Great things in the works…

Kyle Campbell, One of the partners of Giant Marketing, just met with Gary Vaynerchuk is the chairman of VaynerX and Phil Toronto SVP, Special Projects, Investing & Advisory at Gary Vaynerchuk Co’s – Great things in the works… 11/29/18
https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/
#VaynerMedia #garyvee

People always say they think it is funny that me, being the “digital guy”, writes books. It’s not because I like to read, it’s because other people like to read and want to consume my content in book form. Direct mail may be an older method of marketing compared to the things the internet is capable of, but for many businesses, it can still work tremendously in their favor.

Gary Vaynerchuk

VaynerX

3 Ways to Supersize Your Brand

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 

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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!

The Importance of Your Business Website

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:

  1. 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!

3 Tips to Make the Most of Your Pay Per Click Budget

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!

Tell Your Visitors What to Do: Effective Calls-to-Action

Have you ever signed up for something like Twitter, Facebook, Pandora, or Dropbox? How about subscribed to a company’s newsletter to get a discount or a magazine to receive your first free issue?  If you have ever signed up for anything, you did so because the company presented you with an effective call-to-action and it worked! Thus, you have personally experienced how persuasive calls-to-action can be and this is precisely why you should be implementing them as part of your marketing strategy.

What Are Calls-to-Action?

Calls-to-action can be found everywhere. You can spot them on websites, on ads, and most recently they have been added as option for Facebook business pages. In any case, the objective of a call-to-action button is to let your visitors know what it is that you are wanting them to do and enabling them to perform this task with the greatest of ease. Otherwise, your visitors will read your content and then leave if the next step they should take is not made clear. Did you know that 70% of businesses don’t display clear calls-to-action on their home pages? If you are one of these businesses, your customers are wandering around your site without direction on what they should do next and you are losing the opportunity to give them something that they are on your site looking for.

Calls-to-Action Are Used to:

  • Subscribe to Email Newsletters
  • Receive Special Discounts
  • Download How-To Guides
  • View Demos and Videos
  • Begin E-Commerce Shopping
  • Contact Companies
  • Access Games
  • Use Apps
  • Set-Up Reservations
  • And more!

A Few Benefits of a Call-to-Action

  • Generates leads- Your visitors are giving you their information because they are interested in something you have to offer. Therefore, you now have their contact information in order to follow up with them on other products or services they might be interested in.
  • Closing a sale- By making sure your call-to-action is inviting and compelling, you can get your visitor to contact a sales representative of your company through a click of a button to get started right away.
  • Social sharing – Instead of getting your follower to download, subscribe, or sign up, you are asking them to share your information with their friends via a social media icon.

What Makes a Call-to-Action Effective?

  • Easy to Find. Simply put, your visitors won’t go looking for something they don’t know is there. Since your call-to-action will be generating you leads, you want it somewhere that first time visitors will certainly see it. You could put it high on your page and centered so that it can’t be missed or you could try putting it in the bottom right corner of your landing page so consumers will naturally move their focus directly to your call-to-action.
  • Visual Appeal. If your call-to-action is cluttered with text that is 10 sizes too small, not enough white space surrounding it, or the colors blend in with the rest of your page, customers won’t be bothered to try to read it. You are on their time, not the other way around. So, make sure that your text is enlarged so that it is easy to read, there is plenty of white space to separate it from the busyness of your page, and that your colors are contrasting enough to stand out and grab the visitor’s attention.
  • Compelling Action Word. By using terms such as Subscribe Now, Sign Up, Contact Us, Shop Now, etc. You are encouraging your visitor to do something (to act), as well as providing familiarity with words and actions they have taken on sites before yours.
  • Clear and Concise. As a customer you wouldn’t want to “Submit Now” if you didn’t know what exactly you are submitting information for. If you don’t make the process as clear and easy as possible, your visitor will assume that it is untrustworthy, too much of a hassle, or too confusing and won’t complete the process.
  • Reason to Act. Before your visitor will provide any information about themselves to your company, they are going to ask “what’s in it for me?” Therefore, your visitor may need a little extra push to get them to act. For example, many companies use their call-to-action to offer a free trial or free consultation.  Amazon’s “Subscribe and Save” is a great example of persuading customers to subscribe to buying a product, and in return they receive a discount on future purchases of that product that other buyers buying it one time don’t receive.
  • Requires Timely Response. You can successfully motivate your visitors to “Act Now” if you inform them that your offer will only be good for a limited time or that your coupon will expire on a certain date. While it sounds more customer/business friendly to always keep the offer on the table, it gives the customer time to think and talk themselves out of acting on your offer. Whereas stating that your offer will only be available for so long, excites them to commit before they miss out.
  • Uncomplicated Process. The easier the entire process is from start to finish, the higher rate of completion you will have. For example, the more fields that you require to be filled in by your visitor may overwhelm and frustrate them to the point that they will quit and leave your site before submitting. Let whatever possible require completely voluntary information to fill in and give to your company. Subsequently, your visitor will be more likely to do business with a company that doesn’t force them to do anything that they don’t want to.

Think of your call-to-action as directions for your customer. When you have had a hard time reaching a business location to get what you want, your experience is not as pleasant as it could have been. Unburden your customer by doing the work for them upfront and giving them instructions on what and how they should go about their next step in getting what they need from you. The easier and more compelling your call-to-action is, the wider your customer funnel will be.

For further review, check out these really superb 21 Call-to-Action Examples.

Did we leave out a tip that has made your call-to-action effective? Tell us in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

How to Deal with Negative Feedback: A Guide for When You “Can’t Even.”

