Personalize Your Company and Your Brand

Richard_Branson_people_june_2014_0I am a firm believer that we need to personalize and humanize our companies and brands in this digital world we live in today. Although there are good points and bad points in being online – for example, you can communicate by email vs. a telephone call and save time in your day – I think we have reached the point where we now crave the human contact and communication we are missing when we solely engage online for all of our “conversations”. And companies who understand this, I believe will be the winners in business.

The fact of the matter is – people do business with people, not companies. Particularly, we don’t enjoy doing business with nameless, faceless businesses. There are people behind every company. We do business with John from Sony or Patricia from Apple. Yes, we may love Sony and Apple products but it is the relationships we build with the people from these companies that contributes to keeping us coming back time and time again. When you are happy with the service you receive, from a person – a live human being, you are apt to return and do business with this company again. In many cases when you are happy with the relationship you have built, a lower price might not even be enough to entice you away from the company you love. But a bad human experience, in this case a customer experience, can encourage you to abandon your loyalty to a company. Even a non-descript, non-special experience with a company, one that may lack the human touch, can also encourage a lack of brand loyalty. There is no personal investment in this brand by the customer at this point and when there is no personal relationship, it is very easy to be persuaded to try the competitor brands. Think of how easy it is to deliver bad news or “break up” when you do not have to look the person in the eye. Sometimes with a business, you don’t even have to tell them you are not coming back to them. You just stop. You don’t call them. They don’t call you. Very easy.

Take, for example, an HVAC company. These companies are in a tough spot in that there are dozens and dozens of companies, just like themselves, who all do the same thing…especially here in Arizona. This raises the question – how does an HVAC company differentiate itself from all the others and make their customers WANT to do business with them?

The answer is – the people they employ. The human touch. A memorable customer experience. A personal relationship. The extra step your competitors may not be taking.

When you do research on a company because you are thinking about engaging them in business, do you look at their “About Us” page on their website? How often is there good information on that page? How often is there not enough information on that page which would help you understand who you will be doing business with? Are there even any pictures there, to help you put a name to a face and a face to a name? If you have a very generic page, with no information about you and your team and no photos, you are not really showing the real-life people who make up your company and who make your company a living, breathing entity.

Yes, people make up your company and you should be proud of them if you employ them. A page that merely tells of generic company information, mission and vision statements and contains generic statements like “customer service is our priority” – really doesn’t tell you much at all.

  •         What kind of people make up your team?
  •         What kind of character makes up the leadership team and other team members?
  •         What kind of culture does this company employ?
  •         Are the employees valued members of the team?

As you do this research on the potential company you may engage in business, do you look further than their website? Like a social media outlet – such as LinkedIn to check out the people who may be listed on the “About Us” page on their website. Not having your photo there contributes to promoting the nameless, faceless professional who works at a company lacking the human touch. It’s so impersonal and doesn’t promote people and it is people with whom you will be forming a relationship. And for yourself – you are not helping to build the relationships you will need to work with your customers, but using a non-personal approach. Have you ever noticed how a relationship changes once you meet someone for the first time, that you have been conversing with for a while? With the personal online approach, you often feel like you know the person already.

Business is about people – it’s all about you, the customer, and the people you form relationships with, at the companies you engage.

Good article:
http://socialmediatoday.com/node/2266091

 

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Please contact Anna Brice at Pinnacle Peak Marketing, Scottsdale AZ about Marketing for Small/Medium Business.

Email: anna@pinnaclepeakmarketing.com
Phone: 480-661-0292
Website: http://pinnaclepeakmarketing.com

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#whatisyourhashtagstrategyfor2014?

trending topics hashtag

#Whatisahashtag?
A hashtag, according to the Urban Dictionary, is a way for people to search for tweets (when using Twitter) that have a common topic and to begin a conversation. It has spread to other social media tools, as well, and it’s a way to identify messages on a specific topic.

 

#Question
I ask the question, with a somewhat humorous tone — #whatisyourhashtagstrategyfor2014?

# JimmyFallonJustinTimberlakehashtagvideo
We all have seen the Jimmy Fallon/Justin Timberlake #hashtag video skit. If you haven’t seen it, check it out – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57dzaMaouXA. It’s a humorous view of how #hashtags have become part of pop culture.

