IDMD – Online Marketing and Reputation Management https://idmd.ca Online Marketing and Reputation Management for Business and Individuals Sun, 05 Jan 2020 00:33:46 +0000 en-CA hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4 https://i2.wp.com/idmd.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/cropped-favicon114.jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 IDMD – Online Marketing and Reputation Management https://idmd.ca 32 32 167062101 10 Important Things You Need to Know About AI in Marketing https://idmd.ca/2020/01/10-important-things-you-need-to-know-about-ai-in-marketing/ https://idmd.ca/2020/01/10-important-things-you-need-to-know-about-ai-in-marketing/#respond Sun, 05 Jan 2020 00:08:51 +0000 https://idmd.ca/?p=20345

Could AI marketing be exactly what your company needs to set itself ahead? More importantly, could not using AI set you back?

Let’s look at the 10 most important things you need to understand about AI in digital marketing.

#1 – AI is not all about robots.

When most people think of artificial intelligence they think of intelligent robots with thoughts and feelings of their own. Though that is a very small subset of the AI world, the truth is that AI is a much broader term used to describe any program that can calculate on its own.

“the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior” – Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

#2 – AI is about automated solutions.

Think about Google, for a minute. You type in a question or some keywords and thousands of relevant results appear in the blink of an eye. How does that happen? There aren’t thousands of super-fast workers on the other end looking into things for you and pulling up results. It’s all done with artificial intelligence. More specifically, algorithms.

Basically, an algorithm is “a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end.” It’s something that you program steps into. In email marketing it is called a “workflow” and looks a little like this:

  • If Person X signs up for mailing list send email 1.
  • One week after sending email 1, send email 2.
  • If Person X clicks a link in email 2, send email 3a; If Person X does not click a link in email 2, send email 3b.

In this situation, the AI software does all these important things for you. It logs who is on your mailing list, which emails they have been sent, which actions they took in response to those emails, and assigns the next step according to those actions. The program doesn’t think for itself, though. It uses specific rules you set up and feeds the information through that system, executing tasks at the pre-defined intervals.

Other examples of AI in marketing include:

  • Tracking behaviours related to advertising campaigns.
  • Automating feedback questionnaires and analyzing responses.
  • Tracking website visits (how people found your website, how long they stayed on it, which links they clicked, etc.)
  • Building relevant influencer databases.
  • …much more.

#3 – AI saves you time and money while increasing creativity.

Yes, you read that correctly. Though it might take some time to set up your AI programs and algorithms, it actually helps reduce costs because it takes over work that would otherwise be done by a person.

But, don’t worry. That doesn’t mean AI will obliterate the workforce. What it actually means is that you can free up your employees and contract workers to do other important tasks. They can begin to focus on creative endeavours that will help your business grow and expand instead of spending endless hours on small tasks like sending out emails.

#4 – The type of AI you need will be specific to your company.

Don’t just go out and sign up for every possible AI service. There are some things you might not need to automate or which might actually just be cheaper and easier to do yourself. This is especially true for small businesses and solopreneurs. For example, though it might make sense to automate Pinterest to post your pins for you at scheduled times, it might not make sense to develop a complicated program that selects exactly which pins to use at those times.

The experts at the Marketing AI Institute advise that you contact companies providing AI solutions and question them about the possibilities. As always, it’s important to find a company that will honestly tell you what you do not need and who won’t sell you on something just to make money.

Did you know that we use AI in our marketing efforts here at IDMD? Contact us, today, for a consultation. We’d be happy to help you select the right options for your business.

#5 – AI is an important component of agile marketing.

Have you heard of agile marketing before? If not, now is definitely the time to learn about it. Agile marketing, a new approach to marketing, is based on the basic belief that prediction is better than reaction and, when a reaction is necessary, faster is better.

In agile marketing, marketing teams analyze the effectiveness of their marketing efforts on a week-by-week, day-by-day, and even hour-by-hour basis. They don’t wait for quarterly or yearly reviews to see how well things are going. This approach is especially important in a world that is quickly evolving and changing with the introduction of new approaches, technology, and international trade.

Since AI programs are able to track and log data about your customers and clients in real-time, they can help you spot minor shifts in behaviour. This insight will let you develop new ways to approach your customers to account for those minor shifts, while also helping you predict larger shifts in the future.

#6 – AI can help personalize the shopping experience.

Have you ever purchased something on Amazon, or a similar website, and then had the website suggest more products and services? You probably noticed that they weren’t just random products or services, they were relevant to you. They appealed to you. That’s AI at work.

A marketing theory called Behavioural Economics proposes (and often proves true in research) that consumers like a personalized experience. So, without even accounting for the increased sales you’ll receive from these gentle nudges, it’s already obvious that consumers will look more kindly on your brand if you personalize their shopping experience.

#7 – AI can increase sales.

Now, let’s look at the nudge, itself. By suggesting similar products, add-on products, or products with the same theme or feel, you can increase your sales. Not everyone will opt-in for the extras, but some people will.

Below is a great example of a curated nudge by Wayfair.ca. In this example, they suggest more furniture based on the style and brand we added to our cart. Again, not everyone would want more accessory pieces, but for those designing an entire room, these personalized suggestions could save a lot of time and hassle.

