Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

Blog

The most effective way to grow your audience is through the power of testimonials. Testimonials are the old-fashioned way to build reputation and legitimacy for your brand. Sometimes the old-fashioned methods of marketing are the best ways!

Although without the right tools at your disposal, getting testimonials can be like pulling teeth. The most effective ways to get testimonials is to leverage the power of the internet.

​ 1. YouTube Unboxing Vlogs

Probably the most powerful customer review or testimonial at the moment is an unboxing video review on YouTube. This kind of review entails a vlogger literally receiving a package from a brand and then unboxing, assembling, using and assessing the product for the first time, while filming for YouTube.

This form of review is ideal for consumer tech, FMCG or retail brands. Building a vlogger outreach component into your marketing strategy will pay dividends, with increased sales. This is because having a prominent and popular vlogger endorse your products in the video is a bit like the holy grail for marketing right now.  It is possible to sponsor an unboxing segment on vlogs, but that makes it less genuine.

B2B brands can still get in on the action with vloggers and user-generated storytelling too, it just requires a little more creativity in the approach. 

You could ask permission from the Vlogger to use their vlogs on their own social channels and to quote the most praiseworthy parts as text-based testimonials on their website. This could lead to relationship-building with the prominent blogger, and them being aware of your brand. This is how genuine collaborations and vlog reviews happen. Become a fan of theirs first and share their content. Then, after a few months of doing this, you have some leverage to ask for a review.

Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

​ 2. LinkedIn Recommendations

Linked In recommendations are great. However you can’t leave a recommendation for a company page, only for individual people. Nonetheless, this is a fantastic opportunity if you happen to be an owner/operator or sole trader.

For larger organisations, it’s still possible to leverage Linked In for company reviews. Encourage individual employees to ask for testimonials from clients regarding specific projects they worked on. Then obtain permission from these individuals to use these testimonials on the testimonials page of the organisation’s website. 

3. Facebook Reviews

If you have a Facebook page and you’re setup using the business template, then your page automatically comes with a tab for testimonials.

You can rearrange the order of these tabs and how they appear on your Facebook page by going to settings and then selecting templates and tabs. From there you can move around your tabs so that reviews/testimonials appear at the top. Then you can ask your followers to leave you a review. 

4. Incentivise customer reviews online and offline

When a customer purchases from you online or in-person, use that opportunity to encourage them to provide feedback. This could be printed on the back of a receipt. Or the prompt could be in the form of an automated email that triggers after a customer completes the website’s check-out or receives their goods in the post. Incentivise this process by offering the chance to win a prize.

Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

5. ​ Scrape the internet for reviews

Lots of reviews and feedback will remain hidden from your business without digging on the internet to find them. These reviews could be on message boards such as Reddit, industry forums, blog posts, comments under news articles or in social media.

The best way of getting to these reviews and testimonials is by using Google Alerts and Social Mention. You can set up email notifications for specific keywords related to your organisation, such as product or service names, the names of senior leaders in the organisation or any other term you like. 

6. ​ Online directory websites

Common search directories such as Yahoo LocalYelp and Google My Business allow customers to easily provide feedback and testimonials. In the case of Google, the more reviews people give your business, the more your organic search ranking is boosted. So this is one reason to encourage Google reviews.

It is possible to triage and respond to negative feedback or reviews from this platform and get notifications when a new review comes in.  It’s always a good idea to have an updated listing on these websites, as it’s just another way for the customer to reach you online.  In your print and email marketing you can guide customers to leave a review on Google to gain more reviews over time.  

Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

A word of warning about negative online reviews

Despite all of the praise-worthy and heartening feedback left by clients, opening up multiple platforms for online reviews comes with its own risks. You can mitigate against these risks by subscribing to email notifications from these platforms. This will inform you when a new review comes through. When a negative review comes in, ensure that you provide prompt, helpful and positive response to the individual.

Instead of avoiding the issue, address it honestly and humbly and always turn the negative feedback into a positive for the business. The only way that a brand can succeed is by understanding when a part of the process, product or service is broken and then taking the necessary steps to fix this internally. View it as a positive if it ultimately makes your organisation better.

