It’s Your Business Event, But You Can’t Cry If You Want To

We’ve spoken before about why live events are so good for your business. Whether you’re hosting a stall at an event or going solo with a festival of your own, it doesn’t get better for flying your business flag. A well-planned and executed live event will get everyone talking. And, you should never underestimate how far word-of-mouth can take you. In fact, many businesses hail this as the most important marketing method you’ve got.

Given those high stakes, it’s no wonder events like these can get stressful. Many business owners go without sleep for a week in the lead up to something like this. The trouble is, sleepless nights and stressful days aren’t going to leave you at your best. And, your best is less than you need to be if you’re going to make the right impression. It’s fair to say, then, that you need to do what you can to reduce the stress of the experience. And, we’re going to look at how.

Plenty of time to set up

Admittedly, setting up early isn’t always possible. But, if this is a private event, there’s no reason you can’t set up a week or two before. That way, you can kiss goodbye to last-minute disasters which leave you flustered and out of whack. Instead, set up bit by bit and deal with issues as they arise. Even if you aren’t able to set up until a day or two before, invest in utility truck beds and extra bodies which can help speed things up. That way, you still stand to be ready with plenty of time to spare. And, that’s essential if you want to be in the best headspace for the day.

Get enough staff on board

Often, these events will happen at the weekend. And, you may usually survive on skeleton staff if any when Saturday rolls around. But, you NEED to make sure you have a large enough team to deal with your event. That means calling in your whole workforce and getting temporary workers on board. The last things you want on the day are long queues and leaving customers because your team can’t deal with the demand. Instead, give everyone plenty of notice to work, and get onto an agency about as many temp workers as you can afford.

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Schedule time to enjoy yourself

Enjoy yourself at a business event? Are you joking? No, not at all. There’s nothing funny about the idea of enjoying your efforts. What’s more, customers will warm to your company even more if you’re out there having fun with them. That doesn’t mean slacking off, of course. But, as well as ensuring your day runs smooth, scheduling your time means you and your team will have time to grab a hot dog and soak up the sun. This will make your team happier to work, and will wash away any stress you may feel. And, that can go a long way towards sending the right message to your customers.

Just Calling To Tell You That Customers Aren’t Happy With Your Phone Service

You may be surprised to see this post. After all, literal interaction with customers has slipped right down the priority scale, hasn’t it? Now, we’re all about social media and the best website to impress. THAT’S the way to make a success of what you’re trying to do. Isn’t it?

In many ways, online interactions are now crucial to success. This is how most customers shop. But, many businesses are getting on top here and still failing. Why? Because they’re failing to take into account that some customers prefer old interaction methods. High-street shops may be on their way out, but phone calls will always be relevant. Some customers just aren’t willing to Tweet and wait to hear back. They either don’t know how or don’t have the patience for it. And, to cater for those individuals, it’s essential you stay on top of phone-based interactions.

 

Yet, many new companies fail to take this aspect into account at all. It’s difficult to blame them when they have so much on their plate. But, to make sure customers don’t hang up on your business efforts, consider the following reasons for failure on the phone front.

Long waiting times

Given that instant gratification is the focus of modern business, it should come as no surprise that long waiting times are a no. There will be times when a small wait is inevitable, and customers understand that. But, anything over five minutes could lose you business. To make sure that doesn’t happen, consider your phone operations. Everyone in the office should have a phone by their side. That way, they can answer calls when the primary phone operators are busy. What’s more, you should head to sites like www.esudo.com and implement VoIP (voice over internet) capabilities. This will ensure that, even when out of the office, you staff are available to answer calls.

The wrong introduction

Even if waiting times aren’t a problem, answering calls in the wrong way will lead to disgruntled customers. As can be seen from sites like www.thebalancesmb.com, it’s essential to answer in a warm and enthusiastic manner. You should also state your name and company. And, you should brief your staff on these pointers, too. Much of this is common sense, but don’t assume they’ll do this without your asking. Take time to train each new employee on this issue.

Customers can’t understand you

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Not being able to understand what someone’s saying down the phone is frustrating. And, this is an issue which many companies struggle to overcome. But, if customers can’t understand what your colleagues are saying, they aren’t going to buy. They’ll simply grow frustrated and put the phone down. To make sure that doesn’t happen, put efforts in place to make your phone calls as clear as possible. Give staff members headsets to block background noise. Make sure, too, that they know to pronounce every word well. These small steps will make a massive difference to the customer experience, and could seal you that deal.

