Yelp-ing to Generate Local Sales

Last week, we discussed FourSquare and generating sales. This week, we’ll cover Yelp. You are well aware that consumers research before they convert. They go to sites like Yelp, which provides business information and reviews written by users. Yelp has an average of over 102 million unique visitors. To date, Yelpers have written over 39 million reviews. So…now the question is how exactly can you utilize Yelp to generate sales. There are several answers to this.

  • From an SEO perspective, it’s another backlink. You want to diversify your links. A link from Yelp is good. Make sure that you do use keywords in your description.
  • Yelpers write reviews. Your current and new customers can write reviews  and let others know exactly how great your services really are. Yelp prohibits paid reviews. But you can encourage your current customers to write them
  • Yelp is available on desktop and mobile.  Apps are available for tablets and smartphones– Android, iOS, and Blackberry compatible. That means that people check Yelp on the go or when they’re not on their computers.
  • Once you claim your business (which is free), you can message customers and post updates.

Review sites like Yelp help generate sales by providing reviews. If you are a brick and mortar and need to generate sales, you need to make  sure to be present on Yelp. What makes this such a good option is that it is free, unless you opt to advertise on Yelp. Once you list your business on Yelp, let your clients know, list it on your website, and email campaigns.

Power of Mobile for Local

One way to generate sales and increase foot traffic to your office is to be present on mobile. 79% of website traffic in Q1 of 2013 came from smartphones. That’s just for ecommerce. The way businesses and office can take advantage of so many people using their smartphones is to present on mobile with a mobile friendly website and check-in apps like FourSquare. Let’s talk about FourSquare because it is something you can do right now.

 

FourSquare is a mobile check-in app. They have over 30 million users. It’s a way for consumers to find local businesses. People use FourSquare to find restaurants, recreational activities, services, and other businesses. More savvy consumers use FourSquare to find deals. People also leave tips and reviews, which can also help drive traffic and generate those sales you need.

Over 1.3 billion businesses are taking advantage of business solutions on FourSquare. The cost is free unless you want to advertise on FourSquare. You can claim your business, make updates and set up specials, and take advantage of FourSquare’s free analytics.

Your Listing

We always talk about integration. Your listing is one way to integrate FourSquare with other marketing methods. Those SEO keywords apply here. Those keywords should be words consumers innately use. They scan messages and text with those keywords in mind. Make sure to incorporate them in your listing. You can also add a link in your listing.  Be brief and informative.

Specials and Updates

Another way to integrate mobile with other marketing strategies is to promote the same specials you promote elsewhere on FourSquare. Keep your marketing messaging consistent.

Another tactic to generate sales is to offer a special for new customers only. Some service oriented companies offer a free consultation, a 10-20% discount, free gifts, etc. The goal is to get people in the door.

Some businesses offer discounts and specials only to the mayor. Consumers become mayors when they visit often and check-in.

If you’re a brick and mortar and you’re looking to boost foot traffic and sales, FourSquare is a really good tool to do just that.

Driving Online and Foot Traffic

Many of you are local, brick and mortar businesses. You not only need to drive online traffic, but you need to drive foot traffic as well. Integrated online marketing strategy and direct marketing strategy is even more important. Now you should add mobile to that mix. We’ve talked a lot about relevant content. But how are you using this wonderful content you’re creating?

ID-10073067

Website

Most of the messages you create will go on your website. The core pages (homepage, services, about, contact) will be static, but you should also have a spot on the homepage that highlights news and promotions.

Make sure to list your website with Google Places and Yelp. These are popular sites people turn to find local businesses.

Direct Marketing

Any direct marketing mailings you use to generate sales should include messaging you have on your website. The promos, highlights, and especially keywords. Also include your website and social media urls.

Emails

Emails, like your other content, should be informative and relevant but more so here. Intermix blogs and articles combined with promotions. If you can, design your email so it mimics your website aesthetics. Make sure to include your physical address along with your website and social media urls.

Mobile

You should have a mobile website. The easiest way to do that is with responsive web design, otherwise you’ll have to create one. Mobile sites should use the same keywords you use on your desktop site. The difference is that your mobile site content is condensed. Make your contact info (phone number and address, even a map) easy to find.

