AUGMENTED AND VIRTUAL REALITY – MARKETING IN THE MULTIVERSE

AUGMENTED AND VIRTUAL REALITY - MARKETING IN THE MULTIVERSE

With the advancements in technology, consumers are also advancing. This means that they are no longer so easily captured by traditional marketing. Digital marketing has started to welcome the next technological era- Augmented and Virtual Reality. So what place do AR and VR have in marketing?

      Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is the creation of a technological world created over the real world. Computer-generated content like sounds, graphics and texts will appear as an overlay in front of you. You can bring this dimension into your world by holding your phone while the app runs. For example, IKEA created an app called “IKEA Place”, which allows you to choose your new furniture based on how it looks in your living space. Can’t decide what colour sofa suits your beige walls? Augmented reality can help. See how IKEA Place works below.

      Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is when you enter into the virtual world. Your sight and your auditory perception are replaced with a computer-generated environment. You could be transported to planet mars and engaging with aliens or at a grocery store conversing with the cashier. This is done by submerging you in 360-degree video and three dimensions, so you are completely enveloped in another universe. In this reality, you can navigate and handle objects using your hands! Oreo created a virtual experience for consumers to see how their new product, “Filled Cupcake”, was made. Watch the fun campaign below.

      The Digital Marketing Upgrade

 The economic impact of this upgrade is estimated to be $1.5 trillion by 2030. If a potential customer has your product or service right there in front of them, imagine how much quicker the buying process will be. Customers can interact with the product and immerse themselves in the service, receiving a personal experience.

      1.  Personalised Ad Experience

 Human beings live for experiences. What better way to sell your product or service than involving the customer in a unique personalised interactive experiences? Like the Oreo ad you watched earlier, the customer is taken through the journey of developing the new flavour. After that experience, who wouldn’t run to the closest convenience store? They put the customer in the middle of the magic and gave them a personal experience of the ins and outs. AR and VR can provide this personalised experience to every customer, immersing them in whatever your business offers.

      2.  Elevated Shopping Experience

 Continuing to provide customers with interactive experiences, AR and VR have created a landscape where you can provide your customers with an elevated shopping experience while providing an augmented experiences. Social Media platforms are already running with this idea and making some serious investments. “IKEA Place” is only one of its kind, multinational retailer Sephora has also incorporated AR to take their customers’ shopping experience to the next level. The app uses facial recognition software to detect your features and match you with the products best suited for you. So you can immediately select and purchase them online.

      3.  Virtual Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing refers to the personalised test run or sampling you can provide your customer. You are allowing them a personalised interactive experience to get familiar with your brand using hands immersive advertising. Much like taking a car for a test drive, now the test drive can be done from the comfort of your couch. VR can make this possible. A virtual experience unlike anything the consumer world has ever seen or, more so, felt before this technological development.

      4.  Empowered Pre-decision-Making

 AR and VR have made an impact on the natural world already as it influences where consumer sentiment is placed. A consumer’s decision-making process can be impacted by the data-driven strategies implemented by AR and VR. The key is creating AR or VR experiences with the perfect balance of EQ and IQ to capture audiences. For example, shoe company TOMS created a VR experience that took the customer through their charity campaign- employees were travelling worldwide to donate shoes to children in need.

The landscape of advertising and marketing has been changing slowly for a long time now, and it is clear that AR and VR will soon be all around us. It’s time to adapt or get left behind.

REACH YOUR AUDIENCE WITH GOOGLE AD CAMPAIGNS

REACH YOUR AUDIENCE WITH GOOGLE AD CAMPAIGNS

If you’re looking for ways to reach your target audience, a great place to start would be on the platform that reaches 2.9 billion people monthly with 5 billion daily interactions. This platform is called Google, and they’ve created Google Ads. A Google Ad cannot go unseen, and Google has made sure of this since they are the ones who developed it.

This advertising platform displays your ad to potential customers who have an interest in the product or service that you offer. Getting a Google Ad involves bidding on search terms or keywords, and the highest bidder is awarded the spot on the top of the search results. Everyone who has ever used Google can recall seeing the stand-out top search results that appear with a denotation of “Ad”. However, Google Ads also appear displayed on non-search websites, mobile apps and videos. Where your advertisement will be displayed depends on the type of ad campaign you choose to run. There are five different ad campaigns available with Google Ads; Search, Display, Video, App and Shopping. So which one best suits you?

      1. Search Ads

Search Ads are the results that appear at the top of Google’s results pages. They display your advertisement with text, a congruent title, and a link for users to click which will take them directly to your page. So, if a user searches for a dentist, with search ads your ad will be displayed at the top of the results distinct from all the other results. An advantage of search ad campaigns is that your advertisement is displayed the same way as all other information on Google, so users know they have to click to receive the results.

