marketing automation strategies

How To Develop Content To Build Customer Loyalty

Today, online content plays a critical role in marketing your business. It showcases the products and services that you offer, as well as positions you as an expert in your industry or niche. But, did you know that it is also critical for building customer loyalty? Online content can help you convert prospects and bring customer back. Additionally with attraction marketing, what you put out there affects how you look. Here is a step-by-step guide to creating content that will increase customer loyalty:

Attract:

Attracting new prospects is critical if you are hope to increase your online traffic in the future. Well-written, targeted pieces of content rank well in search engine results. which brings in traffic naturally. Sharing content on social media helps drive even more traffic. Remember, every new prospect is a potential customer, so your content needs to make a good first impression and build trust.

Convert:

Once you have your website traffic flowing, the next step is to convert this traffic into leads. You can use content to do this in a few different ways. Here are two to get you started:

  • Case studies:
    • These showcase how your business helped a customer with a specific problem. The study outlines what problem the customer was facing, how the company helped solve the problem, and the final results along with the customer’s feedback. It offers a glimpse into how your company can help the prospect and how current customers view your brand.
  • Thought leadership:
    • This positions you as an expert in your industry or niche. You share expert information that is useful to the prospect as well as answer any questions that arise. Prospects can see the value you bring forward, which helps build trust and loyalty.

Leads do not instantly become sales. You have to nurture each lead through the sales funnel from evaluating products, to making a decision, to making a purchase. Additionally, a lead at the evaluation stage requires different marketing than a lead closer to making a purchase.

A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is a lead who has gone beyond browsing and is starting to evaluate options. That person is not yet ready to talk to a salesperson, but they are looking for more details on certain products or services.

After evaluating the options, leads will move towards making a decision. This is when they become an SQL, or a sales-qualified lead. Now a salesperson can step up to answer any remaining questions the SQL might have and help them make a final decision.

[Read About How To Delight Your Customers]

Close and Delight:

Closing a sale often takes a dozen or more touches. That is why every piece of content you post or send must work to build customer loyalty.

Once you convert a prospect to a customer, your job is not done yet. The final step to building customer loyalty is to delight the customer.

  • Send focused email campaigns to keep your brand in the customer’s mind.
  • Use customer-only promotions to improve retention.
  • Ask customers to provide feedback or fill out a survey to demonstrate that you value their opinions.
  • Offer product updates at a special discount for returning customers.
  • Use video to provide product demonstrations, tutorials, and customer stories.

Don’t Let Your Blog Become an Afterthought:

Your company’s blog should be a centerpiece in your content strategy. It is a place where you can share just about anything you want. Here is a short list of what you can include in your blog:

  • How-to posts
  • Industry and company news
  • Accessories for popular products
  • Services offered along with products
  • Helpful FYIs
  • Customer stories
  • Tutorials
  • Professional resources

Consistency is critical when it comes to updating your blog and with sending emails . Regular updates with new content will keep customers interest, in turn building loyalty and promoting your brand.

There is one tried and true adage you need to remember: it costs a lot less to retain a customer than to attract a new one. With this in mind, building your content strategy will keep customers coming back for more. Customer loyalty will help you build a successful business long-term.

email marketing program

B2B sales

How To Use Social Media To Drive B2B Sales

In spite of the enormous success of social media marketing, many B2B companies still haven’t successfully jumped on the social train. This because many B2B companies are unsure how to utilize their social media platforms to the best of their advantage. Sharing will help alot, when it comes to attraction marketing.

Social media channels enable you to reach a wide net of potential customers and connect with individuals on a more personal level. More people are using these platforms to research potential purchasing decisions. Therefore, your posts should be educating potential buyers about what you have to offer and showcasing why you’re an authoritative source. Despite what you may have heard, you don’t have to post memes or funny videos to stand out.

If you’ve put your social media strategies on the back burner, you’re missing out on a great opportunity. Here are some ways social media can improve your B2B sales:

How to reach your target audience:

The first step in developing your social media strategy should be to develop a roadmap of whom you want to send your social media messages to. This outline will help you reach the right people at the right time and ensure your messages won’t be lost in all of the noise. Your outline should include the messages you wish to send to your target audience. You’ll want to ask yourself the following:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What social media platforms do they use?
  • What is the end goal of your social media posts?

Once you’ve developed your plan, it’s time to set your posts into action.