#8 – AI programs can help you recover some lost sales.

How many times have you put stuff in your cart on a website and let it sit there? How many times have you almost gotten through the checkout process but didn’t complete it? How often do you think that happens on your own website?

Customers abandon carts for many reasons. Sometimes they get distracted and forget they were shopping at all. Sometimes they decide they want to think about it a little longer. Maybe they decide the product or service wasn’t right for them, after all.

AI programs can spot abandoned carts and get in contact with your customers for you. If a customer is already on your mailing list or has already entered personal information, the program can log that information and use it to follow up. It can prompt a friendly reminder email that says, “Hey, are you still interested in…?” Or, it can suggest other products that are similar, or even things that are cheaper (in case the customer abandoned the cart to save money).

#9 – AI can help with content marketing.

Content marketing has become quite a big deal in the online world. Combined with solid SEO practices, it’s one of the easiest ways to get spotted in a flooded online marketplace. But can AI help with your content marketing, saving you time and money? Of course!

Though there is software out there that will write entire blog posts for you, it seems that, as of yet, there aren’t really any which can properly capture the relatable, human element necessary for good blog posts. There is, however, software that can make content creation easier and much faster. For example, there is software that will analyze your headlines and other elements to ensure your posts are SEO-friendly. Spellcheck and grammar software, like Grammarly, will help you spot mistakes before publishing without having to read your posts over and over, again.

There’s also software that can easily curate emails for your mailing list which compile important new blog posts and send them directly to their inboxes.

#10 – You can use AI in advertising and sales.

Chances are that you’ve already used AI in advertising without even realizing it. Have you ever used Facebook ads? Did you fill out the questionnaire it gives you, first, asking about your target audience? If so, you’ve used AI.

Facebook uses algorithms to figure out which people – out of the millions of users on Facebook – fit your demographics and makes sure your ads get in front of their eyes. This kind of targeted marketing and advertising is highly AI-dependent.

Here’s some bonus information:

You can even use AI to move people from a lead to a customer. Using those Facebook ads? You can connect them to a chatbot which will help suggest products and services to customers and even notify them about sales.

Now, you might think chatbots aren’t really the best option since they aren’t as personable as a real salesperson. But, in our world of online shopping, people are getting more and more used to not speaking to sales reps before making a purchase. What matters is that you personalize the experience. In fact, a 2016 study by Hubspot revealed that as many as 36% of consumers would buy a product or service from a chatbot.

Ready to see what AI options can streamline your business? Want to know how you can automate processes to be more efficient AND more effective? Contact us now.

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4 of the Best Marketing Strategies for Cannabis in Canada https://idmd.ca/2019/12/20328/ https://idmd.ca/2019/12/20328/#respond Tue, 03 Dec 2019 21:44:47 +0000 https://idmd.ca/?p=20328

Marketing cannabis can tricky. With so many rules and laws around the product and its promotion, it’s difficult to know what to do. Huge advertising platforms (such as billboards and television ads) are off-limits. Where does that leave you?

This article will lay out our top 4 marketing strategies for Canadian cannabis companies.

1 – Use your blog for content marketing

Using your blog to market your products and company is probably one of the easiest and cheapest ways you can bring attention to your cannabis brand. Using the concepts of inbound marketing, it’s important to use your website content (usually your blog) to answer important questions for potential customers. Content marketing shows that you know what you’re talking about, develops a relationship with the customer, gets your brand in their minds, and often propels them through your website to other posts and, even, products.

If you do the writing yourself/in-house you can almost do this for free – no extra fees required. Alternatively, you can hire a freelance writer which will still be much cheaper than paying thousands of dollars for advertising space.

As with any form of cannabis marketing, always be sure you are following appropriate laws and regulations.

What types of website content should you use?

  • Blog posts – Short, informal pieces on your blog which talk about one or two things in-depth. A blog post often answers a single question and often includes your (or your company’s) opinion.
  • Articles – Long written pieces that are often posted to your blog but cover things more in-depth. These include links to reputable sources, sometimes have opinions but always include facts. You are currently reading an article.
  • E-books – Usually between 15 and 50 pages long, e-books include information, graphics, and pictures for readers to explore on their own time, off of your site. These are often used as downloadable content to help get people onto your mailing list (i.e. – to download the book they must first sign up for your mailing list and have it sent to them).
  • Infographics – “An infographic is a collection of imagery, charts, and minimal text that gives an easy-to-understand overview of a topic.
  • Short videos – Videos are great because you can post them on your website, as well as Youtube and other streaming services which allows you to use the same content more than once.
  • Newsletters – Once you get people on your mailing list, use newsletters packed with information to keep them returning to your website and to keep your brand fresh in their minds. You can easily do this by adding excerpts from your blog with links to individual posts.
  • Podcasts – Podcasts are a great way to show your company’s personality as well as its knowledge. Share marijuana-related information with listeners and plug your company as much as you want.

2 – Market your content on major Canadian marijuana websites

Another way you can use these marijuana-based websites, aside from straight advertising, is content marketing. Yes, you can market content on a website that is not your own. One key way to do it is through guest blog posts and articles.

