Your Reputation Matters

Why You Need More and Better Customer Reviews Where it Counts a.k.a. Reputation Marketing

Customer reviews are a key ranking signal as Google and other search engines strive to give the most relevant and useful results to their users. Local search and mobile search are now providing reviews and ratings high in results, making customer reviews even more important for ranking high enough for customers to find you.

What ratings and reviews are customers seeing when they search online?

Are you ranking high enough to even be seen?

What have you done in 2015 to build a customer-winning five-star online presence?

Local online and mobile search will heavily influence consumer buying in 2016 as more and more people rely on fast and easy search results to lead them exactly where they want to be to make the best purchase. The latest surveys show that over 90% of consumers are looking at online reviews to make better and more informed buying decisions. Are your future customers seeing a five-star reputation when they search online before spending their money?

online reviews

Here is what you should know from the BrightLocal 2015 Local Consumer Review Survey:

– 92% of consumers now read online reviews (vs. 88% in 2014)
– 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just 1-3 reviews (vs. 29% in 2014)
– Star rating is #1 factor used by consumers to judge a business

For 2016 you need to do more to create a five-star reputation AND make that star rating as visible as possible online. Get more positive reviews and get them posted on the review sites and websites that your target groups use to find providers. Start by getting them on sites search engines and the local markets trust such Yelp, Google, and Yahoo Local.

When you use a service like National Auto Body Reviews to handle your customer reviews and online reputation you’re able to utilize a widget that creates the eye-catching gold star ratings that show up in local search results so people see your overall star rating before they even search for reviews. Find out how National Auto Body Reviews can take all the hard work out of building and maintaining a five-star reputation that grows your business by visiting National Auto Body Reviews online.


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Link Building

Why Link Building Is Vital for Marketing Local Businesses

Although it’s easy for the layperson to condense promoting a business down to inbound and outbound marketing, any actual marketer knows it is not that simple. There are numerous aspects that come in conjunction with advertising a business, and some of the most important sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Link building, for instance, may not seem as essential as it was formerly. Nevertheless, you should still be focusing on it.

There is a good deal of work which goes into marketing than many people realize. There are many methods of promoting a company, but some of these aspects have been overlooked with the rise of other marketing fads. Link building, for instance, seems to have lost the hype it used to get. That said, it is still as necessary as ever.

Improved Search Engine Optimization

Search engines really are a valuable technique to gain backlinks to your website. 90 percent of traffic originating from Google comes from the first page so it is vital that you appreciate this strategy. Link building gets quality backlinks that lead to your website so that it is an important facet of search engine optimization. When search engines see more quality backlinks coming over to your site, they acknowledge that you are managing a quality site. Ultimately, this helps you progress up the rankings and heightens your exposure.

Targeting the Right Traffic

Proper link building specializes in a target audience. For example, a salon may strive to establish backlinks from modeling and photography pages to draw in new clients. Getting this type of targeted traffic is precisely what increase your sales.

In It For The Long Haul

A newspaper or television ad will cease to reach people when you stop paying for it. Even so, once you have a backlink on a page it is there to stay unless the page owner personally goes in and gets rid of it. While newer links are beneficial your older links will continue to be active. What this means is Google will see the backlink each time it crawls the web. Although newer links enhance search engine optimization, even links on older pages help your SEO.

Most digital marketing strategies are targeted squarely on search engine optimization. You should always be focused on all facets, including link building, so you can keep the site relevant.

Search Engine Optimization

The most beneficial part of getting quality links from other sites is the internet search engine value. Over 90 percent of online traffic coming from Google is driven by the first page of results. What this means is getting on that first page is crucial, and the best way to do that is by optimization measures which include link building. As Google sees more quality links going to your web pages, it will recognize that you are running a quality site. This is how you move up in the rankings, and ultimately, it will definitely increase exposure.

Industry Targeted Traffic

The great thing about quality backlinks is they are generally targeted. A bait and tackle shop, to illustrate, may likely work towards having backlinks from professional fishermen or others inside their industry. This equates to targeted people being shown these links, and getting the right people come to your site is half the battle.

Serious Staying Power

When an agency pays for a spot on a local television program or in the local newspaper, the advertisement will only continue for as long as you have paid for it. With link building, however, you don’t have to replenish the link. Yes, more and newer backlinks are very important, but the first backlink to your site will more than likely remain there. Each time Google sends out its crawlers, it’ll notice this backlink. The simple fact is that this stamina will continue to pay off over time.

Most of today’s internet marketers are focused entirely on SEO. Instead of concentrating on one aspect, ensure you encompass link building and other great marketing elements to draw targeted traffic to your site.

