attention. Super Sad Face.
Bottom line: if you sell your products or services online, you should be implementing a pay per click strategy. Following these 3 tips will increase your website traffic, attract more potential lead conversions, and maximize your marketing ROI.
Have questions about pay per click advertising or need someone to manage your pay per click strategy for you? Leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you!
When you purchase a product or service and it works as advertised, you don’t rush to tell your best friend, write a riveting review for the company online, or shout your happiness from the top of a mountain. Why is this? Because you and everyone else out there expects a product to work or a service to be as good as it is advertised. This makes it completely unsurprising when things work out the way they are supposed to and leaves you yearning to do nothing more than personally enjoy your purchase. Yet, when you are on the receiving end of particularly horrible service at a restaurant or you realize the product that you just made it home from the store with is already broken, you are shocked and appalled that a company enabled a less than exceptional customer experience.
So, as an unhappy customer, what do you do?
You throw down as much eternal wrath and fury as humanly possible from your keyboard (of course!) so that everyone from your mother to people you have never met across the globe may be spared from feeling betrayed by a company you trusted enough to purchase from. Just think back to the products you have bought, have you really bothered to go write a review for the ones that work just fine? Probably not. When a product works as expected, it doesn’t really stick out as anything out of the ordinary and so the customer is just not usually moved to talk about it— unless it is like their favorite thing. Ever.
That doesn’t seem very fair, does it?
For a business, it seems a little backwards that by doing everything right and working hard to keep your customers happy that your business isn’t getting as much publicity as it would if you had made a negative impact. While you may have heard bad publicity might be helpful for otherwise unknown companies, please trust us when we say that there are SO many better ways for you to make a lasting (positive) impression on your audience.
What is the trick to getting happy customers to talk?
You have to reward your customers in some way to get them motivated to speak positively about your business and get that word of mouth power flowing. We have three words for you: Customer Referral Program. By offering discounts and incentives, you are giving a reason to the customer to go spread the word about your company. Your customers will certainly go and tell 10 of their friends if something is “in it for them”.
This process bodes very well for your company because you now have a customer who is doing your marketing for you and it’s mutually beneficial to your customer because it’s like making a little bit of commission off of the sale to go and spend at YOUR company. So, not only do you have the customer selling your product or service for you, but you are ensuring that they are going to come back to you to spend what they earned!
How do Customer Referral Programs work?
One example of this type of program is that you could give new customers referral cards with the customer’s name on them (and a spot for the person’s name that they give the card to) that let them know that if they hand those cards to someone they know and that person becomes a new customer, the referrer and the referral will both get a $50.00 credit toward their next purchase when that card is turned in to your company. This not only rewards both the referrer and the referral, providing a double incentive to motivate new referral sign-ups, but it also provides your company with an easy way to track your referrals and ensure that you are delivering on your promise and that everyone is reaping their rewards. Of course, you will need to adjust the amount of credit you are using as an incentive as it is compared to the price of the product or service you are selling. That is, a $50.00 off may work for a $500.00 product, but it isn’t going to do much in enticing customers for a $5000 service. Simply put, the bigger the price the bigger the incentive. For more examples of customer referral programs, check out this epic list.
Another referral program mistake is not promoting your referral program adequately. Make sure that all of your sales associates are informing new customers, that it is going out in your email blasts or on your direct mailing on the regular, and that it is posted inside your physical place of business.
Implementing a customer referral program will increase your marketing campaign via word of mouth, keep your business on the tip of everyone’s tongue, keep customers flocking your way, and keep them eager to recommend you because of their great experience. After all, happy wife customers, happy life.
Did you come across an awesome customer referral program that you’d like to share or have any questions about ours? Share your thoughts in the section below, we’d love to hear from you!