You should cover similar topics to those you would cover on your own blog, but try to tailor the content to the type of reader who usually visits the website you are writing for. The best way to do this is to spend some time reading posts and articles on the blog to get an idea of what their readers like to see.

Always focus on giving the readers what they want, not what you want. Yes, you are there to promote your own website and business. But you are also there to share your expertise by answering key questions that readers have – just as you do with your own blog.

Remember, when you are using guest blog posts to funnel people back to your own website you are probably going to have to offer the post to the website for free. This means that although you put work into it or hired a writer to make a fabulous blog post you will have to basically “trade” it to the website in exchange for the promotional opportunity.

3 – Advertise to consumers (legally) where they are

All of these rules, regulations, and promotional prohibitions leave on wondering: How do I connect with consumers?

This is an especially large problem for those companies operating predominantly online. It’s easier to get your product in front of consumers when you place it in a brick and mortar store. But if your storefront is digital how will consumers know you are there?

You can connect with consumers on websites like The Leaf Cannabis News. Interestingly, they even have age restrictions on the website which can filter out advertisements and promotions for younger visitors (provided the person honestly enters their age when visiting).

Advertising Cannabi

A few other Canadian websites your company might want to consider include the following:

4 – Do interviews for marijuana-based magazines, blogs, and podcasts

Those very same websites, magazines, etc. that you advertise on and write guest posts for are great places to secure interviews. Oftentimes, all you have to do is ask, since the research and content will nearly be free for the website/podcast/etc. that is interviewing you.

Interviews are great because they are very focused on you, your company, and the knowledge you can share. When writing a guest blog post you are supposed to focus on the topic, not your company. Interviews, on the other hand, often make the focus all about you. Sometimes they are about your expertise. Other times they actually profile your company (which can be a huge endorsement).

BONUS – Use SEO strategies to make sure you are found

We cannot stress this enough. Search engines need to find your website easily. Otherwise, it won’t matter how much great content you have there, people will rarely find you when they are looking for it.

Since traditional advertising is often out of the question, you will find that you rely on your blog and other inbound marketing strategies to get your brand in front of your target audience. Using SEO best practices helps your website come up in search results when people ask questions related to the content you provide.

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What are Listings and Why Do They Matter? https://idmd.ca/2019/11/what-are-listings-and-why-do-they-matter/ https://idmd.ca/2019/11/what-are-listings-and-why-do-they-matter/#respond Sat, 16 Nov 2019 20:27:47 +0000 https://idmd.ca/?p=20251

Listings are an online summary of essential information for your business that serve as a powerful tool to help customers find you online and in real life. Here’s what you need to know:

NAP+W

No, we didn’t fall asleep on the keyboard. NAP+W is the acronym that explains all the information that should be included in business listings.

Name
Address
Phone number
+
Website

These four pieces of information are the business listings starter-pack. They provide the basic information potential customers need to have in order to research, contact and locate your business.

Want to score some major bonus points? Include information like hours of operation in business listings—it’s what consumers are most interested in!


Will my listings work?

The effectiveness of a business listing depends on the information’s presence and accuracy. Listings are available through a variety of sources, including search engines, online directories and maps, or social sites. When it comes to listings presence, more is definitely better. Availability on as many sources as possible will create multiple avenues for consumers to find your business. But (and this is a big but), presence only pays off if the listings are accurate. Listings are accurate if the information is correct and consistent across all potential sources. Seems easy enough, right?


Why are listings important?

Listings with good presence and accuracy will undoubtedly pay off for your business. Here’s how:

No more hide and seek

Just as the brightly lit bat signal guides everyone’s favorite caped crusader (that’s right Superman, we said it!), accurate and readily available listings will help guide consumers right to your business’s door steps.

They even have similar shapes. Coincidence? We think not…

If a business’s listing is incorrect or missing, the majority of consumers will feel less confident about the brand, likely leading them to choose a competitor’s product or service. The availability of accurate listings ensures customers are actually able to find brick and mortar locations while they’re open for business. This means money in the business owner’s pocket and, just as importantly, it means the business can be reviewed.

“In my humble opinion…”

An ample review pipeline is an essential tool for developing a business’ online reputation and fostering brand loyalty. Reviews allow customers to communicate their experience with a business to potential buyers, but if consumers can’t find a business listed online, their opinion of it won’t be well-informed. Accurate listings create the opportunity for transparency between businesses and consumers in the form of reviews, and the availability of this information will help increase a business’s visibility.

All aboard the search engine

Consistent, accurate listings and the generation of reviews will directly benefit a business’s visibility by boosting its ranking in local search engine results. Search engine optimization is a complex tool, so why not take advantage of it by simply ensuring your business is listed accurately! Increased visibility means more customers, and what business owner doesn’t want that?


Now what?

This listings low-down provides a basic definition and describes the benefits of business listings. Create listings on sites worth lots of points to improve your listings score. We’ve ranked them by importance using a lot of key factors—how many sites reference them, traffic, demographics and more.

