But – it’s also subject to a slew of weird glitches called cognitive biases.
Cognitive biases are basically mental shortcuts. They’re hard-coded into our brains, so much so that even people who understand them can still fall under their spells.
The good news for you is that you can use the psychology behind these biases to connect with people in your target audience, build your business reputation, and even convince people to buy your products. Here are 6 ways you can use psychology in your marketing.
#1: Use Emotions to Trigger Decisions
Have you ever noticed that your decision-making process changes when your emotions are engaged? If so, you’re not alone. Most people, even those that think they’re making decisions solely based on logic, can be swayed by their emotions.
Charities know this. It’s why the ASPCA features neglected animals in their ads. They know that animal lovers will want to help when they see those images.
Do you have a compelling origin story for your business? Are you connected with a local charity? Sharing these things can help people form an emotional connection to you – and increase the chances that they’ll turn into paying customers.
#2: Give Potential Customers Something for Free
One of the most commonly-used cognitive biases in marketing is Reciprocity. Reciprocity is the thing that’s triggered when someone gives you a gift and you don’t have something to give them in return. You feel a bit guilty – and you’re more likely to get them a gift as a result.
In marketing, you can trigger Reciprocity by giving people something for free. A lot of businesses use lead magnets, such as a short eBook or template, to entice people to sign up for their lists.
Giving people a sneak peak or a free sample can drive sales. Or, you might want to try offering a BOGO (that’s buy one, get one free) instead. These tactics are simple, but they can increase your profits dramatically if you use them properly.
#3: Frame Your Products or Services with Positive Language
The right picture frame can enhance the image it holds – and the wrong one can detract from it. The same is true of your products and services.
The language you use to describe your company and products can make a huge difference in how potential customers see you. It’s why restaurant menus feature words like gooey, crisp, and fresh. These words entice. If they described their meals with words like unhealthy, calorie-laden, they wouldn’t sell.
Look at how you’re framing your products right now. Is the language you’re using enticing? Are you highlighting the best things about your product?
If you’re not, it’s time to rethink your descriptions. A customer is more likely to buy something that is framed positively than something with a neutral or negative frame.
#4: Use Price Anchoring to Increase the Perceived Value of Your Products
The Anchoring Effect is a cognitive bias that shows that people attach importance to the first price they see for a product. TV infomercials and sales pages for affiliate products tend to use anchoring very well.
For example, they might start off by telling you that the product they’re selling is a $100 value. When they do, that price becomes the anchor price. The product is worth $100.
Then, they chip away at the price. By the time you get to the end of the commercial (or the bottom of the page), the asking price of $29 seems like a fantastic bargain.
You don’t have to be as hype-y as those commercials, but there are some things you can do to anchor your product’s price in people’s minds:
#5: Create a Sense of Scarcity
If you know anything about internet slang, you know about FOMO – the fear of missing out. It turns out that’s more than just a handy abbreviation. It’s a tool that you can use in your marketing.
Scarcity is something that they use all the time on the Home Shopping Network. If you watch, you’ll notice there’s always a count of how many items are left. Watching that number tick down to zero motivates people who might be on the fence to pick up the phone.
You can use scarcity by running 24-hour sales or including a countdown clock. One way to do it is by creating an email series. Even adding a PS (You only have 12 more hours to take advantage of this price!) can be enough to motivate people to buy from you.
#6: Use Social Proof
We like to think of ourselves as individuals, but human beings have a lot in common with herd animals. We stick with the crowd most of the time.
The psychological term for this phenomenon is Social Proof – or, if you prefer, the Bandwagon Effect. It says that people are more likely to go with the popular choice even if they don’t like it (or agree with it) at first.
You can use social proof in marketing in several ways. For example:
Thought control might sound like science fiction…
…but it’s really just a matter of understanding basic psychology and using what you learn in your marketing. These six psychological principles can help you connect with your audience and increase your bottom line.
#1: Local Search Marketing
Local search marketing has a lot in common with local SEO – but it represents an integrated approach to making sure that your company shows up in local searches.