      2. Responsive Search Ads

Responsive ads, think of it as having multiple chances to collaborate with Google to create the most effective ad. This type of search ad allows you to enter various versions of headlines and ad copy so that Google can choose the ones that perform best to show to users. Traditional ads, in comparison, only allow you to have one static version of your ad, so the same headline and description appears each time. Responsive ads- true to their name, solicit a response from your target audience as it’s a dynamic ad that auto-tests your versions until it arrives at the best choice for an ad. Arriving at the best-performing ad means that this is the ad that will receive the most clicks from users.

      3. Display Ads

Display ads show up on something called the “Google Display Network”. They are visually engaging ads that reach a plethora of people who browse millions of websites. Display ads benefit both the advertiser and the website owner where the ad is being displayed. The website owner is paid for every click or impression on the ad, and the advertiser receives eyeballs from their target audience. Display ads are made visually engaging so that the website visitor cannot help but notice and pay attention to what’s being offered.

      4. Video Ads

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is worth a million – according to the owner of Majestic Heli Ski. Youtube Ads allow you to reach customers who are watching videos relevant to the product or service you are offering. Google crunches this data to send your message to the right person, at the right moment. A few seconds of your ad is displayed during the video, and you’ve had enough time to grab a potential customer’s undisrupted attention!

Google Ads Logo

      5. App Ads

If you want your app installed or a specific action taken with it- Google App Campaigns promote your ad on Google Search Network, Youtube, Google Play etc. Your mobile application appears in front of your target audience once you provide Google with the information about your app, your audience, and you place a bid. Google matches your app’s search terms or categories to the searches done by users. This way you get your app in front of your target audience!

      6. Shopping Ads

Lastly, shopping ads have a separate section on Google’s search engine. They’re displayed on SERPS and come with product imagery and a detailed product description, including price. Your shopping ad looks like it’s a part of a catalogue section on Google as specific products are prompted rather than your whole brand. For example, if a user is looking for a “pink umbrella”, the pink umbrella you offer will pop up, even though those umbrellas are available in various colours. Any keywords the user searches for will match up with its relevant shopping ad.

Now that you know about the five campaign types on Google Ads it’s time to select which one is best for you! Whatever you choose, anything displayed on the world’s number one search engine will help you reach your desired audience. Contact us today to get your Google Ad campaign up and running!

Common Lead Generation Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

Common Lead Generation Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

As a business owner, you want more leads, but sadly, they don’t come easily. Door knocking is a thing of the past. Instead, consumers can buy whatever they can think of without getting up from the couch. With so many options at the customer’s fingertips, this makes being a seller difficult. Competition is everywhere and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Because customers know how many options exist, they’ve become more demanding and harder to satisfy. But with leads keeping our business alive, there is no choice but to continue pushing forward to generate more leads. However, for the best chance to generate more sales, you must avoid making common lead-generating mistakes that hinder your success. 

Keep reading to discover what mistakes you might be making in lead generation and how to avoid them! 

     1. Selecting the Wrong Audience

If you are advertising to an audience who is most likely uninterested in your product or service, like trying to sell a product with meat to a vegan or a bicycle to a toddler. Neither scenario are likely to boost your sales. 

To set yourself up for success in generating leads, you need to know who your target audience is and focus on advertising to them. You can categorize your customers or contacts profiles for clarity and efficiency. If you offer more than one product or service, figure out your audience for each option. This way, your return on investment can be high as you are marketing to your audience directly. You’ll generate more leads by targeting your communication to your specific audience, and you’ll notice their interest in your product or service immediately. 

     2. Failing to Measure ROI 

To know how wisely you are investing your money, a key measurement you should be familiar with is Return on Investment (ROI). When you analyse your ROI, you want to see that the money you have invested into your business translates into enquiries and sales. 

It is quite easy to measure your ROI as there are various ways you can measure it. One of the most common ways is by looking at the revenue generated by a campaign. A high percentage of revenue in comparison to costs indicates a good ROI. Another way is by looking at the number of page visits your website receives. As mentioned, you need to identify your audience and advertise to them. If your ROI is low, this is an indication that you haven’t selected the right target audience.

 

     3. Weak or Missing Call-To-Action 

A Call-To-Action (CTA) is a key component in any advertising strategy and marketing message. If your customer is not directed to a CTA, they will not know what to do next, and you will most probably lose their attention. This is why you need to tell the customer what to do and avoid them having to ask you instead. The worst-case scenario in this situation is that your customer moves on and starts looking at competitors. 

It would be best if you had a strong CTA to attract customers and generate a stream of leads. Without it, your potential customer will not know what to do, so make sure there’s a button or a link available that invites the reader to “click here for more information”. 

     4. Not Following Up 

How many times have you stood in a store waiting for assistance, and when someone didn’t show up after a few minutes, you abandoned your pursuit and left? The same can happen if you fail to follow up with your customers. Failing to react to an inquiry from a new lead means they will stop waiting for you and move on and never to return. 

You need to create a system to track all of your leads and have a system where you can engage with them. You can create an automated process to make it easier for you to keep track of your leads. Responding as soon as possible is key and setting a reminder system is beneficial to ensure you follow up with your leads regularly.

