Posts Tagged: Engaging Online Community


28
Jan 14

Relationship Marketing Reinvented for the Digital Age

Marketing is everthing you do croppedRelationship Marketing is not new, it has always been concerned with a focus on getting and keeping customers through excellent customer service delivery. Traditional out bound marketing was concerned with ‘getting’ customers and relationship marketing closed the loop to bring together customer service, perceived quality and marketing.

The real challenge of online relationship marketing in the digital age is to understand a customer segment of one like never before. Answering questions like:

  • What do they believe?
  • Who do they trust?
  • Who do they love and what are they afraid of?
  • What are they seeking?
  • Who are their friends?
  • What do they talk about and where online?

As a result of these answers we have a more complete view of a customer, and the opportunities for experiential marketing (both online and off-line) can be tailored for an ‘individual’ that will resonate beyond to customers just like them. These very personal experiences can be designed with the context of the customer life time value in mind.

The real challenge and opportunity for a business is whether an experience can be delivered when it counts most for the business and when it matters most for the customer.

Building a relationship and delivering an experience that matters lies in re-organising your systems, collecting the ‘relationship’ data, and in reinventing your product or service so that it becomes worth recommending. When you do that, your customers do the work of getting you more noticed through their relationships. When you produce something tailored to your ‘idealised’ customer profile, more attention leads to more conversations, which leads to more attention.

It is less about a goal of viral attention, but more about the attention by the customers that matter most; that you know matter most because you research and review your ‘soft’ metrics. You can dramatically impact your ‘brand awareness’ and improved customer relationships by investing in a tailored, targeted story that’s worth spreading.

Online marketing campaign spending is still measured through the use of hard metrics such as sales, revenue, lifetime value, and cost of acquisition. It will continue to play a role in justifying investments, but soft metrics: likes, views, URL clicks, click through rates, shares, comments, engagement, response to emails, and correlation to hard metrics will provide a complete picture of the value of the customer relationship.

The digital age provides everyone with the ability to listen, show you care about your customers and critics, but most importantly to build advocates that share and recommend your products or services.

Hope you find this article helpful?  If you have any comments, please leave them below.

About the author: Teresa Bassham is the principle of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing, and is passionate about educating small and medium business professionals to create their marketing offers and brand message, attract more ideal customers and create a marketing plan to achieve success.  She coaches customers in strategies for traditional and online marketing; and implementation.  If you would like to request coaching online – please contact me.

For daily marketing tips and references, connect to our fabulous community on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Zenworkz.Authentic.Marketing

 


6
Nov 13

Facebook Ads vs Promoted Posts – my little experiment

Facebook waste of time?If you have a Facebook Page for your business you will be increasingly aware that when you post to your page, only 10-15% of your fans will see it. That means that if you have 500 fans, less than 1/5 are seeing your posts generally (*dependent on the type of post).

I decided to do a little side by side experiment to work out which would be best for my business and if you have a business that is similar, it will help you understand how it works now. Of course it will change in the future, as there’s no constant except for change with Facebook.

I choose to compare Facebook Ads and Promoted posts and have not looked at ‘Sponsored Stories”. The difference between standard ads and sponsored stories is that the stories look like Facebook ads, so they only appear on the right sidebar of the Facebook Page, along with all the other ads. There are some good arguments for using a Facebook Ad and a Sponsored Story at the same time, and this is what I will try next.

Bottom Line Results:

Facebook Ad breakdown:

  • Impressions: 923
  • Clicks: 6
  • Page Likes: 5
  • Spend: $5
  • Time: 5 days

The benefits of my Facebook Ad:

  • It was as cheap to run a weekly ad as a single promoted post.
  • It was simple to set up and to target a new ideal customer.
  • It gave me the ability to test different ads at the same time (which may be confusing for a novice).
  • It was the only way to gain more page likes (compared to promoted posts).

Disadvantages:

  • The downside that I can see is for people who see ads as spam and they wouldn’t be my target audience anyway.
  • With accusations of up to 80% fake clicks on Facebook ads, there is a smaller risk of fake clicks on promoted posts as they appear to be organic in the news feed.

