Tag Archives: Business

Your Online shop Front

If you have a business would you leave a broken window and tape it up with a bin bag?

Would you ignore a customer standing at your till?

Would you moan out loud?

Would you put no prices on your stock?

I can’t imagine any business owner answering yes to these questions but is the same of your online shop/ business?

Let’s ask the same questions again but with online in mind:

If you have a business would you leave a broken window and tape it up with a bin bag? Broken links on your website really irritate your customers. They stop you customers going where they want to go. When was het last time you checked the outgoing links on your website worked?

Would you ignore a customer standing at your till? Questions, complaints queries etc left on your website or social media should be answered within 48 hours if possible. Not replying is just like ignoring a customer in your shop. If other people see that you haven’t responded they will think you are not bothered about your customers.

Would you moan out loud? Statuses on your Facebook or Twitter will give your customers an impression of you as a person and you’ll be judged by it so try not to put up that you’re fed up of customers who are rude for example. Always give out a positive vibe.

Would you put no prices on your stock? You may think that by not putting prices on your stock that people will call you or visit you to find out. Wrong. They’ll go to a site where they can find prices and then price comparison on other websites. You won’t even be in the race.

You need to ensure all of your websites have consistent branding and message so people remember you.

Here’s a logo quiz for you just as a reminder of the power of brand recognition:

Famous Logo Quiz

Here are my tips for a tidy shop:

*check all links work
*Is website easy to navigate round?
*Are images clear and good quality?
*Can customers contact you easily?
*Is it easy to read?

Sounds easy but most people don’t check their own websites.

For a free analysis of your website just ask me.

Enjoy your week and thanks for reading.

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Are You For Real?

There’s only one thing you need to get right if you are promoting your business in any way on the internet.

Are you real?

It might sound silly but Google is looking for signs all the time that prove you are a real business worth promoting to their searchers.

Here is my top list of ways to prove your real:

1: A website that has been built and left the same day in day out will slowly go down the ranks. Google will stop looking at it because nothing new is going on it and this proves no real value to visitors.

2: Add a blog to your site to add fresh content on a regular basis and also prove you are the expert in your field. Writing a blog takes dedication and a little bit of time. It does get easier if you build it in to your routine.

3: Links to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are essential but just like your website they must be updated regularly with engaging content. Get involved in discussions, reply to reviews and build your audience.

4: Make sure the web pages on your website are labelled correctly. You would be surprised how many businesses miss out key information like location. Ensure photographs are labelled too. Often pictures are labelled photo a for example which Google will not find any value in. Label them as a description and location. Right click on information pages/ images and view source to see what the labels are.

5: Add testimonials. People trust what other people say so a make sure there are fresh reviews on your site.

6: Add your business to as many local directories as you can- paid for or free. Just make sure you monitor them and ensure all information is accurate.

7: Act real! Add photos to your social media or websites of your staff, of you, of your work. Add testimonials. Respond to reviews and complaints. Respond quickly. Respond professionally.

8: Regularly Google your business to make sure there are no skeletons from your closet lurking in the search engine.

Above all see the internet as an opportunity to brand and promote your business.

Be aware though- you’re customers will be more demanding and expect responses quickly.

Don’t disappoint.

If I can be of any help please let me know

Ignorance Is No Defence

Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat

ignorance

If you are in business and are preferring to remain ignorant about the effects the web has on every aspect of life then chances are you may not survive. Because ignorance is no defence.

I am an advertising manager of a newspaper and somehow I have now become a multi media manager within a newspaper. It happened fairly slowly but over the last two years the rate at which we continue towards an ever increasing digital future is alarming.

Like  a lot of people in business I thought internet propositions would disappear so I played the game and kept my focus on the printed newspaper then BAM! digital hit me again and this time I knew it was sink or swim.

It takes courage and strength to change the way you work-as a colleague of mine says it’s like trying to turn an oil tanker on a narrow road. So I recently made a conscious decision to surpass myself and become a more competent manager better suited to today’s world.

So as a multi media manager I decided to make the conscious decision to almost ignore printed advertising- after 12 years in the industry I almost know newspapers inside out. Instead I decided to become a digital advertising expert to work in tandem with my knowledge about print.