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Marketing Mistakes

Content Marketing Errors It Is Wise To Stay away from

Classic marketing methods are swiftly being outpaced by inbound and digital marketing. Of these new promotional approaches, content marketing is undoubtedly one of the most vital. In fact, inbound marketing techniques using customized content double a site’s conversion rate on average. Needless to say, this is only if you stay clear of these common errors.

Focusing Too Much on Yourself

It seems second nature for a organization to focus on itself when marketing to others, however, this should not be the main objective when it comes to content marketing. Consumers enjoy inventive content because it’s helpful. In fact, 90 percent of potential clients find custom content useful. Therefore marketers need to focus on providing value in lieu of saying “Look at us, we are great!” Instead of selling your customers, try showing your customers why the product or service will make their lives simplier and easier and they, in turn, will ask to buy it.

Leaving Out Calls to Action

Just because you are trying to give value more than a “Buy Me” vibe in content marketing, this doesn’t mean you need to neglect your sale entirely. When you have provided the information the client values, always add a call to action at the end that would interest them given the content they read. Make sure it flows perfectly, though. “Buy Now” does not flow well from informative content.

Focusing on Only One Format

The written word is a amazing thing, but it shouldn’t be the only tool employed in your content marketing plan. It is fine if your primary time is spent with blogs and articles, but do not overlook videos, slide presentations, podcasts, or any other form of content that your clients may be interested in. Regardless of anything else, at least utilize video, which is expected to dominate 64 percent of marketers’ strategies in the future.

Don’t let little goof ups ruin your entire marketing strategy. The good news is, the most common mistakes are often avoidable.

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Low Cost Marketing

Turning Shoestring Marketing Into Countless Value

With only a great piece of content and the appropriate social media know-how, you can do plenty of marketing with little money. Don’t let a small budget restrict your reach.

Generate Shareable Content

The method of gaining huge returns on affordable content is to make it go viral. This is clearly easier in theory, but it is certainly not impossible. You first have to make your content shareable. Again, easier said than done, nonetheless it becomes easier when adopting the recipe for viral content.

Social Currency

Emotion

Triggers

Public

Practical Value

Stories

Think Beyond Facebook

Sacrificing a couple of ad dollars on Facebook certainly will help turn your site content viral. Its also wise to utilize Twitter which can oftentimes return precisely the same result at no cost. It begins with seeking out trusted voices in your industry and following them on Twitter.

Watch to find out which individuals take the time to retweet and reply to tweets. They are the influencers you need to focus on. Tag these folks when sharing your concentrated content and hope they will think it is fantastic enough to share. It is usually a smart idea to test run a piece of content on Facebook to check shareability before trying it out on influencers.

Think Beyond the Social Media Box Altogether

Even though Facebook and Twitter are clearly powerful applications,it is essential to break away from these limitations. Sites like Reddit and StumbleUpon can drive just as much, or even more, traffic than typical social media giants. StumbleUpon, for example, recently made up over half of the internet’s referral traffic.

By using social media and producing great content, you can make the littlest marketing budget do wonders. We should never accept the fallacy that economical somehow equals cheap.


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Offline Marketing Ideas

Offline Marketing Strategies That Actually Work

If you spend any amount of time online, you understand just how prominent online marketing is becoming. You shouldn’t take this as evidence, though, that offline marketing is dead. It still has a prominent place in advertising, and if done correctly, offline marketing generally is a powerful tool that supplements digital advertising. These ideas are probably the most effective.

Printed Material Is Still Effective

Even with online technology offering numerous marketing methods, you most likely still see fliers in your mailbox or on local community boards. This is because, whatever you think of traditional marketing, printed material is still effective.

A simple flier, for example, might be printed at a low cost and dispersed around your nearby targeted area. It needs to also be noted that business cards are an additional kind of printed marketing material that works miracles. The truth is, for every 2,000 business cards handed out, a company’s sales boost 2.5 percent. Point being: print works.

Generate Press Releases

Although everything that happens in your business may not be newsworthy, some events without doubt qualify. Are you

offering a Veteran’s Day discount for current and former service members? Write up a press release. Planning a sale to celebrate an expansion? Local journalists may believe it is worthy of the newspaper. Better yet, local newspapers will usually publish these stories in the paper and online.

Engage in Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is a way of advertising your company that is outside of the traditional methods. It’s often thought that this is only prosperous if it is so extravagant that people must notice it, but thankfully, this isn’t the case. Many methods from leaving a branded pen at the local bank to utilizing different color Post-It notes to develop a mural can be effective if it gets people to take notice.