Promoted Post breakdown: * post was my last blog

  • Paid Reach: 1,772
  • Spend: $5
  • Likes on Post: 30
  • Clicks on Link: *1
  • Engagement: 42

The benefits of my Promoted Post:

  • It’s main benefit is reaching my audience and their friends.
  • Although taken on a single post, it is relatively cheap for paid reach.
  • * I selected a post to my blog and I would suggest that this is the best use of  a promoted post, for promotions, events and content linked to your website, to drive traffic and leverage website content and sales.
  • Compared to ads, they are even more simple to use.
  • They are definitely better for driving engagement with your page fans.
  • They target the news-feeds of fans and are more likely to be accepted.

Disadvantages:

  • The major downside is the more you use promoted posts the more you have to pay to reach fans! One way round this is to be very selective with your promoted posts and take breaks from time to time; and to check that your available reach has gone up again before promoting. Having said that, there will be great variance depending on the type of post, so you will need to experiment what works best for you and your audience.
  • With Promoted posts you only reach people who have liked your page already and their friends.

Things to take into consideration:

  • Popup blockers such as AdBlock can hide Facebook ads, but will not hide promoted posts.
  • When you pause a Facebook ad campaign, the ad disappears from the site until you resume. When you pause a promoted post, the actions that have been performed on the post remain. If someone shared your post, for example, it doesn’t disappear when you pause the promotion.

The above experiment is far from exhaustive or scientific. The results, however, they are good enough for me to make a case that Facebook Ads are superior to gaining new page Likers but promoted posts are a superior method of reach and engagement.

So which should you choose? All of this is predicated on your type of business, and whether you are a local business or a purely online business. Facebook Ads tend to work well to increase new fans, while promoted posts help increase engagement & traffic to your website if you select carefully.

If you’re considering running any Facebook ads or promoted posts, keep the following in mind:

Go for quality over quantity: What you want are quality fans who are genuinely interested in what you do and what you have to say. They will stick with you for the long haul and be more likely to convert into actual customers.

Target your ad: Use the targeting options and interest categories that Facebook offers! This will go a long way towards attracting those quality fans.

Create an appealing Ad:

  • Test different images for your ad – think about a design that will resonate with your ideal audience.
  • Remember it’s all in the headline – spend 80% of your time choosing this hook.
  • Use your businesses keywords to engage your new audience.

Track your results: Use Facebook’s Ads Manager to track the results. You need to discover which ad, or combination of ads, will work best for you. Plan, do, check, act and refine.

I’d love to know what results you are getting for your business type and your general thoughts about Facebook Ads vs Promoted Posts?

About the author:  Teresa Bassham is the founder of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing and educates businesses to think, create, engage and optimise their marketing effort.  She coaches customers in strategies for traditional and online marketing; and implementation.  If you would like free how-to-do-it-yourself marketing resources or to subscribe to free e-news about all things marketing, please visit the website:

http://www.zenworkz.com/

For daily marketing tips and references, connect to our fabulous community on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Zenworkz.Authentic.Marketing

 

 

 

 


9
Oct 13

How to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed by Social Media Marketing

"At" Key on Computer KeyboardDo you have days where you feel that you simply can’t understand another new thing about social media marketing? I know I do and I thought that as a marketing professional, I had a good capacity to know what I needed to know, and defer to experts when I didn’t.

Those lines are continually being blurred for me, so I do wonder how the folk who follow, engage and read my content feel. Do you feel like giving up? Hopefully the following will help put some things into perspective and let you forget or ignore the rest.

  1. Purpose - Ask yourself this question: What is your purpose for using social media marketing? The only answer can be: this is where I connect with my ideal customer! If 80% of your customer connections are offline, or somewhere else; STOP NOW – it’s time to rethink how you use your precious marketing effort, because time is a thief in social media world without a clear purpose. If your only purpose for social media marketing is connecting to your ideal customers – read on.
  2. A Simple Goal - Ensure you have a single, measurable goal for reaching your ideal customer through this medium. Focus only on that single goal until you can see measurable results. Effective online marketing includes experimentation, and measurement of whether you are succeeding or failing, to be able to make changes to improve your results.
  3. Reach Multiple Social Media Platforms - Find a free or low cost scheduling tool to maximise your time investment. I never advocate putting all your eggs in one promotional basket, so please find a tool that covers multiple media platforms – not just the Facebook scheduling tool. There are many tools at various price points – I use Buffer which costs very little and provides easy scheduling of your own original pictures, tips and blog posts, as well as other interesting and educational content. It covers Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and developments in the pipeline include Pinterest. Take this one step to take the time burden from yourself and reach multiple platforms without feeling overwhelmed.
  4. Respond and Engage Easily - Invest and use Mobile Apps to check in and engage at appropriate times during the day, to respond to your content, audience questions and information that you have scheduled. There is no point in acting on point 3, if you are not set up to implement point 4.
  5. Focus on Your Unique and Original Offer - Focus on what you do best, your own original ideas, original pictures (as creation is now so easy with smart phone technology); and content that is valuable to a small engaged audience.  Share other peoples original content to support your own ideas, that adds additional insight and value to your audience. Use your ideas, and content to show how your offer is unique and relevant within changing technology and contexts.