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The Importance of Local SEO for Local Businesses https://idmd.ca/2019/11/idmd-local-seo-checklist/ https://idmd.ca/2019/11/idmd-local-seo-checklist/#respond Thu, 07 Nov 2019 15:34:37 +0000 https://idmd.ca/?p=20302

If you run a brick and mortar business you know that, while online presence (and even sales) can be important, there is nothing more valuable than foot traffic.  Since most people turn to the internet in their search for things – even things they intend to find in the real world – it has become extremely important to set your business apart and get it out in front of your desired consumers.  This is where local SEO comes in.

Instead of just piling statistics into this article, let’s look at your own habits and the habits of those around you.  When was the last time you picked up the actual big, clunky, heavy book of Yellow Pages when you needed to find a business in your area?  Ask a few people you know when the last time was they used the Yellow Pages.  The answer is probably so long ago that you don’t even remember.  Many of us don’t even receive the Yellow Pages delivered to our doorstep anymore.  It’s a thing of the past.

So, what do people do now?  They go online.

SEO and the Search for Businesses Online

People visit their favorite search engine or maps service, type in the type of business they are looking for and see what pops up.  SEO (search engine optimization) is a big part of what helps your business be one of the top results when people search for keywords that include your industry and location.

Good website SEO helps you appear here in the search results:

Local SEO is Different from Regular SEO

But there’s another kind of SEO that a lot of people don’t know about and it is essential to brick and mortar businesses: Local SEO.

Good local SEO helps you appear in this type of results:

Regular SEO and Local SEO are Important for Brick and Mortar Businesses

It’s clear why both types of SEO are key to your brick and mortar business’s success.  Regular SEO makes you discoverable to those people who perform typical web searches.  Local SEO makes you visible to people who want to look at a map, figure out where you are, and then choose to visit your website for more information if necessary.

As you can see in the pictures above, Kelly’s Bake Shoppe features prominently in both the map listings as well as the regular website listings when we searched “vegan bakery burlington.”  But if LA Cupcake Boutique had better Local SEO or Kelly’s didn’t have it at all, Kelly’s may well have been first in the list of regular search results but wouldn’t have been first on the list for the map.  They could have lost out on a lot of business which would have re-routed itself to LA Cupcake Boutique.

How Can Local SEO Help Your Business?

This is the important question, isn’t it?  The truth is, if you’re a web-based business, Local SEO probably won’t do much for you.  But, if you have at least one brick and mortar location Local SEO is very important.

  • Makes you more visible to consumers in your geographical area.
  • Helps you rank better in search results.
  • Literally puts you on the map.
  • Helps you rank better in map search results.

Want more in-depth information on Local SEO?  We love this article by Valen Digital.

Is it Time to Step Up Your Local SEO Game?

You may be wondering, “This all sounds good, but do I really need it?”  If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions you probably need Local SEO.

  • Does your business have at least one brick and mortar location?
  • Do you sell physical goods at your brick and mortar locations?
  • Do people need to visit your brick and mortar location to access services?
  • Do you have competitors in the local area?

If you use Local SEO strategies already, you may need to up your game if:

  • Other local businesses rank above you in map-related searches.
  • People say they’ve had trouble finding your business online.
  • You haven’t seen an increase in foot-traffic since you began your Local SEO strategies.

Want to know if your website uses Local SEO Best Practices?


Download IDMD Local SEO Checklist – Click Here

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Push Notifications – Progressive Web App https://idmd.ca/2019/11/push-notifications-progressive-web-app/ https://idmd.ca/2019/11/push-notifications-progressive-web-app/#respond Tue, 05 Nov 2019 22:56:07 +0000 https://idmd.ca/?p=20289

Give Your Company the Competitive Marketing Edge with Push Notifications

The days of effective television ads, ad mail, and even internet advertisements are quickly fading into the past.  What matters, now, is less about getting your company seen and more about making sure it’s remembered.

How do you make sure you are remembered?  That you aren’t forgotten?  You can email people.  You can connect on social media.  Or, on a more up close and personal level, you can send push notifications directly to their devices.

What Are Progressive Web Apps and Push Notifications?

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) allow you to send consumers and readers push notifications directly to their devices in real time.

Though push notifications have been around in the world of apps for a little while now, push notifications and PWAs are quickly changing the marketing landscape for companies who are making the switch from traditional websites and marketing to PWAs.

Could a Progressive Web App and push notification be what your business needs to push it to the next level?

Progressive Web Apps

In simple terms, a progressive web app is a fusion of an app and a website.  It has a URL and can be reached through an internet browser but, like an app, it can also be saved to your home screen, accessed offline, send push notifications and more.  Unlike an app, though, it doesn’t take up much space on your phone and doesn’t use much data to add to your home screen.  Read more about PWAs in our crash course post by clicking here.

Push Notifications

Simply put, push notifications are those notifications that pop up on your phone or tablet, often with an accompanying sound, to tell you something.  They might tell you that you have a message, an offer, or entice you back to playing a game.

The picture below shows a push notification for the language learning app Duo Lingo:

push notifications

(Image from https://appinstitute.com/what-is-a-push-notification/)

 

Why Are Push Notifications So Important?

Here we are talking all about how great it is that PWAs let you send push notifications, but you must be wondering: Why do I need them?

Well, the truth is, push notifications increase engagement, re-engagement, conversions, and save money.  Yes, you read that right, they can save you money.

