5 Pain Points You Face When Partnering With a White Label Agency

Nearly all of the most common pain points marketing companies face can be broken down into “too much work, and not enough people to do it.” The services of a white label agency can help solve this problem by lightening your load, handling clients at scale and freeing up your resources to focus on strategy, retention and client satisfaction. Compared to onboarding a new employee, all of these benefits can be had with less risk and training overhead.

According to a 2018 survey of agencies by Hubspot, the top pain point marketers faced was “finding new clients,” according to 60 percent of respondents. Forty-three percent said there’s “not enough free time to focus on administrative tasks,” and 35 percent said “finding employees with the ‘right fit’.” Other common pain points listed included “hitting client goals and expectations” (23 percent), “keeping existing clients” (16 percent) and “keeping employees” (12 percent).

While it may sound like a tall order to say that all of these issues can be solved by a white label agency, it’s actually fairly accurate. Outsourcing some of your services like search engine optimization, or SEO, and content writing to a third-party frees up internal resources and gives you the flexibility you need to stay on top of everything.

To illustrate just how helpful white labeling can be, here are five of the most common marketing agency pain points and how outsourced marketing services can help alleviate them:

“We Have No Stable Source of Reliable Leads”

white label agency

Finding solid client leads is arguably the most important aspect of running a marketing business. Clients keep the lights on and give employees something to do. Without a steady stream of clients to maintain pace with your growth plan or to give your employees something to do, cash flow quickly becomes a dire concern.

A white label agency can help remove this bottleneck to revenue generation. It can provide reliable services at scale at a predictable rate, and at a relatively lower cost-per-assignment compared to a full-time employee.

With more of your work being handled by a dependable out-of-house white label content writing agency, your leadership team and project heads can focus on putting your tendrils out there to find client leads.

Finding good clients takes work, too. “With digital, and the increased trackability, we’ve found more clients asking for numbers and data when pitching. This just means that reporting and analysis has to be a priority for all companies,” one successful CEO told DMNews.

This extra effort pays off, since some of the easiest clients to nab are often the sketchiest—or the least reliable. Outsourcing gives your team the time to focus on presenting yourself well and putting in the legwork juicier clients expect in return for their hard-earned cash.

“We’re Having Trouble Scaling Up While Meeting Client Expectations”

white label agency

Some agencies have the opposite problem of the pain point above: they have too many clients to handle! This scenario runs the risk of delivering diminishing returns to clients. After all, there are only so many hours in the day, so that leaves less time to perform more work.

Or, you could outsource some of this workload to another agency. With the right relationship and quality guidelines, your clients can still receive the caliber of work they are used to despite the fact that they share your services with more people than ever.

More work being performed means better cash flow and the opportunity to continue scaling your client base without having to sacrifice quality or divide your attention too thinly. In other words: outsourcing helps your marketing business grow!

“We Lack the Tools or Expertise for SEO and Content Writing Best Practices”

white label agency

Doctors and legal professionals all have continuing education requirements because knowledge is ever-growing.

We feel like marketers should be just as obligated to constantly update their knowledge in the same way! Technical SEO has evolved greatly in just the past few years, and it’s going to keep on changing.

Knowing about the right techniques and having the right tools at your disposal makes putting all this knowledge into action that much easier. But we get it—very few successful CEOs and top-level marketing employees have the time and energy to keep up. They may also be wary of investing in courses or tools that may or may not pay off.

Their alternative is to trust niche experts to do the job for them. White label agencies that specialize in SEO and content marketing will already have access to best-of-breed tools and know about best practices that keep their clients competitive.

All of these benefits help your clients measure their performance better, while providing insights on how to optimize. Outsourcing therefore not only helps you take on more work, but improve the overall quality of that work.

“There’s No Time for Strategic Planning or Administrative Tasks”

white label agency

Is your business website stagnating? Do you have projects sitting for months on the backburner? Are your project teams overwhelmed? Have some clients been getting so-so work because you don’t have a cohesive strategy for getting them better performance?

As a business owner or busy agency employee, all of these issues are more common than you might think! In fact, some of the businesses with the best customer-facing areas have the messiest back offices. Finding the time to handle day-to-day tasks can feel impossible. Sitting down to create a long-term strategy for your business or your clients is even harder!

