Providing valuable content can increase your brand awareness. Content that aims to help and educate people rather than interrupting them.
That in essence is what meaningful marketing is all about. Help and provide value to people rather than interrupt them.
Not A Content Marketing Post
This isn’t going to be a post about content marketing however. Ok, maybe it is.
While I was reading Optimize, Lee mentioned the importance of having a content strategy. Something hit me right then.
“I don’t have a content strategy!”
I blog whenever an idea and the motivation comes to me. That’s not much of a content strategy. It’s driving a few people to this site and for some of you to subscribe to my updates. Thanks to those of you who have subscribed!
But I need to do a better job. For you and me both. My blog is based on educating you about the world of Internet marketing.
If you’re new here, be sure to sign up for my email newsletter below or in the top right hand corner of this screen. That way you’ll be able to receive the other nine parts in the series on the 10 best free internet marketing tools.
I was going to add another point to that post. Then I thought it would be better to create a new post altogether. It comes from a suggestion I made to a client which they gave me the go ahead on.
The amount of time required to this is very little. And the ROI potential could be huge. That’s because your competitors aren’t thinking about the other small keywords. You don’t have be a lemming and try to rank for the big keywords in your city.
Since taking over the online marketing for Victoria Transmission and Auto Care, I thought we could get more traffic to the site if we tried to rank for all our services.
Part of our mission is to build awareness around the fact that we’re not just a transmission shop. We offer lots of other auto care services in Victoria.
My goal is to spread the awareness of our other services with the website.
But I didn’t want to just rank the main page for all of our services though. That would mean trying to rank well over 50 keywords for one page.
It’s not good practice to try and rank a webpage for more than five keywords per page.
Because of this the main page targets only transmission related keywords. So most of the traffic arriving to the website before I started working with them was all transmission based keywords.
And that’s where I knew we could get more people to the site.
Most, if not all of your competitors are only looking at ranking their main page instead of their inner pages. This is shortsighted. Just like they’re trying to only rank for a few big keywords.
This is what Meaningful Marketing isn’t about. Why? Because it’s not looking at other ways to get more prospects and clients. This example is following the competition.
Doing this won’t get you ahead.
Out caring the competition and Meaningful Marketing is the opposite. In this case, care more about those people that are searching for specific products or services you offer.
They’re people out there looking for you. They’re searching for the products and services you offer. They don’t know about you yet. But they will if you follow my advice in this post and the rest of my posts.
There is also a huge benefit of having people land on webpages that actually talk about what they searched for. I’ll explain this benefit in a bit.
Back to my Vic Trans example. I knew we wouldn’t be successful if we tried to keyword stuff the main page with 50+ keywords.
With over 16 services, I thought it would be best to create separate pages for each service. And target those services in our keywords.
So the oil change service page targets three keywords dealing with oil change and Victoria. Since creating these pages back on April 25th, more people are landing on the site with specific searches. It’s not transmission based searches anymore.
This is why it’s important to get specific with your keyword research. Even though Google said there wasn’t enough people searching for these specific auto care services, I still thought people were.
And they are. These pages have brought 45 new visitors to the site within the last 30 days. These pages aren’t ranking within the top 5 for each keyword either. Which is great news. Once I do some backlinking for those pages, they’ll rank higher and we’ll get more people to the site.
All it takes is a couple of these people to book online and get their bodies into the shop. From there the staff rely on their excellent service to retain that customer for life.
The amount of time spent on this is very little. Yet it doesn’t take much to earn lifetime clients from it.
Now to that benefit I mentioned earlier.
You’ll increase your conversion rates from website visitor to client if the searcher lands directly on a webpage that talks about that exact service they just searched. It annoys people when they land on your main page and have to navigate your site looking for the product or service they just searched.
If your site isn’t easy to navigate, people will leave quickly.
Makes it easy for them to find the information they’re looking for. But don’t forget this important step.
The Call To Action
We’ve also included online booking forms below each service description page. After all, what good is to to have people on your website and not ask for their business or contact details so you can market to them.
Once again, make it easy for them to call you or book online.
By creating separate pages for each service, having people land on those pages and placing online booking forms on those pages, we’ve made it easy for people to find and book the service they’re after.
I sound like a broken record but make it easy for people to do business with you!
I like to think the majority of my blog posts are quite in depth.
Today’s post is going to be short and simple.
Last month I purchased a 2012 Nissan Altima and of course I needed new insurance.
Most dealerships have the insurance portion contracted out to a local company. The Nissan dealership and insurance company I dealt with were no different.
Except one major service. Instead of having someone sit around waiting for cars to sale, Maxxam Insurance takes their business mobile. So when a car is sold the salesman will call one of the many Maxxam representatives and they’ll drive to the dealership.
This obviously increases their sales efficiency. But they also increase their client retention and word of mouth. Let me explain how.
Telemarketing Can Work
Fast forward to last week. I get a call from one of the Maxxam reps telling me my insurance is up. This is a nice touch because a few years ago, I actually drove around without insurance for a week!
ICBC sends a reminder notice but why can’t the insurance company I dealt with make a phone call as well? Follow up phone calls can provide a unique personalized touch after the sale. But what about the case of an expiring service?
This is something we agreed would work better when dealing with the customer service over at Victoria Transmission and Auto Care. Before our follow up and reminders were sent out by a company using automate post cards and emails. In the end we felt the phone call had more impact and was far more personal.
The reminder about my expiring insurance is the vital piece of information they need to make the next step. And that’s to retain me as a client.
But it’s the simple way they make that happen which helps increase word of mouth and their sales. Since they have mobile agents all over, they drive anywhere to meet you.
