Four Ways to Improve your Customer’s Experience

Marketing your company is vital to maintaining and growing your business. In today’s changing marketplace most customers, whether Business-to-Business (B2B) or Business-to-Consumer (B2C), would rather gather information from print and online sources than speak to a sales representative. In fact, 61% of B2B buyers report third-party sites and feedback from business partners, industry peers or social channels as more important than conversations with a company’s sales teams when making a purchasing decision for their company. *

This means your website must contain useful information in order to convert prospects into customers. And, we’re not talking about a website solely focused on price. In fact, research shows, that for most buyers, cost is not the top factor. For example, in the printing industry, according to Deborah Corn, of the Print Media Centr, “The second most important thing to print buyers is their relationship with their printers, and the first wasn’t cost… cost was third at 20%.” And, according to a global study of 1,000 C-level executives from Avanade, “Buyers prioritize the customer experience over the price of a product or service when weighing a purchase decision.”

"Improve your customer’s online experience"

Make the Change

Businesses that have made changes and have embraced new sales processes that focus on the customer’s experience are outperforming their peers. These companies have reported:

  • A 61% increased customer loyalty
  • A 60% increase in revenue
  • A 60% increase in their customer base

Right now, this minute, buyers are looking to make a purchasing decision for their company. Today’s buyer can conduct research at any time, day or night. This means information about your company must be available when and where they are weighing a purchase decision. So, ask yourself:

  • What changes have we made in our marketing efforts to help buyers along their journey to purchase a quality product?
  • What changes can we make to improve the buyer’s experience?
  • What information about our company can we make available to buyers to inform and help them in their buying decision?

 Online Marketing

First, understand that your website is your showroom. Here is where potential clients will learn about your unique approach to designing, creating and producing a product. Your site should contain interesting images and informative video to educate your clients. You should also have a Call-to-Action that will entice a client to connect with you.

"Your website is crucial to converting prospects into customers"

Next, you’ll need to develop ways to inform and direct clients to your website. This may be through online and offline channels. Companies have found that blog posts, social media channels, videos, and/or direct mail work well to help potential customers find your website.

 If you’re looking to improve your customer’s online experience, here are some steps you need to take:

  • Create or update to a responsive website that can be viewed on mobile and desktop
  • Create and produce informational videos to add to your website
  • Design and photograph product shots for your website and print materials
  • Develop content and build out a social media strategy for your company

By understanding today’s changing marketplace and embracing a sales process that focuses on your customer’s experience you'll soon be outperforming your peers and growing your business.


 
*Global Survey: B2B is the New B2C Work Redesigned: Seizing New Opportunities in a Changing Workplace © Avanade November 2013

 

Free Online Marketing

Your marketing goals are to engage with your current customers and increase your client base thus you must create and publish relevant content. Next, you must use the correct distribution channels to connect and engage with your current and prospective clients. Distribution channels should include:

  • Blogs: free to post on your website
  • Social Media: free, or relatively low-cost to post
  • Video: free, using your mobile device and free editing software
  • Email: free, or only pennies to send
  • Press Releases: free, or relatively low-cost to post

As you can see most of these distribution channels require little or no cost. Does that mean that Online Marketing is truly free? Let’s examine how to effectively use these distribution channels to understand the true cost of Online Marketing.

Blogging
An effective blog requires an individual to research, analyze, and interpret information in order to write a coherent and original blog post. Your blogs should be based on the activities of your company, the products and services your company offers and new technology and research in your industry. These blogs should be posted on your company website and used in your social media activities.

Social Media
Social media is an integral part of a company’s online marketing efforts. These channels help build and reinforce a company’s brand and image. Posting on these channels requires more than just finding an interesting article and posting a link on a social media site. You must appeal to the needs and interests of the your company’s ideal client. A quality post requires researching, analyzing, interpreting and reporting on information that will help to improve your follower’s bottom line. You must help them with their pain points. Providing this type of information is what moves your company into the position of a thought leader.

While social media helps to build your company’s brand it must also generate leads. It must move prospective customers into and through your company’s sales funnel. This can be accomplished by linking social media posts to a blog, video or specific landing page on your website. This page must contain a Call-to-Action that will help the prospective customer connect with you and your company.