To amp up your standing in local search, do these things. First, seek out and standardize your NAP listings online. It may take a while, but it’s worth the effort. When your listings are all identical, there won’t be any confusion about who you are – or where people can find you online.
Second, create and claim your listings on sites like Google My Business, Yelp, Yahoo, Bing Places for Business, and Facebook. Make sure to use the same name and basic information for each listing. Choosing the right categories is important too. Be as specific as you can be without going overboard.
Third, get your business listed in relevant directories and make sure to standardize your listings. To find places where you’re already listed, clear your cache and cookies and then use local search terms to find your business. If you’re not at or near the top, you still have work to do.
#2: Build Your List
Email marketing might not be on the cutting edge, but we’re always amazed to learn how few local businesses are using email marketing regularly.
Whatever excuses you may have used to avoid collecting emails are holding you back. It’s time to let go of them and embrace email marketing as something that can make a significant difference in your bottom line.
Create a simple opt-in form to use on your website. Consider offering a lead magnet to entice people to subscribe. And, when people come into your business? Ask them for an email address before they leave. Most people will say yes.
Once your list is in place, you can use it to let subscribers know about new products, sales, and promotions. And even more importantly, you can ask them for reviews or to follow you on social media. These things can all help you improve your online reach and drive sales.
#3: Optimize Your Website for Humans and Search Engines
SEO should be part of your local marketing strategy, but it’s important to remember that your customers are not search engines or bots – they’re people.
Increasingly, search engines like Google and Bing are focusing on the user experience as a ranking factor. It’s why Google has added Rank Brain to its algorithm – because doing so increases the chances that searchers will get what they’re looking for.
In other words, you need to think about Google – and you need to know that Google is thinking about people. Your site can and should use local keywords, but you also need:
#4: Advertise on Facebook
Facebook advertising might already be in your marketing mix, but are you using it properly? Recent changes to Facebook’s algorithms have made it imperative for local business to pay to get their content in front of subscribers.
In addition to traditional image ads, here are some of the Facebook ads you may want to try:
#5: Add Video to Your Google My Business Listing
Until recently, Google My Business listings allowed businesses to list their hours and post photos. Now, it’s possible for business owners to add a short video to their listing as well.
Videos are limited to 30 seconds. For that reason, you’ll need to be mindful of what you include – and focus on the things that are most likely to convince people to visit your business.
Here are some suggestions:
#6: Create a Facebook Event
Facebook Events are free to create and provide a way for local businesses to hype upcoming events, connect with potential customers, and increase attendance.
The next time you’re having a sale, try creating a Facebook Event. You can upload a unique image, add details of the event, and post updates to remind people about it. Once the event is created, you’ll be able to send invitations to your followers.
You can also encourage your followers to share the event with their friends. This technique is also good if you’re participating in a community event or sponsoring a charity.
It’s time to turn 2018 into the year that led to your biggest success…
… and these six tips can help you do it. Marketing a local business online isn’t easy. The key is to choose the right techniques – and then employ them to help you connect with your target audience, attract leads, and ultimately, make the sales that will propel your business into the future.
The trick? Knowing how to optimize your website so that each location gets its turn in the spotlight. Here’s how to do it.
First: Set Up Individual Pages for Each Location
You don’t need to have a unique domain name for each location. That’s costly and in many cases, may cause confusion when people search for your company.
Instead, take your primary domain name and then set up unique pages for each of your locations. Think of them as mini-sites.
The URL of each location’s page must include the location. In other words, if your main site is abccompany.com, your location URLs might be:www.your-company.com/redmond/testimonials.
On each location page, make sure to include:
Second: Optimize Google My Business Listings for Each Location
Google My Business listings are essential for optimization and you should have a listing for each one of your company’s locations.
Here’s what you’ll need to do to optimize each location properly, so people can find you:
Of course, there are some other things you need to know about managing multiple locations on Google My Business.
First, you should use consistent names for your locations. If one location is listed as Your Business – Redmond, WA, then other locations should follow the same pattern.
Likewise, you should strive for consistency in the categories you choose. If you own a string of dry cleaners, you should use the same category for each one.
The one exception to this rule is if you have a location that offers completely different services. For example, you might own 10 dry cleaning locations and one tailoring shop. If they’re all using the same name, you should choose the category that suits the location in question.