  • Push notifications get people to re-engage with your content.
  • Push notifications can increase sales and other conversions.
  • Push notifications save you money.

 

Push notifications get people to re-engage with your content

People don’t just go back to your website to see what’s new.  They go when they feel motivated.  Maybe they have a question they know your website will answer, maybe they want to buy something new, maybe they stumble back across it in a web search or are enticed by an ad.  But with advertisements seeming less success than ever before, how do you get people to come back to your site to check out your new products, services, and promotional offers?

By notifying them of some sort of update you increase the chance that the consumer will return to your website.

Think about it this way:  Gerald likes to get his news from GNews.  He checks GNews once every couple days.  Naturally, GNews wants people reading their content more than once every few days, since their revenue is based on ad views and clicks.  Relying on Gerald to visit their website on his own means he only views a few times per week.  Sending Gerald push notifications about breaking news, though, means that Gerald might click the notification and re-engage with the GNews site (or PWA).

 

Push notifications can increase sales and other conversions

Candace likes Company A’s shoes.  Typically, she only looks for shoes when she needs new ones for an event, wears out her old ones, goes through a particularly stressful time in her life, or hears about a sale.  While you Company A cannot control the events in Candace’s life, how long her shoes last (unless they chose to make low-quality products which is a bad idea), or how often she feels stress (which an ethical company wouldn’t want to increase anyway), they can control how often she hears about sales.

Though companies cannot control a lot of what drives consumer behavior they can control whether or not consumers hear about their latest offers.

In the past, companies would buy ad space in magazines, newspapers, on television, or even on other websites.  Those can all be great options, especially other websites, but what if you want to connect directly to your consumers?

Well, you can email them.  Email open rates as of 2018 were about 25%.  That means only 1/4 of your mailing list reads your emails.  And, when you’re making connections to consumers that’s not bad.  But if you’re trying to get them to engage with a new sale, event, or promotional offer, 25% isn’t great.

Let’s compare this with push notifications.  If your notification simple, you can actually display all necessary information in the notification itself.  That means that you don’t even need the consumer to click on it to learn about your latest offer.  That means, 25% of people get the information from your emails but 100% of people receiving push notifications get that same information.

If they do click on it, they are actively engaging.  Clickthrough rates on push notifications are about 5-7%.  The average email clickthrough rate is half that.

Not convinced?  ThinkWithGoogle reports that high-level companies like trivago are using push notifications to increase re-engagement and are seeing positive results.

click through rates for email and push

Push notifications save you money in advertising

Though you’ll still need traditional and inbound/content marketing to bring in new leads, push notifications mean you can probably spend less money on those traditional advertising channels.  Why reach out to consumers on television or through internet ads when you can access your target audience directly, through their very own personal devices?

 

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The Positive Side of Negative Reviews https://idmd.ca/2019/10/the-positive-side-of-negative-reviews/ https://idmd.ca/2019/10/the-positive-side-of-negative-reviews/#respond Wed, 30 Oct 2019 18:17:21 +0000 https://idmd.ca/?p=20271

Your company just received its first bad review.  Ouch.  It hurts, right?  But have you considered that this might actually be a good thing?

Let’s look at the positive effects of bad reviews.  From their effect on your reputation and consumer actions to the opportunity they give you for growth.

Some Bad Reviews Are a GOOD Thing for Your Reputation

When people see 5 stars all around they actually think it’s too good to be true and that something is amiss.  They wonder, “Are these even all real reviews?” and “Is the company hiding the bad reviews somehow?”

So, you don’t really WANT perfect reviews.  You want to show there is room to improve and evolve and, by posting positive feedback to those less-positive reviews you can make the most of these situations.

Sometimes, people even interact with negative reviews (sharing their own thoughts, reading the company response, etc.) and this has been show to actually increase sales conversions.  Yeah.  We’ll say that one more time.  Negative reviews can directly increase sales conversions.

Negative Reviews are Big Opportunities

Responding to a negative review (in a positive manner) is a huge opportunity for every company.  It allows you to not only address concerns, but also to build relationships, inspire innovation.

Negative reviews help you know what concerns your customers have.  It is only once you have this knowledge that you are able to properly address it.  If your consumers didn’t share these thoughts and experiences with you, how would you evolve?

Listening to consumer complaints is a great way to get ahead of market trends.  Often, negative consumer reviews are not indications that you are doing anything wrong but are, instead, indications that you can do something differently to increase satisfaction in a changing marketplace.  As technology and culture develop over time so, too, do people’s preferences.

Addressing bad reviews builds relationships.  Replying to bad reviews in a constructive and respectful manner allows you to open up a dialogue with your consumers.

Replying to negative reviews helps you connect to silent consumers.  89% of consumers who read online review read the company’s response to negative reviews.  Many of these are the people who, themselves, wouldn’t post their own negative review, especially if that same complaint has already been shared by someone else.  Responding to one person’s complaint can help you answer the complaints and questions of those who choose not to actually post their own.