     5. Uninspiring Landing Page

When a potential customer responds to a message you have sent or to content on your page, they will be directed to another page. This is called the landing page; if this page is uninspiring and boring, they will be less encouraged to discover more about your business and what you offer. Landing pages must be thought out to highlight your product or service. If you have more than one product or service, then you need separate landing pages for each, especially if they are different. All your campaigns should also have their own landing pages so your potential customers can be inspired to stay and you can secure a sale. 

These common lead generations can be easily fixed to maximise your marketing efforts as long as you don’t ignore them. Once you fix these pitfalls, you will notice that the impact on generating more leads will be significant.

The 7 SEO Benefits of Responsive Web Design

The 7 SEO Benefits of Responsive Web Design

To create the best user experience, you need a responsive website, and this is achieved through a responsive web design (RWD). RWD involves creating a web page that is compatible across a variety of devices and screen sizes. Having a RWD prioritises the user, creating an effortless experience for them to interact with your website. Simultaneously, this indicates to Google that your website is optimal for search on any device. So, to set your website up for success, you need to implement an RWD strategy.

Keep reading to find out all the SEO benefits a responsive web design has to offer!

  1. The Customer Experience 

Google’s main concern is keeping its users happy. They do this by pulling up content they believe the user will find most interesting. Google will bring your website up to its users once it feels that you have reached the standard of providing a user-focused experience. If Google deems that your content is what users want to see, you’ll see this reflected in your search ranking results. Responsive web design plays a critical part in creating a great user experience. This is how you can increase the chances of turning users into paying customers!

  1. Mobile-First 

Globally, nearly half of web traffic is mobile traffic. So a responsive website benefits your SEO strategy and makes your site user-friendly. We know that Google takes the “mobile-first” approach, prioritising users who are accessing Google on their mobile phones. This is why it’s so important that your website is designed to be accessible and easy to navigate, even on a small screen. Again, the Google algorithm prioritises mobile user-friendly websites so they can provide people using their search engine with a great experience. So Google favours websites and ranks them higher if they fit the responsive web design standard.

  1. Fast Page Speed

One of the most important factors which impact your SEO is your page speed. Depending on how quickly your page loads, your customers decide whether they click off your website. A responsive web design ensures that your page speed is fast and, in turn, your rankings in Google searches are high. You need to ensure your website is optimised to load as quickly as possible on mobile and desktop devices. This can make or break the user’s experience. Having an RWD will keep traffic on your page and turn it into potential sales.

  1. Time On Page 

When the user spends a long time on your page, this sends a message to Google that your content matches what the user was searching for. It’s also an indicator of how easy and enjoyable their experience was on your website. The user will be clicking off if your website isn’t easy to navigate or slow to load. This is how often you head for the red “X” when a website doesn’t load quickly or the information you’re looking for is hard to find. On the other hand, if your website has a responsive web design, it will provide an experience that keeps the user on the page and even encourages them to come back. This is how you turn a potential customer, into a customer, into a returning customer. 

  1. Lower Bounce Rate

Bounce rate refers to how quickly users visit and click off your website. It’s also a good indication of how your website’s speed is doing. This bounce rate can be lowered when you meet your user’s wants and needs. For example, the page loads quickly, the content is fit to screen, and the site is easy to navigate. Even if your content is fantastic, if your website doesn’t fulfil these three standards, then the users will leave and continue searching elsewhere. With a RWD, you can lower your website’s bounce rate, capturing customers and making sales.

  1. No Duplicate Content

It’s incredibly easy to accidentally create a duplicate of your website, one mobile and one desktop. First, you need to make sure there are no duplicates of your URL, as this could confuse Google on which site to prioritise. It’s important you avoid having duplicate content when designing your website. So creating a single, responsive web-designed version of your website is optimal. As we’ve talked about, worrying about website speed, responsiveness, and navigation is essential, but that doesn’t mean you get to neglect the content. Always keep an eye out to see if there are any other content duplication issues on your website.

  1. Increase Social Shares

It’s safe to say that social media has taken over the world. You want your website to become visible and continue gaining visibility so new customers can find you. More social traffic means more eyeballs on your website, which in turn means more customers. This can be done by increasing social shares! To increase social shares, you need great content that is shareable across various social platforms. When your website is easy to navigate, it’s also easy for whoever likes your content to share it. RWD website designers typically include prompts and buttons allowing users to share your content on various platforms easily. Your website must make it quick and straightforward for the user to share your content, otherwise, they may lose interest in exerting effort into the share. Once your website is optimised using RWD, you’ll see that a great social media presence skyrockets your visibility and attracts users to share your content helping you to reach a wider audience. 

For users to have an easy web experience, you need a web design that accommodates users’ access and interactions with the website. If you’re creating your website or rebuilding it, don’t skip over strategising with a responsive web design, as this can be the difference between capturing a customer and losing one. Get in touch with the team at TDA to learn more. 