Video
When it comes to the types of content considered most important in marketing, current research shows that video is top on the list. The average amount of time people spent consuming online video each day increased by 23.3% in 2015 and is expected to grow another 19.8% in 2016. And, video consumption is not just for consumers. Video is becoming a critical information source for senior executives. According to Forbes, more than 80% of the executives surveyed said they are watching more online video today than they were a year ago. And, more than half watch work-related videos on YouTube at least weekly. The ROI of video is impressive with 65% of executives visiting a vendor’s website after watching a video.

Email
Bringing visitors to your website once is not enough. You need to keep them coming back. A great way to do this is with the effective use of email. When a new blog is posted or a new video has been added to your website you should send an email to your current customers. The email should include an interesting, clickable image. And, research has shown, your email should be a short, attention-grabbing, and compelling personal note.

Press Releases
Your goal is to grow beyond your current reach and attract new audiences that will convert into customers. An effective way to spread your message is with a well-written Press Release. These help with search engine rankings as well as help current and prospective customers learn about a new or existing product or service you offer.

Free Online Marketing
In order for Online Marketing to be effective there must be someone to research, analyze, and interpret information. That individual must be able to write coherent and original posts. These posts must be engaging and relevant to your social media followers. It also requires time, energy, talent and technical skills to create interesting images and engaging video. In additional to all this, the individual requires a technical understanding of the nuances of the various social media programs. They must be able to create effective ads with images and videos. And, they must track actions to the appropriate website in order to see if the Online Marketing efforts are effective.

As we have seen, the distribution channels used in Online Marketing require little or no cost. At the same time, it should be obvious that the skills, time and energy needed to produce quality content to disseminate through those channels will require a financial investment. Whether you create your content in-house or you outsource your content creation, keep in mind; there is no free lunch.

If you are thinking of outsourcing your Online Marketing look for a company that will:

  • Meet with you to develop an understanding of your business perspective
  • Oversee the editorial direction of your online marketing efforts
  • Build a syndication relationship
  • Develop content
  • Build out a social media strategy for your company
  • Maintain social media operations
  • Provide reports with details about the activity and engagement on your company’s website and social media sites

The Content Strategists at JLH Group will help you reach your marketing goals. We will create and publish relevant content to help you connect and engage with your current and prospective clients.

The Biggest Marketing Opportunity of 2016

We live in an online world. Most people conduct online research for their offline purchases. Thus your company’s website serves as your showroom. Whether Business-to-Consumer or Business-to-Business, the content on your website must help buyers with their research. And, creative and factual content on your site will create credibility and trust in the buyer.

When it comes to the types of content considered most important in marketing, current research shows that video is top on the list. In fact, video ranks higher than case studies, blog posts, webinars, and infographics. This is due to the rapid rise of Smartphone and tablet penetration, along with the resulting changes in consumer behavior. The latest figures from Nielsen show that more Americans now watch video on a Smartphone than do so on a PC. In fact, the average amount of time people spent consuming online video each day increased by 23.3% in 2015 and is expected to grow another 19.8% in 2016.

Video consumption is not just for consumers. A report from Forbes found that video is becoming a critical information source for senior executives. More than 80% of the executives surveyed said they are watching more online video today than they were a year ago. And, these C-suite executives are not just watching cute cats playing a piano, three-quarters of executives surveyed said they watch work-related videos on business-related websites at least weekly; more than half watch work-related videos on YouTube at least weekly.

The ROI of video is impressive with 65% of executives visiting a vendor’s website after watching a video. Younger executives, however, may be more fully engaged with this type of media, and appear more likely to make a purchase, call a vendor, or respond to an ad. Forbes also found that C-suite executives are very social with their video viewing with more than half of senior executives sharing videos with colleagues at least weekly, and have received work-related videos as often. Younger executives are also very willing to share and view videos using social media.

If you’re looking to reach the C-suite, the Forbes research explained that executives like information in a mix of text and video. They were particularly interested in testimonials and many are willing to engage with longer videos.

The research from Forbes, Nielsen and the other studies mention above clearly demonstrate that your future marketing efforts must include video. Don’t miss out on the marketing opportunity video has to offered. You may think your company has insufficient marketing resources and may lack the technical know-how to create a quality video. If you are struggling with content production explore training your in-house staff or leverage third-party resources. Whatever you do, just make sure you don’t miss out on the biggest marketing opportunity of 2016.


The consultants at JLH Group take a holistic approach to your company’s marketing needs. We provide services that increase your online visibility. These services include website design and development; content creation through video production, photography, blog posting and social media management; direct mail design, printing and mailing; and email marketing. We also offer training and consulting in video production, photography, and social media. Connect with us to discuss ways we can help create credibility and trust in your website.