10 Tips to Help Small Businesses Build and Promote Strong Brands

10 Tips to Help Small Businesses Build and Promote Strong Brands

Building a strong brand requires businesses to use lots of different outlets and strategies. Your brand should be consistent across your website, social media, online content, and more. So if you want to create a stronger brand image, check out the tips below from members of the online small business community.

Learn How to Brand Build with Web Design

Your website can be a huge part of your brand. So if you don’t have a strong design that’s communicated online, check out the insights in this DIY Marketers post by Alma Causey to learn how you can build a better brand.

Highlight Your Competitive Clout

When positioning a brand to potential customers, you need to show them how you stand out from your competitors. There are several strategies for doing this, as Martin Zwilling of Startup Professionals goes over in this blog post.

Boost Your Instagram Marketing Efforts

Instagram can be a powerful tool for building and promoting a brand. If you’re already on the platform but want to create a more impactful strategy, consider the tips in this Social Media Today post by Ann Smarty. Then head to the BizSugar community to see what members are saying.

Focus on Building Local Links

If you’re trying to promote a local brand online, it can help to have some websites that are relevant to your community link to your site. So how can you go about doing this? Gyi Tsakalakis offers some pointers in this post on the Bright Local blog.

Transition Your Brick and Mortar Business to an Online Business

Today, many businesses are considering adopting more of a digital model to cope with the challenges of COVID-19. But such a huge shift could potentially make a big impact on your brand. To navigate the transition gracefully, see the tips in this Smallbiztechnology.com post by Itai Elizur.

Consider a Mobile App for Your Retail Store

Mobile technology has made a huge impact on so many industries, but it’s especially changed the way people shop. If you want to build a successful retail brand, a mobile app may help you appeal to more customers and create substantial loyalty. Learn more in this SMB CEO post by Ivan Widjaya.

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Adjust Your Content Marketing During Times of Disruption

Content marketing can be an effective way to promote a brand in any market. However, when larger conversations are taking place, keeping the same strategy may make your brand seem out of touch. In this Marketing Land post, George Nguyen discusses content marketing during times of disruption.

Execute a Comprehensive Content Audit

Sometimes, your old content or strategies may no longer serve the brand you want to build going forward. That’s why a simple audit may be necessary to periodically check in on your content. In this Search Engine Journal post, Krisopher Jones shares a guide to this process.

Create Amazing Infographics

Visuals can help you create a consistent brand design while sharing information in an easily digestible way. If you want to try this strategy, check out the tools and tips in this Philipscom post by Philip Verghese Ariel. Then see what members of the BizSugar community had to say.

Consider a Social Media Detox

If you’re feeling worn down by your social media strategy, a break may be in order. Though the idea of a social media detox may be more prevalent to individuals than it is to businesses, the individuals who run your accounts may benefit from taking some time away and passing the reins to someone else for a bit so they can come back with fresh new ideas. See more discussion in this Social Media HQ post by Christian Zilles.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to: sbtips@gmail.com.

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Small Team? 15 Tips for Expanding Your Marketing Efforts With Limited Resources

Small Team? 15 Tips for Expanding Your Marketing Efforts With Limited Resources

Employees who work on small teams may need to play multiple roles to ensure everything runs smoothly. That sometimes means, with such limited resources, that that same small company may not be able to have a dedicated full-time marketing person to help them reach their full potential as a brand. That’s why we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC)  the following question:

“When you have a small team, you may be limited in the amount of work you can put out. What’s one strategy you have for expanding marketing efforts with limited resources and a small number of employees?”

Marketing with Limited Resources

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Create a Culture That Encourages Referrals

“Create a culture worth talking about. The best referrals come from people you know. Who should know you better than your own employees? Ensure they love the work they do and they will become your biggest champions, sharing your story and your work through social, during business events and over dinner.” ~ Britt Fero, PB&

2. Strategically Consolidate Your Team Roles

“Many roles that would be divided up among several people at most agencies have been strategically consolidated, allowing us to maximize efficiency and workflow. With expert producers in project management positions, it increases efficiency and gives our clients a streamlined experience with a focus on the campaign. We can effectively compete and win business against agencies much larger than us.” ~ Justin Lefkovitch, Mirrored Media

3. Focus on One Channel at a Time

“Focus on one channel and double down until you hit a peak. Small teams overextend themselves with an omnichannel approach. Failing to maintain a dozen channels simultaneously harms the brand more than it helps. Instead, find the best channel your prospects rely on and ensure the whole team is laser-focused there. Once you scale enough, add a second one to the mix.” ~ Mario Peshev, DevriX

4. Create a Content Calendar

“Create a content calendar for your blog and social media presence. Though it’s a lot of work to create a year-long content calendar, the payoff in overall time saved, optimized content creation and the sharing it will result in makes it worth it. Creating the calendar will help you meet deadlines, take advantage of relevant dates and optimize your content sharing.” ~ Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.

5. Develop and Optimize Standard Operating Procedures

“Create standard operating procedures and see where steps can be automated. Automating outreach and client acquisition is much easier with the heavy weaponry we have in the marketing SaaS space. Having a lead qualifier through an outsourced virtual assistant closes the loop and makes marketing effective, cheap and scalable.” ~ Richard Fong, Ready Green

6. Repurpose Your Content Pieces

“One of the best ways to expand your marketing efforts with limited resources is to recycle old content. Be aware of all of the formatting requirements in the beginning. For instance, you can turn a blog post into a newsletter, social media posts, a video series or even a webinar. Be smart and strategic with the resources you have.” ~ Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

7. Add a Chatbot to Your Website

“If you want to improve your marketing efforts, consider adding chatbots to your website. Many business owners fall into a trap and hire a big support team, and other areas of the company suffer. You can use chatbots to handle simple customer requests, like password changes. You’ll also have the added benefit of the chatbot instantly contacting new users, which frees your team up for other tasks.” ~ John Turner, SeedProd LLC

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8. Stay Focused on Daily Activities

“Business owners with small teams should focus on daily activities if they want to see their sales and conversions increase. Large teams can easily plan months in advance and work through the various marketing platforms at their disposal. You could benefit from looking at your campaigns and prioritizing your small team to handle various daily tasks that help you advance your marketing goals.” ~ Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

9. Develop a Podcast

“Podcasts are still a very new space and many brands have yet to join the ranks. So if you can develop a great podcast for your niche and invite great guests, you can provide great content to your customer base and prospects, and also leverage the network of your guests as they promote you to their audience.” ~ Rishi Sharma, Mallama

10. Work With a Marketing Agency

“Work with an agency that can act as an extension of your team. My company works with plenty of companies that have two- to four-person marketing teams and utilize our agency as an extension of the team. It’s lower risk than hiring five new people, and an agency should bring additional expertise, technology and relationships to the team.” ~ Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.

11. Follow the Pareto Principle

“The good old Pareto principle says 80% of results come from 20% of efforts. If you have very limited resources, identify your 20% and direct your best efforts on this chunk. Later on, when you are able to afford more people on board, you will go back to all the things that you left behind and make them work as well.” ~ Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

12. Hire Freelancers to Fill in the Gaps

“An easy way to expand your marketing efforts on limited resources is to use a third-party platform like Upwork to hire and engage awesome freelancers. You’ll find well-reviewed contractors who can work with different budget constraints to achieve your goals. I grew my small business initially using virtual assistants until I could hire someone.” ~ Rachel Beider, PRESS Modern Massage

13. Leverage Influencer Marketing

“A useful strategy is influencer marketing, which is partnerships that are generated in exchange for products or services. This represents an opportunity to manage marketing without investing large amounts of resources.” ~ Kevin Leyes, Leyes Media & Team Leyes, by Leyes Enterprises

14. Automate Your Marketing Processes

“Marketing automation helps businesses automate their processes so they don’t have to perform those actions manually. It saves time and resources and makes customers happy because you get to them faster. Even with a small team, you can use automation to improve operations and grow little by little.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

15. Invest in an Integrated Sales and Marketing Platform

“One strategy for expanding marketing efforts with limited resources is to invest in an integrated sales and marketing platform. If you have everything in one place, it will be easy for your team to automate processes such as email sequences, paid campaigns, assigning leads, reporting, etc. This will allow your team to cover more tasks. It’s all about working smarter and not harder.” ~ Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME


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16 Survey Questions to Ask Customers

16 Survey Questions to Ask Customers

There are several reasons why survey questions are important to marketing research. They can:

  • Give your business a good idea about who your target market is
  • Supply a clear answer of how well your branding is working
  • Help to grow sales by boosting foot and online traffic.

Keeon Yazdani, Chief Marketing Officer WE R CBD, supplies some other advantages.

“Surveys are extremely important to market research,” Yazdani writes. “That’s because they allow a business to receive feedback on how consumers feel about their products and customer service. Product feedback gathered from customer surveys can help a business make the adjustments needed to improve their products.”

This article will cover the different survey question types and when to use each. It will also cover what you’ll need to avoid when putting together survey questions. Finally, the last section will supply answers to the most frequently asked questions. Getting this right is important for keeping customers happy and developing good products and services.

