It’s that time of the year again where we remind you about the benefits of good ol’ directories! Before the internet, we relied on finding services through the big yellow brick of a book we received each year. Thanks to the world wide web, we now find them stuffed under uneven table legs or as a booster seat. Today we find what we’re looking for with a click of a button. Does your business stand out?
In 2016, Google took away the right-hand sidebar where the paid adverts were displayed. Now the paid posts soar straight to the top, making it a tough battle for smaller companies to get noticed. Directories can be a cost effective way to help get found via search engines. Being active on directories increases the chances of your business getting noticed.
Why updating your information is vital
It is important to keep your business updated in directories. If your business has gone through a recent change and you didn’t update your information, you could lose a lot of potential customers!
Never forget to NAP, this means not sleeping on the details. Make sure your Name, Address and Phone data is accurate and up to date. Location and accessibility are two of the most important factors when it comes to customers. If your telephone number is an old one and a customer can’t get through to you, they’re unlikely to try again. Likewise, if you were to put your address as a small town in South America, a New Zealand customer wouldn’t follow up with your business!
Pro tip: Check the directories your company is listed in and confirm your details are correct. Some websites take their information from others; resulting in a cycle of incorrect information.
Updated List of Directories
This year, we bring you an even bigger list of potential directories your business may be found in. Take a look to see where your business is listed and where it isn’t.
It’s the only thing standing in between you and your next big client.
NB: Not all directories will apply to every type of business, some are more specific to particular fields. (eg. Tripadvisor will benefit restaurants and hotels over a telecommunications company.)
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/map-local-directories.jpg8531280Anagha Sridharhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgAnagha Sridhar2017-06-19 12:48:422017-06-21 12:04:46Boost Your Business with Local Directories
Working with a client who makes animated explainer videos – Case Study of how to grow referrals. We discuss three ways they can get more referral business.
Image by NWeSource
1.Innovations in your specialism
Every market changes over time – fads pass, new ideas surface. So write about what’s happening in your market. Consider writing about styles, techniques, innovations to be added onto an explainer video (if that’s your business). So which new styles are coming about? Where did each one come from – background and timeline of the evolution.
In the writing analyse the change, what are the component parts, which elements stand out. You could add in new uses for explainer videos – for example in a PitchPack video brochure.
Give the reader the education and tools to make an analysis themselves of whether their archive of explainer videos is getting dated
Show your opinion as a market leader on what’s good, what’s new and what’s to be avoided
Create content which you can share with past clients and encourage them to update their videos and re-buy from you. [This is referring back to prior clients, not new ones.]
2. Create a Call list
You need to speak to people if you sell in Business to Business (B2B). The best way to start a dialogue is with Open Questions. These encourage a longer response from the other person and give you insight into their views on a topic. Any insight enables you to position your services as a solution to issues they raise.
Here’s an example of a call prompt (not really a script).
“Hello, Rebecca. I sent you our article about new styles in explainer videos. I just wanted to get your opinion on it. What did you think?”
Can you imagine how the call will develop into a discussion?
Yes, so can I.
Whether you get a new job immediately or not, you stand a good chance of doing some good things
Checking your contact database is still current – add new names in if you can
Finding out the current situation in the client business with regard to your service offering
Reminding them that you exist and have been trusted with work in the past
Updating your CRM with lead status (cold, warm, hot)
Possibly opening new opportunities for new business.
Create this call list from a list of all your clients from the past 3 years (more if you’ve been in business longer). Also add to the list from your Linked In connections and those from your co-workers. Goal to have 100 people on the list to call.
Plan on making 3 calls per week, per person in your team. Yes, new business development requires discipline and is hard. We can teach you how…
3. Getting Referrals
Start to build a referral marketing engine into your daily project work as well. We find what works best is to connect with them early in the project.
Start with a “Happy call” when you ring asking for feedback on how the job is going.
Then build on this with a similar call just after the project has been delivered. Remind them of what they said on the earlier call. This is the moment to ask for a testimonial for the project team.
After getting this, I usually wrap up by asking
Do you know anyone else who might like to meet us?
My goal is to get two names of people as an introduction. My big tip to make this successful is to ask the question and then to stay silent until the other person has come up with a name…. stay silent as they “ummm” and say “maybe”, “well”, “I’m not sure” and still stay silent and they will 80% of the time come up with a name. If they firmly say no, you can prompt with – maybe a co-worker in a different team or maybe someone from your previous job and see if that can deliver a name.
How to use the introduction….. write an email to BOTH people. This is my template email that works.
