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

Sustained survival mode can shift anyone’s creativity and drive into neutral. To flip off fatigue and move forward when others are stagnant, tune into purpose and realistic goal setting.  Here's how to make the S.W.I.T.C.H out of survival mode:

S - See what is working. Moving from a day-to-day approach to our next normal is daunting. Instead of allowing the enormity of tasks paralyze you, observe what is working right now.  Write down some small tweaks that can be made to expand and improve those processes, products, and services that are moving in a positive direction.

W – Wonder about the greatest possible outcome of each task. Juliet Funt calls this approach laddering up. When confronted with something you aren’t wild about doing, ask yourself, “What is the best possible outcome of that?”   

I – Insert Incremental goals. For those small tweaks to the processes, products, and services that are working – set one or two small goals to put incremental changes into action. How can you gain one more customer? What is one step you can take to deliver a service just a little better? Consider what new markets or customer options have developed while we have been in our "survival setting."  What is one way to build on those markets or options for future benefit?

T – Take stock. Take the time to write down what has been accomplished and overcome in the last several months. The list will be long and is guaranteed to switch your team from stagnation to inspiration. 

C - Connect with others.  When possible, find your way out of zoom rooms and make a connection with a colleague or trusted mentor - in person. You'll find strength and energy in strategizing with others who understand our challenges and view things from a different perspective. 

H - Hurry. When setting realistic, incremental goals, set a quick timeline so you can experience immediate results. Then set more short goals and claim your victory by achieving sustained success. 

Switching out of survival mode may be easier than you think.  

 "Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi

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©2021 PooleCommunications.com

As the Zoom Brady Bunch squares pop up one-by-one on screen, the vibe of any virtual meeting hangs in the balance. To make sure your next online gathering becomes an oasis of energy instead of black and white name tag portal of doom, observe the following 10 Do's of Zoom: 

Turn on your camera.  Your meeting mates deserve to see your reactions and contributions.  Appearing on screen shows that you are ready to contribute and your colleagues matter to you.  They can visit an art gallery if they want to see portraits, avatars, or sunset landscapes. If there are legitimate or technical reasons for not using your camera, consider catching up later or share the reason why your video is off through the chat or an email prior to the meeting.  

Show up early. Make time to log in to the Zoom at least five minutes early in case of technical glitches. If you are the first one in the meeting or placed in a waiting room, it shows you are eager and prepared.   

Avoid distractions behind you. Your spouse scanning the fridge or curious child peeking around your shoulder are unwanted distractions.  Others joined the meeting to see you, not random surprises in the background.   

Keep it short. The average zoom meeting lasts 31 to 60 minutes and today business people spend about 23 hours a week in virtual meetings. Shoot for meetings that are 30 minutes or less, action-focused, and packed with value. 

Get into work mode. Perhaps your top half is dressed for business and your bottom half looks ready for bed, but your demeanor, tone, and topics of conversation should be focused on work, not on what is happening at home. 

Mute yourself. No one can predict who or what noise may pop up during a meeting. Focus on the speaker, raise your hand through an icon, post a question in the chat, or patiently wait your turn to talk.  (Pro tip – hit the space bar to unmute yourself for a quick response.)

Stay put. Resist the urge to rock back and forth in your chair, get up to grab a drink, and no matter what, don't take your laptop or phone with you to a bathroom break. 

Be engaged. Virtual does not give anyone permission to be void of energy. Be engaged in the conversation even if it is through non-verbal reactions.  Look at the speaker (not yourself in the camera), ask questions, and prepare points to share with the group. Be the reason someone was glad they joined the meeting. Plus, being plugged in means you'll never be serenaded with a chorus of, "You're on Mute!"

Avoid eating. Meetings are not lunch dates.  No one wants to see you munching on a muffin or chomping on chips, and they certainly don’t want to hear you doing either. 

Forget Fido. We all love our four-legged friends, but they weren’t invited to the meeting, so don’t show up with a plus one.  

Put on a pleasant face. I know this sounds odd, however how many meetings have you been to and it looks like folks are just mad... or sleeping? Put on a pleasant face and pay attention. There just may be something you learn and you want to portray a pleasant, professional image.

Follow these 10 Zoom Do's and save as many colleagues and clients as you can from the black and white name tag portal of doom.

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

© 2021 Poole Communications

For more reading:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/seven-rules-of-zoom-meeting-etiquette-from-the-pros-11594551601

https://hbr.org/2017/07/stop-the-meeting-madness

If you’re reading this, you are clearly acquainted with blogs. What you may not know is how to park your expertise, personality, tips, and tricks into an online space where new and loyal customers stop by for advice they enjoy and trust. 

And, if you build this blog will it bring business or just bystanders?  

A blog will do both and is one of the most cost-effective ways to turn bystanders into customers. According to cbo.me, there are five key business benefits of blogging, they include: 

Perhaps the most relevant blogging statistic is that posting your expertise online can be more effective in promoting your company than investing in paid advertising.  

Statistics also point to the big-time benefits of blogs. The SEO Tribunal shares the following data on the booming blogosphere: 

It’s clear that opportunities abound in blogging, but where do you begin? 

How to start writing a blog: 

Where to post your blog and how: 

According to quicksprout.com, the best blog platforms are WIX, Medium, LinkedIn, and Facebook. BlogStarter.com also supplies a step-by-step guide to get you moving. 

So, what are you waiting for? Turn that blank page into a blog – it might be your business’s best friend.  Need a little help? We have writers who can provide you with blog material on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. Give us a call at 800-900-3635.