4 Social Media Metrics Your Business Needs to Track

Simply having a social media account is not enough to grow your business. Just like everyone else, you probably want to get more followers, more likes, more retweets, more click-through, etc. But are all of these things going to help you boost your business?

In this jungle of social media metrics, it could be confusing for you to choose which metrics are actually important for your company. But don’t look at this in a bad way. You have a lot of data in your hands, so use this data in order to understand your audience.

Luckily there is a solution. Take a look at these four metrics that will help you achieve growth.

Engagement: Do people actually like your content?

How many times did someone take action on your posts? Sharing, clicks, comments, reactions – all of these things matter.

These actions validate your content and they will show you if your posts are important to your target audience. If you keep tracking these metrics, they will help you plan your content strategy and see what kind of post you should create, but also which post you should avoid.

The simple step is to use average engagement rate that will take your metrics a step further. It will show you a true value of your content and how it impacts your followers. You can also identify optimal time for engagement. Knowing when your audience is most active will raise your engagement, so keep tracking and post when they are online.

Never underestimate your competitors because you can learn from them. See what kind of content works for them by tracking their engagement rates.

Mentions: Does anybody talk about your brand?

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All mentions are important, whether they are written in a positive or negative manner. Your goal is to promote actual online conversations and discussions, but try to give your best to induce positive reactions.

For starter, you should become a part of that conversation and show people you care about their opinion. But when it comes to monitoring mentions, you should use these metrics in order to find out how many people are talking about your brand and more importantly – who is talking. A simple step that can inspire you to boost your mentions is to take a glance at your competitors’ mentions. Don’t steal their idea, just let yourself be creative. People will value your uniqueness.

Nevertheless, if you are having a trouble with social mention monitoring, you can always hire a professional to do the job for you.

Conversion: Do you have enough traffic to your website?

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How many people took an extra step and visited your site via your social media page?

Tracking a total number of conversions will show you if your social media strategy achieves its purpose. To convert, you need to engage people by giving them a strong call-to-action. You can use analytic tools such as Google’s URL builder and collect all important data about the specific link. This will help you realize what kind of social media content is attracting the greatest amount of traffic to your page.

So, track the number of conversions that happened within a month or a week and match the data with particular content. These valuable metrics will tell you how fast your business is growing. So, if your conversion numbers aren’t where you want them to be, you can do something about that immediately. Start looking for new trends and change something in order to improve your strategy.

Sentiments: Do people like your products?

You can actually get into the mind of your customers while you are online. With a little help of sentiment and emotional analysis, you can track online conversation from all social networks and see how people feel about your products.

You would probably love to see just positive comments, but tracking negative ones will help you improve your business. A sudden spike in negative sentiment will show you what you should change. Moreover, you will be able to resolve this problem and calm people down. Maybe your brand is well-liked, but there is always a room for improvement.

These metrics bring as to a whole new level of marketing. Sentiments and emotional analysis will help you create a positive social media presence your business needs.

Track What Matters

Everyone obsesses over how many followers they have. Yes, it’s nice to have a large number of followers, but that doesn’t matter as much as you may think. What you want is for people to become familiar with your brand and your message. You want them to go to your website and buy your products. So, use these metrics in order to get to know your audience and grow your business.

Guest author, David Webb, is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a regular author at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

Your B2B Business Will Do Better With Video. 4 Ways To Get Started On A Budget

…You better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone”. A line from Bob Dylan’s famous song ‘The Times They Are a ‘Changin’, could not have realyed the message any better. The digital age has flipped conventional business practices on their head.

Cisco’s white paper on the Visual Networking Index suggests by 2019 videos on the internet will contribute to almost 80% of the traffic.

While conventional marketing methods will yield results videos are becoming increasingly more important.
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A great example showcasing this growth is Notify Fox. After posting their first explainer video on YouTube they garnered more than hundred new users. The same video also helped them significantly improve their customer conversion.

When you think videos you probably imagine big production costs, expensive equipment and the works. Good News- That is a thing of the past. There is help at hand.

With new age video making techniques you can create and edit videos at half the cost and the results will surely take your business to new heights.

Here is a list of things you can do to get you started on a shoestring budget.

KISS it all the way

Keep It Short and Simple- You’ve heard this adage being applied to almost everything under the sun. However, with videos it is even more relevant.

The hyper social age has changed the way we look at things. This has resulted in the average attention span being reduced from 12 seconds to 8 seconds!

A short and to-the-point video has the potential to go viral and get your business the attention it requires.

Case in point being Zendesk’s promo video. This one minute promotional video managed to garner over 116K views on Youtube.

With this kind of response Zendesk managed to drive home their core point of building relationships between organisations and their customers.