Third: Manage Your Online Citations for Each Location
You already know that NAP listings (that’s Name, Address, Phone Number) are essential for raising your online profile. Their importance only increases when you have multiple locations to optimize.
Keep in mind that your locations may be listed in multiple places even if you haven’t claimed your listings. You should plan on doing a series of searches to find every citation of your businesses by location.
You may want to start with aggregation sites where listings are common. Some examples include:
Fourth: Manage Reviews for Each Location
Online reviews play a huge role in consumers’ buying decisions. Research shows that more than four-fifths of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business or purchasing a product.
Some of the sites listed above are review sites. Your job is to manage your reviews on every site where they appear. That means:
Fifth: Build Links to Each Location Page
The final step is to build links to each of the locational pages you’ve created. The key is to build high-quality links. It’s not a good idea to spam links or use black hat techniques. Instead, here are some ideas to try:
Managing SEO for multiple locations can be a challenge…
…but it’s a challenge that’s worth the effort. Ultimately, you want potential customers – wherever they are – to be able to find the location that closest to them. Following the steps outlined here will help you accomplish that goal.
Either way, the solution is to make yourself into an authority.
Here’s the secret that a lot of entrepreneurs don’t know:
Authority is not something other people bestow on you. It’s something you can build.
That might surprise you. It shouldn’t. The people you view as authorities created their authority by their actions. And you can too.
Why Authority Matters
Why is authority important? It’s very simple. When you have authority, people listen to what you say. They value your opinion – and when you tell them to buy something, they’ll do it.
That’s why authority is one of Robert Cialdini’s principles of influence. Psychologically speaking, people are inclined to do what an authority figure tells them to do – even if they wouldn’t do it on their own.
A simple example of this principle in action comes from television advertising. Maybe you remember those commercials featuring well-known actors. They always started with something like this:
I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.
You might think of that as a disclaimer, but it’s a statement of authority. People were accustomed to thinking of those actors as doctors. So, when they recommended a cough syrup or headache medication, people trusted those recommendations.
Another way of looking at it is that authority is based on trust. If you do a good job building authority, people will trust you and your products.
Branding and Authority
You’ll build authority more quickly if you define your brand and present it in a consistent way in all your online marketing.
Why? Because authority is easier to build if you have a narrowly defined area of expertise. Nobody is equally knowledgeable about everything, right?
Of course, there are exceptions. Someone like Oprah is so well known that people might take her word for just about anything. She can present herself as an authority on self-help, alternative medicine, clothing, and books because she has achieved a level of authority that allows it.
Most of us can’t do that. We need to define our niches and stick to them.
Here are some ways you can create a consistent and authoritative brand:
Every piece of content you create for your brand must be authoritative. That means that everything on your website, online profiles, social media accounts, ads, and marketing videos must be conceptualized and executed with authority in mind.
It all starts with your website. You need a professional site that uses clear and authoritative language designed to appeal directly to your target audience. It should be easy to use and provide immediate value to the people who visit it.
The same is true of your social media content. Every status update, Tweet, or photo you post must be relevant to your brand and presented with authority.
You may also want to consider creating long-form authoritative content to build authority. Examples include:
If you watch cable news, you know that one of the ways they fill the 24-hour news cycle is by booking authority figures to offer opinions about current events.
Think about it. Every political consultant, pollster, or retired general is there for one reason. They have experience and knowledge that is applicable to a story, and because of that, they are viewed as authorities whose opinion is worth hearing.
You can build the same kind of authority online by being opinionated. That doesn’t mean you should spout about politics (unless that’s related to your brand, of course.) What it does mean is that you shouldn’t be afraid to say what you think.
One very effective way to do that is to curate content for your social media pages. Curated content is content that somebody else created. You can find it by following:
For example, say you find an article that lists ten essential things about your industry. You might feel that the writer left out something important. You should point that out when you post the article.
Taking a controversial stance can be a good thing, too. When you contradict or rebut something that an established authority says, you’re putting yourself on their level.
The key here is to sound confident when you offer an opinion. If you seem uncertain, people will dismiss your opinion.
