Author: poolecomm.


Use a Chatbot 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 a chatbot 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.

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!

The 3 Levels of GOOD Employees:

Level 1 — You do what you are asked to do.
Level 2 — Level 1 + You think ahead and solve problems before they happen.
Level 3 — Level 2 + You proactively look for areas of opportunity and growth in the business, and figure out how to tap into them.

Here are the the 3 Levels of GOOD Employees. Let’s see all of us thinking and purposely working at Level 3.

Source: James Clear

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. Here are the keys to Generation Z.

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 five keys in your business marketing and you’ll slay in Generation Z’s kingdom.

© 2020 Poole Communications

Here is an example of my video conferencing set up at my office.

Below are some video conferencing best practices to help you look good on camera:

  • We recommend using ZOOM.us – it’s easy to set up and works great.
  • Sit close to the screen. You want your face to fill a good part of it.
  • Put your monitor at eye level. Your face will not be distorted in this way and you’ll look better. Put it on a stack of books if needed.
  • IF you have 2 monitors focus on the one with the camera. You don’t want to be looking somewhere else.
  • Turn off your phone, email, message applications and everything that makes a noise. You don’t want to be distracted or distracting.
  • Stay focused! Don’t check email, browse online or type. We can see what you are doing and we are watching.
  • Look sharp! Be engaged and smile slightly. You don’t want to appear bored or preoccupied at all.
  • Use an external microphone or headset whenever possible. The sound is really that much better.
  • Mute yourself when you are not talking. That eliminates all background noise. Remember to unmute before talking!
  • For heaven’s sake, don’t eat during the meeting.
  • Don’t sit with a window behind you, so that you are in shadows. Make sure your face is well illuminated.
  • Use a lamp to side light and illuminate your face.
  • This is not an audio call. When you are on an audio call and muted you can do whatever you like. On a video call, you must be engaged and reasonably happy to be at the meeting. Nod your head, focus on your camera or on the screen.
  • Talk in shorthand. Get to the main point quickly. Fill in details later – or when questions are asked. Be concise.
  • Pay attention to your background: keep it simple, you don’t want a plant or wall hanging coming out of your head. You also don’t want a cluttered desk or confidential information showing.
  • Be prepared! Have your talking points on screen in front of you.
  • If something distracting does happen, handle it quickly and get right back into place.

SHINE, and be concise!

Download a printable copy here: PCZoomWhitePaper

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.

©2020 Poole Communications

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:

  • 70% of consumers say that they have shared a brand’s video
  • 72% of businesses say video has improved their conversion rate
  • 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions

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

© 2019 Poole Communications

The Current Social Media Scene

Just when you think you have the current social media scene figured out, a new platform, updated feature and enhanced algorithm makes you feel like you are in the dark again. Instead of searching around the social world with two hands and a flashlight, try using five W’s and an H.  Find out the WhoWhatWhyWhen and Where of each of the six significant social channels’ key audiences and How you can create content to make an impact with them.  Search no more.  Here’s the current social media scene. 

Facebook  

Who: Two billion users are active on the platform each month, with Generation X and Millennials leading the way according to the Spredfast Social Media Audience Guide 

What: According to the same research, Facebook is the best platform to grow a small business and is most useful to retail, media, financial services, and healthcare industries.   

Why: The audiences on Facebook go there to discover new products.  In fact, 30% of retail shoppers who recently made a purchase discovered a new product on Facebook. 

When: On average, the Spredfast guide says that users hang out on Facebook 35 minutes per day and Sprout Social shared that by far Wednesday is the best day to post on the platform. Specifically, businesses should make their move at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on hump day.   

Where: More Facebook users view content on mobile devices than they do a desktop.  

How: Based on Spredfast and Sprout Social research on the 5 W’s covered above, businesses can reach Facebook’s key audience base by launching new products on the site through images, videos, concise descriptions and links to buy within the same post.

