You’re doing digital advertising. You have a website, use some cool graphics, email customer lists, post regularly to social channels, and run some paid online ad campaigns. 

Great, can you confidently answer the next four questions? 

  1. Do you know about SEO, SEM, SERP, PPC, CTA, CTR, Google Analytics, and AdWords? Uncertain?  
  2. Is your digital dossier integrated to impact your overall lead and sales return on investment (ROI)? Yes, and no? 
  3. Do you think your ROI is on par in your industry? Maybe so?  
  4. Are you paying too much per click or lead? How do I know? 

If your answers are like the ones provided, then what the digital are you doing with your valuable time and hard-earned ad budget? 

Deep down, many small business owners feel the same way. They are all “doing the digital things,” but do not have the time to plan and connect the dots to see what is going well and what could improve. 

The good news? You can remove some digital doubts with a little more time and organization. 

Here are three tips to clear some doubts and maximize digital dollars: 

  1. Review and update your website to ensure pages have good Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  This means many things, and all are about playing nice with Google. If you want the complicated details, check out the 200-plus ranking signals.  Make sure that: 

2. Set up and check Google Analytics. If you are not sure how to start, Google can help.  

3. Combine your Google Analytics and Google Ad Words. Not doing Ad Words or want to check your skills? Yep, Google can help with that too.  

Love the tips, but still spinning from all the data, analysis, and acronyms? Here’s some more good news – you can call your digital expert friends at Poole Communications to help. Ask them to look at your website and Google game. They can access or create the necessary Google and web accounts to streamline your strategy:  800-900-3635.

Source/Reference links: 

Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List (2021)

© 2021 PooleCommunications.com

If you really want to get to know your customers, walk a mile in their shoes. Not ready to lace up your sneakers for that tall task? Consider penning a persona instead. Before you start this process, please make sure the time you are spending will result in REAL value to your company or your project. We have seen an over use of personas that end up being more busy work that real research. If you are going to do this, do it right and realize that it will take some time. 

Businesses can mine existing data to craft a short story about a customer to unlock new ways to present messages, products, and services to gain better leads and increased sales. Research shows that 71% of companies who have personas exceed prospect and revenue goals and 36% of companies reported shorter sales cycles. Again, exploring and using the data you’ve found is critical. We’ve seen quite a few companies go through the work of building personas and take the additional time to think the process through and apply the data to real customers.

Persona Defined
A persona is a summary or fictional story of someone who represents your target audience. It documents the specific characteristics of your best customers beyond their buying history.

How to create a persona
Using customer and product data, write a few sentences describing key aspects of a model customer’s lifestyle that add personal context to the basic demographics of age, income, education, and location.

Here are seven key components of a customer’s persona and examples for each:

  1. Roles- Single-mom, teacher, accountant, uncle, kid chauffeur, student, volunteer, salesperson, manager, retiree, or go-to co-worker.
  2. Goals — A better job, more time with family, more confidence, financial security, service to the community.
  3. Challenges — Making ends meet, juggling responsibilities, health concerns, getting kids through college.
  4. Frustrations — Has trouble finding affordable products and services that she can access after she works all day and runs the kids.
  5. Interests — Children’s activities, reading, sports, art, family time, binging Netflix, volunteering.
  6. News — Local news (traditional TV, radio, or newspaper), national online news sites, social media, news digests like The Morning Brew or The Skimm.
  7. Communication preference/use — Email, direct mail, text, phone, in-person, social media.

How to find the data to build persona components:

After gathering the data for a customer persona, add a catchy name, brief description, and a stock photo to bring the story to life. Here’s an example using basic demographics and sample data components from above:

Mama Michelle
A single mom on the move personally and professionally.

Michelle is 38, has an estimated income between $40,000 and $55,000, has completed some college, and lives in a rural area. She is a single mom, works at a medical office, and hopes to get a promotion to gain confidence and be an example for her two kids who she transports to and from soccer and school activities. In her limited free time, Michelle checks Twitter for news; Instagram and Facebook to catch up with friends and family; and Pinterest for dinner recipes. She watches Netflix late at night while checking emails after the kids go to sleep.

The power of a persona is using the information to drive marketing and product decisions from “Mama Michelle’s” perspective. Before launching a new campaign, ad, or product line, businesses might ask:

“What would Michelle need?”

“Would Michelle see this?”