Issues with Google My Business & How to Solve Them

Issues with Google My Business & How to Solve Them

 

In the last weeks, a high level of Google My Business (now renamed Google Business Profile) has been suspended and removed from the Google local search results. As a result, Google has received an influx of complaints from business owners. Google’s engineers and support team are still working to resolve this issue. Other users have reported various problems with their Google My Business, which seem to be common issues in the community. While waiting for Google, see if any of the issues below apply to your profile and how you can solve them yourself.

  1. Reinstatement Loops:

 When profiles are suspended after reinstatement and unable to be reinstated, this is known as the “reinstatement loop”. This usually occurs when the business has listed its address as a FedEx or UPS drop-off point. Other reasons this can happen are if competitors report a profile if there have been unknown or known violations of guidelines and keyword stuffing.

This issue can be resolved by getting in touch with the Google My Business support team to understand which exact issue applies to you, and from there, you can solve the issue. If the issue persists for whatever reason, you can escalate the problem to the community by reporting it.

  1. Service Establishment Category
  2.  Service area businesses (SABs) which are used by companies or individuals, appear as ‘service establishments’ on Google Maps. An issue is that service establishments do not appear as a category for you to select for your profile. Users are reporting that this is affecting their visibility on Google as SABs. Instead of showing up in and around their business address, they are listed in another nearby area.

    At the moment, Google has announced that they are trying to resolve this issue, but in the meantime, unfortunately, visibility reports are low until the Google team corrects this. Keep in mind that Google is, however, aware of service establishments.

    1. Real Reviews Are Not Showing

    We all know that reviews are a vital part of every business. These days, it is one of the most powerful marketing tools available. So what happens when your crucial marketing tool is not visible on your profile? Those who left you the reviews can see them, the public, however, cannot. Google has always had a framework that rejects reviews that violate its guidelines, such as ‘fake reviews’, but when your real reviews are not showing, this is a problem that you need to rectify immediately.

    The best thing to do in this situation is to obtain a screenshot from a person who reviewed your Google My Business profile and report it to the community forum. Again, Google is aware of this problem, rest assured, you are not the only one.

    *Google reserves the right to remove your Google reviews if they contain restricted content. Google reserves the right to use its judgment when deciding whether to remove or reinstate a review. Google Restricted Content

    1. Drop in Support Assistance Due to Covid-19

     Covid-19 has impacted the entire world, and not even Google is immune to its devastating effects. As the support teams are made up of a limited amount of staff, there is a significant delay compared to pre-pandemic times. Google has announced that they are “currently working with limited support teams”. They have acknowledged that there will be longer wait times to connect with support assistance.

    So, expect delays. It may take time, but the Google support team will get back to you. After that, it’s just going to take a little more patience.

  1. Editing Phone Numbers in India
  2.  What was initially believed to be a bug turned out to be done deliberately by Google. For months, Indian users could not edit their phone numbers on their GMB listings. Google had done this to ensure that in India and other regions, the numbers being displayed on Google were correct.

    Google has announced that they have updated the workflow for Indian users and that a new process prompts business profiles to adapt to the new procedure. Additional documents must be uploaded for the manual change when they need to edit their business phone number.

    1. The Notification Bugs

    You may be one of the business profiles encountering notifications from Google advising that your profile is only 85% complete or a prompt to add a logo. Again, this is a bug that Google has been working on since 2021.

    Your best option is to ignore the notification and make sure you check your profile to see whether or not these messages from Google apply to your profile.

    1. Unable to Delete Addresses for SABs

    Service area businesses have been reintegrated, with old suspended company profiles being reinstalled. During this reinstallation, the old business addresses are back on display.

    Do not be alarmed if this happens to you. Unfortunately, there is no solution to this issue, but Google is aware of the glitch.

    While the profile suspensions and the current issues are all very troubling for business owners with Google My Business profiles, rest assured that the Google team is aware and is working on rectifying these issues. In the meantime, apply some of the tips above, so you aren’t left at the mercy of Google.

How to Leverage Social Media PR to Grow Your Business

How to Leverage Social Media PR to Grow Your Business

Social media is one of the key business channels allowing you to connect with an audience to share information. What goes in hand with social media is public relations, as its purpose is to persuade audience perception through managing and spreading information. Social media PR aims to highlight your business’s positive reputation and ensure it is always portrayed in a positive light. This is achieved by sharing information to create a positive brand image and networking with creators to increase audience trust. Statistically, 78% of social media users talk about the brands they follow to their friends and family. Did we mention that social media PR is totally free?Does your business have a social media PR strategy? If you don’t, not to worry. Keep reading to find out different strategies you can implement right away!

  1. Connect with your target audience

Let’s start with the basics. Every brand should be in frequent communication with their customers on social media.

All the likes, comments, and retweets-you should be doing them all, on the daily. Even though this is a simple social media PR strategy, it does not mean it should be overlooked, as it is one of the key influencers on your business success! No one wants to go feeling like they aren’t being heard, especially on a social platform.

