They lurk in the shadows. They feed when no one is watching. And you invited them in.
They are your monthly and annual subscriptions and they are here to suck you dry.
For many people, both professionally and personally, keeping track of where money goes is a universal concern. With the rise of auto-renewal and subscription services it has never been easier to lose track of who is getting paid what and how much they are being paid.
“Vampire Debt” is the process by which these subscriptions and auto-paying services begin to accumulate and drain your bank account of money, but are done quietly and slowly enough that it goes unnoticed. Thankfully there are ways to kill vampires.
As in many circumstances the first step is identifying the problem. In this instance it begins with a series of questions.
• How many subscriptions or auto-pays are currently operating?
• Who and what are they and what value do they provide?
• How much do they cost?
• Are they all being paid from one account or from several? If several, how many?
These four questions should begin to frame the problem fully and allow for ample understanding of the current situation. From here the problem can begin to be addressed fully.
Following the diagnosis comes the decision making process. Examine the items and determine what services or subscriptions are critical. If it is used daily or is the cornerstone to the system, designate it as “Keep”. From there take any other service or subscription and weigh its value to its cost. Systematically move through each service and designate it as “Keep” or “Cancel”.
Once everything is labeled it is time to consolidate. Begin by shutting down all services or subscriptions designated as “Cancel”. Then take all the services marked “Keep” and place them under as few payment accounts (credit cards) as possible. If they can be moved to a single card do so. That will make it easier to manage and maintain monthly.
With the vampires removed the final step is vigilance. At least twice a year re-do the process as needed and make sure any new services stay within your current system. In no time at all your Dracula sized will be reduced to little Vampire Bat.
By: Paul Davis, Jr.
With everything you have on your plate, why should you prioritize reputation management? Because 81% of online shoppers conduct research before they make their big purchases, and your company won't make the cut if it's dogged by dissatisfied reviews or negative journalism. Here are 4 ways to keep your online reputation strong and attractive.
1. Address false claims. Do regular online searches on your company name and products. See what the competition and your customers are saying about you. If it's not true, intervene, and don't forget to involve your legal team if necessary.
2. Correct misinformation. If you see false information published about your company or its products, don't just call it out. Provide the correct information and request that it replace the false material. If this is impossible, request that it be displayed as an addendum where it will have maximum visibility to site visitors.
3. Answer common questions accurately. Potential and existing customers often ask the same questions repeatedly. Draft a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document and post it on your website. Make sure it's available to your customer service staff. Making your answers consistent makes misunderstanding far less likely.
4. Appreciate positive feedback. When you get glowing reviews or testimonials, make sure to offer your thanks. Satisfied customers are your reputation's lifeblood, and they are (unfortunately) less likely to take time to write a review than someone with a gripe. Make sure you show your gratitude!
Reputation management is a key element of any digital marketing strategy, and these 4 concepts will help your company shine in the online marketplace. Do you have more questions? Let us know, and we can help you build a strategy tailored to your organization's needs.
Tags: The Importance of Reputation Management, Online Reputation Management, Reputation Management a Digital Marketing Strategy
Today's online marketplace is highly competitive and most businesses that are looking for growth and ways to attract potential customers will need to establish a strong online presence. Having a good online reputation is key to attracting new clients or customers to receive products or services from prospective companies.
What Hurts An Online Reputation?
There are many ways in which an online reputation is negatively impacted. This includes false claims that someone has placed online, misinformation that is dissuading, and complaints. Any of these linked to a particular business can hurt the overall impression that online viewers have regarding a company. Taking steps to minimize the impact that negative information has on a business through reputation management is highly effective.
Steps To Take Control
Managing an online reputation consists of more than simply addressing negative information. It also incorporates the use of positive customer interaction. For example, it would benefit a company to leave a thank you to customers that leave positive feedback. It is also a great idea to interact with customers that have questions about products or services that a company may offer. Answering questions appropriately can also drive traffic to a website. Closely monitoring all of these interactions and occurrences is the best way to improve and maintain a positive online reputation.
