The Top 5 Online Mistakes that Industry Influencers Make

Digital marketing strategies for Industry Influencers

5 Online Mistakes That Will KILL Your Brand

Online marketing is no longer optional for Industry Influencers. Most shoppers not only seek information but also reviews online before, making a buying decision. Buyers expect the brands they frequent to maintain an online presence. In addition, they will usually look for options, if they don’t find what they expect. Always remember, your goal is to be the go-to service provider in your niche. When you are buyers are looking for what you offer…you must be both visible and prepared to serve with excellence.

As we head into the final quarter of the year, let’s take a look at the five online marketing mistakes every Industry Influencer must avoid in order to generate brand awareness and increase sales.

#1: Website mobile-unfriendly 

Studies have shown, as of 2014, more internet users access their favorite websites using mobile devices rather than desktops. This simply means you can’t afford to ignore mobile marketing as a way of getting the word out about your brand. Mobile users on average, spend more time online than people who use desktops.

The best way to make your website accessible to mobile users is to go with a mobile-adaptive option. What that means is that your site will automatically adapt so that any user, on any device, gets an easy-to-use version of your site that’s uniquely suited to their phone or tablet. At one time, it was common for websites to have a separate mobile site, (generally indicated by the letter “M” before the site name) but now most websites are mobile friendly and automatically adapt to the device.

Of course, having a mobile-adaptive site is only one way to cater to mobile users. You may also want to consider collecting mobile numbers to use in marketing. “Text messages (SMS) are inexpensive to send and tend to have a far higher open rate (close to 99%) than traditional emails.” SMS is an effective way to engage buyers, build relationships and increase brand awareness…each lead to increase revenue.

#2: Not claiming your “My Business™” page 

Google My Business has replaced Google Local, if you are in business and are looking for people to find you, it is important that you claim your business page. If you haven’t logged in to your Google+ account to claim your page, you are leaving clients, followers, and money on the table. 

Once you claim your page, you should add a profile picture, a brief description of your business, and a link to your website. It’s also a good idea to include basic information such as services, prices, or your hours of operation. Check your address and phone number for accuracy, and use important keywords to reap the SEO benefits. Your Business listing is essential for any brand who has to goal of creating awareness. It is critical for any business who is looking to be found by buyers.

Claiming your page will certainly help local customers find you online, but it will also give your local search ranking on Google a boost for brick-and-mortar locations.

Note: you should also make sure to claim your page on online review sites such as Yelp, Citysearch, local etc. See below for 50 Online Local Business Directories | Listings for Local Marketing

#3: Not responding to negative reviews

The subject of online review sites brings us to the third mistake on our list. Sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Google My Business, and others, offer an easy way for consumers to leave reviews of local businesses and brand alike. Recent studies reveal that a huge percentage of consumers – upwards of 80% — read online reviews prior to making a purchase.

Positive reviews are easy. Everyone loves to get positive reviews, but it’s how you respond to the negative ones is what sets your brand apart. I know that is counter-intuitive to believe that every negative review can be used to highlight the essence of your brand. I is an opportunity to show customers that you care about them.

In order to efficiently handle negative reviews well, start by claiming your pages on relevant platforms. Once you have established online presence, you must monitor your pages and respond quickly to all reviews – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Whether you monitor reviews yourself or hire a firm like ACI to manage your brand, it is essential that you include reputation management as a part of your best practice. If however, you decide to delegate the responsibility of responding to reviews, make sure you choose someone who can respond to a negative reviews in an effective, purposeful and systematic way. It is critical not to appear defensive or angry.

Remember prospective buyers, followers and former customers may see how you handle negative feedback.  Be courteous, in gratitude for the feedback. In addition, be sure to address whatever issues are raised in a timely and respectful manner. This free publicity is brand awareness; it essentially is an opportunity to implement a strategic marketing campaign. Industry Influencers design reviews as customer service, so make the most of it – do it with excellence.

Digital marketing strategies for Industry Influencers

#4: Not engaging customers or promoting your business on social media

If responding to negative reviews is important, it is equally vital to maintain an active social media presence. Social media with a purpose. Social media without engagement is useless. Your social media platforms are an opportunity for you to establish credibility, build relationships and exemplify your brand’s reputation. Despite the overwhelming popularity of social media, it is surprising the number of brand’s who aren’t maximizing the power and potential of social media.