A lot of reviewers change their reviews after companies take the time to “make it right.”  A customer complains that the product quality wasn’t good – the company sends them a replacement, pays for the shipping, and gives them a coupon or freebie as a bonus.  The reviewer promptly changes her review from 2 stars to 4 stars based on the fact that the company showed it cares.  This is just one example of why many people who leave bad reviews will happily change their reviews when they’ve been dealt with appropriately.

You can use complaints to create content.  Did a customer have a hard time finding something on your website?  You can write a blog post or email about website navigation – either what you’ll do to improve yours, or how people can find their way around.  Did someone not like the way your safety features slowed the performance of some technology?  Write a blog post about the importance of safety features, what happens to warranties if people remove them, and how to remove them if they’re absolutely certain they want to destroy their warrantee.

Effectively Handling Negative Online Reviews

It matters that you stay on top of things.  Timely replies are extremely important since they show that your company takes consumer concerns seriously.  Research has predictably shown that, when companies respond quickly and positively to negative review consumers have a better overall impression of the company than when they do not.

We’ve recently outlined our simple formula for effectively handling negative online reviews.  If you’d like to read more about this formula just CLICK HERE.

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How to Respond to Negative Reviews https://idmd.ca/2019/10/how-to-respond-to-negative-reviews/ https://idmd.ca/2019/10/how-to-respond-to-negative-reviews/#respond Mon, 28 Oct 2019 20:21:09 +0000 https://idmd.ca/?p=20247

Believe it or not, the same premise applies to negative review response as it does to positive reviews. How you respond to a negative review impacts not only the reviewer, but all the sets of eyes that come afterward. Seeing a business handle a particularly challenging review online suggests that management is proud of their business, and willing to go the extra mile to maintain their reputation!

Make potential clients see the light with these four steps: apologize, promote, get offline, keep it simple.


How to respond to negative reviews

  1. Apologize and sympathize

    The first step towards fixing a problem is acknowledging that one occurred. Regardless of what happened, a simple apology and sympathy for your customer’s experience goes a long way.

  2. Promote

    So the famous crab cakes weren’t up to par the day this particular customer visited. If they’re what you are known for, why not reiterate that? “Our crab cakes are usually a hit, we’re sorry to hear that they weren’t up to par when you visited!”

  3. Move the conversation offline

    Don’t open a can of worms. Keep the lid on tight by offering the reviewer the chance to reach out via phone, email or both.

  4. Keep it simple

    Avoid specifics and don’t ask questions. Those conversations are much better served in a space away from the prying public.

One last pro tip: leave your business name, location and category out of this. You don’t want your negative reviews showing up in search!


Now that wasn’t so bad, was it? You can use our software to pull in your reviews from all over the web so you can respond quickly. And if you don’t have time, seek out our Digital Agency services to do it for you. Not only do we guarantee expertise, we guarantee it in a hurry: we respond to reviews as soon as our software pulls them in!

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The Basics of Online Advertising https://idmd.ca/2019/09/the-basics-of-online-advertising/ https://idmd.ca/2019/09/the-basics-of-online-advertising/#respond Mon, 23 Sep 2019 19:49:05 +0000 https://idmd.ca/?p=19960

How does online advertising help a local business grow?

Digital advertising increases awareness—it’s that simple. Digital advertising consists of a range of services, all of which work to promote a business online.

More and more businesses are increasing the amount that they spend on digital advertising, and experts like Jamie Turner suggest digital advertising on social platforms is well worth the spend.

If I were to provide one tip to people who are using social media, it would be this — don’t be afraid of paying for social media reach and clicks.” – Jamie Turner, 60secondmarketer.com

The best part about digital advertising is that results can be easily monitored and ROI can be easily tracked. You probably don’t want to be spending lotsa money without some proof of performance right?

With traditional media channels, there is sometimes no way of tracking the effectiveness of an advertisement in terms of advanced data analytics. With digital advertising, companies like Google and Facebook allow users to access advanced analytics. This way local businesses know that their money is being well spent and that the digital advertisements are positively impacting their storefront.

When determining the success of an ad, the important factors will differ case by case. For the most part, the success of an ad lies in the indicators listed below.

ROI indicators/measures of a successful campaign:

  • Impressions: the actual # of views on an advertisement
  • Clicks: the actual # of direct clicks on the advertisement
  • Engagements: Social & landing page clicks
  • Results: In most cases, results come in the form of a phone call or a store visit.

The Best Places to Advertise

Through our team’s extensive work in the digital advertising space, we have come to the same conclusion as pretty much every digital advertising company. The best places to spend money on digital advertising are Google & Facebook.

With digital advertising, not only is a local business visible online, but they are visible to the right people online. Platforms like Facebook and Google allow for advanced targeting, which puts a local business in front of consumers who are more likely to convert into a sale.

Plus, Google and Facebook accounted for roughly 60 percent of ad spend in 2017!

 

Why advertise on Google?

Reach: Google is the largest search network in the world, and consumers are using Google every single day to search for local businesses. Utilizing Google’s massive network capabilities, digital advertisers are able to find ideal prospects and get in front of users looking for their products/services.

In the age of digital, people are not looking at TV commercials or listening to radio ads to find a local business, they are searching for a service and then locating your business online.

With 3.5 Billion Google searches conducted every single day, customers are looking for local businesses and businesses should want to be on Google.