Also make sure you claim your business on FourSquare. Include a description, your phone number, hours of operation, website, and services. To drive more foot traffic, include a special to attract people to stop by.

Relevant Content Generates Sales

If you’re wondering why your direct marketing strategy isn’t working, chances are that you are not creating relevant content. Consumers are looking for services that can directly make their life easier. The problem is that so many companies are creating messaging based on their goals instead of setting goals with their consumers in mind.

We really need to get back to the basics. We’re in business to serve the public. If our public doesn’t convert, we don’t make money. We need to always need to have the mindset that we are here to make our public happy. Your business objectives should center around creating messaging that your public wants and needs. By now, you should know your consumer pretty well so you can create relevant content.

Whether you’re sending an email blast or direct mail, you’re messaging needs to be timely and relevant.  Our advice is to combine current events, issues, etc with your business goals to attract consumers. Use holidays and events to create content.  Use that content in your blog posts, email messaging, and direct mail pieces to help  generate sales. Use day-to-day issues to provide examples and reasons why your consumers need your services.

Driving Social with Direct Marketing: Tips to Generate Leads

ID-100159299I don’t think any of us are surprised with the latest studies indicating that more and more people are using social media to find products and services. Entrepreneur reports that social media discovery is on the rise, up 25% from 2010.  The study conducted by Forrester Research also found that direct marketing is not dead. Companies are using direct marketing strategies to boost social media efforts.

This goes back to creating an integrated marketing strategy that includes direct marketing, social media, SEO, mobile, etc. Don’t just rely on one avenue of marketing to generate your sales.  I can’t stress enough the importance of creating an integrated marketing plan.  It’s far more efficient than previous strategies.

Here’s how to take create a direct marketing strategy that incorporates social media.

  • Include social media links in all emails
  • Include social media address in all direct marketing snail mail
  • Use the same messages for big campaigns in direct marketing efforts and social media
  • Host contests via social media and promote via direct marketing

Admittedly, marketing and reaching your consumers is difficult right now. Marketers need to create messaging across a variety of platforms to generate sales and leads.  The strategy of creating consistent messaging across all these platforms isn’t new. You just need to execute in such a way that increases conversions. To do that, you really need to know your consumer.

Using #Hashtags and Keywords to Generate Sales

Facebook made an announcement that the social network will start supporting #hashtags. Twitter and Google already support hashtags along with Instagram.  Hashtags are words or phrases preceded by the # symbol. They commonly are used to identify topics and trends.

Of course, businesses can use hashtags to generate sales. The first thing to understand is that hashtags are keywords. Consumers are using keywords as hashtags. When you post social media updates, use your keywords that you use in your SEO and digital marketing strategy. Use these keywords and phrases as hashtags when posting updates. Consumers use these hashtags to find what they’re looking for, which helps them find you.

ID-10019934

The second way to use hashtags to generate sales  is by setting up search feeds. Use social networking managers like Hootsuite to set up search feeds with hashtags. This shows you all posts using that hashtag. Based on the posts, you can reach out to those individuals. It’s a grassroots approach to generate sales.

Don’t be afraid of the power of keywords and hashtags. Consumers are using them. Now you can follow suite and use hashtags to generate sales.

Clear Message: Content that Generates Leads

ID-100128887You are one of many (unfortunately) providing consumers with your product or service. Competition in today’s market is fierce.  Consumers are more cautious with their all mighty dollar. Because of that, they take their time making decisions to buy products or use services.

When you take away all the fluff, you really have one thing: The message. If you want to generate leads and sales, you have to have the right messaging. We’ve talked about making a clear offer.  A clear offer is good, but your consumer may not convert right away, even with the clear offer.

Consumers research. Before they pick a company or product, they research the company (usually online first). They want the best quality for the cheapest price (usually). That gives SMBs the task of creating clear messaging that communicates quality and price over competitors.   You do this by:

  • Using keywords and phrases your consumers uses
  • Providing price comparisons
  • Providing reviews
  • Offering a free trial
  • Offering a money back guarantee
  • Stats and facts linked to the original source
  • Sited research

You can drive home this message and generate leads by combining your online marketing and direct marketing strategy. Post the content on your website. In your direct marketing piece, use a snippet from your website. Provide your phone number and your website so the consumer can either call you or visit your site. Remember to make sure the offer is clear.