Having great content is one thing, but using social media to brand your business is important for branding and generating buzz. It’s a great way to transform your lead generation efforts and give relevant and timely information your prospects are looking for. It’s no secret that people are now learning about your brand via social. They can ‘like and engage with your content, comment on your content and even share it on their own personal feeds. By adding social media elements and shareable content to your social media campaign, you can empower customers, prospects, fans or followers, to become brand advocates by engaging with your content. So what type of content should you post on your social media channels? Here are five tips to help you amplify content via social: 1) Have a content strategy – There is a drastic difference between a content strategy and social media strategy. A social media strategy should support the library of content you have. Social media are tools that enable you to have a conversation online about your brand, while content enables you to become a thought leader and relevant contributor in your industry. Your customers and prospects will refer to Google to find what they are looking for. Create a content strategy as well as a monthly or quarterly content calendar. As you continue to update your content frequently, by including not only key words, but rich media including images, audio and video, your website may rank on the top pages of Google. 2) Utilize the 80/20 Rule – Create a balance between content and thought leadership. Remember, 80% of your content should be informational, educational and helpful, while 20% should be promotional material. Err on the side of caution of self-promotion. 3) Strike a balance – Offer content that is valuable for your branding positioning, but also shows your brand’s personality. Determine what is fun and shareable. Remember, content does not always have to reflect a white paper, case study or promotional brochure. Think outside the box, and utilize images and videos as well – as this may also show value to your followers and humanize your brand. 4) Experiment with Different Types of Content – Utilize different key messages, social media platforms and eye catching videos to tell your brand’s story. Google+ Hangouts and live Twitter chats are a great way to generate buzz and build brand awareness. In turn, this will help your prospects and customers trust you as a quality and reputable source of content. 5) Offer incentives, prizes and contests – People love winning free stuff and it’s a great way to get your prospects and current customers to engage with your content and participate in your marketing campaign. Motivate them and encourage them to like, share or submit items relating to your content. Content is what tells your brand story and fuels your social media. Break through the clutter by experimenting with creative elements, valuable offers, messaging and content, across a variety of your social channels, as this will help you determine what resonates best with your audiences.

 

Having great content is one thing, but using social media to brand your business is important for branding and generating buzz.  It’s a great way to transform your lead generation efforts and give relevant and timely information your prospects are looking for.

It’s no secret that people are now learning about your brand via social.  They can ‘like and engage with your content, comment on your content and even share it on their own personal feeds.  By adding social media elements and shareable content to your social media campaign, you can empower customers, prospects, fans or followers, to become brand advocates by engaging with your content.

So what type of content should you post on your social media channels?  Here are five tips to help you amplify content via social:

1)    Have a content strategy – There is a drastic difference between a content strategy and social media strategy.  A social media strategy should support the library of content you have.  Social media are tools that enable you to have a conversation online about your brand, while content enables you to become a thought leader and relevant contributor in your industry.  Your customers and prospects will refer to Google to find what they are looking for.  Create a content strategy as well as a monthly or quarterly content calendar.  As you continue to update your content frequently, by including not only key words, but rich media including images, audio and video, your website may rank on the top pages of Google.

2)    Utilize the 80/20 Rule – Create a balance between content and thought leadership. Remember, 80% of your content should be informational, educational and helpful, while 20% should be promotional material. Err on the side of caution of self-promotion.

3)    Strike a balance – Offer content that is valuable for your branding positioning, but also shows your brand’s personality.  Determine what is fun and shareable.  Remember, content does not always have to reflect a white paper, case study or promotional brochure.  Think outside the box, and utilize images and videos as well – as this may also show value to your followers and humanize your brand.

4)    Experiment with Different Types of Content – Utilize different key messages, social media platforms and eye catching videos to tell your brand’s story. Google+ Hangouts and live Twitter chats are a great way to generate buzz and build brand awareness.  In turn, this will help your prospects and customers trust you as a quality and reputable source of content.

5)    Offer incentives, prizes and contests – People love winning free stuff and it’s a great way to get your prospects and current customers to engage with your content and participate in your marketing campaign.  Motivate them and encourage them to like, share or submit items relating to your content.

 

Content is what tells your brand story and fuels your social media.  Break through the clutter by experimenting with creative elements, valuable offers, messaging and content, across a variety of your social channels, as this will help you determine what resonates best with your audiences.

 

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SEO Strategies Every Business Need to Adopt

SEO Strategies Every Business Need to Adopt

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Building Brand Loyalty - How to Stay Top of Mind With Your Customers

How do you build an enduring brand with loyal followers? How do you focus on mastering loyalty marketing initiatives, and stay relevant and consistent with an amplified global competitive landscape?

Brand loyalty is built on the foundation of every interaction your customer has with your service. The key to brand loyalty is to always meet or exceed expectations with every customer encounter. When customers become loyal, they not only buy your product/service, they become emotionally attached to your brand. They may recommend your brand to their friends and family, develop an emotional connection, and act as a brand evangelist. These recommendations known as “word-of-mouth” marketing, continue to be most effective, as they can articulate the value proposition of your brand, and address an emotional connection that resonates well with others.

To help ensure your customers will remember your brand, below are five (5) steps to building brand loyalty:

 

1) Establish brand storytelling – Create stories that communicate the personality, values and experiences of your brand.  Build your brand story by determining what sets your company apart from your competitors and what establishes a unique identity for you (unique selling proposition – USP).

2) Connect with your customers – Be present at touch points which matter most to your customers and provide an emotional connection. As brands are battling for higher affinity, connect and engage with your customers online on a regular basis.