Sharing your client workload with a white label services provider can free up time for all these tasks. As a result, your employees can get more breathing room to tidy up your calendar, handle lingering tasks and start looking at what’s ahead.

Often, just a little bit of extra time is what you need to get back on top of your business strategy and create better work for your clients. Your business runs better, your employees are happier and your clients get more of your attention than ever, so you can help them shine.

“We’re Having Huge Difficulties Finding (and Retaining) Talented Employees”

white label agency

Similar to the problem of finding client leads, many marketing companies struggle to fill all the desks in their building. Being desperate to find an employee to help handle all the slack means you can end up compromising. That, or the moment they are onboarded, they begin to feel burnt out because they are taking on so much of the workload at once.

Outsourcing some of your marketing tasks to a third-party white label agency doesn’t just remove your need for these employees. Yes, you can avoid taking on an expensive employee you have to provide benefits for, but you are just as likely to rewrite the job duties so that a new hire can take on more responsibility.

For instance, instead of hiring a full-time writer who must while away at their desk for 40 hours a week, you can hire someone who is a brilliant content strategist and editor. With their mind on your team, you can develop better content topics, tie this content into more campaign cross-promotion and ensure a higher standard of work reaches your client’s inbox.

At the end of the day, you can hire the best workers to help propel your vision of your company’s future, not just someone who can help you keep your head above water in the present.

Finding the Right White Label Agency to Work With

white label agency

In sum, working with a reliable white label agency can help you:

  1. Find better client leads and woo higher-value contracts.
  2. Produce more work without sacrificing end quality, setting the stage for growth.
  3. Access tools and implement best practices that are on the cutting edge.
  4. Have more time for day-to-day tasks as well as long-term planning.
  5. Hire better employees who propel your company forward.

Establishing a relationship with an agency that provides you all these benefits can be easy; you just have to start looking. When you can find what you’re looking for, your company can set the stage for growth while keeping your clients happier than ever.

Interested in finding a white label agency that can meet your needs? Give us a try! Contact us today to learn about the services we provide that can help you grow and how we bend over backwards to meet your clients’ high expectations.

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Four Dirty Little Secrets About White Label SEO Most Agencies Won’t Tell You

Hey, you wanna know a secret? Most of the branded content published online was written by a third- or even fourth-party subcontractor. Yes, there may be a very personal-looking byline from a marketing head on that blog, but that’s all part of the white label search engine optimization (SEO) illusion.

A whopping 68 percent of marketing agencies outsource their SEO to white label content writing services. Twenty-eight percent place entire content marketing projects into another agency’s hands.

Why? Because it just makes sense. As an agency, you have an obligation to make your clients happy and ensure their marketing performs. That duty does not necessarily mean that you have to do it all yourself.

In fact, you may be doing your clients a disservice by trying to take it all on yourself. You owe it to them and you owe it to your entire company to evaluate all of your options. Then, you must determine the best strategy to make your target outcome happen.

The decision to outsource SEO and content writing services to others is never easy, but when it works, it works well! Many agencies even end up developing a symbiotic relationship with their white label content writers where they, their client and the content writing company are all happier for it.

Outsourcing is a reality of the business, and these four dirty little white label SEO secrets help ensure that it all goes according to plan.

White Label Content Writing Won’t Dilute Your Brand Voice or Results When You Do It Right

Notebook with brand strategy

The thing most agencies get wrong when it comes to white labeling is that they think of the end product as something they have no control over. You would have to work with an absolutely terrible content writing and SEO agency for that to be the case!

In reality, the interaction between the agency and the content writers is just like any other B2B relationship. Expectations and guidelines are set, something is produced in an attempt to satisfy those prompts and the agency client gets to evaluate the results.

If the results aren’t up to snuff, you can send back an edit request and try again. Or, you can give a different writer or white label agency the opportunity to try their hand.

Quality and following directions are just like price in that way: if your business can’t find what you need somewhere, you get to go somewhere else.

Expecting a specific outcome that meets all of your SEO and quality guidelines while adhering to your client’s preferred brand voice is just par for the course.