Marketing can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it – a choice that helps you feel more in control. When you are building your business, simplifying your unique marketing message to a highly targeted audience; with a clear purpose, and goal directed to where your ideal customers are online – will give you clarity, and importantly, peace of mind in this increasingly complex online world.

I’d love to know if these points have helped you? Please leave a comment, because it helps me too.

About the Author: Teresa Bassham is the founder of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing and educates businesses to think, create, engage and optimise their marketing effort.  She coaches customers in strategies for traditional and online marketing; and implementation.  If you would like free how-to-do-it-yourself marketing resources or to subscribe to free e-news about all things marketing, please visit the website:

http://www.zenworkz.com/

For daily marketing tips and references, connect to our fabulous community on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Zenworkz.Authentic.Marketing

 

 


14
Aug 13

Donna Hamer – Feeling the Fear and Doing it Anyway!

Donna Ajax photo

One of the real benefits of networking for me, apart from the opportunity to meet a wonderful array of successful business women, is to hear all about their stories. The stories of their business and life journey, what obstacles they had to over come, and what advice they can give to those of us who aspire to be successful.

The very first to inspire, engage, educate and connect with us is one such successful business woman and I hope you will enjoy reading her story, as much as I have finding more about this lovely lady.

Introducing Donna Hamer, Creative Director of Fanpage Competitions – a Social Media/Facebook Contest business.

What is your purpose in business? This is a very diverse role which allows me to work with business owners to show them how to use Social Media and more particularly, Facebook Contests as a way to grow their business and get a return on their social media efforts.

Where are you based? On the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.

Is your focus Local, National or Global? Global – the internet has no boundaries!

Tell us a bit about you and your background? After leaving school I started with a local law firm as a legal secretary and quickly moved into a role as a conveyance clerk. 14 years later, it was time for a career change and I decided to pursue a career in recruiting & workplace training. I believe one of my unique talents is the ability to understand the diversity of small & medium businesses and their individual needs. I don’t try and be everything to everyone!

In late 2010, I discovered the benefits of Social Media and naturally fell into a role of helping others use this medium in their businesses.

On a personal note – I am a single mum with a beautiful 14 year old son who keeps me on my toes. He’s a geek, so I need to always be one step ahead of him when it comes to technology. His school teachers tell me that in Business he is unstoppable! He loves to sit and listen to me on the phone or during webinars. When the call is over, if he thinks I haven’t given the right advice – he is not backwards in coming forward to share his thoughts. Both my mother and my sister are extremely successful business woman and I believe this has played a huge part in my business development and the advice my son gives.

How do you celebrate ‘Me’ time? Spending time with my Golden Retriever walking him on the beach. I love to watch him just run and be free and have no cares. Let’s me forget life and just smile at the simple things in life!

What is your No1 time management tip? Create a list and do the hard things first. Reward your steps along the way.

What book changed your life? Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway! – Susan Jeffers. I also just love this quote and every time I stumble or get fearful of doing something new – I remind myself to “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!”

What inspired you to start your own business? It was a natural progression as I changed career paths. I decided I wanted to be more involved with training and helping others in business. Whilst still working full time, I studied at night and completed both an Associate Diploma in Business Management, and a Certificate in Workplace Training & Assessment. I used these qualifications to work at the local TAFE and take on more management and training roles within the organisations I worked for.

The biggest challenge working for yourself is thinking you can do it all yourself!