These days, customers and potential customers will decide whether they like your brand, or not, based on your engagement on social media. Every response to a customer query ensures that you keep them happy and make them feel special. If you receive a negative comment or tweet, have a plan for how you and your team will respond to the message. This response should be polite, informative, and willing to help solve the customer’s concern.

You should also always aim to keep your target audience updated, this means social media announcements. You have seen it everywhere. This common practice is a great way to leverage your social media. New product? Announce it. New Service? Announce it. Change to your business? Announce it.

A great-looking announcement is also advantageous, so consider using high-quality photos or videos with an attention-grabbing caption to match!

  1. Dealing with a social media crisis  

No business wants a PR scandal, but this is what a PR strategy is for. An unhappy customer or a system outage and your business can find itself in hot water. You and your team must create a social media crisis communication plan before that event occurs.

With social media, one post with a complaint can reach thousands of users and impact your business reputation. With a social media crisis plan, you have legal advisors and PR agencies on speed dial. These two bodies can help you with damage control by quickly preparing an official statement and revising your social media PR efforts.

Crisis communication sends out a message to your audience that you are a brand who cares about their customer’s needs. This type of practice demonstrates integrity and promotes customer loyalty and satisfaction. Overall, increasing the longevity of your business.

  1. Guest feature on a podcast or blog

These days, a popular PR strategy is guest podcasting and blogging, as they are highly informative and sharable.

Podcasting is an ever-growing industry with 380 million listeners worldwide! Guest featuring on a podcast reaches a niche targeted audience and spreads awareness of your business. Not only will you be connecting with your customers but also with potential customers. It has been reported that 67% of podcast listeners receive brand information positively. After you have appeared on a podcast, you can share the behind-scenes clips with your audience to make sure they tune in.

Once your featured episode is live, you can share a link to all your social media pages!

Guest featuring on a blog is also an effective strategy, as appearing in a reputable publication increases customer trust and helps you to reach a wider audience. Don’t be intimidated to reach out to different publications and bloggers, as they also benefit from the fresh content they receive from you.

After a blog has been written, do not neglect sharing the links to all your social media platforms. It’s also a good idea to recycle a few quotes from the blog post that can be shared on social media. This way, you are also doubling up on your social media content!

  1. Get friendly with influencers, content creators, and journalists

Influencers or content creators with all different sizes of audiences can help promote your business.

It’s as simple as sending your product to their doorstop in exchange for a review and, of course, exposure. Then, after they have shared your product with their audience, you can once again double up on content (with their permission) and share what they created on your social media platforms.

A helpful tip is to engage with influencers or content creators with a similar audience to your target market. For example, if you’re a hair care brand, make sure that you are not sending your products to a food content creator.

Also, keep in mind that you do not always need to engage with the most popular influencers out there. Sometimes, a micro-influencer can have more engagement with their followers than a macro-influencer!

Like influencers and content creators, journalists also have considerable influence over a wide audience.

So, it is worth getting friendly! You can do this by using different social media platforms to connect with them. Share their stories, comment on their pieces, and tag them! As with publications and bloggers, journalists are also looking for fresh content and stories. After you have already exchanged a few messages here and there, pitching an interesting story to them is a great way to capture their attention.

Once a piece has been written, don’t forget to share it on your social media platforms!

Are you feeling ready to implement these strategies? Do not wait to leverage social media PR to grow your business today!

All About Social Media Marketing  (SMM) 

All About Social Media Marketing (SMM)

There are 3.6 billion users on social media, and these users are on social media every day, multiple times a day. If you are a company or business owner, there is no way you can afford to not market on social media. This is your opportunity to use social media to sell your product or service to prospective and loyal customers.

Social networks are an invaluable marketing tool as they allow the company or business to connect with the customer in a way that did not exist before the digital age. SMM can help your audience understand you and what you have to offer. This, in turn, can help you generate more leads and conversions and get you ahead of your competitors! One of the best parts about SMM is that it is one of the most cost-effective ways of advertising a product or service.

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of using SMM and why you should use it in your business development strategies!

Strong Relationship with Customer Base

A successful business needs to create and nurture its relationship with its customer base. To foster this relationship, you need to think outside of promoting and selling. Instead, your audience wants to see you engaging with them on social media. An example is when an Instagram user tags your product or service, you should share it on your page or leave a comment. This way, they will feel like they know you on a personal level. 

You must also respond to whatever comment your audience leaves so that they will feel that you are more than just a brand but that you care about their needs and opinions. This improves customer satisfaction and creates a one-to-one relationship. Ultimately, you achieve sustainable business growth by developing a solid relationship with your customers through SMM.

A tip is to post questions directed to your audience to receive direct feedback!

SMM Generates More Leads and Conversions

As there are 3.6 billion social media users, your brand exposure increases exponentially. As a result, social media networks are a great place to generate leads and turn them into sales. Different platforms allow you to use both organic tactics and paid advertising to boost conversions. There is also earned traffic, which comes from shares, likes and comments. 

