6 Ways to Use Snapchat for Business

ways to use snapchat for businessSnapchat is a visual photo sharing app that is available on mobile devices only. Its time-limited, disappearing content adds urgency and excitement to create unique engagements between users. You may be clear at this point on how to use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote your business. However, it may be a little less clear with Snapchat. Businesses aren’t used to applications that build engagement without building a portfolio of content. Demystify the use of Snapchat in marketing with these 6 ways to use Snapchat for business.

1. Share Milestones

When your business is on the verge of something big—finishing a major project, achieving a new milestone, or preparing for a big event—the last thing you have time for is marketing. However, these are definitive moments of your business that reveal personalities and culture—the unique elements that make your business stand out.

Snapchat Stories aren’t meant to be perfect, so they are a great way to fit some quick and easy marketing without spending hours finding the perfect photo to post. This will let you stay connected with your audience without missing a beat in your bigger event. Give your audience direct access to the full experience of important events, not just the outcome. They will connect more deeply with you, appreciate your work even more, and feel included.

2. Offer Exclusive Deals

If you have a small but select following on Snapchat, use it as a channel for special deals. Create Stories around coupons, promotions, and discounts that you only want a select few to have access to. This is a popular social media campaign strategy that encourages existing followers to keep tabs on your account, and will also incentivize new users to follow you.

3. Reward Loyalty

Use Snapchat in a similar way to Instagram Direct Messages for business: reward loyalty. You could reward your loyal Snapchat followers by offering a discount or promotional code at the end of your Snapchat Story. Only those who watch until the end will have the information and instruction they need to get the prize.

Another way to use Snapchat in this manner is to craft a message in your Story that tells those who respond directly to you that they will get a reward. For example, if they send you a snap of themselves using your product or service, they will get a coupon. In addition to increasing brand loyalty, these tactics will increase your Snapchat engagement overall.

4. Promote Your Other Social Media Platforms

Another way to use Snapchat for your business is to provide instructions in your Story for action on a different social media platform. For example:

• Have them send you an Instagram Direct Message with a promotional code that you provide only on Snapchat.
• Instruct them to post to Instagram with a specific hashtag or to your Facebook business page with certain specifications, in order to get a discount or prize.
• Tell them to comment on a particular post and in a particular way and you will send them a coupon.

This is a great way to accumulate quality user generated content for your entire audience to see, and to give your loyal followers exclusive treatment.

If you have a small but loyal following on Snapchat, offer this information on Snapchat without announcing it on other channels. If you are looking to gain more followers on Snapchat, you might want to announce on other channels to check your Snapchat Story for some special instructions.

5. Drive Traffic to Your Website

You can use Snapchat to drive traffic to your business website, but keep in mind that it is not become a lucrative acquisition channel. Just like with Instagram Direct Messaging, Stories, and posts, Snapchat doesn’t allow you to include clickable links. You can instruct users to go to specific URLS, but they should be easy to remember, or easy to copy and paste into their browser.

If you do want to experiment with Snapchat and website traffic, use your Story to create a brief preview of a particular blog post, product, or customer testimonial. Include the URL at the end of the Story, for users to go to if they want to learn more. Or, ask them to share their thoughts on a blog post in the comments section.

6. Use Micro-Influencers

Micro-influencers are smaller scale celebrities that have a popular blog and social media following in your specific niche and/or in your local community. If you have a relationship with a micro-influencer who has a Snapchat presence, see if they’d like to come to one of your classes or try out one of your services and create a Story about it. Or, give them access to your account for the day and let them share with their audience their experience with your business.

If they have a large following on Snapchat, you are sure to increase your visibility. If they are advanced in Snapchat, they can create exciting and compelling content to enhance your presence. Let your audience know ahead of time that you’ll be featured on that micro-influencer’s account, or that they’ll be taking over account, so as to build up excitement and get more engagement.

There are many ways to use Snapchat for your business, to inform, educate, engage, appeal or all of the above. The quick and urgent essence of the platform makes for a refreshing new type of engagement with your audience. Use Snapchat to provide content that users look forward to seeing, and are afraid to miss!

