Social Influence and your Customer

Hamish Anderson | August 31, 2010

In a free-market economy, there is one mantra for successful businesses which has ruled above all others: “The consumer is King”. If you want to succeed as a business, then you need to respect, listen to and cater to the needs of your customers. Businesses which fail to incorporate the feedback of their market, or which fail to respond to their wishes will, in most circumstances, drift into oblivion.

Today, this is perhaps more relevant than ever and unfortunately their Kingdom is now bigger than ever. Where the consumers realm of influence was once somewhat limited, today, the exponential growth of social media has given consumers increased power to provide opinions and reviews and share them with people the world over, in an instant. Popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have popularised the phenomenon, with scores of new users signing onto these services every day. The result: Information can be shared about your business in a heartbeat. Good or bad, your consumer’s peer network will have access to reviews of your business.

Consider the facts:

  • 8.3billion hours are spent on Facebook per month
  • Facebook tops Google statistics for weekly traffic in the USA
  • YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world
  • 25% of search results for the World’s Top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content
  • Three of the world’s most popular brands online are social-media related
  • More than 65million users access their Facebook accounts on mobile devices
  • 38% of bloggers post product or brand reviews on their site
  • There are approximately 50million tweets worldwide per day

How it Affects your Business
So what does this mean for your business? Think of it this way, every tweet, status update or blog that mentions your company name is a brand impression which is seeded to countless others. If your business has impressed, then these will serve as positive referrals, but conversely, should they be negative, the question must be asked, how will it affect your brand and what are you doing to counter these impressions?

Whether or not you as an individual or as a brand choose to participate, these conversations will continue and will in all likelihood influence your potential customers.

Level the Playing Field
If your business has not considered or implemented a sound social strategy, or if you have, but are not utilising it to its full potential, you are missing valuable opportunities to learn from your market. If this sounds all too familiar, perhaps it’s time to do a brand audit, reassess your marketing strategy and where social media sits within it. The consumer IS King, but you can level the playing field!


Increasing Conversion Rates in Ad Copy

Mike Hagley | August 19, 2010

First things first: What’s the goal of your paid search campaign?  Ask yourself what the single most important metric is.  In my opinion, it’s conversion rate, and this is especially true if you’re limited by budget.  Let’s assume that you’ve heard over and over about how to structure your account and how important it is to have highly targeted ad groups and ad copy and keywords and yada yada yada.  We’ve all heard it ad nauseam (excuse the pun).  Forget about click-through rates, Quality Score or site design, and think for a minute about how you could increase your conversion rate by simply optimising ad copy.

Honesty is the Key

Be upfront.  Be honest.  By doing this you’ll gain immediate respect from the reader and as you know a happy customer is more likely to chalk one up on the conversions tally.

Take Control of Your Ads

Don’t let your paid search provider optimise your ads.  Often, the default settings in your account will optimise your ads based on click-through rate.  I recommend optimising your ads manually, by conversion rate instead.

Understand your Buying Cycle

It’s no surprise that customers who search for your brand names or specific products are closer to making a final purchasing decision.  By similar logic, conversion rates for search queries pertaining to the latter stages of the buying cycle will be higher too.  Include these in your campaign and you’ll be sure to increase conversion rates.

Deter Unwanted Clicks

Rather than writing ad copy which attracts clicks, instead, write ad copy which deters readers from clicking on your ad.  If, for example, your goal is increase form completions, write ad copy to the tune of “Complete an online form…”.  This is guaranteed to deter those people who don’t want to complete an online form from clicking on your ad.

Don’t Hoard Ad Copy

Be brutal.  Don’t hoard ad copy.  Even if you think it is great copy, if it’s not converting, it’s not converting.  Get rid of poor performing copy.  Immediately!

If you’re not analysing your current copy and testing new ad copy regularly, now is a good time to start.

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