So are online reviews and testimonials worth the effort? Absolutely! Not only are they great for building brand reputation, negative reviews can be used as a powerful learning curve for the business, with the potential for positive outcomes.


Do you want help to find customer feedback and use it to the fullest in your business? I offer a free content audit, which can show you how you can leverage all of your existing content. What’s great and what should be improved. 

Register now for a free content audit…

Advertisements

Six marketing trends that will dominate 2019

Blog

As we enter into 2019, it’s a great time to consider future trends in marketing for the next year or two. No matter what industry your business operates within, it pays to know about the next big thing around the bend. 

Six marketing trends that will dominate 2019

1. The diminishing power of digital ads

30% of all internet users are now experiencing the online world devoid of ads, thanks ad-blocking software they can install into their browsers.

This means that the Google Ad network isn’t perhaps as robust at reaching your audience as once thought.

Although that doesn’t mean you ought to abandon your AdWords campaign all together. There are still many ways to reach your audience through targeted PPC ads. Along with social media and interactive content marketing. The latter provides your audience with valuable, helpful and entertaining content that they want to see.

2. Marketing automation, bots, AI, machine learning

The existence of AI in relation to marketing is nothing new. Although in 2019 many businesses and their marketing teams will implement easy fixes to business challenges by harnessing the power of marketing automation and AI. This will be done in several ways. 

  • Customer profiling

CRMs and most analytics platforms allow for a granular view of the demographics of your target audience. From this data, marketers can produce more relevant and high quality content that will resonate with the audience.

  • Trend forecasting

Many analytics packages feature machine learning that can predict the likelihood of a result in a campaign. This is based on past performance parameters and the program makes an educated guess on how to proceed with marketing campaigns. Handy!

  • CRM personalisation

By harnessing the automation power of a CRM like HubSpot or Marketo, it’s possible to completely personalise the customer experience. You can personalise all touch-points and communications over email, phone, chat and social.

  • API integration

Workflows and business processes can be automated through using Zapier and other process automation tools.  

3. An alternative to Google

Search engine dominance belongs unquestionably to Google. Yet history shows that there will always be other search engines and tech companies waiting in the shadows for their big opportunity to shine. While Opera ascended and then disappeared from our lives and Bing is almost laughable in comparison to Google, don’t write off other contenders too soon. The competitive landscape is big and other players may still enter the game in 2019!

4. The power of voice

Voice-based Google searches are set to become more popular in 2019. Voice search is a helpful bit of functionality which arose out of mobile-first design.

As a result of an increase in voice searches on Google, the world of SEO and keyword research has to caught up. SEO’s new frontier is voice-powered search terms and phrases. These are going to be different to how people type written phrases into Google. 

Key to note here is that:

  • People speak in full sentences rather than a string of random words, as they do when writing search queries into Google. There is a semantic difference that needs to be accounted for.
  • Key to findability on Google for voice-search is therefore writing content as though you’re speaking to someone rather than writing. That’s possibly going to become a new comms and copywriting art-form in 2019!

​ 5. Interactive marketing and video marketing

Video is booming now thanks to countless mobile apps. It’s possible to tweak your face, add stickers and background, and even generate artistic wonders using a simple app.

Recently, marketers have attempted to blur the line between normal video content and native advertising. This is possible on platforms like Instagram stories.

Interactive content like quizzes, surveys, polls and videos create interactive, fun and educational information for users that blurs the line between regular content and advertising. 

6. Use outliers their strange creative ideas

It’s an obnoxiously loud online world with many players vying for attention. In 2019, only the most unusual and strange marketing campaigns will get attention and stick. Therefore you should push your brand outside of the norm. Don’t be afraid to take creative risks, often these pay off by increased interest in your brand.


Attention all of you closet weirdos out there. Let your true colours show also embrace a robot, you never know if one day they might be your overlord. To future-proof your marketing, make sure you enjoy a free assessment of your content!

Take advantage of a free content audit today…

Stuck for blog post ideas? Here are 54 questions to loosen up your brain cells and blog posts!