How Much Does it Cost to Advertise on Instagram?

how much does it cost to advertise on instagramInstagram offers a number of ways to use Direct Messages, Posts, Stories, and Boomerangs to effectively engage with your audience. In addition to these free options, paid advertising on Instagram is also a powerful marketing tool. If this visual platform is a popular channel in your target audience, you may want to advertise on Instagram. To help you decide, read on to learn about the workings, advantages, and cost of advertising on Instagram.

How Does Instagram Advertising Work?

Ads appearing on Instagram can have up to 5 different calls to action, can link to outside websites, and give users options to download applications or shop online stores.

You don’t actually even need an Instagram account to advertise on Instagram. Since Facebook is its parent company, all you need a Facebook business page. However, it is best to have an Instagram account so you can familiarize yourself with content that resonates best with your target audience. Ads are created with the same tools for Facebook advertising, which include Ad Creation, Power Editor, and the Facebook Ads API.

Just like with the setup and cost of Facebook ads, you will set a budget and target audience, and your ad will run within the timeframe and budget parameters.

Advantages of Instagram Advertising

There are a few benefits of paying for ad space on Instagram rather than simply running campaigns and promotions directly from your business’s account.

Advanced Targeting

Since Facebook owns Instagram, Instagram advertising utilizes the same comprehensive demographic and geographic data. This advanced targeting is what makes Facebook advertising work so well, as you can be incredibly prescriptive when targeting your ideal audience.

Better Click-Through Rates

The click-through rates on Instagram are very impressive. Users click on Instagram ads roughly 2.5 times more often than on ads for other social media sites.

Include Outside Links

Instagram does not currently allow clickable links in posts or direct messages. You can include a link in your caption or message, but the recipient has to copy and paste it into their browser. With Instagram advertising, you can include outside links, which enables you to use landing pages and promote product pages.

Longer Videos

Typical Instagram video posts are limited to 15 seconds, but Instagram advertisements allow up to 30 seconds. This gives you more opportunity to convey both your personality and the features and benefits of your offer.

The Cost to Advertise on Instagram

The cost of Instagram advertising is a bit more than the cost of Twitter advertising and Facebook.  With its impressive targeting capabilities and click-through rate, the cost to advertise on Instagram is a bit higher. Average CPM (cost per thousand views) is $6.70. This will likely go down as more companies utilize the platform.

Advertising on Instagram and other social media platforms can be well worth it if you strategize. It may take a few attempts to gather the intel needed to figure out what’s working for you, but this is the case with any type of marketing campaign. Give it a shot! Social media is a powerful tool and enables you to reach thousands of people that otherwise may have slipped right by you.

How to Develop a Strong Reputation

how to develop a strong reputation In today’s society, word of mouth flies across mobile devices and social media platforms. People are eager to consume information so they can make quick decisions for their needs. As such, your business reputation can take on a life of its own, so it is important to proactively develop your company’s reputation so that it is a strong one. In this post we’ll go over the elements of a strong reputation, and how to develop one for your business.

What Makes a Strong Reputation

A strong reputation is one that remains stable amidst the chaos of real-time, viral, and trending information in our culture today. It presents your company accurately to a consumer quickly trying to learn about your business. While you target your messaging, everyone is entitled to their own perceptions. A strong reputation is one that is minimally impacted by misinterpretation. Finally, a strong reputation is one that doesn’t change easily, such as with one negative review or mistake (This is life. Those do happen!).

Developing a Strong Reputation

A good business reputation is important, but it doesn’t happen overnight. It is developed over time, across many channels: online, offline, in various communities, in you, your employees, and more. Reputation development is a slow and sustained process, but the more channels you use, the more quickly you can build true strength. Below are some strategies for developing a strong foundation for your business reputation.
Develop a Strong Reputation With Your Knowledge

Enhance Your Knowledge

One of the best ways to develop your business reputation is to build your knowledge. Stay on top of industry topics, news, and standards. Be constantly learning. Equip yourself to be able to answer questions in any scenario—in your store or on the train, in online groups or at networking events.

The obvious reason for this is because the more knowledgeable you are on your field, the more you will be trusted, and trust is essential to your reputation. A less obvious reason is that actively learning and staying up to date will lead you to be more active in industry and community groups, and lead to more interactions with people in your network. The more people who can get to know you, the stronger your reputation will become.

