Category

Reputation Marketing

“Texting has by far the best engagement rate of any marketing medium.”

Studies have shown that across all age groups 69% of consumers would like to be able to contact a business via text.

While SMS marketing is becoming  a popular trend it is important to understand how to make the best use out of the quick and effective technology.

We gathered some information from Slick Text to give you tips regarding laws with marketing and best practices to follow:

1. Get Permission

You must have permission from people before sending them text messages. If you don’t have their explicit consent, not only will you be breaking laws and possibly be subject to legal penalties, it will also cause you to look spammy, create a bad name for your organization, and annoy your audience.

So what is permission? How do you get it? If your subscribers are opting in by texting to join, then you already have it. If you are manually uploading a list or adding your contacts one by one, you’ll need written consent. This may be the most important best practice for any SMS marketing program.

2. Be Clear About Your Program

People should know exactly what they’re signing up for when subscribing to your text marketing list. The intent of your program should be clear to everyone and set their expectations about what they will be receiving in the future.

This doesn’t mean you need to provide a long, drawn out explanation of what your program is all about. You just need to ensure people know what to expect. This can easily be done in your opt-in language both where you’re advertising your text program and in the auto-response subscribers receives after they first join.

3. Pay Attention to Frequency

Don’t send too often. Nobody wants to receive an excessive amount of text messages from your business or organization. We recommend no more than 2 – 6 SMS per month in most cases. Any more may annoy your subscribers.

You also must make sure they know how often you’ll be texting them. This is important! Be crystal clear about how many text messages they can expect to receive on a monthly basis.

An example would be adding this to the initial auto reply of your text marketing program: “Receive up to 4 msgs/ month”.

4.Include Disclaimers

The CTIA is an international nonprofit trade association that represents the wireless communications industry. They provide us with many of the best practices used in text marketing and also govern all short code SMS messaging. They require you to include things like “Message and data rates may apply” in your initial opt-in language. Because these disclaimers are so important, our SMS marketing service adds them automatically in the required places so you don’t have to worry about it.

Note that your subscribers will only see this once! Only when they first join your list—not every time you send a mass text message.

5. Provide an Exit

Your subscribers need to know that they can opt out of your text messaging program at any time. This is another thing that our SMS marketing service does for you by default in your auto replies.

When someone signs up for your text messaging list, in addition to “Msg & Data rates may apply”, we also add “txt STOP to cancel” to the end of your auto reply.

Again, this is included ONLY in your auto reply. They will not see this in every text you send out. It is good practice however, to occasionally include those instructions in your text blasts to remind people of how to opt out if they’d like.

6. Text During Normal Hours

You should only send text messages during normal / expected hours. Be courteous to your subscribers. They won’t enjoy waking up to your text messages in the middle of the night. Also, as a business, think about how counterproductive it is to message them outside of your optimal hours.

One of the many benefits of text marketing is to inspire immediate action from your subscribers. It’s unlikely that anyone will take action in the middle of the night.

7. Use Common Language

Use SMS shorthand sparingly, if at all. While many text abbreviations are widely understood by people today, not everyone will get what you’re trying to say. Additionally, it can look quite unprofessional depending on your target audience.

If you absolutely need to save characters by shortening some of your words, start with the most common text abbreviations and try to keep them to a minimum.

8. Provide Value

Make sure that every text message you send is one of value! If people are willing to give you explicit permission to text them, you should be giving them something worthwhile in return.

Also, if your text program is used for marketing, make sure to keep your messages fresh and exciting. They should feel like a VIP. If you’re not giving your subscribers something of value each time you send a group text, chances are, it’s not worth it for them and they’ll unsubscribe.

If you are interested in signing up for an SMS service with Slick Text use Promo Code: i3 Clicks at check out for 15% your first month. Click here to get started!

 

With search engines furnishing rich results at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) — from the knowledge panel to the map pack — consumers today are more likely to expect answers to their queries without clicking through to a webpage.

