Ways

How to Improve Your Customer Service with These 8 Ways to Get Feedback

It doesn’t matter what type of business you have or how long you’ve run it. Your customers are the lifelines of your brand.

Whether you sell products, offer services, or a combination of the two, customer service needs to be one of your top priorities.

You could have the best product in the world, but if you don’t treat your customers well, it’s going to hurt your bottom line. On the flip side, you could have a product that’s average, or even subpar, and be extremely profitable if you provide excellent customer service.

How is that possible? Well, the numbers don’t lie.

According to research, 80% of consumers say they’re willing to pay more money to businesses offering better customer service.

But that’s not all. Failing to provide good customer service can result in the loss of your customers.

What exactly causes a business to lose customers? Research shows that only 14% of customers stop supporting a business because they are not satisfied with their products or services. And 9% leave because of the price.

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But look at the top reason why customers leave a business. Nearly seven out of 10 customers will leave because they don’t feel valued.

In short, customer service is more important than what you’re selling.

Now that we’ve established why improving your customer service is important, it’s time to take steps in that direction. But how can you improve your customer service if you don’t know what your customers want?

It’s simple. Just ask them.

Getting feedback from your customers is a crucial component of your customer support strategy.

It shows them you care about their opinions. Furthermore, the results can help you better your business and ultimately make more money.

If you want to provide excellent customer service, I’ve narrowed down the top 8 ways to get feedback from your customers.

1. Create surveys

Leveraging customer surveys is the most logical place to start your quest for feedback.

Depending on what you’re using the survey for, the questions and potential responses can vary.

It’s important to have a clear goal when you’re creating these. For example, if you’re trying to improve your customer service, you don’t necessarily need to ask the customer about a specific product.

That said, surveying customers about a previous purchase shows them you value their opinions, which they perceive as good customer service.

The idea is to get your information and get out as soon as possible. Customers don’t want to fill out a 20-minute survey.

People are busy. In all honesty, they’ve got better things to do. I recommend using an online resource such as SurveyMonkey to create your surveys.

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You can create an account for free and have access to templates and pre-written questions about specific topics. Obviously, you can customize those to fit your business and goals.

Once your survey is complete, it’s easy to distribute it electronically to your customers through all your marketing channels.

Since time is of the essence here, keep your surveys short and limit them to a handful of questions. Don’t ask obvious or misleading questions.

Don’t ask questions and provide answers you want to hear. You may be doing things wrong. Allow your customers to share that information with you.

Sometimes you need to give your customers some extra incentive to fill out a survey to get as many responses as possible. A discount off their next purchase should be sufficient.

2. Interviews

Interviews might not work for your business.

It’s much easier for brands with brick and mortar locations to conduct interviews than for online businesses.

Sure, ecommerce companies can still interview customers. But they’d have to set up a Skype session or phone call to do so. This isn’t impossible, but it’s more of a hassle.

But those of you with physical store locations can interview customers when they shop in person.

The best time to do this is after the customer has checked out and is getting ready to leave. You don’t want to bother customers while they are shopping because it could potentially prevent them from making a purchase.

Since it’s not the most common practice, this strategy could really help you gain an edge over your competitors.

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Nearly 90% of marketing experts believe that improving the customer experience is the top factor for differentiating their brand from the competition.

Before the customer leaves your store, politely ask them if they have five minutes to answer some questions. If you tell them the interview is going to be five minutes, you’d better stick to five minutes.

Conduct the interview away from the register so it doesn’t hold up your line.

It doesn’t need to be in an office, but go somewhere with some privacy so other employees and customers can’t hear the responses.

Introduce yourself and explain why you’re conducting the interview. Establish a rapport with the interviewee so they feel comfortable answering your questions honestly.

Make it clear that you won’t be offended by their responses. Some customers may be hesitant to provide negative feedback if they are saying it directly to your face.

You’ll need to let your guard down and ask questions in a way that gives them the opportunity to say how they truly feel.

The great thing about an interview, as opposed to a survey, is that the answers are more authentic. Customers have a chance to tell you what’s on their minds, without having to select from a pre-determined list of survey responses.

Record your interviews, with the customer’s permission, of course. That way you won’t have to scramble to write notes while they are speaking.

Again, you can offer an incentive to customers who take the time to answer your questions. Thank them for their time, and give them a coupon.

3. Add a comment box to your website

This one is pretty simple.

Include a customer feedback form on your website. That way, people who are visiting can see this as an opportunity to share their opinions.

Here’s an example of a basic version of a comment box on the BuildFire website:

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You have different options with these comment boxes. As you can see in the example above, this form requires you to include your name and email address with the message.

But you could provide the visitor with an anonymous option.

If customers do provide you with their contact information, it’s always in your best interest to reach out to them when you receive the message. This is especially true if they are voicing a complaint.

Apologize for any inconvenience you may have caused them. Offer a solution.

Let them know that you value them as a customer and that you’ll make improvements to ensure this won’t happen again. Thank them for reaching out to you.

Here’s something else to keep in mind. Don’t be discouraged by negative comments.

You should be thankful the customer told you about their poor experience instead of leaving without saying a word.