Share Your Knowledge

Share your knowledge with everyone, not just your customers. Create a resources page on your business website accessible to everyone. Host a free webinar online or run a workshop in your community. Promote your small business blog to the people it will help. Send the message that you don’t just want people’s business, you want to share what you know to help them solve a problem.

Watch Your Delivery

When leveraging your knowledge to develop your reputation, be conscious of your tone and language. Be careful not to place yourself above your target audience. You don’t to make them feel inferior or insulted. You want them to feel secure in that they have you as a trusted resource in an area with which they are less familiar.

Also, don’t share your expertise at the expense of other experts in your field. You don’t create a strong reputation by beating them to the top. You earn a strong reputation by representing yourself as a thought leader among them; a member of a group of experts collectively making your industry better. Set yourself apart with your knowledge but keep yourself a part of your community. Be human, be informative, and be respectful.

Building Your Business Reputation Through Your Community

Host Events

When running events, avoid the mindset of getting as many potential clients in the door as possible. Take the approach of simply welcoming community members into your world, wanting to learn about them and get to know them. You can have email list signups or give out branded swag, but stay focused on building relationships, not closing deals.

Engage the Community

Developing your reputation doesn’t just have to focus on getting people to engage with your business. Look at how you can get people to engage with each other, to improve their relationships within the community to strengthen it as a whole. Connect professionals to each other, refer people to neighboring businesses, partner with other businesses. Facilitate success for other people and businesses, not just yours. This is a great way to distinguish your business from competitors, and over time, it will not go unnoticed that you are the common thread for others’ success.

Help the the Community

It goes without saying that being of service to people can earn you a positive reputation among them. There are many ways to develop and manage your business reputation by serving the community. Volunteer regularly, host fundraisers, or pick a charity to focus on each year. On a smaller scale, offer your time, advice, or services to your friends’ family members. Mentor students who are interested in your field. Teach a free workshop in your neighborhood. The more ways you can give to the community, the more you’ll see it giving back to you.

Ask for Feedback

Stay on top of what people are thinking about your products and services. You can do this passively by keeping an eye on review sites and other social forums. You can also take a more proactive approach by asking your target audience directly. You don’t need to create a full survey. Ask one question a week on social media. Make a quick three-question poll for your store.

A good business reputation is important, but doesn’t happen overnight. It develops organically through intentional efforts. Follow these guidelines and it will not just be you—but also your customers, neighbors, friends, and even your competitors—who are contributing to the development of a strong and accurate reputation.

Email Lead Generation: Tips and Tactics

email lead generationOver the years, email has proven itself time and again to be one of the most effective means of communicating with and reaching a targeted audience. Social media platforms sometimes garner more headlines, but their attention is trend-related. The fact remains that as social media ebbs and flows, good ‘ol fashioned email continues to consistently get the job done. Read on to understand why email is so effective in marketing, and how to use email to generate leads for your business.

Why Email Lead Generation?

Email lead generation can be considered the workhorse of the industry. However, being tried and true does not mean that email marketing is not experiencing significant gains in effectiveness and efficiency. Business can now to test and tweak their emails, and monitor and measure their results down to very granular levels.

An astounding 72% of all adults in the U.S. prefer to receive communication from companies through email. Compared to only 17% on social media channels, email is still THE number one way to communicate with your audience.

Email Lead Generation Fundamentals

Every effective email lead generation campaign pays careful attention to the following elements:

Subject Line

The first element of emails for lead generation is an effective subject line. Your subject line should be intriguing or catchy without coming across as too spammy. The idea is to create enough interest to get them to open your email in a very crowded inbox.

Clean Design

The subject line of your lead generation email gets a user to open it, now you need to get them to stay. Make sure your email is easy on the eyes. Use white space and don’t crowd too many elements into the layout. High-quality images used sparingly will also add to a visually appealing design.

Engaging Content

People have extremely short attention spans. If you want your email to generate leads, get to the most important message quickly. Use larger fonts to allow people to scan your message and take in all the high points in one pass. Provide other details and links to more information for people who want greater details.

Valuable Offer

Lead generation is essentially collecting the contact information of potential customers. People do not give out their information unless it is in exchange for something of value to them, such as a discount code, free gift, or useful information.