You really aren’t putting too much at the mercy of someone else—and if you feel like you are, then you either have to get more specific with your prompts or move on to someone who gets what you want more intuitively.

Google Can’t Point You Towards the Best White Label SEO Options

Google Search on computer

So you know that white label SEO services necessarily have to do things your way. But how do you find a company that can get it right?

If your answer is “just Google it,” then you may be in for a rude awakening. Unfortunately, the logic that a good SEO company will know how to rank at the top of search engine results just isn’t true. Instead, the companies that do the best work may be so busy tending to their clients that they have to put their own SEO on the backburner.

“What happens is most of the very good companies, the ones that are in high demand, the ones that do consistently great work and get great referrals, they don’t actually need to rank. Many of the companies that rank well for best SEO plus city name or best SEO plus a region or plus a particular specialty, like best ecommerce SEO, are not the best. They are, in fact, the folks who are simply without any client work and so they’re concentrating all their energy on trying to get new clients.”

Rand Fishkin, Former Moz Marketing Expert

The internet may ironically be a really poor source for finding what you need, then. What is a good source? Referrals! Try to find a white label SEO agency within whatever you consider your niche. That can mean finding an agency with a “just right” size, one that caters just to your specific clientele or one able to get glowing reviews from other people and companies you respect.

Word-of-mouth is still one of the most important digital marketing techniques, so rely on it to find a writer or agency that suits you.

You Can Never Take Promises of Results at Face Value

 

Woman typing on computerContent writing outsourcing can bring all of the above benefits and then some, but you should still be wary of so-called “guaranteed” performance results in terms of ranking. Quite simply, no matter how smart the technical SEO person is or how great your content writer is, they cannot control the search engine algorithms, let alone how competing companies make use of them. A great white label SEO agency can do everything right but still have just so-so ranking results.

However, the other hard work they put into the project still counts for something! Site visitors are more likely to enjoy the content, and search engine giants like Google always value quality and user experience over technical SEO factors.

What can be promised is great quality work and attention to detail. Ideally, your outsourced agency also has the tools to constantly measure, adapt and improve in light of actual results. So, while no one can promise your client will be ranked No. 1 overnight, they can promise that they will follow all the best practices to make that happen.

Getting an Outside Content Writing Service Can Make Your Great Ideas Even Better

Writing Team

Outsourcing content writing and SEO naturally scales your available client load while helping you meet your deadlines more efficiently. You also gain specialized expertise that can include someone else paying for the tools you desperately need to get performance.

But what you may have overlooked is the fact that, if you’re already a great writer or content strategist, a white label services provider might actually make your writing even better. Why? Because an outside perspective can amplify your great ideas while integrating them with a writer’s own natural intuition.

This kind of relationship requires a talented writer with an understanding of not just your guidelines but also the intent of your content. When they can grasp that, they can turn what would have been a so-so post you could have written yourself into something much more engaging.

Don’t take offense—it works both ways; the writer could have the kernel of an idea, bounce it off of you and receive more detailed guidelines on how to execute.

The bottom line is: two heads are better than one.

As an agency that specializes in white label content writing services and SEO ourselves, we’re talking from experience! Many of our clients are actually high-profile marketing agencies that make use of our talent to produce amazing content on a consistent schedule while developing their voice.

Collaborating is the name of the game, and professional writers like ours are eager to try new things and put words to others’ ideas. The end results speak for themselves, even if who actually made them happen is a trade secret.

Optimized Scribes Copywriting

Curious about some of the white label content writing work our agency has done? Take a look at some of our agency partners’ happiest clients! Or, contact us today for a writing sample based on your very own project.

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7 Cool Google My Business Features You Should Be Using

Never one to rest on their laurels, Google has been quietly adding useful features to their Google My Business (GMB) platform over the past several months. Abilities like new call-to-action buttons, deeper insights reports and direct chat messages all provide business owners advantages they definitely should not overlook.

These changes may not seem like much individually, but they combine into a huge leap forward for business search results. Overall, Google seems to be adding in features similar to those that made Facebook business Pages so popular – just in time considering that the reach for most Facebook Pages recently fell off a cliff. Using these new GMB features properly can significantly increase the chances of a customer conversion each time your business appears as a search result.

