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...
Why Every Single Small Business Needs Digital Marketing

Why Every Single Small Business Needs Digital Marketing

Digital marketing isn’t optional. The fact remains, though, that only 84% of businesses have a content marketing strategy as of early 2021. 16% don’t. If you’re one of the people who has put off digital marketing or done it haphazardly, it’s time to get serious about it. You may have claimed your Google My Business listing – and that counts as digital marketing. It’s also the bare minimum you can do. So, with that in mind, let’s talk about why every small business – including yours – needs digital marketing, and which marketing strategies we recommend. What is Digital Marketing?  Some small business owners don’t understand what digital marketing is and that’s part of the problem, so, let’s start with a definition. Digital marketing is the sum of any efforts you make to promote your business online. It may include: Email marketing Blogging Search engine advertising (PPC) Social media posting Social media advertising Business listings SEO Video marketing The key to making the most of digital marketing is choosing the strategies that are most likely to deliver the results you want. Target Local Keywords  The first thing you need to recognize is that in the world of digital marketing, everything is local. If you try to compete for the same keywords used by big corporations with huge marketing budgets, you’re going to lose. You’ll get far more bang for your buck if you think local. Local keywords should be a combination of industry-specific words that identify what your business does and local words that let people know where you are. For example, a dentist in Minneapolis might target words...
An Introduction to Facebook Shops for Small Business

An Introduction to Facebook Shops for Small Business

With small businesses providing the majority of Facebook’s advertisers, the platform is naturally invested in helping the “little guys” weather the coronavirus storm.   So in May of 2020, they announced a new feature to help small businesses sell — Facebook Shops. This mobile-first sales platform is the latest FB platform where brands can sell physical products, without a large time or money investment.   Unlike Facebook Marketplace which serves peer-to-peer sales (à la Craigslist), Facebook Shops lets companies set up their own branded storefronts on this mobile-first sales platform. Facebook Shop Features Like most Facebook features, Facebook Shops are free to set up, providing users another sales platform with no additional startup costs. Facebook will eventually charge 5% per shipment, or $0.40 for shipments of under $8.00. However, they are waiving fees through the end of 2020 due to the pandemic.   Brands can add as many products as they wish to their shops, and they can customize their look with a cover image and branded accent colors.   Since Facebook owns Instagram, they’ve integrated the shops with both platforms. Users will be able to find a brand’s shop on the business’ Facebook Page, Instagram profile, and within the Shops tab on mobile. Brands can also link to items in their Shops in Stories and Ads on both platforms. This lets you promote and sell your products all in one place.   Another handy feature — customers can message the business right from the Shop through WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct Messaging, making it easy to get answers to questions. There is also a future plan to let...
The 3 Most Common Mistakes Everyone Makes with Facebook Ads

The 3 Most Common Mistakes Everyone Makes with Facebook Ads

Did you know that the average Facebook user clicks on 12 ads per month? It’s true – and it illustrates why Facebook ads are still one of the most cost-effective ways to connect with your target audience and promote your business. If only you weren’t messing them up. Look, we can’t say whether your Facebook ads are perfect. Maybe they are. But the truth is that most people do mess them up – and the mistakes they make cause their ad campaigns to be more expensive (and less effective) than they should be. Fortunately, there’s a quick fix. Once you understand the 3 most common mistakes people make, you can stop making them – and starting to get the results you deserve. Here they are. #1: Targeting Ads to People Who Aren’t Already Fans This first mistake can be a real head scratcher for small business owners. Aren’t you supposed to use Facebook ads to grow your audience? The short answer is no, not really. You can – and we’re not saying that you should never run an ad that targets new customers. But you’ll get more engagement and more clicks if you target the people who already like your company. If you think about it, it should make sense. The people who follow you on Facebook are qualified leads. Some may have already bought from you but all of them are people who had enough interest in your company to click that Follow button. Running ads that appear only to followers is a great way to nurture leads, encourage repeat business, and let your followers know that you...
8 Social Media Myths to Leave Behind in 2021

8 Social Media Myths to Leave Behind in 2021

There’s no question that social media marketing is, and will continue to be, important for local businesses. That said, there are a lot of social media myths that are annoyingly persistent and believing them can hurt your business. So, let’s bust some myths! Here are 8 of the most widely believed myths that you need to stop believing if you want to grow your business with social media. #1: You Need a Presence on Every Social Media Site The notion that you need a presence on every social media site is one of the most harmful myths for business owners. It takes time, effort, and money to maintain an active presence on ANY social media site and nobody has time for all of them. What you need is an active and meaningful presence on the sites that offer you the best opportunity to connect with your target audience and engage your customers. Nothing else matters. Most local businesses should be on Facebook. B2B companies should have a presence on LinkedIn. If you’re selling an aspirational product or service, then it makes sense to be on Instagram or Pinterest. Does this mean you should never try something new? Of course not! Set up a profile and give it a try. But if the site you choose isn’t giving you the results you want, cut it loose. #2: Fans and Followers are Worthless if They Don’t Become Paying Customers  You should use social media to attract new customers. That’s obvious and it makes sense. But I hear a lot of business owners who think that followers who aren’t paying customers aren’t...