Call to Action

This is where all the elements above are leading your reader. Make sure you have a very clear call to action phrase or button that makes it easy for them to identify and take the next step to becoming a lead.

Email Lead Generation Strategies

The above fundamentals can be applied to various types of marketing emails. Below are four strategies aimed specifically at email lead generation efforts.

Provide Gated Content

Use email to generate leads by introducing your audience to a quality piece of free content. Include a link or call to action button that redirects them to a landing page, where they will have to provide their contact information to download or access the material. Make sure you provide content that your audience will want, and be sure to highlight features and benefits of the content offer in your landing page. Remember, a good landing page conveys the value of the offer in order to earn the user’s trust.

Promote Other Marketing Channels

You may already have a highly engaged audience online and have figured out how to use social media to generate leads. If so, use email lead campaigns to drive traffic to those platforms. Another channel to promote with an email lead campaign is your business blog. Through informative articles and effective messaging, blogging can help a business get more customers. Use email to drive readers to your blog, where you can foster deeper engagement with potential leads.

Invite Readers to Events

If you are running an event, promote it with a lead-generating email. Create a quick and easy way to RSVP, and add in some excitement and urgency so that they will not want to miss out! For optimal effectiveness, make sure your content and call to action resonate with the interests and language of your target audience.

Another strategy is to offer a sign up for a reminder about the event, in lieu of an actual RSVP. Being less committal, the reader may be more likely to provide their contact information, giving you permission and access to communicate with them in the future.

Segment Your Audience

Knowing where different portions of your audience are in your sales funnel will help you craft  better messages in your emails and use landing pages more effectively. When you segment your audience by level of engagement, demographics, or geography, you can customize your message for the intended audience.

One way to implement this strategy is to classify your users as active or inactive based on their responsiveness to previous campaigns. Create a specialized campaign for those that have not opened your messages with a stronger enticement. Those who have actively opened your previous messages were worthy of special attention as well.

Utilizing a person’s inbox for email lead marketing is an effective tool that you must use responsibly or risk being relegated to the spam folder. Back in 1999 Seth Godin coined and defined the phrase Permission Marketing as “the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.” Almost 20 years later and this concept still rings true. Follow the fundamentals and strategies outlined in this article and you will be on your way to creating an email lead generation campaign that your audience will actually want to get as well!

How Much Does it Cost to Advertise on Twitter?

how much does it cost to advertise on twitterWith millions of users looking to consume information quickly, Twitter makes for a popular advertising platform. In addition to being an effective means of attracting new customers, Twitter analytics tracks your follower’s behaviors in relation to your tweets, which can become invaluable when planning larger scale social media campaigns. So just how much does it cost to advertise on Twitter? Well, it depends on which ad you choose and what your budget is.

Ways to Advertise on Twitter

Twitter advertising is slightly different from Facebook advertising in terms of pricing models and types of ads. The three types of advertisements to choose from on Twitter are:

•   Promoted Tweets
•   Promoted Accounts
•   Promoted Trends
We’ll go over each of the three options to help you understand how much it costs to advertise on Twitter.

What Are Promoted Tweets?

A Promoted Tweet is one that you have already posted, that will show up in again users’ feeds and at the top of relevant search results. Similar to Facebook boosted posts, this type of Twitter advertising is a great way to capitalize on your higher performing tweets. You can either target your existing followers, perhaps at a more optimal time and to increase response to a call to action, or you can target a larger audience. Targeting Promoted Tweet ads is much like Facebook ad targeting. You can choose a geographical area, specific user interests, type of device, gender, etc. Promoted Tweets are labeled as “Promoted” on the bottom and top left of the Tweet.

How Much Does it Cost to Promote a Tweet?

With Promoted Tweets, you’ll pay only when a user favorites, retweets, clicks or replies to your promoted Tweet. You do not have the option of paying per impression (the number of feeds it shows up on), as with Facebook Advertising costs. The average cost for a Promoted tweet is around $1.35 per engagement.

