Posted by Tracey Voyce
on 19 May 2013
When customers first discover your business, they might not be ready to commit. It’s rare for sales to happen straight away. In fact, only 10 per cent of leads convert at the first point of contact. By letting the remainder fall off your radar, you could be missing out on important future customers.
Lead nurturing means keeping in touch with people who are already curious about your wares, and strengthening the relationship to convert them from an interested viewer to loyal customer.
Provide valuable content
One way to do this is to capture the lead upon first meeting by offering valuable content. Incentivise the visitor to share contact information with you using free whitepapers or access to gated material.
Consider what is most important to your customer in relation to your product or service. For example, a hair salon could provide tips on keeping hair lustrous in winter, while an accountant could offer up information on how to reduce taxes. Identify your ideal customer’s pain points and provide solutions to their problems. The lead will hopefully find the free advice useful and reward you with their loyalty.
Capture their details in your database marketing system (easily done for Bloomtools clients), with a simple sign-up form on your website (reccommended within your websites design).
Follow up with leads
After capturing customer contact information, be sure to regularly follow up ( with trigger and scheduled emails, sms and phone calls) to stay top of mind and encourage them back again. Differentiate between active customers, hot leads and casual visitors. Continue to offer value – through content, offers and access to insider events. You should be able to gauge how much is enough by noting the response to your email campaigns, such as open rates and clickthroughs. If you use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management system) you could also set this sequence of events up so you could guage each step and results (talk to your Bloomtools consultant about trialing the Bloomtools CRM system).
Automate customer outreach
You can automate much of this process using database marketing. Target your customers based on their individual information to maintain relevance. You can segment your customers by demographic or past behaviour to ensure you are optimising your communications with them.
Lead marketing is an important part of any marketing campaign. It ensures you do not waste earlier efforts and, if done in the correct way, can create customers who spread the word about your business.
Posted by James Greig
on 13 May 2013
Google Authorship was created to increase transparency and credibility of the content on the web. It enables writers to “claim” their own content, meaning they get credited for their original work and the host site gains credibility from the content it publishes.
In time, it will hopefully limit plagiarism on the web, improve the quality of high ranking content and boost search rankings for authors using it correctly.
What is Google Authorship?
Google Authorship links original content to the Google+ profile of the writer of that content. Google has suggested that in time, verified content will be rewarded, while anonymous content will get pushed down in the search results. In other words, Google Authorship is likely to become a powerful SEO tool.
It will help to increase transparency on the web and sharply increase the adoption and use of Google+.
How to make it work for you
For now, the best thing you can do is verify the writers for your site (see below) and keep producing quality, original content.
Ultimately, Google’s algorithm will fish out the top content by the theoretical “Author Rank”, (the term used to describe the search results from Authorship). For example, in the same way back-links from higher traffic sites can improve your SEO, shares from higher-ranking authors can boost your own rank and subsequently, your site’s rank in search results.
How to get verified
The process of getting verified means refreshing or setting up your Google+ profile, including the sites you and your writers contribute to (external and your own), then creating a web of links between your profile and those sites.
It’s easier than it sounds! Bloomtools ‘Blog Manager’ allows you to add Authors to your blog posts. When authors are added, a picture of the author will display in Google’s search results.
As with all things digital and social media, the best thing you can do is aim for high quality, authentic content that will intrigue and engage your community. Be “real” and the rankings will come.
Posted by Tracey Voyce
on 13 May 2013
People will only allow a small window for you to capture their attention. Studies have shown that 32 per cent of consumers will start abandoning slow websites between one and five seconds. The take-away for small businesses? Make your communication relevant.
Relevance is the single most important factor in engaging customers, particularly when so much clutter competes for their attention. You need to personalise your conversations with customers, providing them with the content they need and want.
If this sounds like a lot of work, take heart. Personalisation doesn’t mean you need to have one-on-one conversations with every user who lands on your website or walks in your door. Instead, use technology to efficiently segment and target your customers with the right information.
Segmentation can be achieved by examining your customer data – in short, you need to know your customers. What sort of trends are you seeing? It will differ for every business, but typical segmentation goes something like this:
Demographic: A simple form of segmentation, demographic information allows you to make certain assumptions about your customers. If a group of your customers live in Sydney, for example, you can tie business information into current events going on in that city. Or if a group of your customers are aged 17 to 18, you will know about their upcoming graduation milestone.