Flexibility: Google allows the local advertiser to spend whatever they want, whenever they want. With flexible options for ad spend, advertisers are able to test what works and what doesn’t work for a business. Spend a bit, wait to see how the campaign performs, and then reinvest in larger budgets for greater prospect reach.

Why advertise on Facebook?

AudienceThe audience on Facebook includes 1.32 billion daily active users (DAUs) on average, at an increase of 17% year-over-year. As a local business, you simply cannot ignore the fact that Facebook is likely an intersection in which you can find prospective customers. If the daily average users stat doesn’t have you convinced then let’s talk about how often social media is being used. The average person spends nearly 35 minutes everyday JUST on Facebook, according to a recent study by Mediakix.

If there is one thing to take away it is that the audience on Facebook is MASSIVE, and they are on Facebook a LOT.

Targeting: Facebook Ad targeting is a marketer’s dream. Facebook allows the ability to focus on users so microscopically that you can basically become a bit of a digital stalker (in a good way?). Target users by their interests, behaviours, age, gender, location, and really anything that their Facebook profile may reveal about them including job title.

The Facebook algorithm has brought about changes to the local advertising landscape, but it remains one of the best environments for local businesses to get the word out about themselves!

Conclusion

By leveraging these two platforms, every local business can easily take their advertising game to the next level, and begin to rake in new revenue—with the data to back their investment.

Source: Vendasta

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Big Changes to Facebook Newsfeed (Part Two) – Short-Term Pain Could Mean Long-Term Gain https://idmd.ca/2018/02/big-changes-facebook-newsfeed-part-two-short-term-pain-mean-long-term-gain/ https://idmd.ca/2018/02/big-changes-facebook-newsfeed-part-two-short-term-pain-mean-long-term-gain/#respond Thu, 08 Feb 2018 01:54:42 +0000 https://idmd.ca/?p=18996

Don’t lose faith now – there is hope for businesses using Facebook as a marketing tool. Short-term pain will lead to long-term gain if you’re patient.

Last week, I went into detail about the major changes to Facebook’s newsfeed, outlining what they are and how they may affect you as a business owner. These changes have led to widespread fear and even a little panic among those who own businesses, small and large, who’ve made Facebook their primary means of marketing to and communicating with customers and clients.

It appears that Facebook, above all other social media outlets, is the most diverse the in the types of clients and customers it can reach. With television usage plummeting and people learning to psychologically tune-out the ads they see on websites and search engines, Facebook is the logical choice for most business owners and marketers in the online world.

These recent changes have left many of those people wondering, “Did I put too many eggs in the Facebook basket?”

If those worries sound familiar, keep reading. The trick to overcoming the recent changes to Facebook’s newsfeed, ads, and algorithms is to leverage them in your favor. Let’s look at how you can do just that.

Just Hang in There – It Gets Better

While spreading your marketing and social media eggs out into a variety of baskets is always a good idea you can rest assured that you don’t need to abandon your Facebook efforts on account of these new changes. You simply need to adjust your approach to your Facebook page and your Facebook ads.

Instead of seeing Facebook as a place to passively post advertisements you need to see it as a place to actively interact with your community of clients and customers. The more you see your customers and clients as a community (one you are a part of) the more equipped you will be to use these changes to your advantage.

Better Targeted Content

Since Facebook is focusing on giving people more of what they want and less of what they don’t want your business will benefit from reaching more of your ideal target audience than anything else. Despite being able to pick a target audience based on metrics such as age, gender, location, and (to some extent) interests, the manual targeting of Facebook ads still managed to bring content to a large portion of uninterested individuals.

Together with manual targeting, Facebook’s new algorithms will make sure that the people who see your ads are those who are most likely to interact with those ads based on their interactions with previous content of a similar style. It’s unclear exactly how the entire process works (and would probably take a mathematician to explain) but the evidence strongly suggests that this is a very good step for Facebook business ads.

More Involved and Invested Customers and Clients

Since these new changes are going to force businesses to create more engaging content the end result will be that customers and clients will become more engaged. It sounds like something everyone should have been doing for some time now and, let me tell you a secret, the bloggers are far ahead of the pack on this one.

About a year ago there was a major shift in the blogging community away from Facebook business pages toward Facebook groups. A major driving force behind this movement was that small blog owners weren’t able to compete with larger companies to rank high enough to make it onto a Facebook newsfeed, anyway – something the rest of us are about to experience. Ever the clever ones, the bloggers found a way around the issue. They formed groups.

It wasn’t long before they realized they’d stepped in a gold mine. Properly curated Facebook groups begin driving readers to blogs at lightning speed. Why? Because they were much more visible than business pages, and because they were much more engaging.

Though it may seem like quite a time investment, a bit of short-term pain in setting up and learning to properly leverage a Facebook group may not only help you overcome the lack of visibility you will now face, it will encourage brand loyalty through a feeling of community and comradery.

And If You’re Invested?

It’s no secret that Facebook’s shares took a bit of a dip at the news that there would be less promotional content on its platform (and it, thus, may produce less revenue in the short term). However, market analysts and Facebook execs both predict that these changes will be good for the company in the long run.