There is no doubt that advertising has moved primarily over to digital media, but that doesn’t mean older technique are unsuccessful. As long as you get people’s attention you then have a successful marketing device, whatever the platform.


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Cross Channel Promotions

Developing a Cross-Channel Promotion Strategy

Where does your audience spend time, and how can you best locate and serve them? This is where cross-channel promotion can definitely be of some help.

In case you aren’t familiar with the concept, cross-channel promotion is where you conceive an integrated plan to market to your audience regardless of which web platform they frequent. With content spread across on blogs, sites, videos, audios, image sites and more lately , it’s more valuable than ever to employ a strategy that meets them where they are.

Where is your audience found?

Having this information at your fingertips is essential to making this work. You need to understand where your audience hangs out, and why they are doing so. Another factor that matters is the platforms themselves. Some platforms convert far better than others, (such as Pinterest for example, especially for women) and realizing this at the outset allows to you to target more carefully.

Still other channels have wildly different demographics. Integrating an Instagram lead with your LinkedIn crowd would not make a much sense, given the age and focus of each audience.

Plan your content strategy accordingly

Once you know where you’re planning on posting, you need to carefully map out a step by step approach to distributing your content there. There are many forms of content that work well for this, including…

  • Search engine optimization
  • Search engine marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Social media
  • Videos
  • Events
  • Speaking engagements
  • Websites
  • Blogs
  • eBooks
  • White papers
  • Special reports
  • Presentations
  • Press releases
  • Webinars
  • Print

Make use of as many as make sense for your business as a way to widen the reach and overall exposure your content receives.

Simply execute the plan

This is the part where many falter, in the actual execution of the plan. This presupposes you have a plan, which is an absolute must in an endeavor like this. There are lots of moving parts that need to coordinate with each other, and good intentions don’t succeed when there is no cohesive, step-by-step plan for your team to go by.

Taking advantage of cross-channel promotion is an excellent way to send your content to an audience that may have never seen it, through the power of social media and sharing. Get your content working as hard as you do!


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eMail Meets Social Media

Integrating Social Media with your Email Marketing

Email and social media are two of the biggest weapons marketers have, and many are still unaware how to make them work well in concert together. They are complementary tools, and syncing them up can deliver results that you may not have believed possible.

So how exactly can we combine the massive reach of social media with the functionality and marketing potential of email? Here are 3 tips to get these two working well together.

3 Tips on how to Integrate Email Marketing with Social Media

Deploy social media sharing icons in your emails – This really is easy to do, and can yield great results. Facebook and Twitter users are the best at sharing your emails, between 30-40% for every 100 emails opened. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are tops for clicks on shared emails, averaging between 6.2 % (Facebook) and 7.9% (LinkedIn). Make sure you have these visible and prominent in your emails, because you want to encourage your readers to share. You’ll be surprised at just how many are willing to do so.

Collect opt-ins from Facebook and Twitter – A relatively new addition to both Facebook and Twitter is the capability to generate email signups directly from the platforms. You’ll need something enticing to give away, whether that is an ebook, whitepaper, webinar, video or something else. It is free on both platforms, (though you will be the Twitter ad troll to do this, but you don’t have to buy ads) and you can reach an entire new audience apart from your email list.

Use Retargeting Campaigns on your Social Networks – While retargeting is the trendiest way to increase revenue, you can optimize this type of marketing by building retargeting lists of people who’ve clicked links in your emails, and thus get an audience to whom you can send ads and has already shown an interest in your offers. Sort of retargeting on steroids. Facebook and Twitter are the best places to try this tactic just now.

Use these 3 tactics for integrating email and social media and soon you’ll be harvesting the best of both worlds!

Visual Content

How to Implement Visual Content onto Your Website

Visual content is exploding all over the Web right now, and if you need proof of this you only need to look at your Facebook newsfeed, which if it’s anything like mine is packed with images, memes and videos all competing for your attention. For those who love stats, it’s worth noting that 87% of the most-shared posts on Facebook contain images, and that posts containing visual content score 189% more engagement than those that don’t.

This has created an enormous opportunity for marketers to exploit, and if you haven’t already, it’s safe to say you’re a bit late to the party. But have no fear, as we have found 5 great ways to create unique, visual content for your marketing.

5 Types of Useful Visual Content for Marketing

Create an Infographic – Becoming increasingly easier to create, infographics are an exciting new form of visual content that has taken the marketing world by storm. You can creatively pack a load if information into an infographic, which can then be easily shared, leading to great direct traffic and backlinks.