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Types of Survey Questions

So what types of survey questions should you use? There’s a few things you’ll need to consider here including coming up with a diverse set of questions. It’s important to keep them different and to not ask two things at once. Take some time with the questions so they are neutral and not leading.

In the end, the survey question types depend on the time frame, goals and audience of your survey.

“Keep question text concise.,” writes Nicole R Rodriguez, Director at Interdependence Public Relations . “Get to the point and don’t use a lot of words to make your point or explain directions. Keep answer lists short to reduce the bias of long lists that don’t fit on the screen.

1. Open-Ended Survey Questions

Open-ended questions are common. These allow respondents to answer in a free forum way. These don’t rely on stats and there are no set response options. They are open and subjective survey questions . The type of answer here leaves the door open for more questions.

In a nutshell, open-ended questions leave room for wider answer options. These can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. They involve questions like: “What do you like most about working for your manager?”Or, a question like “How do you determine your company’s needs? This works for  sales teams .

When to Use Open-Ended Questions

These question types are most effective when you know how to use them. Here’s a few examples of when to use these questions for survey purposes.

They work well when you first begin surveying. A new company or startup needs to learn about customer needs. The open ended answer options help you to improve customer satisfaction. These types of questions also shine a light on where you need to improve.

Survey questions like this have a down side.

  • They take more effort to answer. Remember there are no set answer choices and no scale questions. The answer options here require more thought. Respondents tend to shy away from these for that reason.
  • The answers you get back take longer to analyze than the multiple choice variety.

Morgan Molnar ,Director of Product Marketing, SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions ,offered a few other examples.

2. Screening Questions

“When you need to reach a specific target audience with your survey,screening questions are your best friend,” he writes. “Most survey platforms allow you to add disqualification logic to kick out people who aren’t relevant for your survey.

A good example is :

  • “Can you tell me about your experience?”

When to Use Screening Questions

“They are always at the very beginning of your market research survey,” Molnar says.

3. Firmographic Questions

“When doing B2B research, you’ll want to include firmographic questions to understand things like job title, job level, department, company size, or industry of your respondents,” Molnar says.

4. Close-Ended Survey Questions

There are other types of survey questions to consider. Closed-ended questions are a simpler option to use . These involve more defined answer options. The type of answer found here is often multiple choice. However, they can involve:

  • Rating scale questions. It’s best to include a few positive and a few negative options. These are pretty much multiple choice questions. A common example would ask respondents to choose on a rating scale from one to ten.
  • Nominal questions. These are good for graphs because there’s only a few answer choices. An example of this type of question might be: What is your favourite browser? This has a number of multiple choice options like Google, Safari or Chrome.

One of these might be:

  • Did you find our service useful?

When to Use Closed- Ended Survey Questions

These are good at the beginning of surveys. They are easy to answer and motivate people to go through the rest of the survey. These are good when you’re looking for stats to create graphs.

5. The Rating Scale Survey Question

Rating scale questions have a numerical value. A good example are questions that ask you to rate customer service from 1 to 10. These are great for uncovering trends. Getting people to answer questions such as these improves engagement.

When to Use The Rating Scale Survey Question

The net promoter score is important. It’s a customer satisfaction and loyalty tool that’s based on these types of scale questions and answers.

6. A Likert Scale Survey Question

There are different scales available here. They range from four point all the way up to seven point and above.These give you the ability to find out what people are thinking about your goods and services

These are used to gauge how respondents feel. The often ask if they disagree or agree with comments. These scales can ask whether someone “Strongly disagrees, Disagrees, Agrees,  or Strongly agrees” with a statement. And they add the numerical values.

When to Use Likert Survey Questions

This is a good survey to use when you’re looking for popular opinion. You can also use them to gauge a respondents beliefs and attitudes. These are important metrics when you’re looking to tweak your goods and services.

7. Multiple Choice Survey Questions

Scot Chrisman, CEO at The Media House explains why he likes to use these questions.

“Multiple choice questions are the most common type of question we use. This is because they give us a definite answer, which makes them easier to analyze.”

There are single answer and multiple answers choices. For example :

  • What is your favorite salad dressing ? You get several choices but respondents only check off one.
  • What salad dressing do you like ? This question type allows respondents to provide several answers.

When to Use Multiple Choice Survey Questions

These questions are another good way to find out how customers like what you’ve got to sell. The single answer questions help define a net promoter score. This is a way that you can gauge how well you are engaging your target audience.

8. Picture Choice Survey Questions

These survey questions have been called the visual version of multiple choice. Respondents here can pick from two or more images. A question might be something like the following example :

“What type face do you prefer?”

You can usually either upload an image offered or copy and paste a url from your device.

When to Use Picture Choice Surveys Questions

These are engaging and fun at the same time. This survey format works well when your respondents are diverse.

9. Slider Survey Questions

You can let people respond on a sliding scale with these. The bonus here is answering the questions is fun. It makes it easier to put the answers together in an aggregate too.

Here’s an example: How would you rate our software’s usefulness on a scale of 1 to 10?”

When to Use Slider Survey Questions

These are the way to go when you’re looking to gauge customer opinions on an individual and group level.

Demographic Survey Questions

Putting together any questions in a survey template has a goal. That’s to find out about your target market. The respondents are the people you want to sell to. The demographic survey question is designed to tell you who they are.

What is you age? Is a common example that’s followed up with several boxes to check. You can also ask another question about gender and one about race.

When to Use This Question Type

It’s best to be clear how you’re using the information before you get respondents to answer these. This type of question type is good for breaking down your target market too.

10. Matrix Survey Questions

This question type involves putting the Likert and rating scale questions together. Here’s an example of how these work for a computer company.

The left side has a question list with topics like ” Ease of learning” and “Quality of technical support ” stacked on top of each other. Respondents can check off boxes ranging from “Very Good” all the way down to “Poor”

When to Use The Matrix Question Survey

These are great for large scale surveys. At the same time, they can be a little confusing for mobile devices.

11. Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions

Polly Kay, Senior Marketing Manager at English Blinds , explains how these mix and match different types

“A customer satisfaction survey is best with multiple choice questions in the main part. A final section for respondents to provide any further information works too .”

That open-ended question at the end supplies good personal information.

When to Use The Customer Satisfaction Question Survey

These are good before you launch a new product. Using this question template tells you what needs to be tweaked with the old one.

12. The Yes or No Survey Question

This type is all about simplicity. A common question is about a company’s service. This example is one that you’ve seen before.

“Did you find what you’re looking for?”

When to Use This Type of Question

These are good when you’re trying to figure out why sales are low. Asking respondents to explain themselves in a follow-up question works.

13. The Dropdown Question

These questions let your respondents click on the menu and select through the choices that drop-down.. When you’ve got a lot of choices, using these menus can give your respondents some perspective.

When to Use Dropdown Question

These are basically multiple-choice questions when you’ve got a lot of answers you want respondents to choose from. When respondents have different choices, the list doesn’t look overwhelming.

A good example might be asking someone their age. Letting them choose from different categories like 18 to 24, 25 to 30 and so on breaks the choices down.

14. After Purchase Questions

You can drill deep into this one and ask a bunch of different things. However, two questions generally get the job done.

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  • Why did you buy the items in your cart?
  • What other products should we offer?

 When to Use The After Purchase Question

These are excellent for small businesses looking to tweak their inventory. They offer an excellent chance to connect with buying customers and your target market.

15. The Trial User Survey Question

Like the name suggests, these are designed to get trial users to sign up. Some of the questions include: What stopped you from signing up today? Another example might be: ” What might convince you to sign up right now?”

When to Use The Trial User Question Survey

These are useful at the end of any trial period you’re offering. Small businesses use these to try and convince trial users to stay on and by the subscription or product.

16. The Benchmark Survey Question

These compare your answers to similar surveys from other companies. You’ll need to do a little research here. Making up questions means taking a look at some of the other surveys that were done on the same subject. Or, you can use a service like SurveyMonkey. They have a set of these questions ready to go that you can plug in.

When to Use The Benchmark Survey Question

These are an excellent way to compare results from survey to survey. It’s a great way to get some cross referenced data. The benchmark survey question allows you to narrow down the accuracy of your results by comparing them..

Things to Avoid When Writing Survey Questions

The idea behind writing survey questions is to get accurate answers and good data that you can use. Knowing what to avoid can be just as useful as understanding the best practices. The list below will give you some of the more common mistakes.

Using Too Many Questions

Yaniv Masjedi is the CMO at Nextiva. He stresses it’s best to keep things short.

“Don’t ask too many questions,” he writes. “If you ask lots of questions, then readers will become overwhelmed and click away. Just ask a few core questions that you need answers to, otherwise you risk learning nothing.”

Using Leading Words

You want respondents to answer any survey question subjectively . Take a look at the ones you’ve put together. Try to see if they try and slant the answer.

Here’s an example. “Do you think our service is excellent?”

That’s one question that qualifies due to one word. It’s obvious the company thinks their service is excellent and would be happy if you did too. Neutral words and sentences are best. Make sure to leave the questions open ended like:

“How would you rate our services?”