The idea is that if people like using Facebook more (because they are getting better content) more people will use Facebook in general. Also, since these new algorithms will show people more of what they want to see in terms of ads and business page posts, the hike in ad rates will be justified and businesses will be willing to pay them.

Of course, no one can predict the future – this is all speculation. But the intelligent people at Facebook wouldn’t have made such a drastic change if they weren’t nearly certain it would work out in the end. With many business analysts backing them up, you can rest mostly assured that your investments will be profitable in the long term.

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Big Changes to Facebook Newsfeed (Part One) – What We Can Expect as Business Owners https://idmd.ca/2018/01/changestofacebook/ https://idmd.ca/2018/01/changestofacebook/#respond Tue, 30 Jan 2018 16:23:01 +0000 https://idmd.ca/?p=18745 was there for the first big “Facebook algorithm change” and my page, Good Food Group, with 48,000 followers all but collapsed on that fateful December day.  Why? Because with 48,000 followers, the page didn’t have the user interaction or the frequency of posts to sustain its popularity based on the new rules, and what posts were made, went unseen.

Lesson learned… Facebook owns Facebook and it’s foolish to invest heavily in a house built on shifting sand.

There are some things you can do to leverage the recent changes to your benefit, though. In the coming weeks, I’ll be releasing a few more articles focused on just what you can do to work around some of the issues these changes will inevitably bring and how you can even use some of these changes to drive more business to your door.

First, though, I want to go over the basics to be sure we’re all on the same page and that we all know what we’re working with here.

A Complete Overhaul of Facebook Newsfeed Algorithms

To put it plainly, Facebook will not be allowing as many business posts, media posts, or advertisements on people’s newsfeeds. In turn, this will make it harder for your business page posts to be seen on Facebook and will drive up the price of Facebook ads.

A Focus on the Familiar

The changes have come about, according to Mark Zuckerberg, as a result of complaints lodged by Facebook users. Facebook users have reported that they want to see more of what their friends and family post and less of what businesses post. They also want to see fewer ads – by far.

So, what has Facebook done to combat these issues? They’ve decided to completely change the way that their system decides what you see – their ‘”algorithms.” They will boost the posts from your family, friends, and groups while reducing the posts you see from business pages. You will also see far fewer business posts on the Facebook newsfeed.

In what has been called the “closer together initiative,” Facebook has taken a stance whereby it claims that it wants the website to be focused on bringing people closer together. As such, it will deprioritize things likes ads and even news stories in order to focus on the posts of family and friends and content that families and friends are likely to discuss together.

Amping Up Engagement

The focus isn’t only on family and friends, though. It’s a focus on “engagement.” Let’s be honest, here, Facebook is a company and, just like any other company, they want to focus on what works. If people aren’t happy with the number of ads and business posts on their newsfeeds Facebook is placed in a position where they must reduce those ads and business page posts to keep users flocking to the website as they currently do. But, Facebook still needs to make money.

So, what will Facebook do? Three things. First, they will, obviously, reduce the ad space on their website. Second, they will increase the cost of that ad space. Third, they will focus on the ads and posts which get the most engagement.

It’s the simple logic of supply and demand. There are fewer spaces available so now Facebook can charge more for each of those spaces. They also kind of have to charge more for ad space, now, if they want to bring in the same revenue. Not only is that just good business, it also ensures that they aren’t flooded with people who originally chose Facebook ads because they were a cheap source of advertisement – now, they will attract serious advertisers.

Since Facebook wants to appeal more to what users want to see, the few business page posts that they will allow onto people’s newsfeeds will be those which receive the most engagement. On Facebook, engagements are measured by likes, shares, and comments. But Facebook also knows those tricks many businesses use, and they will not be prioritizing posts which actually call for people to like, share, or comment. They want users to naturally and organically choose to engage with the content.

So, they will prioritize those posts which receive likes, shares, and comments without being prompted to do any of the above. Even more important, the Facebook algorithms will track the back and forth conversations sparked in the comments sections on posts

 

How Will This Affect You?

That is the burning question, after all. How will these changes affect you as a business owner?

First off, your page will be much less visible. While there are certain things you can do to increase visibility (a topic I’ll cover in the coming weeks), you must begin by accepting that you simply will not have the same level of reach you once had.

If you want to connect with your customers and clients on Facebook, now, you will have to give your marketing approach a bit of an overhaul as well. Although Facebook is still encouraging people to use their business page best practices and engagement assistance pages as a roadmap for success, even they caution that now is a time to begin learning and exploring new ways to get in touch with customers. Essentially, Facebook seems to want you, as a business owner, to engage in meaningful conversations with your customers and clients instead of saturating them with information and ads.

Key Points

  • Facebook will allow fewer business page posts onto users’ newsfeeds.
  • Facebook will not have as much ad space.
  • Your business page will have less reach.
  • The prices of ad space are going to rise.
  • You’ll have to focus your business page posts on engagement.
  • You will have to learn how to craft excellent Facebook ads to make them worth your money.

Over the next few weeks, I will go into more detail about what you can do to overcome the challenges presented by this huge change to the Facebook newsfeed. I’ll talk about perspective, interest groups, strategic page development and more.

 

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