Subject: NAME OF THE INTRODUCER
Our AGENCY NAME has just completed a job for INTRODUCER and s/he suggested you as someone who might like to get to know us.
We completed an explainer video (link) for INTRODUCER.
I took a look at your website and [something helpful here which they can use immediately].
Looking forward to connecting.
Lots of love from Rebecca (only joking… use an appropriate sign off).
I always cc the introducer in this message so they know what I said.
In the email you could tell them about the customer satisfaction scores or Net Promoter Score which your team has acquired over time. Or link to TrustPilot Reviews or your Google My Business Review score.
The follow up call is just a friendly get to know you call. No selling. But if you feel it’s gone well you can follow up with an email linking to a helpful resource from your website. Here’s one I use frequently.
This is an example of the type of helpful marketing tips which Creative Agency Secrets writes in our newsletter and blog.We want to enable you to buy web services as an informed consumer (and we don’t build websites, we help our clients to use them actively to win new client business).
Then you have to put them onto a stay-in-touch programme or ask if they will allow you to stay in touch with a newsletter subscription. Either way, one call won’t win you business but a dedicated process to provide utility (usefulness) to them, will ensure you are remembered and they take your calls in future.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/referral-NWeSource.png420596Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-06-08 17:13:202017-06-09 14:58:42Case Study: Three ways to increase referrals
How can you increase customer engagement through live chat on your website?
Creative Agency Secrets live chat icon
A question I received and I thought the answers given were intriguing. Because after the obvious answers, yes it should engage – because people talking to people, if done respectfully, should successfully answer questions and possibly transact sales. But the risk here is for marketers to try to create inappropriate outcome measures like ‘engagement’ from customer service activities.
More people on the site should chat with the live chat representatives. These are real people. Don’t even think of trying to use bots. It undermines your brand – unless that’s what your brand values are – robotic.
Use more than one chat option
I would also recommend adding Facebook Messenger as a second live chat option. So many people use it in their private lives, it can be used to build trust with your brand in a medium the customer is already familiar with.
We have a mantra to “Write once: Use Three Times”. And chat is a great source of content for marketing.
We recommend using the chat interactions as source material for your content marketing. Every question should become an FAQ answer. And a blog post. And part of your product descriptions, and and and.
Did you know that you can also build a mailing list using the Facebook pixel from your Messenger interactions?
Using this, you can do push messaging using FB straight into Messenger which is an awesome replacement for email marketing. Particularly as many lists are suffering high unsubscribe rates from customers with over-loaded inboxes.
Happy to discuss further if you need.
Read more on related topics by clicking the icons below
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/WE-answer.png358674Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-05-24 10:49:392017-05-17 15:02:56Increase customer engagement through live chat
Dear Globally Successful Technology Business Owner,
Sumo.com logo and header
I am delighted that you have successfully bought a new domain for your business sumo.com and are seeking to transfer the strong SEO from SumoMe.com to the new domain.
Your marketing coordinator wrote to me with a list of URLs on my site which are pointing to the old domain. I understand how much easier it will be for you to regain Search Engine first page results if these are redirected to the new domain.
She asked “do us a huge favor” to change the hyperlinks and to “change any mentions of SumoMe to Sumo“.
This is actually a lot of work on my website.
So I wrote back
Dear Nxxxxx, This is a big ask. May I suggest you offer us something to compensate us for our time? Maybe two free months of usage?
I am sick and tired of corporations taking advantage of their hapless customers and when the ONE TIME that I have some influence over the situation – they expect me to roll over and act dumb.
What would you do?
PS. No, none of the links are active – so the lady doesn’t have to do more SEO work to resolve the redirects [free little joke from me there!]
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/sumo.png3961992Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-05-09 15:00:432017-06-28 15:21:35An Open Letter to Sumo.com
I was reading my Facebook feed and a US based content marketer of my acquaintance posted this request.
“OK, we write blog posts every month for a beach client. We’ve been writing for him for several years and the team is getting a little brain dead trying to drum up fresh ideas. Would love your help. They are a family-friendly vacation rental company (houses for a week, no weekends). Please leave your brilliant suggestions below & thanks!”
I couldn’t resist the challenge – but first, I started to read the answers she’d already garnered from her community.
What did I find out?
That there are a ton of creative folks whose minds are happy to help out when asked.
And so instead of stunning you with my amazing insight, I’m going to reproduce below the long list of suggestions made about what content to write about for a beach client. And show you how you can adapt and learn from this list for your own business content marketing.
How to use this content insight for your business
First, print out this article onto paper (old-fashioned, but helpful for this exercise).
Pick up a writing instrument (mine’s a fountain pen with liquid ink).
