Closed-loop marketing sounds like a fancy way to reel in customers, but it’s far from being the new-fangled way of doing business and attracting new customers to your brand. In fact closed-loop online marketing has been used and refined for over a decade by some of the world’s top companies. But what makes it so different?
Customer experience (CX), involves these three key elements: people, process and technology to understand, anticipate and deliver exceptional personalized experiences. The simple truth is that the core driver of consumer behavior isn’t product features or price, it’s perception.
Today, B2C, B2B, and customer experience are all blending together. Each is important for making your brand sell, but the experience has become one hot button in the last year. It even has its own summit this May in Denver.
Here are four key ways to improve your B2B customer experience.
When it comes to engaging with your audience on social media, you’ll want to consider implementing a video content strategy. This is because video is an excellent storytelling medium — and if it’s one thing that audiences can connect with, it’s good storytelling. Not to mention that roughly 72 percent of people would rather learn about a product or service from a video than from text. The following are four video marketing ideas that are particularly effective for senior living communities:
4 Effective Video Marketing Ideas For Senior Living
1. Share The Stories Of Your Staff
Getting your audience to engage with a video about a place is difficult, but if you highlight the people at that place, it becomes much easier. Putting a face to your senior living community will make it easier for potential residents and decision makers to relate to your video content (and therefore, your community) on a personal level.
Showcase the stories of some of the people that work at your senior living community and the relationships that they have built with the residents. You could also highlight the people that are in charge by showing why they decided to establish or run your senior living community.
2. Share The Stories Of Your Residents
As good as your reputation might be, you still have to work hard to build trust amongst your audience. Instead of shooting videos about how amazing your community is, consider allowing some of your residents to tell their stories instead. Make the resident or the decision maker a main character, explain what their needs or problems were and allow them to tell the audience why your community was the perfect solution. Not only can such storytelling be extremely effective at engaging the audience, but it works as a customer testimonial of sorts as well.
3. Shoot Documentary Videos And Behind-the-scenes Footage
Provide your audience with a peek into what it’s like to live at your senior living community by shooting documentary videos and behind-the-scenes footage. Video content like this makes audiences feel like they are getting an unstaged glimpse or even a tour of everyday life at your senior living community, which can make your community much more appealing to them.
4. Tell Fictional Stories
While using video to showcase your residents, staff, and management can help make it easier for audiences to connect to your community, don’t be afraid to tell fictional stories as well. Creating a fictional video, such as an animation, for example, allows you to get a little more creative with your video marketing ideas, which in turn can make your videos much more entertaining and engaging as a result.
Storytelling plays an important part in getting audiences to engage with your senior living community on a more personal level, and one of the most effective ways to tell your story is through the use of video content on social media. These are four video marketing ideas that will allow you to employ visual storytelling to engage your audience more successfully.
You may have noticed during your own Google searches that you usually don’t go far past the first page of search results, even though there are plenty of results following that page. Why is that? Well, search engines provide the most relevant, useful, and credible answers first. This means that they have examined all of the content on the web and ranked the organic results based on relevance to your search. This is just one additional benefit to the three key benefits of SEO you will learn.
Storytelling has been a part of human interaction for millennia. From the ancient time when families gathered around a fire for protection from predators, to the modern gathering of children around a preschool teacher, stories are a way for people to convey ideas and share experiences. The power of the story also works for building brands. Learning how to build a brand story begins with the past and moves forward.
Know Your Brand’s History
Every person who ever started a company had a reason for opening the doors. It could be to sell a product the founder invented. It could be to solve a known consumer problem. The reason could be to fill a particular niche. No matter the reason, the details of who founded the company and why is important for building the brand story.
Another aspect you need to record is why the brand took the direction it did. The founder may have started the company in one direction, but for one reason or another, the brand took its own path. Recording what happened and why is important for moving the brand story forward to the present.
Know Where Your Company Is Going
The next part of how to build a brand story is knowing where the company is going. Every brand needs a plan for future growth. That plan should be a natural outgrowth of the brand’s past and its present trajectory.
The future story is a vision of where the company’s owners want the brand to be in a given time frame. It needs to be well thought out, figuring in potential changes in the market and industry. It needs to integrate the brand’s vision, strategies, and goals.
Know Your Brand’s Values
What does your brand stand for? A brand’s values demonstrates what connects it to the world around it. Defining a brand’s values needs to be more than just stating an idealized version of what the brand should stand for. It should be an authentic statement of what the brand actually stands for.