What difference has being in business for yourself made in your life? This business has given me the opportunity to work my career around my parenting role. I have been very fortunate in never having to miss a school play or sports day. I wanted to be a successful business woman and a mum who was there before and after school. I love working from my home office or taking my laptop to the local coffee shop (across the road from the beach).  With the use of a mobile phone, I can do all of my business from these two pieces of equipment.

What have been your biggest turning points in life and how did you manage these moments so that they shaped you rather than broke you? One of my biggest turning points was being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010.  The entire year was just a write off, I was left with no income and I had to decide where I was going and what the hell was I doing! There was a lot of soul searching and discussion with friends and family. I felt broken and my business wasn’t making a turnover due to my lack of focus. Luckily I had my sister to turn too, who had absolutely no sympathy and told me to get back on the horse (so to speak) and do what I do best!

This is when I turned to Facebook as a marketing tool for my business.  I spent time learning about social media, and invested in my education. I knew if I wanted to make Facebook work that I would need to know how to use it effectively. I didn’t focus on any other social media sites, my thoughts are ‘if you want to do something, do it very well and master it’. Within 3 months of using Facebook, if I didn’t get a lead a day from my Facebook Page, I would go and look at it to see if it was still working.

In the end of 2011 – I then discovered Facebook Contests and went on a new path to create my own Contest app and to help train other businesses about using social media in their business.

What is your greatest piece of advice that you would give others in business? Find good mentors and spend money in educating yourself.

What have you found to be the most effective way to promote your business? Now that’s an easy question! Facebook and the use of Facebook Contests.

What one piece of advice would you share with the readers? Think outside of the square, try something if it doesn’t work, try it a different way. But NEVER GIVE UP on your dreams!

Lastly, what’s next for you and your business? Fanpage Competitions will always be a business that grows and develops as social media changes. Only last week we launched a new app called “Vote & Win” which grew from the requests of our clients. Personally for me, I am spending more time learning about Raw Foods and just loving what I am learning and where this journey will take me personally.

If you would like to learn to promote a successful Facebook Competition for your business, contact Donna now.

I would love to know if you found value getting an insight and understanding into what drives the successful people behind their Brands? Please leave a comment below:

About the interviewer: Teresa Bassham is the founder of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing and educates businesses to think, create, engage and optimise their marketing effort.  She coaches customers in strategies for traditional and online marketing; and implementation.  If you would like free how-to-do-it-yourself marketing resources or to subscribe to free e-news about all things marketing, please visit the website:

http://www.zenworkz.com/

For daily marketing tips and references, connect to our fabulous community on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Zenworkz.Authentic.Marketing


24
Jul 13

How to help the ‘right’ customers find you

Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 6.05.03 PM

In the beginnings of a new business the focus will be on outbound marketing – telling the right customers that you exist. Your business grows through the hard work that goes into becoming known, liked then loved by customers who will refer and be fans of your business. But when you become busier, the time you have to focus on the outbound marketing diminishes and you need to ensure that the inbound marketing foundation (the platforms) are in place for the right customers to find you. This is the focus of my blog today.

I have written before that the key to finding customers is a deep understanding of what makes them tick and this certainly helps you to determine where’s the best place to spend your limited funds promoting your business. The following tips will help you focus on inbound marketing or helping the right customers find you:

Help the right customers find you:

To help the ‘right customer find you – you still need to be clear about ‘who’ you want to attract. As your business grows, and if you are following my advice of talking often to your customers, you will continue to gain important information. What are their frustrations, pains and needs – how could you reduce, eliminate or help them? You still need to position yourself as the best solution for your customers.

Update your marketing message:

Is it time to update your compelling, unique marketing message and offer? Remember, what makes your message unique is your story, your business purpose, and your values.  What make your message compelling is that it is customer centric – it speaks to the customers “hot button”, that your service or product serves as a necessary part of their life or business. Once you create the ‘right’ message, it then needs to be integrated across all your promotional customer touch points.

Communicate where the right customers are:

For every business it is important to be communicating and promoting where your customers are, both online and offline. The critical part of the right customers finding you, will be through your website.

I have covered in detail SEO (search engine optimisation) and using Google AdWords (paid) listings to promote your website effectively.  A high Google ranking for your website is a journey not a destination; and you must continue to add content that will provide value, prove your worth, and contain calls to action or hooks that will encourage the right customers to make contact.