What did I do?

First of all I briefed my team on how we are going to attack our digital targets in the most productive way-by breaking down our targets in to small manageable chunks. If I told you that my target in April is to generate over one million impression sales for our website then you should be able to better appreciate my need for turning this oil tanker.

Then I gave each person a sliding scale of impressions and their cost-to avoid the endless tapping of calculator keys but also to make it easier to build in to campaigns and tailor to the needs of their business.

Thirdly I made sure that every single day every member of my team was given daily visit information from the previous day. I also did spot checks on how much of this information they were taking in. Was it much-no! Is there improvement-three days of me spot checking and my team are getting closer to the right figures.

After this I started working on the creativity of the sale and pitched a campaign bespoke to a business which would mean them targeting sports readers on our website. It was a success.

Finally-I’m not going to stand back and watch the web take away my business-I am learning, researching, calling people for advice, tying, testing and above all enjoying becoming someone who understands online advertising.

My point-yes it was longwinded- is that it is much easier to sit back and say ‘Well I don’t need to learn’ ‘I don’t use the internet’ or ‘I don’t need online advertising’ because the truth is-you do.

Don’t think of the internet as a new way of doing business-think of it as an essential way of doing business that can ensure your company becomes accessible to people at any time of the day-even when you may be sleeping.

A new challenge can often make you develop a new love for your products or services.

I’ve said it before but the changes in my industry have been so refreshing and now, although hard work, are such amazing learning curve.

So please learn because gnorance will be no defence when a competitor takes your business.

 

Businesses Don’t Care

If you keep seeing negative comments about your business then you need to do something about it.

People often vent because they think that businesses don’t care about their consumers or that you won’t respond to any concerns.

You need to change your attitude in to thinking ‘I’m glad I can see what people think of my business because then I can act on it’

You also need to share the good things people say about you to ensure that all of your customers and potential customers are reminded how good you are.

Don’t beat yourself up-no one can be great all the time. Feel brave enough to give yourself a pat on the back when you see something great about your business.

Here are some of my personal experiences for you to read and maybe get some ideas from:

  • (BAD) I rarely take the time to complain but felt the urge after opening a bag of crisps from Morrison’s Supermarket. The contents of the bag were wet which was strange. I Tweeted a photo of the crisps to Morrison’s with a 120 character complaint. Guess what? Within 5 minutes I had a reply. ‘Ewww’ it said ‘Message me your details and the bar code’-which I did. Within 7 days I received £3 worth of vouchers and a covering letter. The supermarket has risen so high in my estimations. (And this is a large business)
  • (GOOD) My newspaper produced a poster to back our local football team with a local business as a sponsor. The customer on Facebook shared a photograph of the poster he sponsored and publicised his backing for our campaign. His adverts looked amazing and really captured his brand, the poster would reach his target market as he is in the motoring trade and his praise for our product is such great feedback-comments like this you can’t buy so I re-shared his post for others to see. Lovely for me as I worked with the editor in providing a good platform for a local business on the poster, great for the member of my sales team who worked with the customer, great for the newspaper to hear positive feedback and finally a great opportunity for a local business to brand his business alongside a product linked with a Premier Football team. (Lots of greats I know)
  • (BAD) Although I’ve recently turned 40 I absolutely love being out dancing in to the early hours and am happiest when I’m in Revolution in Swansea. I love the music and if I’m out of a night you can guarantee once I get in to the venue I don’t come out for hours. I was really surprised when I added the bar to Facebook the next day to see really bad reviews on their page. And even more surprised to see not one of the negative reviews had any response. Why is that important? All I can see is one side of a story. If I didn’t know about the bar and had checked them out would I have gone in-no way! if your business has a Facebook page and you allow customers to review you please make sure you respond in a professional manner. It will speak volumes about your customer care

These experiences have given me food for thought.

Don’t believe me…?

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Tempt Me

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As an advertising manager I’m really interested in how people buy but when advising customers I think about how I buy and apply it to campaigns if relevant.

I’ve had some really good buying experiences which have really made me aware of how differently we operate with all the choice we have.

I very rarely buy on impulse now-I can shop online for days/weeks for something and never actually buy anything.

I visit lots of different sites before I buy too.