[Read About B2B Branding Tips For The New Buyer]

How to target businesses on social media:

When most people think B2B sales and social media, they think of Linkedin. While LinkedIn is known as the top social platform for businesses, this doesn’t mean other platforms should be ignored. Social media isn’t solely about generating B2B sales leads; it’s also about strengthening your brand awareness.

With social media, you’re able to humanize your brand by personally engaging with your audience. Since most people are turning to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, to look for solutions to their problems, your company should be visible on these platforms and ready to assist them.

How to cater your message to businesses:

Social media is a great place to showcase your brand’s level of expertise and gain trusted adviser status. Since most buyers are 60% into the buying decision before they even reach out to a sales representative, your posts should reach them early on in their journey. You can do this by posting helpful and educational content that will nudge potential customers along the sales cycle without seeming “pushy”. Case studies, blogs, product demos, and videos are great ways to initially convey your messages to your audience.

How to turn interest into a lead:

Like all marketing, social media marketing’s end goal is to generate qualified leads. All of your posts should have a content offer or call-to-action in order to urge your visitors to take steps toward purchasing. Make sure all of your social media platforms redirect to your website, and vice versa. Easy navigation is key to successful online marketing.

Your company’s social media marketing will be successful if you create personal relationships with your customers and provide them with valuable and educational content. Social media gives you the opportunity to reach a larger audience than ever before. Take this opportunity and run with it!

Learn To Use Social Media To Find New Leads

Inbound Marketing Benefits

Inbound Marketing Works. Politics Proves It.

We can all agree that politics in America right now is messy. To be honest it’s beyond messy. That’s no secret. So I won’t be writing about how divided we are today, rather, I’m going to be discussing how inbound marketing benefits organizations that operate in the political realm.

So what does inbound marketing have to do with politics?

Absolutely everything.

Think about where most people get their news from today. Is it the “failing” New York Times? What about CNN? Fox News? No, the answer is social media: Facebook, Twitter, etc. For traditional news organizations, this is devastating. But for inbound marketing news websites? It’s a cash cow.

What’s inbound marketing news? We’ll get to that. First I want to talk about how social media works. I’ll keep it brief because I’m sure you already know. Social media tracks your interests through likes, shares, and retweets. Based on your interests, the social media service you’re using is more likely to put content in front of you that you will react to. It’s human nature to want to see the things you like.

Considering The Source

Okay, back to news. News isn’t supposed to be all good or all bad. News is, or rather should be, a collection of facts that are communicated to its audience regardless of their feelings and personal opinions. Good things happen, and bad things happen. Your favorite politician may betray you with certain legislation, or maybe someone you detest says something you agree with. These are hard realities to grapple with for anyone. But social media doesn’t want to give you difficult feelings to grapple with; it wants to make you happy. Always happy.

[Read About Creating A Brand To Become President]

So is Facebook going to let you see a CNN article about how the president isn’t living up to his promises to you? Of course not. But what if a website were to take the same information and deliver it in a way that makes you happy? That’s what inbound marketing news is. These websites make their fortunes by taking anything that happens in the world and delivering it in a nice, easy to digest fluff piece that puts its audience’s mind at ease.

Now, I’m not making a political statement with this article. I’m pointing out how inbound marketing works and I want to use the best example. For that reason I am going to focus on conservative media. Head on over to the “Being Conservative” Facebook page.

The Echo Chamber

First of all, this is one of the most followed political pages on Facebook right now with almost 3 million followers at the time this article is being written. Take a look at all the posts on this page. They are ALL from The DailyWire.com. Almost 3 million followers seeing multiple posts every single day from a single news source translates into an astounding amount of views for that website. This fact isn’t lost on advertisers who pay to have their products and companies advertised on the website. This alone generates an impressive amount of income for the website. The fact that The DailyWire also charges to remove ads creates another revenue stream for the company.

Once visitors click on a headline and are brought to the website they are shown other articles that may interest them based on the tags and keywords in the original article. While exploring The DailyWire, visitors increase the website’s SEO ranking and credibility with Google, meaning DailyWire articles are more likely to appear in search results. Now that The DailyWire has millions of daily visitors they can generate money by publishing books, scheduling speaking events, and a number of other things, all of which helps their SEO and Facebook following grow.

