Online Presence

Are Your Customers Hatin’ On Your Brand Online?

06.17.2014 Better Branding
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There’s a new restaurant down the street. Great! It’s been open a few months and you have yet to try it, so you go online and look up the menu, then probably pop over to Yelp to get some first-hand customer reviews. Sound familiar? If you don’t have a close friend who’s raving about the restaurant to you in person, you know that you’d better do your homework or you might be in for a disappointing evening. Hey, you’re tired of learning the hard way.

…and you’re not alone.

Almost 80% of American consumers say online reviews influence their purchases. A whopping 93% say they look at online reviews before shopping or dining. NINETY-THREE PERCENT.

That’s no small potatoes, people! If you’re not paying attention to what your customers are saying about your business online, you might be in need of some major brand damage control. Yelp is about to launch a new tool to upload short video reviews, and we’re only going to see more cool tools like this one in the next few years!

Clearly, if you’re not managing your brand’s online presence—the time is NOW. So what’s your company doing to monitor and manage your brand’s online presence?

Creating a Positive Online Brand Presence

If your business or your brand is totally new, you’re in luck: You might be able to fight the customer crowds and establish yourself online before someone beats you to it. If you’re already knee deep in customer reviews, you can follow these steps to boost your brand’s reach and inspire positive customer relationships with your brand…

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3 Painless Ways to Use Data to Up Your Brand Reach

05.13.2014 Better Branding
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Data is all around us, and it’s easier to collect than ever, so it’s no wonder you’re likely hearing terms like “big data” and “measurable marketing” as they’re thrown around from the C-level down to the IT department. Leading marketing companies are using a proactive approach, collecting data to predict brand success on the front end and to measure marketing efforts on the backend. While a lot of businesses hire external agencies for this sort of exploration (not to mention accountability), that’s not always an option for smaller businesses.

Does data collection, measurement and analysis seem like a huge undertaking? Well, I’m not going to lie: It definitely IS. But there are a lot of great ways even small businesses can use data to their advantage. Here’s how…

1. Collect & Care

First things first, if you’re not collecting basic customer data at every interaction, it’s time to get on that. Your best bet is to start with a simple, well-built customer relationship management (CRM) solution. Nowadays, most of the best CRMs are web-based and relatively simple to learn and use. Try Less Annoying CRM or Insightly—both are very affordable. (And hey, take your time finding a CRM that works for your team and your business. This is important. Most CRMs offer a free trial, so go for it!)

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5 Tips for a Better Branded Website

04.29.2014 Better Marketing
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Spring is here! Well, mostly. If your corner of the world is warming up nicely, it’s time to throw open your windows, brush off the dust, and get started on spring cleaning…spring cleaning your website, that is. If the winter blues kept you from getting a fresh start for 2014, then there’s no time like the present to finally ramp up your website—and ramp up your brand in the process!

1. Skip the Overselling

Your website is a great place to showcase what you do. A great website with a consistent look and feel will either entice people to buy right away—or at minimum, create a lasting impression that will bring that customer (and their friends) back to your website for more. The trick here: Don’t oversell, especially on your homepage. Don’t get me wrong; you should definitely make it easy for your customers to inquire about and purchase your products and/or services. However, today’s educated consumer wants to learn more before they buy and to feel in control regarding their purchasing decisions. Above all, you want to be memorable: a memorable brand keeps leads and customers coming back for more.

2. Be Present

If your website hasn’t been updated since the Hamster Dance was the most popular thing on the Internet, you’re going to want to invest in something new…now. Yes, we’re exaggerating—but it’s true: if your website is out-of-date or obviously hasn’t been updated in a year or more, it’s time to refresh your brand and your website. When you’re happy with your website’s modern new look, then it’s time to ramp up your online visibility. Add new branded content every week (like a blog post or an eBook) to entice your target market base, engage potential customers, and nudge them toward the sale. Being present is about communicating your message, but it’s also about building a relationship of trust between your company and your target market.

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Your 2014 Content Marketing Plan – A 3 Step Guide

01.21.2014 Better Marketing
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“Where do I even start? I’m overwhelmed!” …is this you?

Even if you understand how content marketing is crucial for the ongoing success of your business and your brand, actually creating a content marketing plan for 2014 can be a totally time-consuming task. You might envision creating a slew of blog posts, eBooks, eNewsletters, new website content like articles and whitepapers, social media updates, and more. Now that takes a lot of planning—and that’s just the written content marketing pieces!

So if you’re serious about launching a real content marketing strategy to extend your brand reach this year, there’s just NO way you’re going to be successful without a workable plan in place.

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The Branding Scoop on LinkedIn Company Pages

11.05.2013 Better Branding
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What’s one of the best places to showcase your brand, build audience trust and encourage positive interactions, making the conversion from potential customer to client? LinkedIn, of course!

LinkedIn Company Pages* are quickly becoming a preferred and trusted medium for potential customers looking to research and engage with a business. In fact, LinkedIn has found that “50% of LinkedIn members are more likely to purchase from a company they engage with on LinkedIn.” That’s a pretty big deal.

Here’s the scoop…

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10 Ways Tradeshow Sponsors Can Use Twitter To Boost Their Brand

10.22.2013 Better Branding
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Savvy tradeshow sponsors know that using social media is a great way to boost their brand presence before, during and after the event. But you can’t just sign up for Twitter or Facebook and hope for the best. You have to implement a smart strategy to reap the benefits of social media success, no matter what industry you’re in.

So as a sponsor, what’s the best way to shift your tradeshow or conference presence into high gear and increase your booth attendance while boosting brand engagement?

Tradeshow sponsor, meet hashtag.

Since 2009, Twitter users have been utilizing hashtags to link tweets about the same subjects together so they can be viewed easily in conjunction with one another. Not only is this a great way to connect with people who share similar interests, but it’s also an incredibly handy tool to group tweets together at events. Especially at large events, like tradeshows and conferences.

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Protect Your Brand with a Strong Social Media Policy

08.27.2013 Brand Presence
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Chances are most of your employees are using social media. Many of them are using social media at work. Some of them are using social media from work every day. Are your employees clear on what constitutes appropriate use of the Internet during business hours? Do you have a policy in place that clearly outlines how employees can and cannot use social media?

If not, read this—because the time is now to get that social media policy in place. The integrity of your brand is at stake!

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Be Liked! Facebook Best Business Practices

08.27.2012 Online Presence
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By now you know you need to be getting the most out of your online presence and social media outlets, and the easiest way to do so is to tackle one social media outlet at a time. So this week on The Branding Spot, we’re talking about how you can effectively use Facebook to promote […]

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5 Tips for Social Media Success

07.31.2012 Online Presence
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From Facebook to Twitter, Pinterest to Instagram, and now Google+, social media can be pretty overwhelming at times. Trust me, I know. While I may know branding inside and out, I’m somewhat a social media novice. So I understand how intimidating it can be for business owners, trying to navigate each new social media platform […]

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Better Branding – Content Marketing for 2012

12.20.2011 Better Marketing
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Looking for new and creative ways to reach your target audience?  Well, if you’re not, you should be, of course!  Have you been thinking about your 2012 marketing goals?  Is starting a blog or creating a YouTube channel on your list?  Well, 2012 might just be the opportunity you’re looking for, seeing as content marketing […]

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