Featured snippets are a huge part of this. For example, if someone searches “does Taco Bell have gluten-free options?” this query is answered in a featured snippet result at the top of the SERP. Additionally, featured snippets are also the primary strategy for winning a share of voice search at present, as they are likely to serve a voice assistant’s preferred answer.

Here’s the Taco Bell example:

You’ll notice that the information in this featured snippet is pulled directly from the Taco Bell website. As a brand, this is exactly what you want — to be the source of truth about your own business everywhere customers are searching for information. But since search engine algorithms determine what information is pulled for rich results, this isn’t always the case. Featured snippet information is often pulled from off-website sources like Wikipedia — and sometimes, it can even be wrong.

Google has never issued a comprehensive guide to exactly how its featured snippets are sourced. But based on advice from SEO experts, here’s what you can do to improve your chances at appearing as a featured snippet when a customer asks a question related to your brand.

Answer customer questions on your website.

The first step for brands is to ensure that the information on their own website (and all subsidiary or local pages, if applicable) is correct and comprehensive. This seems like an obvious first step, given that you can’t answer a simple query about whether your business is “open now” if your hours are unlisted or incorrect. However, as search engines have become capable of answering more complex questions, consumers have been reconditioned to expect this level of specificity — and your brand doesn’t stand a chance if your website itself isn’t able to provide these types of answers.

Answer multidimensional customer questions on your website.

To use the Taco Bell example again, the query “does Taco Bell have gluten-free options” contains multiple pieces of information — it is asking about Taco Bell, but a particular entity (menu items) with a particular attribute (gluten-free). Google is able to pull this answer in a featured snippet because Taco Bell has structured its site so that these questions are answerable, and this information is interrelated and marked up in such a way that it is intelligible to Google.

Build your brand knowledge graph.

There is currently no markup specific to featured snippets. But using a structured data markup like Schema will put the content on your website into terms that search engines can understand. Having your pages marked up in this way increases the chances of them being crawled and “understood” by search engines — and helps you to surface in the kind of rich results we’re talking about.

This is also the reason that having a brand knowledge graph is invaluable when it comes to “speaking the language” of search engines. Since search engines use a knowledge graph with bi-directional, flexible relationships, your brand should structure and store its data in the same way. By doing so, search engine knowledge graphs can draw on the personal knowledge graph that you maintain — allowing you to manage your information at scale and deliver the answers customers want, both on your own site and via third-party experiences.

Be the authority on your brand.

If Wikipedia has the most comprehensive and clear information about your brand, then search engines will likely pull from that source. Of course, you should ensure that your brand information is listed correctly across all sites that Google’s algorithm might crawl (including Wikipedia) to ensure the most consistent experience possible. But if your website is clear, comprehensive, and able to answer complex questions — based on a knowledge graph where all of your facts and entities are stored — it appears more likely that the search engine algorithm will pull content from your website to populate its rich results.

 

Credit Via LAURYN CHAMBERLAIN with Yext

At i3 we advise businesses to make sure they are branding themselves online so that future customers can find them easily. Google My Business provides the platform to allow for your company to be front and center on searches relating to your industry. We can create a profile for you by simply searching for your business and claiming it.

How do you know if you have a profile?

Well if your GMB (Google My Business) profile has not been verified, anyone can click suggest an edit. As a business owner you do not want outsiders to be able to control when your business is open/closed.

Now there are some steps to getting verified:

  • By postcard
  • By phone
  • By email
  • Instant verification
  • Bulk verification

Once that step has been completed it is time to start optimizing your profile to get more clicks.

According to Google, businesses with photos see 35% more clicks to their website and 42% higher requests for driving directions in Google Maps.

Next utilizing all of the features of GMB. Answering questions that customers have is a new popular feature aside from the review section. There is also a scheduling feature that helps service based businesses get more appointments booked.

