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Don’t look, but there’s a monster at the end of this email. I implore you, do not click the monster at the end of this email! (Unless you’d like to learn some valuable content-related tactics.)

Get Google-d!

A Google My Business listing (GMB) is a free, powerful marketing tool provided by Google. It allows businesses to claim their official listing and add various types of information as well as additional locations. It’s designed for companies with physical locations, and not restricted to retail businesses. It can be relevant for local businesses that travel to client sites as well with new features allowing you to input coverage areas.

Some companies use it as a mini website for their companies, as it provides information customers seek such as the business address, website link, map/directions, open hours, phone number, reviews and photos, along with a link to the company website.

We’ve heard people ask, “I have a great website with a lot of wonderful information and content. Why do I need to spend time on a Google My Business listing?”

Great question. One, if someone starts with a Google search, your GMB listing may be the first impression he or she gets of your business. Two, GMB is a Google tool, and Google will prioritize its own results over yours. Plus, Google will always own the box in the upper right of the search results page with the most pertinent information.

One of Google’s primary goals is to solve challenges and help answer questions for users searching online. A robust GMB listing that answers questions is going to land near the top of the search page. You want your GMB to rank high in searches relevant to your business.

This new Savoir Faire post goes into detail on how to claim and bolster your GMB, as well as tips on what and how often to update it.

Purchase process

The way we buy things changed yet again with the onset of a global pandemic, and it may not go back. Many small businesses closed their doors and shifted online if possible. Running to the grocery store for a couple items changed to ordering online and delivery of a months’ worth of supplies.

This further illuminates what was already happening: customers choosing how and when they interact with brands. They’re in the driver’s seat, controlling the radio and temperature and companies are in the back seat, angling to influence what happens up front.

CMS Wire predicts longer sales cycles going forward, and also offers three tips for sales and marketing teams to align for success:

Make customer service top priority in the journey. In a subscription economy, renewal emails reminding customers that their next payment is coming due are often more prevalent than educational content helping customers get value out of their purchase. However, with longer sales cycles, a shift to service and education is not only practical; it’s the right thing to do – and customers will appreciate it. 

Consistent and transparent messaging is more important than ever. Your authenticity will result in customer loyalty.

Find ways to build an emotional connection with your prospects via storytelling and remember to hold true to your brand and core beliefs. 

Expand your email reach

Get your money’s worth using the features offered by your email service provider. Even the basic, free services offer valuable functionality. You may have to watch a couple tutorials or do a little online training to use these features, but it’s worth it if the end result is stronger emails and better leads, right?

Business 2 Community encourages you to look into these four features within your current email service provider.

Segments: Email list segments lets you know who to send certain newsletters and information to so everyone on your list feels like they’re receiving value out of your emails. You can also segment your list by creating tags that group some subscribers together based on interest, affinity or interaction with your marketing.

Automation: You can create automated messages to help build brand trust quicker. Automation is useful when there’s a series of information you want to deliver, perhaps after a visitor has interacted with your site. 

Landing Pages: Some email service providers offer free landing page templates that may attract more interest than just a simple fill-in form.  

Integrations: Your email service provider likely integrates with other programs and services, and you may be able to use these integrations to reach potential customers not in your database. If you’re not sure how to start with this, look for technical support tutorials on your email service provider’s site or submit a support ticket.

Become a video visionary

One way to get your emails to stand out is by adding video. Videos engage your prospects and help nudge them toward an action you want them to take, increasing your click-through rates (CTR).

When potential customers open an email with video, they won’t need to go through big blocks of text. Instead, they’ll be able to understand everything about your product or service through the video. This may raise interest and they might end up clicking on your call to action (CTA) button to visit your website or landing page.

Business dot com shares some ideas to use video in your next email campaign:

Show off services: A short video that explains what your product or service is all about is a nice companion piece to a bulleted list of text that highlights features of that product or service. Let a call to action button be the meat in a sandwich between your video and text to entice clicks.

Educate customers: It may be simpler to demonstrate or explain the solution to a common customer challenge via a video rather than with lengthy blocks of text.

Showcase your culture: Consider creating a simple behind-the-scenes video of your company to give your audience a sneak peek into your organization. Even done on a phone, this goes a long way in building customers’ relationship with your company.

Human nurture

Some small businesses have used the time during the pandemic to become proactive about their websites in order to protect or grow market share in their given industries. One way to do this is sharpening your search engine optimization (SEO). 

A challenge for all of us on that subject is that Google’s algorithm for ranking websites is complex and changes regularly. You can sarcastically thank Google’s engineers – or take Forbes’ advice and turn to an engineer for help.

Here are five tactics for help improve your SEO:

Help customers find you: Do some research into the exact words and phrases customers use while searching. What questions do they ask? These keywords can be woven into your page content, blogs and FAQs.

Fresh content attracts visitors: Part of Google’s algorithm is based on timeliness, which means your website’s content, even the evergreen articles, should be updated at some point to stay on Google’s radar. When updating your content, aim for interesting, relevant, helpful, valuable and funny.

Keep up the good work: It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, competition exists, which means your customer service must remain top-notch. When you solve customer problems, they’ll remember that, and may even post a review. Google pays attention to review sites – especially Google reviews, of course.

Keep social channels active: Consider using your social media for offering valuable, interesting tips that help your clients get what they want. Social media pages all count as additional Google pings that clients can find you through. 

Get out the camera: Yes, video is a powerful attractant online, so it makes sense to include video on your social channels, and to help freshen your site’s content. There are lots of free and easy-to-learn video editing apps available. 

Meet the Marketing Monsters

We introduced you to the Marketing Monsters in the last edition of Points of Interest. Don’t get content, because here comes the Content Monster!

Content is one of the most-powerful tools in your toolbox, but if used improperly, expect monstrous results. For example, think of content for a second as Bigfoot. Many believe he’s out there but searches for Bigfoot bring little or poor results.

Unoptimized content is like sasquatch: as astounding as it might be, it really doesn’t matter if no one can find it. The content linked here illuminates one way we battle the Content Monster for clients, by optimizing their blog posts.

It’s essential to remember that you’re writing content for two audiences, humans and Google – and both get smarter every day.  If you can develop, write and optimize (optimization often begins with the develop step) content in various forms that meet search engines’ criteria for good quality – which includes being authoritative and solving searchers’ queries better than others do – your content will rank higher online.

It’s not a one size fits all thing (because that would be too easy, right?). But, this post offers some writing, timing and optimization tips to push you in the right direction.

Take that, Content Monster!

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