Draw two columns alongside the list of articles.
Go though the list and in the first column write down the underlying theme of the article title.
Then in the second column write down what an equivalent theme would be for your business.
Lastly, brainstorm 3-5 topic titles for each theme you write down for your business.
Have you got over one year’s worth of content already?
Here’s how to make the most of your archive and to lock good content into strong keywords and hashtags that convert.
The goal of content marketing is to get your website found, your brand recognised and aligned with the reasons people buy from you. Creative Agency Secrets does local marketing. I have many local marketing keyword phrase-laden articles on our website. So when the local “grease monkey” in Pukekohe (don’t try to pronounce that if you’re not fluent in Maori) searched online for a local marketing agency, we showed up in the list, he called us; we’re meeting on Friday. This is a marketing tactic that works and starts dialogue. And you can do it.
But if you think that ‘build-it-and-they-will-come’ is the tactic, you’re wrong.
You must understand why people buy, what attracts them and then double down on the tactics and topics that already work for you.
Get canny with advanced content marketing
Make a keyword theme map with a few hundred keywords you’re probably not targeting. The keywords should dictate the content you write. Use an independent, non-Google, non-Bing keyword discovery tool like SBI (we have an account and can do this for you).
Now you have that keyword theme map, which of the keywords are on page 2 of search results that could benefit from relevant, internal backlinks on your site?
Also, does your business-model actually need new content? What does any single, new piece of content do for the business? Instead, how about focusing on the 20% of content that is already producing results and instead of writing more – promote that content more aggressively?
Re-purpose the content that converts and share each piece more often also put it into every format (i.e. image square, image rectangle, video, audio, cinemagraph, infographic, ebook, slideshow, podcast guest) to maximise both its impact and its re-useability.
If the location is a very small place that is not overly commercial use the social content which is already being shared by visitors by searching “nearby” or local name hashtags. The smart folks at from Socialize.co.nz demonstrated this to the Paeroa Chamber of Commerce members. They brought up content on social media that tourists and visitors were sharing. This already had the place name tagged on photos and other socially shared content. If local business owners re-shared that content, while tagging each other, they could build up some serious momentum around the town name on social media. And all this without creating any original content at all.
So thanks to Karen, she has helped us write your masterclass on advanced content marketing.
46 Content Article Suggestions for a Beach Client
What to pack (by season, by age of child, when Grandma is staying)
Activities for road trips
Kid friendly restaurants/ attractions
Road trip checklist to make sure your vehicle is road ready
What to do when the weather is less than perfect
First aid tips
Disaster relief while on vacation at the beach
Books to read on a beach
Local beach walks
Meals using local ingredients and where to buy them
Newest spots to check out this year… There are always new restaurants opening
A feature on Oregon inlet fishing charters… My next door neighbor will be on the newest edition of wicked tuna, on fishin’ frenzy.
The history of the area is also very interesting… And there are a wide array of topics, from casinos to shipwrecks, to boat building.
The different types of architecture you can find out here is neat, too… Flat top houses (there is a tour each year), nags head style cottages (what do each of the different ornamental elements on them mean?), life saving stations, etc
Beach nourishment is coming to the northernmost beaches this year, too. What is beach nourishment? They are dredging sand from the ocean and pumping it onto the beach to widen them.
Top reasons people didn’t go to the beach, but should have
How to make the best sand castles
Top 5 reasons not to bury a sibling in the sand
Food that goes best with sandy fingers
Beat the heat with these 3 things
How to avoid sand spurs
Top 3 things kids really want in a beach vacation
Top 3 things adults really want in a beach vacatio,
Don’t leave___ until you have eaten the____
What NOT to do when you’re at the beach (leave the work and technology at home)
What to do when you want to sit on the beach and your spouse doesn’t
Fun stuff off the beaten path
Volunteer options when you’re staying at the beach (relax and do good at the same time)
Best place to get coupons to save money on local attractions
Do this, not that (places to go, places to avoid, etc.)
Top movies to watch on netflix while you’re at the beach
How to tell if you shouldn’t wear a bikini or speedos
Top reasons to visit in seasons other than summer. There are lots of events in the spring and fall
Sea glass and shells are best found in the winter months
The Secret to finding the best shells and sea glass
Best places to take your kids out to eat
Which restaurants are best for a date night
Art projects for the beach
10 things to bring with if driving to save $$
What to do in the rain
Playing card games for 5-8 year olds
Camps or other activities they can do
Fun community activities if you want to meet others
Where to shop for food
Best source of local restaurant discounts
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/light-bulb-984551_960_720.jpg540960Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-03-08 17:09:502017-03-10 15:19:02A Masterclass In Content Marketing - When You’re Out Of Ideas.