To generate leads, it all falls down to content, content content. The more compelling your social media content is, the more leads you’ll attract and convert into sales. However, before creating persuasive content, you must understand what your audience on each social network platform wants to see.

You also need to ensure the content you post is tailored to the platform. As Gary Vaynerchuk said, “Content is king, but context is God.” If your SMM platform is Instagram, your audience is looking to see exciting visuals and a captivating caption. If your platform is Facebook, your audience wants to read something with substance.

A few things to try on social networks to increase sales include; creating contests for your audience, hosting live videos to create excitement around new products, including links to your website in your profile, and implementing marketing campaigns.

Get Ahead of the Competition

If you stand out, your social media marketing strategy could put you ahead of the competition. While it’s essential to see what your competitors are doing and even to take inspiration, it is vital that you do not copy them. Instead, improve. 

So what is and what isn’t working for your competitors? Analysing your competitor’s social media data is an effective strategy as there is much to learn. The information you can gather from their accounts allows you to improve upon what your competitors are doing. Tracking their results means you can see exactly what is working for them and what is not and develop your strategies accordingly. For example, if a popular trend is going around on Instagram reels, and your competitors are getting great engagement from this trend, it is best to try it too, but with your own twists to help you stand out!

SMM is Cost-Effective 

When promoting a product or service, social media is a cost-effective option in comparison to many other marketing services out there. Creating a social media profile is free, and sharing content and engaging with your customer base is free. When you want to run paid advertising, the costs are again low compared to most other advertising methods. If your paid advertising post performs well, then the cost of your ad against your sales will be a higher return on your investment. The benefit of SMM is that you can always track how your advertisements perform with an analysis of the engagement on your posts. This is also a cost-free way to collect and analyse data to fine-tune your social media marketing strategy.

In the e-commerce age, social media marketing is a strategy that all businesses need to incorporate to stay in the game. So to make sure that you’re not missing out on the benefits of SMM, get in contact with us at The Digital Age so we can develop and implement a strategy for you!

Top 6 Picks to Include in Your Marketing Arsenal

Top 6 Picks to Include in Your Marketing Arsenal

What tools should you include in your marketing arsenal?
  1. – Brand awareness and management 
  2. – Analysing and managing customer reviews
  3. – Having an optimised website 
  4. – Google My Business Account
  5. – Incorporating Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  6. – Monitoring competitors
Brand awareness & reputation management 

The goal is to have instantaneous customer association with your business and what you specifically offer. The aim is also to have a staple reputation and stand out from your competitors. It is statistically proven that customers are willing to pay higher fees to a brand they are familiar with rather than a cheaper option that is unknown to them. 

So, how can this be achieved? All the answers are just a Google search away. 

The first step is to have the whole team be aware of everything being said about the business on the web. The next step is to analyse the information that you have discovered. For example, what are people exactly saying about your business? Since we all know that bad news travels fast, you need to get ahead of what’s going around before it affects your reputation. 

 

Customer reviews 

One of the first things you’ll come across in your monitoring efforts is a review left by a former customer. With mass marketing, people are constantly exposed to different products and services, so they trust reviews. After all, a consumer is not going to lie to another consumer.  

Whilst reviews published on your website are fantastic, those left on a Google My Business account are deemed more trustworthy. After all, people believe whatever they read on the internet. Another great place to grant the customer access to reviews is through your business’s social pages. Everyone loves a good review highlight.  

If you come across a negative review, don’t panic, there is still light at the end of the tunnel. Negative reviews will occur no matter the industry, so it’s best to prepare yourself. A negative review should never be left ignored and unanswered. Potential customers will be frightened away. To keep this from happening, you need to reply to the review politely and attempt to rectify whatever concern the displeased customer may have had.  

The best part of negative reviews- and yes, there is the best part is having your weak points located for you. Your customer’s complaint is the critical feedback you need to rectify mistakes and improve for the future. Say a customer felt as though you caused them delay with an untimely email response. This feedback should be taken on board and practices should be put into place, making sure this situation does not happen again.  

Optimised website 

An optimised website is easy to read, quick to scroll, has properly labelled headings and a catalogue option for quick access. It contains links to all your social media accounts and, most importantly, your contact information and address.  Adding a Google Directions Search also adds a nice touch. All of this is important as the basic foundation.  

Nowadays, an optimised website has a live chat option. For example, take the global giant Apple. We all know that setting up an appointment at the Genius Bar is both time consuming and, frankly, always booked up. Apple, of course, could not go without a live chat option. Most people would rather have a live chat in real-time than calling your place of business and speaking to a real person.  

Now that you’ve got the lead with live chat, you can personalise your customer’s experience by assisting them directly with their specific problem and encouraging them to use your services.  

 

Google my business account 

Regardless of the industry, every local business should have a free to use GMB account. You want your customers to find you quickly and not your competition.  

Make things easy for your customer by creating a GMB account and keeping it updated with your latest business information. The more information you provide Google, the more information available to your customers and the likeliness of raising higher up on the local rankings increases ten-fold. Customers trust a GMB, which means they will trust you.  

