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Thursday, October 30, 2014

3 Digital Marketing Tools for Your Brand's 2015 Toolkit

If you’re an effective marketer, I bet you’ve been thinking about your upcoming digital marketing plan for 2015. And with thoughts of new strategies and trends naturally comes thoughts of tools. What are the latest tools? Which do my competitors have in their toolkits? What changes do I need to make in how I use my tools?

Be it for blogging, content curation, email automation or social media management, the list of available tools can seem infinite and so can the desire to upgrade your current tools of choice. It’s easy to fall under the spell of all things trendy, but what is your foremost concern: using what’s trendy or using what helps you market most effectively?  

Check out these 3 simple ideas for your digital marketing toolkit and consider how they may be able to help you market better:

1.      Unbounce
Marketing itself as a “code-free zone,” this digital marketing tool allows even the most novice marketers to create well-designed landing pages without the help of designers or IT. Unbounce is a simple tool that provides you with drag and drop options among other design options so you can create, publish and test your landing pages. 
Savvy marketers know that higher conversion rates come from landing pages, not company websites. 96% of your website visitors are not ready to make a purchase. Messaging that is more targeted and relevant to the visitor--messaging that you see on landing pages--drives the higher conversion rates. The more landing pages you have, the more opportunities you'll have to generate leads and fill your sales funnel.

 2.      Vsnap

“Vsnap makes customers smile.” This line on Vsnap’s homepage is an honest summary of the tool’s premise. It seeks to establish or reinforce face-to-face connections that are a critical part of business relationships. The tool allows you to record 60 second video messages and send them to clients, prospects or new social media followers via Twitter, LinkedIn or email. You can use a webcam, an iPhone, an Android or a tablet to record your message, and the use of this tool can increase close rates by 34% In today’s digital environment, brands must rely on more human, more authentic means of communication if they want to truly connect and engage with their audiences. Remember when you wanted to send a thank you card to a customer for a recent lunch meeting, but you didn’t have any around the office? You could’ve sent a Vsnap. That time you connected with a prospect on Twitter? A Vsnap could’ve solidified that connection better than a simple tweet.  

3.      Hearsay Social

 It’s hard not to hear about a company started by executives from Starbucks and Microsoft. This social media management platform caters to corporate/local brands, clients that have a national presence and local franchises. The web-based software allows the two halves of each client to coordinate their social media posts and presence: the corporate half can monitor local engagement, including detailed analytics and posts that may step outside of corporate or industry guidelines, and the local half has the ability to manage their own social media posts.

If you’re part of a brand that relies heavily on local franchises and you’re looking for a digital marketing tool that allows you to centralize your social media efforts, Hearsay Social may be the newest addition to your toolkit. 

By: Susan Gail Taylor, Social Media Manager and Copywriter at RME360

Thursday, October 23, 2014

6 Tips for Building Lasting Client Relationships

 Do your favorite brands interact with you on social media? Do they show their appreciation of your patronage? Do they give you the "wow" factor at each point of service?

If they want to build lasting relationships with you, then they should be doing these things and more. And if you aren’t providing such things in an effort to build meaningful relationships with your clients, then it’s time to make immediate changes. Use the following tips to help you provide amazing service so that you can wrap the story and reputation of your brand around each client and prospect.

  • Celebrate milestones with clients. This sounds simple, huh? But often we find ourselves too busy to remember birthdays, anniversaries or other important milestones our clients celebrate. Make time to send a card or to send a VSnap video via social media or email for such dates. (VSnap allows you to record 60 second personalized videos, a technique that can help you establish a connection and create trust.) 
  • Remember that not every call should be a sales call.  If a client thinks you only call to sell her something new, you won’t be able to establish a meaningful relationship.  Find other opportunities to call clients and provide value to your service. Invite them to lunch to say thank you for their business, send them links to articles relevant to their businesses or call them to discuss best practices for a product or service you provide. Try to have multiple client touches throughout the year. 

