Let Customer Reviews Do the Work For You

Let Customer Reviews Do the Work For You

When you’re planning a meal out for a special birthday or anniversary, how do you decide where to eat? You might go with an old favorite that you know you can rely on. But if you want to try something new, you’ll probably seek a recommendation.   This recommendation could come from a friend or family member. But if you’re like most people, you’ll also check the restaurant’s online reviews. In fact, 97% of consumers say they read reviews for local businesses.   Leaving your testimonials and client feedback on review aggregators like Yelp makes them a passive resource. The customer has to search for the information. And if you don’t have a brick and mortar location, you may not be on any of those sites to begin with.   That’s why you need a robust customer review strategy that brings your reviews to your own turf. Put them to work in your marketing efforts and let potential customers hear from people they trust — their peers. Customer Reviews on Your Website   The most obvious place to include your existing customer reviews is on your website. Major companies like Amazon and Target know how eager we are to hear about other customer experiences. That’s why they put reviews right at the bottom of each product page.   Your web developer can help you add a review integration, allowing your customers to share their reviews directly to your site.   For service-based businesses without product pages, you may need to add reviews and testimonials manually. Don’t make the mistake of gathering them all in one “Reviews” page that users...
How to use a Reactivation Campaign to Boost Revenue in Tough Times

How to use a Reactivation Campaign to Boost Revenue in Tough Times

Most businesses are sitting on a goldmine of untapped potential. Do you know what it is?   It’s your past customers.   These are people who are already brand aware, have weighed the pros and cons, and ultimately decided that they trusted you enough to hand over some of their money to buy what you sell. After, they may become raving fans who buy from you regularly and could be considered “brand loyal.”   Or, they may take their product and mosey. They’ve gotten what they wanted, and now they’re no longer engaging with your content or making any purchases. It’s this group that we want to target with a reactivation campaign. What is a Reactivation Campaign? A reactivation campaign is a marketing campaign that asks past customers to re-engage with your brand and hopefully, make another purchase.   The most common — and affordable — way to do this is through an email sequence.   No matter what you do, you’ll never be able to re-engage 100% of your past customers. People’s needs change, or they may be deal shopping and find a better price elsewhere. Or, as frustrating as it is, they may have had a bad experience with your brand.   But many of these customers who have gone quiet simply forget about you. The reactivation campaign reminds buyers that you’re still here — and you have some exciting new goodies they might like.   These email sequences should be part of your regular email marketing strategy. But when times are tight — during a pandemic, for instance — an email campaign is a low-cost way...
Your 90 Day Post Covid Marketing Roadmap

Your 90 Day Post Covid Marketing Roadmap

The first quarter of 2020 brought us an unprecedented situation with a global pandemic that shut down parts of the country and created economic uncertainty and record unemployment. For a lot of businesses, that meant taking a new approach to marketing.   Now, more than eight months into the pandemic, the road ahead is clearer than it was then. With multiple new vaccines announced and an end in sight, we still have a rough road ahead in many ways.   So… the big questions are:   What will businesses be doing to get back on track? What will the new normal look like? What are the ideal first steps (in the next 90 days) to set your business up for success?   With that in mind, I have some thoughts on what you can and should do in the next 90 days to get (and keep) your business on track for success. Audit Your Marketing Plan The first thing I suggest is a thorough audit of your marketing plan. A lot of companies hit the pause button — or drastically reduced their marketing spending — when the pandemic hit. For obvious reasons, that’s not a long-term strategy.   I suggest creating a short-term plan that takes the current climate into consideration, and then mapping out some long-term plans as the situation evolves. With COVID cases spiking in the final quarter of 2020, we’re not in the “after” yet — but it’s getting closer every day.   Evaluate Your SEO   In the early days of the pandemic, you may have been reluctant to drastically rethink your SEO, both on...
How to Create Content for Your Business That’s Worth Sharing… 101

How to Create Content for Your Business That’s Worth Sharing… 101

We all know that content marketing is the name of the game for businesses large and small. Content is king and all that. But how does a small business create enough good content to reach their marketing goals? That’s the question.   The answer, as it turns out, is easy. All you need is a primer with ideas that you can use in multiple ways to create content. That’s what I’ll do here — break down simple content ideas that you can use (and reuse) to grow your business.   FAQ  Let’s start with content that comes from a section you probably already have on your website: Frequently Asked Questions.   If you’re like most companies, you have FAQs with short, snappy answers. I’m willing to bet that in most cases, you could flesh those questions out with additional information and suggestions to provide detailed and actionable content for your clients.   I suggest reviewing your FAQ and picking out questions where there’s room to elaborate. Then, think about the best way to expand on the question. It might be a blog post, a short video, or an infographic. Whatever it is, you can share it to provide your customers with the kind of authority content they crave.   Behind the Scenes   How do your products get made? You might think that people aren’t interested, but there’s a reason that shows like “How It’s Made” are popular.   Think about your process and what makes it unique. Is there an element of your product that’s handmade? Do you have a shortcut that you created? Once you’ve identified a...
The Small Business Guide to Surviving the Pandemic

The Small Business Guide to Surviving the Pandemic

If one thing has become clear, it’s that small businesses can’t just wait out COVID-19 and hope for the best. We’re over eight months into the pandemic, and no one knows how much longer it will be before a vaccine is approved and distributed.   According to research by The Atlantic, it could be well into 2021 before even 11% of the US population is fully vaccinated. That means we could face at least another year of pandemic restrictions.   Small businesses who hope to survive will have to take action in order to stay solvent. If you’re working on a plan for getting through the pandemic, here’s where to start. Be Flexible It’s time to pivot.   What do your customers need now that they didn’t need before? Is there an alternative way you can continue to provide the same product or service? Or is there a related offering you can switch to? Stay true to your business, but make sure you’re still able to provide what your customers need. Many product-based businesses have seen a decline in their wholesale numbers, but an increase in their ecommerce sales as customers shop more online. Can you increase your direct-to-consumer sales to close that gap?   Service-based businesses have to figure out how to continue offering their solutions in a COVID-safe way. That could include moving your service to an online model, or taking it outside into the fresh air where air particles can dissipate more easily.   Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” business plan for a pandemic. Start by searching for other businesses in your niche...
How to Use Customers Reviews in Your Content Marketing

How to Use Customers Reviews in Your Content Marketing

Social proof is one of the most powerful tools you can use to market your business. Seeing the happiness and success of previous customers is a proven way to increase confidence, which ultimately leads to more people buying. According to eMarketer research, online reviews are by far the most trusted source of business information. In fact, 8 percent more people 18+ trust online reviews compared to their own friends, family and colleagues. But most businesses don’t have a proactive strategy for incorporating customer reviews in their marketing plan. If you’re one of them, we want to encourage you to change that! Your business can add credibility and complexity to its content when you regularly incorporate the positive feedback your customers leave. This practice has an added bonus of rewarding customers for their praise, strengthening your relationship with them and encouraging others to follow in their footsteps. Your content becomes richer, and your brand name becomes more credible. That’s a win for you and your customers! Here are a handful of proven strategies you can put into action to incorporate customer reviews into your marketing strategy: Share like a pro When incorporating testimonials and feedback on your web pages, it’s important to follow best practices that respect both the person leaving the review and the prospect that will ultimately see it in your marketing. Be sure to use the following best practices to share like a pro: Take a second to re-read the third-party reviews site’s policy on sharing reviews. They may have limitations on how you use them. Always ask the reviewer for permission. Nothing hurts worse than having...