We are displaying Opinion Stand for food industries.
We are displaying Opinion Stand for food industries.
This is a common marketing tip – “post often and consistently so your followers are constantly seeing your content.” At one point, this was a legitimate marketing tactic that worked for the most part. But now, users and social media platforms are more sophisticated – they promote and engage with QUALITY content, not quantity.
Instead, focus on creating quality content with a purpose and focus less on the quantity of posts.
2. Posting the Same Content Across Platforms
It’s SO easy to link your social media platforms with services like Hootsuite that it seems wrong not to. But, posting the same content on all your platforms can be repetitive and can bore your audience. And many people follow social media platforms for different reasons, so what works for one may not be the right message for another.
Try to think of the types of content that people like to see on each platform and create content to geared toward that audience. For example, users might follow your Twitter for quick updates, so posting long content on Twitter might have a negative effect.
3. Hashtagging Everything
How will users find my content if I don’t #hashtag everything? Yes, hashtags are a great way to organize similar content and find similar posts, but it can also be harmful. Users tend to find content with minimal or no hashtags.
Instead of trying to figure out the perfect hashtags to boost your posts, focus on creating content that answers a question, solves a problem, or brings value to end users. If you create content that is good enough to be shared by users and therefore reaches more people, you know you’re doing it right.
4. Optimizing for SEO
SEO is still very important, and so are long-tail keywords.
But, writing a blog post or creating a new page on your website that is ONLY optimized for SEO is a mistake. Stuffing your text with keywords will only make your content less relevant and ultimately rank lower.
Instead, focus on creating good quality content that again answers a question, solves a problem, or brings value to its readers. Quality content will naturally rank higher on search and social platforms.
If you answered yes, let’s nail down the type of tool(s) you should consider:
Marketing is different from sales. And that’s the first thing you need to decipher when looking at automation tools – is it for marketing or sales. If it’s for marketing, it should produce another way for potential customers to hear about you and your story. Here’s what you might consider:
• Newsletter system for solicitation and subscriptions, which can also be customized/personalized
• Automatic thank you notes to subscribers and new inquiries
• Automatic follow-up emails
• CRM tools to track new inquiries and store into database as leads
• Tracking analytics tools to understand user behaviors online and better understand potential customers
When customers are in touch with the sales team, you want to give them the very best experience but that can be tricky. Salespeople are human and humans are the most unpredictable elements in our society. Automation tools can close any inconsistencies and help your best salesperson be more efficient in making the deal. Here’s more tools you might consider:
• Sales demonstration videos
• Automated follow-up emails
• CRM integration and reminders for leads
• Integrated sales calls
• Automated outbound emails
Some of your business processes can’t be automated because you may want to ensure different results, and that’s just fine. You know what’s best for your business, but now you have some ideas to research if you think automation can help any areas where business is slipping.
1. Use audio to reach new audiences.
There may be more screens in front of us than ever before, but audio is far from being dead. Think about all the ways audio has been integrated into our lives, from the smart speakers we talk to, the podcast we listen to, and the music we stream. Creating audio content can be an attractive way for your audience to interact with your business. One easy way to start creating audio content is to try a free trial of our service – Click It Audio.
2. Be the expert in your field.
This is a trend that is unchanging. When was the last time you worked with a company that was uninformed in their area of expertise? If you have knowledge in a certain field you should be sharing that with your customers. This can be in any form as long as you’re proving that you have a passion and knowledge in that area. An easy way to become a leader in your field is to start your own blog.
3. Be aware of security updates.
Last summer we covered the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) set in place by the European Union. Security is still high on our trend list in 2019 because of upgrades to TLS and requirements by Google and other companies to have SSL certificates for your websites.
4. Create native ads.
Have you ever liked or commented on an Instagram or Facebook post - only to realize it was an ad? More brands are taking a less obvious approach to their marketing by creating native ads that are more subtle and blend into the platform environment. Google search results ads blend into the list of results and can appear to be organic versus paid. The same goes for social media ads that appear to be normal posts, but are in fact, ads.
5. Show CEO transparency.
Following CEOs on social media has become a common way to keep up with the “personalities” of our favorite brands. CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and John Legere attract millions of social followers. Putting a face and personality to your company’s online presence isn’t just for Fortune 500 companies. Small businesses can take a page from Elon’s playbook by becoming the company’s spokesperson. CEOs that step into a spotlight and interact with their customers on a direct basis can help improve their businesses trust, authenticity, and relationship with their customers.
According to Peter Drucker, guru of business management, the fax machine is a prime example of the influential power in our questioning techniques.
Before the fax machine came to market, U.S. manufacturers conducted market research asking, "Would you buy a telephone accessory for upwards of $1,500 that enables you to send, for $1 a page, the same letter the post office delivers for 25 cents?" You guessed it; the answers were no and U.S. manufacturers did not pursue the fax machine.
On the other hand, as Drucker pointed out, Japanese manufacturers asked a more straightforward question: “Is there a market for what the fax machine does?" And they realized fax machines could replace courier services like FedEx in the 70s. As a result of asking the right question, Japanese manufacturers were first to market and more dominant in fax machines than U.S. companies in the 80s and 90s. It was too late for many U.S. companies to follow suit.
Collecting feedback from our customers is beneficial, but only if we phrase our questions in such a way that allows them to be honest and think for themselves. If we are going to take the time to survey people, make it worthwhile. Prepare ahead of time, keep it straightforward, and take the bad with the good – because it all helps to better your business.