The important goal is to rank on the first page for key search terms in your business category, because that is where you will be competing for potential customers attention. If you want to rank well on your own name (because your name is the business), then make sure there are multiple platform link opportunities for people to see your name; like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Twitter and multiple online directories entries – it will all help.

It will then come down to your specific industry and your customer’s online or offline behaviour. For  example: for online businesses, being on Pinterest, and Facebook is where their customers are; and they use engagement, sales and competitions to drive traffic through to their website store front. For other businesses, local is their focus and they would use Facebook, local directory listings, their website to add SEO impact; because customers searching locally will still respond to a local directory listing, customer reviews and website content, to help them opt in or opt out of the key marketing message that’s been created. A good example of the self selection process will be the pricing message, be it either low or high. A business can decide whether they want to invite contact for quotes for the lowest price; or state that price is not negotiable – both will send a clear message to the ‘right’ customer.

Build a contact database:

All businesses should build an email newsletter subscriber database, because the value of any small business is the number of actual and potential customers you have direct contact with.   Email, if done well, if a very effective engagement and selling tool. Of course, you need to have the mechanism to attract existing and potential customers to sign up for your newsletter, e-zine, blog or other content. Building an email subscriber database can be a smart return on investment for your time.

At different stages of business maturity, you will use both outbound and inbound marketing tactics. All businesses should have an easily found, user-friendly website suitable for both traditional computer and mobile devices, plus CTA’s or hooks for customers to leave their contact details. Beyond this, your marketing focus will reflect the particular needs of your industry and ideal customer niche, because different marketing tactics will work differently for different businesses.

This is what works for me. I would love to hear what is working or not, for you?

About the author:  Teresa Bassham is the founder of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing and educates businesses to think, create, engage and optimise their marketing effort.  She coaches customers in strategies for traditional and online marketing; and implementation.  If you would like free how-to-do-it-yourself marketing resources or to subscribe to free e-news about all things marketing, please visit the website:

http://www.zenworkz.com/

For daily marketing tips and references, connect to our fabulous community on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Zenworkz.Authentic.Marketing

 


11
Jul 13

Why People Buy from People they Know, Like and Trust!

Trust Like Know

Marketing theory, research into consumer behaviour and the psychology of why people buy is a very complex subject area, that covered in depth would cover 100 pages not 600 words. What follows is a summarised explanation of why it’s important to understand why people buy.

In a nutshell, consumer behaviour is a fairly broad marketing term that essentially seeks to answer the question of why customers act the way they do or why they buy. If we study and understand what makes people tick, we can better tailor our marketing messages to their wants and needs, greatly improving the likelihood of successful sales.

Snapshot of Consumer Behaviour

Customers can go through distinct buying phases when they purchases products/services:

  1. realising they need or want something,
  2. searching for information,
  3. evaluating different products/services,
  4. choosing a product/services and purchasing,
  5. using and evaluating the product/service after the purchase, and
  6. use or disposing of the product/service.

A customer’s level of involvement is important. Low-involvement products are usually inexpensive and pose a low risk to the buyer by purchasing them, making decisions easy. High-involvement products carry a high risk to the buyer if they fail, are more complex decision processes, or have high price tags.

Researchers also believe people buy products/services to enhance how they feel about themselves. To understand customers and connect with them, we look closely at their lifestyles and life stages (what they do, how they spend their time, what their priorities and values are, and how they see the world).

Perception is how you interpret the world and make sense of it in your brain, an area that was thought beyond examination. Not any more, neuroscience now studies the effects of brand consumption on your brain using advanced brain imaging technology. Customers’ attitudes are biases based on their values and beliefs, that rarely change but need to be understood for effective communications.

In short, various stimuli from marketing messages and the environment are thrown at the customer, who then goes through the decision process in light of their various biases and life-stage, and the sought after result is a (or repeated) purchase.

Impacts of Technology

What is rapidly changing how people make these purchase decisions, is the use of technology devices, smartphones, laptops, tablets, that connect via social media platforms. This intersection of technology and social interaction has created a world where people are more connected than ever before, increasing the ‘multiplier’ effect of word of mouth; but also more distracted from receiving your marketing message due to environment saturation.

The connected world has changed customer’s awareness of message stimuli for buying and we must adapt our marketing ’know, like, and trust’ strategies to make the most of this new environment.