  • Don’t hinge your entire relationship on digital communication.  It’s very easy to rely on e-mail as the primary relationship tool, but remember that clients need to hear your voice and see your face, both of which add a personal touch and go a long way toward deepening client relationships.
  • Exceed your clients’ expectations with the “wow” factor. One of the best ways to develop a meaningful relationship with your clients is to give them 1) exceptional service and 2) exceptional results. Don’t oversell yourself and don’t promise more than you can deliver, but set expectations that provide you with opportunities to excite your clients. Think about the last time a brand left you saying “wow.” Did a representative call you by your first name? Did he tweet about your business from his company’s profile? Did she deliver a product or document to you because you couldn’t come into the office? Did he send you a goody basket with a handwritten note? Remember how you’ve been dazzled by exceptional service and recreate such moments for your clients.
  • Inspire your team with best practices. So now that you’ve recalled how you were dazzled, inspire your team to do the same by discussing best practices. One of the most powerful ways to continue with providing the “wow” factor is to share ideas on how to do so with your employees and/or colleagues. Bring in breakfast one morning and sit down with your team to listen to their ideas and to pass on yours as well. Talking about these ideas can increase the chances that providing “wow” factors become a standard for your brand.
  • Find common ground. Do you and a client both love sports? Do you both have aging parents? Do you both enjoy the same activities outside of the office? Talk with them about such common ground issues; having something to talk about other than the business you are collaborating on makes working together on both sides much more gratifying.

By: Susan Gail Taylor, Social Media Manager and Copywriter at RME360

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

10 Tips for Dominating Your Next Trade Show

You may be gearing up to attend a trade show to raise awareness of your brand, promote a new product or service and/or to provide your team with professional development opportunities. Whatever your goal(s) may be, trade show marketing is like any other marketing strategy: it's an investment that requires planning and preparation if you expect a positive ROI. 

Here are 10 tips to help you get started: 
  1. Use your social media outlets marketing before, during and after the show.  Tweet about your experience using the trade show’s hashtag. Post photos of show activities on your company’s Facebook and LinkedIn; you can also use these for marketing purposes later. Blog about key takeaways, especially if you are a speaker at the show.
  2. Choose the right trade show and send the right people. Decide the purpose for attending and then match that purpose with the staff who will maximize the takeaway value.
  3. Pay attention to the informal meetings. People who you meet in the hallway, other vendors, and participants at dinner or at the cocktail hour can be the most important folks you’ll meet.
  4. Use a bowl to collect business cards as part of a raffle. It’s a great way to collect names, phone numbers and email addresses.
  5. Keep detailed lists of who you met and what you discussed. This will help you when you follow up. 
  6. Set up meetings and events in advanced. Schedule dinners and/or plan a cocktail reception and invite a handful of potential clients. Make a brief presentation, but create a relaxed environment.
  7. Give away technology prizes during your raffle. Such prizes are always popular with attendees, and the raffle can increase your engagement. 
  8. Ask about being a speaker/presenter at the event as part of your sponsor package. It’s a great way to brand yourself as an expert in your field and it will provide social media opportunities for you before, during and after the event as well.  
  9. Mail and email every name on the attendee list. By sending relevant messaging before and after the show, you can reach top of mind awareness among prospective clients. 
  10. Follow up with every lead in a timely manner and with relevant informationA prompt, professional and personalized response can make make your company stand out from the competition who may take days or weeks to respond.
By: Susan Gail Taylor, Social Media Manager and Copywriter at RME360

Friday, October 10, 2014

"You Are My Cup of Tea": How to Create Fabulous Customer Experiences

Do you create fabulous experiences for your customers? Is your brand their cup of tea?

Check out this infographic for tips of how to improve your customers’ experience with you. Click here for the enlarged image. 

By: Susan Gail Taylor, Social Media Manager and Copywriter at RME360