In fact, only 1 out of 26 customers will complain if they are unhappy. The other 25 will just give up on your brand and stop buying.

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When a customer gives you negative feedback, you still have the opportunity to make things right. Not all is lost.

You can turn a negative experience into something positive by mending that relationship.

4. Third-party reviews

Your business is on websites such as Yelp, Google Local, and TripAdvisor.

Just because you don’t control those websites doesn’t mean you should ignore them. Make a habit of checking those listings weekly, at a minimum.

If you are getting tons of reviews, consider checking more frequently.

For starters, you want to make sure the information listed on these sites is accurate. I’m referring to your hours, phone number, menu, pricing, etc.

But you also need to consider the customers who willingly took the time to write about your business.

Good comments. Bad comments. You want to pay attention to all of them.

All too often when we talk about customer service, it seems like businesses automatically jump to the negatives. While it’s important to be proactive about those poor experiences, it’s also necessary to keep track of the positive ones.

This will reinforce what you’re doing right. You’ll know what you should continue doing instead of changing something that customers are happy with.

5. Live video broadcast

Jump on the live video bandwagon.

Facebook. Instagram. YouTube. All of these marketing channels have live streaming features you should be taking advantage of.

While this tactic isn’t quite as intimate as a focus group, which we’ll discuss shortly, it gives you the opportunity to reach a high volume of customers at the same time.

Here are some of the top benefits of live video streaming, according to brands, retail companies, agencies, and other marketing executives:

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As you can see from their responses, a more authentic interaction with the audience ranked first on the list.

This authentic interaction is great for getting customer feedback. That’s because customers can comment in real time while you’re broadcasting live.

Everyone else watching can see those comments as well. Respond to comments.

Depending on how many people are watching your stream, it can be overwhelming to keep up with comments. That’s okay. Take your time to go through them.

The great thing about these live streams is you can save them and refer to them at a later time. Read through the comments, and take notes. Group similar statements so you can prioritize what needs to be addressed first.

Live video is great for customers as well. They can watch it on their smartphones from the couch as opposed to being bothered when they are in your store.

6. Focus groups

Focus groups aren’t nearly as popular as some of the other feedback methods. This is mainly because the logistics are more complex.

But that doesn’t mean you should ignore this option. Even if it’s not your top choice, conducting a focus group should still be in your arsenal of potential ways to get feedback from your customers.

An ideal focus group is conducted in person, with all the participants in the same room. Groups of six to eight customers should commit between 30 and 60 minutes of their time to participate.

Being in a room together will allow them to feed off each other.

One person could say something that another customer may not have thought of. As a result, it could trigger a response based on that customer’s experience.

Focus groups are great for testing new products and ideas. Allowing your customers to be part of the innovation process will make them feel valued, the importance of which I have already talked about.

Customers who participate in focus groups should be compensated much more than those who fill out a survey online.

Your customers who complete a survey may get 20% off their next purchase. But it’s not unreasonable to provide a $ 50 or even $ 100 gift card to customers participating in focus groups. You should also provide them with some food when they arrive.

7. Follow-up emails

After a customer makes a purchase, you should send them a follow-up message, asking for their feedback.

I’m sure you’ve seen these before. Here’s an example of a short survey from Venmo embedded directly into an email:

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As you can see, this survey is directly related to customer service.

In addition to embedding the survey into the email, you could also provide a link for the customer to provide feedback through a platform like SurveyMonkey, which I talked about earlier.

You may even decide to send a link to the comment box on your website I previously mentioned.

Just realize that any additional steps a customer has to take to give you feedback will decrease the chances of it being completed.

Don’t be annoying. All too often I get three or four emails from a company asking me to provide feedback for my most recent purchase, flight, etc.

You don’t want to be that person.

If they don’t respond after the first message, you could send one more reminder. But that’s it. If they still haven’t given feedback, you could always try again in the future after their next purchase.

8. Social media comments

You need to stay active on social media.

But in addition to posting content on a regular basis, you also have to track what your customers say about you.

Don’t ignore your notifications. Read through your comments and direct messages.

Do this on all platforms. Facebook. YouTube. Instagram.

Use the Twitter advanced search query to find out what customers are saying about you, even if they don’t tag you directly.

Check out these comments from a post on the Lululemon Facebook page:

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The first comment is positive, and the second comment shares some criticism.

But do you notice something they both have in common? Lululemon responded to both of them.

As I said before, you need to treat both positive and negative feedback the same. In both instances, you want your customers to know you value them.

More than half of consumers say they expect brands to respond to their feedback. If their comments are negative, that number jumps from 52% all the way up to 72%.

Conclusion

If you can’t keep your customers happy, your business is going to struggle. It’s a fact.

Customers care more about customer service than they do about the quality and price of what they’re buying.

That’s why it’s so important for you to find ways to get their feedback. But there is no one-size-fits-all way to do this.

Not all customers will respond to all tactics.

In order to get responses from as many customers as possible, you’ll need to try different approaches. This will also help you get accurate results.

Refer to this list of my favorite 8 ways to get customer feedback. Ultimately, this will help you provide enhanced customer service.

What method is your company using to get feedback from your customers?