Will Ward, CEO of Assistive Listening HQ , adds survey questions loaded with assumptions . He supplies the example of “How long and informative was the product video?”

“This assumes the product video was ‘long’,” he writes. “This is purely subjective and also implies that long = informative. Instead, companies can opt for more neutral questions such as”Was the product video useful and informative?”

Using More Than One Author

Survey questions need to have the same tone and style. Respondents tune out when the writing style changes.

Michael Janov, partner at Azurite Consulting explains why:

“One tone and style through the survey is important,” He writes. “Multiple authors brings a major chance of multiple styles and languages . It may seem useful to change the style of writing questions . However, that can cause a lack of interest to continue.”

The solution to keep respondents engaged is simple. Use one writer but ask for input from the whole team.

Asking Private Questions

Grant Aldrich, Founder and CEO of OnlineDegree.com explains why these questions are bad.

“Be careful not to ask for private information. High survey open rates coupled with low submission rates is a clear indicator you are asking overly private questions.”

Make sure to stay away from questions such as: “Do you suffer from anxiety?”

The idea is top make sure you don’t include a question for survey purposes that makes respondents feel vulnerable.

“Survey respondents do not want to send this type of information through third parties, or even directly to you,” Aldrich says.

Asking Double-Barreled Questions

Zach Reece from Colony Roofers, LLC explains.

“This is one of the easiest ways to get misleading survey responses,” he writes. “For example, ‘How is our customer service and our response time?”

Reece worked a Deloitte for a time where he prepared survey question templates. He has some other suggestions about the kind of question that works best.

Adding Too Many Survey Question Choices

“Dont include too many choices,” he says. “Four, five at most is all you need.”

Any more and respondents might lose focus and not finish the survey. This applies to ones like multiple choice.

Bias in the Survey Questions

Erik Rivera, CEO of ThriveTalk explains.

” A frequently asked question regarding surveys is how to avoid bias in answers,* he writes. “Randomizing answer order and question order is a good way to help avoid this.”

Mix up the order of the question types. Make sure to ask questions the move from general to specific.

Jargon in the Survey Questions

Scot J. Chrisman is the CEO at the Media House . He suggests simple language.

“Avoid using jargon your audience will not understand,” he writes “That will only lead to inaccurate results. This is because the tendency is to answer the questions according to how they understand them.”

He adds that jargon can confuse people . A team that questions survey results can follow.

Using Absolutes

Morgan Molnar supplies another trap to avoid.

“Don’t use words like “always,” “all,” “every,” “ever,” “never,” etc. in your question text,” he says.

Frequently Asked Questions about Survey Questions

You need to question your survey choices. Understanding what kind of questions you’re going to ask is the beginning. After that, you need to get down to the meat and potatoes and actually put together the words Here’s a few common things people ask about.

What if I’m not sure about a question ?

“If you have a doubt about whether or not a question should be included in a survey, it’s best to remove it,” writes Grant Aldrich, Founder and CEO of OnlineDegree.com.

“Another option is making questions optional. As a final fallback, create a second survey which includes the question in question, split testing your surveys to optimize.”

How long should my survey be?

Corina Burri, Senior Marketing Manager explains:

Don’t conduct surveys that are too long,” she writes. “Concentration spans of customers are short. Get straight to the point.”

Scroll down here to find some useful information

Now that I know the types of questions, what should I ask?

What you ask in your surveys is highly dependent on your goals. Understanding your target market is one of the first steps to getting this right. Getting your survey questions right will help focus your marketing and product development. If you’re a startup, a good survey can even help you define who you are selling to. Here’s some of the questions you’ll want to ask with an example for each.

  1. How did you hear about our goods and services? This is the first example because it’s a very common question. It can help you understand what is working in your marketing toolbox.
  2. How would you rate our customer service? Showing you take this aspect seriously boosts customer loyalty. It’s a good check on how motivated your employees are.
  3. What is it you like about the goods and services we sell? This is a good way to get personal feedback from your target market. It’s a good example of a method to engage your customers
  4. Are there changes you would like to see in our products or services? This is another example of going directly to the source to get feedback.You can follow up here by asking what changes your clients would like to see.
  5. Are you aware of the other products that we have for sale? This is an example of pitching products. It’s another great way of tracking what is working and what isn’t with marketing.

You can have as many or as little questions as you like. However, you don’t want to weigh your clients down with too many. Including somewhere between 10 and 30 questions is the sweet spot according to many experts.

What tool should I use to create my survey?

There are a number of solid platforms you can use to create, distribute, collect, and analyze your surveys. These are some top choices when putting together effective survey questions.


Jacob Sapochnick  is an immigration attorney, and social media influencer . He likes the way you can tailor questions.

“This is a website that allows you to conduct surveys online,” he writes. ” You can set your respondents depending on what your research needs. For me, this is a great help because if your surveys get lost, it has an online backup.”

Another example of why this tool is popular comes from Aldrich:

“A main benefit to SurveyMonkey is that it tracks IPs.,” he writes. “You’ll register unique submissions, adding a layer of security to prevent spam attacks by competitors.”

Get expertly written questions . Choose to track respondents through email and from mobile apps.

Zoho Survey

This tool has several advantages over the competition. It offers more than 25 different types of questions. It also mobilizes each survey so you can get an answer from respondents on any device. There are 250 templates to choose from. It also translates into over 70 different languages.

Use this tool for international survey needs. It works with North American requirements too. However the translation feature separates it from the competition when you’re doing business overseas

Survey Gizmo

Survey respondents don’t always need to be prospects. SurveyGizmo allows you to ask questions that help with workflow at your business through your employees. They offer good integration tools and a free trial. A good example of enterprise software you can use in different ways.

For more options, check out:


A survey is a useful tool for several different reasons. It can help you decide what’s working with marketing and what needs to be tweaked. These are a great way to improve client services. They can even help you add or subtract inventory with the data you’ll get.

Putting together a good survey takes a little time. Getting input from your marketing team and employees will provide excellent results. Keep in mind there are lots of little tricks that you learn along the way. For example, making most of the answers optional is important.

Not all of the people reading the survey will know how to answer a question. Others will feel uncomfortable with some of the things you might be asking. It’s a good idea to make sure they can skip over some questions and continue to answer others.

Surveys are an excellent way for small businesses to gather data. With the numbers they get, they can make important business decisions about marketing, products and how to go forward.

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COVID-19 Crisis and Recovery: Three Key Marketing Trends and How to Adapt

COVID-19 Crisis and Recovery: Three Key Marketing Trends and How to Adapt

A quick spread of COVID-19 has disrupted economies around the world changing the way businesses reach and interact with customers.

As lockdowns are slowly lifted across multiple countries, business owners are discovering that things are not quite going back to normal.

In fact, there’s probably a new normal being created right now, the new way we are going to operate our businesses and do marketing from now on.

COVID Marketing Trends

Is your business ready for that new normal? Here are three key trends you can start adapting to today:

1. Comply with Tightening Safety Rules

Across the globe new workplace safety rules are being created to ensure no further spread of coronavirus.

Business owners are expected to comply with safety and health standards and regulations in order to be able to reopen their operations.

Lots of countries around the world have put together comprehensive safety guidelines for re-opening businesses to reopen, including:

Guidelines vary slightly from country to country but the basic principles remain the same:

  • You need to keep an eye on your employees’ health more than you ever did
  • Your business operations should be adjusted so that person-to-person interactions can be avoided when possible
  • When remote operations are not possible, you need to ensure that employees and / or customers are able to maintain proper social distancing

The good news is, you are not alone in figuring it out. Already there are platforms providing businesses with tools to easily integrate safety mechanisms in their operations.

Yelp is offering business reopening tools enabling local businesses to communicate updates and important safety information to customers.

yelp covid tools
Image source: Yelp

The small business management platform vcita has developed a suite of products for businesses, both online and brick and mortar, to comply with safety guidelines. These include symptom questionnaires, health declaration checkbox, reservation management, touchless transactions, and more. The new scheduling tools vcita added make sure that the capacity of customers is limited based on the new health restrictions, so that your business is never overbooked.

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vcita covid tools
Image source: vcita

2. Make Your Products Available Everywhere

COVID-19 has accelerated digitization of global businesses across lots of niches. Online shopping has grown at an unprecedented rate, and there is a good reason that it is here to stay, even when the crisis is over.

And it is not just about making your products available through a web browser. Online shopping behavior is becoming more diverse.

Spending more time and home and even working from there, consumers are forced to discover new shopping channels, including product comparison apps, voice-assisted devices, etc.