 

Creating a GMB profile is just one step in helping to improve your business presence online. If you would like to know more about content to post, strategy, and how to grow your brand, our team would love to assist you.

 

Contact us today! 

In this age of information, reputation marketing is the future of the marketing industry. Users no longer blindly use the services of a company – they simply open their browser and search for online reviews. It is evident that bad reviews can greatly damage the reputation of a company, even if they are not true. To avoid such situations, protect your online reputation the right way.

Reputation Marketing Defined

This concept refers to shaping your online reputation by emphasizing your positive reviews and turning them into a marketing tool. It is much more effective than reputation management, which is just a passive way of responding to already existing reviews, negative or positive, after they have already been posted online. Reputation marketing, on the other hand, suggests responding to bad reviews before they appear on online, as well as building and marketing positive reviews to the advantage of the company. According to Reputation marketing, on the other hand, suggests responding to bad reviews before they appear on online, as well as building and marketing positive reviews to the advantage of the company. According to Wikipedia, “reputation marketing has evolved from the marriage of the fields of reputation management and brand marketing.” Instead of trying to push negative reviews to the bottom of the search results, it suggests a new approach that consists of making the best of the positive feedback posted online by your customers.

Potential Benefits of An Excellent Online Reputation

Having positive reviews on social media or your own web site can significantly increase your profit because they work as an extremely good marketing tool. People tend to trust online reviews almost as much as their friends’ recommendations and you should not miss this great opportunity. For this reason, it is essential to increase the number of positive reviews so that they would appear at the top of the results when users search for your product or brand. This means taking matters into your own hands by reacting to your customers’ feedback immediately, thus creating an excellent online reputation of your company.

A Higher Star Rating Can Equate To Increased Business

You can find many real-life examples that support this. For example, the economists at the University of California, Berkeley conducted a study which analyses the online ratings of Yelp in Economic Journal. It reveals that a restaurant’s business increases by 19% when its overall rating increases by only a half star. It shows that even a slight change on the online profile of your business can greatly shape the user’s perception of your company.

In this situation, reputation marketing can have an immense effect on your profit. It is essential to try building a five-star reputation by making the best of your positive reviews, and we can help you take advantage of this opportunity.

Contact us today by emailing info@i3megamarketinggroup.com for a consultation.

 

 

We’ve all been told that referrals are one of the best forms of advertising. Let’s face it, we generally trust the recommendations of those we know especially when they have had a positive, first-hand experience with a product or service provider.

Referrals are good in a number of ways:

  • prospects are more willing to make an appointment
  • cost is usually not as important
  • referred prospects are more likely to make a purchase decision quickly thus improving ROI
  • prospects are more likely to refer others

Online Reviews are Referrals

Referrals have always been considered as a “word-of-mouth” recommendation from a known individual, that description is changing in the digital world. You may not realize it, an online review is a form of recommendation or referral. Although the person leaving a review is not likely known by the readers of their ratings and/or comments, the review gives the reader a certain confidence, or lack thereof, in the vendor, product or service. According to Myles Anderson, Founder & CEO of BrightLocal.com, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That’s impressive considering the source of the review is most likely not personally known by the reader. The number of reviews found online effects the trust factor as well. A business generally needs a minimum of 6 to 10 reviews to be trusted.

Reviews Aren’t Just for Restaurants

Most businesses assume that online reviews only related to physical products purchased online or food service providers such as dine-in restaurants and fast food chains. However, in directories and independent rating sites like Google, Yelp, Yellow Pages and Trip Advisor, to name a few, reviews are being posted online for all types of businesses in every industry. The reviews aren’t just limited to individual customers or young people. People of all ages are posting reviews and even businesses are posting about other businesses they purchase from.

 

Search Engines Like Reviews

Even more importantly, search engines such as Google and Bing are beginning to adopt average review ratings into their ranking algorithms thus increasing the importance of a good rating from each.

Do not worry about your online reputation. i3 has the updates to keep your company aware of all of the new strategies to look out for this year.