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5 Ways Content Can Help Your Company’s SEO Efforts

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, 5 Ways Content Can Help Your Company's SEO EffortsIf you’re hoping to improve your business’s search engine rankings, you may be wondering whether SEO content writing and tweaking your marketing strategies could help. Content marketing is a key part of search engine optimization and can make all the difference in getting visitors to your page, especially since studies have shown that most users don’t scroll past the first page of results. With SEO-friendly content, your company can generate the results you need and stay competitive in an increasingly digital business landscape. The key to boosting your search engine rankings is quality content, which helps inform your audience and build organic relationships over time. Here are just a few of the top reasons effective content writing is one of the best ways to make the most of your company’s SEO efforts.

1. It Helps Educate Consumers

As opposed to outbound marketing efforts, which interrupt consumers’ days with traditional tactics like flashy ads, content marketing is part of what’s commonly referred to as inbound marketing. Inbound marketing brings customers to you in an organic way. When a user looks up information in a search engine and your page pops up, they can get informed on the topic they’re interested in and see your company as a trustworthy source. This is mutually beneficial, since you can educate consumers while drawing in potential new customers.

2. It Can Span a Wide Range of Strategies

Content marketing and content writing can actually encompass a wide range of strategies and types of content, which can be tailored according to your business’s needs. Company blogs are a popular option, for instance, since they allow you to post articles relevant to your industry and keep customers updated on the latest news. However, you can also launch social media campaigns, email marketing campaigns and employ search marketing tactics. Some of these types of content, especially social media posts, can be particularly effective for different demographics like younger people.

3. You Can Make the Most of Your SEO Efforts

When you produce quality content on a regular basis, your other SEO efforts don’t go to waste. Savvy SEO strategies won’t account for much if your content is subpar, since users will become disinterested and leave the page, resulting in a high bounce rate and less of a chance of getting conversions. If you’re already investing time, energy and money in digital marketing techniques like linking, creating sitemaps, enhancing metadata, tagging and more, you can help ensure those efforts don’t go to waste by making content readers really want. One important strategy is to identify your most important keywords and to optimize your website for them, making it more likely that customers interested in that topic will find your site.

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4. You Can Satisfy Rigorous Algorithms

If you have good content but don’t produce enough of it, that alone could harm you in search engine rankings. Certain algorithms strongly prefer continuous streams of fresh content, so if you post regularly, you’ll greatly improve your chances of showing up on the first page of results. In fact, in some cases, over-optimizing existing content could even harm your rankings. This means the best way to go forward is to regularly produce and publish new, interesting and well-written content.

5. You Can Get More Backlinks

Finally, if you’re producing high-quality content, you increase the odds of other websites linking back to it. The more backlinks you have, the more your website will be seen as a trusted authority and a noteworthy source. This could help appease algorithms, which may then be more likely to place your website higher up. In creating good content, you give yourself a better shot of impressing other websites and eventually the search engine algorithms.

The key to attracting visitors to your website, boosting your rankings in search engine results pages and building trusting relationships with customers over time is high-quality content. With effective writing and the right content marketing strategies, you can get more out of your SEO efforts and even improve brand awareness and begin establishing your company as an industry thought leader. If your search engine optimization strategies haven’t quite been yielding the results you hoped for, consider focusing on improving the quality of your content writing or outsourcing your content needs to professional services. It could make all the difference in getting the results you’re looking for.

4 Post-Pandemic Marketing Tips to Help Your Business

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | 4 Post-Pandemic Marketing Tips to Help Your BusinessBusinesses of all sizes have been rocked by the coronavirus pandemic, and many have to figure out a way to survive in an unfamiliar world. Studies show that 62% of small businesses have experienced significant decreases in their revenue stream since COVID-19 first began to affect the nation. Businesses that embraced ingenuity and creativity found ways to serve in a socially-distanced environment, and they have learned how to weather the ups and downs of a supply chain that has been impacted at every turn. For some, the key to survival was calling up venture capitalists like Mark Stevens for a quick influx of cash, but not everyone was able to receive funding assistance. Since you can’t always depend on a financing source to help you out when times get tough, you need to boost your marketing plan and develop loyalty among your customers. The pandemic seems far from over, so here are some tips for marketing your business during COVID-19.