This may actually be good news for most businesses, as more channels means more opportunities to diversify your customer acquisition sources. Here are a few steps in that direction:

  • Think “mobile first”: This includes having a mobile-friendly website as well as creating more mobile assets to better serve customers. These include mobile apps, in-game mobile marketing, location-based mobile ads, SMS marketing, mobile-focused CTAs, etc. For example, Nike’s digital sales in China increased by 30% after the company launched home workouts via its mobile app
  • Have your products listed in Google’s shopping actions, Google’s platform bringing your products in front of shoppers across multiple platforms, including smartphones, voice-activated devices, Google search and more. As shopping becomes increasingly automated, smaller retailers risk getting cut out as bigger brands go directly to consumers. IoT commerce may eliminate the consideration/research phrase for consumers completely making it next to impossible to compete with “default” choice. Google’s project is a solid way for smaller businesses to provide consistent cross-device shopping experience.
shopping actions
Image source: Google

3. Make Your Products Findable and Shoppable by Voice

COVID-19 has been speeding up the adoption of variou technologies, including smart voice assistant usage and consequently voice search. Tom Taylor, senior vice president of the Amazon Alexa unit, has shared that they have seen a huge spike in users of voice commands.

If your site and/or products cannot be discovered by search, you are missing out on a huge market share which has been increasing for several months and shows no signs of shrinking.

To make sure your business is findable by voice, here are a few voice optimization tactics:

  • Since most voice search users are searching for local-based queries, get your local listing in order, i.e. keep it clean and updated. Monitor media and reviews that are being added by your consumer.
  • Optimize for non-branded queries: Over two third of impressions on local searches come from “discovery” or non-branded searches
  • Optimize your site for featured snippets as these are what smart assistants will often read in response to a voice search query:
    • Embrace good old long tail search: Optimize for long-tail queries because they are more likely to trigger featured snippets
    • Add product Q&A and FAQ sections to have your product pages appear in Google Also Ask and Featured boxes
  • Participate in Google’s projects like Google Speakable that allow you to record an audio version of your content for Google to give voice-assisted searchers to get more detailed results.
  • Focus on intent optimization: Voice searchers are usually on the go or in the middle of the task. Unless you give them immediately what they came for, they are likely to move on to a more fitting result. Text Optimizer breaks down what search intent is and help you create a better-optimized copy that prioritizes search intent over keywords:
Text Optimizer
Image source: Text Optimizer


It is a most challenging time for all kinds of business, regardless of size, type or nature of operations. The future is still uncertain, and as smart business owners we have to be prepared for the worst.

Digitalization and embracing new technologies will help your business survive, so use the trends and tactics above to give your company a competitive edge and survive during times of uncertainty.

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How to Conduct a Focus Group

How to Conduct a Focus Group

Focus groups are useful for businesses that want to learn more about their customers or a potential target audience. They allow you to gather insights and engage in interactive conversations that can shape your business decisions.

So what are focus groups, exactly? Generally, it’s a guided discussion with a representative group of consumers about a new product, initiative, or marketing campaign. You ask questions and facilitate a dialogue among your target market to learn about their opinions and then use those insights to shape your campaigns or launches going forward.

Once you’ve decided that your small business needs to hold focus groups, you need to figure out how to get it done. Here’s how to run a focus group.

How to Run a Focus Group

Not all focus groups are the same. But there is a general list of steps that can help guide your journey toward gathering useful information from target customers.

Set Goals

Every focus group should have a specific goal. Don’t treat it as a general market research session; instead, use it as an opportunity to learn about consumers’ opinions about a specific part of your initiative. For example, if you’re thinking about implementing a new product line full of eco-friendly items, your topics of discussion should focus on how much customers value this quality, rather than other aspects of those products.

Specify Your Target Market

You also need to think about what target customers you want to learn from. If a new product is mainly just aimed at an older demographic, you should focus on this group. Generally, you want a representative group, so try to get people from every demographic or interest group that might make up your relevant customer base.

Choose a Location and Time

You need a physical location large enough to accommodate your participants in one space, like a hall or large meeting room. Generally, you just want about five to fifteen participants in each conversation. However, you should make it easy for everyone to get to, with ample parking or close to public transit. When scheduling, be mindful of the time when your ideal participants are likely to be available. For example, if you’re marketing to professionals, it should probably be after work hours.


Then it’s time to actually invite people to take part in your focus group. You can reach out directly to customers from your email address or list, or advertise the opportunity in publications or outlets that are popular with the group or target market. For example, if you’re looking for pet owners in your community, put up ads around local veterinary offices. Ask people to reach out to confirm, and you might even offer a small gift or incentive for participating.

Write Questions

Once you have your goals and participants in mind, you need to get more specific about what you want to ask. All questions should be focused on your objectives, with each designed to spark deep conversations. Try to keep everything unbiased and open-ended, like “why” and “how” questions.

Facilitate the Group

Now you get to actually run the event. Ideally, you should have two or more team members present. One is there to ask the questions and facilitate discussions. The other should take notes, record, and provide support throughout the session. While it’s important to stick with a general outline and list of topics, you should also stay open-minded and allow participants to bring up points that they think are important. You might be surprised by what you learn if you simply follow a thread and give people a forum to share openly.

Analyze the Results

Your focus group is only effective if you’re able to act on the information provided. Take some time afterward to go through the notes and recordings to dig into the information that participants provided. You might notice trends that shape your campaigns or initiatives or note interesting points you hadn’t thought of before. Then you can act on that information to improve your new products or marketing campaigns based on the results.

Focus Group Tips

Running a successful focus group takes a lot of careful planning and finesse. If you’re new to this concept, take these tips to heart as you plan, facilitate, and analyze this useful market research method.

1. Prioritize Objectives

Aside from your general goal for the focus group, create a shortlist of questions you want to answer by the end. These aren’t necessarily the exact questions you ask; those should be designed to facilitate conversations surrounding your objectives.

2. Break Down Customer Groups

You also need to evaluate what demographic groups you want to include in your focus group. Then determine what percentage of each group should fit with each type of customer.

3. Separate Groups If Necessary

If you want to get information from multiple groups but you’re worried about customers not sharing honestly with the full group present, consider separating them and running different groups. For example, certain topics might not be comfortable for men and women to discuss in the same room, so you might separate them into two groups.

4. Choose a Convenient Location

You need to make it as easy as possible for participants to show up. So choose a public place that’s easily accessible and won’t take too much time for people to travel to and from. Then provide clear directions so everyone knows exactly how to get there. Bonus if there’s free parking or access to nearby busses or trains.

5. Create a Comfortable Atmosphere

You want your participants to feel comfortable so they can speak openly and stay focused throughout the session. Set a comfortable temperature and provide nice seating with enough space for everyone. To make people feel socially comfortable, set out name tags for everyone so they can get to know each other and introduce yourself in a friendly way as they arrive. You might also provide light refreshments, especially if you plan on keeping them for an hour or more.

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6. Invite More Participants Than You Need

Even if you provide an incentive, some of your participants might not show up due to last-minute schedule conflicts, so you may want to invite more people than you can actually use for the focus group. Don’t go overboard, because you don’t want the room to be too crowded, but if you want a group of 10, consider inviting 12 or so just in case. Ideally, create a range of acceptable groups and then invite the highest number you’d be comfortable with.

7. Start with the Most Important Questions

Participants are likely to be most focused and open to discussion early on. So prioritize the questions you really want to cover upfront. This will also help you make sure those get answered just in case other topics run longer than expected or discussion veers off course in an unexpected direction.

8. Word Questions to Facilitate Discussion

Steer clear of yes or no questions as much as possible, and try to keep everything open so people talk for as long as possible. The whole purpose of a focus group is to gather information, so diving deep is almost always beneficial. Try to use topics that start with “what,” “why,” and “how” as much as possible.

9. Vary Question Types

However, you can keep people’s interest better if your questions vary in format. For example, you might go with some open-ended questions, some word association games, and some loose discussions. Try to evenly spread these question types out throughout the session. Create different sections so people don’t get bored and the focus group doesn’t feel too repetitive.

10. Keep Questions Neutral

You should also avoid biased wording. If participants think you’re looking for a specific response, they’re likely to tell you what you want to hear. Since your goal should be to gather honest feedback, stay away from questions that include wording like “Wouldn’t you say…?” or “Don’t you think…?”

11. Ask Follow Up Questions

Your focus group might reveal topics or information that you didn’t expect, so you should be open to asking questions not on your list. You might prepare a few potential follow-ups, but you should also be prepared to think on the fly.

12. Speak Directly to Quiet Participants

Sometimes, one person might dominate the discussion in a focus group, so make sure to address other participants directly so you can gather insights from everyone. You don’t need to be rude or demanding, just go around the room or direct certain questions to specific individuals.

13. Consider Quick Ice Breakers

At the beginning of the focus group, you might consider going around the room and asking people to introduce themselves or share quick ice-breaker questions. This can help people feel more comfortable opening up with other participants.

14. Take Notes

Even if you’re recording the session, noting specific parts of the session can help you refer back to useful insights later on. Have a team member who’s not facilitating the session listen in and call attention to points that seem important.

15. Record Sessions

Even with notes, you may want to go back and listen to the full discussion later on. An audio or video recording can help you go back with other team members so you can analyze everything carefully.

16. Notice Body Language

Not all of your insights have to come from things that were actually said during the focus group. Sometimes, you can learn just as much by looking at people’s faces and noticing their body language as they talk. Have your note taker specify things like facial expressions and posture throughout the session. For example, a person who sits up and gets wide-eyed during a specific ad or question shows that they’re especially interested in that area. And if possible, a video recording can help you more effectively analyze this aspect of the focus group later on.