Reputation is critically important for all sizes of business. Preserve online reputation by using an experienced company that can monitor and address concerns that could affect company image. For more information contact us. Incorporate every advantage for boosting image and reputation to boost website traffic and sales.
Tags: Importance of Reputation Management, Reputation Management Services, What Hurts Online Reputations,
Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. These are all household names that harbor a dark secret. Reputation. That's right. Your reputation is built around your image on social media sites. This is the first place in which people search your name and you wouldn't want a bad rep to ruin your business image. With our Reputation Management, worrying about what you post on social media becomes a thing of the past.
Here are 10 Quick Tips About Reputation Management.
1. Have a social media presence:
Having no social media presence can be just as bad as having a negative presence. Facebook, Twitter, etc. can all help your business succeed and grow with positive reviews and engaging content. It also helps customers connect in a way that is preferable for them, resulting in more customer loyalty.
A proper blog will help drive traffic to your website. Using the proper SEO tactics can make or break your blog. Once there, clients can read more about your business and how you can help them.
3. Ignore the trolls:
Too many times, well-meaning businesses allow themselves to interact too much with customers. Arguing with the public is a big no-no and will only hurt your credibility.
That's right. Apologize. Apologizing not only shows that you are in control of your actions, it shows that you care enough about your customers and clients to make things right.
If a client complains about a product or service, listen to them. They could be voicing something that other customers are feeling but are too afraid to say. Listen to complaints and come up with a way to rectify the situation and keep the client satisfied. This is how you gain a loyal following.
Be bold, be creative. Adding a bit of flair to your online presence can do wonders for separating you from the competition. People will remember that you stood out as a leader and will return to you because of it.
7. Rep Watch:
Have someone check all your online presence frequently, to catch any mistakes as they may come up and to deal with any negative reviews swiftly.
8. Press Releases:
Writing press releases for new products and services can be a great way to get the world out quickly across all platforms. You'll have a definite edge up on the competition that doesn't. These also rank high in Google keyword searches.
Wikipedia should never be ignored. With the ability for people to edit a page at a whim, it's imperative you keep an eye on your Wikipedia page (if you have one) almost daily.
10. Hire a Reputation Management Company:
Social media and online web presence in general can be a hard thing to manage on your own. Please contact us and we can help you optimize your web and social media presence so you can focus on making the most of your business.
NextStep Marketing Reputation Management
Reputation management is a tricky business. With the growth of social media platforms, businesses have found it increasingly difficult to maintain a positive presence on these platforms. For many, striking a happy balance between social media involvement and a positive reputation is tough, especially considering the amount of time it takes.
However, there is now an easy way to create and maintain a strong and positive presence online. Thanks to reputation management services, brands and businesses can carve out a niche for themselves online. Here are three reasons why we love reputation management services.
1) Help you fix PR disasters...or rather, avoid them completely
Reputation management services can help businesses solve crises in a timely, and efficient manner. No business is safe from a public relations nightmare or two, but having a service to help actively prevent these incidents is necessary. Everyone makes mistakes, and no business is immune to that.
Having the right team to help manage a crisis when it arises is a major stress relief for many. Employing the right reputation management services ensures that you can operate your business free of PR disasters since they are able to help you actively avoid those.
2) They help you establish a consistent voice for your brand
Businesses often struggle with creating a personality for their brand. Some prefer lightheartedness, while others prefer a more serious tone for their business. Reputation management services can tap into what your brand's personality is, and keep it consistent across the board.
Rather than trying to tackle it on your own, let the service make your brand stand out. By having a clear and consistent voice, your brand can stand out and attract and retain loyalty from customers to cement your positive reputation.
3) Provide key insights on engagement with customer base
Reputation management services are on the forefront, engaging with your customer base. Since they are interacting with them so much, they can give you valuable insights on what content resonates with them so you can tailor your strategy accordingly. Use their feedback and observations to carve out a marketing strategy tailored to your customers and what they are interested in for a more personalized experience.