There’s one more thing…
The final step to building authority is to put these things together and use them to create marketing campaigns that convert. If you do it right, you’ll set yourself apart from other brands in your niche.
In other words, you won’t just be one option for people seeking products or services in your niche. You’ll be the only option – and all because they view you as an authority figure.
In fact, failing to hire an agency is one of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make. It’s not necessary in every situation. But here’s the thing:
“If you’re not a professional marketer, it’s a virtual certainty that you’re missing opportunities – and sales – because of the marketing choices you’re making.”
Yikes. That’s not what you want, right? Most small and medium-sized business can’t afford to give sales away.
So, with that in mind, let’s talk about how you can tell if it’s time to outsource your marketing to an agency.
#1: You Don’t Have a Handle on Your Online Presence
The first big indicator that you need a professional marketer is that you don’t really know how people perceive your brand online.
Let’s face it, “online” is a big place. You might think of your website as your home base, but you also need to know how your brand is represented:
#2: You’re Not Sure How to Allocate Your Marketing Budget
Where are you spending your marketing budget? Do you know how much you’re spending? For a lot of entrepreneurs, the answer is no – and that’s a problem.
If you’re handling your own marketing, you might feel as if you’re shooting in the dark. One week you’re spending on Facebook ads. The next, you’re running a Google AdWords campaign. You’re trying everything and hoping that something will bear fruit.
The problem is that you don’t have a marketing plan. You haven’t had the time (or expertise) to evaluate marketing platforms and choose those that are most likely to get you the results you want.
A marketing pro will have broad experience and should be able to assess your brand and target audience – and use that assessment to choose the best marketing options. You don’t need a big budget to be successful, but you do need to know how to use it.
#3: Your Marketing Campaigns Aren’t Generating Leads
This one should be a no-brainer, yet it’s a common problem for DIY marketers. If your marketing campaigns aren’t bringing you qualified leads, you’re throwing money away.
Guess what? Your marketing campaign could be well-conceived. Perhaps you’ve created what could be a winning ad. You might still have problems with:
#4: You’re Not Aware of Marketing Trends
The world of online marketing is constantly changing. What worked a few months ago might not be effective anymore.
Here’s one example. At the beginning of 2018, Facebook announced it would change its algorithms to favor posts from family and friends over posts from pages and brands. Companies that used to get a fair amount of organic engagement must now pay to get the same attention.
It can be difficult for entrepreneurs to keep up with what’s happening in marketing. You’ve got other things to do.
When you outsource your marketing, you’re paying someone whose job it is to know what the latest and greatest marketing trends are. You won’t have to worry about spending on outdated marketing techniques.
In other words, paying a pro will ensure that your marketing dollar goes further than it would if you tried to handle everything on your own.
#5: You’re Not Testing Your Campaigns
Very few people – even marketing pros – create perfect campaigns on their first try. Marketing is both an art and a science, and in science, testing is essential.
Many entrepreneurs never look at the results of their marketing campaigns. They don’t know which metrics matter – and that means they’re not using their results to tweak their campaigns and improve them.
Marketing pros understand the value of split testing. Once they launch a campaign, they’ll measure the results and tweak the ad until it’s perfect. You might not have the time to do that – and that’s why you need a pro to do it for you.
Done properly, this kind of meticulous tracking and testing can make a huge difference in your conversions and ultimately, in your bottom line.
#6: You’re Not Making Marketing a Priority
Is marketing something you think about every day, or is it an afterthought? For many entrepreneurs, it’s the latter. They make time for it when they can.
The problem with that, of course, is that you won’t get the robust results you deserve if marketing isn’t a priority. You might push it aside in favor of other needs that you view as more pressing.
Marketing should be a priority. It’s the only way you’ll create a strong brand, build your platform, attract new leads, and convert them into paying customers.
If you don’t have time to give marketing the attention it deserves, you need to hire someone to do it for you. It’s just that simple.
Outsourcing your marketing will cost you…
… but it won’t cost you as much as running lackluster campaigns that do nothing to build your brand and attract leads. It’s worth a bit of up-front investment to get the results you need.