Follow these five steps to host a successful focus group:
1. Define your Mission
What do you want to learn from your participants? Plan your focus group around a purpose and stick to it.
2. Recruit Participants
Carefully consider the people you invite. Think back to your plan for the focus group. Should you invite business people or consumers? What ages? Does income level or location matter? And should you be talking with people who are loyal to your company or people who have stopped purchasing your products or services? Maybe you need a good mix of everyone. You might consider sending out a questionnaire to pre-screen participants.
3. Provide Incentives
Time is money so be sure to reward the people who participate. Perhaps a discount or a gift card. Whatever that is, put yourself in their shoes and determine if the incentive is worth your time.
Interviewing participants in person is beneficial because there is much more to answers than words. Tone of voice and facial expressions can say a lot too. You can really capture the feelings in person. Prepare questions in advance and be very straightforward when delivering them. Don’t use a lot of adjectives or language that can be leading. Stay objective and try to get non-biased answers.
5. Take Notes
This is your chance to get more than a yes or no answer, so take advantage. Take notes on how the users engage with you. How do they appear? Do they smile? Are they agitated? Are they struggling to answer right away?
For a successful focus group, you need plenty of preparation ahead of time. You can find lots of sample questions online to give you ideas!
If you want to keep it really simple, ask just one question: “Are you happy?”
Here are two ways PSPinc is doing that:
We implemented a simple email survey through our CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system so whenever our support staff helps a customer, the customer immediately gets a follow-up email asking them to rate their experience with us. This can tell us a lot about how we are doing, and also what kinds of issues customer are having.
On a tablet next to our lobby entrance, we ask customers, “How did we do?” and they have the option to give their feedback on the tablet as they exit.
Don’t miss an opportunity to connect with your customers. These simple and quick surveys can provide a lot of great insight into what you’re doing right and what you need to do better.
One of the best and easiest ways to engage with your customers is to create a survey for them. Surveys are easy to make and you can customize them to ask broad questions or get very specific – it all depends on what your company needs from it.
Here are some key points for you to consider before you start your survey:
- Determine your goal for the survey, and what you want to get out of it.
- Compile your customer list, preferably emails, to which you can send the survey.
- Consider offering an incentive (coupon, freebie, discount) if they take the survey.
- Come up with your questions. Keep it simple and neutral, don’t lead your customers toward a particular answer. Stay completely objective. Consider questions like: How do they like your product or service? Where did they learn about you? What else would they like to see your company offer? What is your strength / weakness?
- Keep it short and tell them up front how long it should take to complete the survey. Everyone’s busy, don’t get greedy with their time.
- Be sure to follow-up at some point so your customer doesn’t think their time and feedback was wasted.
- Consider asking some of the tough questions, even if you’re worried about receiving criticism. Remember, you’re not looking for a testimonial; you want to understand how you can improve. Customers might appreciate it.
Once you figure out your questions, then you can find the survey tools. PSPinc has an online form program, so if you need any help, contact us! We would be happy to assist you.
In this next series of articles, we explore ways we can learn from our customers – starting with web analytics.
Google Analytics is a free web tool that’s simple to use. First, you need to setup your Google Analytics account. Go to www.google.com/analytics. Follow the instructions and get a “tracking code” for your website. If you’re unsure how to proceed once you have your tracking code, contact your webmaster, your marketing company, or call us at PSPinc.com (1-800-232-3989). Most websites have easy ways to embed those codes so you can track the visitors to your pages.
Google Analytics can give you a lot of data about the people visiting your site, including where they come from, how they enter your site and where they exit.
Some things to look for include:
- Page Hits = how many pages are viewed
- Visitors = how many visits you had
- Unique Visitors = how many visitors are new to your site
- Bounce = meaning people are leaving your site
- Page Flow = shows how your visitors navigate through your website
So now you have all this data in front of you, but what do you do with it? Start asking questions. Here is a jumping off point:
How many people are visiting your site? Where are they coming from?
Who are they? Are they your target audience?
How are you attracting them? Are they spending time on pages you hoped they would hit?
Are they taking the “actions” you want them to take via your website?
What pages interest them the most? What pages do they leave from, and why?
Questioning this kind of data may help you develop some theories for testing your website’s appearance, content and functionality, and improve its performance altogether. Even a small tweak can make your homepage more effective.
Don’t underestimate the benefits that a brisk walk around the office or around the block can have on your energy levels. If you don’t have time to leave the office try stretching at your desk or take a walk to the bathroom.
People are more prone to stress on an empty stomach. So, if you find yourself in a heated internal monologue, try grabbing an apple from the kitchen. A snack might be just the break your body needs to deal with a stressful situation. Make sure you’re hydrating too!
Try communicating your worries to a friend, co-worker, or even with a pen and pad. You might be surprised how verbalizing your stress can help. Don’t just complain about your problems, make a list of actions that you can take to tackle each one.
4. Take a Break
Give your mind a break by finding something that will distract you from your tasks. Even moving on to a new task, and taking a short break from the one that’s causing stress, can help you refocus while you continue to get work done.
Inhale for 1…2...3…4 counts and exhale for 1…2…3…4 counts. Repeat this breathing exercise several times and then allow your breathing to return to normal. Repeat as often as you need throughout your day. It might seem too simple, but it actually works!
6. Listen to Music
Instrumental, classical, jazz, and even lo-fi music can be a wonderful distraction when stress hits. Try listening to calming music while doing your breathing exercise.
7. Tidy Up
The saying is “A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind.” By tidying up your desk and cleaning your office, you cut down possible distractions and feel more energized to take on your tasks.