Instagram  

Who: Of the 800 million monthly active users on the platform, ladies and teens comprise the majority of the Instagram crowd according to Spredfast’s research. Females between the ages of 18 to 29 make up the largest demographic and 53 percent of teens use the platform to learn about new products.   

What: Retail, sports and automotive businesses can find their niche with Instagram.  

When:  According to Sprout Social, the best times to post on Instagram are Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Friday between 10 and 11 a.m.  

Where: Most users view Instagram on mobile devices. 

Why: This highly visual platform is the place audiences look to learn about new products, follow brands, and check in with influencers to see what they are saying, learning, doing, wearing and buying. 

How: Announce new products, show influential people in your industry and community using and talking about those products.  Better yet, become an influencer in your industry by sharing how your products and services make their lives better.

Twitter 

Who: There are 317 million active users tweeting, and the majority of them are men.  

What: Best platform for sports, media, financial services and healthcare industries, but not the place for retail.  

When: Businesses will have the best results by tweeting on Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 a.m. according to Sprout Social. 

Where: Contrasting with its social cousins Facebook and Instagram, Twitter faithful tend to check the site on desktop devices more than they do on mobile screens.  

Why: Audiences head to the platform to get scores, news, reviews, deals and ideas.  

How: Post coupons and news about your business and link to your website.  When they have more time, they may switch to your Instagram and Facebook feeds to buy your products

Linked In  

Who: LinkedIn is the place to reach other businesses, business owners and professionals.  The largest demographic on the platform is between the ages of 25 to 34. 

What: A key industry served well by this professional platform is financial services.  It’s also the place for business to business marketing and not so much for retail traffic.  

When:  According to Sprout Socialthe best times to post are Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to10 a.m. and at 12 p.m.  

Where: Given its professional niche, more users check the platform at home or work, which means their use is on desktop rather than a mobile device. 

Why: The audience links in to make job searches, research companies and network.  

How:  Connect with this platform’s users by posting open positions and sharing research on your product or service.  While you are at it, link up with like-minded businesses or research your competition.

YouTube  

Who: This is the space to connect with the guys.  Males between the ages of 35 to 44 are the largest user group. Another fun fact Spredfast found is that YouTube’s channels reach more 18-49 year olds than any cable network in the United States.  YouTube is second only to Facebook in monthly active users boasting a healthy 1 billion each month.   

What: Industries related to media, sports and automotive sectors are served well by this platform.  

When: YouTube’s myriad channels draw in users an average of 40 minutes a day.  

Where: People are tuning into watch on mobile devices more than desktop computers.   

Why: Tubers hang out on the site to interact with brands and follow content creators. 

How:  Businesses can publish video content showing the benefits and uses of products and services to directly engage with audiences and push them to a website to convert into sales.

Snapchat  

Who: The ladies love Snapchat. 

What: Retail, media, and sports sectors should snap away with this platform’s audiences. 

When: The ladies (and others) open the app 25 times each day.   

Where: Snapchat only lives on mobile devices. 

Why: Snappers use the platform for its privacy – they control how long and who sees their posts – and of course for the pretty filters and lenses.  

How:  Use filters for your business and create quick and fun content that is lighthearted and hip. If you want more tips, follow Snoop Dog and Spencer Pratt, they seem to have it all figured out and have the largest following. 

Need more help with the current social media scene? Need a strategy or ideas for posts? Give Poole Communications a call. We can help. 800-900-3635.

© 2019 Poole Communications

Sources:  

https://assets.khoros.com/content/tipsheets/2018-Social-Media-Demographics-Spredfast.pdf  

https://sproutsocial.com/insights/best-times-to-post-on-social-media/#times-fb  

Lots of social media buzz but still no business?  Everyone’s talking about your latest ad campaign. They’d better, you spent a lot of time, money, and energy creating it. You agonized over every word. Sorted through dozens of visuals. Finally, it all came together perfectly and now your biz has the buzz of your dreams.

