How To Enhance Your Customer Relationship

Customers are the lifeblood of any business or service provider. Building up a relation with them is one of the most important things that you can do. Here, we will look at some ways you can make that relationship a positive one and how it can bring you repeat business, bringing customers back time and time again.

Learn more about them

It is important to get to know your customers on a more personal level. This is especially true for smaller businesses but applies to bigger players too. Make time to converse with your clientele and don’t let them feel that they are just another number in your company. Find out their birthday and send a card from your business or give them a discount on that day. Find out if they have kids or relatives in the area and ask questions. Not only does this behavior make your customers feel appreciated but it also can help you build your customer base.

Go beyond the customer’s expectations

Whenever you do something for your customer, take the next step, look around, and go beyond what they need done. Offer free information that helps them with their business or life. This helps build rapport with them and they will begin to rely on your advice. Just be sure what you do is of value, it helps them and is profitable to them.

Listen

Customers may have other problems and they often vent on you when you are doing work for them. By listening and paying attention to them, you show that you care and they are more likely to call on you for repeat business or talk positively about you to others.

Ask questions

Ask questions about what the customer wants. They will always be happy to tell you what they would like to have done or what they would like to see in your service or product. Surveys don’t work as well but they could be useful. This takes more work, but you can get valuable information that will bring you and your customer into a closer relationship.

The most important things in using these methods is to not only collect the information, but you must also do something with it and demonstrate to the customer that you have used their information to make your product or service better.

In Short

Listening to your customers is critical and can make or break your business. Going beyond what is expected makes your customer remember you as someone who is reliable and who provides good value. Questioning and surveys give you valuable insights into your customer’s unspoken wants and needs. You however need to act on the information and show you have applied what they have given you to improve your product, service, or company.

Building, improving and nurturing your relationships with your customers will improve the lifespan of your career and business. You will have customers who will come back to you time and time again and you will grow as part of the community in providing your products and/or services to the local folks in the area.

What social media options are best suited for your business, and how to figure that out

Businesses today need instant feedback from both their existing and potential customers. A television or print advertisement gives no immediate useful feedback to a business. Social media is very much in the mix in the world of business and is ever expanding. It gives instant feedback on a continuous basis. Businesses need to reach their customers in real time before the business gets lost in time.

So, with this in mind, what is the best social media option for your business? First you must figure out the answers to these questions:

  • How do I want to portray my business?
  • Do I want to reach as many people as possible?
  • Am I flexible about my business?
  • Do I really want feedback? (No sense in getting it if you are not going to use it.)
  • Do I want to elicit emotion?
  • Do I want to maintain a professional identity?

These are some difficult questions that must be answered honestly when deciding which social media to use for your business. For example, if you want to have the opinions of other like-minded businesses then you need to be on a professional social media site like LinkedIn. Here you have the ability to discuss your business with fellow businessmen who may even have a business similar to yours. It also provides a great opportunity to network with others in your industry. On the other hand if you want to create some personality around your brand and interact with customers then a medium like Facebook or Google+ might be a better option for your business.

There are a huge array of social websites out there and this is where things can become confusing for businesses just starting out in social media. With the choice of so many avenues to go down it’s often difficult to choose the right one or even to choose just one. The most popular social media mediums out there at the moment are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and StumbleUpon. In order to make the best choice for your business, it’s a good idea to look at other successful businesses in your niche and see which social media they’re leveraging and how they’re doing it.

Ultimately, social media is another marketing tool, which in this day and age needs to be taken advantage of. If you’re a company that incorporates a lot of media (images, video, music, etc) into your advertising campaigns then YouTube and Instagram would be great options for you. However, other businesses can cash in here too. For example a restaurant might use Instagram to launch a new dish and show pictures of the food and of patrons enjoying the new dish. Any companies which feature testimonials from customers may consider using YouTube to share their videos of happy customers.

Facebook and Google+ offer a great opportunity to actually interact with your customers and embrace the social aspect of social media. These websites, when properly utilized, can create a real buzz around your product or service and give you that instant feedback which is so important. Creating a full profile including images, updates and videos allows your business to develop an online personality. This can be a fantastic way to engage new and existing clients.

A combination of social media accounts may actually be the best option for you and your business but be careful not to get carried away. Signing up for every social media network is unnecessary. You are much better off to choose the ones that suit your business and focus your energy on those. Of course you can link your social media accounts, so that one update spreads like wildfire across all your platforms. With the right social media choices news of your company, its product and services, could be quickly following suit.

i2i Webmedia primarily serves the surrounding cities and towns on the South Shore of Massachusetts, providing website design, website development, SEO and advertising services for Plymouth, Scituate, Hingham, Hanover, Norwell, Weymouth, Quincy and the Boston vicinity.