“What image or message would resonate with Michelle?”

“Will this product be accessible to Michelle at the time she needs it?”

“Could Michelle afford this?”

Poole Communications can help you dive into the data and develop personas to connect with your customers’ perspectives to make more impact with your marketing.

Visit our Insights and pick up some quick tips for your business. Subscribe to our newsletter to be sent regular tools and tips.

Research

Research: http://www.itsma.com/importance-of-developing-effective-personas/Buyer Personas - 33 Mind-Blowing Stats - Boardview
Buyer Personas drive sales. Early adopters of Personas are showing a significant boost in ROI, and we've collected a…boardview.io

© 2021 Poole Communications


Use Chatbots to grow your business.
Meet Cathy. She is cheery, has the patience of a saint, is freakishly knowledgeable about your business, works 24/7, anticipates customers’ needs, and knows when to ask questions and when to leave people alone.
Right now Cathy is charming the pants off your competitor’s customers. Darn you, Cathy!
Whoa, no need to get chippy. Cathy can work for you too. In fact, Cathy is in the market for a new gig and you can snag her for free.
Cathy is a Chatbot. And in an hour from now, she can be chatting with new leads on your website and Facebook page.
Really. No heavy tech lifting or pricey software. And P.S., customers expect Chatty Cathys. 
Sixty-three percent of people surveyed by Oracle said they prefer to message with chat bots and it’s because of the many benefits Cathy offers including 24/7 service and instant answers.
In 2020, chatbots will drive 85% of customer service, and why not? Just think of it, while Cathy is chatting up customers, answering routine questions and presenting new products and services based on their needs you are planning and developing new product lines.
And, oh yeah, Cathy is doing all of this at an hourly rate of $0. 
Wondering what Cathy should be talking about with your customers?
Simple things like:
“What brings you to us today?”
“Can I interest you in a discount?”
“I see you are looking at this service, we can tailor it to your schedule and deliver it for free!”
With time, Cathy can even get into some deep conversations with customers. Check out some other messages for chatbots and how some big time brands are using their own Cathys to increase the bottom line.
Now’s not the time for chatting, though. Now is the time to learn how to use Facebook’s free messenger chat bot to benefit your business. Cathy is waiting to serve you.
Need help with Chatbot Charm?

Use chatbots to grow your business. Set up a chatbot on your site or social media page, or give us a call: 800-900-3635. While not free, it may be much quicker than setting it up yourself... and we're happy to help.

When you're done go to our Insights and pick up some quick tips for your business. Subscribe to our newsletter to be sent regular tools and tips.

It’s the wild west out there.  Semi-closed to the public, small businesspeople everywhere find themselves in a new frontier.  Today, we're marketing in COVID territory.  Saddled up in their horse and wagon, otherwise known as the internet and delivery, options seem slim and consistent revenue streams a distant mirage.

The challenges are there, but so are the opportunities.

Here are some ways for marketing trail blazers to land the loyalty of current customers and stake claim on new ones in COVID territory.

Care
Contact customers and show you care.  Ask how they are coping and how your business might help. Use phone calls, hand-written notes, chats, and emails.  You’ll learn about their worries, needs, and support each other in the process.  Create a weekly live social media check-in to show the inside of your business, new items and ideas.
Outreach
Access your community’s resources to find ways to connect your product or service with those in need. Think about how your offerings could be modified to meet a whole new audience you might not have envisioned previously. Create content that presents the benefits of your company on a personal level.  Consider reaching out to your local television stations and share your story.
Visualize
Look ahead and visualize what your customers’ needs will be in our new normal.  As your community phases in businesses, where will yours fit?  How can you merge and maximize your current COVID tactics of internet sales and delivery with limited in-person service?
Identify
Adapt your current operations and identify ways to expand future revenue streams.  Take the “slow-down” and turn it into an efficiency injection. Deluxe Small Business Revolution offers 10 ways to maximize downtime.  They advise to refresh your website, seek different ways to share your message, and look for partnerships to leverage resources.
Dare
Reimagine your business.  Use the time to plan and develop a new product or service.  Consider rebranding and developing new messaging for the new world ahead.  Check out Wordstream' s advice on how consumer behavior has and will change and ways to adapt your online marketing and advertising strategies.

By showing you care and thinking ahead, your business will be ready to claim success when we make this virus wave the white flag of surrender. Do it right when marketing in COVID territory!

