15 Ideas to Grow with Digital Marketing
Remember, while having a big following is great, it won’t do your bottom line much good if that following isn’t actually comprised of paying customers. So, just as you would in your store or in a business meeting with a potential client, recognize potential social buying signals and ask yourself one key question: What do your fans and followers really want from you?
CASE STUDY: How Vocus’ Recommendation Engine Helped Purple Trout Widen its Social Net When search engine optimization firm Purple Trout signed up for Vocus’ Marketing Suite in March of 2012, the company’s president and founder, Steve Phillips, wasn’t sure how quickly he should realistically expect the software to produce results.
Attract Search Customers with Market Expertise
In the not-so-distant past, if a potential customer had a question about your products or wanted to learn more about your services, they had to either walk through your front door or call your customer service line to get answers or advice. Today, that same customer can simply perform a Google search, read a few Yelp reviews, or poll their social networks to achieve the same results. According to an August 2012 study by Forrester Research, 82 percent of U.S. consumers now research products online before actually buying them. Yet, interestingly enough, 54 percent of those buyers still prefer to purchase products in-store after researching them on the Web.6 For small and medium-sized business owners who used to (or in some cases, still do) rely on foot traffic or phone calls to interact with customers during their research process, those are critically important statistics that point to the importance of standing out in search results.
Within a month, he had his answer. After a few days of using Vocus’ Recommendation Engine—the software’s built-in social media consultant that helps users find and engage new customers on social media—Phillips found a user on Twitter who was struggling with Google’s recent update and needed SEO help. Through Vocus, Phillips was able to identify that buying signal, follow the user, answer their question publicly, and start a private conversation via Twitter. “Less than a month later, that person and their company became a client of ours,” Phillips says. “It was unbelievable. We didn’t have to do a face-to-face with them. I didn’t go fly to see them somewhere. We connected through the Vocus Marketing Suite, and from there it took off.” Now, going on Vocus is the first thing Phillips does every morning. “I make coffee and I go to the Marketing Suite,” explains Phillips. “In 5 to 10 minutes, I’m able to look for opportunities to engage potential customers and identify people that are interested in our industry, and I start having conversations with them.”
6 Forrester Research, August 2012; http://bit.ly/SIH0CC
So, how should you take advantage of your customers’ pre-purchase research?
Growth Tactic: Plan and Execute a Company Blog Business blogging used to be a painstaking activity best executed by larger corporations with the time and people to produce regular, relevant blog posts. However, thanks to free blogging platforms like WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr, businesses of all shapes and sizes can blog with ease. Blogging isn’t just about composing a couple of rambling posts each week and publishing them randomly. To succeed, you need to be focused, dedicated, and committed to a specific blogging game plan. Here are five tips to help you do that:
°° Set clear goals: It’s not enough to just have a blog. You need to know what you want it to accomplish. Do you want to boost website traffic? Do you want to build
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