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Takeaway: Grab attention and keep it. A short video with all the relevant information will drive home the point. 

Get crafty

Don’t let limited resources get in the way of your creativity. You will have to be resourceful and make the best use of what you have.

Who knew an empty bottle could be used as a tripod. This gives turning trash into treasure a whole new spin. Plus the added benefit of saving money.

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For lighting, use daylight whenever possible, The results will pleasantly surprise. You will not only save on the costs but also on time. No need to set up bulky equipment.

Make use of the space you have. You don’t need a fancy setting for a great video. A neat room with a bright wall will do the trick. A rented studio will not only inflate your costs but will also take away that personal touch from your work.

Get your friends and family to pitch in. This will not only lighten your load but also let you spend time with your loved ones. A total win-win for everybody.

For those seamless dolly shots or tracking shots you can use your office chair with wheels. Just make sure the floor is not uneven and your camera is still.

Takeaway : Lack of resources should not bog you down. Be hands-on with your approach and learn on the fly. Use everything you can.

DIY with ease

Yes, you’re not a professional videographer, but that should not stop you from making awesome videos. Your smartphone can help you create videos quickly and with great ease.

The quality of videos will however depend on practise. If there are award winning movies are being shot through smartphones then it couldn’t be that difficult , right?

The movie ‘“Tangerine” directed by Sean Baker was entirely shot on an iphone. It won accolades at the Sundance Film Festival and the Academy for Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences acquired the phone for their museum.

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Invest in a durable hand grip or rig for your phone. This will stabilise your shots and the videos will come out neater.

Takeaway:  Your smartphone can help you make great looking videos without any fuss. All you need is a full charge and some patience.

Edit to please

Now that you’ve shot the video, you need to add some finesse to it. Use an online video editor to add final touches to your work.

You can add background score, transitions, 3D effects, the options are endless. Work the video editor to your advantage and get that awesome video in no time.

A superb video editor like Lightworks can make you job easier. This phenomenal video editing tool will help you edit your videos and make them look super professional.

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For people with limited desktop space, cloud based video editing is a great option. You can save all your work on the cloud and access it from anywhere anytime.

Takeaway: Use online video editors. You will not have to buy expensive software and the results will still be awesome.

Conclusion:

Videos, if done right can help your marketing strategy immensely.

Make sure to keep your video precise. No one wants to see lengthy videos with a drab end. A short film with on point information will check all the boxes.

Use all the available resources at your disposal. Video making is an expensive proposition so take your time thinking about the story you want to tell. The more time you spend thinking  before shooting,  the less you will spend on post production.

Have fun, If you don’t it will show in your videos. Keeping things light is the key, your stress can easily rub onto your crew.

Try and maintain a sense of humour. With it you will be able to diffuse a situation or even get work done faster.

So, keep these points in mind and don’t let your budget get in the way of awesome videos for you business.

Better To Fly Than Go Under The Wing

Long-term practices are what keeps the most successful businesses ahead of the curve. Small business can sometimes find making the big decisions that will affect their ability down the road maybe 2 to 3 years. But as someone who’s going it alone or hoping to stay independent as long as possible, not flying underneath somebody else’s wing is the way to go. Many times you can actually see why some small businesses have to become engulfed and bought out by their larger rivals. It’s mostly due to not planning ahead and not having the ability to cross the road from small to medium size. You’ll end up just being collateral and soon your name, brand and soul of the company will fade away. There are a few things you should consider if you’re not planning on putting a price on your longevity.

Partner up

You’re surrounded by a field of other entrepreneurs who all want to beat you and become successful in their own right. They will be in the same position you are in the fact that they’re punching up to their overbearing competition. In this regard, if and when you use the services and or products of a small but rival business, and you approve of the quality, there could be more that unites you than separates. This is especially true for businesses and people that are not necessarily in the same field. Therefore if you like a marketing team, a photography artist, a financial planning service, a sales team etc., you should attempt to partner with them. You’re mutually benefitting from being each other’s personal right hand man but crucially without any strings attached. All your partners can still work independently, but whenever there is a project that requires their skills, they’ll be on hand as pertaining to the contract.

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A nationwide reach

In terms of successful communication, what is the most important thing for any business? It’s always being in reach of your customers. Morning, noon and night, weekday or weekend, holiday or not you must never have any kind of wall blocking you from direct contact with your consumer base. Millennials are changing the most popular form of communication via technology from calling someone to texting on smartphones. This is why you need your own number to call for your business. Take a look at the best text reminder service for business and how it could benefit you. As an entrepreneur, you think of yourself as small but might, you against the world. With an 800 number, you’re accessible nationwide. This gives the impression of a more professional business and doesn’t account for your small size. With this kind of service, you can send and receive text messages to and from customers. A gentle reminder about a sale you have on this week, maybe to tell customers about a new product being added to the line etc.