Practical Actions

The best way to become ‘known’ is to create quality, valuable (free) content and deliver it via technology to potential customers. High-quality content marketing will attract attention and will build your knowledge area reputation. Creating stories that are authentic, lets people see who you are, what you stand for and why you’re worth following.

Building mutual relationships with potential and existing customers, fans and followers will nurture your ‘like’-ability. This is achieved through authentic communication and two way conversations with a community of loyal followers. Loyalty is built through the intimacy of your customer interactions.

Gaining the ‘trust’ of an online community is built by always delivering on your brand promise, creating and giving value above and beyond your promise. Trust in the form of reliability, honesty, integrity, mutual values, and respect are the future currency of success.

Creating a message that persuades people to act is the task of marketing. Consumer behavior theory is one of many tools that you can use to help you achieve your marketing and sales goals. The practical actions above are just the starting points for leveraging the ‘multiplier’ effect of social media word of mouth; and to create tailored, unique marketing messages that attract more customers and gain more sales.

I’d love to know your thoughts? Please leave a comment below.

About the author: Teresa Bassham is a Marketing Coach and Director of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing. Teresa is passionate about helping small businesses create the right marketing, find the right customers; and achieve transformational results.

If you would like free how-to-do-it-yourself marketing resources or to subscribe to free e-news about all things marketing, please visit the website:

http://www.zenworkz.com/

For daily marketing tips and references, connect to our fabulous community on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Zenworkz.Authentic.Marketing

All or parts of this blog are able to be published with permission from the author – provided that the author is acknowledged and a link is given to the original source blog.

This blog is original content influenced by years of experience within the Australian small business culture and may not be applicable to other countries small business cultures.

 


16
May 13

SEO or Google AdWords? Plus 8 Tips to Promote your Website Effectively

"At" Key on Computer KeyboardLet me first start by explaining that SEO (search engine optimisation) is the process of improving the ranking of your website in search engines via the ‘organic’ (unpaid) listings. The principle of SEO is to ensure your website ranks highly for keywords that people are likely to type into search engines when looking for a business like yours.

Optimising your website content and design helps to drive qualified traffic (what they are searching for you offer) to your web pages and ensures that people interested in your products and services can find your business online.

With Google AdWords (paid) listings, you are simply buying traffic to to your website, either through pay-per-click or other forms of advertising. But it’s expensive, and getting more so every day for the competitive keywords. It’s also complex and whole books have been written about how to manage the intricacies of Google AdWords. The bottom line is, before you even think about paying for AdWords, you need to ensure that your website is inviting to the people who are interested in your product or service.

Tip 1. The first place to start if you are just creating a website is to make sure that you have a keyword in your Domain Name – either the name of your Business or as a description.

Tip 2. Find a way to get a dot com (.com) domain and if your business name is not available, be creative rather than grabbing the dot net (.net) and then competing for ranking against a dot com with the same name.

Not sure what your keywords are?

Tip 3. A good place to start your keyword research is with the Google Keyword tool. Designed for AdWords advertisers to find keywords, you can also use it for your own research. Keyword research is the foundation of your website’s on page SEO.

Steps for finding keywords:

  • Brainstorm a list of possible combinations of words people might use to look for your type of business, product or service, including brand names, generic names, geographic location, service descriptions or area of expertise.
  • Go to the Google Keyword Tool and enter these, choosing Australia as the country and both Broad and Exact as the search results.
  • The Keyword Tool will give you lots of suggestions based on your seed keywords.

Tip 4. Once you have your keywords, what do you do with them on your website?

  • Think about your site content – use authentic and original content, use key search words in the text and make sure you have H1 headings and preferably H2 sub headings as well, all containing keywords.
  • Pay attention to keyword density, and keep it low. It can be irresistible to stuff your keywords in wherever possible but with semantic search (Google now tries to figure out the meaning of your site when it spiders it), keyword stuffing will do you more harm than good.
  • Internal links – when you write a related post or article on your site, link your keyword back to another article on your site. Building internal links helps Google find other areas of your site and reinforces you as an authority on the topic.

Tip 5. Create a strategy for your site design which includes creating a sitemap – a page that includes links to every area of your site. This helps the search engines find every area of your site.