3) Anticipate their needs – Don’t start selling to your customers, listen to their needs and focus on what your customers want. Your customers are looking for the next experience, so offer them additional value or incentives (i.e. loyalty cards or programs), as these customers are typically more profitable and will most likely reciprocate by staying loyal to your brand.

4) Be consistent – Consistently delivering the same message and performance through all lines of business is reassuring and helps keep your brand top-of-mind. Being consistent helps re-affirm your customers’ trust and credibility in your brand, and helps provide clarity of distinction from competitors.

 

5) Deliver personalized experiences – Digital marketing enables us to connect with customers in different ways. Drive a strategy of conversational marketing that orchestrates one-to-one seamless messaging across all channels. Profile, segment and analyze your customer base and past buying patterns and create personalized, two-way interactions with your customers that are relevant and customized. Don’t group your customers as stats. Keep your focus on building customer relationships.

 

 

To establish brand loyalty you must live by your company’s core principles and go above and beyond customer expectations. Go the extra mile to set your brand apart from anyone else. Determine your company’s inside advantage. Find something uncommon about your offering, and find a way to become well-known to your core customer base by offering a differentiation. Focus on creating more brand loyalists and “brands that create an intimate emotional connection that you simply can’t do without ever.” Your existing customers are the most valuable to your business, so start to create an emotional connection and reward them.

 

How much effort should you invest in growing brand loyalty? Do you believe that if you attain brand loyalty, everything else will naturally follow?

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NAP Consistency for Local Search Optimization: Nothing to Do With Sleeping Patterns!

 

Google is causing many people to have inconsistent sleeping patterns.  Especially if you are a small business owner, or a Franchise company that has multiple local franchisees, trying to get visibility in the local search results isn’t getting easier. To help understand the fundamentals of how to get found for local search, it is important to understand a few of the basics.  Some of the things you will come across when trying to get found locally for search are NAP Consistency, Citation duplication and clean-up.

What is NAP Consistency?

Local search engines use NAP information (Name, Address, Phone number) found by crawling the web.  Alternatively this can be received from data providers to determine the accuracy of the data in their own indexes. Consistent NAP information is essential to improving search engine rankings for businesses locally.

What is a Citation?

A citation is a mention of your business on a third party website.  Citations, commonly referred to as Local Directory Listings, are essential for local search optimization. Examples of a citation include: a local directory, event site or review site.  These mentions contain your business name, address and phone number (NAP).  It is recommended that these citations contain much more detail about your business, for example, a description of services, working hours and images.

Numerous citations that display the same, consistent and accurate information about your business, will improve your ranking in local search results. Accuracy and quality of your online listings are crucial.  Although the sheer quantity of citations holds value, quality reigns supreme.

 

Citation Clean-Ups

Why have a citation “clean-up?” To rank well in local search engine optimization, inaccurate data must be cleared up.  Examples of citation “clean-ups” include merging duplicate listings and creating new listings.

To accurately perform a citation cleanup program, you must ensure:

  1. 1.    No duplicate citations or listings – as this is an important task
  2. Make a request to site for duplications to be removed or merged if there are reviews on it
  3. No incorrect citations with wrong phone numbers, old addresses, etc. 

The United States local data market is more evolved and structured than other countries. Central data aggregators (Axciom, InfoUSA, NeustarLocaleze, Factual) distribute their data out to the wider universe of directories and citation sites.
Recently a franchisor asked us the benefits and pitfalls of using automated citation building and citation clean up type services.  As with anything automated, you have to understand that it comes with its share of challenges.

 

 

 

Common Pitfalls of Using Automated Citation Building Tactics

When using automated citation building tactics there may be some common pitfalls.

Below are common pitfalls to avoid when it comes to automated citation building:

  1. It’s expensive and costs reoccur each year. i.e. maintain a yearly subscription
  2. Certain citation services limit the number of sites you can submit, don’t submit data to all main aggregators
  3. Slow updates and long lead times– citation listings via aggregates may take months to change
  4. Don’t create accounts or claim listings on all directories
  5. Some services do not offer a guarantee that submissions will go live
  6. Reporting is limited and cannot be emailed to clients
  7. Custom citation research may not be provided or be limited
  8. Trouble moving or merging duplicate listings
  9. Limited number of citations sites to submit to

10. Don’t submit to Google Places/+Local

11. Once you stop using their services, most if not all of your citations go back to where they were prior to you using the automated system.  #Totallysucks

Why invest in Citation services?

Citation services require consistency and time.  Many small businesses do not understand the nature of the citation landscape.  Citation services take time to review, update and list on key citation sites.  The gold standard would be to take a manual approach and ‘OWN’ your listings by doing them manually vs automated through a software.

Key reasons to invest in citation services include their ability to:

  • Handle multi-location businesses
  • Track campaigns
  • Build niche citations
  • Conduct localized research for some authority citation sites

Companies specializing in citation services are also aware of the citation submission rules and can select the best citations for your business.

For many business owners, the main goal of investing in citations is to help increase search engine optimization rankings and get referral traffic from credible sites

It is important to note that getting citations listed on five or six websites does not equate or achieve a strong, online presence for a business.

At ClickTecs, we advise customers to aim to build between 50 to 100 citations and then pause to see the impact these citations have on ranking. Submitting or updating these number of citations includes most of the valuable sites, including some decent vertical and local sites.

The team at ClickTecs has a great knowledge in the citation market.  If you are struggling to deliver citations at scale, and/or are inquiring about citation submission services, contact the ClickTecs team today.  Lastly, for those advanced users who want to know how to take this to the next level, we have found much success in coupling our manual citation building work with local seo optimization on your sites and unique local content to flood the market and help your business gain visibility.

 

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