When you're done go to our Insights and pick up some quick tips for your business. Subscribe to our newsletter to be sent regular tools and tips.

There’s no denying it, marketers are diving into digital advertising - the deep end of digital advertising.

Recent surveys of business owners and ad buyers spanning multiple industries show that everyone is swimming away from traditional media like print, radio, and TV into the streaming current of digital channels.

First Time for Everything

According to eMarketer.com, digital advertising accounts for 54% of ad budgets. That's nearly $130 billion in the United States alone. That figure is expected to grow to 67% by 2023.

Notably, this marks the first time marketers are spending more on digital advertising than traditional options. Take a look at the figures:

digital ad spend

Search and Social Sharks

While print and radio were the first to feel the drowning effects of digital, television is also getting swept up by the growing digital tide. Even Google and Facebook are watching their backs as reports indicate Amazon is swimming into their territory with rapid speed.

Clikz Marketing Technology Transformation and Marin Software took a deeper dive into the specific digital advertising channels used; which shows paid search and paid social accounting for nearly 60% of advertising spending.

Paid digital media

Source: Marin Software

Catch and Ride the Wave with Video

As marketers dive into digital advertising and ride digital tidal wave, video will be their best surfboard.

Emarketer.com shares that video will continue to drive the growth of digital advertising spending, particularly in social media and through the use of Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms like Hulu and Roku.

A Forbes.com article shared a report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau indicated that 41% of United States consumers over the age of 13 watch online and streaming videos daily.

The report also shared that 75% of digital video viewers are willing to watch advertising in exchange for content. Not only will they watch the ad, online viewers pay more attention to video messages and prefer to learn about new products through video.

Impact Learning Center and Wyzowl also provide compelling digital video statistics:

The Sea Still Needs Stories

As marketers are swimming in the deep end of digital advertising ocean, it may be comforting to know they all have a familiar lifeboat.

Good storytelling remains at the heart of any campaign. Without it, consumers won’t get on board with a product or brand, no matter how often they see it on their channel of choice.

Finally, if marketers stick with good stories and surf all channels with video, they can ride the wave of digital marketing to success.

Thinking of diving into digital advertising? Need help with your story or social media? Give Poole Communications a call. We can help provide strategies and tips to get the most from your digital advertising. 800-900-3635

 

When you're done go to our Insights and pick up some quick tips for your business. Subscribe to our newsletter to be sent regular tools and tips.

© 2019 Poole Communications

Tuning up your marketing should be like maintenance on your vehicle. Marketing is the fuel that keeps the customer engine running. The good news is that unlike vehicles, marketing inspections don’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Here are 5 tips to tune up your marketing:

Take a Test Drive

When was the last time you viewed your messaging, processes, discounts, service and overall company experience from a customer’s point of view? Click on your ads, sign up for offers, send a family member into your business, email a staff member and review the results. You may find some small tweaks to help you pick up more miles per gallon.

Employ Digital Diagnostics

Digital advertising campaigns pinpoint the customers most likely to connect with you based on their online behavior. Combined with relevant offers, creative ads and corresponding landing pages, digital advertising is the best way to diagnose if your campaigns are running smoothly or need some tinkering. Check to see if you are getting the impressions, clicks, website visits and leads you deserve.

Marketing is now more science-based, and while it's still also still an art, you can count on the numbers for truth and finding the best path to success for your company.

Street Race the Competition

Next, review your competition’s website or walk-in to see what gets their sales motors running. Compare price points, review their discount and take an inventory of where, when and what they are marketing. You are sure to find at least one idea to beat them to the finish line.

It's pretty simple to set up a search that flags you whenever your competitors name in mentioned in the news. Set one up today and start tracking.

Buff the Exterior

Look at your business’s exterior touch points. Do your ads, website and displays have a cohesive shine or are their a few chips in the paint? Maybe a quick run through the branding car wash is all you need, or perhaps you can buff a few images to freshen up your look.

Chips or dings? Address them immediately. Don't cover them up. Fix the trouble and polish out the finish.

Listen to the Engine

Finally, ask new and old customers some key questions.

Finally, listen and respond. Use their responses to inform new offers, events and products so they know you made all the right fixes.

Use this five-point inspection any time you need to tune up your marketing and keep your sales engines humming. Need 5 tips to tune up your marketing? Contact us today or call 800-900-3635.