Tip 6. Think about the customer who will use your website and what will be easiest for them to buy your products or services. Make a ‘call to action’ and relevant conversion for every page – don’t force your potential customers to make extra clicks.

Tip 7. Leverage your strengths – if writing is one of your strengths, then make sure you have a blog on your website. Remember blogs don’t just have to be just written words, showing your pictures or artwork can still tell a story on your blog. If you are a photographer or artist, make sure you have a Pinterest account linked to your pictures and ensure that all your social media platforms are updated for the audiences they serve.

Tip 8. Always check the ranking of your site as you continue on your journey.  You should rank No 1 for your business name and possibly, your name (especially if it’s unique).  But the important goal is to rank on the first page for key search terms in your business category, because that is where you will be competing for potential customers attention. If you want to rank well on your own name (because your name is the business), then make sure there are multiple platform link opportunities for people to see your name; like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Twitter and multiple online directories entries – it all helps.

Finally, after following all these tips, sign up and use Webmaster Tools to verify ownership of your website. This tells Google about your website.  Sign up for Google Analytics and include the code in your website, even when there’s no traffic, there are many opportunities for education by using these tools.

Google is such a wonderful resource, if you are thinking of building a website or you want to know how to rank well on Google – you only have to seek their advice and the best part – it’s free.

Love to know whether this is helpful or if you have other tips that are working for you?

About the author:  Teresa Bassham is the boss lady of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing and educates businesses to think, create, engage and optimise their marketing effort.  She coaches customers in strategies for traditional and online marketing; and implementation.  If you would like free how-to-do-it-yourself marketing resources or to subscribe to free e-news about all things marketing, please visit the website:

http://www.zenworkz.com/

For daily marketing tips and references, connect to our fabulous community on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Zenworkz.Authentic.Marketing

 


10
Apr 13

How to craft the right brand message on social media

"At" Key on Computer KeyboardIn your marketing journey to attract and keep new customers, unique and authentic brand messages work best on social media.

Technology is moving so fast, you must understand and optimise every interaction with potential customers in a way that establishes positive, emotional responses to form meaningful relationships with your business, brand and message.

Getting the brand message right for what your business offers is vitally important. Not only does it provide the basis for your personal relationship with your customers; it answers the question foremost in every potential customer’s mind: Why should I buy from you? Over time, these customers can become your best marketing advocates and promoters.

How do you create the right brand message? The focus is “social” and where you can, to project your fabulous personality into your brand message.  Any unique and authentic brand message must be simple. If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t know enough about what motivates your customer to buy. The step then must be to research your ideal customer, create a profile of who they are and write specifically to them.

As I have said many times before, ‘benefits’ and not features will always grab your target audiences attention. Your brand message should demonstrate that you understand your customers situation, either the problem they need to solve or a want they must have, – the “benefit’ to them. You can then construct an offer that helps them to address their situation. Approaching it in this way could be the single deciding factor for them choosing your business offer over someone else.

Finally, without trying to sound like a broken record, people like to buy from people they know, like, and trust. Building trust begins with sharing your story, and showing your values, so you attract prospective customers who can relate to you.  Explaining why you do what you do, helps them understand what it’s like to deal with you and trust you.

In today’s crowded marketplace, with new competitors emerging from around the world, distracted audiences, and almost saturation marketing of products and services; it is more important than ever to ensure that when you have the attention of a potential customer, you are able to offer a compelling and authentic reason for them doing business with you.

I’d love to hear your thoughts? Please feel free to leave a comment or question below.

About the author: Teresa Bassham is the Boss Lady and Chief Coach of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing, and is passionate about educating small and medium business professionals to create their authentic marketing and brand message, attract more ideal customers and create a marketing plan to achieve success. Please contact me if you’d like help creating your brand message on social media.  Visit my website for free resources and subscribe to weekly e-News updates on all topics related marketing.

For daily Authentic Marketing updates visit and “like” my Facebook page.

 


30
Jan 13

Writing from the Heart

Writing from the heartOne of my roles as a junior clerk (many years ago) was writing customer letters. These letters required approval from my then two supervisors (to this day, I don’t know why there were two!).  Sorry I digress; I became increasingly frustrated by the changes that were made to my letters by two people with very different writing styles; that I decided to play a trick on them both.  Pretending I was finding one matter difficult to write about, I asked one supervisor for help and he virtually wrote the letter for me.  I then sought approval from my other supervisor, who proceeded to correct the copy and rewrite the letter.