This level of online engagement should be the envy of every business owner hoping to grow their company. Think about this; in a time where print media and local newspapers are struggling to survive, The DailyWire has been growing steadily since its founding in 2015. Without inbound marketing benefits continuing to improve the company’s marketing efforts the website would probably find itself struggling to stay online. But with new and relevant content, active engagement on social media, and the support of millions of viewers, The DailyWire will most likely continue to defy the odds and succeed in today’s digital economy.

Inbound marketing will help you grow your business by attracting website visitors, converting them into leads and closing leads into customers

website optimization techniques

Essential Website Optimization Techniques To Increase Visitors

Does it seem like the number of page views on your company website just won’t increase? A simple and efficient solution to this problem is to optimize the blogs on your website. Essentially, optimization means making your resources as efficient and accessible as possible. Even the best quality content that is posted regularly will not be read by internet users if you don’t use website optimization techniques. Stop wasting time waiting for users to come to you and cater to their needs instead. Website optimization is a part of attraction marketing.

Keywords are key

The strategic sharing of the blogs on your website is just as important as the content they contain. Optimization requires that you include keywords and long-tail keywords, or phrases, in your blog. Keywords are topics and phrases of significance that users type into the search engine when seeking solutions to their problems. For example, I might type the key words “best Chicago summer wines” into Google to find answers on the Internet.

Popularity contest

Another aspect of keywords is that they are widely searched, yet specific at the same time. For instance, the words “wine” or “best wines” would not be optimal keywords since they are too general. By contrast, “best Chicago summer wines” are much better long-tail keyword because they specific, including details like region and season.

In order to determine the popularity of certain keywords, check your website’s keyword analytics. If the visits are too high, you should write about something more specific. If the visits are too low, you may not decide not use that keyword. However, if you’re feeling determined, you can write content containing that keyword with hopes of boosting the page views associated with it. Another technique you can use to find popular keywords if by typing certain words into search engines such as Google or Yahoo and seeing how many results come up. Be sure to base your keyword searches off of your buyer personas and they language they might use.

[Read here to learn about essential website optimization techniques to increase visitors]

The more the merrier

As much as the presence of the keywords is important, so is the strategic placement of keywords in your content. If you insert too many uses of the keywords, you are likely to be flagged as spam. On the other hand, if you don’t insert enough keywords, users may have a harder time discovering your content through given search engines.

The two most crucial places to insert your keywords are in the page and post title. An example of a title for the keywords “best Chicago summer wines” could be “Top 5 Summer Wines to Buy in Chicago This Summer.” Other important places to put your keywords are the blog’s URL, image alt-text, headers, and external links in the article. I also encourage you to include 1-2 uses of long-tail keywords in the body of the blog post, but making sure they don’t seem forced. The key to the insertion of key words is to make them seem natural, because bombarding a reader with them will seem like a marketing ploy.

17 SEO MYTHS YOU SHOULD LEAVE BEHIND

buyer persona

Driving Website Conversions During Each Stage Of The Buyer’s Journey

Before any customer commits to purchasing a product, they will have to go through the sales funnel. The sales funnel is comprised of several stages that the buyer will go through, from identifying the problem they have to making a decision. In online marketing, the sales funnel expands from a prospective buyer to a buyer looking to purchase. Marketers are responsible for guiding prospective clients along the sales funnel until they eventually make a purchase. Attraction marketing is what will catch the attention of customers.

Growing social media usage gives marketers a chance to engage their prospective buyers by creating customized content. However, some marketers still find it challenging to identify the most effective content for each step. The following is a guide to creating the right content to drive website conversions at each step of the sales funnel.

Top of the Funnel: Awareness and Research

This is the primary step where prospective customers realize they have a problem or a need to fulfill. Buyers at the top of the funnel are searching for high quality and relevant information to point them towards the solution

Over 80% of buyers research products online before buying. The best way to attract them is by offering exactly what they need: highly optimized content with original research. Additionally, posting explainer videos that contain demonstrations can have a huge impact on your site. Lastly, create attractive landing pages to offer your visitors solutions at the click of a button.

[Read about how to use the buyer’s journey to create great content]

Middle of the Funnel: Evaluation

During the second stage of the sales funnel, buyers are trying to sort through their best options that you and your competitors are offering.  It’s the seller’s job to explain why they are the best solution for the customer’s problem. The purpose of this section of the funnel is to highlight your expertise and begin the process of lead nurturing.

The best content for this stage are webinars and live communication features. These give the marketers and customers a space to interact with live questions and discussions. Email marketing is also a great way to offer relevant and consistent content. Don’t forget to include clear calls to action that will convert leads.