Tip 1: Provide Reassurance to Your Consumers

The entire nation is faced with uncertainty as the pandemic drags on, and your consumers are worried about their health, their safety, their finances, and so much more. It doesn’t matter what kind of service or product you offer, your customers need reassurance that your business is still here for them and there is no danger in continuing to do business together. You can start by reassuring your customers of your response to what is going on. Many states have their own safety mandates and operation protocols, and you need to make your compliance and adaptations public. Use email messages, social media posts, website updates, and signs in your physical location that inform customers of the steps you are taking to keep their wellbeing your priority. If your customers are plagued by uncertainty, it will impact their purchasing habits. Encourage your consumers to contact you with any questions or concerns.

Tip 2: Explore Crazy Ideas

It’s time to be realistic. Life before COVID-19 is completely different from life post-pandemic will be. The marketing strategies you used last year or in times past won’t have the same impact going forward. Right now is the time to get creative and take risks without ideas and tactics. Generally speaking, there isn’t a bad idea going forward. The world has never faced something like this before, so everything is unchartered territory. You aren’t the only business that may be struggling. Your competitors are going to be working just as hard to rebound from the impact of COVID-19. The more unique and memorable your marking strategy, the greater the likelihood of standing out in your industry. Think of products that benefit consumers now, like a DIY care kit to offer when they visit the store. Offer virtual meetings or online classes to ease fears about traveling out. Have fun, and don’t limit yourself in this area.

Tip 3: Add Some Flame to Your Social Media Presence

It’s estimated that around 80% of Americans have at least one social media profile. Long before the pandemic, it was a prime way for companies to communicate, advertise, and leave reviews. The social distancing and shelter-in-place orders only created new demand for interesting and relevant content on social media, as more people and businesses went virtual. With all of the increased traffic online, there is no better time to kick up your social media presence. Use your company’s presence to start or join in on trending conversations. Pay for advertisements or sponsored posts. You can host online contests or surveys, or you can share photos and videos of products in your store or about what the employees at your company are up to. Social media will help you generate new interest and excitement about what’s going with your business, even if customers aren’t physically coming to your store or if clients aren’t meeting you for lunch.

Tip 4: Cultivate Virtual Relationships

Many people think you need to meet with someone in person in order to develop a strong relationship. It is more difficult to cultivate relationships through virtual means, but in light of the pandemic, it may be the only way to get things done. You may have little interest in hosting a Zoom call or going live on social media, but your apprehension or pride may keep you giving your customers what they want. Just because a consumer can’t get out doesn’t mean they have no interest in what is going on. Put yourself in the place of your customers. What would you expect from a business during this time? What have you seen your vendors or competitors do? You need to communicate with your customers on a regular basis, whether its through email, video calls, online presentations, or your social media content. Don’t waste these months and the ability to build strong virtual relationships.

Economists still have concerns about the future, considering the threat of a second wave of COVID-19 infections. With a few months behind you as experience and with these tips going forward, you can keep your business going strong.

What Is POS Software and Why Is It Important?

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article | What Is POS Software and Why Is It Important?The global POS software market was $12.23 billion in 2018. The market is expected to grow by a CAGR of 15.1% within the next seven years.

A point-of-sale system can transform your business by providing a comprehensive solution to everyday issues. If you’ve been dealing with human errors, unrecorded sales, and faulty inventories, POS software can help.

So, what is POS software, and why do you need it in your business? Here’s is our detailed guide on the point of sale software (POS) and its importance.

What Is POS Software?

Point-of-Sale software is the system eCommerce and brick-and-mortar stores use to execute sales. To understand POS better, you can consider it as an advanced cash register that gets combined with a computer. It allows cashiers to input customer orders and tally the involved costs, even before consummating the final financial transaction.