I then asked to see them both, showed them the letter where they had corrected each others styles, thanked them for their guidance and told them that from now on I would be writing my letters in my style, which I knew was quite adequate in fulfilling my role. End of story!

The reason I remembered this long forgotten occurrence is that over the holiday break I have been mulling over my own writing style and whether it is “good enough” for blogging? Recalling this story reminded me, that writing from the heart is about communicating with your audience and writing in a way that you feel comfortable with. Yes, there are very many skilled wordsmiths who offer excellent services but I believe that if you want to build trust with your online audience, your words should be your own. People need to know the authentic you, and in knowing the authentic you, can build a relationship which is the only way people will “buy” what you’re selling, whether its your service, your products or yourself!

I would love to know your story? Please leave me a message?

About the author: Teresa Bassham is the principle of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing, and is passionate about educating small and medium business professionals to create their differential advantage, attract more ideal customers and create a marketing plan to achieve success.  She coaches customers online and by phone – if you would like to request coaching – please contact.


29
Aug 12

Social Media Etiquette for Business (updated)

The rules for engagement or etiquette, may not change significantly but social media has changed markedly since I last blogged about this subject.

I thought it was time for an update, because I still hear customers say that they are unsure of the rules, which leads to inaction, and undercapitalising social media’s power.  Here are some basic do’s and don’ts for engaging with social media to help grow your business:

Have a clear purpose. Think about why you want to use social media for your business and state that clearly in your tag line and general page information. This means when potential customers come across your business, they are clear that you have something to offer them.  This clear purpose also helps to give you guidance for the criteria of content that you post.  But … don’t treat all social networks the same because each has a different approach and audience.  As a general rule of thumb:

  • Facebook is like being at a party of your friend, with their friends;
  • LinkedIn is like being at a business networking event;
  • Twitter is like a magazine front page – short bylines to entice you to read more; and
  • A blog is like business conference.
  • Pinterest is like a picture magazine – that entices you to buy, like and follow people you connect with visually.
  • You-Tube is like a 1- 3 minute advert, that can be both informative and entertaining.

Build your online brand. Establish a strong brand online so when people browse your social media business pages, they will get an immediate sense of your business offer. In other words, don’t try to cover everything that is topical; keep your posts and sharing closely aligned to what is relevant to your brand. Figure out what business niche you want to occupy and build your brand around that.  Want to know more about defining a niche market, download a free guide here?

Set guidelines for your use of personal and professional. It’s ok to overlap personal and professional in social media today, especially for a services business because our person and professional lives entwine significantly, but it’s important to demonstrate difference that leverages and enhances your brand. You should ensure that whatever personal elements you blend into your business profile supports your business goals and doesn’t damage the perception of your business brand.

Create content that others can forward, share, repost, and retweet. This is even more important today. The core of your strategy should be creating meaningful, interesting content that potential customers will want to read and share.

Use your common sense. Think before you post, put yourself in your customers shoes – what will they think about this. This also applies to your personal profile, if your business pages are linked.  As an example, the personal profile of a wellness practitioner needs to fit the image that may be expected by your potential fans and customers – unfair perhaps but true. When you are your business, you are your business all the time, especially in online media.

Don’t neglect replies. Social media’s big difference from traditional broadcast media is just that: it’s not about one-way broadcasting – it’s about discussion and engagement. Connecting on an engaged level to make your brand feel personal and relate-able is what the social media audience is looking for.

Don’t claim to be an expert. In Australia, small poppy syndrome dictates that there’s nothing more off putting than someone who boasts about themselves.  Instead, be humble and demonstrate your expertise with that very authentic knowledge and insight that only you can share.

I’d love to hear your thought’s? Please feel free to leave a comment or question below.

About the author: Teresa Bassham is the principle of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing, and is passionate about educating small and medium business professionals to create their authentic marketing message, attract more ideal customers and create a marketing plan to achieve success.  She runs local workshops in Northern NSW and coach customers online and by phone – if you would like to attend the next scheduled workshops or request distance coaching online – please contact me.

For more regular Authentic Marketing updates visit and “like” my facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/Zenworkz.Authentic.Marketing