For more information on reputation management and how it can help you, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Carolina Reputation Management
Charlotte Reputation Management
Even though the boom in digital marketing is often attributed to improvements in web and social media tools, email marketing - - the backbone of online business for a generation now - - is alive and well. Per DMR, “Email marketing has spanned the various stages of digital marketing evolution and is still growing stronger than ever.” As email users and platforms have become more sophisticated, so have the fertile minds of marketing experts.
Back in the old days, email was such a novel medium that users read everything that came into their inboxes, which was a gold mine for marketers. Now that practically all aspects of human life involve email, savvy users delete more messages than they read, and are careful who has their email addresses. Their email software helps them by pulling messages that look like marketing directly into a "Junk" folder. These two major developments have led some people to steer away from email marketing--but they're making a mistake. Here are two key ways to make an impact in this brave new world of email.
Bring your audience to you. Use inbound marketing techniques to persuade your customers to engage with you based on the content you provide on your website or social media, whether it's blogs like this one, links to research and related resources, humor, analysis or reviews. When they are interested enough to give you their email addresses, you can personalize your outgoing emails based on what content they focused on during their visit to your site/page.
Get creative with your message. Since inbound marketing is about appealing to the customer prior to engagement rather than making a sale, your follow-up emails need to keep the momentum going. If you are emailing customers who enjoyed the side-by-side reviews on your website, save a couple to add to your outbound emails. If you are reaching out to individuals who wanted to know more about the specs of your product, don't just send them the link to a specs list; create an infographic that shows the advantages of each spec. category in an easy-to-remember visual format.
Email marketing has shifted from the primary outreach tool to the follow-up, the "hook" that transforms an interested web or social media viewer to a potential customer. It's the outstretched hand of the relationship that you are trying to build. Let us know if you have any questions about how targeted, individualized email marketing can help your business. By making it a seamless part of your overall digital marketing strategy, you can make email marketing work for you better than it ever has before.
NextStep Marketing Your Email Marketing Expert
With more and more companies and businesses establishing a presence on social media, it's more crucial than ever to make sure your LinkedIn profile shines. It's not just about filling in your information -- even though that is a big part of it. It's about using the right information in the right places. Having a great LinkedIn profile takes some hard work and the proper knowledge, but it's worth it. A properly filled out profile can help you find new clients or land that new job.
If you have any more questions or would like feedback, please feel free to contact us!
Digital Marketing Charlotte
Sales Marketing & Business Development
In today's web, content truly is king and without your own original material, it's very difficult to make your site stand out from the rest. Creating content seems simple but there actually quite a few common challenges you might face when trying to come up with your own. Below are some tips to help guide you along the way to creating original content that sticks and makes people want to come back.
1. Writers don’t understand their audience
When a writer doesn't know their audience well, the writing always suffers. Knowing an audience's likes and behaviors can help craft writing into a piece that resonates with them better.
2. They Lack in-depth knowledge about the business
Just because someone is a great writer doesn't make them qualified to write the best content for a business. Without a comprehensive understanding of the business, the writing can be hollow and be a waste of time for readers who may not come back to read more after considering it of little value.
3. Create content that is full of fluff
Content that is full of fluff is one of the worst kinds there is next to clickbait. Readers want to be feel respected so when they spend there time reading nonsense, it's almost certain they will not want to come back for more. Make sure an editor that understands the business looks at a piece before it is published to ensure that it's of some value for readers.
4. Overselling and telling the same story
Overselling is something that happens a lot when it comes to the content that business produce. Save the overselling for other industry sites. You don't want your content to sound like propaganda and something out of an infomercial.
5. Don’t provide enough facts
If you don't provide enough facts in your content, it won't seem believable. People are comforted by statistics and studies so make you try to incorporate it as much as you can when it's relevant.
6. Don’t quote sources or provide references
Similar to #5, without sources to cite, the information provided may not be trusted by readers. Most people probably will not check the source material, but they do recognize when it's been listed. Doing so makes a piece seem more authoritative and less like "sales-speak"
7. Provide uninteresting headlines
Just like newspapers, a good headline is everything. A good headline should be able to capture attention immediately and spark interest. Sometimes headlines are too long or provide too much information due to SEO efforts but if you are going to be posting content on social media, its better to have a evocative headline than marketing phrases.