A POS system can incorporate other systems or software like the eCommerce platforms and accounting apps to expand the capability and flexibility of a business. As such, the POS software definition revolves around its primary purpose, which is processing sales.

POS software does more than sales processing. Here are some of the roles played by the POS system software:

  • Customer data management
  • Analytics
  • Inventory tracking
  • Sales monitoring and reporting
  • Employee management
  • Robust integrations
  • Mobile connectivity

On top of different roles, there are different types of POS software, too. Read more on that below.

Types of POS Software

POS software is in two types: cloud-based and on-premise. For the on-premise POS system, you need to be within the location if you want to use it. Terminals are the leading on-premise POS.

With cloud-based POS, you’re assured of flexibility as it allows you to use any compatible and connected devices for easy access to the dashboard. This system is preferable as it will enable you to execute sales and check your business even when you are miles away.

Some other types of POS system software that fall within the category include:

Mobile POS

A mobile POS can be used in-store or outside a shop. It manages and processes payments besides having other functions that include inventory tracking. The mobile POS is ideal for small businesses or sole entrepreneurs due to its affordability, ease of operation, and setup.

Desktop

A POS system running on a desktop is an on-premise solution, often in a checkout station. If you go for the best hardware version, the desktop POS will prove reliable and robust. However, it’s quite bulky, and you can’t move around with it.

Open Source POS

Open-source software allows businesses to create custom solutions using their source code. Business owners can create the open-source POS system with external contributors, or internally. This type of POS system software is ideal for companies that have a variety of technical resources.

POS Apps

POS Apps can work with any compatible devices or hardware for easy access to data and management of business operations. POS apps are best for a business that want customizability and flexibility.

Multichannel POS

A multichannel POS integrates with several commerce channels, which is one of its most sought-after capabilities. The channels are usually the third-party online marketplace, your website, pop-up shops, stores, wholesale, event sale, and many other channels. This POS is best for eCommerce merchants selling in-person or the multichannel online brands.

Why Is POS Software Important?

If you’ve been asking ‘what is POS system,’ there you have it. So, why is POS software essential for business owners? Here are some of the benefits you stand to enjoy if you have the best POS software:

Time-Saving

Your POS system keeps track of the movement of goods within and outside the store. The system will keep you updated on your stock. It further submits relevant orders to suppliers when you’re almost running out of inventory.

POS software also makes it easier to retrieve information about a particular product. You’ll reduce the waiting time, which is a plus in customer service.

Employee Management

On average, the cost of losing a worker to turnover is about 33 percent of an employee’s compensation. It is crucial to embrace tools that improve how you relate to your team. POS software is a managerial tool that can help in establishing the right reward criteria.

Consequently, your workers will be more enthusiastic and effective. Customer service will improve, and the sales will rise. If you’re looking for a tool that will be a resource in your employee management, consider the point-of-sale software.

Avert Mistakes

The entire system will be automatically updated if you make price changes. You don’t have to worry about inconsistencies as everything will be the same across the platform. With POS, it will be hard to contest with customers over inaccurate pricing.

Sales Report

POS software gives you an overview of your business processes as it keeps a cashflow record. If you need data on any product, you’ll find it effortlessly. The POS system saves crucial information about your company’s financial status, sales, and inventory.

With such data, it easy to have a realistic short-term budget. You can also make several predictions based on the reports.

Reduced Thefts

Theft from either customers or employees is one of the main concerns of retail stores. The POS system gives you control of your products. Strong tracking of items hinders common theft.

Invest in POS Software and Watch Your Business Thrive

Improving the sales process is a dream for many business owners. Despite embracing several tools to increase efficiency, many people are not familiar with POS. So, what is POS software in a nutshell?

POS software is a central component for businesses. The benefits of POS software are irresistible. From increasing the efficiency of processes to improving customer service, you need to get the best POS software for your company.