Twitter Promoted Accounts

Twitter Promoted Accounts work to increase your visibility as well, but this time for your entire account. While the goal with Promoted Tweets is to get users to engage with or respond to tweet, the goal with Promoted Accounts is to gain more followers. Use targeting to create an audience that will be interested in your business, and Twitter will suggest your account to them—in Home Timelines, Who to Follow, and search results.

Like Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts will also have the “Promoted” label so as distinguish them from typically recommended accounts.

Twitter Promoted Accounts Cost

The Twitter Promoted Accounts cost is simple: you have a cost per follower (CPF). The average cost per confirmed follower is $2.50-$4.00.

Twitter Promoted Trends

Twitter’s Trends is a list of popular topics, specific to each user’s account, based on their geographic location and hashtag usage within their network. With Promoted Trends, you pay to get a top spot in relevant users’ Trends list. Though it is marked as Promoted, it has the advantage of being in a real-time hotspot for your audience.

The Cost of Twitter Promoted Trends

If want to be placed in the Trends section of Twitter, guaranteed to receive a colossal amount of exposure, you’ll pay a pretty penny to the tune of $200,000 per day. While this type of advertising will absolutely get you front and center on Twitter, it’s incredibly important that the strategy behind your ad and campaign is well curated to make this a dollar well spent! That said, Promoted Trends is typically used by larger businesses.

If Twitter is a popular platform among your target audience, and if the cost to advertise on Twitter fits within your budget, it may be something to consider. To get a better feel for the different types of ads, look for the content labeled with “Promoted” on your own Twitter feed. You may also want to take a look at your analytics, and experiment with Tweets to see what your audience likes.

Propel Marketing Wins Best Digital Agency for Digital Innovation Contest

trophy FIWe are excited to announce that Propel Marketing has won first place for Best Digital Agency in the 2017 Local Media Digital Innovation Contest.

The contest was hosted by the Local Media Association, a nonprofit that facilitates innovation for local media companies throughout North America. Through programs, conferences, webinars, and training, LMA helps more than 2,400 local media companies, their hundreds of partners, with their digital initiatives.

The Digital Innovation Contest is LMA’s first, and was designed to recognize innovative efforts by local media companies to engage their audiences. These companies include newspapers, TV and radio stations, digital news sites, digital agencies, and research and development partners.

There were 14 categories, centered around the various channels, strategies, and individuals involved in digital initiatives. From the 80 companies that competed, hundreds of entries were submitted.

The contest was judged by the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin and the Engaging News Project. According to LMA’s announcement, the judges “really liked Propel Marketing’s consumer reach and growth as an agency: they operate in 32 states and reach 19 million people every single week. Additionally, they have great third-party connections that drive their agency forward.”

Winners of each category will attend the LMA Digital Revenue Summit in Chicago on May 9-10, presenting their award-winning work and providing further insights into their strategies.

Propel Marketing is just one of Gatehouse Media’s several companies to receive an award in the Local Media Digital Innovation Contest, making GateHouse Media one of the top three award winners throughout the entire contest.

We are ecstatic for this recognition of our efforts in digital marketing and innovation, and look forward to building upon those efforts to continue facilitating success for local businesses.

How Much Does it Cost to Advertise on Facebook?

how much does it cost to advertise on facebook With its versatility and widespread use, Facebook has become an effective channel for businesses of all shapes and sizes to connect with current and potential customers. Many of these businesses have decided to take their Facebook strategy a step further with Facebook advertising. Facebook advertising works so well because it allows businesses to tap into a massive network with relevancy. But just how much does it cost to advertise on Facebook? Let’s take a closer look at Facebook ad pricing to help you get a grasp on cost.

How Does Facebook Calculate Cost?

Facebook uses a similar pricing model for its ads that search engines use (for search engine marketing campaigns). Facebook allows you to base your advertising costs on:

Cost per Impressions (CPM)

This is how many people your ad gets displayed in front of. It is ideal for businesses who want to create brand awareness and want the most eyes on their ad as possible.

Cost per Click (CPC)

Cost per click means you’ll only pay for conversions, which is or when a user clicks the link on your ad.  This is ideal for businesses who want to drive more traffic to their website.

Cost per Action (CPA)

With CPA, you get charged only for specific actions users take after seeing your ad, such as liking, claiming an offer, or installing an app. This model is more expensive than the other options, but yields a higher return on investment.