Bottom of the Funnel: Purchase

At the final stage, the buyer has decided they are ready to make a purchase, but they have not yet decided the source of their purchase. Providing them with access to the solution as well as some incentives will likely turn a prospective buyer to a customer.

Clear calls to action linked to trial offers, video tutorials, and product information can have a huge impact on prospective customers. Aligning your offers with educational and entertaining testimonials is an effective technique. It’s also wise to creating a purchasable demo based on a free plan that entices customers to access its premium features.

Pay Attention to the Buyer’s Journey

Above all, remember to consider your clients’ needs first. From there, develop your funnel in order to fulfill these needs at each stage. If the sales funnel is implemented correctly and your content is helpful to customers, your lead conversion rate will definitely increase.

Download Our White Paper Guide To Learn How To Perfect Buyer Personas For Your Business

senior living conference

LeadingAge Illinois 2017 Senior Living Conference

At the Senior Living Conference taking place September 26th and 27th, featured speakers Dan Gartlan and Nicole Wagner will share their senior living marketing expertise. President of Stevens & Tate Dan and Internet Marketing Director Nicole will hold a 90 minute, hands-on workshop where participants will learn how to use social media to communicate with their audience on a more personal level, as well as optimize their website to drive more qualified leads.

From this workshop, called “Attract, Convert, and Close Prospects Using Social Media Strategies and Website Conversion Techniques,” participants should be able to:

  • Determine key marketing tactics to achieve overall business goals.
  • Be able to create buyer personas for future residents and prospects.
  • Understand the stages of the buyer’s journey and how to communicate to prospects through each stage.
  • Walk away with defined steps to improve online presence in order to meet objectives.

Stevens & Tate was asked to share our expertise at the conference based on our extensive experience in the senior living marketing field – with proven success building brands and growing business.

Read more

media mix

How To Create Content For Each Sale Funnel Stage

Even though you may not realize it, you go through a process before buying something, unless, of course, you are an impulse buyer. This process is called a sale funnel. It refers to “the buying process that companies lead customers through when they are purchasing products.” But for any company to succeed, its process must have quality content. Having quality content is having leadership, which is a part of attraction marketing. Here is how to create quality content:

Phases of a standard funnel

  1. Top of the funnel (TOFU): awareness stage

At this point, your followers do not know they have a problem or are just now realizing they do. TOFU involves driving traffic to you as well as providing free surface information with “how to”, “improve”, and “prevent” content.

  1. Middle of the funnel (MOFU): consideration stage

When a potential buyer gets here, they graduate to a potential lead. They need the best solution for their problem and are willing to make possible future purchase commitments. For this stage, begin providing deep content with a wide coverage of topics.

  1. Bottom of the funnel (BOFU): decision stage

Here, someone is making a final purchase decision. Still, there is no guarantee. A little nudge from the right content and assistanced from a call to action will win the customer over.

[Read to learn about the importance of lead generating content marketing]

Creating sale funnel content for each stage

  1. TOFU

Content can be in the form of an eBook, checklist, podcast, whitepaper, etc. It should be rich with key words, compelling, informational, correctly format, and delivered in a timely manner. Do not attempt to sell at this stage because the potential customer is not yet considered a qualified lead. Make your content both easy to understand and enjoyable to read. Try to obtain the potential customer’s personal contact information at this point through forms and landing pages to use later in the lead qualifying process.

  1. MOFU

As your visitors transition to this stage, your content should transition with them. This content can be in the form of case studies, demonstration videos, trial offers, cost estimates, etc. You should offer expert, in-depth content. For example: “The Complete Checklist for a Refurbished Phone.”

As they look to expand their personal understanding, usher in lead nurturing techniques such as personal engagement and email marketing. This is usually the longest phase because potential customers need to weigh their options and research further. However, an advantage to this wait is that you can take time to filter out unqualified leads and instead focus your resources on marketing qualified leads.

  1. BOFU

When your leads reach the final stage, you will probably be a little anxious, but don’t push too much. Offer content to make them understand why you are the best best option for them. Position yourself as a solution to their problem. Be careful not to sound too much like a sales person, and focus your content on their needs. “Guidelines For Success” or “How to Implement Inbound Marketing Strategies” are some examples of content you should provide in order to convert your leads into sales.