Quick Sprout

3 Ways Retailers Can Heat Up Their Summer Email Campaigns

As we begin to embrace longer days and shed our winter wardrobes, it’s a great time for retail marketers to re-evaluate the email calendar and replace ineffective strategies with fresh approaches. Here are a few of our favorite tips to heat up your summer email campaigns and reinvigorate your marketing efforts:

New Season, New Content

We conducted a survey to learn how retail marketers plan their email marketing calendars. We found that 85 percent of email marketers are relying too heavily on products and categories that worked well the previous year.

This is mirrored in our most recent study on email effectiveness in retail, where we found that it would take retailers an average of two years to introduce all their categories to email subscribers at their current rate. Instead of highlighting last year’s best sellers, email marketers need to recognize that email communications need to evolve along with consumers’ ever-changing tastes and preferences. 

Chart of how long it takes retailers to expose their categories

Consider making creatives for products or categories that haven’t yet been introduced to your customers. Then introduce new categories into a section of your email, while keeping the high-performing categories elsewhere in the email. When you include more category choices, you’ll have a better chance of finding relevant products for each customer.

It may sound simple, but many retailers are delivering emails that cover only one category or one type of email content, such as an email only filled with discounts. While other retailers like Neiman Marcus and EXPRESS have increased their customer engagement by displaying a variety of categories within each email, and mixing and matching editorial email content, product shots, and discounts.

Recycle and Reuse Email Content

Our survey on retail marketers also found that 74 percent of marketers create emails for a single day and never reuse or resend that content. These marketers likely assume that a customer wouldn’t want to see the same message in their inbox a second time, but that line of thinking leaves a lot of revenue on the table. The reality is that email creatives are time-consuming and costly to make, and chances are that many consumers will not remember the images you used.

As we mentioned above, you can also mix and match new email content with recycled content in different zones. For example, if you included a product image in the header of your email yesterday, you can then include it in an email below the fold a few weeks later. Another strategy is to track high-performing email content and use it for all new email subscribers at a later date. And finally, you can resend creatives to email subscribers who have received, but not opened, your previous email.  

Recognize Your New Shoppers

If there’s one thing we can’t stress enough, it’s that email marketers are not taking advantage of their purchase data to personalize the customer experience. While personalized campaigns drive higher revenue, most marketers collect customer data but do not use it.

Additionally, our research on email effectiveness in retail indicates that retailers are sending the exact same emails, on the same day, for 62 percent of their sends to both brand new customers and non-customers. They are also sending less emails to new customers than other email subscribers.

Chart demonstrating personalization benchmark

If you’re one of those retailers, it’s time to put your data to work. Make sure to separate your customers from non-customers, and new customers from other customers. (Most new customers are highly engaged and are open to receiving more emails than others.) Then use purchase data to recommend additional products or tailor your editorial content. Savvy retailers like L.L.Bean and Staples are doing this best by using machine learning to analyze customer data and predict the products that shoppers will want to see.

Summer Email Campaigns That Sizzle

Instead of merchandise-driven, batch-and-blast email campaigns, consider what the customer wants to see and how to make them feel like an individual. By using a customer-centric and data-driven approach to email marketing, you’ll be sure to add some heat to your summer email campaigns, while generating the highest ROI and lifetime value.

To learn more about successful email marketing campaigns, check out Oracle’s Marketing Automation Simplified Guide for automation fundamentals in modern email marketing.

Marketing Automation Simplified guide

 


Oracle Blogs | Oracle Marketing Cloud

3 Ways to Hone the Skill that Can Advance Your Career as a Writer

There are writers. And then there are professional writers. Over my career as a writer and editor, I’ve noticed one key factor that enables writers to perform their craft professionally. I’ve said it before, so you won’t be surprised to hear: It’s the ability to self-edit. A strong self-editor doesn’t just show up to work;
Read More…

The post 3 Ways to Hone the Skill that Can Advance Your Career as a Writer appeared first on Copyblogger.


Copyblogger

10 Productive Ways to Use Pinterest for Business

Be honest: have you been treating Pinterest as a second thought lately?

Hey, we’re not here to judge you.

Between Instagram’s recent boom and the panic over Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm, perhaps Pinterest has lost a bit of its buzz in the eyes of marketers.

But don’t write off Pinterest just yet.

In fact, the numbers don’t lie in regard to Pinterest’s potential for brands today. Boasting a user base that spends like crazy and loves to search the platform for products, many brands see huge returns via Pinterest marketing,

Listen: marketing at large is about carving out your niche. There’s a place for you to tap into your target audience on Pinterest, especially if you already practice content marketing via social.

Whether you’ve neglected Pinterest for business or have no idea where to start, we’ve got you covered. In this quick guide, we’ve broken down the essentials of establishing your brand as a player on Pinterest.

And with that, let’s dive in!

1. Fine-Tune Your Pinterest Profile

Pinterest claims you can set up a business profile in 15 seconds.

Nice, right?

However, that doesn’t mean you should stick to the bare minimum when it comes to setting up your account.

The good news? Giving your Pinterest for business a professional vibe is pretty straightforward.

Brands like Whole Foods tick the boxes of what we’re looking for in terms of a pristine profile.