Our blog is all about businesses. Keep exploring for a range of articles on marketing, strategy, management, and execution, among other business-related topics.

How to grow sales on a downsized marketing budget

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | How to grow sales on a downsized marketing budgetBusinesses are often quick to slash marketing budgets in times of disruption, and the response to the recent economic upheaval has been no different. Global ad spend is predicted to fall by nearly $50 billion in 2020, with major organizations like Google cutting marketing budgets in half for the rest of the year. Most companies are either in startup or turnaround mode and looking to reduce expenses while maximizing the impact of their remaining resources.

Though marketing is largely seen as a “nice-to-have” versus an essential business function, it’s actually a critical aspect of any business that works to drive sales. For organizations already struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, freezing or scaling back on marketing can have dire consequences on business growth when it’s needed most.

How can business leaders confidently continue to invest in marketing during such a volatile time when both budgets and timelines are tight? The key is not necessarily to invest more in your marketing budget but to invest more wisely with strategic, data-based initiatives. That’s where segmentation comes into play.

By using data you probably already have on hand to group your clients or customers based on their value to your business, it’s possible to make the most of your digital marketing efforts to grow your revenue, fast. Though the concept of segmentation is nothing new, what is new is how quickly you can derive them and garner insights. In the past, investing in segmentation for your business could take months and millions of dollars. But with advances in technology, today it’s possible to get it done in days, not months or years, and take immediate action on the insights to boost your bottom line.

Whether you’re the leader of a startup without much digital marketing prowess yet, or a business that’s had to make marketing cuts in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, segmentation can help you spend less and make more by empowering your marketing team to:

1. Target the right people

Segmentation allows you to identify the shared characteristics of your best customers and create detailed personas to inform your approach. Most businesses will have several distinct high-value personas, which can be grouped by a number of segmentation techniques, such as demographics, geographics or psychographics (the way people think, feel or behave). For example, a luxury car dealership might segment its customers by the attitudes and beliefs that motivate purchases (the need for speed versus family safety), whereas a grocery retailer might segment customers by demographics such as their age, education or profession.

A common mistake is taking a cookie-cutter approach by spending the same amount of money going after your high-value customer segments as your low-value segments. By determining the margins each type of customer brings to your business, you can stop wasting resources on unprofitable segments and instead more strategically focus your marketing efforts on targeting the customer segments that will deliver the greatest ROI, such as lookalike or adjacent audiences to your high-value customers. What’s great about digital advertising is that you can be incredibly specific about who you target. All the major platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn allow you to display ads to return customers, go after new audiences who are similar to existing customers or target an entirely new segment based on criteria you select.

2. Adjust your messaging

It’s not only important to determine who you need to target through digital marketing, but also what you need to say to those valuable audience segments. Generic messaging will likely have your best customers scrolling past your ads or tossing your email in their junk folders, so take what you discovered in your research about your high-value personas and tailor your content accordingly.

How you communicate with one segment versus another may be wildly different based on several motivating factors. For example, young parents and well-off retirees might consider the same pieces of furniture from a high-end retailer, but their motivations for purchasing them are very different. While young parents are more likely to purchase furniture that holds up well to long-term wear-and-tear from kids and pets, retirees might be drawn to more expensive pieces because they feel they’ve earned nice things. Segmentation allows you to truly understand these unique (but equally high-value) groups and create different pieces of marketing content that speak directly to each one.

This may seem like an obvious step, but when is the last time you really performed a robust segmentation and used that to inspire your messaging? The information you uncover may surprise you — especially if you have never segmented in the past, or haven’t for a long while. We have experienced such a significant cultural shift recently that the usual wants, needs and motivating factors of your clients or customers may have shifted as well. It might be time to take another look at your segmentation to craft more impactful messaging.

3. Tailor your product offering

In addition to who you’re targeting and how you’re targeting them with your digital marketing content, segmentation can also inform what you’re offering. With consumer needs and concerns changing over the past several months, this ability to strategically pivot your products or services based on data is more important than ever before.