Ask a customer what your brand stands for. You might be surprised at what you hear. The values that customers perceive may not be the values you want your brand to stand for. You have the power to redefine the perception, but it begins with knowing the values you want it to stand for.
Tell Your Story
Knowing your brand’s history, its future, and its values gives you the building blocks to tell your brand story. Your story needs to be authentic and honest. It should be a succinct statement of where your brand came from, where it is going and what it stands for. The story must demonstrate your company’s purpose. It should invite your audience to be part of the brand’s future.
Learning how to build a brand story is just the first step. You must align every aspect of your company with this story. Consistency demonstrates authenticity, which, in turn, builds trust with your target audience. The story should be an integral part of your website, your marketing, and your advertising. It needs to be part of your internal training for new hires. It needs to be a part of the fabric that makes up your brand.
The economy is changing. We are in the midst of new frontiers in so many areas without effective marketing strategies in place. The way people shop, engage with brands and enjoy their time is markedly different than it was 15 years ago. Brands that don’t change, and use new marketing strategies are likely to falter and fail. The changing economy is the reason why 68 Macy’s stores are closing their doors, and The Limited is shuttering its doors. The evolution of the economy is forcing the scaling back of Sears and Kmart, and even luxury food retailer Whole Foods.
In this ever-changing World, stores, and companies that fail to adapt, also cease to exist. It seems the Borders and Blockbuster Videos just didn’t anticipate the climate was evolving. Think about this, the largest transportation provider in the United States doesn’t own a single car. Uber has shifted thoughts and succeeded. The newest largest hotel company in the World doesn’t own a single hotel. Airbnb has made it more convenient to book a stay. And lastly, Amazon just passed Wal-Mart as the nation’s biggest retailer, but they don’t own a single retail store.
Here are four effective marketing strategies to making your company bulletproof:
1) CEO has to be willing to change.
Modify the culture, the approach and forecast the possibilities. Employees then must relish in the change and execute. This thought can’t be on one person. It takes an army to change. When is the last time you stepped outside of your world and looked down at it? Employing marketing strategies for a changing economy can do just that.
2) Follow Trends.
Staying current on technology could give you an edge of coming up with something revolutionary. Your company just needs to be open for the opportunity when it becomes available. I guess, recognizing the shift when its in front of you, is equally important as implementing it. The strategies that worked two decades ago, simply don’t work now. The economy changed, and thus marketing strategies must change, too.
3) Emulate Shark Tank.
Strange one right? Individuals are always coming up with new ways to market or solve an issue. Your culture needs to be just that. Foster the growth of your employees by listening and having a forum for ideas like Shark Tank. Ideas can come from anyone, and today this needs to be embraced more than ever. Be ready to invest when the right opportunity presents itself. The execution comes later. Crowdsourcing has become a major marketing strategy in the changing economy because it works.
4) Never be complacent.
Once you stop pushing forward, your competition has the advantage. The drive will certainly win out in the long run. Did you know 72% of bosses would rather have passion over education or knowledge? Passion has more ability to make money. The problem-solving skills increase as intensity increases. Some individuals may call it enthusiasm. Our job market today has many dissatisfied individuals that don’t feel they are contributing to making a difference. Their interest seems to be low. Don’t believe me? Here are some facts that give you the state of employment.
- 88% of employees don’t have passion for their work
- 80% of senior managers are not passionate about their work
- Employees working in government reported the lowest rate of engagement
- 86% of businesses and HR leaders believe they don’t have a good leadership development path
- 79% feel they have a significant retention and engagement problem
- 75% are struggling to attract and recruit the top people they need
- 83% feel they don’t have a compelling and engaging brand
- Only 6% believe their current process for managing performance is worth the time
- 2/3 of today’s employees feel overwhelmed
Giving access to the decision makers for your staff could truly change these stats by leaps and bounds. But typically, our model in America is to push leadership down. Today, it should be reversed. Can you imagine Netflix today, if they didn’t think of ways to deliver movies without a disc? What if the Nest had a bunch of guys that only believed that the thermostat was and always will be the same tool for turning on your air conditioning and heat? What if Dyson didn’t believe a vacuum could suck dirt up any better? And if Peapod believed everyone would get their groceries? I am a believer that everything can keep getting better. It does not matter what you sell or how you sell it; it can be improved upon. Be in a position to win, be in a position to be open and throw out your old thought process of “that’s how it’s always been.” This is the reason agencies and marketing firms exist. They should help propel you to new thoughts, and serve as a vehicle to get those thoughts out into the world.