A clean, optimized profile is a must-have when running a Pinterest for business

A clear, clean company logo that’s optimized for Pinterest’s sizing guidelines? Check.

A relevant, branded description that points to a link and highlights what followers should expect? Check.

Oh, and a few featured boards that show off the company’s awesome pins in action? Yep, that too.

Having a profile that looks the part from the word “go” is going to make building up your presence that much easier. Your profile should paint a clear picture of not only what your brand is all about, but what types of content people can look forward.

2. Perfecting Your Content Strategy

And hey, let’s talk about content for a minute.

Pinterest is a network that’s totally image-centric. Much like brands trying to figure out how to use Instagram for business, marketers are trying to tap into the perfect photos on Pinterest.

Because you can’t just drop links and walk away, nor can you just post any type of image and expect much traction.

In fact, there are types of content on the platform that totally kill it time and time again. To win over new pinners, the following types of images should be cornerstones of your content strategy.

‘How-to’ & DIY Tutorials

Educational content is the bread and butter of Pinterest. Consider how we live in a day and age where people are looking to get educated but don’t want to dig through an entire blog post. Image-based how-to’s and tutorials speak feed into that need for immediate information.

Whether it’s a beauty tutorial or an SEO checklist, Pinterest users are hungry for bite-sized information. Likewise, such images are prime for sharing around and getting some much-needed link juice to your site. Using free image tools, you can whip up your own how-to’s for followers without breaking a sweat.

Inspirational

Pinterest is perhaps best known for its “inspo boards” where users turn to, well, get inspired. From decor ideas to motivational quotes, providing pinners with a visual dose of inspiration is always a safe bet.

Eye-Popping Imagery

No matter how you slice it, your photos on Pinterest need to be pop. High-definition, striking photos that represent something out of the ordinary can help you score those sweet, sweet clicks time and time again.

Infographics and Factoids

Infographics are among the most-shared types of content on social media at large. Perfect for scoring shares and embeds, data-rich imagery shines for B2B marketers in particular.

If you want to build a foundation of rabid followers, these types of post are the place to start. Even if you’re primarily promoting outbound links, images like these help prime people to click through.

3. Set Realistic Goals

This might seem like a no-brainer, but setting goals is an essential aspect of building a better social media presence.

And again, running a Pinterest for business is a totally different beast than any other social network.

  • Are you trying to drive more traffic to your website and squeeze more out of your current content marketing strategy?
  • Do you simply want to raise brand awareness?
  • Interested in scoring more sales?

There is no “right” answer here, as Pinterest can help you achieve all of the above. According to Pinterest themselves, 67% of users actively discover new brands and products to purchase from the platform.

That said, your goals will ultimately determine how you approach the network in terms of content, optimization and how much time you commit to your Pinterest for business.

4. Optimize Your Pins

Pinterest can be an absolute goldmine from an SEO perspective.

Just about any Google image search related to ideas, inspiration or products will return a slew of top results which come from Pinterest. In this case, we searched “fashion inspiration 2018.”

Optimized Pinterest posts can show up in Google's image search

Having your pins and boards pop up in Google doesn’t happen totally by accident, though.

Much like your Instagram captions or meta descriptions on-site, your pins can likewise be optimized for relevant keywords and hashtags. Some rules of thumb for optimizing your Pinterest for both organic search and on-platform queries include:

  • A combination of niche and industry hashtags (#hairgoals, #unicornhair, #beauty, etc), of which Pinterest allows you tack up to 20 (think: much like Instagram, “more” isn’t always “better,” though)
  • Sticking to an aspect ratio of 2:3 for your photos is considered optimal sizing
  • Relevant keywords and language that encourage users to want to “learn more” and click through (bear in mind that 90% of pins are external links)

And given that you have 500 characters to work with, hitting on these points doesn’t have to be a total struggle, either.

Additionally, Rich Pins represent an optimized means to highlight particular details of your content. Whether you’re publishing products, recipes, articles or apps, a Rich Pin gives additional info such as product ratings, pricing and additional relevant details for those who click through.

5. Don’t Fear the ‘Hard Sell’

More and more brands are becoming comfortable with the concept of social selling.

That said, most platforms require marketers to walk on eggshells when it comes to promoting products directly.

This is where Pinterest shines versus the likes of Facebook or even Instagram. According to Shopify, the highest average order value of social sales comes from Pinterest. Meanwhile, the same study notes that over 90% of users are taking to the platform to research products.

The takeaway here is that you have something to sell, especially in the B2C space, you shouldn’t be shy about putting it on display.

For example, brands such as TOMS funnel followers directly to their store via stylish product photos.

Features such as buyable pins also allow users to buy directly from Pinterest without having to leave the platform at all.

Buyable pins allow users to purchase directly through Pinterest

And as part of the growing trend of social media becoming more “pay to play,” Pinterest also boasts an ad platform that’s not in-your-face or spammy. Naturally integrating your promoted pins in relevant searches, Pinterest’s “ads” look like anything but when nestled among other pins.

Sponsored pins appear almost organically in your followers' feeds

Whereas it might feel like pulling teeth to sell via other networks, using Pinterest for business allows to, well, do business.