More importantly I am often ‘tempted to buy’

Here’s a couple of examples:

Every year I help to organise a food and drink festival and every year I think what I’d like to buy and yes-it’s always a locally sourced, delicious sounding product like Welsh Cheese.

That was before I used Facebook as a marketing tool for the event.

With every exhibitor I signed up a new post was added to the event to give all attendees a tempting preview of what they could buy. As I added the exhibitors to the group I liked some of the companies pages too.

You know what I’m building up to don’t you?

I bet you think I came away from the event with lots of delicious goodies don’t you.

Well I did but it was some lovely soya wax candles!

What?

Why did I buy that?

While I was attracting over 100 people to the event with my marketing on Facebook one customers website I’d liked was busy tempting people directly to their stall.

Every day a new customer testimonial was added to the website.

Every day a new candle scent was talked about.

Every day the enthusiasm of the owner reached me and before long I was virtually shopping and choosing what I’d like. I didn’t mean to but sub consciously the good things I was reading started to create a need.

I need candles! I can’t live without candles! These candles burn for longer! These are the best candles around!

I almost couldn’t wait to get to the stall and buy my candles. I chose lavender, lime and vanilla and a burner. I got home and lit the candles and thought -‘She was right-they do smell great’

So my point it that you heavily influence buying purchase by advertising and marketing in print and online by:

  • Being enthusiastic
  • Using customer testimonials
  • Describing your products
  • Let people know where they can get them
  • Thank people for the feedback they give
  • Showing your passion for your business

My other great example is slightly different but just as powerful.

I recently organised a health and well being fair which was run in conjunction with Tara Hammett- a personal trainer and TV personality. Apart from feeling like a sloth standing beside this glowing, sporty, healthy lady I saw how her passion for her business has made her so successful.

Tara reaches out to her ‘customers’ by giving away free content-you can go on to YouTube and watch her giving health and fitness advice, you can add her on Facebook and ask her questions at any time and she’s happy to reply, she’s written a book giving a wealth of her experience away plus scientific nutritional advice tips, you can join her fitness programme or follow her on Twitter.

Wherever you engage with Tara she is the same enthusiastic role model that inspires people on a daily basis.

She is approachable which is really important in todays society.

I wanted to join her fitness programme, I wanted to be fitter and healthier but more importantly I believed in her brand as I trust her and admire her.

This is such an excellent idea of personal marketing that I had to share it with you.

There is one thing about Tara though that you do need to know-she invented chocolate sprouts. Don’t diss them before you’ve tried them-they are actually very nice.

My message today is simple really-time spend marketing yourself in as many places as you can, to as many people as you with as much enthusiasm as you can will escalate your business in a matter of time.

It’s hard to quantify but every time you engage you could be slowly tempting a person to buy from you.

Invest in your business today but make people know it I you.

Be the King and make your move!

Has the internet changed the journey

people make when buying a car?

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Well it’s certainly added another researching tool in to the equation.

Auto shoppers now use on average 18.2 different sources of information-from TV, news articles, online, family etc. to finally form their decision

‘The zero moment of truth for automotive study’

Marketing and advertising for car dealerships has never been so important. It needs to target as many of those 18.2 sources as possible-now that’s no mean feat.

Google’s study which can be found above really delves deep in to the psyche of a car buyer. It might make you think your customer targeting is a little archaic but it’s really important to know these trends.

I have picked out some key facts from the report for you-things I think can provide enlightenment to local new and used car dealers:

  • Shoppers take several months to go from decision to action
  • Shoppers clearly identify in person experiences as the most influential-test driving, visiting the dealership etc.
  • The internet has added a new stage to the car buying process-pre-shopping
  • Top stimuluses’ for buying a car include TV advertising, magazine articles, newspaper articles, direct mail and advert in newspaper
  • Test drives were listed as the number one decision influencer
  • Second to a test drive looking at a car was a major influence
  • In newspapers people react most to price guides and special offers, financing options and style.
  • 59% of online car buyers were looking at style as a priority
  • People who buys cars more frequently use almost 4 more sources in their search than people who buy less cars

So what does this mean for car dealers?