© 2020 Poole Communications

As our country grapples with social unrest, now is the time to remember that welcoming diverse points of view. Diversity is not only the right thing to do, it makes businesses more successful. So, keep in mind that open minds lead to opportunity, and here are a few ideas to make your business more diverse:
Diversity Drives Innovation, Efficiency, and Revenue

First, According to 2020 data from SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Businesses), companies with above-average diversity earned 45% of revenue from innovation. Those that had diverse management teams achieved 19% higher revenue based on their progressive leadership. 

Because diverse teams focus on facts, SCORE’s data found that such teams make decisions twice as fast in half the number of meetingsPlus, the decisions made in those meetings deliver 60% better results

Grow Diversity in Small Places

Second, the size of a company or its location may appear to be a roadblock to achieving a diversworkforce. However, planting the seed of creative thinking can yield new options, products, and results long term.

An article by Takeflyte.com asks businesses to consider age, race and ethnicity to encourage diversity. It also challenges companies to widen the definition to realize that existing differences among employees can bring value to the organization.

Consider the following ideas from Thrive Global and Takeflyte.com to open the doors of diversity for your business:

Find Diversity Within Current Staff

Third, many small businesses may not be able to hire a more diverse workforce right away.  However, diversity can always be found within your existing team, if you listen for it.  

Here are ways to find diversity from Inc.  and the Young Entrepreneur Council:

Finally, keep in mind that open minds lead to opportunity. Companies can choose to conduct business as usual or open the door to a more inclusive and diverse team. We hope you choose to step through that door to experience the growth and opportunities that diversity can bring.
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.

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.

The 3 Levels of GOOD Employees:

Level 1

You do what you are asked to do. You take orders and do what you are told with a good attitude.

Level 2

Level 1 + You think ahead and solve problems before they happen. You are always future oriented and thinking about how things could go wrong to plan for potential issues and problems. Then you are not at all rattled when things do occasionally go wrong because you have a plan and are ready to implement it.

Level 3

Level 2 + You proactively look for areas of opportunity and growth in the business, and figure out how to tap into them. Not only do you plan for potential problems, you are always aware of opportunities to grow the company and do better work for the clients you work with. You find pain points and solve them. Then you leverage what you've learned with other clients.

Here are the the 3 Levels of GOOD Employees. Get thinking and purposely working at Level 3 all the time.

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

Source: James Clear and his book Atomic Habits.

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.

Here are the keys to Generation Z. The fastest growing generation of consumers – Generation Z – is defined by those born after 1995. This demographic is known for its constant use of smartphones and social media.

Based on research from the State of Gen Z 2018 by the Center for Generational Kinetics. Almost all of Gen Z – 95% of the group – has a smartphone. Over half of the age bracket uses a smartphone more than 5 hours each day and 65% of the squad grabs their smartphone after midnight.

The same research shows that the majority of smartphone use is for tailored social media tasks. Instagram is used to follow brands and influencers. Snapchat is the place for posting selfies and videos and Facebook is where Gen Z goes to create and check out events.

The doorway to Z’s kingdom is obvious, but making connections inside their mobile land of mega information takes a strategic approach and a dash of their unique lingo.

Here are a five keys and some slang to open the door to Generation Z’s purchasing power.

First Make it quick and sick.
Vision Critical’s Generation Z Characteristics found that Gen Z has an attention span of 8 seconds and prefers creative “sick” visual storytelling to learn about and connect with products and services.

Then Help them build their own biz, bruh.
After graduating college, 61% of Gen Z would prefer to be an entrepreneur rather than an employee based on State of Gen Z 2018 by the Center for Generational Kinetics. The report also shared that 75% of teens want to turn hobbies into a business and 71% of high school students want to start their own business in the future.

Next, Get some clout. 
Reviews are king with Gen Z’s pocketbook. The State of Gen Z found that 68% of the group read at least three reviews before making a purchase.

Don’t be basic.
Based on Vision Critical’s Generation Z Characteristics research, Gen Z wants functional, unique, quality products that look expensive for less money. If those products reflect their personality and their friends don’t have them, you’ve struck gold.

Finally, YouTube is dope.
Both Vision Critical and the State of Gen Z reports share that YouTube ads are trusted by this youthful clan more than any other media channel in existence.

Use these the keys to Gen Z in your business marketing and you’ll slay in Generation Z’s kingdom.

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.

© 2020 Poole Communications

Consumers are looking for an experience and they want it to not only be good, but to be outstanding. How can you make your customers' experience outstanding? From the bank that provides fresh baked chocolate chip cookies to the custom coffee at your local Starbucks, it’s all about you and your customers’ experience in your business. You control this.

How can you offer more? In what ways can you make it better? Figure out how you can you wow your customers.

As I am constantly saying to my staff, “Under promise and over deliver.”

“Experiential and event marketing are seeing a big resurgence, and brands will lean in even more to those types of marketing activations. I think that music tour sponsorships will have new life because of this — brands can do even cooler venue activations that audiences interact with, and they’ll get broadcast out to a much larger digital audience.”
– Sherry JhawarBlended Strategy Group

What can you do?

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Walk into your office like you’ve never been there before. What needs to be changed? The unsmiling receptionist? Maybe she’s a better fit in bookkeeping. The smudged windows and leaf strewn sidewalk? Tackle them now. These are the simple things. They can be easily changed.

What else?

What is more difficult is to hire people who really think of others and try to do what is best for each one. I like people who think ahead to the next step, people who own their projects and feel gratitude toward the person bringing the work into the office.

Summary

Finally, what is the experience at your office? Now is the perfect time to clean house, clean up your staff and make your office run light a tightly run ship. Take the helm, be the captain and steer that ship in the direction you want. Make your customers' experience outstanding.

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.

© 2020 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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