6. Integrate Pinterest Into Your Brand’s Site

Taking the time to embed your Pinterest feed is on-site is a smart move to maximize your brand’s exposure. If you want people to follow your business’ Pinterest account, you need to make your presence known.

Besides, Pinterest’s widget builder allows you to create a customizable, copy-and-paste feed on-site in a matter of seconds.

Pinterest's widget builder makes it easy to integrate Pinterest on your website

Doing so does double-duty of encouraging more social followers and breathing a bit of life into your homepage. Check out how ThinkGeek shows off its Pinterest presence in addition to their other social profiles.

Integrating your Pinterest profile on-site creates visibility for your account

Whether it’s on your sidebar, header or homepage, the more avenues that people have to find your Pinterest account, the better.

7. Stick to a Content Calendar

Based on the different types of content that perform well on Pinterest, it’s beneficial to switch things up on a regular basis.

For example, Pinterest giants such as Penguin Random House are posting everything from memes to inspo every few hours to keep followers on their toes.

Having a diverse content strategy is beneficial when running a Pinterest for business

While you may not be pushing out that level of content, it pays to keep your feed organized. This means both having an idea of what you’re posting daily and also double-dipping relevant content from the likes of Instagram or your blog where appropriate.

That’s why having a dedicated content calendar in place can be a game-changer for busy brands.

Having a content calendar can help you fine-tune your Pinterest posting strategy

For example, let’s say you have a killer photo for Instagram that would be perfect for Pinterest. Posting via both platforms is to fair game, granted you optimize the captions for each.

Giving yourself a bird’s eye view of your social content helps you maintain your sanity and keep in the best practices of your respective platforms. Likewise, you can go ahead and line up your posts for the week or month without batting an eye.

8: Get Your Timing Right

On a related note, timing makes a difference Pinterest just as it does any other social network.

Given how quickly the platform moves, multiple pins per day is definitely within best practices.

Looking at our own data on the best times to post on social media, brands can follow a similar strategy to that of Instagram in terms of timing.

Timing your Pinterest posts can help you score more engagement

Conventional wisdom tells us that afternoons and early mornings represent peak times on Pinterest. While timing isn’t the be-all, end-all of your Pinterest presence, having this data handy is helpful for those scheduling their content. If nothing else, it gives you a ballpark idea of when to post versus publishing when your followers are snoozing.

9. Analyze Your Results

Given the amount of content that gets pushed through Pinterest on a day-to-day basis, keeping an eye on your analytics is a must-do.

Rather than spin your wheels, a data-driven approach to Pinterest for business will help you optimize your presence.

More clicks and impressions. More traffic and sales.

It all starts with digging through your data.

That’s why setting up your analytics on the native platform by confirming your business’ site should be a top priority. Pinterest’s built-in platform can clue you in on your top pins and what’s driving the most traffic to your site.

Pinterest's built-in analytics platform can clue brands in on top-performing content

Integrating Pinterest as part of your social media reporting can likewise help you see how your performance stacks up against other social sites. The ability to track specific URLs you’re promoting is also a plus if you’re pushing a specific campaign or product.

10. Don’t Forget to Stay Active

Perhaps another no-brainer, but definitely worth noting!

If you don’t want Pinterest to feel like a secondary social network, you can’t afford to treat it like one.

The good news? Staying active on Pinterest doesn’t have to be a total time-sink.

Not by a long shot.

By knowing which types of content clicks and scheduling it accordingly, keeping your feed fresh is so much less daunting.

Pinterest scheduling can help brands plan out their content calendar

With the help of the pointers above, you can make the most of your activity without wasting any time whatsoever.

And that wraps up our guide!

How Are You Using Pinterest for Business?

Representing a not-so-hidden gem for B2B and B2C brands alike, Pinterest doesn’t have to be a massive head-scratcher for marketers.

And despite popular belief, it’s not too late to hop on the bandwagon. Hopefully our guide provided some much-needed inspo to help you do exactly that.

We still want to hear from you, though. What’s your experience using Pinterest for business been like? Any struggles? Success stories? Let us know in the comments below.

This post 10 Productive Ways to Use Pinterest for Business originally appeared on Sprout Social.


Sprout Social

Why Geo-targeting Your Website Content Is a No-brainer (and 3 Ways to Try It This Afternoon)

We all know marketing campaigns convert best when we segment and personalize them – which is where geo-targeting can come into play. In fact, a whopping 74% of consumers get frustrated on sites where the content has nothing to do with their interests, and 86% of customers say personalization impacts their purchase decisions.

The good news is, today you can tailor almost every marketing experience to a visitor’s location and other identifiers to make offers feel more personal. So why do even the best of us continue to use blanket-style, default messaging for every visitor?

More than half of marketers struggle to execute personalized campaigns, and reasons range from not having enough data about TOFU prospects to know what to personalize—to having trouble securing the resources to execute.

But making sure everyone sees relevant, location-based offers on your website doesn’t actually need to be a huge production. In our experience, it’s way easier (and could do more for your conversion rates) than you might think.

Why geo-target website content — and the fastest way to try this

Like all forms of personalization, geo-targeting is about relevance. And I should clarify off the bat, I’m not talking about using “y’all” in your headline if you’re targeting Texans, or splitting hairs on “sneakers” vs. “tennis shoes” based on regional preference.

