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Category — Customer Service

Online Marketing on a Budget


Marketing is one of the single most important things you need to do to succeed in the business world. The problem? It can use a lot of cash to make it work. For an entrepreneur just getting started, marketing budgets can often be practically non-existent.

Fortunately, the age of the Internet has made it easier to run a full-scale marketing campaign with very little cost up front. Here we’ve put together a list of ways you can utilize online marketing resources, often for free. Yep, FREE!

Online Review Sites

Making sure your business is listed on online review sites is important. Not just for traffic and product sales, but for ensuring your online reputation stays positive. The following sites are some of the most influential review sites out there.

Google My Business Page: Setting up a page here will get your business on Google Search, Maps and Google+, as well as allow customers to review your business. Local business reviews usually receive high rankings in the search results, giving you some great, and free results real estate.

Yelp: Since it’s the biggest online review site, creating a Yelp listing is definitely worth it. It gets you in front of the site’s more than 140 million monthly users and, it’s free.

Yahoo: Yahoo offers local businesses the option to get a basic business listing in its directory. Listings are incorporated with other of their products like reviews, maps, and events. And yes, it’s free.

Social Media Marketing

Industry Groups: Choose two or three groups in your business’ industry on Facebook and LinkedIn. By offering advice and support, you help establish yourself as an expert in your field. You can even take it a step further and create your own groups. Eventually, these outlets will build your reputation and drive sales.

Facebook: If you haven’t already signed up with social media platform, Facebook is probably one of the best places to start. Since its inception, Facebook has been in the fore front of social media advancements and has developed and perfected a number of tools for small businesses.

Twitter: This platform has proven to be a powerful, platform for immediate information. By studying and following people in your industry or expertise, you will quickly learn, some dos and don’ts figure out the best way to use it, then set up your own feed and start to Tweet.

LinkedIn: The fastest growing and most influential professional platform online, LinkedIn has done for Professional Media what Facebook did for Social Media. Set up an account to meet, engage and, connect with other professionals about jobs, careers, and branding

YouTube: Visual marketing, especially in the form of video, is still at the top when it comes marketing. With You Tube, this form is now more accessible. Use it to tell a story, showcase your personality, or demonstrate a product without having to pay for ad time on TV. You can be as casual or formal as you want, as long as you are ready to be on camera.

Monitor Brand Mentions: It’s now easier to keep up with what’s happening. Using a social listening tool like Social Mention to monitor and contribute to conversations happening in your industry will help you stay current on trends without having to spend every hour surfing postings.

Blogging: In addition to your own blog, find other blogs and websites within your industry and create Guest posts. Comment thoughtfully on blogs and then leave your website URL in the appropriate field, just be sure to use your real name or business name, not keyword-rich anchor text. Noticing others will get you noticed as well.

Installing a free social sharing plugin on your blog, like Share Buttons, makes it easy for your readers to share your posts and increase your audience.

Other Ways to Get Yourself Noticed

Hold free webinars on your site: If you’ve researched this prospect before but decided it would be too expensive, consider some of these alternatives. WordPress has a webinar plugin called WebinarIgnition, with a one-time cost of $97 for unlimited webinars with unlimited attendees. Or, you can utilize your Facebook account and do a Facebook Live event.

Join Forums and Answer Questions: These days there are multiple forums out there for just about anything. Take the time to make meaningful contributions to conversions by providing real assistance to those posting the questions. This will get the attention of other readers and make them more inclined find out more about you. You can get started on sites like Quora, where real people are looking for answers to questions. Search the site for relevant questions you can answer intelligently.

HARO (Help A Reporter Out): Sign up and get free PR by responding to relevant media queries. This will turn into free mentions and links in publications like Huffington Post, Forbes more.

eBooks: Anyone can be an author and publish now. Whether it’s about business or, choosing the best wine, you can create an eBook simply and for free. Just input your content into chapters using MS Word. Add some images and links, edit, review and spell check. Then save it as a PDF and you have an eBook. Post it on your website, blog or offer it in exchange for a person’s email address, aiding you in growing your email database.

By now you may be experiencing the feeling that the room is spinning out of control, knowing that there are so many options out there that you can implement.

Not to worry. Look at the list and narrow it down to 2-3 options you are really excited about. Once you have them under your belt, move on to a few more.

As a special treat for you, here is a link to a Forbes article outlining 33 great marketing tools for professionals.

Ready…Set…Go!!!

September 21, 2017   No Comments

Simple Steps to Help Increase Your Customer Retention Rates


Customer retention is one of the most important metrics used to calculate the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. The reason is simple. It costs more to acquire a new customer than keep an existing customer.

You can’t rely solely on new business. Otherwise, you’ll never grow your business. Use these simple steps to help increase your customer retention rates.

Give Your Customers More Than They Expect

The first way to increase customer retention rates is by giving your customers more than they expect. Deliver more than you initially promised. For example, you could include a free bonus or deliver your product or service ahead of schedule.

Consider the expectations that your customers have. This includes the quality of the product or service, the delivery, and additional features. If you can improve one of these areas without increasing your costs, then you’ll be able to give your customers more than they expect.

Establish Trust with Your Customers

You need to cultivate the relationship that you’ve got with your customers. This comes through the establishment of trust. If customers trust you to always deliver what you promise, then they’ll likely come back for more.

Content can also help establish trust. Giving existing customers access to bonus content, free offers, or PDF guides can go a long way towards building trust. This also helps with the first tip. You’ll exceed their expectations.

Make Your Interactions More Personable

When you engage with customers, you need to be personable. This includes the use of personalized emails and personal responses to their comments.

Depending on the email marketing platform that you choose, you may be able to automatically personalize your emails. Using a template, the software will automatically insert the first name of the people on your mailing list.

You should also encourage your customers to leave feedback. Ask them questions. You can do this through social media or your email marketing. This lets them know that you’re listening and that you care about their thoughts.

When a customer leaves feedback, either positive or negative, you should contact them as soon as possible and address them by their name. Thank them for their feedback.

Deal with Complaints Promptly and Directly

You should never make the mistake of ignoring an unsatisfied customer. When someone’s unhappy with your products or services, your first step should be to learn more about their complaint.

Contact customer, remember to personable and ask for more details. Use this information to try and find a way to solve their issue. Even if you need to issue a refund or a replacement, you may be able to save yourself from losing a customer. This could also save you from taking a hit to your online reputation.

Make Sure You Deliver an Exceptional Product or Service

The final step to increasing your customer retention rates is to ensure that you deliver a quality product or service. This ties into the first tip. You want to go above and beyond and deliver a great value.

The bottom line is that if you have something of value at a reasonable price people will buy it and they’ll come back for future purchases.

Think about your favorite cereal, shoes, or vehicles. You continue to purchase from the same company because they deliver a quality product. If you can do the same, then you’ll be able to increase your customer retention rates.

Customer retention is an important metric to pay attention to. Use these steps to begin increasing this key factor.

August 10, 2017   No Comments