17. Keep It Short

Time is an important element of planning focus groups. The longer your focus group runs, the more likely your participants may start to get bored or disengaged. This can lead to less accurate insights or less engaged discussion. To keep everyone’s attention, try to keep it to about an hour to an hour and a half. Practice the session beforehand and keep an eye on the time throughout the discussion to keep it moving along.

18. Wrap Up Key Points

During the discussion, participants may sometimes make points that are a bit complex or disconnected. To keep other participants engaged and clear up everything for you and your team members, try to wrap up these points periodically. Just summarize in your own words in a simplified manner. Then you can ask to make sure you have a clear understanding of what they meant.

19. Look for Overall Themes

As you go through and analyze the discussion from the focus group, try to look out for recurring themes or points that multiple participants have used or made. You don’t need to act on every single point that each individual makes, but those that come up, again and again, are likely worth at least exploring.

20. Collect Personal Information

You need to collect consent from each focus group participant. You should also gather some basic personal information so you can break down insights even further. Before you get started, have each person fill out a quick form that grants you permission to use their insights and asks about their email address or contact information and basic demographic data. This can help you notice deeper trends from the sessions. For example, you might notice that older participants tend to feel more positively toward your potential new product than younger participants. This could allow you to more easily determine who to market your new product to.


Focus groups are a popular market research method used for learning more about your customers. If you’ve never hosted a focus group for your small business before, the tips above can allow you to stay organized and actually pull valuable insights from the participants that can make your new initiatives successful. Once you host your first focus group, you can learn what strategies you used worked best for your business and then make adjustments as you move forward. Each time you conduct focus groups for your business, you’re likely to get even better at each step and ultimately gather more beneficial results.

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New tool searches customer reviews for terms that help consumers reach your brand online

New tool searches customer reviews for terms that help consumers reach your brand online

Revuze has introduced a new tool that companies can use to map and analyze customer experience reports to strengthen their brand image. The tool uses artificial intelligence (AI), which automates semantic text analysis. It segments the data by relevance to better inform business decisions about products and brands. <! – ->

Revuze Customer Insights

This tool enables companies to optimize their news on their websites and digital publicity campaigns by aligning content with the language and perception of customers. The solution works across industries and helps companies gain valuable insights into the user experience and customer satisfaction.

At the base level, these insights will help you identify effective marketing content, increase sales and revenue, and improve brand loyalty. At a higher level, it helps you make product improvements. Identify customer pain points; improve your search engine rankings; and overall, improve your return on investments (ROI) through a better customer experience.

<! – -> Previously, marketers used keyword research tools that were not entirely reliable and led to suspicions. With AI, marketers can intuitively localize customer insights and optimize their content for better impact. The technology offers users deep insight into the comfort of their desks. Data analysts or IT experts do not have to understand the complex data. The crushed data comes from a large number of reports that contain a breakdown of the cause and effect analysis.

A good digital experience is crucial for a successful e-commerce business. This helps ensure that customers who visit your website feel comfortable with the products they want. This is also an important milestone on the way of the customer when he researches or wants to make a purchase. Because it helps narrow down your options when you're ready to buy. For companies operating in the field of e-commerce, this will help to increase both brand awareness and user approval.

A closer look at the solution

Instead of offering you a broad market perspective, the Revuze solution offers companies specific insights into your brand and your products. This will help you focus on issues that matter to your business by including the context of your marketing efforts.

It offers up to 80 metrics for each of your products. By collecting data from a number of sources, including surveys, emails, call center transcripts, social media, and others. You'll also get the best positive and negative reviews to pinpoint customer awards and pain for your product. The solution also offers accuracy and automation in every language and region. This comes with a timeline feature that allows you to map fluctuations in mood and customer satisfaction to find out what factors affect them over time.

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The brand dashboard contains key performance indicators and a sentiment analysis that examine your brand, products, and features. It also monitors your competition at the product level. This way you can see how your product is doing against those of your competitions. Not only that, but it also offers a comparison of you and your competitors over 40 metrics. <! – ->

Revuze's solution includes an individual annual subscription model tailored to each customer's business needs.

The Influence of AI on Small Business Workflow

Artificial intelligence provides innovations in business processes. Through machine learning and automation, it helps even the smallest companies with tools to improve their processes and competitiveness. AI enables this further process through research, marketing, production, customer service and customer service.

<! – -> Although a small percentage of small and medium-sized enterprises (SBM) uses AI those who use this technology experience the benefits. They can now delegate certain tasks to the AI ​​and use their workforce to focus on high-priority creative tasks.

For example, the introduction of a technology-based accounting or back office solution makes it possible to dispense with CFOs. Studies show that 58% of SMEs use these technical accounting solutions, while a whopping 76% don't have a full-time or part-time CFO. Not only that, they also have no plans to hire one.

Simply put, AI has two main advantages: speed and accuracy. AI offers you several solutions for a number of business processes. Small businesses have the opportunity to use the technology and burden or catch up with the market with this valuable tool.

Image: revuze.it

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30 tips for real estate marketing

30 tips for real estate marketing

The real estate industry is heavily saturated in almost all of the country's markets. Therefore, it can be difficult for new or emerging small businesses to really stand out from others. A unique marketing strategy is a must for anyone trying to build sustainable success. But what does it look like? <! – ->

First, you need some basic local and online marketing tactics to be visible to your business. Then you need some creative ideas to make your real estate business stand out from the competition. After all, you need to use your insider knowledge to gain a foothold and build valuable partnerships within the industry.

Try these 30 real estate marketing tips so your real estate business can break the noise and succeed in a saturated market.

Tips for Real Estate Marketing

<! – -> Whether you're marketing real estate ads, selling potential customers for your services, or building partnerships within your community that can help you build long-term success, you need a wide range of real estate marketing ideas. Although traditional marketing strategies can help you build your customer base and cause a stir, you also have to think outside the box and only consider insider tricks for real estate when marketing. Ideally, you should choose a mix of strategies, from email marketing and social media to open houses and networking events. Check out a full list of options below, then choose the ones that best suit your specific market and target customers.

Traditional real estate marketing

Most marketing plans are based on the basics. Before you can start to think about whether you stand out or become specific with the tools available in your industry, you need to increase visibility and make sure that people in your community know how to get in touch with you. Many of these strategies also apply to other types of companies. But they also form the basis for a successful real estate company. Consider these traditional marketing ideas as the first step in creating your overall marketing strategy .

1. Hire a real estate photographer

The photos of your offers can help you make a good first impression with potential home buyers and customers. Real estate photography is a skill best left to professionals. Search online for nearby photographers who take amazing indoor shots or view photo credits on other real estate websites. You can then take along photographers who will go to your home when they are ready to stage and list. In this way, you can take pictures of each of the rooms as well as the outside and surrounding area before the open house day.

2. Create a website

Real estate agents, like other companies, need high-quality websites. The website must make it easy for potential customers to learn about the benefits of working with you and to contact them when they are ready to buy or sell. Add entries, contact information including email address and a short biography that will help people in the region get to know you virtually. A blog, social media buttons, and links to your posts on other platforms can also help people get in touch with you elsewhere and give them the information they need to make a decision.

3. Make it easy to share

Real estate marketing can be greatly simplified if others in your area can do some of the work for you. It is not uncommon for people to share posts directly with their friends or family members via email, text, or social media. So add approval buttons to your listings and the different pages of your website so others can get involved with a quick click. <! – ->

4. Distribute business cards

As a real estate agent, your marketing efforts don't always have to be extensive. Sometimes, simply networking with individuals in your community can be an effective lead generation strategy as part of your marketing efforts. Hand out business cards to people you meet and other entrepreneurs in the city. You can even leave extras with certain companies such as moving companies or home improvement.

5. Create valuable content

People often research online before buying or selling a house. So if you can provide helpful information about the process, they may be more likely to contact you when they're ready. For example, you could publish blogs about the best neighborhoods for families in your city or different types of home loans for first-time buyers.

6. Add a lead magnet

<! – -> You can also create content with added value that is aimed at generating leads in your marketing. For example, offer a free, downloadable eBook that guides people through the entire home buying process. Potential customers who want the resource can simply enter their email address to receive a copy. Then you can add them to your email marketing lists and maintain those leads, e.g. B. invite them to an open house.

7. Make videos

Pretty much every real estate ad has photos. Video passages that make people feel like they're actually there can help you show off yours even better. This is not just a great way to present your entries. It also shows people who are interested in selling how you go the extra mile for your customers.

8. Buy local search adds

A quick Google search is often the first step that potential customers take when looking for real estate agents near them. By buying local search ads, you can get to the top of these searches and face more people who are ready to take this step.

9. Use social profiles

Social media is a great way to share helpful information and connect with customers and people in your community on a more personal level. Select some platforms where you can post regularly. You can start by sharing property photos, providing helpful tips for buyers and sellers, and providing information about your community.