What I am talking about is getting way more creative and specific with your offers. If visitors see offers that feel like they’re just for them, they’re more likely to click through, and convert.

For example, imagine targeting only locals in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Seattle respectively with their own coupon codes and special hotel offers for your in-person event instead of blanketing your entire site with a generic message.

Now imagine if you didn’t need to rely on your web team to get those three offers up on the site and could do it yourself really fast?

One of the quickest ways to experiment with this type of personalization is website popups and sticky bars. The real key with these is understanding your options (and there are plenty of them!). Here are a few of my favourite examples to get you started:

Practical geo-targeting examples to try today

1. Experiment with seasonal offers by region

According to Steve Olenski of Forbes, “acknowledging [your] potential buyer’s location increases relevance, and the result is higher engagement that can translate into additional revenue.” It’s a quick win! And, with ecommerce in particular, there’s tons of opportunity to run promotions suited to specific locations.

As an example, if you sell sports equipment or apparel, you could run two or more different “winter sales” suited to the context of winter in different locations. Your ‘classic’ winter sale would appear in states like Colorado—and could feature an offer for 15% off ski gear, whereas your ‘Californian winter sale’ could showcase 15% off hiking gear.

An example of the two different “winter sale” popup offers by location.

Not only do you earn points by acknowledging your visitor’s location like this, but you also ensure each region sees an offer that makes the most sense for them. Running offers like this is wayyyy better than a single offer that’s less relevant to everyone and later wondering why it didn’t convert.

Recommended settings for this example:
Frequency: Show once per visitor
Trigger: On exit

2. Increase foot traffic with in-store promos by region

We’ve all seen the most common ecommerce discount popup on entry. You know the one — “signup for our newsletter for 15% off your first purchase”. And there’s a reason we’ve all seen it: it works. But, we can do better.

To take things a step further, you can target this type of offer by location. If you have physical stores in specific cities, you can offer an in-store discount in exchange for the newsletter sign up. Like this:

Example of a popup driving in-store visits, and potential for remarketing later

This can help you build foot traffic in different cities, and help you create location-specific mailing lists to promote more relevant in-store events, products, and sales to local shoppers.

Recommended settings for this example:
Frequency: Show once per visitor
Trigger: When a visitor scrolls 40% of the way down your page.

3. Target your event marketing to precise regions

If you’ve ever planned a party, you know how easy it is to fixate on details. Are three kinds of cheese enough? Is my Spotify Discover Weekly cool or do I need a new playlist?! None of this matters if nobody shows up. Marketing events are no different.

A well timed, geo-targeted popup or sticky bar can get your message in front of the people who will care most about your event. When you tailor event messages to your visitor’s location, you can include a more precise value prop. Targeting locals? Remind them how cost effective it is since they don’t have to travel. Targeting neighbors in a nearby state? Remind them that your conference can be a mini-vacation complete with conference-exclusive hotel discounts.

Pictured above: examples of local vs. neighbor city popup offers. *These CTAConf offers are just to help us demo. You can check out our real conference details for CTAConf 2018 here.

Recommended settings for this example:
Frequency: Show on the first visit
Trigger: Show after a 15-25 second delay on relevant URLs (you can use Google Analytics to determine the right delay for your site).

Tip: After triggering this popup on the first visit or two, set up a more subtle sticky bar for subsequent visits to keep the event top of mind, without overdoing it. You could even run the “maybe later” popup Oli Gardner’s a huge proponent of.

Hyper-personalize text on your popups

As a bonus: just as you can do with your Unbounce landing pages, you can also swap out text on your popups and sticky bars with Dynamic Text Replacement to match a prospect’s exact search terms.

This gives you a way to maintain perfect relevance between your ads and website popups in this case.

For example, you could choose to switch out the name of a product for a more relevant one in a popup. If someone searched for “House Prices in Portland”, you could automatically swap out the text in your popup to match exactly and maintain hyper relevance. You can read about a real Unbounce customer experimenting with DTR here.

Want to see how DTR helps you be extra relevant? (even on your popups?) See a preview of how it works here

How to create your own geo-targeted popups

On premium plans and above you can target Unbounce popups by country, region, and even city (which is wicked granular!). The possibilities for what you show, or how you show it, are nearly endless:

  • You can trigger: on exit, arrival, after a delay, on scroll, or on click.
  • And you can target: by location (geo-targeting), URL, referring URL, and cookie targeting.

The options you choose will come down to a few factors including your site, your buyers, ad standards you uphold for a great website experience, and testing.

Here’s how to setup popups and sticky bars on your site:

To get started:

  1. Hop into your Unbounce account , and on the All Pages Screen, click “Popups & Sticky Bars” in the left menu.
  2. In the top left, Select “+ Popup or Sticky Bar”.
  3. Then, click “Create a Popup.”
  4. Choose a Template (or start with a blank popup if you prefer), name your popup, and select “Start with this Template”.

Once you’ve created your popup, set your targeting, triggering and frequency. On your popup or sticky bar overview page:

  1. Set the domain and URL paths where you want your popup or sticky bar to appear.

  2. Choose your triggering option based on your engagement goals.
  3. Set your frequency to choose how often your visitors will see your popup or sticky bar.
  4. In the advanced triggers section, toggle location targeting on and choose which country, region or city you want to show (or not show) your popup or sticky bar.