Historical behaviour: Use purchasing history to target customers with like-minded products or services. If other customers purchased table A with stool B, then there’s a chance new customers will be interested in doing the same. Or if a customer chooses a window washing service, you will have a good idea when they are due for a refresh.
Goals: Find out the ‘why’ behind a customer’s decision to give you their business. For example, what are the challenges they are trying to overcome? What are they trying to achieve? And what is important to them when choosing a product or supplier? If you directly ask your ideal customers these questions, you can use that information to target them on your website and external marketing with relevant content.
For example, pest removal customers might like to know about the human health side of the products you use, or hear stories about the worst infestations you’ve been able to fix. Gym customers may be looking to lose weight, bulk up or get fit - so they need to read the relevant information on your website as well as in any teasers you email them specifically about what is important to these groups.
It is important to include imagery on your website that will attract a viewer’s attention as soon as they land. Then, take them to pages relating specifically to their needs and concerns, rather than a generic product or service page. This will help improve your conversion rate. Incorporate targeted information into key messages in your design, for example using guarantees or slogans.
In email marketing, if customer segmentation is new to you, start out with small tests such as sending one version to half of your customers/prospects and a different version to the other half. As you learn what works, you will be able to offer more creativity and uniqueness to your customers. And remember the guiding rule: keep it relevant.
Posted by Tracey Voyce
on 6 May 2013
The Sammy D Foundation was created by husband and wife team Nat Cook and Neil Davis after their 17-year old son Sam was fatally king hit while trying to intervene in a fight at a party in 2008.
Out of tragedy, the small but committed Sammy D Foundation team has worked with the South Australian community and businesses to deliver its core programs; Impact, Connect and Party Wise to nearly 15,000 young people in metropolitan and regional locations.
How is the Sammy D Foundation reducing violence?
The Sammy D Foundation is a harm prevention charity focussing on promoting healthy lifestyles, providing opportunities for success, nurturing mateship, bringing families closer together and raising awareness of harm-causing behaviour. The Foundation has a strong focus on encouraging youth to realise their potential and empower them to make safe and positive life choices. Every young person deserves to be loved, supported and protected, with many needing guidance and positive role modelling to equip them with the skills and confidence needed to avoid dangerous situations, and knowing how to respond if confronted.
How can you help?
Donations and sponsorship are important to sustain the very successful programs delivered by the Foundation, with donations over $2 tax deductible.
Volunteering is another way to help, and more information about what you can do to make a difference to this serious community issue can be found at www.sammydfoundation.com.au
Thanks Andrew and Bloomtools for helping us with a great website design that is so easy for us to update and will help spread our message. We appreciate your gift, the functionality in the website from the Donation tool through to the Email Marketing system is going to make such a difference to what we can do. Thank You.
Posted by James Greig
on 30 April 2013
It’s never been easier to create buzz around your business than it is with the internet, but are you maximising your viral potential? As any good PR person knows, third-party endorsement is a powerful tool. Increasing conversations on the web is actually within your control – it’s all about getting the language right.
Web listings are a simple way to get your business on the radar of potential customers. Many consumers make snap decisions, especially when in a rush, so maintaining visibility is hugely important.
Find your platform: Consider where your clients would go to find you if they didn’t know you existed – think Google Places, TrueLocal, Hotfrog, Yelp or Yellow Pages online directory. Create your business profile and be sure to use clear language that aptly identifies what you do and why people should use you.
Read the fine print: Some shady businesses have tapped into the success of web listings and will likely solicit uneccessary payment for their assistance. In most cases, these bogus businesses aren’t worth it. If you decide to pay for listings, make sure it’s a credible platform that can guarantee ROI.
Increase shareability: A well-written listing does wonders for referrals – many bloggers and other listing companies do their research in the same place as the customer. Be sure to use your SEO keywords, succinctly outline your unique selling point and include client testimonials where possible (or better yet, encourage customers to leave their own testimonials where the platform allows – 52% of consumers are more likely to choose a buisness if they have a positive review. eg. Google Places, True Local, Yelp (for restaurants)).
Keep on top of it: Important to record all your listings in one place –with key information like the platform, the URL, when you last updated it, and relevant contacts you have worked with in securing the listing. It will help to ensure you remain current. Outdated listings are a sign of an out of touch business.
Web listings are a simple yet successful way to remain relevant on the web. Craft yours to stand out from the competition and reap the benefits.