GMB Dashboard

You can take maximum advantage of the new Google My Business features and increase the conversion chances for search users by considering the following seven most beneficial features below.

New Google My Business Features’ Most Important Addition: Business Messaging

Chat functionality is easily the biggest game changer among the new GMB features. It basically changes Google search into a new direct 1:1 conversation channel for customer interactions and sales conversion opportunities.

Consumers love messaging tools, especially 18-35 year olds. 60% say it’s much more convenient to shoot a business a quick message compared to dialing a number or sending an email. It also helps them multitask since they can send a message and wait for a response – as opposed to dancing along to hold music.

More than 2 out of every 3 consumers say they use social media networks to resolve customer issues or ask questions. Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular of these tools, which is no surprise considering that 68% of people still use Facebook.

Business Messaging

Having the option to message a business directly while you’re browsing through a platform like Facebook just makes sense. Leaving the app to do something like use a website contact form creates friction, which makes people not want to do it. Letting them message you without having to leave the app is convenient, and it increases the likelihood that someone interested in your services will nibble.

This same logic now applies to Google search, thanks to their new chat function for businesses. People can discover your listing and send a question or customer inquiry your way right within the search platform. Advertise this feature, and you could see a spike in potential customers sending business inquiries.

Activating chat for your GMB profile is easy. Simply find the “Messaging” section, turn it to “ON” and then create a generic welcome message. You can also set your preferred contact phone number to display for customers who want an instant response.

New Call-to-Action Buttons

When people select your business listing in search results – and also when you earn a featured search result – a button displays allowing the search user to take immediate action.

The first use of this button was to suggest to the user to “Visit Website,” but Google later added a “Call Now” functionality that gets used pretty commonly. “Get Directions” is another frequent choice, especially for restaurants as well as brick-and-mortar businesses local to the search user.

The whole aim of these buttons is not just to create an obvious call to action, but again to make in-app conversions possible and therefore more convenient. Well over half of all searches come from mobile devices now, so convenience and reducing in-between steps is the name of the game.

New Call-to-Action Buttons

Businesses on GMB now have additional options other than these three choices, including:

  • Ask a Question (use Messenger).
  • Place an Order.
  • Reserve a Table.
  • Book an Appointment.
  • View Menu (or a list of available services).
  • Browse Inventory.

These buttons can appear automatically when you use the proper markup within your website’s HTML code. You can also have them appear when you link specific URLs within your location settings tab in the GMB app.

Decide carefully which buttons you want to appear. Prioritize ones that directly kickstart the customer journey so that more people can go from discovering (or re-discovering) you in search to taking immediate action.

Overhauled Business Info Sections

The business information sections underwent minor cosmetic changes, so make sure to review everything, such as your business hours and phone number, to ensure it’s correct. GMB also allows users the opportunity to submit up-to-date information for businesses, so you can check in to see pending updates suggested by users or other sources.

Overhauled Business Info Sections

One sort-of-new addition is the 750 character-long description of your business. This feature disappeared when Google quietly buried Google+, but it has since resurfaced. Use this space to quickly describe the goods/services you offer while differentiating you from competitors.

Women-Led Attribute

In honor of International Women’s Day for 2018, Google now allows businesses to add a “Women-led” attribute to your business descriptors. As a women-led business ourselves, we think this feature is a nice feather in the cap for businesses trying to stand out from the herd.

Women Led Business

New, More In-Depth Insights Reports

Google has always been great about letting business users see their most important data in an easy-to-digest form. For GMB, they now have a huge range of new features and graphs for you to take a look at.

New, More In-Depth Insights Reports

  • How customers search for your business – Find out how many people discover you after searching for a generic business category compared to searching for your business name directly.
  • Where customers view your business on Google – See if your listing gets more traffic through Google Maps or Google Search, which can influence your respective SEO strategy.
  • Customer actions – See what customers do when they interact with your listing, which includes website visits, requests for directions and calls.
  • Direction requests – A heatmap showing where people are when they request directions. This display is especially useful for informing your geographically based advertising strategy.
  • Phone calls – See the volume of phone calls placed per day or hour-by-hour. This helps you monitor call inquiries while helping inform staffing.
  • Photo views and Photo Quantity – See who took a look at your business photos, and also see how your business compares in terms of photo quantity to others in your same category.

