Protect Your Online Reputation

Having a strong online presence and a good brand profile plays a large part in marketing and brand awareness and we very much suggest you try and utilise all free avenues such as local listings to aid this part of your marketing and getting “out” your company name. However, online can also be a place where free speech is exercised and reputations can be built and destroyed very quickly if you don’t try and protect your reputation.

Claiming your social accounts and submitting local listings provides protection for your business by having your business name indexed many times. Then, if someone writes something negative about you online, it is unlikely to rank above these authority sites and hence it shouldn’t automatically land on the first page of search results damaging the reputation you’ve worked so hard to create.

What you can do is set up alerts to notify you when your business is being talked about on platforms like Twitter by using hash tags. You can also look at installing some sort of moderator system on your blog for comments and email alters when someone leaves a comment on Facebook.

If you ever see negative comments online, do not automatically respond to them. Stop and think first. If it is a valid complaint you may want to respond directly to the person. If it isn’t, and the person complaining does not have authority………do not lend them yours. Bath Marketing Consultancy became the victim of such abuse from a client we took to court for non payment and it can be stressful and very damaging.

If you have someone who takes a dislike to you and you’ve done all the above, you may also want to get advice from someone familiar with reputation management before deciding what best to do.

People Buy From People They Like – Be Likeable!

I’d like to say that marketing is the be all and end all when it comes to building a successful business, but one of the most important part of a business is its people. Focusing on figuring out what your customers need and giving it to them in a cheerful, helpful manner goes a long way in business. d493f-people2bblog

Think about why you do business. Think about the type of person you want to do business with and where you want to do it. For example, do you eat at a particular restaurant because the hostess remembers you or you have a favourite waitress who provides great service?  Do you shop at a clothing outlet even though you suspect they’re more expensive that other outlets? People tend to buy from people they know and like and are sometime prepared to pay more when the overall “experience” is pleasurable.

When it comes to marketing and expanding your business, being consistently good at providing what is most important to your customers (i.e what it is they actually buy from you) and being someone your customers truly like will go a long way. It will also most likely facilitate referrals by them thus helping you grow. In fact that there is nothing as successful in marketing as a good reputation traveling fast!

I have lost count of the number of times I have felt frustrated by people selling to my company without investing time to ask questions or to research what we do and our clients. A lot of sales people automatically assume that making a sale is dependent on price. It isn’t. The experience of working with someone and the extra mile they go can make all the difference.

Website and SEO still in demand, but dont forget the other stuff

The title of this post pretty much sums up a lot of what we at Bath Marketing Consultancy are being approached to do by prospective clients in 2012 and, as a result, we have designed, built and launched 5 sites in the last 3/4 months –

http://impronta.co.uk/

http://mastercocompacttractors.co.uk/

http://www.mastertradesbath.co.uk/

http://helpchildrentoread.com/

http://www.steineracademyfrome.co.uk/

However, what we are also finding is that organisations still very much need help and guidance with regards to their ongoing marketing activity. Yes, “online” is still proving to fill the bulk of the marketing work we do; especially search engine optimisation and social media marketing, but we are also seeing a shift towards businesses needing tangible marketing collateral to use as hand outs at events like mini brochures or having direct mail pieces as well as strategic sales literature.

Relying on a singular marketing initiative is something we would not advocate and therefore, suggest that each organisation “test” a number of initiatives to see what works and what markets are most receptive. Bath Marketing Consultancy has even written a post about suggestions to try!

Twitter Facts for Internet Marketers

I recently came across a very interesting article by By Anna Johnson about Twitter based on Twitter’s recent 2010 developer conference, Chirp, the company’s co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone revealed some intriguing statistics about the company.

Here are some facts and figures of interest to Internet marketers:

Twitter has 105,779,710 (just under 106 million) users
Twitter is growing by 300,000 users per day
Twitter gets 180 million unique visitors per day
75 percent of Twitter’s traffic is outside Twitter.com i.e. one out of four Twitter users accesses Twitter via a third party like Tweet Deck
Twitter users post 55 million tweets per day
T
witter’s search engine gets 600 million search queries per day and are expected to rise to 1 billion per day by May 2010

If anyone is ever in doubt about the use of Twitter within online marketing, I think these should dispell any negative myths!

Don’t ignore ‘old’ media

Don’t ignore traditional media

I think it is pretty evident that new media gets all the credit in marketing these days; after all, there is something very sexy about having a great website, having your own blog and being on top of social media. However, don’t forget the power of the old guard such as newspapers, trade press, radio, tv or even the really humble media such as posters and leaflets. These are extremely effective marketing tools and the fact that lots of businesses are ignoring them may well provide you and your business with a great opportunity.

In my opinion, employing a mix of old and new media can really boost your marketing and push you ahead of your competitors.

When you have decided on your image and USP, every message you send in any form must reflect these. This includes the way you communication on paper – for instance:

Letterhead
Business cards
Invoices
Mailing labels
Brochures & flyers
Catalogues
Press releases
Compliment slips
Signage

You may not automatically assume that some of the above are marketing tools, but each one creates an impression of your business. Sometimes, a business card can create a lasting impression (I am just re doing mine!) and the logo, style, font, etc must be consistent.

Even if you consider yourself creative, I would always suggest you get a marketing company to do it for you!

SME Marketing Tips

Below is a list of 7 simple tips to help the SME when considering marketing activity. They are simple, low-cost ways for any small business to find customers and generate sales quickly.


1. Don’t Advertise Like a Big Business. Big businesses advertise to create name recognition and future sales. A small business can’t afford to do that. Instead, design your advertising to produce sales …now. One way to accomplish this is to always include an offer in your advertising – and an easy way for prospective customers to respond to it.


2. Offer a Cheaper Version. Some prospective customers are not willing to pay the asking price for your product or service. Others are more interested in paying a low price than in getting the best quality. You can avoid losing sales to many of these customers by offering a smaller or stripped down version of your product or service at a lower price. 
3. Offer a Premium Version. Not all customers are looking for a cheap price. Many are willing to pay a higher price to get a premium product or service. You can boost your average size sale and your total revenue by offering a more comprehensive product or service …or by combining several products or services in a special premium package offer for a higher price. 
4. Try Some Unusual Marketing Methods. Look for some unconventional marketing methods your competitors are overlooking. You may discover some highly profitable ways to generate sales and avoid competition. For example, print your best small ad on a postcard and mail it to prospects in your targeted market. A small ad on a postcard can drive a high volume of traffic to your website or generate a flood of sales leads for a very small cost. 
5. Trim Your Ads. Reduce the size of your ads so you can run more ads for the same cost. You may even be surprised to find that some of your short ads generate a better response than their longer versions. 

6. Set up Joint Promotions with Other Small Businesses. Contact some non-competing small businesses serving customers in your market. Offer to publicize their products or services to your customers in exchange for their publicizing your services to their customers. This usually produces a large number of sales for a very low cost. 
7. Take Advantage of Your Customers. Your customers already know and trust you. It’s easier to get more business from them than to get any business from somebody who never bought from you. Take advantage of this by creating some special deals just for your existing customers …and announce new products and services to them before you announce them to the general market. 


Also, convert your customers into publicity agents for your business. Develop an incentive for them to tell associates and friends about the value of your products or services. An endorsement from them is more effective than any amount of advertising – and it is much cheaper!!

Are you an SME looking for help with your marketing? Why not put Bath Marketing Consultancy to the test?