For best results, personalize

As I hope I’ve illustrated, in the golden age of martech, it’s time to stop squandering valuable website visits on impersonal, generic experiences. You can now leverage useful information about where your visitors are coming from and, by extension, come up with creative offers that will be relevant for them. Small details significantly enhance customer experience, and I hope you can use the above three examples as a springboard for some experiments of your own.


Unbounce

Facebook Ad Placement Options, Ways to Repurpose Content & More: The Social Scoop 6/21/17

Greetings from Beautiful British Columbia, Canada!

Wowee, I’m so happy to be back in the country of my birth and childhood. I’ve had a long trek and had to deal with a number of delays, and one extra unplanned night in Vancouver due to missed connecting flights, Ugh! But, as the longest day of the year – Summer Solstice – it’s not too bad! (I wrote up my wee travelogue on Facebook. Hehee!)

By the way, is it just me or does Facebook not let us embed portrait videos… bah! Probably a setting I need to tweak. Here’s the proper portrait video.

I’m in BC to have a short visit with my mum in the Kootenay’s. And then I head back to Vancouver next week to keynote the annual Unbounce Call To Action conference. (There’s still time to join us! And you can get 30% off using the code SeeMeSpeak at registration.)

New Facebook Live Features on BeLive.tv

Plus, do you use the third party Facebook live tool, BeLive.tv? They’ve been in free public beta since last fall and just officially launched a suite of wonderful features and several user tiers. I’ve been working closely with the company as a strategic advisor and have had early access to many of the features, including desktop sharing, talkshow mode, add logo, and now custom colors. Custom frames & hide watermark is available now, too. See the new features and tiers and get a 14 day free trial.

This Week’s Top 3 Articles

1. Facebook Is Giving Advertisers More Control Over Where Their Ads Appear via AdWeek.com

Content adjacency: the type of content near your advertisements has an impact in how your brand is seen. In other words, proximity to content that’s considered offensive can degrade the perception of your product. Facebook is now taking into consideration the effects of content adjacency and has added ways to control where Instant Articles ads are placed before they run.

2. 12 Ways to Repurpose Your Content to Generate More Leads With Half the Work via FoundrMag.com

We can all agree that content marketing is one of the most effective and low-cost ways to generate leads for your business. But creating good, engaging content consistently can be challenging. Repurposing your content will save you time, money and energy—and who couldn’t use more of that? The infographic in this post has 12 ways to get the most out of the content you already have.

3. Facebook Brings Value Metrics to Campaigns to Help Advertisers Target the Best Customers via MarketingLand.com

Value Optimization targeting and value-based Lookalike Audiences are two new ways in which you can reach your best customers with Facebook Ads. An improvement on conversion targeting, which looks at transactions, value metrics look at revenue. Another improvement in what is already a great advertising option.

That’s a wrap for this issue of The Social Scoop. I hope you have an amazing week and I look forward to connecting again very soon.

The post Facebook Ad Placement Options, Ways to Repurpose Content & More: The Social Scoop 6/21/17 appeared first on MariSmith.com.


Mari Smith – Social Media Marketing Success

These Are the Best Ways I’ve Discovered to Get More Facebook Followers Free

Facebook marketing is somewhat of a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, Facebook had 1.94 billion monthly active users as of Q1 2017.

That’s the most users of any social network by far.

On the other hand, its organic reach is lousy.

According to a study by Social@Ogilvy,

Organic reach has declined to just six percent.

Organic Reach Chart

This means that out of 100 of your followers, only six will actually see the content you post.

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That’s not ideal.

This means one thing.

You need to grow your following.

If you apply Social@Ogilvy’s findings:

  • having 100 followers means six people would see your post
  • having 1,000 followers means 60 people would see your post
  • having 10,000 followers means 600 people would see your post

…and so on.

Although the interaction rates across social platforms naturally decline as followings grow…

Engagement rate by number of fans by channel.pngt1498054648929width433height376nameEngagement rate by number of fans by channel

…it’s obviously beneficial to have a large following.

That’s how you make real headway, generate leads and boost sales.

With years of Facebook marketing under my belt, I’ve learned a thing or two about building a following.

Here are some of the best ways I’ve discovered to get more Facebook followers free and grow your network organically.

Strive for transparency

There’s no lack of megalithic, faceless, overly corporate brands these days.

They’re a dime a dozen.

But these aren’t usually the types of brands people connect with and relate to.

If I had to use one adjective to describe what people love and admire in a brand, it’s transparency.

I don’t care how far we advance as humans and how much technology is integrated into our lives, we all have a deep, innate desire to connect with others.

And let’s be honest.

It’s hard to do that when a brand shares nothing about its philosophy, values, culture and general underpinnings of its activities.

But what does create a connection is being honest, straightforward and transparent.

This is what gets results.

Take TOMS for example.

They posted this video snippet featuring their founder Blake Mycoskie talking about the darkest period of his life, his fear of failure and how it helped motivate him in his business.