Perhaps your data reveals that one high-value customer segment desires a trimmed-down version of your product or service, while another prefers a more robust option. The best course of action might be to create a streamlined version and a premium version in addition to your core product or service, and then map these offerings to their corresponding segments throughout your sales and marketing efforts. But you won’t know how to make this pivot until you really understand your customer segments and determine what needs they have.

Transitioning from a one-size-fits all marketing strategy to high-level segmentation, with the eventual goal of one-on-one personalization, simply won’t happen overnight. It’s an evolution that will take time, patience and trial and error. But the good news is, if you’re asking the right questions and tracking what’s working and not working, your segments can actually get “smarter” and more effective over time. Likewise, your creative team will become more experienced crafting the right messaging for the right clients or customer segments at the right time. This is where the art and science of data segmentation can really come together to enhance your marketing strategy and content for greater ROI.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Rob RistagnoRob Ristagno is the founder and CEO of Sterling Woods Group and a keynote speaker focused on sharing new ways to use data to drive business results. Rob combines his expertise in data science with proven sales and marketing strategies to help established middle-market companies quickly generate new revenue by improving the way they gather and utilize data.

Rob earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Dartmouth College and his Master of Business Administration in general management from Harvard Business School. He currently lives in Newton, Massachusetts, with his wife, Kate, his daughter, Leni, and his black lab, Royce. For more information, please visit www.sterlingwoods.com.

5 Methods to Attract More Customers to Your Restaurant

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article | 5 Methods to Attract More Customers to Your RestaurantRunning a restaurant is hard work. It’s not simply a case of cooking up some food, serving it up to customers, and earning a profit. Many different elements need to be considered. This includes everything from managing a front of house team to the logistics of regularly ordering fresh ingredients.

With so much going on, it can be challenging to find the time to actually market the restaurant.

However, adequate promotion is an essential component for your restaurant – particularly if you’re a newcomer to the market. Established, award-winning eateries can get by on their reputation alone, but beginners have to fight for every customer.

If you’re struggling to get people through the door to sample your food, here are five methods to attract more customers to your restaurant.

Place your restaurant details online

As a starting point, ensure your essential restaurant details can easily be found online. This should begin with both a Google My Business and Facebook page, where you can feature details such as the restaurant’s location and opening times.

Also, it’s highly recommended to create a dedicated website for your restaurant. This site can add further information, including your menu complete with prices and exclusive deals.

Speaking of deals…

Run a limited deal

If someone is undecided about visiting your restaurant, there’s one way to ensure they turn up as a paying customer: offering an enticement of some sort.

What can this enticement be, exactly? Well, for one example, it could be an offer where a customer buys one meal and receives another for free. It might be 20% off the total bill or a significant reduction on a set menu.

People love to feel like they’re getting a deal, and this is an effective way of giving them that feeling.

Use PPC advertising

If your restaurant is in a bustling city with a plethora of restaurant options available, it can be challenging to gain any visibility via local SEO means. There is, however, one way of having your restaurant show up in local search results: PPC.

PPC, aka pay-per-click, is a way of placing an advert for your restaurant above organic results in search results. Mostly, if you use Google Ads, your restaurant will appear first in any relevant local searches. For more information, Made by Factory, one of the leading PPC management agencies around, can provide all the help you could need.

Ask for reviews

Reviews are often the lifeblood for any small business. Positive reviews for your restaurant will help illustrate the quality of your food and service. The more glowing reviews you receive, the more potential customers will believe your eatery is the real deal.

As a result, don’t be shy in asking previous patrons to leave a review if they were happy with their visit.

Don’t avoid traditional marketing techniques

Yes, the above tips primarily focus on digital marketing. However, you should never avoid traditional marketing techniques. Leaflets are an excellent method for supplying potential customers with details about your restaurant. Another example would be to run a print ad in a local newspaper.