Is There an Average Cost of Facebook Advertising?

Facebook advertising works a bit like an auction. When setting your advertising budget, Facebook will ask you to input a cap on how much you’re willing to spend on a particular ad. Since Facebook regulates how often and how many ads users see, if you get outbid then your ad won’t get top billing. This particular feature makes it difficult to give a hard answer on the average cost of advertising on Facebook, but it’s a factor none the less.

Average advertising costs are also directly affected by the audience you choose to target. Keep in mind that the people pooled into your target market (based on parameters you’ve set) will be targeted by other advertisers as well, and they won’t be limited to only competing businesses. The best way to counteract the fierce competition is to be sure your ad is carefully targeted at a relevant audience.

How to Gauge Facebook Ad Costs

Relevance and Engagement Scores

Two useful metrics Facebook provides to gauge how well your ad is performing is the relevance and engagement score. This is calculated by how many people interact with your ad (clicking on it) as opposed to how many react negatively to it (clicking on a button indicating they don’t want to see the ad in the future). The higher your relevance score, the less you’ll pay for your ad space.

Seasonal Trends

Also consider that the time of year has an impact on how successful, and pricey, your Facebook advertising is. The holidays can be an expensive time to advertise on any social media platform. A good Facebook advertising tip: If every store in the country will be having a sale (Black Friday, Labor Day, Memorial Day) you’re going to pay a premium to get your ad seen.

When carried out properly, Facebook advertising has the potential to bring new leads and customers to your business at a low cost. Take a look at your budget, audience, and what you have to offer on Facebook, to see if you should add Facebook advertising to your marketing toolbox.

The Benefits of Display Advertising

benefits of display advertising

benefits of display advertising FIWhen advertising your business, there are three important factors to consider: visual appeal to grab attention, location to maximize exposure, and relevancy to improve response. This is why display advertising has become a popular practice in digital marketing today. With its visual and targeting capabilities, display ads offer many benefits to a business, from visibility to brand awareness. This post goes over the basics of what display ads are and how they can benefit your business.

What Are Display Ads?

Display ads are the paid advertisements that appear in front of users on website pages in the form of graphics. Display ads are different from Search Engine Marketing/Pay Per Click/ Paid Search ads, which appear on search engine results pages. This means that PPC ads appear only when a person is searching, and display ads appear when a person is surfing. However, display ads technically do still appear when a person is searching, because people often visit the web pages that show up in their search results. Display ad are commonly referred to as banner ads, but they don’t always take exact banner form. They graphics that can be a smaller square or rectangle, and can appear on the top, middle, or side of a web page.

Benefits of Display Ads

Display Ads are Visually Appealing

One of the first benefits of display ads is that, because they are graphic content, they can be designed and styled. Regular SEM ads (Search Engine Marketing ads)are text only and with character counts, limiting how effectively and quickly you are able to capture attention and convey your message. With display ads, you can use graphics, video, audio, and your company’s branding to stand out to users and attract their attention.

Display Ads Support Brand Awareness

The visual component of display ads also benefits your business by facilitating brand awareness. With a PPC ad, users have to read the text on the ad and then click through to a landing page to learn about the business and its offer. Since display ads are branded and styled, often with an offer, a user can gather information on your brand simply by seeing your display ad, no click necessary.

Effectively Target with Display Ads

When online advertising, it is important to target the people most relevant to your business. Just as with SEM and Facebook Ad targeting, you can create specific parameters for your display ads: which sites they appear on, which geographic area they appear in, which demographic or niche market they appear to. For example, a car dealership can target people of driving age who live in their zip code and are visiting auto-related websites. The benefit of targeting your display ads is that you can maximize your spend.

Increase Your Visibility with Display Ads

Although display ads target specific audiences, this does not mean they limit the visibility of your business online. Display ads give you the ability to appear on websites that are not only highly trafficked, but which are also related to the offer of your ad. Display ads benefit your business by getting you in front of a high volume of the right people, even if they’re not searching.

Display Ads Provide Data

It is important to be able to measure your marketing activities, such as by using Google Analytics, to track their performance. Display advertising platforms offer this benefit to your business. With the data it provides, you can know exactly how many times your ad or ads have been clicked. Being able to track your investment allows you to ensure you are getting the most out of it.