It’s not always better to go it alone, especially when you’re struggling and on the brink of collapse. But if your small business can fly under its own steam by planning the types of actions that will make sure you’re ready to upsize, you stand a better chance of survival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Ways Twitter Can Build Your Brand

Twitter is the second most popular social media site in the world. It allows us to speak our mind to a ton of strangers, stalk celebrities and make connections with people all over the world at once.

But how can twitter be beneficial to your Marketing Strategy? Twitter is actually an excellent tool which can help you to build up your brand, make a good reputation for yourself and gain loyal followers who will support you throughout. If you haven’t harnessed the full power of Twitter for your business yet, here is how you can do it.

1.Follow your industry

The beauty of Twitter is that it acts as a hub of information for anyone to make the most of and exploit. For you and your brand, Twitter gives you the opportunity to follow the leaders of your industry as well as follow your competitors. This will allow you to stay in the loop with new developments which you can use for your own gain, and it allows you to see what kind of things your competitors are doing.

  1. Contact influencers

Social media influencers are the new celebrity. They are incredibly powerful beings who reside on all corners of the web and share their opinions on life, services and products. Influencers are called so because they can influence their followers to try new products and services. If you can contact a prominent influencer and get them to review your product, you will likely see a huge influx of new customers who come from their audience.

  1. Interact with people

The whole point of social media is to be social and make the most of getting to know your customer base better. Sure, you will want to give off an air of professionalism when you are on social media. But this doesn’t mean you can’t have a laugh with your customers at the same time. Take the time to ask your audience what they like, talk about current events and even create a poll to get an idea of the things you could create for them. Your audience are the people who you are trying to sell to, so it is worth getting to know them. You may have seen viral tweets from brands who are funny, relatable and real- and this is what you want to become for your audience.

  1. Stick to a niche

Even though you can branch out and talk about current events such as commenting on a royal wedding or looking forward to a sporting event: you need to do it in a way that fits you brand. If you are a restaurant for example and you want to comment on the Super Bowl, you could create a video which shows you making some football snacks for the big game. This shows that you are a real person, you are in the loop and you will show off your cooking skill. This will get you a lot of new followers and much more engagement than if you simply tweeted about how excited you are for the match.

Don’t Fall Into These Traps With Your Online Business!

There’s no denying that the world we live in today is almost entirely dominated by the internet. Whether you’re shopping, socialising, gaming, watching TV, or doing just about anything else, the internet is almost certainly going to be involved. Because of that, it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that the business world has had to change and evolve. Online businesses are springing up every single day, and more and more people are able to create startups from virtually nothing thanks to the internet. And yet, despite this, there are a lot of businesses that end up falling at the very first hurdle because they end up falling into some incredibly common traps that come with running an online business. To help you avoid that fate, here are some of the most common pitfalls for new online startups.

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Terrible web design

There’s an assumption that far too many people seem to have that as long as you have a website, you don’t really have to think about it that much. This is one of the most common reasons that online startups end up falling apart. If your web design is lacking, then customers aren’t going to be interested in your business. If it looks amateurish, then they’re going to assume that the rest of your business is the same and look elsewhere. That might sound shallow, but it’s a fundamental part of how many customers engage with businesses.

A misunderstanding of social media

Speaking of customer engagement, if you’re not using social media properly, then you’re missing out on an incredibly important aspect of your marketing. Far too many businesses end up using their social media pages for little more than copied and pasted advertising. If you do that, customers simply aren’t going to care and will unfollow your pages in an instant. You need to use social media to engage with customers on a personal level. This means creating entertaining and interesting content that they will want to share and enjoy.

Poor SEO

The other fundamental part of online marketing that is ignored all too often is that of SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. One of the big changes in the internet age is that customers can now come to you rather than you advertising to them. But to do this, you need to make yourself visible to those customers. That’s where SEO comes in. SEO is the way in which you ensure that your business is the first result when a customer searches for specific keywords on search engines like Google. If your SEO isn’t up to scratch, your business is going to end up getting buried.

One of the most important things to remember is that these things don’t just impact businesses that are exclusively online. Every business needs an online presence, and if you don’t consider these things, then you’re just going to end up wasting it. Even if your business has always been based in brick and mortar, you need the internet to succeed in the modern era, just make sure that you’re using it properly.