How to test inbound marketing strategies before investing in them

With the advent of the internet and the widespread use of social media, Interactive marketing has also evolved greatly, representing a fundamental change in the way people offer their products and services to the general public. For any business to succeed in the present environment, it must have a strong presence on the internet.

The amount of buying and selling on the internet is increasing all the time, so staying ahead of the competition is imperative. This brings us to the question: What are the components of a successful interactive marketing strategy? An even more important question in this regard is how you can test the effectiveness of interactive marketing strategies before you begin to invest in them?

Let’s begin with the first question. A great interactive marketing strategy involves utilization of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), press releases and social networking, as well as pay-per-click campaigns on the internet. Implementing an interactive marketing campaign is a daunting task because it depends on the nature of the product or service as well as the resources allocated for marketing.

Now, the second question. Of course, if you want to make an investment, you will first want to know how effective the interactive marketing strategies are. This can be achieved by determining the outcome of the marketing strategy. It is much easier to find out whether the strategy is being successful or not, rather than trying to delve into its mechanics. If the strategy is successful, it will translate into an increase in sales. If it is not, well it will also be visible. The gauge for measuring the success of any campaign is to find out its level of resonance with the consumer base.

There are some technical aspects of the strategy that you may also review in order to better understand its effectiveness. A great interactive marketing strategy is applied from the bottom up. If the website is built on shaky foundations, it will be next to impossible to be noticed by search engines. The interactive marketing strategy should be based on an in-depth awareness of the steps involved in the development of a profitable online presence. Furthermore, this knowledge must be implemented in a professional manner.

The SEO or the Search Engine optimization is the most important aspect of the website’s core. However, even a webpage with a great SEO design or code foundation may not be able to attract the kind of traffic that will translate into better profits due to its lack of the essential human touch. A good interactive marketing strategist understands the need for incorporating videos and animation in the website, and how they are able to sway a potential buyer.

An effective interactive marketing strategy is built around the idea of driving people towards your website. A good marketing strategy will enable you to review your website and come up with suggestions on how to make it more presentable. However, this is not all. You must also have a strong presence on social networking sites so that you can update existing, as well as potential customers about your products and services.

Testing the effectiveness of an interactive marketing strategy calls for reviewing its mechanics and watching the results it is generating in terms of enhanced sales and increasing profits. Only after going through this process, can you decide whether an investment is feasible or not.

i2i Webmedia primarily serves the surrounding cities and towns on the South Shore of Massachusetts, providing website design, website development, SEO and advertising services for Plymouth, Scituate, Hingham, Hanover, Norwell, Weymouth, Quincy and the Boston vicinity.

How to get found on the web with a limited budget

The Internet has undoubtedly made marketing easier in many ways. Only just a few years ago small businesses had limited marketing tools at their disposal. But today there are plenty of interactive marketing tools available to small businesses, with little to no money to put towards marketing. It’s all about knowing how to use the tools that are available.

Social Media

It’s difficult to portray the true value of social media marketing. People can set up multiple social media accounts at no extra charge. Frequently, the main challenge with social media marketing lies in having enough time to maintain several social media accounts. Businesses that cannot allocate a lot of resources to this often pay individuals or small teams to handle the social marketing side of a given business.

The time value of money is an important factor for businesses that are operating within very tight margins. These businesses must be sure to make the most of the funds that they do have by hiring the right people for the right tasks. They should avoid expending unnecessary resources on marketing, while recognizing the importance of getting noticed online.

Blogging and Guest Blogging

Producing web content allows people to get noticed online every day. People on the Internet find or read the web content, and they stay to purchase whatever products might be available. Some businesses make all their money through these kinds of visitors, if their business models involve relying on ad revenue. Blogging and producing web content often involves no extra money, if talented writers or content producers are readily available. Businesses that have a limited amount of time to work with could benefit from working with content creation businesses in order to get noticed online.

Some businesses have achieved visibility online almost entirely through guest blogging. Blogs that already have an audience of some kind can be valuable for businesses that are trying to achieve audiences of their own. Most blogs allow businesses to produce free web content, so businesses with small marketing budgets shouldn’t have any problem with coming up with something at no extra charge. This kind of exposure is an excellent way to further your organizations online profile.