10. Communicate with your email list

Email marketing is not just about collecting email addresses and improving your services. Use email as another way to build relationships and add value to customers. It is most effective for you to segment your email list and send customized content. For example, those who signed up for a guide for first-time buyers can get information directed at those who are currently looking for a purchase. While those who have already bought a home from you can get information about community events and general tips for homeowners. This keeps them busy so they can call you again or send an email the next time they move.

Out-of-the-box real estate marketing

Once you've covered the basics, it's time to engage in unconventional thinking. These real estate marketing ideas are likely to go beyond what many other professionals in your area are already doing. In this way, they can help you to avoid noise and promote your business in such a way that it actually stands out from the crowd of other real estate companies in your market.

11. Provision of a free moving van

After your customers have finished buying and / or selling a home, they will almost certainly need help moving. Providing a moving truck with your services streamlines the process for them and highlights your value proposition. Work with a local moving company or trucking company to determine if you can get a bulk or recurring discount. Then advertise your offer on your website and in local ads.

12. Hire a writer

Many real estate agents already understand the value of high quality images, but even a powerful copy can have a big impact. If you don't have the time to create unique stories about each of your objects, work with a writer who can paint a picture of what it would be like to live in each object. This can help potential buyers to imagine living near you or in a particular property.

13. Partner with local companies

There are tons of other companies that are more geared towards people who may be in the new home market, such as home improvement, moving, and mortgage brokers. Work with these companies to make recommendations to each other or bundle your services so customers can easily find the support they need. You can also share the cost of local or online advertising campaigns. Even if you don't form official partnerships, communicating with these companies and promoting them on social media or on your website can help increase your own visibility in the community.

14. Try remarketing

It is common for people to search online for the local property market before they are actually ready to move. With remarketing, you can address people who have visited your listing or website in the past. This gives you a better chance of getting their attention later when they're actually ready to get started. Many online platforms, including Google and Facebook, offer this as an option.

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15th host of an event

Most brokers know the importance of holding an open house. However, if you want to involve even more people, go beyond this idea and host local events where people can participate, even if they are not interested in a particular property. You may have a happy hour or a simple networking meeting where you can introduce yourself to potential buyers and sellers in a casual atmosphere. Give them a card or share your unique value proposition so they can easily contact you when they are ready for your services.

16. Answer questions on your website

Aside from the company page on your website, an FAQ section can help you quickly get qualified leads from online searches. For example, people who say "How do I get an occupancy certificate in [city]?" Search. are probably ready to sell their house. If your answer appears on the main search page, they can visit you easily and get in touch with you straight away. At the beginning of the process, pay attention to the questions customers ask you so that you know what to include.

17. Create lifestyle videos

Aside from the videos you create for individual properties, you can do video marketing that sells a lifestyle. Promoting the general feeling that people can get by buying a home near you can inspire people to buy and help you position your brand in a positive light. Highlight fun local attractions, the architectural beauty of houses at your location, or other selling points for moving to the region.

18. Design infographics

Infographics are simple images that share statistics and interesting facts. As a realtor, you can use them to promote cool features for nearby houses or details of specific neighborhoods. Then share them on social media and other residents can stick to them and help them go viral. Add your branding and links to your website and social profiles so people who find the graphics online can easily find you.

19. Take a fun quiz about your region

Another fun online activity that residents love is quiz questions. Create a "How well do you know [city]?" Quiz on your website or on social channels and get people to share their results with friends. Add a short blurb or link to your email or website at the end of the quiz so that those in the property services market can easily find you.

Set up 20th furnishing program

Recommendations are crucial for successful real estate business. But not many have programs designed to actively promote word-of-mouth marketing among customers. Find an incentive or reward that you can offer to previous customers who recommend you to friends and family.

Insider Real Estate Marketing

The real estate industry is full of unique platforms and concepts that you can use to connect with relevant people – as long as you know how to use them correctly. These insider tips for real estate marketing can help you get the most out of these industry-specific articles. With these marketing ideas, you can not only record customer contacts, but also market them to other agents. No matter whether you want to make your entries more visible to buyers or if you want to expand your team.

21. Reverse Prospect on MLS

With many online listing platforms, real estate agents can search for other brokers whose clients are looking for homes in a particular area. You can use this reverse prospect feature for the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to find agents with customers who are looking for offers similar to those you offer. Then contact these agents to let them know about your new listing so they can easily share this information with their interested customers to drive a potential sale.

22. Try Virtual Staging

Staging a house can help customers imagine what it could be like to live in a house. Personal staging can be beneficial, but the choice of decoration may not appeal to every single person who gets through. Use virtual staging software to easily and inexpensively create different room layouts with different furniture and decorative items. This can help you address different styles or even help certain customers to fit their personal style into a home.

23rd Host Webinars

You can use webinars to share helpful information with potential home buyers or sellers near you – or even to reach out to other brokers. Pick a topic that gives your target audience special value, and even consider having a co-host to increase your reach. Then, at the end, you can offer a quick sales pitch to attract new customers, expand your team, or simply create goodwill with other brokers in your area with whom you may want to work in the future.

24. Complete your profile on real estate sites

Websites with real estate offers such as Zillow and Trulia are popular with people who want to search for houses themselves. However, each listing also contains broker information with which they can contact you if you are interested. Instead of just providing your base name and contact information, fill out your entire profile and use it to share your unique value proposition with potential customers. By viewing your company website as a marketing opportunity and not just as a formality, you can make your entries stand out from others on these platforms.

Submit 25th article to local publications

Many communities have their own newspapers, magazines, and websites that are popular with local homeowners and potential buyers or sellers. If you share your expertise with guest articles or blog posts, you can gain credibility and awareness on site. Remember to submit articles related to things like financing a property or staging your house for sale. Everything that is relevant for people thinking about moving. Even if everyone who reads is not currently ready to buy or sell a house, they may remember your name more when it comes time to unite their favorite local readings over the years Offer added value.

26. Partner with agents in other communities

For agents working in areas where second home purchases are popular, network with agents from other states or areas to make recommendations. These partnerships can help them add value to their customers and help them gain visibility in these markets. Connect with people at conferences or online to build these lasting relationships.

27. Join local organizations

Your local Chamber of Commerce and other business groups can help you get more visibility in your community. Especially when it comes to other brokers. Even if you're technically vying for the same customers, building positive working relationships can be critical to marketing your offerings and closing sales quickly. This type of networking can also help you work with other companies that buyers and sellers trust. This includes home improvement, interior designers, contractors and others in the region.

28. Share content from other local businesses

Any content you share on your blog or social media platforms doesn't just have to come from you. Find valuable blog posts and insights from other brokers, moving companies and financial institutions in your area so that you can share them with your online audience. Not only does this offer a quick and easy way to add value, but the people whose content you share will likely appreciate the reputation. This in turn can help you to further increase your reach in the future.

28. Take part in a virtual chat

Many local business groups and industry organizations host online events such as zoom conferences and Twitter chats where members can share resources and networks. Find chats that match your market or real estate expertise, then share insights, ask questions, and make real connections with other professionals. This can help you build valuable partnerships within the real estate industry or even expand your team.

30. Advertising on Zillow

When marketing real estate offerings, it helps to go where most potential customers are already spending time. Zillow receives 36 million monthly visits, making it by far the most popular platform for apartment seekers. If you want to invest in real estate advertising, advertising your offerings on this platform is a great way to sell houses faster, attract customers and ultimately run a more successful business that customers recommend to others.


A successful real estate marketing plan requires several facets. You start with the basics, add some unexpected twists to highlight, and then bring in some inside secrets to appeal to both customers and other professionals who can help you build a successful business. The real estate marketing ideas listed above include a variety of ways you can start building your local and online marketing strategy right away.

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Guide to Conduct Marketing Research

Guide to Conduct Marketing Research

Have you ever started an advertising campaign with high hopes to be disappointed with the results? Or how about launching a new product with great enthusiasm just to find out that the market wasn't interested? These situations occur in business life. And this is where market research makes a difference. <! – ->

If you have big goals, market research can help your company take the right steps and not waste time and money on the wrong ones.

Not only that, but market research can help you win happier customers. For example, 94% of guests choose a restaurant based on online ratings, according to a study. Another study found that 82% of customers expected an immediate answer to sales or marketing questions. If you know these types of facts, you can implement the processes and tools to delight the customer and attract new ones.

<! – -> In this article we define what marketing research is in plain text, including the different types of market research. You will quickly and easily learn how to conduct market research, which techniques work best and how to use existing third-party information. The ultimate goal is to find success.

What is market research?

Market research is the process of gathering information about prospective customers, customers, market size, competitors and more. Companies use this information to develop products and services, set prices, increase lead flow, increase sales, improve customer satisfaction, and develop marketing and advertising campaigns.

If you take nothing else from this market research definition, think of one thing: data is the basis of a company's marketing strategy. Research is the starting point that directs your marketing in the right direction.

Market research prevents you from responding to incorrect assumptions or consistent advice and making costly mistakes. In a world of trial and error, market research does more with less error.