 But now the buzz is fizzling out and all the hype didn’t translate into actual biz.

Instead of asking WTF (Why the Fizzle?), you should be thinking CTA (Call-To-Action).

Unless you are content with the warm and fizzles, insert a specific call-to-action on every ad within a campaign regardless of marketing channel.

CTAs compel the customer to do something that indicates their interest or need. Ask them to click, download, subscribe, like, take the quiz, share, learn more, get started, and then provide meaningful content when they answer the call to take action.

Calls-to-action:

Connect the value of your product with customer needs.

Learn the Top 3 Products Used by Millennial Moms

Communicate useful information.

Download 5 Tips to Save on your Energy Bill

Convert prospects into leads.

Subscribe to Earn 15% Off Your Next Purchase

Confirm the effectiveness of your creative and return on investment. CTAs help track how many clicks, downloads or forms you receive based on your message and campaign timeframe.

And, most importantly CTAs are EXPECTED. Consumers are barraged by hundreds of ads a day. Everyone loves a good cat video, but at the end of the day people have less time and more choices.

Educate them on how to make the best choice by offering ideas, tips, discounts, solutions, and ways to make life easier.

The CTA game takes thought, trial and error, and a healthy dose of patience. It is not enough to add an arrow and “click here” to visit your website. (P.S. They need to know what to do when they get there!)

Think about the buyer’s journey and create links to content for each stage of the process – from awareness and research to prioritizing and purchasing.

Finally, businesses who develop CTAs that connect and communicate value will convert customers and confirm that all the buzz will translate into real biz.

Lots of social media buzz but still no business? Need some help, give us a call at 800-900-3635 and we’ll turn your fizz into biz.

© 2019 Poole Communications

When fishermen find a honey hole, their smiles are big and their mouths are shut. But when they catch the big one, it’s all about the show and tell. Social media is the new word-of-mouth honey hole; so let’s use it to your best advantage.

In business, everyone has access to the honey hole of social media, and the fish swimming in it are free for the taking if you have the right bait.  Reel in your own word-of-mouth marketers ready to show and tell tales from your business with the following lures:

Show Others With Their Trophy Fish

Everyone has happy customers, but if you don’t show them off, you might lose the next big one. How can you catch more fish if they can’t see what they are missing?

Lure: Post a smiling customer holding one of the last products on the shelf along with a FOMO (Fear of Missing Out ) message like, “Sam got one of the last She-Shed lock openers! Stop by today to get yours and find out what the wife has inside that place.”

Give Them a Secret to Share

Your social channels should be chock full of exclusive visuals and crave-able content. Everyone is searching for a new honey hole, so make your channel the next secret to share.

Lure: Post behind-the-scenes pictures of new product being delivered, share a new trend from one of the “coasts,” or snap a shot of your team prepping a new service to save customers’ time and money.

Find Your Big Mouths

Pay attention to your followers. It’s likely you have loyalists who like your posts, comment, and share information. They can influence hundreds more, so lure them in with your best bait.

Lure: Give them a free sample or service and ask them to take a picture or share the experience on social media. Follow up by inviting them to a VIP referral club that offers a big discount if they bring fresh fish to your pond.

Open Your Mouth

If you don’t open your own mouth to engage with your following, they might get away. Worse yet, if your fish flip and spew bad information, you need to dive in to rescue your reputation.

Lure: Comment on a recent customer’s post and include a specific detail about your encounter with them. Follow up offline to see how the product is working. Also, be sure to engage immediately with bad reviews and negative comments. Thank customers for bringing the issue to your attention and ask if you can connect privately to find a solution.

Release the power of your customers’ word-of-mouth on social media and watch the flow of free marketing and new fish swim your way.

Need help with your social media posts or planning, give us a call at 800-900-3635 or email us at: info@poolecommunications.com

© 2019 Poole Communications