Stuck for blog post ideas? Here are 52 questions to loosen up your brain cells and blog posts!

Blog

Sometimes the ideas for blog posts just need some coaxing to come out. Then when they do…prepare for a biblical flood of content ideas. Here are some great questions to answer in your blog posts. These questions should help to get your creative juices flowing. They are ultra compelling and help you to grasp what’s important to you as a business owner/operator, as well as to your customers.

  1. What are the most frequently asked questions your customers ask?
  2. What is the biggest misconception people make about your business or line of work?
  3. What do your customers need to know to make good purchasing decisions?
  4. What is the story behind the founding of your business?
  5. How did your business get its name?
  6. What is a complete ‘how to’ that will guide customers through an important lesson?
  7. What is the story behind your new product or service?
  8. What is a hard truth your customers need to hear?
  9. Who are the people that you work with. How did they come to work with you?
  10. What are the first three things someone needs to become an expert in your field?
  11. Do you have a customer success story that you can share?
  12. Describe a day in the life of your company.
  13. Do a survey of your customers. Then run through some key insights and data about your customer base.
  14. What are your thoughts about where your industry is headed?
  15. How do you hire your staff? What do you look for?
  16. What are the unique selling propositions that makes your business distinct from all others?
  17. Recall and write about a daily process in your business.
  18. What are the most common mistakes you see people frequently make in your industry?
  19. Can you summarise some key pieces of news/advice/tutorials/opinions from the last week in your industry?
  20. Write an open letter to someone in your industry about a topic with broad industry relevance.
  21. Write about legislation changes that might impact your industry.
  22. What do your customers have a hard time doing?
  23. What is the biggest news in your industry – and what does it mean for your customer?
  24. What do you recommend customers read or watch?
  25. What are the lessons you have learned in the last year?
  26. Provide a checklist that’s relevant to something your customers might do.
  27. Create a printable/template to help customers to achieve something
  28. What were some key takeaways from a conference or industry event that you attended?
  29. What are the latest trends that are emerging in your industry?
  30. Who is an industry leader that you could profile/interview?
  31. Can you profile a key member of your team?
  32. What is the best suggestion you’ve had from a customer?
  33. What quote do you think applies most to your business/industry?
  34. What is the most innovative use you’ve seen for one of your products?
  35. Who is a customer you could profile/interview?
  36. Write up a talk or presentation you previously gave into bullet points or a summary.
  37. What was the biggest challenge your business has had in the past year?
  38. Ask 10 customers, peers and staff a single question. Then wrap an article around that.
  39. What two products could you compare and contrast?
  40. What two strategies could you compare and contrast?
  41. What is a hot discussion/debate that happened in your business recently that you could recap or involve your readers in?
  42. What is the history of your industry – from inception to today.
  43. Project forward – where will your industry be in 5 years? Make a prediction.
  44. Sum up your year just gone.
  45. Review a book that you believe your customers should read.
  46. Review a tool, product or service relevant to your customers.
  47. What things have you done in business that you regretted and learned the most from?
  48. What are the biggest secrets about your industry?
  49. Record a conversation your team is having (podcast or video).
  50. What amusing moment happened in your business this week?
  51. What is your biggest passion and how does this align with your professional life?
  52. What mistakes have you made and what did you learn?

Would you like a hand with ideas for your blog posts along with sorting through your existing content assets? Get a free content audit today by getting in touch below…

Register now for a free content audit…

6 ways to stimulate social media engagement

6 ways to stimulate social media engagement for the real estate industry

Blog

Here’s an industry guide on how to structure your social media and content strategy for the real estate industry. In my experience, employing these tactics will help you to get the best outcomes, such as qualified sales leads and call-back requests.

1.   Plenty of visual and video content

This principle is really a no-brainer. It applies equally to all industries. Visual and (even better) video content are the clear winners for engaging with prospective buyers.

Research shows that 74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing, ahead of blogs (68%). And Tech giant Cisco projects that global internet traffic from videos will make up 80% of all internet traffic by 2019.