Types of market research

Marketers use two different types of research: primary and secondary research. Whether you know the terms or not, you probably know both. <! – ->

Let us first consider primary research. Primary research refers to the process of collecting data that has not yet been collected by another party. In other words, primary information is simply information that you discover and collect yourself. When people share their experience with your company or their satisfaction with your product or service, this is the most important information. Primary research includes the following:


Surveys ask people questions that they can quickly answer to reveal their opinions, perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors. Companies are conducting surveys by post, by phone, or increasingly online today. Surveys are one of the most common research methods for a small business.

Personal Research

<! – -> Personal research involves talking directly to a consumer, potential customer, or existing customer – and includes:

  • Interviews – These are one-to-one interactions to delve deeply into the reasons that determine the respondent's beliefs. Interviews are relatively inexpensive and can involve simply calling a customer.
  • Focus groups – A focus group gathers 5 to 10 people in a group to provide feedback. Focus groups are expensive and really require an experienced moderator to get unbiased information.
  • Ethnography – Ethnography simply means interactions with others in their natural environment. A common method is "flying on the wall", in which a researcher quietly observes someone in a store or while using a product. A digital method includes heat maps to test where a visitor's attention lingers on a website.

Other market research

  • Diaries – People track their behavior to see how they interact with your products or services.
  • User Tests – Users test and give feedback on how they experience your product or service in real time. We have all seen examples of this in television advertising: the blind taste tests.

Primary methods like the ones above have many uses, but small businesses find them invaluable in two situations. First, small businesses use it when trying to uncover the true user experience with their product or service. Second, they use primary methods when they need to understand how their customers feel about their company.

Next, let’s look at secondary research. Secondary research uses information that has already been collected by another party. A lot of secondary information is online research and free or inexpensive. Examples are:

Government research

  • USA. Census data (a good starting point is Census Data Gems ).
  • Information from government agencies such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, FEMA or SBA.

Research by third parties

  • Research reports (not your own) or information collected by other companies. Example: A research diagram from eMarketer .
  • Secondary data from trade associations such as the National Retail Federation. It publishes industry statistics and studies.
  • Information provided by special digital tools. One example is Google Trends data, which shows trends in public search.

Market research examples

What exactly do you use marketing research for? There are hundreds of uses. Only 15 examples are listed below:

  • Identify Revenue Opportunities – Research may reveal customer segments you have never considered, or the ability to cross-sell or up-sell. You can also identify new industries that are ready for expansion.
  • Set Prices – Research may reveal whether your prices are high or low compared to the market. Research could show that price increases are justified.
  • Take advantage of competitors' weaknesses – Find out what the market hates about your competition so you can compare your brand and convince potential customers.
  • Identify Competitor Strengths – Find out what the market likes about your competitors better so you can hit or beat them.
  • Spot Trends – Trends can indicate new technologies.
  • Reputation Improvement – Your company may discover a reputation problem due to poor online ratings that your team has to overcome.
  • Write successful marketing messages – Research can reveal which advertising messages appeal to your target market.
  • Identify a new offer – Changing habits, tastes, and needs can trigger ideas for products or services.
  • Enthusiastic customers – Customer expectations can deviate from your assumptions, and studies show what is important.
  • Demonstrate the Authority of Industry – Find out what your target buyer appreciates and how he wants to deliver it to him.
  • Test Concepts – Ask the public whether a brand name appeals to you and test concepts before you start.
  • Determine the most important influencing factors. – Determine who influences buyer decisions so you can connect and leverage the influence.
  • Increase digital presence – Rate your visibility on search engines and social media. Identify ways to get a bigger footprint.
  • Identify Product Features – Research helps you with your development efforts by suggesting the quality value proposition at every stage of the product life cycle.
  • Improve Your Website – Gather data about what makes potential customers aware of your website. Identify elements they love and discover why they convert.

How to do market research

After we understand the importance of market research, the steps to conduct the research are straightforward. Here are seven market research steps:

1. Identify your goals

Start with your goals. Write down what market research information you want to collect and how you will use it. Be specific about the challenges in your company. Some example goals are:

  • Compare competitor prices to see if your company has room for price increases.
  • Increase word of mouth by improving customer service levels.
  • Identify your ideal potential customers so that you can tailor products and services to their needs. Provide age, gender, location, income, and specific problems your customer wants to solve. Create customer personalities to control your sales work.
  • Isolate the news that works best for an advertising campaign.
  • Size of the market before developing a new product or starting a new company.

2. Choose a type of research

Choose the type of marketing information required to achieve your goals. Start with these simple steps:

  • Primary or Secondary? Decide which type gives you the information needed for your goals.
  • If primary, determine the format. For example, you can invite current customers to participate in interviews. Ask your social media followers to take an online survey. Or try a service like Google Surveys to get answers from consumers and the public.
  • If secondary, determine which sources should be examined. Always check first if government research has what you need. Google searches direct you to other secondary information, including industry organizations.

For more information, visit: 21+ market research tools .

3. Conduct the research

Now it's time to actually do the research. The best way to know what people think is to ask them directly. In this section, we focus on the three main ways to get customer research: interviews, focus groups, and surveys.

Customer survey

Customer interviews can be carried out by phone, in person or using one of the many web-based tools.

Talk to 10 to 15 people to make sure you get feedback that is representative of your target audience. Request 20 to 30 minutes to speak at a mutually convenient time. Be prepared for your questions in good time.

Ask respondents if they give you permission to record the interviews so you can refer to them later. Alternatively, you can take someone with you to take notes.

Remember not to coach people or to get answers that you want to hear. They want their honest feedback. Don't respond to what they're saying. Your job is to collect your thoughts and not correct any assumptions or perceptions that you may disagree with.

Holding Focus Groups

A good focus group size is 8 to 10 participants.

Conduct focus groups in person or online with apps that are suitable for this purpose. Many local libraries and community centers have rooms that you can use inexpensively or for free. Trade fairs and conferences also offer the opportunity to conduct interviews and focus groups. You can also use online conference tools to facilitate this group interaction.

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Start the group with self-introductions. Let everyone know that all opinions are valid and there are no wrong answers. Then lead them through a discussion that you prepare in advance.

Limit the session to no more than two hours or even 90 minutes. This should be enough time to gain insight while giving everyone the opportunity to express their opinions.

Conducting surveys

Surveys are great for collecting customer feedback. Nowadays, most customer surveys are conducted online using a professional survey tool. Simply set up a survey and email a link.

Add questions to collect demographic or firmographic information such as zip code, age, title, gender, industry, frequency of purchase, etc. (but skip everything you already know). This helps you to analyze the data specifically.

Then ask your questions.

After gathering the information, take the time to isolate trends and segments. Most survey software today generates beautiful charts and graphs. But you have to study them and maybe do a deeper analysis than the standard charts offer.

You can also interview non-customers. This option is ideal if you need industry data or general consumer input. Many survey software packages also provide access to a survey panel of non-customer respondents. You have to pay for responses from non-customers. Survey prices vary for answers:

  • Consumer samples are usually relatively inexpensive, maybe $ 1 per response, although the more specific your requirements are, the cost will increase. For example, surveying consumers over the age of 25 is one price, while surveying men between 35 and 44 who have children is another price.
  • For comparison: Google surveys start at 10 cents per answer for just one question, but this number can be up to $ 10 per completed survey if you want 2 to 10 questions. If you want respondents to be screened for specific audience characteristics, this will cost more.
  • Business-to-business responses are more expensive than consumer responses. It could cost up to $ 100 per completed executive survey.
  • If the budget is challenging, check if you can trade with another organization with a large membership. You can improve the performance behind this "question" by working with other companies like your vendors to see if they join you in making this request.

Best Practices

When you begin exploratory research, follow these best practices:

  • Pretest. Test run a customer interview with someone on your team in an RPG. Ask some colleagues to take a survey as a test. This contributes significantly to making questions understandable and information useful.
  • Respect the time of the respondents. Keep the interactions short. For example, it is better to run a branched survey where respondents see relevant questions based on previous answers only rather than forcing them to go through a dozen irrelevant questions. People quickly lose interest if they feel that they are taking too much time.
  • Use simple language. Use vocabulary that respondents recognize. At the same time, adjust your questions to get specific answers. See: 75 questions on market research .
  • Follow in the customer's footsteps. Ask questions that make sense from your customer's perspective. For example, instead of asking a technical question about your software configuration process, ask the customer how long it took between opening an account and starting using your software.

Time and Skill

Before you begin, record the research process so that you are aware of the effort, time, and money. Small businesses tend to underestimate the amount of time and distraction from other priorities.

Also consider whether you have the skills for the research process internally. For example, do you have the ability to develop a survey, attract respondents and analyze the data in depth? What about time A professional researcher may be able to complete the project in a fraction of the time of an unskilled employee. In the end, it can be faster and cost less.

Primary research can take between 1 and 3 months.

Secondary research is faster, but sets a time / hour budget. Keep in mind that it takes some time for someone to find, analyze and collect the secondary data. Set a certain number of hours per week for secondary sources and then stick to this schedule. Don't fall into "rabbit holes" because there are so many sources.

4. Analyze and summarize

You have completed market research – what now?

Good companies often stumble here. For example, you spend a lot of time on a survey, but then the survey sits. You only look at a few diagrams.