Admin Role Management

You can now more easily give people access to your GMB profile and control what they can and cannot edit.

Video, New Layouts and Other Additions

Video, New Layouts and Other Additions

The changes above come alongside a host of updates and tweaks, including the new ability to upload videos to your GMB profile. Google also completely overhauled the look of features like the “Add Photos and Video” tool, so take a look around your GMB, if you haven’t yet, to see what’s changed.

New to Google My Business? Get Help From a Local Marketing and SEO Agency

If you haven’t yet claimed your business on Google My Business or have trouble making heads or tails of all the features it offers, you’re not alone. Countless business owners ignore or underutilize tools like GMB that could help them grow their business and evolve their digital marketing strategy.

New to Google My Business? Get Help From a Local Marketing and SEO Agency

To start making the most of every tool you have at your disposal, it helps to look to the experts. We at Optimized Scribes have years of experience helping business owners just like you put their best foot forward online and get found by thousands of more people.

Start growing your customer base and improving your online reputation when you contact us today!

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How Helping Others Can Help Your Business

Social philanthropy is quickly becoming an important component of all brands, even for small businesses. Without some sort of charitable element, all of your branding principles can ring hollow. Perhaps even more importantly, supporting charities provides synergistic ways to promote you company in a positive light.

As a matter of fact, supporting local causes is one of the best ways for small businesses to get their name out there. Business owners should not feel like they are being selfish or exploitative by recognizing this. Their efforts to promote an important cause and their business at the same time get people to pay attention.

Community Concept

Besides, charities need your support! Individuals can only do so much, and even local groups and non-profits rely too heavily on volunteers to organize most things on their own. They will need sponsors and vendors and event support. They could also use signal boosts from as many media outlets as possible, including small business marketing channels.

So start helping your business, your community and those that need help the most by adopting social philanthropy as a core component of both your branding and your operations.

How Giving Through Social Philanthropy Helps You Get More

Child with Philanthropy Messsage

Let’s jump right to it: very few people care about the marketing messages that small businesses put out there.

Yes, there is a slim demographic who will be absolutely excited about your services and products, especially when you are offering them at a discount. But most people skim right over these messages. Even if what you are telling them brings value to their life, they have become deaf to it.

Volunteers planting trees

Why? There’s just too much saturation. We’ve learned to ignore most of it. According to a 2014 study, people see around 362 ads in a single day. Their brains actually notice 153 of them, which equals just 42%. You can bet the farm that most of these memorable ads come from brands they already recognize or from companies packing huge marketing budgets.

Small brands can combat this ad blindness by marketing for a worthy cause instead. Everyone cares about their community, the less fortunate, and important causes like the environment and animal welfare.

Volunteer with Dog

91% of people said they were likely to switch to a brand that promotes a good cause. 92% of people said they would buy products that offer concrete social or environmental benefits.

By arranging events and broadcasting charitable messages, you give people the opportunity to feel like they’re contributing — even if they’re just attending an event or offering a social share.

Ideas for Effective Charity Marketing for Small Businesses

Volunteer hands

Examples of great philanthropy marketing ideas include:

  • Offering matched donations or donations for every share your post gets (which can end up cheaper than paid advertising’s cost-per-impression)
  • Arranging or sponsoring an event where your branding and products are given prominent placement. The annual Chili Cook-Off at Terrapin Beer Co. benefits the Humane Society but also serves as a huge draw.
  • Contributing to an important cause through donations and volunteer work, which earns you local press coverage. Remember that link citations from website like local newspapers are important SEO ranking signals!
  • Co-creating a product or promotional event where every sale donates a portion of proceeds to the cause. Sweetwater, another local brewery, makes a Waterkeeper IPA and donates a portion of each sale to protecting the Chattahoochee waterway.

Some Final Thoughts

No matter what charity you choose to collaborate with, ensure that it has a direct positive effect on the issue it claims to help. Many charities have fallen under scrutiny for using donations to fund huge marketing campaigns for “awareness” rather than helping anyone at the local level.

