Content Creation – Incorporate Audio Into Your Marketing

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2014audio symbol will probably be remembered as the Year of Content.  The importance of content creation has been brought to the fore largely because of recent Google updates that place emphasis on good, relevant content.  The content needs to reflect what the people – your prospects and customers – who are coming to your website will be looking for.

In an article entitled, “Why Google’s New Hummingbird Algorithm is Good News for Serious Content Creators,” Copyblogger noted, “As a publisher, you should focus more attention on building pages for each of the different basic needs and intentions of the potential customers for your products and services…In other words, know your audience. Doing this really well takes work, but it starts with knowing your potential customers or clients and why they might buy what you have to sell, and identifying the information they need first.” (italics mine).

Content on your website is not limited to text.  In fact, it’s a good idea and strategy to have content in different formats on your website as people learn in various ways. Using audio has many advantages.

Reasons to Incorporate Audio into Your Marketing

The #1 reason I like audio, and also one of the main reasons why many people like audio, is for convenience.  Unlike video where, for the most part, you have to be in front of the computer screen, audio is more versatile and can be made available for download to an iPhone, iPod, or MP3 player.  It’s great for multi-tasking.  For example, your device can easily accompany you when walking or on a treadmill.  This is a great way to accomplish two essentials at the same time!

Reason #2 is that a large portion of the population retains information better when they hear it than when they read it.

Reason #3 is that audio can inject personality into your website in a way that text and graphics can’t. There’s just something about hearing someone’s voice that makes site visitors feel welcome, and hearing someone’s voice can help your visitors to decide if they like the sound of your voice to continue learning from you on a more regular basis.

Reason #4: Using audio can separate you from the competition. Many sites do not utilize audio, and if yours does, those who enjoy it will be likely to come to you instead of your competition.

So far we’ve covered four reasons why you should incorporate audio into your Marketing.  As a business owner who is interested in satisfying the needs of your customers and clients, it’s important to provide them with alternatives because different persons have different learning and communication styles.  By incorporating audio in your marketing you provide content in a way that meets the needs of many.

 

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The Challenge – Are You Using Your Business Time for Profitable or Non-Profitable Tasks?

 

One of my coaches threw down the gauntlet by giving me The Challenge. This just the challengehappened to be a topic I’d chosen to write a post on today.  Why this topic? Because I hear it over and over from my clients, and I’ve been guilty of saying the same thing at times – to myself and to my coach.  Perhaps you’ve said it yourself:  “I don’t have the time to do all the things that I should to make my business grow faster.”  Notice that your business may be growing, but it could grow faster if certain things were given more attention and others implemented.

So the question is:  Are you using your business time for profitable or non-profitable tasks?

Time recognizes no economic, racial or any other status.  It’s the great equalizer, and we can do much with it or do little.  We can accomplish a lot or nothing at all. There are people who are able to do more in two or three hours than some people will do in eight hours.  Many of these people get this done before millions even get out of bed because for them their most productive time is between 5:00 and 8:00 a.m. Then there are people who are adept at getting things done in time blocks.  Others do their best late at nights when the family is gone to bed.

The key is to find out what works for YOU.  It can never be about someone else.  So here are some questions only you can answer for yourself:

  • What is your most productive time of the day?  Is it early morning, mid-afternoon, or late at night?
  • Do you have a short or long attention span?
  • Do you find that you start to work on one project, but in the middle you become distracted and switch to something else so that at the end of the day you have three or four unfinished products?
  • Do you have legitimate reasons that make it challenging for you to focus on your business? 

So, getting back to the claim we often make about not having enough time.  Here is the challenge he gave me and I’m going to share that challenge with you:

Take an inventory of how you spend your time over the next three days.  Get a calendar/planner or use a spreadsheet. Every 15 minutes write down what you did.  Next to each time slot write –

–>necessary and important (profitable)
–>not necessary (non-profitable)
–>wasteful or could have been done without

Of course, if you have a full-time job and work on your business part-time then only the hours dedicated to your business would be recorded. If you decide to accept the challenge, please leave a comment on my website. It would be fun to find out what your results are
after three days.  Let’s do this!

In my next post we’ll look at how 15 minutes per day can be used to increase productivity.

5 Reasons Small Businesses Should Embrace Social Media Marketing

social-media-marketingSocial media marketing allows businesses to directly connect with their existing customers and work toward developing new customers through a medium that is used by the majority of people today on a daily basis.

The people that are using social media will include your customers, as well as your prospective customers. Unlike traditional methods of communication between the company and the customer, social media marketing allows you to connect with your customers in a much more dynamic manner, significantly improving response time.

An important point to keep in mind is that in order to attract prospects, convert them into paying customers and build the relationship so they become repeat customers, you will need to employ multiple types of marketing strategies. There is no one marketing strategy that’s going to effectively cover all of those areas and social media marketing in only one of them.

The following are 5 reasons small businesses should embrace social media marketing:

1. Social Media Marketing can help potential customers find your business

Through social media someone can locate or discover new things on their own which means that your business website could ‘accidentally’ be found while they are performing their everyday online tasks. In turn, they could contact your website to learn more, and increase the possibility of becoming a customer. In addition, because social media sites promote communication and sharing between the people who use them, this allows the user to share information about a product or service they like with their friends.

2. Social media marketing allows your business to raise its brand awareness

Social media platforms allow a company to spread its brand’s information all over the Internet. Potential viewers could see your brand in image form, in online videos, in discussions between users and via your company’s website.  They will also be able to learn more about your brand when they perform an online search. The more that people hear, read or see your brand, the better the chance that it will stick in their mind.

