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 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

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

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.

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

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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