Inbound marketing will help you grow your business by attracting website visitors, converting them into leads and closing leads into customers

case study questions

8 Great Case Study Questions To Ask Yourself When Attracting Prospects

Case studies and customer testimonials are incredibly effective ways to convert leads into customers. They give leads a taste of how your company successfully worked with other clients. There are several important case study questions to ask yourself as you prepare to publish a compelling case study for potential clients.

Below are 8 case study questions you can ask yourself as well as those who worked on the project.

1. What compelled the client to seek out your services?

This is a great way to find out how the services of your company are resonating with potential clients. It allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing message and how attractive it is to customers.

2. What initial challenges did you experience while working with the client, and how did you solve them?

Working with each client is a unique process. Reflecting on the challenges your company has faced with this client can provide unique insights and areas to improve upon when working with future clients. If your company is able to portray a good working relationship with its clients, the potential customer will know they can trust you to accommodate their future needs.

3. What process did you follow to develop and implement these services?

It’s vital to consider how your company implemented and catered your services specifically to the client’s needs. This insight can help you provide valuable details to potential clients when presenting the case study.

4. How did the client respond to your suggestions during the process?

Potential clients seek information about how the process is conducted and how your company will help them achieve their goals. You can use this opportunity to reflect upon your client’s responses to your feedback during the process and to adjust your working relationship with your potential customers accordingly.

5. How did your ability to provide these solutions improve during the process?

How was your company was able to grow the client’s business and improve it as a result of a particular project? Answering this question is a great way for your case study to communicate a message of continuous growth in your ability to provide services.

6. What were the results of the process?

Find out if your customer was able to achieve his/her goals as a result of the process. You can then present these end results in your case study.

7. How has the relationship with the client been since completion of the project?

Maintaining a strong business relationship with the customer even after provision of the service shows that your company takes customer satisfaction seriously and cares for the needs of its clients.

8. Did anything that you did not expect happen during the process?

This question seeks to uncover any unique interactions that your company had with the client. There may be experiences your staff gained that can be crucial when presenting your case study in a compelling manner to potential clients. Reflecting on unforeseen events can also improve the level of services your company provides.

Download Our White Paper Guide To Learn How To Perfect Buyer Personas For Your Business
Website Redesign Process

The Role Copy Plays In The Website Redesign Process

The decision to redesign a website marks a major milestone in the growth of a business. It is a time to boost the brand image, refresh the look and content of the website, and update all the product listings and sales offers. Interestingly enough, although refreshing your website content is often ignored during the website redesign process, it should actually be near the top of the list.

Why Should You Refresh the Copy on Your Redesigned Website?

Copying over existing content from an old website to a new one seems like a good way to save money. However, it can actually end up costing you more in the long run. Instead refreshing your website will benefit your company in the following ways:

  • Your refreshed copy will give your new website a different layout, complete with latest in website design. Trying to force outdated content from an old web page onto your new site is not the best use of your time and resources.
  • Your refreshed website will reflect your current branding and product mix. More than likely, the focus of your business has changed since your last website redesign. You want your website to reflect this growth.
  • Your refreshed content on your new website will rank higher on search engines because it will be current and optimized. If your old content is not ranking well, copying it over to your new website is pointless. In fact, search engines could see it as duplicate content, which will pull your rankings even lower.
  • You’ll give your customers the new, relevant content they crave. Fresh and consistent content will attract more visitors to your website as well as increase customer loyalty.

[Read about essential website optimization techniques to increase visitors here]

How Does Copy Fit Into the Website Redesign Process?

With so much riding on your website redesign, you need to make sure to hire the best people for the job. A copywriter is a critical member of the team who brings a specific skill set to the project. A good copywriter should be able to present a company’s benefits and key selling points. They should also understand the ins and outs of search engine optimization and know how to develop copy that search engines will love.

Developing copy begins in the earliest stages of website redesign. The site map, developed during the design phase, organizes each page on the site and identifies the content needed for each page. This is where the copywriter’s job comes in.

While the website designer works on wire frames, the copywriter begins developing content. Eventually, the two come together, marrying the design elements of the website with the copy contained within. This stage gives the team the ability to see how well the new design showcases the content, and vice versa.

After design approval, production begins. This is when the copywriter develops final copy and applies it to the new web page at the appropriate time. Although refreshing your new website’s copy may take work, it will pay off soon enough and give you a leg up on the competition.

17 SEO MYTHS YOU SHOULD LEAVE BEHIND