When you're done go to our Insights and pick up some quick tips for your business. Subscribe to our newsletter to be sent regular tools and tips.

© 2019 Poole Communications

As a business owner, it seems like media love from any platform comes with a price tag. If only you could become the media’s valentine. Wouldn’t it be nice if they pursued you for something other than a monthly advertising invoice? Or maybe you have dreamed of a reporter showing up at your storefront with a bouquet of free air time to spotlight your business.

Be Prepared

That dream date can happen if you are prepared with the right content at the right time. Content is the heart of every story, blog, and social media post. Reporters need quick access to experts, facts, statistics, trends, and testimonials to tell stories that are meaningful to audiences.

Your expertise, industry knowledge and experience could be the perfect match for a reporter on any given day, but you have to get in the dating game to start building the relationship and really become the media's valentine. Here are a few ways to get your business noticed by the media:

First, Create an expert profile

For example:
Amy Smith, owner, Smith Heating and Air Conditioning (Phone, email, web, social contacts)
Ten year’s experience in residential and industrial HVAC systems
Expert in electrical safety, home energy efficiency and indoor air quality

Connect with local journalists

Next, identify a few journalists in your area who report on topics related to your industry and send them your expert profile through multiple channels. (Social media, email, hand-written note, phone call)

Create content

Use facts and figures about your business and create brief, but meaningful tip sheets or infographics. Focus on ways to help the public save time or money, prepare for the future or avoid a crisis as it relates to your product or service. Periodically share your tips with media contacts. Use social hashtags and tag reporters. Example: 3 Ways to Save Money on Energy Costs #energysavings @nbcreporter

Look for trends and national stories

Find out what is trending on Twitter, look at what others are talking about in your own social media feeds and track stories in the national news. Connect your expertise with those topics and ask the media to consider you for an interview to share how the topic may impact your community, customers or industry.

Be ready and responsive

Journalists have very tight timelines. If a reporter calls for an interview, that interview may need to take place on the spot, or scheduled in one to two hours. If you ask for time to prepare, you may miss your opportunity. By having topics and tips ready you can quickly accept the request. Reporters will remember your responsiveness and likely reach out to you again. This will help build your reputation as a thought-leader in the industry.

It Takes Time

Finally, it takes time and effort to become the media's valentine, but creating connections and content could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship with no price tags attached.

Today we're looking at the simplicity of six words. Can you write your company story in six to ten words? This isn't a new idea. Ernest Hemingway wrote a famous six word story.

"For Sale: New baby shoes. Never worn."

Too often we make things harder than they need to be. Use the simplicity of six words.

Carefully Define Your Business

First, implement this six word idea with your business: define your company and culture in six words or less.

For example: at Poole Communications, we are client-focused, ethical, creative, self-motivated and passionate. When hiring new employees we look for those same characteristics. Even when interviewing a potential new client, we look for those same qualities. (That's right, we don't accept all new clients; we really want a good fit.)

The result is that we have a better fit with ALL the people we work with, that means more enjoyment in our work - and lives - for everyone involved.

Whenever we deviate from this principle there's trouble: a unhappy client who doesn't fit, or a disgruntled, unproductive employee. I've learned over the years how important it is to let our values lead the way.

Next, Define How You Work

Next, six simple words can help us define our logos, our slogans, how we work - and even who we work with. Those same words help you in planning and creating work or providing service. We don't want to sell ourselves, our products or services; we want to educate in an ethical way. Let's make the world a better place. Everyone wants marketing material that are simple and easy to understand. The little amount of time each have makes it mandatory. Word choice and communication is extremely important. It's critical to be clear about who you are and how you work; and it's equally important to be quickly understood.

Simplify Your Life

Finally, the world is fast paced, and we all have a lot to do; work to simplify your job and make your company function better. The simplicity of six words is one small tool you can use. Define what your business is, and how your business works. Get your team involved and listen to their input. Empower them to help grow the company and help make it better.

Need help? We can help you with strategy, writing, planning, budgeting and media placement. Give us a call at 800-900-3635.

©2018 Poole Communications

Poole Communications
108 North Third St, Suite 100
Hannibal, MO 63401
573.221.3635
info@poolecommunications.com
 ©2021 Poole Advertising, LLC DBA Poole Communications
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