Sharing our thoughts on the world of today's media.

Month: June 2015

Proactive Reputation Monitoring and Management

At the heart of any successful business/brand is a healthy repeat client base, as well as an ongoing referral base. With an endless amount of review and social media websites, staying on top of what is being said about your business and rapidly addressing both positive and negative impressions is crucial to protecting your businesses online reputation. We know you work hard everyday to provide great service and the last thing you want to do is leave your online reputation to chance.

According to a recent Neilsen survey, “Word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family, often referred to as earned advertising, are still the most influential form of advertising, as 84 percent of respondents said this source was the most trustworthy.” As the biggest influencer in consumer buying decisions this needs to be given a higher priority by local businesses.

Proactive Reputation Monitoring blog

Reputation Out of Control

We can’t always eliminate bad reviews or bad references about a business, but we can look to correct the things we can control. If the internet is showing unfavorable things about your business, true or untrue, we can take a look at the details, assess the real damage, and then chart out a course of action to work to improve this. There is no simple cure for a poor reputation online, but a steady diet of increasing good online content about your business will start to heal it.

Being open minded about this process will help get a solid start. It doesn’t take a study today to share with anyone that online reviews are important as many consumers to them to help make their decisions. Looking for a new restaurant to eat at tonight? What does Yelp say? Looking for a contractor? What information can I find on the BBB or on Angie’s List. A difference of one “star” in average rating led to difference in revenues of 5 to 9 percent. ~ 2011 Harvard Business Review Study.

Consumers trust recommendations from their friends and social networks. When you have a positive online reputation, you will convert more leads and referrals into paying customers. We work with our clients to proactively seek out feedback from their customers to gain insight into what their customers are saying about their business. We also look for opportunities to improve the online reputation in helping to generate an increase in positive customer feedback across the internet.

Generating an increase in positive reviews has additional benefits. With increased positive activity surrounding your business, a relational increase has been seen in overall web traffic. You have all seen listings where search results list the businesses with the better/best reviews closer to the top. When your business is closer to the top, it has a greater likelihood of getting chosen.

Search Marketing (SEM)

Search Engine Marketing (SM or SEM), also known as Pay Per Click (PPC) or sponsored ads, drives additional traffic to your website and puts your business in front of potential customers looking to make a buying decision.

So what’s the big rave with SEM? It can bring a business web traffic immediately! It’s targeted and it has measured results so you know exactly how your ads are performing. An effective campaign draws traffic to your website, calls to your business, walk in traffic, or all three, producing leads and sales. It provides targeted keywords, guaranteeing you visibility when consumers are searching for your business.

Search Marketing in the broader sense is making your business available online where it makes sense to appear. In addition to PPC, there are display ads on various websites and mobile platforms, online listings, and online directories. Search Marketing is about getting a business in front of potential or existing clients when they are ready to buy. It also is used as an effective strategy to drive your brand and make your overall marketing work better.

For each client, we look to see if Search Engine Marketing may have value for their business and how it can fit within their marketing budget. We take a hands-on, old fashion approach to driving internet search results for our clients to make sure they are being reviewed by a human, not just a computer.

When we first work with our clients we look to understand their local marketplace. Then we evaluate how our client is positioned in that market.  We look at the traffic for what they do and define the market opportunity that exists. The first month we are consistently monitoring the traffic/results to make improvements and get as much good traffic as we can. Each month we continue to review as the market/competition online may change affecting the results.

We’ll manage your program and get you results! Whether it is about protecting your brand or generating new customers we create the right message for both, bringing your company measurable results.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) blog

Loyalty Programs

Many businesses today offer some type of loyalty program to their current customers. This helps generate more repeat business, driving more visits and higher sales on a per-customer basis. There are many different loyalty programs out there today, most involve the use of some type of card that customers can sign-up for which rewards them based on what they spend or how often they make a purchase.

We work with our clients using traditional loyalty cards, as well as working with text applications, app integration, customized app development and e-mail marketing campaigns. There are many different options with different price points. We can discuss these options with you, as well as review some options you may already be looking for and/or help compare it with one you are currently using.

Each type of loyalty program will accomplish different goals, yet the consistent theme is to drive sales and profitability. The features that some loyalty programs come with today may help in driving sales and profitability through other avenues. Take for example a loyalty program that is electronic and collects data that can be used for other marketing objectives that previously may not have been collected. Having this information may make it easier to help define, establish, and implement other e-mail or text marketing opportunities to further help generate additional sales and profits.

Loyalty Programs blog

Search Engine Optimiztion (SEO)

First and foremost websites today need to meet the needs of the end-user, your customers. If this can’t be done, nothing will help improve your website traffic. If end-users go to your site and are unhappy with the site experience they may look elsewhere to have their needs met.

A good website is important for the success of a business. It’s a great tool for a business to present information about itself to its consumers.

What is SEO?

No one can promise organic placement for a number of reasons. If anyone is promising you this run fast! First and foremost SEO is a combination of over 200 plus factors taken into consideration from Google (each search engine has its own criteria). Businesses are ranked for every search permeation based on the relative factors of other similar businesses or websites. And what impacts SEO is being updated regularly. Google specifically has made some 300 plus changes a year to their factors, with one to two major changes.

Relativity to your business competition typically drives the competition for SEO. If your business is in a highly competitive market, it could take time and additional marketing dollars to gain improved placement. In a less competitive market, it could be very easy to gain a better ranking and not cost much at all.


Your marketing dollars should be spent to grow your business. An SEO plan should be a part of your marketing plan (and budget) based on your goals. Any company trying to sell an SEO program, which hypes it up, is a clear sign of a company or sales person who just doesn’t get it. And what one company defines as SEO may be different than another company.

What is your brand?

For many businesses, a brand is their name, it’s their logo, it’s their colors. To a consumer a brand is about the product or service you think about when you need that product or service. Your brand distinguishes you from your competitors in your marketplace.

If you were to ask 100 people about who they would choose for your product or service, how many ofthem would choose you? Is this a good number for your business?

What is your brand blog

A solid brand strategy works to increase this number and more importantly measurably increase your sales in your target market. It works hand in hand with your marketing and should be considered with any marketing plan already in place.

Is this important to your business? It should be. When you think of a cold drink, what brand comes to mind? Even local businesses can create a local brand in their marketplace and it is easier than it may seem.

What is more important than the brand is brand recognition. This is what a good branding strategy does. We believe in name recognition in a marketplace and we see the importance of building your local brand.

The brand strategy is a part of a solid marketing strategy and must be done cohesively. When this is working well repeat and referral business will grow more than it is currently and it will bring in new customers. In some cases, an effective branding strategy can have impact within a couple of months.

A brand strategy works to insure your marketing is consistent and your brand is exposed to more and more people in your target market. This helps increase the effectiveness in all your marketing efforts, both in the immediate and in the distant future.