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He clearly expressed his vulnerability, which is something we all feel at some point.

Needless to say, content like this was an asset to TOMS.

Just look at their massive following.

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This isn’t to say you need to take it to this level and discuss your deepest, darkest fears or anything like that.

But it goes to show that putting yourself out there has its benefits and can help you build your following.

I’ve made it a point to incorporate this formula into my Facebook marketing, which is evident in several of the pictures I’ve posted.

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And just look at the engagement levels.

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Rock solid.

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And this is no coincidence.

I don’t care how serious or formal your brand is, a little transparency goes a long way.

Make it a point to throw in some “behind the scenes” posts every now and then.

Post videos

Don’t get me wrong, posting good old-fashioned articles is fine.

I do it all the time.

But that’s what everyone is doing.

Most people get tired of the same old format, and their interest gradually wanes.

I’ve found posting alternative types of media, and video in particular, is a great way to spice things up and get people excited about my content.

Let me give you an example.

On average, the posts on the Neil Patel Facebook page receive a reasonable amount of engagement by most brand’s standards.

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Not too shabby. I’ll take it.

But in terms of comments, it’s a little lackluster.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’ve posted multiple articles on Facebook that received numerous comments.

But take a look at what happened when I posted a video recently.

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There was solid engagement in terms of likes and shares.

But check out the comments.

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There’s no comparison.

The point I’m trying to make here is that people love video.

They eat it up.

Just look at how the number of Facebook daily video views grew in just one year.

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It’s ridiculous!

As engagement increases, so do your odds of gaining more followers.

I know I’ve had tremendous success with video and can say with certainty it’s been a contributing force in helping me gain over 900,000 followers.

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Video is definitely something you’ll want to incorporate—if you haven’t done so already.

It’s just starting to hit its stride and is poised to dominate social media (and the Internet in general) over the next few years.

Promote your Facebook page with a Follow button

Think of all the different ways your audience interacts with your brand.

There’s your homepage, landing page, personal email, newsletters, social networks and so on.

Each of these presents an opportunity to grow your Facebook following.

It’s simply a matter of making it as convenient as possible for people to follow your Facebook page.

I recommend creating a Follow button and installing it everywhere where it makes sense.

It looks something like this.

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Creating a button is fairly simple, and this guide from CCM will walk you through the process step by step.

Once you’re done, you’ll get a piece of code to copy.

All you have to do then is paste the code into the source code of your site or wherever you want to feature your Follow button.

That’s it.

What I love about this tactic is that it doesn’t require any additional effort once you’re set up.

Anyone who comes into contact with your content instantly becomes a potential Facebook follower.

With a single click, they’re following your brand.

If you want to increase the odds of someone following you even more, include a Follow button on a popup.

That’s what Wishpond did, and it seemed to work for them.

follow buttons popup

However, I would use caution if you go this route because over-the-top interstitials can result in penalties from Google, especially if they dramatically diminish the user experience.

You can learn more about it in this article from Search Engine Land.

But as long as you’re not obnoxious about it, you should be good to go.

Utilize Facebook groups

As of early 2016, there were one billion people using Facebook groups in some capacity.

And I can see why this number is so high.

Facebook groups are a great way to exchange thoughts and ideas with other like-minded people.

Each group focuses on a very specific niche so users can get great input from experts and enthusiasts.

Here’s the “Being Boss” group—a community for creative entrepreneurs and business owners.

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As you can see, it’s got a sizable number of members.

Groups also present an excellent marketing opportunity and are perfect for getting more followers.

There are two ways to go about leveraging Facebook groups.

Option #1

One way is to simply join groups relevant to your industry and area of expertise.

This tends to be the easier route because you can join a group that’s already well established and has plenty of followers.

What you want to do is get in the habit of consistently engaging with the group by leaving great comments.

It takes some time, but believe me, people will take notice.

After a while, you’ll be on the radar of other group members.

You should inevitably pique their curiosity enough so that they check out your Facebook page.

Many of these people will ultimately follow you.

Option #2

The other option is to create your own group from scratch.

I’ll be honest with you.

This takes a significant amount of time and energy.

Generating initial interest and getting the ball rolling can be difficult.

But the payoff is huge if you can get solid membership.

Just think about it.

If you’re the admin of a group, you’ll get an immense amount of exposure.

After all, your profile is one of the first things people will see when landing on the group page.

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You also have a high level of control.

You make the rules and can share files and tag various members to spark a discussion.

And generally speaking, you can expect a considerably higher level of engagement with a Facebook group than you would with a typical Facebook page.

The bottom line is building a thriving Facebook group is going to increase your visibility in a big way.

More people will end up landing on your brand’s page, and your following should increase.

For me, it’s worth putting in the time when you look at the long-term impact.

If you need some direction on how to grow a Facebook group effectively, check out this post from NeilPatel.com.

Conclusion

Facebook’s reach isn’t exactly stellar.

But you can jump over that hurdle by simply growing your following.

While there are a myriad of ways to go about this, the points I mentioned in this post are the ones that have worked the best for me and my clients.

This will provide you with a framework for gaining more followers organically without having to invest any money into paid promotions.

What’s your number one strategy for increasing your Facebook following? What are your favorite free methods?


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