They’ll even make any changes to your insurance before you get there. It’s a painless transaction. So instead of having to drive to an insurance agent and deal with lineups, Maxxam drives to you.
The Meaningful Marketing Way
Why do I know this increases word of mouth? Because I hardly ever talk about businesses but I’m going to blog and post on Facebook about my positive experience with Maxxam. It’s the Meaningful Marketing way.
They’ve out cared their competition by;
Reminding me my insurance was up
Working around my schedule and meeting me my place of work
So my question to you is, what can you be doing better from a customer service standpoint that makes people talk about your business in a positive light?
Here’s another brief example from Jam Cafe in Victoria. Often busy, Jam provides coffee to patrons waiting for tables outside. A great touch that many don’t forget and mention when they talk about their experience there.
My mother mentioned this right away when we got there. And in a conversation with a friend a couple weeks ago, she mentioned right away the fact that they served coffee to her and her friend waiting outside.
Back in days of telephone books, we had no way to tell if the business was trustworthy. We just went through a page at a time and made our decision based on very few things.
So there was no first impression outside of a logo and advertisement.
However the internet has given everyone a voice. And with that voice people can say what they want about anyone. Including businesses.
When people find any Google Places business listing, they want to see what others have to say. Especially if they’re a first timer. It’s why Urbanspoon and Trip Advisor are so big.
Reviews are like a comment card. But everyone can see them. It’s not like the old days of comment cards when management were able to discard the bad reviews.
To sum it up, your reviews are your business’s first impression.
More the Merrier
Having just a few reviews is fine. But just about every Places page I see has 0-5 reviews. I believe the more reviews you have, the higher your social proof.
It also means that your business must be pretty remarkable. Especially if your competitors have very little reviews. If people love your business and take the time to write a review, you’re doing something right!
The more reviews you have the easier it is to stand out from the competition.
Getting More Reviews
I started this post off by saying all you have to do is ask. And that’s what I want you to do.
If you’ve been in business for over six months, chances are good you have repeat clients. Those are the ones who would be willing to write a review.
All you have to do is ask them.
There are only two ways we communicate (outside of body language) so here are the two methods you can ask for reviews:
1) After checkout (verbally)
If you have a physical storefront, you probably have a computer with a POS system. When they’re finished their checkout ask them how their visit was and if they have a Google or GMail account. If they enjoyed it (I’m sure they did) kindly ask them to write a review on the spot.
This might be hard for some of you to do. I suggest asking those repeat clients whom you’ve built a good rapport with.
When you do this, make it really easy for them. Have your browser on your Google Places page and be sure you’re logged out. Then all they have to do is click on the “Write a Review” button and they’ll be asked to sign into their Google/Gmail account.
Some people might not know their password. But you can ask them to follow step two.
One quote confirmed I needed to go ahead with this post.
“Every marketing piece someone comes in contact with leaves an impression on your brand. Even those who aren’t purchasing your product are forming an opinion of you.”
That really sums up this post quite nicely.
The natural tendency when marketing, branding or advertising is to slap your logo everywhere. More awareness means more sales right?
Those businesses that create value and an emotional connection through their branding and marketing are going to be the ones who stand out from the competition.
Not those whose logos are everywhere.
My case in point is our friends over at Star Toilet Paper whom I talked about in my last post.
I’ll repeat John’s quote.
“Even those who aren’t purchasing your product are forming an opinion of you.”
When those people are wiping their bottoms, their doing so with with someone’s brand. Obviously they’re forming a pretty crappy opinion of that brand.
I certainly hope those businesses wake up and start to value their own brand more. Would you really want your brand to be aligned with crap?
If you’re reading this post and my site, I doubt it. This is all about Meaningful Marketing after all.
But hey, some businesses are taking advantage of the low cost to advertise on toilet paper. They’re thinking short term not long term however. Customer loyalty is built on value and service. They may get a few people in the door redeeming (can you imagine yourself saving toilet paper to redeem at a store?) toilet paper coupons but are coupon redeemers what you’re after?
Coupon clippers do not turn into loyal customers.
Ok I’ve made my point loud and clear about advertising on toilet paper. I give props to the Brian and Jordan who started the business.
But we can do better.
Consistent Brand Image
When influencing people to come and do business with you, not only is it what your brand is displayed on but how it looks.
Here’s another story that ties into my last post and brand image.
There is a luxury condo development in my city. They’re currently advertising on all of the squash courts at one of the clubs in town. This club hosted a tournament a few months back.
Talking with a few players at this tournament revealed that the many thought the courts were not nice to play in. It was true. The walls were dirty, the floors were dark and the paint was chipping off the walls and the area where this brand’s logo was displayed.
On a couple of courts you couldn’t even make out the name of the brand. Their logo had been hammered with squash balls that most of the paint was gone from the logo.
They’ve slapped their brand all over a product (poorly marinated squash courts) that doesn’t align at all with luxury.
This really makes no sense to me. The brand image is off. Nothing about the courts is luxurious at all. Most importantly, there’s no connection to the squash players playing on those courts.
Create Value or an Emotional Connection
So what does it take to succeed in your future branding, marketing and advertising efforts?
Create an emotional connection – Here’s a way the luxury condo company above could create an emotional connection with the squash player. John Morgan had another great quote in his book. “People are emotionally tied to brands and not products.”
Just because someone see’s your logo doesn’t mean they’ll automatically remember your service and call you up when they need it.
In branding, marketing and advertising you don’t have long to capture one’s attention. Do your best to make a great first impression!
What do you think?
Do you form opinions of brands like you do of people?