Blog Directories

There are certain websites online that are specifically designed to help people find websites in certain categories. These websites can prove instrumental for businesses that are desperately trying to achieve visibility online. Often getting a listing on these kinds of websites is free or there is a small, nominal fee. Businesses can almost effortlessly increase the amount of traffic going to their websites through this process.

As you can see, connecting businesses with their potential customers can be easily achieved with minimal expense if the right strategies are used.

i2i Webmedia primarily serves the surrounding cities and towns on the South Shore of Massachusetts, providing website design, website development, SEO and advertising services for Plymouth, Scituate, Hingham, Hanover, Norwell, Weymouth, Quincy and the Boston vicinity.

 

How do I build a significant opt-in list within six months?

Six months is definitely long enough to build a significant opt-in email list for marketing purposes. The best way to start is by planning exactly you are going to entice a lot of people to subscribe to your regular emails. You will need some content which can be marketed and shared, and that could possibly go viral. Then you can reach your target audience using social media, SEO and reciprocal links. Everyone who clicks your link should be made to feel that opting in is in their best interests.

Offer an Incentive

People really need to be convinced that there is something to be gained by opting in. Few people actually want to receive marketing emails, but many can be persuaded by being offered a free gift if they subscribe. You might think that subscribers will just grab the gift and go, but most of them will stay when they see that your emails provide some exclusive offers and/or special discounts. Subscribers want to remain on a list when they think it means they get a better deal.

An incentive gift should be something of value to the subscriber that arouses curiosity and leads people to subscribe. The exact type of free gift offered to subscribers will depend on your business, but free software, a free trial or a free download could prove irresistible to someone who would not otherwise want to subscribe. The free offer could be an e-book guide or secret report that reveals the facts, exposes the truth or provides information that few people know about. It should of course be about something that is related to your type of business.

Methods to Build an Opt-in List

Each visitor to your website, blog, Facebook page and Twitter account should see a button or link to subscribe to your email list. On a blog or web page the best position to place this is high up in the right sidebar or in a prominent place close to the top of the page. Rather than just placing a ‘Subscribe’ button or link, add a message inviting visitors to subscribe to your email newsletter so they do not miss out on your updates, latest news and special offers. A similar message may also be added to the end of each blog post or page.

A good way to expand a list is by encouraging subscribers to tell their friends about the free email newsletter. Provide a link in each email to forward it to a friend’s email address, and encourage the use of social media shares.

Reciprocal links can be placed in similar email newsletters. Try contacting big list owners who may include your link in return for their link appearing in your emails.

Within six months you can reach a lot of potential subscribers for your opt-in list. Just remember that people have to be persuaded to subscribe. This means that the focus of your campaign should be be on pushing the benefits to be gained by subscribing.

 

Top 3 most important interactive marketing steps a small business needs to take to succeed.

Every small business owner needs to understand that they will have to do what it takes to draw in a new set of customers. If they want their operation to succeed, then owners will need to consider some of the new marketing strategies becoming available to them. It will be surprisingly simple for people to link up with interactive marketing. This strategy is promising to deliver an unparalleled level of support for professionals who want to make the most out of their business strategy. Owners will be able to generate some support for these projects when they want to integrate interactive marketing with their existing strategy.

3. Set Up A Conversation

A hallmark feature of interactive marketing is that it has coincided with major changes in the marketplace. Notably, the market is moving away from a transaction-based relationship between seller and buyer. The market is now moving towards a more conversational approach, which will provide a substantial amount of information to the buyer. Owners should make sure that their interactive marketing approach emphasizes the conversation and draws in support from buyers.

2. Follow Customer Preferences

If owners want to make the most out of their sales, they should try to cater their services to suit the preferences of customers. They can do just that if they opt to effectively utilize interactive marketing. Major companies are now starting to track customer preferences in a few simple ways, providing an important boost to their sales profile. This has enabled companies to actually upgrade the different types of products that they have to offer and market them directly to consumers. People will invariably want to review some of the unique services that they can offer when they make use of the interactive marketing approach.

1. Use Effective Web Design

Web design agencies are increasingly searching for ways in which they can make the most out of their services. These web design teams are reviewing some important strategies that are available to people out on the market. Owners will want to understand more about how having an effective web design can work for their business. This will add to the overall performance that owners can get when they adopt an interactive marketing approach. It may take some time to find a team that has experience when it comes to offering all of these services but it will be an investment well worth the time for business owners.