You might be here because you are new to the business world and want to be prepared to handle anything that comes your way. On the other hand exists the possibility that you are here because you have encountered that one customer, who practically read the handbook of how to get under your skin, and you weren’t sure how to handle the situation in the best possible and professional manner. Here’s the most important thing you need to always keep in mind: Customer service is the pillar that holds up your business. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, you can’t possibly please everybody 100% of the time. Subsequently, those you fail to please will not have a problem telling you (and anyone else who will listen) about it. Thus enters the importance of learning how to handle negative feedback with integrity, class, and professionalism.

The Power of Customer Service

Online reviews and your word of mouth reputation can literally make or break your company. With the multitude of online shoppers, it is more important than ever to not only respond to negative comments about your product or service in a timely manner, but to do it in a way that doesn’t further damage your brand. Nobody looks forward to addressing an unhappy customer, because if your customers aren’t happy then you’re not happy. However, it is a necessary evil that you cannot just sweep under the rug and expect it to go away. People may forget with time but that scathing review is eternally posted online for future customers to read.  Instead, think of responding to negative comments as an opportunity to rescue your customer from the dark side and bring them back. That is, if you can successfully convince them to give you another chance. After reading this guide, you will know how to make it easier for your customer to forgive you (even if it’s not your fault).

The Situation

You received a negative review where your customer, albeit who might be potentially exaggerating just a tiny bit, left a public comment regarding their complete and utter dissatisfaction with your product or service.

The Solution

 Begin by looking at the problem from the customer’s perspective. Rather than impulsively responding, try listening to them and genuinely trying to understand their feelings about what went wrong. It is too easy to get overly defensive about a product or service you care enough about to be representing. Once you have grasped their issue, acknowledge the problem and take responsibility for it. Immediately apologize and offer to take action in order to resolve the issue and restore trust in your relationship.

The customer doesn’t enjoy this, either.  

Usually, when a customer has to write a bad review of your company, they view it as an inconvenience. So, take into account the possibility that your company really did screw up and that they aren’t writing a bad review for no reason at all. Regardless, remember the saying “the customer is always right”? Well, that is because they are. You OWE it to them to correct anything that went wrong with their transaction (within your realm of control). Otherwise, you will not only be losing their business but the business of ten of their friends (sort-of-speak).

After you have written your response:

Read it from your customer’s perspective as well as your potential new customers’ perspective when they go to read reviews about your company prior to deciding to do business with you. Because the likelihood of them siding with your company over a fellow customer is slim, acknowledge and take responsibility for the bad just as you would the good. Even if you believe the customer is wrong, refrain from adding gasoline to the fire by publicly responding with your thoughts on the matter. The only REAL thing that matters is how you can make the situation better, so don’t backtrack for the sake of trying to prove them wrong.

Knock, Knock. Who’s there? KUDOS! 

Responding to a negative review is an excellent time to explain and/or clarify any misunderstandings. For example, there is a company online that sells a doorknocker. 3 out of 5 reviewers had deducted stars, on the site in which they purchased the product, because the doorknocker had four holes but only came with two screws. Now, the company had added on to one of their product photos by drawing two arrows to the designated and labeled “screw holes” and two arrows to the “design holes (no screws)”. Yet, the customers who overlooked this were disappointed when they only received two screws when they were under the impression that they needed four.

This would be a fantastic opportunity for this company to clarify what happened and even take responsibility for not clearly explaining the screw-to-hole controversy in the description, rather than on one of the many product photos, since there is the possibility that the consumer won’t cycle through all of your product photos prior to purchase. After explaining (and improving your future customer’s experience by making the necessary changes), the customer might be moved to change their negative review to one that puts your company in a much more positive light. Don’t wait for your customers to figure it out for themselves because they may never do so. Likewise, don’t rely on other customers to clarify for you because their knowledge on the subject does not hold credibility and may be overlooked as well. You are the only one that will be listened to as the prime explanation because only you hold authority  on your product and services.

Do whatever it takes to resolve the situation, when possible.

  • If a customer is upset about the condition in which they received their product, swiftly ask to replace it for them with zero hassle. Even if the customer rejects your offer, other customers reading your company’s response will realize that when your company does mess up, you are at least willing to make good on your promise for customer satisfaction.
  • If the customer dislikes their experience as a result of a company policy, there isn’t much you can change about that. You can, however, show your willingness to explain to them why that policy is in place and why your company must enforce it. In doing so, you are helping reduce their frustration by shedding light on why there isn’t anything else you could have done to prevent this situation from occurring.

Give thanks.

A negative review can actually be a good thing for your company. First, it gives you a chance to improve not only your customer service skills but also whatever it was that made the experience unpleasant for your customer. You are only a business because of your customer, so be sure to take in to account all of the feedback you receive from them and repair any issues that you possibly can to prevent it from reoccurring in the future. Be thankful that they took the time to review your product or service and provided you with a chance to improve your company and prevent future bad experiences from occurring. You’re welcome, future customers! Second, when a customer sees nothing but positive reviews, it can dehumanize your company and make it seem like you might have purchased those reviews (i.e., faked them). So don’t get too down in the dumps if you don’t receive consistent 5 star reviews. Similarly, letting others review negative customer feedback and your company’s response will provide for more transparency and trust.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

If you or someone in your company is aware of a problem that will likely contribute to future negative feedback, make sure that it is voiced before there is an opportunity for a bad reaction. You will reduce the possibility of a negative review if you go ahead and fix any bugs in the system before your customer has a chance to bring them up publicly.  You cannot prevent anything bad from happening ever, but you can reduce the occurrence and strengthen your business. When bad times do occur, and they will, it is what you learn from your mistakes that matters most.

At the end of the day, your customers can at least rest easy knowing that they will receive valuable customer service, if not completely satisfied.

Do you have a customer service experience that you would like to share? Leave your story in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!