It not necessary to be on every social media site. Your first order of business is choosing the best platform to help you meet your goals.  Every social media platform is not for every brand. You must strategize; you must be purposeful; and you must plan accordingly. ~Andrea Callahan

Facebook is still the largest social media site and a great place for businesses who market directly to consumers. For business-to-business marketing, LinkedIn is the gold standard. Brands who sell aspiration and inspirational products that lend themselves well to photography should relish in the benefits of maximizing the Pinterest platform. If you are using your expertise and selling information, it is essential for you to illuminate your strengths as an Industry Influencer. The best platform for Industry Influencers to help followers get to know them as the brand is Twitter.

Take a look at the brands that you admire. What are they doing? It’s always a best practice to monitor some of your competitors on social media and see what they are posting.

Note: It is a best practice to share a mix of original content and curated content. One easy way to find content is to follow relevant publications and pages and share their posts.

#5: Not using paid advertising

There are plenty of ways to market your business online for free, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore paid advertising. Online advertising tends to be relatively inexpensive and offers some easy options that allow you to invest in an ad that will compliment any budget.

One option to consider is pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on search engines like Google and Bing. Both options require you to bid on a selected keyword. On Google AdWords, you can use the Keyword Finder to identify potential keywords. Your ads appear only if you outbid your competitors – the bid is based on a combination of the keyword’s popularity and your website’s authority. Chosen ads appear either at the top of a list of search results or on the right margin of the page.

Social media advertising is another excellent and affordable choice. Facebook offers options to attract new visitors to your Facebook page or website. The Facebook platform allows you target prospects by location, gender, income, interests and so many other critical identifiers. You can also use customer psychographics – things like interests, hobbies, political affiliations, and more to target your ads.  One great feature is the ability to boost an individual post so it displays to your followers and their friends, or to target the demographics you select.

Most platforms, like Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn allow you to set a daily budget as low as one dollar or as high as you can manage.  The platforms sends emails giving you regular updates that make it easy to track your results so you can make the necessary adjustments. You must study your analytics to see your results. See what’s working and what’s not. Do not place an Ad and leave it. You must consistently review, revise and relaunch Ads to make sure you are maximizing your spending. 

As technology advances, it promises to bring new marketing challenges for all brands, but if you avoid the five mistakes listed here you’ll be ahead of the pack. This is the stuff that makes a good Industry Influencer, great.

Be well,

Andrea Callahan teaching Industry Influencers to brand their WHY

 

 

BONUS:

50 Online Local Business Directories | Listings for Local Marketing

  1. Google
  2. Bing
  3. Yahoo!
  4. Yelp
  5. Facebook
  6. Better Business Bureau
  7. Angie’s List
  8. Merchant Circle
  9. LinkedIn
  10. YP.com
  11. Whitepages
  12. Superpages.com
  13. Yellowbook
  14. CitySearch
  15. MapQuest/Yext
  16. Local.com
  17. Foursquare
  18. CitySlick
  19. USDirectory.com
  20. Dex Media
  21. BizJournals.com
  22. TeleAtlas
  23. Discover Our Town
  24. EZ Local
  25. Kudzu
  26. CityVoter
  27. Manta
  28. UsCity
  29. Advice Local
  30. InfoUSA
  31. Infignos
  32. Get Fave
  33. My Huckleberry
  34. Yellowee
  35. MojoPages
  36. Brownbook
  37. Magic Yellow
  38. CitySquares
  39. Map Creator
  40. Judy’s Book 
  41. TripAdvisor
  42. Thumbtack
  43. YellowPagesGoesGreen.org
  44. Home Advisor
  45. ShowMeLocal
  46. ChamberofCommerce.com
  47. Yellowbot
  48. Hotfrog
  49. Brownbook
  50. InsiderPages

Industry Influencers have a presence everywhere in order for followers and potential customers can easily find you. Don’t wait! Add your local business to these directories today! Are there any local directories I missed? Let me know in the comments below!

About The Author

Callahan

Andrea Callahan is a brand designer. She helps passion & purpose-driven entrepreneurs maximize their strengths to craft and implement an image that represents their WHY and to use that why to position themselves as an Industry Influencer. She a speaker, seminar leader and the author of, "It's Your Brand ~ Make Your Identity Clear" available on Amazon.com Callahan launched the Industry Influencer Academy at academy.andreacallahan.com

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