3. Social media marketing allows you to build customer trust and loyalty

One of the best ways to increase your customer’s trust in your company is to speak with them directly, as though you were a friend rather than a business. Social media allows your company to do exactly that. Direct interactions and contact with customers that’s engaging, interesting and co-operative both help to build customer trust and create customer loyalty.

Make your customers feel appreciated on a social media platform that they use every day, and you will see an increase in repeat customer transactions!

4. Social media allows you to interact with your customers

This is closely tied in with #3. With social media you can do more than just showcase your latest advertisements to your customers. It lets you interact with them. Online users are always bombarded by banners and advertisements, so they want to see something different. Rather than just shoving an advertisement at them, you can use social media to deliver your message in an engaging, interactive and far less aggressive manner.

You can have a talk with your customers and they can talk back. You can use social media to find out your customer’s opinions, ideas and desires, and then you can use the information to deliver it to them.

5. Social media is a great way to perform market research

Interactive online media platforms allow you to listen to what your customers have to say when it comes to products and services. You can then use this information to improve your product or service, and in turn, share these improvements with your customers. Few things offer your business a chance for such easy insight into your specific market.

These are only some of the benefits associated with social media marketing, but small businesses can no longer afford to ignore social media marketing.  For the busy business owner or entrepreneur it can be confusing and challenging so I invite you to schedule a Complimentary Breakthrough Strategy Session with me to discuss how you can incorporate social media marketing into your business.

Are the Six Most Expensive Words Killing your Business

We've always done it that way

The term “microwave generation” has been applied to our society of people who want what they want NOW.  Information is readily available literally at their fingertips and in the palm of their hands.  What does this mean for the business owner?  Business as usual is no longer going to be effective and the idea of ‘We’ve always done it that way…” is no longer going to be acceptable. These six most expensive words could be killing your business!

How does this affect Customer Care?

There are some benefits to doing business the way you did it in the past, but these have to evaluated individually.  For example, in the past small business owners found it easier to connect with their customers and build a one-on-one relationship with them.  A lot of that intimacy may have been lost as more people do business online or over the phone.  So what’s required?

1)       An active online presence, which includes having a user-friendly website that provides information on your products and services.  Depending on the type of business you have, research shows that visitors would prefer if you have information right there on the website, perhaps a section for Frequently Asked Questions so that they can get information without always having to make a phone call to speak with a person.

2)      Finding out where online your customers and prospects hang out and make sure that you’re on those platforms to answer questions, add value, and position yourself as an expert in your niche.

3)      While you do not have to spend large chunks of your day on social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn; it makes sense to have a basic schedule of what you will do in the limited time you spend there and the kind of content you will share to educate your prospects and customers.

4)      In order to restore a measure of intimacy so you get to know your customers, ask for feedback and try to get them involved in what you’re doing.  At the same time, share, to the extent you feel comfortable, some information about yourself so they get to know, like and trust you.

5)      Customers do not want to wait for days for a reply.  They want it as soon as possible so it’s your responsibility to explore what channels you’ll use to deliver exceptional customer service, always keeping in mind the goal of customer/client retention.

“We’ve always done it that way” could be killing your business unless you analyze and evaluate what’s working and what you need to change to meet the demands of your customers so you deliver superior customer care.

Are you losing your customers? Do you know someone who is? You may download my Special Report: “STOP Losing Your Best Customers: Time-Tested Tips to Grow Your Business with Customer Retention.” Please forward to a friend who may find value in this information.

 

Why Make Time to Keep in Touch with Customers

keep in touchSmall business owners often wear many hats and are very busy.  Even if there is a small staff in place, a great deal of the decision-making and general day-to-day business operations fall of their shoulders.  It’s easy for some things to get lost or be given a lower priority.

One of the things that often get pushed down on the list is making time to keep in touch with customers.  The thing is that keeping in touch with customers should be given as much priority as Marketing and Sales.  Why is this so important?

  • Keeping in touch with your customers on a consistent basis builds the relationship and creates a bond that affects the emotions.  Your customers will get to know like and trust you even more.  When your customers are emotionally attached to you they’re less likely to defect to your competition.
  • Keeping in touch works in tandem with Marketing and Sales.  In fact, it can contribute to effective marketing because surveys and feedback from your current customers empower you to identify what’s working and what may need to be improved in your marketing strategy.  At the same time, your sales will improve as your customers become repeat buyers.  You also have an opportunity to cross-sell and upsell.
  • Many small business owners struggle with consistency.  They may intend to contact their customers on a regular basis, say two times per month or even once per month but they become distracted so that months may go by with no contact.  The effect of this is that you will be perceived as being unreliable and your customers could lose trust in you.  Since recapturing lost trust is very challenging, making a schedule and sticking to it is important.
  • When you keep in touch with customers it gives you an opportunity to educate them and position yourself as the expert in your market.  Let your customers know what you’re doing in your business.  Large corporations have credited the success of some of their products to the suggestions and recommendations of their customers as they kept them updated during product creation.
  • If you’re a speaker, share with your customers where you will be speaking.  If you’re sponsoring an event or doing something in your community share that with them.  People want to see  and come to know who you are as a person, not just the business side. 

It takes time to stay in contact with your customers, so this is something that has to be included in your formal schedule of activities.  It cannot be left to chance.  Building relationships with your customers when you keep in touch with them on a regular basis will help to bridge the gap between your efforts to attract them and retaining them on a long-term basis.