Direct mail is a highly effective marketing technique that delivers sales revenue in a short time frame.
Some direct mail is poorly conceived and so does not achieve its potential.
[WARNING – this is not always true].
Printed direct mail promoting a printer
I received three mailers from a printing firm which serve as a great example of a campaign that could have been much more effective with some pre-planning working with an expert in direct mail campaign structure such as us.
Direct Mail campaign structure
Using a mailing list of marketing agencies, three print pieces of DM were posted out.
The copy promoted “digital by nature” and a new world of digital printing.
Each card had a number to show where it came in the sequence
Each one showed different paper colours front and back
Each card had the print specifications for the front and back detailed which was cute
All print was beautifully executed
The 3rd card showed how to set up artwork to work with digital White Toner
The 4th card showed how to set up artwork to work with digital Clear Toner
I did not receive the first card so the campaign opener was lost
My agency does not buy print or do graphic design, we are not a good prospect for this service
When I first visited there wasn’t a mention of the campaign on the homepage, there is now.
This goes to a landing page which has the wrong link in the contact us button.
Wrong link – testing would have showed this up
How I would have improved the campaign
Combined telephone canvassing with direct mail
Checked the database by phone first asking one question “Do you design for print?”
This would have reduced the downstream print and mailing costs, focused the campaign
Published a landing page URL on the collateral
Tested all the links so the contact us URL was correct (it currently references the same page it’s on)
Included a “behind the scenes” video to show the inside track of the skill Valley Print used to create the mailers and the challenges they faced e.g. printing white on black for the envelope
Used a courier delivery not NZ Post to improve delivery success
This is particularly important for a posted print direct mail series
Followed up by phone with
an invitation to watch the video
stay in touch
subscribe to news updates
further qualify for future work opportunities
This would have built a mailing list, fully up to date and ready for in-house new business sales team to continue to work in the coming months
Planned follow up campaigns including more of the excellent tutorials for designers
Ready to talk direct mail with us?
Give us your challenge and let the creative team loose!
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_6999.jpg20161512Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-02-02 10:00:002017-02-03 09:42:43Preparatory work for direct mail lowers costs
Today’s always-on global world could make your business location seem to be an irrelevancy. But the opposite is true. Local marketing is now the fastest-growing part of online marketing specialisms. And it matters. Let me explain.
So here are 3 examples for you to use when considering international website domains.
Feel local but act global
A client asked “We operate in Australia and New Zealand and not sure whether our NZ target market (women 25+) will find our Australian connection appealing or a turn off, given how very passionate and patriotic us Kiwis are! I’m getting mixed messages when I ask around.
We don’t want to hide our Australian connection, as it’s very important and where the business was born, with a fascinating story behind it, just not sure whether to include “Australia” and “New Zealand” optional buttons on the landing page to split off there, or if it should perhaps only appear as an option when you need to click on “events” or “locations” etc. that have information relevant only for each country?”
What should she do?
My advice is to use a single web domain as the master site for both countries and then to have separate pages for the two locations. Here’s why.
Aussies versus Kiwis – Broadly they are correct, New Zealanders want to think they’re seeing local information (and importantly local currency and phone numbers) and of course small differences in language and rugby club orientation may also come through in brand communications over time.Do Australians eat afghan biscuits?Do Kiwis eat chiko rolls?
Your Website Strategy
Ultimately the solution you choose MUST be driven by the strategy for each country.Is the website a place where people find out about you, get news on specials and what’s new, will they email you, will they phone you?If yes, then the website must facilitate separate information for each site.
Set the strategy for the website first, then worry about the technical implementation.
Driving visitors to the right landing page focuses traffic
A strategic solution
The home page says what the business brand is all about – the owners, your values and passions.
Then you have a “What’s On NZ”and a separate “What’s on AU” button that take visitors to what is effectively a home page for that location……
I would treat the NZ page effectively as your local domain and give it a really simple URL and so all links to the New Zealand business go there first.
An alternative to this location split is to have parallel websites which have slightly different domains e.g. nz.yourwebsite.com and au.yourwebsite.com You often see this device used by international law firms and accountants.This can be set up by your web hosts.
In practice this means few visitors go to the home page…. but that doesn’t really matter as long as local audiences are being served.
A poorly executed country strategy
By contrast, we got approached by a Perth business asking to do some content marketing with us.
They sounded like a good prospect and we fixed a phone call.I rang, answerphone with an English man’s voice…. so I looked him up on LinkedIn and it turns out the business name is BusinessName (Thailand) Co.Which rang a few alarm bells.