With GMB you’re provided with a plethora of analytical data, from who your visitors are to how they engage with your business. 

The review option on a GMB account is frequently visited as this helps the potential customer decide whether or not they want to conduct their business with you or go with your competition. 

Search engine optimisation & local SEO

You can experience business growth by incorporating SEO into your marketing strategy. SEO, which stands for search engine optimisation, is a cost-effective digital marketing tool that drives organic search engine traffic.  Your potential customer base must be able to find your website to use your services. Therefore, SEO will allow this to happen as your website will organically rank higher in the SERP and keyword search.   

Local SEO also increases brand visibility- the aim is to be discoverable. If your website is ranking high on the search engines, then the increase in traffic will be exponential. Statistics show that 92% of traffic goes to business profiles that appear on the first pages of the search results. If you’re looking to increase your target market’s confidence in your business, then there’s nothing like receiving a recommendation from Google. Most people naturally defer to the recommendations of search engines because they already trust the search engine, so if you’re recommended, you’re automatically trusted. Besides, how often do you yourself click on the first few hits? 

Local SEO creates the ultimate user experience by pushing for a well-optimised website and promoting it organically. Google prefers a website that strictly follows the guidelines of E-A-T Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness. Well-optimised also means that the viewer can navigate the website easily and pull information quickly.  

 

The competition   

A close eye should be kept on your competitors to stay ahead of the game. New trends are constantly emerging, so if you see your competitors on whatever app comes after Tiktok, then this is where your business needs to be as well.  

As previously discussed, reviews are one of the most essential marketing tools available. While your reviews identify precisely what your business is doing- positive or negative, your competitor’s reviews can also provide you with an invaluable insight into what is being done and what can be improved. After you’ve researched and analysed the information on your competitors, it’s time for you to revisit your marketing plan and see what ideas or tweaks you can make to your business.  

So which of these tools are you going to be implementing?

The Importance of SEO for Your Business

The Importance of SEO for Your Business

If you’re asking yourself if you should be using SEO, then the answer is YES! Whether you are a leading global company or a new start-up, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of the most important tools in your digital marketing arsenal. SEO is a data-driven approach that helps with business growth, brand visibility, customer trust, and creating the ultimate customer experience. 

 Nowadays, customers using a search engine is where your sale begins. 

Potential customers need to be able to find your website for you to capture a sale. If you want to increase the number of visitors your website has each day, then you need to increase your organic search engine traffic.

 Keep reading to ensure that you never miss a sale opportunity!

 SEO for Growth

If you have noticed that your potential customer base cannot find your marketing content then it’s time to include SEO in your marketing strategy. For most businesses, SEO is one of the leading digital marketing tools that is implemented in the beginning stages of planning digital campaigns. Statistics show that businesses that incorporate SEO as the base of their digital marketing efforts experience greater return on investment. This is because SEO enhances paid search strategy and creates more effective pay-per-click campaigns as the costs per click are lower when your website is ranked high. With SEO your website will rank higher in SERP (search engine results page) and keyword- you can reach your customer base! 88% of the local search results contact a service provider within 24 hours. This organic web traffic is a free way to attract new customers and to get ahead of your competition when a customer searches up a product or service that you offer. 

Brand Visibility

You want your business to be discoverable! The goal of SEO is to improve your website’s visibility so Google and other search engines place your website as the first hit. The more visible your brand is, the more traffic will be driven to your website which means more sales! When a potential customer hops onto Google and searches for a particular product or service they are more inclined to visit the top five search suggestions. 92% of traffic goes to those business profiles positioned on the first pages of search engines. Most people won’t be venturing to the second page of suggestions, so the top five is where you want to be. The better your SEO score, the higher you rank, it’s that simple. Implementing SEO can help increase your rank and provide you with the visibility you need to be discovered by potential customers. Once you get them onto your site you now have the opportunity to make a sale!

 Increase Customer Trust 

 Customers consider whatever the search engine brings up first as a vote of confidence! Having customer trust is one of the most integral parts of running a successful business. With an increase in your brand’s visibility comes an increase in customers’ trust. A staggering 71% of customers turn to a business after using search engines. Most people automatically defer to the recommendations that search engines generate because they already trust the search engine.
If your business is coming up in the top hits on search engines then potential customers will be given the impression that your brand is trustworthy and will choose to do business with you rather than your competitors. While there is nothing wrong with SEM (search engine marketing) a paid advertisement does not attract as many customers as an organic search result. How often do you yourself overlook the paid ads that pop up first? 

SEO for the Ultimate User Experience 

As we’ve discussed, Google and other search engines are your best friend. The information on your website needs to provide the viewer with value and be of high quality. Google favours websites that follow E-A-T guidelines (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness). For them to relay the information to customers, search engines need to be able to pull information and navigate your website easily. A well-optimised website means that your customer has a positive experience every time they jump on, locating whatever information they need quickly and easily. Search engines pull up the most relevant and helpful content for the user’s search. So, your website should also be able to address any queries or questions they may have around what you provide. This is another way to stay ahead of your competition by having a website that is more enjoyable to use. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the importance of SEO and including it to help your business succeed, we’d love to hear from you. 