Ultimately, it is important for owners to review the effectiveness of the interactive marketing approach that they are taking. They may want to get a better idea of whether their approach is working as it should to enhance their web layout. Owners should try to use objective measures to do this. They can evaluate the performance of their strategy by looking at sales data and website viewership. This kind of information can be an invaluable insight as to whether the interactive marketing strategy is working as it should.

i2i Webmedia primarily serves the surrounding cities and towns on the South Shore of Massachusetts, providing website design, website development, SEO and advertising services for Plymouth, Scituate, Hingham, Hanover, Norwell, Weymouth, Quincy and the Boston vicinity.

Retaining Clients and Maintaining Value Prop.

The world out there is quite competitive. Company’s are ready to jump at the first chance, to help ensure they get there unfair share of the market. And, in this ultra-competitive and ultra-materialistic race for growth, maintaining a sound customer base is critical to insure survival.  The willingness of the customer to stay with your company come what may, is the real key to success. The loyalty has to be mutual. Just as a single loyal customer is preferred over two new customers, the business valuing the loyalty of the vendor, should be preferred over others.

The enterprise should be willing to acknowledge and appreciate the loyalty of those customers that have seen them through the good time and the bad. The customer is not bought they are earned, slowly and steadily by investing in them, by giving them quality services, by listening to their needs. So, your business should continue to work towards retaining the customer base that you have earned, so laboriously. A healthy mix of customer loyalty and customer retention campaigns or programs is recommended for renewing the strengths of the relationship.  Efforts should be made to help ensure retention of those customers so that they won’t move away from you as soon as your competitor announces an alternative option in pricing or performance.

One of the most common practices (beyond un-compromised service) to ensure repeat customers in your business is to announce a simple points systems. The repeat customers are rewarded with points that can translate into attractive discounts, or cash-back rewards. The trick behind such a point system is to keep it simple.

To earn the loyalty of the customer, businesses are also venturing into offering attainable and desirable rewards, based on the depth and breath of product purchases, or amount of time spent as a valued customer. This has been seen in the credit card services industry such as, gold and platinum card owners that enjoy certain special privileges over regular cards. Broadening the product or service base has also worked in favor of businesses aiming to retain their customers. A single point of contact to purchase complementary products or service offerings keep competitors at bay and helps insure customer retention.

Loyalty is built slowly and gradually by keeping in touch with the customer through planned campaigns such as emails, blogs, discussion forums.  Your team should be motivated enough to always present a positive and upbeat attitude when engaging directly and indirectly  with the customer. And on the top of the list is always making sure product and service expectations are met every time. This can happen only when the company is willing to listen to the customers point of view and bring out products and services that meet the needs and demands of the customers base.

All your marketing and operational endeavors should be directed towards having a growing and delighted customer base. Number matters, but then loyalty matters as well, and, the loyalty will translate into numbers gradually. There is no denying that generally, what you give, is what you get. You treat your customers well and they treat you well, in turn.

i2i Webmedia primarily serves the surrounding cities and towns on the South Shore of Massachusetts, providing website design, website development, SEO and advertising services for Plymouth, Scituate, Hingham, Hanover, Norwell, Weymouth, Quincy and the Boston vicinity.

Must Have’s in Viral Ad’s

Broadcasting a message through viral marketing is one of the most effective and widely accepted methods of marketing. Viral marketing involves the creation of unique and quality content that compels people to share it with others. Creating and executing a viral marketing campaign on the other hand is a very challenging task that requires a perfect plan and extensive research.

Here are a few pointers that can help with the creation and execution of a viral marketing campaign

Get an immediate reaction

A diplomatic stand is ideal to use in press releases and interviews, not in viral marketing campaigns. In order to make your content viral, you need to inspire and compel your audience to spreading your content. Viral marketing is all about having strong opinions that address the emotions of your audience. You cannot please everyone. You need to take a stance that gets an immediate reaction from people.

Come up with something out of the blue

People are bombarded with the same old monotonous ad campaigns and other marketing techniques on a daily basis. As a result, people have adapted themselves to tune out the commotion. Instead of trying to promote your product and showing people how cool it is, try something new like how you can use the product very usefully in unusual circumstances or situations.

Viral marketing is not about advertising alone

Everybody crafts unique and creative advertisements and yes some of them do go viral. But, viral marketing is not all about making creative advertisements. You should find newer and less explored avenues to create an interesting story.

Once more

“Once more” this is what your audience will be saying if your content goes viral. Creating a single piece of viral content is good but a series of content that goes viral is one of the best things that can happen. It also insists your audience to act instead of simply appreciating your content. Making sequels is a good idea to quickly gain brand recognition.