They don’t attract visitors, and when someone lands on the site by chance, they don’t stick around.
The problem is that a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners don’t know what makes a good website. As horrible as this sounds, a lot of web developers don’t know. They might have a handle on one aspect of web design or SEO, and completely miss the boat on others.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a few minutes to define what makes a website good. Once you know, you can create the kind of website that attracts new customers.
First – A Good Website Provides Valuable Information to Visitors
Information is where it all starts. Your website is your home base online. Ideally, your website should act as sort of a combination plate, something that encompasses a well-written brochure, an attractive office, a professional receptionist, and an ace salesperson.
Whew. That’s a lot to do with a simple website. But, the good news is that it’s not as complicated as it sounds.
Let’s start with the content. Your website must attract visitors – and the only way to do that is to optimize it. That means:
Ultimately, your website should tell people who you are, what you do, and what they stand to gain by doing business with you. If you can accomplish that, the informational aspect of your website is what it should be.
Second – A Good Website Keeps Visitors Engaged
You can have the most beautiful home page in the world. But, if it doesn’t encourage people to read, explore, and stay a while, it won’t matter.
There’s a reason that your Google Analytics tells you the average time visitors spend on your page. That information is valuable. It tells you how engaged visitors are.
Let’s face it, a visitor who lands on your site and spends 90 seconds on a page that should take 10 minutes to read isn’t engaged. And the chances are good that that person didn’t navigate to another page on your site. Instead, they probably clicked the “Back” button and went in search of a more engaging site.
So, what does this mean in terms of defining a good website? It means your site must have:
Third – A Good Website Converts Visitors to Customers
Ultimately, your goal isn’t just to attract visitors to your site. You want to turn those visitors into paying customers. If your site isn’t designed with conversions in mind, then it’s not a good site.
Of course, not every guest will convert on their first visit. That’s why your site needs to present multiple conversion opportunities. Some will focus on turning visitors into leads, while others will focus on making sales.
There are three main features to consider here.
Not all websites are good websites…
… but yours can be. Focusing on these three elements – information, engagement, and conversion – can help you capture leads, nurture them, and earn the profits you deserve.
So, with that in mind, here are some super-effective marketing tricks that can help you grow your sales without blowing through your (small) budget.
Use Customer Feedback to Create New Products or Services
This first technique can be free – or nearly free. Basically, what you’re doing is talking to your existing customers to find out what else you can do for them.
Let’s look at a simple example. Say your company creates and prints custom business cards. By talking to your clients about their other printing needs, you may be able to attract additional business without spending anything on advertising.
Instead of printing only business cards, you might find an opportunity to print letterhead and envelopes, too. That way, you increase the lifetime value of a single customer, and you can offer your expanded services to new customers, too.
Create a Promotion Schedule
Do your existing customers know when you’ll be running a special? It might sound a bit mundane to run promotions on a schedule but doing so gives your customers something to look forward to. And, it increases the likelihood that they’ll buy from you regularly.
This technique is perfect for building customer loyalty, but it can also help you attract new business. When your existing clients know that a promotion is coming, they may be more inclined to tell their friends and colleagues about it.
This is another sales-growth technique that can be carried out for only a few dollars. You’ll want to advertise your promotion a bit. But, once you’re on a schedule – where, say, clients know that you run a promotion every other month – they’ll start to expect it. That means you won’t have to spend as much to promote it!
Cross-Promote Your Products with a Partner
Local businesses sometimes miss out on opportunities to team up to generate sales. Simply by scanning the membership list of your local Chamber of Commerce can provide you with plenty of opportunities to cross-promote your products or services.
For example, the owner of a catering company might pair up with a florist or party rental company and offer a special to attract new business. Planning an event can be pricy, and you can attract new clients by giving them an incentive to hire both companies to help them with their event.
Another option might be partnering with another business to create a night out. The owner of a restaurant might offer a free appetizer to people who come in with a ticket stub from the local movie theater. Don’t be afraid to get creative. Doing so can make your business the destination of choice for local patrons.
Revamp Your Content to Focus on Customer Benefits
One of the biggest mistakes inexperienced marketers make is focusing too much on their product’s features and not enough on what the product can do for their customers. Fortunately, this is something you can fix with little to no money.