The best data is useless if it is not analyzed properly. Analyze the data, draw conclusions and take evidence-based measures. Your research may identify new opportunities or suggest that you should not take action that you are planning. Think of a list of action items based on the data.

Summarize the results in a report. A report makes data usable internally. You and your team will forget the details a month later, so you need to be able to access something.

5. Integration into your marketing plan

Integrate the research information into your marketing plan. Here are two examples.

Example 1: Company A used research to successfully adjust its marketing approach for a product launch. Research on social media showed that consumers responded to certain messages and not others. The company has optimized its marketing messages to better convey the benefits that consumers wanted to hear about than the benefits that the company believed to be important.

Example 2: Company B conducted focus groups and found that instead of a single target market for the product, the market actually consisted of a few segments, each with different needs. The customer could change their content marketing plan to target each segment with more meaning rather than a unified plan.

6. Adjust internal processes

Share the market research with your team and look for their ideas. Identify and implement some actionable steps.

Market research could indicate that your processes and procedures need to be revised. For example, you may need to rethink your customer complaint handling method. You may need to fix reputational issues like years of bad reviews. Or, you may have to redesign your products to meet competitor offerings when your current added value is low. Let's look at two examples.

Example A: After a focus group, company Y found that some of the services offered were highly valued, but others were not. The company was able to shift efforts and resources to the services customers wanted most.

Example B: Company Z observed some business customers using their product in their offices and found that customers in certain industries used the product in an unexpected way. Company Z received testimonials specifically mentioning these use cases, and sales in these industries increased.


We hope this guide has helped you understand market research in business. Most small businesses and start-ups could be more successful if they did simple exploratory studies before launching a product or starting a business. Regardless of your budget or size, research will make your business more proactive and results-oriented, with decisions based on facts to drive your growth.

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10 tips for optimal use of popular online marketing channels and technical tools

10 tips for optimal use of popular online marketing channels and technical tools

Marketing a company requires several tools and platforms. From Facebook to blogging, understanding the options available and their functions can go a long way. Here are some tips from members of the online small business community to help you understand these popular marketing channels. <! – ->

Create an effective Facebook content calendar

If you want to get the most out of your Facebook marketing strategy, you need to post regularly. However, finding enough content can be difficult. In this Social Media Today post, Andrew Hutchinson outlines Facebook's guidelines for creating your own content calendar.

Learn about the latest update from Google

Google is constantly updating its technology to provide users with more relevant search results. This means that companies looking to improve their SEO need to find out about new updates so they can adjust their strategies. Neil Patel explains the latest update in this blog post.

Consider these factors before you spend on OTT advertising.

<! – -> The increasing popularity of streaming services has changed the way many companies view television advertising. However, before you adjust your spending, there are a few important points to consider. This target marketing contribution by Adam Ortman and Shari Slackman continues .

Choose the Right SEO Tools

If you really want to improve your SEO strategy, adding the right tools is a must. In this Cybernaira post, Adeshokan Shamsudeen discusses some of the different types of tools to help business owners choose the best for their needs. BizSugar members then discussed the post here.

Start a blog successfully

Blogging is anything but a new strategy for companies. However, some are just starting to see it as a way to communicate clearly with customers and others in the industry from a distance. If you're thinking about starting a blog, the tips in this blogging brute post by Mike Allton can be helpful.

Add call to action on blogs

When using a blog to market your business and communicate with potential customers, it is important to have a goal for each post. And sometimes it can be helpful to add a clear call to action at the end of each to achieve these goals. Dave Brown examines this concept in this Small Biz Daily Post.

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Use Venmo to build your brand

Venmo is a popular mobile payment platform with which many companies and individuals are already collecting money and paying others. But it can actually be more than that for companies. In this DIY marketer post, Sydney Wess gives tips on using Venmo to build a brand. <! – ->

Use these steps for keyword research.

If you want to get more visitors to your website, you have to choose the right keywords. And that requires research. In this article on adhesive tape marketing, John Jantsch offers tips on how to do just that.

Consider these new technical devices

Using technology to run your business isn't just about choosing software programs. There are some hardware devices that can also be beneficial for business users. Ivan Widjaya lists some of these various products in this Biz Epic post.

Learn how duplicate content affects your SEO.

<! – -> If the content of your website matches the content published elsewhere, this can have a significant impact on your search rankings. If you want to avoid problems, read this Pixel Productions article by Anmol Kumar. Then see what members of the BizSugar community have to say here .

To suggest that your favorite small business content be considered for an upcoming community summary, send your news tips to: sbtips@gmail.com.


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How Food Companies Can Easily Embrace Digital Transformation

How Food Companies Can Easily Embrace Digital Transformation

Food business operators and food retailers are among the companies that have seen the most dramatic effects of the novel corona virus. <! – ->

Since the inventory trend continues and the switch to online orders is increasing steadily, the grocer tries to keep up.

Digital Transformation of the Grocery Store

Here are some tips for food business owners to take advantage of digital transformation and win the rapidly changing market.

But first, what has changed?

<! – -> Nobody could really see it coming. Within a few weeks, consumers around the world were under a mandatory lock in their homes.

Consumers who adapt their lifestyle accordingly have reported that they do activities such as sport at home and of course cook. Another report by Taste Wise claims that more parents cook with their children at home and explore all kinds of new cooking methods and recipes:

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These changes in consumer behavior lead to changes in shopping habits. People are shifting their spending habits from outside of food to grocery shopping.

Digital grocery shopping is growing rapidly. According to Statista the percentage of online grocery buyers at the beginning of COVID-19 quarantine in the United States rose from 11% in the first week of March to 37% in the fourth week of March! – ->

In other words, the novel corona virus more than tripled the number of consumers willing to buy food online in March alone. And, like working from home, grocery shopping online can become a long-term habit.

The pandemic has broken shopping habits worldwide and made people find more ways to buy groceries. These new shopping methods may become more convenient and time-saving. So there is good reason to believe that ordering food online will only become more popular, whether under quarantine or not.

<! – -> Companies are forced to look for ways to meet consumers where they are and to contact them in new ways.

Put your company online

As the trend toward online grocery shopping continues to grow, many grocery retailers are switching from brick-and-mortar stores to other forms of sales. While large companies such as Walmart and Whole Foods have been selling online for several years, small companies in this sector were notoriously slow to innovate.

Well, the coronavirus lockup changed everything.

Now innovation is the question of survival.

Fortunately, there are some solutions that will make the change easier to apply.

One of the fastest ways to deliver a shopping experience from home is to work with existing e-commerce solutions like Instacart . Only this strategy has its own pitfalls (like an obvious inability to manage customer experiences that alienate even loyal buyers).

In other words, if you rely too much on Instacart, your customers are not really yours. You are an Instacart customer and it is up to the algorithm and whims of this platform to determine whether these customers return to your store or order groceries from another location.

Nevertheless, Instacart is worth a partnership. If nothing else, your business can be discovered by its users.

However, if you want to encourage repeat buyers who are the foundation of a successful business, building your independent digital presence is a must. There are solid solutions for this too.

Self Point is, for example, a digital food transformation platform that seamlessly integrates your business processes into a mobile-first e-commerce experience.

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The solution has a white label so you can customize the look and feel of your branding so your buyers can shop where they want, while enjoying the same experience in-store and online.

It supports the grocery store on many levels including simple records, easy order fulfillment, multi-channel solutions, quick integration with your existing website, mobile apps, etc.

Making the most of the circumstances

While the global pandemic has put many companies under pressure, there may be a silver lining in this situation for owners of food companies willing to innovate.

As companies are forced to integrate digital solutions into their business operations, they open up new opportunities that they have never known before.

New ways to attract their customers

Digital integration offers functions for relationship management that a stationary business does not offer. With email marketing, you can reach your customers at any time to offer them special vacation deals and coupon codes.

But there is more.

Intelligent email marketing solutions provide marketing automation features that allow you to reach your customers on their birthday or customize your offer based on previous interactions with your website.

Moosend provides some powerful marketing automation features and templates that allow you to automatically customize your message for local weather, customer interaction with your shopping cart, and more:

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<h3> <strong> New ways to research their audience </strong> </h3>
<p> Another great advantage of using food online and for other retailers is the ability to research and understand their target customers. </p>
<p> Every web entity has a lot of data these days. Most websites have a kind of analytics solution installed that provides (and collects) data about their users' surfing and buying patterns, hobbies, battles, and more. </p>
<p> The ability to have this data is a fantastic opportunity to better target your audience by customizing your product lines and even personalizing their experiences. </p>
<p> <a href= Finteza is an all-in-one solution that offers both web analytics and personalization, and even the recently added e-commerce section that lets you analyze your income flow and conversions:

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The global ban is finally coming to an end, but the future is still uncertain. We do not yet know how shopping habits will change in the future. And there is good reason to believe that the virus will be back soon.

It could be that our life will never return to normal, or rather there will be a new normal to which we will all adapt.

In these circumstances, small businesses in general – and grocery stores in particular – have no choice but to be innovative. The future is uncertain, but the present is pretty clear: we have to accept the change to thrive.


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