Sharing and Commenting

Sharing is caring and the same applies to your brand. Sharing is also the bread and butter of any viral marketing campaign. The easier it is to share your content, the greater is its impact on your campaign. Make sure that you content can be easily shared via email and social networks.

Another important aspect of viral marketing is commenting. Commenting helps you connect with your target audience and as always, a personal touch goes a long way in making any content go viral.

 

i2i Webmedia primarily serves the surrounding cities and towns on the South Shore of Massachusetts, providing website design, website development, SEO and advertising services for Plymouth, Scituate, Hingham, Hanover, Norwell, Weymouth, Quincy and the Boston vicinity.

No Cost Ad Space on Google – Really !

Google ads have been the favorite choice of online advertisers for about a decade now. Google is also one of the most effective display advertisers online. Many inbound marketers have used these ads and other services to their advantage and boosted the reach of their businesses successfully. Google on the other hand has always been trying to give more attention to its local search results and the Google Maps technology. Google Places is the result of the search engine giant’s attempt at enriching its local search. Google Places is something that is essential to every business and it is also one of the most neglected fields in any SEO strategy.

Many online marketers today are using Google Places as an avenue for free advertisement from Google. How are they doing it? By simply getting listed on it.

The pros

Listing your business on Google Places means your business is shown in local search results. You end up increasing your SEO ranking along with getting a free advertisement for your business. In addition to this, your web traffic increases, you get better leads and eventually, your customer base increases. Either way, it’s a win-win situation for your business to get listed on Google Places.

Getting started

Setting up your Google Places listing is a fairly simple job. But it does require some information about your business just like any other ad. Before setting up your listing, you will need to have some information at hand such as

  • A brief description of your business
  • A valid phone number, email, address and any other information that might be useful to your customers.
  • A logo or a photograph of your office so that your customers can recognize your business
  • Finally a special coupon to attract more visitors. Google lets you include a coupon on your Google Places listing for free. Having a coupon is optional but it can significantly increase your sales and also your web traffic.
  • You can also pitch in a few videos and any other information that you want your customers to know.

The validation

 This is the only painful part of having a local listing on Google. Google will not accept the information you provide blindly. You will have to validate your information. While this might seem annoying, it is good on the long run as any fake listing can be avoided. The validation process involves receiving a post card from Google with the next steps written on it. Once you follow these steps your account will be validated and your listing will be made available to the public.

 

i2i Webmedia primarily serves the surrounding cities and towns on the South Shore of Massachusetts, providing website design, website development, SEO and advertising services for Plymouth, Scituate, Hingham, Hanover, Norwell, Weymouth, Quincy and the Boston vicinity.

Why Is Proper SEO Important

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a method used for analyzing websites and pages for discovery and indexing by search engines. SEO can help search engines easily read and index your site using crawling software.

Advertising is essential for business but so is SEO. Advertising can create brand awareness among people and increase your market presence, but there is a good chance that some of your advertisements may go unnoticed or may not reach some potential customers. That is not the case with SEO. With proper SEO techniques you can make sure that your website appears on top of the search results every time a potential customer conducts a search for anything related to your niche.

How do search engines work?

Search engines index and rank webpages with the help of software known as spiders, robots and crawlers. The software scans each webpage from time to time and downloads a copy to the search engine database. The exact method in which the search engines rank and index webpages is a closely guarded secret by the search engine. The algorithms are continuously changed, making them almost impossible to predict. They however reveal certain information in the form of algorithms and analysis of keywords, which can help you optimize your sites.

Using the information provided by search engines, you can analyze and decide different methods that can improve a site’s search engine ranking. Some of these changes may include making certain subtle changes to the content in your website and others may depend on modifying some coding elements.

What to avoid while optimizing your site

SEO can greatly increase your inbound site traffic. The higher the number of different keywords in your content, the greater the chance of getting ranked in search results. That does not mean you should fill your site with irrelevant keywords. This method may definitely increase the traffic to your site but it serves no purpose, as most of the traffic that comes to your site may not be interested in your content as well as your products. Spamming and other malicious methods drive traffic to your site might see your site being removed from the search indexes.

SEO is a very important tool that can help you increase your web traffic and benefit from potential customers. A website without good SEO would be like a shop without a signboard. A good SEO strategy on the other hand can make your website stand out from the crowd.

 

i2i Webmedia primarily serves the surrounding cities and towns on the South Shore of Massachusetts, providing website design, website development, SEO and advertising services for Plymouth, Scituate, Hingham, Hanover, Norwell, Weymouth, Quincy and the Boston vicinity.