Videos – Versatile and easy to share, videos also boast the ability to be shared widely, and are simple to create in a number of forms. You can produce simple slideshow videos, web cam videos, live on location videos, short Vine or Instagram videos (6- 30 seconds long!) and many more ideas. This form is also perfect for generating traffic and links.

Develop Unique Imagery – It has become incredibly easy to craft unique images that are solely available for your marketing purposes. Since it’s become an unwritten rule that images need to accompany or overpower textual content now, it’s up to you to come up with these. In addition many of these can be posted to sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for more traffic and links.

Screenshots – Screenshots are a terrific way to convey social proof. They are super easy to make, and you can easily insert them into many types of posts, or create slideshows with them.

Data Shares – Using charts and graphs are an easy way to illustrate data through visualization. Difficult to convey concepts in text are more fully understood with an accompanying data share.

5 Social Media Mistakes

5 Easy to Make Social Media Gaffes

It’s way too easy to make mistakes on social media that can cost your reputation in a big way. That which was said in passing or a seemingly “clever” remark can swiftly turn into a tsunami of complaints that is not that easy to overcome.

The stories are legion among businesses of companies who’ve posted, replied, or used hashtags that generated plenty of negative publicity. Even though there is some truth in the old bromide attributed to P.T. Barnum, “I don’t care what people say about me as long as they say something.” The truth is that these days when social proof is a major determining factor in buying decisions, most can’t afford that luxury.

Since we depend so much today on social media word of mouth, let’s look at 5 ways you can help eliminate some of these social media mistakes.

5 Social Media Mistakes that Are All Too Easy to Make!

Being combative online – If you have a customer complaint and they bring it to your attention in one of your social media channels, this is an opportunity for you to shine rather than fight or hide. Take the high road, respond professionally, go the extra mile and remember that this type of person for most businesses represents a tiny percentage of customers. Whatever you do, don’t get into a shouting match online!

Not being present – If you’re the type who comes around once a month or so on your social channels, and expects this to be anything other than a waste of timetake this advice: Be present, be engaged, and be social. This only works if you are using the platforms to get your audience to know, like and trust you. Anything else is a waste of time.

Trying to buy fans – While there are many out there more than willing to sell you a slew of fans and followers, the reality is that this will only come to grief for you. They aren’t real, don’t know you from Adam, and won’t be useful when you need them. Do it the old fashioned way; earn it!

Too many pitches – You can and should market to your social following, but only after you’ve earned the right to by giving, contributing, engaging and winning trust. Then, only do so in about one out of five posts.

Giving the job to someone with no experience – One of the surest ways to have problems is to have a social media novice run your business accounts. Don’t trust this to anyone who is just getting started, as they will, through no fault of their own, make some mistakes, and you will pay for them. Hire experienced people, or train them up.

Marketing On A Budget

Check Out These 5 Ways to Market your Business on a Budget

Okay, we all can agree that not every business boasts a generous marketing budget, enabling you to take advantage of every opportunity on the planet. Even large companies have limitations, and working creatively within your means, however meager, is a key to online success.

We’re going to check out 5 effective ways you can market your business on a limited budget. We’ll detail them; all you need to do is do them!

5 Tips on how to Effectively Market your Business with a Small Budget

Be Social-Minded – Right now social media is where the people are, and you will be missing out if you do not take advantage of this. Social sites offer you the best opportunity to share your content to a vast audience, many of whom you are not yet connected to! Get active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and also Pinterest and Instagram if you have ANY visual aspects to your business. This is great for direct traffic, referrals, and customer service.

Build an Email List – If you have yet to start building an email list for your business, there’s no time to waste! Get a free email solution like Mailchimp until you have a least 2000 people on your lists, and by then you should be making enough to warrant upgrading to a paid account. Use these lists to communicate news and views about your business and industry, and build up your authority.

Create a Destination Blog – Creating a blog that grows in stature, has repeat visitors and is shared widely is a tremendous asset for a small business on a limited budget. You can really do anything you want from your blog platform; build lists, conducts surveys, hold contests, build authority, announce new products and sales. Make your blog the hub of activity around which your business operates.

Get Visual – These days we are a visual lot, and it’s an established fact that visual content engages and interests your audience many times more than simple text. Make use of videos, infographics, memes, images and other visuals with everything you do. You will get less bounces, more engagement and ultimately better results.

Dip your Toes into Paid Ads – Don’t be scared off of paid advertising simply because you have a small budget. There are many platforms that allow you to run ads to highly targeted people for mere pennies. Facebook and Twitter ads can be had for low prices, and your daily budget doesn’t have to exceed just a couple of dollars. Mobile ad platforms are even less expensive. Check this out today!