Display Ads Support Retargeting

In addition to standard targeting capabilities, display advertising also allows for retargeting. With retargeting, you can put your ad in front of people who have previously visited your website. This is a way to reach out to people who have expressed interest in your business, and who could still be considering your business.

Display ads benefit your business by reaching more members of your target audience and in a more impactful manner. Start taking advantage of imagery and relevancy today with this effective advertising strategy!

How to Strengthen Your Company’s Reputation

strengthen company's reputation FI

strengthen company's reputation FIYour business reputation makes its way into every facet of your business’s existence. It both impacts and is impacted by the way people read your emails, interpret your social media posts, talk to others about your business, and more. This is why reputation is so important in business, and why it is your responsibility to exercise the aspects of reputation building that are in your control. This post will guide you through steps you can take to strengthen your company’s reputation.

Elements of a Strong Business Reputation

There are many factors that affect your business reputation—both online and off. Some are in your control, others are in the hands of others. Below is a list of factors which are in your control, and some steps you can take in each area to strengthen your company’s reputation.

High Quality Products/Services

Your products and services are one of the strongest components of your company’s reputation. They will impact your image in the eyes of others based upon how well they solve the problems that your target audience has, how innovative they are, and their level of quality. The better your products and services are, the more they will be used, and the more others in your community will see them being used.

A Positive Customer Experience

It’s not just the products and services that give your company a good reputation. It’s the delivery of those products and services, and the experience they create for the customer. You may have top notch product, but if you deliver it in an impersonal or colorless way, you won’t create much of an impact. Putting thought and effort into ensuring a great experience for your customers will boost your business reputation more than just ensuring a great product.

Share Your Expertise

The quality of your products and services is a direct result of your expertise in your field. However, you shouldn’t limit the recipients of your helpful knowledge to just your paying customers. Strengthen your company’s reputation by sharing your knowledge. Provide useful information on your website, your business blog, and social media to show that you are not just focused on getting more customers, but on being a trusted resource. A business that stays up to date on the latest in its industry strengthens its reputation in that it is proactive, and considers it a responsibility, and not just a perk, to be of value to its audience.

Show Your Confidence

Confidence is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to bolster your company’s reputation. People who are utilizing your products and services to achieve something are doing so because they lack the knowledge or ability to achieve it on their own. They have to trust that you will identify and provide for them what they need. You’d be surprised at what minor behaviors or words your customers will pick up on. Strengthen your company’s reputation by being clear, decisive, and positive in your interactions with customers. When you are confident in your business, they feel confident in their decision to choose you over your competitors.

Showcase Your Culture

Just as it’s important to see the people behind your customers, it is important for your customers to see the people behind your business. The way that you interact with your coworkers, the attitude with which they carry out their work, and the level of satisfaction they show are a direct contributor to your company’s reputation. This is first because humanizing your business allows people to relate more with it and form proper opinions; second because a happy and thriving office culture is a sign of a healthy business with good leadership; and third, a business that treats its employees well is likely to treat its customers well too.

Nurture Your Relationships

Your relationships with your customers is just one of many relationships that play a part in your company’s reputation. People will gather information about your business based upon how you conduct relationships with everyone—members of the community, neighboring businesses, competitors, loyal customers, customers of competitors, and people with no interest in your business at all. Reputation management doesn’t pause after hours, it is constantly happening in all of your interactions. To strengthen your business reputation, focus on serving and helping the people around you, all the time.

Provide Good Customer Service

Although your business reputation is affected by all of your relationships, your engagement with your customers should be prioritized. The speed and professionalism with which you deliver your services, the help you provide after their purchase, and the engagement you maintain with them over time is crucial to the strength of your company’s reputation. Thorough efforts in customer acquisition, service, and follow up will earn a positive image in the eyes of others and distinguish your business from competitors.

Go the Extra Mile

A mediocre or typical experience with your business doesn’t give a person anything worth sharing with others. A notable experience, however, gives them something valuable or interesting to share with others.Strengthen your business reputation by going the extra mile. Learn your customers’ names, make special accommodations for them, check in with them from time to time. Go one step further than they’d expect you to go. Note that t is important to be consistent and realistic here. Make sure that your extra mile efforts are those which you can perform somewhat consistently and for many customers; not just every once in awhile or for one. You don’t want to create an expectation that you can’t uphold, or favor some customers over others.

