5 Small Business Marketing Posts You Should Read

Each post below provides practical, helpful advice that I believe will help your business move forward.

And, I pulled these helpful articles because the advice each author presents is a methodology I often write about and/or something I think you, Mr. And Mrs. Small Business Owner, need to know.

So, for your reading pleasure, here are five small business marketing posts I think you should…

1. Google is your new business card

Brand SERPs You Really Should Be Tracking (and Improving) by Jason Barnard

Do you want the perfect “online business card?” Well, according to Jason Barnard you need to track, evaluate, and improve search engine results for your brand. This will improve your brand image in the eyes of people and the search engines.

VERY, very good advice.

This methodology is what I’ve been talking about a lot with my clients, basically starting right out of the gate with both branding and SEO (the peanut butter and jelly combo).

It’s the only way to create the perfect “online business card.”

Here’s what Jason has to say in a nutshell…

Ignore {Brand} search engine results at your peril! Search queries for your brand name are crucial touchpoints for both people and search engines and are therefore absolutely, positively essential to your business.

And, here’s what you need to remember… you should setup a process to track, evaluate, and improve them, on an ongoing basis.

A. People are key

Google is your new business card. And what people see when they search for you is vital.

Do the results they see in their search clearly communicate your brand message?

B. But of course, never forget Google

The results you see indicate how well Google understands your brand.

Want the perfect “online business card?”

  1. Track
  2. Evaluate
  3. Improve
  4. Repeat

Thanks, Jason!

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2. Want to know why Digital Personal Assistants Are Getting Smarter?

Why Digital Personal Assistants Are Getting Smarter by Eric Enge and Mark Mark Traphagen

Digital Personal Assistants Are Getting Smarter.

Why should this matter to you?

Stone Temple tested assistants Google Assistant, Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Cortana to provide some answers.

This question is what you should be focused on: What do people use these for?

Why should you be focused on this question?

Well, data shows that factual information is by far the number one thing people use these voice-driven devices for. People typically search for quick answers via a typical search engine query. Meaning they would type it into Google.

But more and more of these clever little assistants are providing the answers.

So, if you’re concerned with their SEO you should pay close attention.

Google assistant answers most questions but they are all closing the gap, especially Alexa. And all the assistants are striving to be able to answer more questions.

What are the takeaways from this post and video?…

To reemphasize: If you have any interest in search, you need to pay attention to these voice devices. The internet is no longer confined to a web browser.

What are practical things to prepare?

A. Figure out how to get more featured snippets. When it comes to your own SEO plans, optimizing these snippets is a great way to practice finding that one great answer the personal assistants do so well.

B. Get involved in programming the devices themselves. All the companies let you create apps for their devices where users can get answers from you.

Take a look at the post and video from Eric Enge and Mark Traphagen.

Stone Temple is a daily stop for me: https://www.stonetemple.com/digital-personal-assistants-are-getting-smarter-heres-why/

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3. B2B Brands can build great customer experiences

5 Killer Customer Experience Examples for B2B Brands by Robert Clark

Your customers want a pleasant experience beyond just good customer service.

As a business owner, you need to help guide them through a journey that serves their interests, wants, and concerns.

To do this, you must understand them on a much deeper level, so you can anticipate their wants and needs without them having to ask you for it.

Turns out there’s a big emphasis on enhancing the customer experience. And for B2B brands, it’s a transformation that must not be ignored.

Sensei Marketing pulled together five examples of enhanced customer experience in action.

  1. How B2B brands partner with popular brands to associate their “boring” brand with something more in the public eye.
  2. A model I preach time after time — encourage engagement. Ask questions and get feedback from your customers.
  3. Creating an emotional connection with customers is not only for consumer brands.
  4. Keep people at the heart. Building a community = building a brand.
  5. Use customer feedback to your advantage. Actually, even negative feedback will help you find a solution to your customers problem.

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4. Five ways to improve your website conversions

5 quick hacks to improve your website conversions by Aktura Technology

This post from Aktura Technology highlights hacks that will improve your site conversions.

Turns out there are several fairly quick and easy fixes to help you convert visitors to customers.

1. The three second rule

With any site visitor, you only have about three seconds to capture their attention, so these elements should be “above the fold” and easy to understand…

  • Why you are unique.
  • Effective design to keep them around.
  • Use an image that conveys the end result of working with you.
  • A call to action to get them to continue.

2. Customer testimonials

Customer quotes will deliver the proof you need to convert.

But, sprinkle them throughout your site instead of placing them all on one page. Pick testimonials most relevant to one of your products or services and place them on that page. Then make them stand out.

3. Display authority

Authority conveys that you are an expert that delivers results. Proudly display things like:

  • Shots of your team at work.
  • Awards you’ve won.
  • Big clients you’ve helped.
  • Etc.

4. Let your personality shine through

Start with your “About” page, because visitors want to know more about you. Display…

  • Creative copy that truly represents your values.
  • Fun team photos.
  • Tell stories.
  • Etc.

5. Have a clear call to action on each page

Prospects want to know who you are, how you will help them, and what they should do next.

Make the “what they should do next” part easy by giving them a call-to-action on each page.

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5. Before you vet your competition take a close look inside your company

Vetting Your Competition Starts Inside Your Company by Jiffy Iuen

Okay, this article is from April 10, 2017! But it just popped up in my social media stream recently so I’m featuring it! ;)

Businesses often analyze the competition but they seldom turn that same critical eye inward.

And that’s a problem!

Why?

Because, how in the world can you compare your company with another if you haven’t clearly defined your own brand promise?

Her steps?

1. Conduct a honest and thorough assessment of your business.

Ask questions like, what do you do best? Is your rate competitive? How do your operations truly benefit customers? Etc.

But that’s just a start. You need to go deep and find out what needs improvement.

And guess what? Your customers will give you the facts you need — hard-hitting feedback on how you’re performing. Interview your best customers.

Find the problems you didn’t know existed. And improve your business.

2. Keep communication open with your customers.

After you complete #1 above, don’t think your audit is finished. It can never be finished if you want to continue to improve.

Make client check-ins a part of your process. Use surveys. End your meetings with questions like the following: Do you understand our process? Have I answered all your questions? Etc.

Maintain this line of communication. Be open to the critical feedback and improve.

3. Respond quickly.

If a problem surfaces, take care of it right away.

After a project is completed, discuss positive and negative feedback and create steps to change for the better.

Find and eliminate your weaknesses one by one, starting with those that affect your reputation and profits.

As the author, Jiffy Iuen states: “At the end of the day, your biggest enemy isn’t the one outside — it’s your own unrealized flaws. Strike them down as they rear their heads, and you’ll crush the competition.”

I’m 100% on board with that message!

A version of this post originally appeared on the McBreen Marketing blog.

About Craig McBreen

Craig McBreen, Principal of McBreen Marketing, is a marketing professional with over 20 years experience working with small businesses. His mission is to help clients create a comprehensive marketing system that increases brand awareness, accelerates business growth, and is built for long-term marketing success. Craig is a Certified Duct Tape Marketing Consultant. Specialties: Brand Development, Marketing Strategy, Content Marketing.