Employees discussing volunteering

Also, make sure you can connect the charity to your brand philosophy and that the cause you support is consistent with your business practices. A cigarette company promoting a collaboration with a lung cancer charity group would be a bad move, for instance. Practice what you preach!

When you are able to combine great charitable causes with effective marketing tactics and a cohesive branding strategy, you can help your business while you help the world. After all, that’s what being a business owner truly is about. 

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Making the Most of Your Marketing Team

Your marketing team is vital for the success of both your agency and your clients. This is not some big secret. But the marketing department operates a bit differently than the rest of your company. While your accountants are analytical and your salespeople are outgoing, marketing requires a different mindset. These are creatives that take on blog writing, graphic design and other materials that most others in your company could not handle. After all, that’s why you hired them.

In order to make the most of your marketing team, you may also need to change the way you think. Here are a few ways you can revamp and optimize that department to further bolster the success of your company.

Individuals as Part of the Whole

Individuals as Part of the WholeYour sales department is probably rather homogenous. This is to say that if one salesperson is out sick, another could make their sales calls for them without much difficulty, ignoring time restraints. They are a cohesive team that can easily move from one desk to another. While the marketing department also works as a team, each member tends to work as a specialized division within it.

Companies are always on the lookout for a graphic designer who is also a terrific writer and editor. Unfortunately, these types of employees are few and far between. Just about every creative has their own specialty, whether that is graphics, copywriting, product management, branding and a host of others. While some creative types can easily transition from one position to another within the same general field (like from blog writing to copywriting), you should view each member as an individual in a specific role. Hiring by specialty will ensure each member of the team is working to the top of their ability and producing high-quality content.

Let Them Work as They Need

Let Them Work as They NeedThere’s a reason creative types are often seen as the “divas” of the workplace. Generally, a creative’s mind works in a way unlike that of, say, an accountant. While an accountant finds success in the science of numbers and figures, creatives find success in exploring their environment. They need to be able to get up and move around, getting the blood pumping to find new ideas for the next campaign.

This is not to say they do not need structure and cubicles like other departments. When an idea is struck and graphics/copy are needed, they, like every other employee, need a space where they can focus and get their work done. But creatives thrive by being able to work as they need to, not as is dictated. Their entire livelihoods are based on “breaking the rules” to break out of the norm and create a campaign that will draw the attention of your target audience. Sitting in a cubicle all day stifles this creativity, and also hinders collaboration — the lifeblood of the marketing team.

Who We Are:

Who We Are:For years, Optimized Scribes has specialized in blog writing, social media management, and other web content for clients in businesses across the landscape. We have handled clients in businesses of all sizes, and our writers and editors bring years of experience and expertise in all aspects of content creation and search engine optimization to the table.

We customize our approach to each individual client to build an online presence and develop content that’s unique to the client’s needs. We are adept in email blasts, short form and long form blogs, ebooks, and all aspects of online content generation, from focused local clients to general Search Engine Optimization. We are a BBB-Accredited business with an A rating, and a 2-time Kudzu best of award winner, as well as a two time winner of the Best of Gwinnett award for marketing and website design.

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How To Ethically Generate Positive Reviews

Online reviews are rapidly becoming one of the most important marks of quality for a company. According to the Better Business Bureau, 92 percent of people read online reviews when trying to determine the quality of a local business, and 88 percent of people claimed that these reviews significantly impacted their buying decisions.
Having a bad rating could immediately turn away customers towards a competitor or e-commerce-based alternative. Even if they do buy, they may be more critical of the overall experience and less reluctant to broadcast their patronage of your business online. In other words, bad reviews will likely lead to worse reviews and lower business over time.
For these reasons, it is vital to generate positive reviews for your business. Doing so boosts the image of your brand while also providing a buffer against negative reviews. A single one-star negative review in twenty can bring a perfect five star score down to 4.8, for instance, while it would have almost no effect if there were 100 positive reviews already up. Positive reviews also serve as a ranking signal when Google and other search engines are trying to decide which local businesses should rank highest.
So promote your business, win over new customers and improve your customer experience at the same time by following these tips for drumming up positive reviews:
CLAIM REVIEW SITE PAGES AND AUDIT YOUR CURRENT REVIEWS