The importance of great quality renders of the interiors and exteriors of the homes/buildings can’t be emphasised enough. This is the bedrock of any real estate social strategy. From these renders you can build stories about the new development that are future-focused and aspirational.

In terms of generating this high quality visual and video content – many real estate developers enlist the help of a creative design agency. Although your social media manager should able to generate this content themselves using affordable or free tools like Canva and HitFilm Express.

6 ways to stimulate social media engagement for the real estate industry

2.   Updates on construction through timelapse footage 

Social media updates on construction will help to allay the concerns of prospective buyers. This is particularly important for buyers who have already made a deposit. These people need reassurance that the build is all going to plan and that they can move into their amazing new home on schedule. 

Social media is a way to showcase construction progress through the use of timelapse footage of buildings going up. Not only does it have a practical purpose of addressing buyers concerns, but it’s also a remarkably engaging piece of visual storytelling which can be used in a multitude of ways. A timelapse could be pitched as a part of a media kit to real estate media, used in the property or development ad, or used on social media.

Timelapses demonstrate the competency and care taken by the developers and all those involved in the construction process too. Failing the ability to obtain timelapse footage, the next best thing is still images. 

6 ways to stimulate social media engagement for the real estate industry
An example of a Facebook post I created, containing a timelapse video and used in both a paid campaign, with the mainstream media and in organic Facebook posts.

3.   Don’t forget the middle of the sales funnel

Although a lot of time and effort goes into attracting prospective buyers, not as much effort goes into maintaining the communication once the customer is over the line and has put down a deposit. 

This is a mistake, because there is a huge opportunity that is missed. The interim period between putting down a deposit and the settlement date is a great time to nurture and grow the relationship between the developer and the buyer.

This is “middle of the funnel” time. It’s an opportunity to inform and entertain people about their new neighbourhood. You could provide future-focused content about the community in five or ten years time. This allows prospective buyers to get the complete picture of the economic, social and cultural landscape they will be experiencing once they move in.

You could use a private Facebook group or a segmented eDM for specific buyer profiles such as owner-occupiers or investors, or local versus foreign buyers. Then you can provide content relevant to this audience in a language they will respond to. This builds thought leadership for the brand, and generates a sense of anticipation from buyers about what’s to come. Also this tactic makes the audience feel valued and listened to. As they should, after all they’ve just committed to making possibly the biggest purchase of their life from your brand! 

4. Quizzes and Surveys

Traditionally, quizzes and surveys on social media are treated with disdain across the board. They are considered to be fluffy, silly and pointless. 

But the truth is that quizzes and surveys can yield some of the most valuable insights into the audience. This is the “top of the funnel”, awareness and consideration phase.

It’s important to note though that you mustn’t make the quiz overtly promotional. This is an exercise in giving people a fun exercise to do, while also providing them with information about your product along with other general information. It’s infotainment, but if it’s too promotional you won’t get any quiz completions – don’t treat people like they’re stupid! Assume they know as much as you do about marketing.  

An example of a good quiz:

For a new development showcasing luxurious apartments with over 50 apartment plans on offer, a social quiz could be about ‘What kind of apartment décor suits your personality?’. 

The quiz can match personality traits and behaviours to different kinds of interior design trends along with beautiful images. You could also talk about the different design options in your brand’s new development.  

There’s no scientific veracity to this kind of quiz; it’s purely for fun. But, as a result of the quiz answers you can find out the most popular design preferences for your audience, their motivations and desires, and their age, gender and other demographic information. 

At the end of the quiz you can include a lead form which when completed allows them to get a call back from your sales team about the properties (subtly) mentioned in the quiz. 

5. Embrace marketing automation

It’s possible through the almighty power of marketing automation to sync and organise all of your sales leads, email subscribers and social media followers into one CRM. This means that you can see a clear pathway through the sales funnel for each customer. 

This has the advantage of offering the ultimate in transparency across teams. Or, if you would like to keep it simple, you could set up automated zaps using Zapier. This will ping or trigger a certain action, once a certain marketing action is taken. This is relatively easy to set up and requires no coding experience. It can automate an enormous range of actions from Google’s products, many CRMs and payroll programs, social media, scheduling apps, you name it. 