The first step is to audit your website’s content. If you find that you’re not talking about how your products or services can improve your target audience’s lives, revamp it so the focus is on them. You know your product is awesome, but you need to explain how buying it will benefit your customers.
After that, you can use the same technique to rethink your social media marketing strategy. Focusing on benefits makes your content more shareable than it would be if you simply touted your products. You’re likely to see a bigger return on your investment because you’ll be enticing people to buy your product.
Bundle Products and Services
Every consumer likes to feel that they’ve gotten a bargain when they buy something. That’s true both in B2C and B2B marketing – and you can use it to your advantage.
There are two ways to approach product bundling. The first is to bundle a basic product with some upgrades and add-ons and offer a price that’s slightly lower than what it would cost to buy everything separately.
The other option is to bundle products that go together in some way. A gift basket is a good example, and businesses use this technique around the holidays. For example, a Valentine’s Day bundle might include perfume, scented lotion, and a candle.
Increase Engagement on Social Media
Many companies make the mistake of not trying to engage their social media followers when they promote content. That’s a mistake – and in a way, implementing this technique can save you money by increasing your ROI on social media.
One simple technique is to ask your audience a question. Everything you post should include a call to action. When you ask a question, you encourage your followers to respond. The question might be asking their opinion about something you post, or you might ask them which question they’d most like to have you answer in a future post.
Either way, you’re not taking your audience for granted. Getting your social media to engage with you by providing valuable content triggers the cognitive bias called Reciprocity. That’s where people feel obligated to return the favor when you give them something for free.
Nurture Your Leads
You probably already have an email list – but are you using it well? A lot of businesses aren’t -- and revamping your technique can make a huge difference in your sales.
If you’re emailing subscribers rarely, you’re missing out. Most email automation services charge based on the number of subscribers you have. That means you won’t pay any more for increasing the frequency of your emails.
Try creating one or more email sequences, also known as a drip campaign. Focus on explaining the benefits of buying your product, and you’ll likely see an increase in your sales, too.
Marketing Isn’t Just for Millionaires…
… and you don’t have to double your budget to double your sales. Using the simple, inexpensive techniques outlined here can help you grow your business without busting your budget.
And here’s the thing. Growing your list doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money. Here are 7 smart ways to attract new subscribers.
#1: Add a Sign-Up Button to Your Facebook Page
Let’s start with an option that’s free and takes only minutes to do. Facebook now allows businesses to add a Call to Action button on their page. There are six choices, but the one we’re focusing on today is the “Sign Up” button.
The button shows up on the right-hand side of the page just beneath your cover photo. Clicking it will redirect visitors to a URL you provide. In this case, it should be your opt-in page. That’s where you can display information about your list and ask people to fill out the opt-in form.
On a related note, you can run a Facebook ad with a “Sign Up” button too, and it will do the same thing. If you choose the ad, you’ll have to pay for it. But, it’s a cost-effective way to attract new subscribers.
#2: Have a Paper Sign-Up Sheet at Your Business
Our next trick is an old-school method to attract subscribers. People who walk into your business may be willing to take a minute to provide you with their name and email address if you make it easy for them to do. And what’s easier than a paper sign-up sheet?
If you choose this option, make sure to include a few lines at the top to tell people why they should subscribe to your list. For example, saying “Sign up here to be the first to know about our upcoming sales and promotions,” people will understand what they’re getting. Even better, they’ll be eager to sign up.
An alternative, of course, is to have your cashiers or other staff ask people for their email addresses when they check out.
#3: Allow People to Subscribe via Text Message
One of the biggest obstacles businesses must overcome when attracting subscribers is the inconvenience factor. People don’t want to waste their time filling out a lengthy or complicated form. So, why not let them text to subscribe?
Some email marketing providers are now offering a text to subscribe option. It allows mobile users to text the word “subscribe” to them, and they’ll be added to your email list. What we love about this method is that it takes only seconds to do.
This option works by creating a custom code for new subscribers to use. To make it even easier, you can display a sign in your store with the code so people can see it and act on it immediately.