I would suggest not putting your marketing budget in just one place-advertising to sell cars now means promoting via social media, online advertising, newspaper and magazine advertising, own website, search engine optimisation and branding.

I was going to say car buyers are much more savvy these days but I don’t think that’s actually true.

There are so many choices and so much information available it is possible to completely change a purchasers mind several times advertising/marketing needs to be consistent and the message needs to change to suit the medium. And the purchaser.

The average person test drives 2-3 cars.

Consumers love online video.

In the UK 23% of people experience “switchbacks” where they move backward into earlier stages of the journey.

It’s such an exciting market to be part of-a little bit like a game of chess.  If you think strategically then the other players piece of the market can be yours.

A sample a marketing campaign that encompasses some of the research data available might consist of:

Magazine article detailing a test drive of a new vehicle listing pro’s and con’s plus sleek images to target reader type.

Online advertising on an influential website to include a video of the latest car being test driven or link to national ad campaign video

Search engine optimisation to look at key search criteria (Linked with Google keyword tool)
Newspaper advertising to promote a good price, finance deal plus car profile

Social media to capture wants/ already has/ knows someone who has feedback

Blog to talk in a frank and honest way about cars in your showroom, adding in personal experience, likes, dislikes and knowledge.

This is a very broad basis for a campaign-what matters is that the reason and logic is behind each reason for advertising.

All you need to remember is

‘I WANT TO BE IN AS MANY OF THE 18.2 INFLUENCIAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE TO BE IN WITHT HE BEST CHANCE OF GETTING PEOPLE IN TO MY SHOWROOM-ONCE THEY’RE IN I HAVE MY BEST CHANCE OF SELLING THEM A CAR’

Let me know if I can help you in any way

Repetition Builds Reputation

“Repetition is the mother of all skill.”
~ Tony Robbins, author of Unlimited Power

repetition3

 

Have you ever found yourself singing an advertising jingle when you haven’t heard it that day?

Reptition can build a reputation so you need to make sure that the message you are repeating is the right one.

A few years ago customers were allowed to advertise just once in my classified section of the newspaper but I knew that the customers wouldn’t get a response so I changed the packages to make them cheaper per night but the smallest frequency package became six night in a row. It gives customers the chance of repeating their message and with the repettion comes the sales.

I saw the classified section grow in size and got testimonials from our clients to say how many jobs they were booking.

Years ago I was taught that series campaigns worked best for the clients as different people read the newspaper every day-it’s no different nnow with online advertising-show people an advertisement once and you’ll be forgotton about-show them several times and the message starts to sink in.

Types of Repetition

The idea behind repetition is that when the consumer goes to buy a particular product, the name of your brand is the first one that comes to mind. There are several different types of advertising repetition. One is simply to repeat the same advertisement, such as a television commercial, over and over. For example, the same commercial may be broadcast at each ad break of a show. Another way to use repetition is to place the product or brand in as many places as possible. For example, print ads in newspapers and magazines, television ads, radio ads and utilize product placement on television shows or in movies. Another type of repetition is to use ads that are produced with similar styles, but have a slightly different final product. For example, television ads that use the same actors, but in different scenarios.

Now that companies can utilize social media brand repetition is even easier because you can ‘talk’ to you customers on lots of different channels.

I’m going to use a really obvious example of Coca Cola- Holidays Are Coming. The message is rife through Facebook as people photograph the Coca Cola bus, it’s on television and across most advertising channels-not all paid for I might add. The slogan has almost become synonymous with the brand.

You don’t need to be a huge company to make this work for you-just create a slogan or a message and repeat it everywhere you advertise.

How do I create a slogan?-when you have the time watch this video-it’s 16 minutes long but instead of telling you what to do it shows you how others are doing it

Don’t rush in to your campaign-if done right the same slogan can last you for years-maybe pick one of these (Don’t pick them all-just pick one:

  • Repeat your company ethos
  • Repeat why you are different from everyone else
  • Repeat why you are the best
  • Repeat what is unique about you
  • Repeat what you are all about

Example:

Rons Second Hand Car Garage- Never giving you The Runaround

Monastry College- Bringing Life In To Learning

Johns MOT’s- Servicing The Community Since 1979

Have a good week-hope to see your business advertising soon