Your first step — if you have not done these tasks already — is to claim your pages on Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and any other local relevant sites while making a dedicated Facebook business page. These pages allow users to post reviews and connect them to your primary business webpage. Even if you do not claim the page, people are still free to make a new listing for your business and post ratings.
Once you have claimed all pages where you have reviews, go ahead and take a look at them to identify trends. Hold off on acting on these reviews, good or bad, because you are going to want to have a solid strategy and some digital tools in place before you start managing your reputation online.
Make sure that you document the most relevant findings you see before you move on to the next step. Highlight both positives and negatives. If you have no reviews at all on a certain site, make a note of that, too.
BEGIN TO FORMULATE A STRATEGY TO GENERATE POSITIVE REVIEWS

Your next step is to take into account your current customer service practices while also referencing existing online reviews and your own complaint log.
Take note of:
  • How you handle customer complaints
  • Whether your company documents praise given directly to employees
  • Any current review tools people are actively using, including ones you may have on your own site
  • Whether you have a set system in place to reimburse customers or offer them a conciliatory promotion to soften the blow of a negative experience
  • Whether you follow-up with customers to ask them about their experience
With these items accounted for, you can begin to optimize your customer service practices to be more attentive to customer needs and sensitive to possible complaints.
Also, try to determine ways to exceed customers’ expectations. Having real people to answer the phone or respond to social media messages promptly is a great first step, as is going above and beyond to help them make an informed selection.
LEVERAGE ONLINE REVIEWS AS A RANKING FACTOR

Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor and other search engines all want to reveal the most popular businesses to search users. Since the volume and velocity of reviews can be a metric for that, Moz estimates that reviews have around 10 percent weight as a ranking factor. Note that diversity of reviews also matters, so having a few middling or negative opinions can be more beneficial in some scenarios than dozens of short, generic, five-star reviews.
START A TESTIMONIAL SECTION ON YOUR WEBSITE

The best strategy when getting online reviews is to focus on one platform, such as Google businesses. However, you can still create a page on your own website to capture and display glowing testimonials. You can also use this page to direct people to other review areas along with step-by-step instructions on how to leave their reviews.
TELL CUSTOMERS IN WRITING AND IN PERSON THAT YOU CARE ABOUT THEIR OPINION

Once you have a convenient portal to direct users to review sites or leave a written testimonial, you can begin encouraging people to visit that page and leave their thoughts. Have written signs mentioning the effort, and encourage all customer-facing employees to remind people about the page. You can also link to it on Facebook and through follow-up emails with customers.
At the same time, encourage employees to ask customers about their experience and train them on how to handle people who are frustrated or disappointed. The last thing you want to do is encourage more negative reviews!
MONITOR REVIEWS ONLINE AND RESPOND TO THE MOST PRESSING ONES

Once you have a system in place encouraging people to leave positive reviews, you will have a better toolset to respond to reviews on an individual level. Look for less than positive reviews from upset customers first and explain how they can reach out to you to have their issues and concerns addressed. Never offer excuses or reasons why the customer is actually wrong — just apologize and try to make it better. Remember that while some customers are a lost cause, most can cool down when they realize they are talking to a real human rather than a faceless company.
In addition to responding to individual complaint incidents, you must document each and every negative review to look for trends. If many people are complaining about a particular product or company practice, take steps to address it.
You should also respond to positive reviews. A quick “Thank you for the kind words” shows that you are listening to your customers.
CONSIDER HIRING AN ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT PRO

Digital marketing firms like Optimized Scribes have many years of experience improving customer interactions while helping small businesses to generate positive reviews. We can also help you handle situations where people abuse review systems, helping you remove fake reviews or ones that purposefully intend to hurt your reputation.
If you are interested in learning more about online reputation management strategies and how a dedicated digital marketing firm can help with boosting your online image, do not hesitate to contact us today!

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The Progression of Mobile Marketing

It’s no secret: Just about every person in America has a mobile device. What’s more, the growth of smartphone ownership has nearly doubled in the past four years, from 35 percent in 2011 to almost 70 percent today, according to Pew Research. As such, mobile marketing is more important than ever. If businesses want to appear on someone’s radar, they must appear on their phone.