#4: Collect Email Addresses When You’re Planning an Event
Do you host events for your business? Whether you’re putting together a charity fundraiser or a gala opening, you can use the opportunity to collect email addresses and grow your list.
The great thing about this option is that you’ll probably need to ask people for their email addresses anyway. You may need it to send them tickets or updates about the event. Simply adding a checkbox to your event sign-up form makes it a snap for attendees to opt-in to your list at the same time.
The key here is to make sure you describe your list briefly, so people know what they’re signing up for. You want to make it seem like a no-brainer for people to tick that box.
#5: Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet
The idea of creating a lead magnet isn’t new – but if you aren’t doing it, it’s new to you. A lead magnet, in case you don’t know, is a freebie you give people to entice them to subscribe to your list.
The key is to create a lead magnet that appeals directly to your target audience. Then, you need to sell it hard. Outline the primary benefits that subscribers will get if they opt in. The more enticing your lead magnet is, the more likely it is that it will help you supersize your list.
Keep in mind that a lead magnet doesn’t have to be worth a lot to be worthwhile. A well-designed tip sheet or template may be just the thing to bring in a slew of new subscribers.
#6: Get Creative with Your Sign-Up Form
You don’t necessarily need a dedicated opt-in page to get people to subscribe to your list. Sometimes, it’s enough to create the perfect opt-in form – and place it perfectly on your page.
One option that I really like is the scroll-triggered form. Instead of putting your form above the fold, as many marketing experts tell you to do, show it to site visitors after they’ve had a chance to read some of your fantastic content.
A form that shows up at the right time can catch readers when they’re impressed with your expertise and grateful for what they’ve learned by reading your content. At that point, they’ll be happy to give you’re their email address in return.
#7: Use Guest Wi-Fi to Collect Addresses
Do you allow guests to access your wi-fi? If so, adding a gateway to their access can make it easy to collect email addresses.
Instead of just giving guests the password, add a field to the form and request their email address as well. Even if you make the email field optional, most guests will be happy to provide their email address to use your wi-fi.
Don’t Let Your List Stagnate…
Instead, use these seven smart and easy ways to attract new subscribers. Once they’re on your list, you can wow them with a well-designed drip campaign that will convert them into paying customers.
Referrals from friends and colleagues carry even more weight. In fact, they convert 30% more often than leads that come from other sources.
That’s why you need to set up a referral program to encourage customers to send their friends to you.
But wait… won’t happy customers just refer their friends as a matter of course?
Some might – but most won’t. You need to ask. So, let’s talk about some simple things you can do to get more customer referrals.
Step #1: Identify Potential Referral Sources
Referrals can come from many places. Before you decide on the parameters of your new referral program, you’ll need to think about who can provide you with the kind of qualified leads you want. Here’s a run-down of the most likely sources:
Ask for Referrals
The first and most obvious way to get referrals is to ask for them. A lot of businesses skip this step and they miss out on valuable referrals as a result.
Are you wondering why you need to ask? This statistic might explain it. A study at Texas Tech University found that 83% of consumers were willing to refer acquaintances to a business after a positive experience. But – and here’s the corker – only 29% of them did!
Why the gap? It might have something to do with not being asked.
There are lots of ways to ask for referrals. Here are just a few:
Pinpoint Companies Who Share Your Target Audience
One of the best ways to get referrals is to start with your audience and work from there. In other words – when was the last time you identified local businesses who target the same consumers you do?
Let’s look at a sample audience to illustrate the point: parents with young children. Here are some businesses targeting that audience that might be able to refer customers to one another:
Attract Referrals with Shareable Content
Whether you’re writing a blog post or creating an infographic to share on Pinterest, you should create content with referrals in mind.
Think about it this way. When people share your content, they’re also sharing information about your company – even if only indirectly. Any person who sees your content might be a potential customer.
Create content that provides clear value to the people in your target audience – and then encourage your existing audience to share it. Again, asking is the key. Some people might share your content, but many will only do it if you ask them to.
In a perfect world, customers, friends, and family would refer you out of the goodness of their hearts. But… we don’t live in a perfect world.