Make yourself bulletproof and take on the change. Rework your marketing strategies to include new and innovative ideas. You’d be surprised just how much a different approach can surpass the field of fierce competition, and help you shine, even in a changing economy.
When you have a tight marketing budget, you don’t have room to play with different advertising campaigns. You have to spend every bit of the budget where you know it will be most effective. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can improve your advertising approach without breaking the budget.
Top 5 Tips to Improve Advertising
Well over 75% of consumers use Google and other search engines to find businesses of all sorts. If you want your business to show up on their search, your website needs to rank as high as possible. Search engine optimization (SEO) can help pull your website ranking up. You can do this by creating rich content built around certain keywords and adding them to your website.
Track and Leverage Your Data
When a consumer provides data, use it to your advantage. Send out promotions and offers. You can do this by email or direct mail.
Take it to the next step. Analyze the data you have. Do you see any indicators such as age, gender, economic status, etc.? That information allows you to do targeted marketing to a particular indicator.
Change Your Media Mix
If you have been using the same media for advertising for a significant period of time, it is time to shake things up by changing the mix. Now, that is not to say you should abandon what is working. What you need to do is find out what is not working. Then, shift that effort/cost into a new media and see what happens. You might try a new social media channel or see if a PPC ad can generate some interest.
Stay Relevant and Consistent
Your advertising must jump out from everything else going on. That means it must be meaningful and relevant to the audience viewing it. Without relevance, the ad fades into the background.
It is also critical for advertising to be consistent. Customers love consistency. It builds trust and makes them more interested in what a company is doing and saying. Consistent content creation, advertising approach, logo/color presentation, and even customer service has a significant impact on building the all-important client trust.
Keep Your Buyer Personas Current and Focused
Just as your business evolves, so does your clients. Technology, product development and consumer attention move at frightening speed. If your buyer personas don’t keep up with what your target audience is looking for, you will be wasting your advertising budget on ads that don’t connect with your target audience. Refresh your buyer personas at least a couple times of year to keep them relevant.
Focus your advertising approach to the buyer’s journey. Some of your mix should attract prospects, while other parts nurture existing leads. Still more should bring qualified leads towards making a decision.
Each of these options will help you improve your advertising efforts, without spending a lot of money. You can adopt all of them or pick the ones that would work best for your company. Which one will you use first?
This article can also be found on Data Captive.
Also published on Top Digital Agency August 8, 2018.
A popular and recent trend in video ads, particularly for many technical products, is the effective use of camera angle from a first person perspective, allowing viewers to engage in a more immersive experience. Most styles of these video ads often do away with spokespeople and voiceovers, letting the experience talk. From the perspective of a video marketing strategy, first-person video marketing is very effective as they deliver a more personalized user experience
The strategy of using a first-person angle in videos is to offer viewers a first-hand and personalized view of what’s it like to experience the products. Moreover, these videos cut past the fluff and buzzwords, showing the viewers precisely what they will get. The other important part of this video marketing strategy is to make the user experience more memorable, motivating them to use the products.
The use of a first-person perspective in marketing videos utilizes an emotional appeal, making it easier to forge a bond between you and viewers. Here are some reasons why first-person content is helpful:
Using the first-person angle in your videos anchors them in the moment. It can benefit you as the viewer feels like he or she is participating in an active experience, rather than feeling distant or remotely connected. This sense of presence makes your content more relatable.
It is more difficult to be passive and wishy-washy in your video statements when you make claims using the word “I” or “we.” As a result, imbuing the content with ownership through the first-person perspective can make it more authoritative and develops trust with your viewers.
Presence and ownership often lend themselves to a unique sense of authenticity. The implied ownership makes your content more credible and believable compared to “source-less” content, even when there is no name associated with the audio or voice.
People often think before speaking. Therefore, when your audience views video ads made from the first-person angle, usually it confers a tacit implication of recollection and reflection. Using the first-person perspective conveys that you have put some consideration and personal thought into your words, which can lend it more credence.
A number of leading brands such as Google, Apple and Samsung use this video marketing strategy. Apple, like its main competitor Samsung, uses the first-person perspective in nearly all its product advertisements. Especially as many of its products are handheld devices, the viewers get a first-hand experience via the videos.
Flashy and over-the-top video ads do not get the same traction anymore. Customers want to know what they will get when they open the box. This is one reason why product unboxing videos have become so popular. They are posted by customers on YouTube for almost any product you could think of. As this is exactly what consumers are seeking, you could let your new video advertisement unbox a product for them.