Using bots to complete your marketing activities for you is highly effective. You can implement a bot as a chat pop-up on your landing page which will speak to visitors and segment them, without you having to lift a finger!

Bots nowadays can be made to sound human and natural and can be used on Facebook messenger and in your website chat for great results. It has gotten to the point now where it’s difficult for people to distinguish between a bot and a real person. 

6. Sync your media and social strategies

Sales leads through Facebook will peak when positive news coverage appears in the national news media. 

Make sure that your media strategy harnesses plenty of milestones and opportunities to get the message out there. The mainstream media still hold some clout in terms of building the reputation of your real estate brand. All positive news coverage should be shared on social media and reflected upon through the brand’s lens, in order to increase sales and engagement.

I hope you have found this guide to social media marketing helpful for your real estate business. If you would like a fresh perspective on your marketing, get a FREE CONTENT AUDIT today, give me a call on +61 3 9028 7745 or message me below


Get a free content audit for your real estate business! register below…

Six Great Tips for Writing Engaging Metadescriptions

Blog

There’s not much involved in writing 150-160 character sentences for metadescriptions, right?  Well actually these descriptions appearing in search engine result pages (SERPS) are critical for engaging with potential site visitors. So here are some tips on crafting compelling and engaging 150 to 160 character selling points.

1. Write for Users First

In order to dominate search engine rankings, it’s crucial to write for the user first and the search engine second. So that means no badly formed sentences of tautologies, including multiple keywords crammed uncomfortably into the short sentences.

It’s also important to keep that human element to your metadescriptions. Try injecting some personality or localised phrases into the wording, however steer clear of using jargon or cliches.

Six Great Tips for Writing Engaging Metadescriptions

2. Inject Some Personality Into It

People are less likely to respond to ”Game of Thrones. DVD and merchandise here. Game of Thrones Merch. Visit us”.  However, they could be likely to engage with ”Game of Thrones: Summer is over, winter is coming. Game of Thrones Sale On Now.”

Write in a personalised way as though speaking to a friend, in a warm and welcoming tone. It’s like holding up a sign in the airport arrivals lounge, smiling at everybody’s approach saying ”Here I am, this way Mr. Jones…Mrs. Smith, etc.”

3. Stick to the Value Proposition

Write from the users’ perspective. This means articulating your offer in a way that answers the question: ”What’s in it for me?”.  When you position the metadescription in this way, the results will be immediately positive. If you’re stuck for words, take the time to evaluate competitors’ metadescriptions.  Then try to create a more punchy and powerful value proposition.

Six Great Tips for Writing Engaging Metadescriptions

4. Keep it Short and Simple

Keep the metadescription to a limit of 150 to 160 characters. This can be really challenging, particularly for complex web pages that require more explanation. Although it’s an absolute necessity, otherwise the SERP will cut off the description mid-sentence. This tends to obfuscate the meaning and rarely encourages visitors to click through to the web page.

5. Use a Strong Call to Action

It’s important to use a call to action in the metadescription. There should be a clear purpose to the ad and a reason to click on the ad. So isolate this reason and think about the benefit of the offer to your potential visitor. Then ask for their cooperation. It’s amazing how actually asking and requesting an action from a user gets better results. A short call to action at the end of a metadescription can really boost click-through rates.

6. Bring in the Big Guns

If your business has some big names, brands, certifications or celebrity endorsements behind it, then add this into your metadescription. This may be difficult in the allotted 150-160 characters, but if you’re clever enough, by all means do it!

Metadescriptions are the bread and butter of search engine optimisation. They combine the best of both worlds, SEO and copywriting. With these tips on writing excellent metadescriptions you will be on your way to high volume click-throughs in no time.


Did you enjoy this brief foray into the weird and wonderful world of metadescription writing? Then pull up a pew and talk to me. I would love to help you with your marketing. Straight off the bat I can offer you a FREE CONTENT AUDIT of your existing marketing assets. Let me at it!

Get a free content audit today…