#Realmeaningandvalueofthehashtag
But really…in terms of your business and marketing, the real meaning and value behind #hashtags is content – the content you create. And content is going to be more important than ever in 2014. Great content is valuable to your customers and potential customers and content is going to be one way to provide value to them. Gone are the days where you get to decide what you want the customer to know and how you will market to them. They want information. They crave information and they want it when then want it. Be sure it’s readily available to them because you have shared it often. Educating customers should be a key element of your marketing plan and this is what your customers and especially, your potential customers, want anyway. They want to go into that first conversation with your company knowing as much as they possibly can.

#Mobilein2014
Don’t forget about mobile, how it grew this past year and will continue to grow in leaps and bounds in 2014 and beyond. Think about the instant gratification of your customers and, particularly, potential customers by getting answers to their questions immediately, whether they are at their desk, laptop or mobile device (smart phone or tablet). Relevant content is key with a mobile device in hand.

#Creatingcontent
When creating content, you need to plan all the many, multiple uses your content will fulfill. If you are going to invest time, budget and resources to creating content, be sure to use it over and over again, as many times as you possibly can. An example of this is a white paper. If you create a white paper, let’s count the ways and see how you can use it:

  • Print it for distribution at 1.) trade shows, 2.) events/speaking engagements, 3.) a mailing and a sales information packet to give to 4.) current customers and 5.) potential customers.
  • Create/save the same document as an electronic version for 6.) your website, 7.) your Facebook company page, 8.) your Twitter account, 9.) your personal LinkedIn account, 10.) your LinkedIn company page, 11.) your Google Plus account, 12.) your Pinterest account and 13.) your blog. 
  • Create a Press Release about the launch of your white paper and distribute it both 14.) online and 15.) to key local, national and industry publications. 
  • Write a 16.) guest article in an industry publication and a 17.) guest blog post and link to your white paper on your website. 
  • Break it down to sections or paragraphs and create smaller snippets of information to use in 18.) multiple short videos, 19.) multiple blog posts and multiple posts to 20.) your Facebook company page, 21.) your Twitter account, 22.) your personal LinkedIn account, 23.) your LinkedIn company page, 24.) your Google Plus account and 25.) your Pinterest account.

Having these multiple uses for one piece of content makes the effort and the cost of the effort worthwhile, more so than if this activity had only one use.

There are some main elements to keep in mind with content marketing.

  • You must create valuable, relevant content.
  • Planning your content and inserting the plan into your overall marketing plan is important to your success. 
  • Distributing and sharing your content is another vital key to your success and being found online. 
  • Content is a great way to establish yourself/your company as a leader and an industry expert.

Getting back to #hashtags for a moment, #hashtags are a good way to organize your thoughts regarding content. By planning your content (a content calendar is a great idea), you will be thinking about timely, notable topics you want to discuss and information you want to share. You want people to search for your content and they will often do so by utilizing the #hashtag. When planning your topics, think about how your readers will search for your content and the topics for which they will search.

So…in a nutshell…

#marketingiscontent, #thinklikeapublisher, #contentisonepartofthebigpicture, #repurposeyourcontent, #establishyourexpertise, #takeadvantageofmultipledistributionchannels, #contentisking, #valuablecontent, #relevantcontent, #yourcompetitorsarealreadydoingit, #befoundonline, #makecontentandhashtagspartofyourmarketingplan

Here are some good articles to check out:
http://socialmediatoday.com/stephaniefrasco/2015861/11-web-marketing-social-media-trends-will-shape-2014

http://www.business2community.com/seo/12-seo-experts-weigh-seo-2014-predictions-0729815#!rsiBR

http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2320525/Why-Content-Marketing-is-a-Definitive-Method-for-Success-in-2014

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevecooper/2013/10/17/big-mistake-making-fun-of-hashtags-instead-of-using-them/

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Please contact Anna Brice at Pinnacle Peak Marketing, Scottsdale AZ about Marketing for Small/Medium Business.

Email: anna@pinnaclepeakmarketing.com
Phone: 480-661-0292
Website: http://pinnaclepeakmarketing.com