Strengthening your company’s reputation doesn’t require extravagant measures. It’s about seizing the opportunities provided by your daily activities to make the community around you better.

How to Identify Your Target Audience

how to identify target audience

how to identify target audienceFinding the right customers for your business is crucial to its success. When you concentrate on the people who are most in need of or interested in your product or service, there is mutual benefit: You allocate your resources to the right efforts, and your customers spend their money on what they actually need. It is important to identify your target audience, so that you can maximize the effectiveness of your marketing. This post will go over the definition of a target audience, and provide some guidelines for identifying and understanding yours.

What is a Target Audience?

A target audience is a specific group of consumers that will be the most receptive to your products, services, and promotions. The specificity of the group is based on factors like age, location, income, and more. For example, if you are a physical therapist, your target audience might be athletes who are recovering from injury; senior citizens looking to maintain mobility; or middle aged men and women with back pain.

Niche Market vs Target Audience

Niches are smaller and more specific groups within a target audience. While every business should have a target audience, not every business needs to have a niche market. Some businesses find their niche market by actively seeking one out; others stumble upon it naturally. Some niche markets are so lucrative that they become a business’s target audience. Others simply continue to be the group in which a business specializes while at the same time serving their larger target audience.

Why is a Target Audience Important

It is important to have a target audience because the language, channels, and information you use to communicate with and appeal to one demographic may not be as effective with another. Also, you are better off thoroughly meeting all of the needs of one specific group than meeting only some of the needs of a lot of different groups. Having a target audience gives you direction in your marketing, facilitates more consistency in your messaging, and allows you to deepen your connection with your customers.

How to Define Your Target Audience

Defining your target audience allows you to efficiently market to the people you know you can impact. Here are three steps to take that will help you define your target audience.

Identify Problems and Needs

The first step in defining your target audience is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Identify what problems and needs they have for which your business is the solution. Think specific needs. Do they need fast service or 24 hour customer support? Do they have kids and need special accommodations? What daily activities do they perform that you can make easier for them?

Profile Your Current Customers

To define your target audience, take a look at your current customers. What do they have in common? Repeat and loyal customers can give you great insight into the types of people you should target. Look at broad and narrow similarities. If your customer base is really diverse, you might need to give your business some more time for patterns to develop. Or, you can segment your customer base into a few different types of customers and do some experimentation to see if you can gather any information.

Observe Your Competition

Another way to define your target audience is to observe your competitors. Scroll through their business website, social media feeds, and identify their best selling products or services. Get a feel for who they are targeting, and see if that demographic fits your business. If it does, you may be able to learn a thing or two about your target audience. If it doesn’t, you can learn how to further distinguish your business from theirs.

Understanding your Target Audience

Identifying your target audience is not the same as understanding it. After all, being an expert in your field doesn’t exactly equate to being an expert on your target audience. It is important to learn as much as possible about your target audience—their lifestyle, habits, preferences, needs, dislikes, favorites, and more—and to constantly be updating that information so that you can provide superior service. Here are two ways to better understand your target audience.

Immerse Yourself

The best way to understand your target audience is to immerse yourself in it. Host and attend events where you can converse and interact with them. Use social media to engage with your customers and followers, familiarize with their jargon, and understand what’s important to them. You can learn a lot about your target audience members not just in how they interact with your business, but also in how they interact with each other and with other businesses.

Look at the Data

Consumers don’t always know what they like. In fact, we may think we have one preference, only to find that our actions are in line with a different preference. This is why you should use Google Analytics or other analytics platforms for your website and marketing activities. Data will identify behavior patterns of your customers and business website visitors. You can see which pages they frequent or which channels they’re coming in. This provides you with a solid understanding of your target audience, that you can  preferences, that you can leverage for marketing success.

Identifying your target audience is an essential part of marketing your business. With this knowledge you can connect with the right people, and enhance the quality of those engagements. Start defining and understanding your target audience so that you can make the most of your precious time—and theirs.