Brand Reputation Management in 2022- 5 Key Strategies

Brand Reputation Management in 2022- 5 Key Strategies

Brand Reputation Management in 2022- 5 Key Strategies

In 2022, a brand’s reputation plays a key part in creating customer loyalty and business growth. In this article, I’ll tell you about 5 key strategies you can implement today for brand reputation management. Your brand reputation is the way the world sees you. Having a great reputation is directly linked to your bottom line as customers who trust you will increase your sales growth. Managing your brand reputation will be a continuous effort, but it is well worth it to stay ahead of your competitors and create loyal customers. Once a person hears your brand’s name, you want them to associate it with a positive reputation.

Continue reading to find out how to manage your brand reputation!

  1. Brand awareness and monitoring

The goal is for a customer to hear your brand’s name and instantaneously know what it is that you sell or provide. Besides your name, a brand image also comes to mind, when you hear Versace, you probably think of a luxury brand that features a medusa head. Having an original image means that you stand out from your competitors. Customers will likely choose you if they associate positively with your brand. Statistics even show that customers are willing to pay more money to a brand that they can identify themselves with. Brand awareness companies will help your audience identify your brand and, in turn, trust you. 

Brand monitoring means that you and your team are aware of everything going on. Whatever is said about your brand, product or service online is just a google search away! To manage your brand reputation, you need to analyse what the search brings up and find out what is being said. Bad news travels fast, so if you notice a spike in your metrics, check out what’s going on and get ahead of it while you can!

  1. Create customer loyalty

Creating customer loyalty means that they will keep thinking of your brand and coming back whenever they have a need or when you release a new product! Brands like Apple and Samsung have loyal customers who keep up with every phone upgrade and come back to purchase other products from the brand. When they need some headphones, the loyal Apple customer will go to the Apple Store instead of their competitors because they trust the brand and the quality of their products. Not only will loyal customers gravitate back to your company, but they will also spread the word about how great your brand is!

Your customers’ experience can determine whether they will interact with your brand again and what they will tell their family and friends about your brand. To keep your customers satisfied and manage your brand reputation, you should address their issues as soon as possible. This can be done by monitoring customer conversation on your social pages and keeping up with your reviews. It is key that you respond to your customers quickly and address their problems to the best of your ability to keep your customer happy. Try sending customers surveys as this is a great way to collect data about their experience.

  1. Monitor customers reviews

Monitoring customers reviews are a crucial component in managing your brand reputation. Nowadays, review sites are all the rage. With mass advertising, customers are constantly bombarded with content. It has become increasingly difficult for customers to know who to trust. So they turn to customer reviews to verify whether the product or service does what it says it will. Customers trust other customers as if it was a personal recommendation. The unfiltered, raw, and honest review from a customer is trusted because they have nothing to gain from leaving a false review of their experience with the brand.

These reviews convert potential customers into paying customers. This is why you should pay close attention to what customers are saying to see if they are leaving any negative reviews. These negative reviews are great feedback for you to take on board and make the necessary adjustments to keep your customers happy. The negative reviews left by your customers need an immediate reply to show them and potential customers that you care about their opinions. Apologising for your mistakes shows a human side to your brand, which can easily be forgiven by your customers. Remember that your tone is important when responding to these reviews. Keep it light and friendly!

  1. Social media engagement

You need a direct line to your customers, and the easiest way is through social media! To improve social media engagement, make sure that you are available on all platforms, and I mean all platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and depending on your type of business even Snapchat and TikTok. Customers take to social media pages for all sorts of things, such as checking what’s new with your brand, seeking customer support, and queries around your product or service. Customers enjoy keeping up with their favourite brand’s posts and often leave comments. This makes them feel like they have a personal connection with the brand. Sprout Social research found that 30% of customers neglected by brands on social media are more likely to switch to a competitor.

Content marketing for brand management lets you educate your customers while simultaneously building brand awareness. The more customers see you on social media, the more interest and engagement you will receive!

  1. Keep an eye on competitors

Lastly, never neglect your competitors! Even Tech giants Apple and Samsung keep a close eye on what the other is doing to keep up with their competitors’ latest products and innovations. Industry trends are created by companies, so you need to see how well your competitor’s products are performing on social media. Then, regularly monitor what your competitors are doing so you don’t fall behind on the newest trends.

Also, read the reviews that customers are leaving your competitors to identify how well the product is performing or find any complaints left by the customers you can address in your own product. Gaining an understanding of the issues your competitors are solving for their customers can indicate what your target audience is seeking from you. So carefully dig through your competitor’s reviews and use the data you find to your advantage!

A positive brand reputation is key for building customer loyalty and ultimately leads to an increase in sales. Try implementing the above steps to manage your brand reputation and grow your business!