And his stated location was Manchester, UK.Clearly a disconnect.
When we spoke he said although their phones were VOIP and used Australian numbers; he was actually based in Thailand and he couldn’t make outbound calls to international numbers like mine in New Zealand.As any Aussie or Kiwi business will tell you, it’s extremely odd not to be able to phone the other country while doing business.
Now let’s look at a third scenario
Nimbus Portal Solutions are a client and they trade in five jurisdictions – Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, USA and South Africa plus “Global” to pick up the rest of the world.
Their chosen solution to the website location question is to locally identify the IP address of the visitor and to quietly re-set the website version to the domain best suited.So my default goes to NZ.You can check this top right in their website where a country name displays.
The main goal for Nimbus is to ensure all the currencies are local and bank account / trading entities switch to match.Which is important for their business as jurisdiction for secure document storage matters – borders and locations of server hosting are aligned to the local country to stay within data protection laws.
In summary – set the website goal first and the supporting strategy will then drive the solution which works best for your situation.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Daniel-Lummis.png5261306Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2016-12-08 07:00:402016-12-08 09:54:26Do Consumers Need to Know Where Our Business is Located?
Join us for a Marketing and Business Development Workshop to help you get your year plan sorted!
What Will I Get Out Of It?
We’ll walk you through our 8 Step Business Development Methodology, which will create a detailed plan of activities for the year that will drive new leads into your business and position you to achieve your goals for 2017.
You’ll also learn tips, techniques and marketing tools for your business which are vital to your modern marketing success. These are tried and tested as we do them ourselves and for our clients.
Join our Group Workshop Session on 26th January 2017 in Auckland for $500.00 + GST. This fee is per business and so you can bring 1 colleague with you.
Build your business development plan for the next year and guide your business towards success.
This workshop is for business owners and managers who are responsible for finding new clients and growing revenues. It will show you the practical, tried and tested techniques that the Creative Agency Secrets team uses for its clients.
You will learn:
How to create a unique company profile.
A check list of marketing activities .
New business pipeline analysis and tracking template.
What you need to do to get better known in your industry.
Learn relationship building for getting and keeping long term clients.
How to spot opportunities for new business sales.
The business process that delivers leads.
What to measure to track progress.
Each attendee will take home a high level plan for their business – planned through the year with month by month activities.
Testimonials from Nov 2016 attendees
“It was good to be in the group and to feed off Rebecca’s comment and experience. I don’t record leads and whether they were successful and that will definitely be useful in future.” Nicola Manning, Nicola Manning Design
“I enjoyed it.It was definitely worthwhile.I thought it was a good bunch of people and it was very interesting.” Dave Sauvage, Sauvage Design
It was really good and I will do a strategy accountability partner each month.I am going to leave my paid mentor group and do this instead. I have to get into the headspace to actually go back and review everything and set goals for each month. The wide range of people was very good especially the male female diversity. Jo-Anne Hitchcock, H Architecture
“I thought it was useful and when people are at different stages that’s interesting.I could do a few things differently which is partly a time thing. Beneficial – I got out of it as much as I could.” Jeremy Sutton, Jeremy Sutton Lawyers
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/workbook.png844642Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2016-11-23 16:47:292016-11-23 16:48:45New Year Marketing Planning - resolve to do this!
What’s a typical response rate for highly personalised B2B direct mail? What provider would you work with? I’ve heard of Enthusem and Pebblepost.
It’s a well designed card with their logo, name or website on it.
Logo for Enthusem
Your response rate for B2B direct mail depends on a couple of things
What you’re selling and whether the recipient has heard of you or has the need right now for your product/service.
If you are already known, you can get response rates over 10%, particularly if you are trusted.
One way to improve your “response rate” is to do a follow up by telephone to check they got the message and to elicit a reply verbally.
You will get the best results by working with someone experienced in Direct Response Mailings. This is a skilled position – do not expect high % returns without expertise in creating the mailing asset. If you’re inexperienced buying direct mail services, I suggest meeting a few agencies for a “Chemistry” meeting where they will show you their work and ask you about your business needs. This will educate you about the process and likely outcomes.
Lastly, both the services you suggest seem good, I’ve not used them. But a competent Direct Marketing Agency (like Creative Agency Secrets) will do a similar job of customised direct mail pieces as these businesses. Which may be much cheaper. It depends on how big your database is as to which is a good / cheap option.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/enthusem-website.png10022054Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2016-11-21 08:00:592016-11-18 14:57:22What's a typical response rate for personalised B2B direct mail?