8. Inconsistent schedule and blog post
For a blog to be successful, the single most important thing you need to do is ensure that it is consistently updated. Try planning posts in 2 week intervals to keep things on a schedule and topical. The best blogs are updated daily but for businesses that may be a bit much. Instead try 2 posts a week.
9. Don’t have enough guidance from management
Sometimes top management are not heavily involved on the content side of the business. Without a company's management team treating a blog or social media channels as a serious endeavor, the content can flail. Be sure to always have someone responsible for content that interfaces with upper management. It adds a layer of accountability to it.
If you need help creating content, please don't hesitate to contact us today and visit our blog daily.
To ensure success, businesses need good lead generation. It is important to have good lead generation because the better your lead generation, the better your chances of attracting new customers. Here are 9 Ways To Improve Lead Generation for your business.
1. Word of mouth. Word of mouth might be one of the most honest ways to generate leads. If someone is genuinely interested in your product, they will be happy to pass on the information to others they think might be interested. Don't be afraid to ask your customers to promote you.
2. Educational workshops. Your product is something that customers will benefit from. An easy way to get more lead generation is to offer a tiny part of your product for free. Hold an educational workshop (in person or online) to hook your customers into your list and offer them more. People are much more likely to purchase from you, if they already know the value you provide.
3. Develop strategic partnerships. Maybe you don't have a lot of followers yet, but I can guarantee that there is someone or something that does have a lot of followers that would be helpful for you. If you're selling something to do with writing, team up with a company that sells writing supplies. If that person or company has more leads, they can pass them on to you. It's a win-win.
4. Community networking. Network within your community. If you are working by yourself, reach out to others working within your niche online. If there isn't anyone else working in your niche, find a companion niche or just a partner that can help you. Everyone needs to have better lead generation, so if you can find someone in your community to team up with, you will have a better chance of generating more leads.
5. Leverage social channels. Don't underestimate Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Each of these social channels can be used to generate more leads. And these can be used over and over again and used in other areas as well.
6. Optimize your website. Make sure that you are using SEO on your website and that you are keeping your information up to date. No one wants to read about outdated information to join your list, they want to read about current trends and what is happening. That being said, be careful not to chase trends. You only want to use the things that are most important and compatible with your business.
7. Blog on a regular basis. If you are blogging on a regular basis, your blog will be visited more often and it will be ranked higher than blogs that are inactive. People don't mind reading old information, but they would rather read new information from people that they have grown to trust. If your blog posts are attracting new customers, it will be easier to use another method to add them to your email list or customer database.
8. Generate how to videos and contents. Much like educational workshops, how to videos and content will hook people in and want them to see more from you.
9. Free reports or information. Free reports do not have to be extensive. You could have a simple free recipe to sign up for your email list about cooking. Or you could have a free checklist to sign up for your email list about productivity. Either way, people love free things and this is an easy way to incentivize people to sign up for your list.
You can contact NextStep Marketing, LLC for more information about improving your lead generation.
What is a squeeze page?
In Internet and online advertising vernacular, a squeeze page is a Web page that contains information that would interest the marketer's targeted readers. Squeeze pages are designed to obtain a reader's name and e-mail address information by encouraging users to opt-in to an e-mail list to receive more information about the topic. Marketers will collect the permission-based e-mail and information to follow up at a later date. (Vangie Beal) Squeeze pages are also referred to as landing pages.
What is the purpose of a squeeze page?
The purpose of a squeeze page is to gather email addresses from potential customers. Email address are an important lead generation tool for businesses. By opting-in, customers have given you permission to send key marketing messages and information to them. The larger your list, the more opportunity you have to educate your clients on your products, services, etc.
Squeeze pages can drive traffic to your website. The goal is to have good educational content about your products and an enticing offer or promotion prompting customers to buy. Incentives, often referred to as "calls to action"' should include something of value to your audience and is important to your message. Incentives should be unique to you and your message and should align with your website content and offering. Here are some examples of squeeze page incentives.
By Vangie Beal, Define “Squeeze Page” http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/S/squeeze_page.html
We Believe In StrategyB4Tactics