The solution is to give people a reason to give you referrals, something that goes beyond doing a good deed for you or a friend. It’s perfectly acceptable, and even desirable, to incentivize your referral program.
Here’s an example. I knew a factoring company that offered existing clients one month of free factoring if they referred a new client who signed up. That was potentially a big incentive – factoring isn’t cheap! But the owner of that company got a lot of referrals from clients as a result.
If you decide on this type of referral, make sure to specify under what circumstances you’ll pay out the incentive. A small incentive, like a free basic product or a coupon, might go to anyone who offers you contact information, whether the referral comes to fruition or not. But, if you’re offering a big prize, like a bonus or a free service, you might want to require that the referral turns into a customer before issuing the prize.
Referrals are a great way to grow your business…
And they can help you build up a lot of good will with the people around you. Instead of hoping that people will refer new customers to you, go out and make it happen. A coherent, consistent referral program will help you increase your profits.
Facebook is huge, with 2.2 billion users and counting. The chances are good that many of your customers use it daily – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doing a great job of connecting with them.
And let’s face it – social marketing has some challenges. Facebook keeps refining their algorithms, and that’s made it harder than it used to be to be sure your target audience sees the content you post.
With that in mind, here are eight things you can do starting right now to ring the new year in with a bang – and become a master of local Facebook marketing.
#1: Create a Facebook Event
Creating events on Facebook helps raise your visibility, engage existing customers, and attract new ones. Here’s how to do it:
#2: Create and Share Local Content
You’re a local business – so show some local pride to connect with potential customers! If there’s a local tradition or event coming up, or if you see an article that highlights something unique about your city, share it with your followers.
Of course, you need to do more than share. You can increase your page’s visibility by tagging other local businesses, events, or landmarks in your post.
This is an opportunity to connect with other local business owners, too. You might be able to help one another out!
#3: Let People Know What You’re Doing
Are you attending a trade show? Hosting a booth at a community event? Maybe you’ve sponsored a soccer team and you’re attending a game.
Whatever it is, it’s an opportunity to check in at your location, tag other businesses and events, and keep your audience up-to-date on what you’re doing.
It’s important here not to overdo tagging. Nobody cares if you stopped at Starbucks for a latte. Stick to events and locations that highlight your business and your audience will thank you.
#4: Get People to Write Facebook Reviews of Your Business
Reviews are hugely important. They provide social proof – and a recent Bright Local survey found that 92% of all consumers read online reviews before they make a purchase.
Facebook reviews can help increase your profile and attract new customers. You can encourage people to leave reviews by reaching out to your list or creating a post where you ask for reviews.
Keep in mind that star reviews without a written review accompanying them won’t get you as much visibility as written reviews. You may want to create a template for people who aren’t sure what to write where you ask things like:
#5: Create Groups for Your Followers
Did you know that Facebook allows you to create groups for people who follow your page? Creating a group can be an effective way of building a community and focusing conversations and content on a topic.
For example, if you offer an array of services, you might create a group for each one. That way, people can connect with others who use the service, ask questions, and even recommend your services to others.
#6: Give People a Reason to Come to Your Store
Many local businesses rely on foot traffic to drive sales. If you do, you can use your Facebook account to encourage people to come see you in person.
For example, you might create and share an in-person coupon that people can use when they come to your store. Or, you might offer a giveaway for those who visit your location.
Other things you can do to entice in-person visits include:
#7: Run a Contest
Running a contest on Facebook can help you attract new followers and build engagement. If you decide to do it, keep in mind that Facebook has strict rules about what you can and can’t do. For example, you can’t require followers to Like or Share a post to enter.
Make sure that your contest has:
#8: Market Your Facebook Page in Your Store
In local marketing, one hand washes the other. While you might put your focus on bringing customers from your Facebook page to your store, it can work in reverse, too!
For example, you might put a link to your Facebook page on flyers, business cards, and coupons. You can also ask customers to take a picture in your store and post it on Facebook while tagging you. Offering an incentive, like a 10% off coupon or a gift card, can help.
Local Facebook marketing poses some challenges, but now you know how to address them. Local content, events, and contests can all help you attract new customers to your Facebook page – and your store.