At the same time, consumers have gotten to the point where they block out almost every advertisement — either mentally or with software, as evident with the release of iOS 9. So, marketers have gotten more and more creative in how they draw consumers onto their site or into their stores. The evolution of mobile marketing has been marked by making other tools and technology obsolete, or at the very least, much less important.

A Look at Consumers

A Look at ConsumersAs mentioned above, a large portion of your audience has a mini-computer in their pocket. From there, they can explore the whole of mankind’s collective knowledge, from the most recent scientific discoveries to (much more commonly) the latest YouTube video of adorable kittens. As such, the smartphone has become like another appendage. When was the last time you left your phone at home and did not go back to get it?

With this in mind, marketing strategies must revolve around the mobile device. It is the typically the first tool a consumer uses when they want information or entertainment. Your mobile-optimized website and app are a good start, but it’s not enough. The first commercially-accepted smartphone, the iPhone, was released eight years ago. Since then, your audience has come to expect a personalized experience from your business. Gone are the days of brand loyalty. If you are not providing fast service catered specifically to each individual, there will be little hesitation from the consumer to drop you and find someone who will.

Simplifying the Process

Simplifying the ProcessIt should come as no surprise that consumers want to find what they are looking for in as little time and with as little effort as possible. If you are asking them to check multiple boxes or visit multiple sites just to get the information they need, you can bet they will not be coming back to your site or store. Simplification is key, and businesses still utilizing techniques of yesteryear, such as SMS-based discounts, may be left behind.

When mobile marketing first hit the retail market, one of its first applications was the coupon code text message. Of course, to get these discounts you would have to text a certain word, usually the store name to a generic number (standard messaging rates apply). Then, you would have to confirm you wanted to get the texts from them, as each text could potentially cost you money on your phone bill. Only after that could you get the weekly or monthly discount codes. While some retailers still do this, especially some restaurants, others like Target and Fandango have taken their mobile marketing to the next level.

A Look at Retail and Entertainment

A Look at Retail and EntertainmentTarget’s Cartwheel app has revolutionized the in-store discount process. A consumer simply opens the app and peruses the sales available that day — categorized by section, of course. As they find items they like, they simply add them to the list. Or, you can scan barcodes in the store and find out if any discounts apply. Again, this is all from the same app; no need to go to an external bar code scanner. When your list is complete and you are ready to check out, applying all the discounts is as simple as pulling up the single, unique barcode given to you for the cashier to scan. That’s it.

The entertainment industry has also taken to simplifying the ticket-buying process. For any old-timers out there (i.e. anyone over the age of 25), you may remember the nightmare that was MoviePhone. When you called, you would get a long, pre-recorded message of different movies playing, their times and their locations. After listening for a while, hoping your movie wasn’t sold out, you would be connected to an operator from whom you could finally order tickets. Now, it’s as simple as opening the Fandango app, ordering tickets for your movie and picking them up at the theatre. Additionally, utilizing the Fandango app as a member automatically opts you in to receiving discounts and special offers.

The Gamification of Mobile Marketing

The Gamification of Mobile MarketingWe mentioned a little while ago that today’s consumers, especially Millennials and younger, have completely blocked out mobile ads. So, businesses must find other ways to reach this potentially untapped market. One way to do so is to gamify their approach. This tactic has gone as far back as punch cards and Cracker Jack prizes, but mobile devices are bringing a whole new element to the table.

Gamification offers a fun way to connect with the brand. Sometimes it’s as simple as an award system, where certain trophies come with both prestige and, much more importantly, discounts. But even this system is faltering, and a less superficial approach is needed. This can be as simple as a randomizer. For instance, if you want a pizza but are not sure which kind, a pizza maker could provide options for you. Just simply put in toppings you know you don’t want, then shake the phone. Find a pizza you like, then add it to your cart! While this is not a highly complex method, it is a fun one that will keep more customers coming back.

As consumers become more attached to their smartphones and tablets and expect businesses to cater specifically to their needs, mobile marketing becomes more complex. Unfortunately, this is often too much for a marketing department to keep up with on top of their other campaigns. Optimized Scribes specializes in helping businesses with the day-to-day mobile marketing tasks so you can remain focused on the big picture. For more information, check out our website or give us a call today.

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