Today, almost every business establishments, from small and medium enterprises to large corporations, are always aiming to do great things in their online or digital marketing campaigns. The majority of the public today spend a lot of time engaging online.
People have become so involved with the digital world that they expect to do just about everything and anything online, from banking to purchases to checking status updates. As a result, digital marketing is an ever growing and expanding playing field. You need to stay on top of what works and what doesn’t.
Maja Neable VP, Digital and Channel Marketing BMO FINANCIAL GROUP
According to Maja Neable, Vice President of Digital and Channel Marketing at BMO FINANCIAL GROUP, as the consumers move to expect more in digital, the marketers have adopted: better targeting, more relevant messaging, and more competition for the digital consumer.
According to Neable, their company has found the biggest impact when their knowledgeable representatives in branches and contact center help bring customers on board. Customers trust them and rely on their advice.
Their campaigns include a number of strategies and tools like videos, email marketing, ad targeting, and social media. Their whole strategy is anchored on fully integrated intuitive experiences: from targeting well with relevant messages, to then meeting the customer’s need by providing an easy experience. Treating customer interactions as a life-cycle, a journey, rather than an instance, provides for the most powerful and engaging experiences, and business results.
While this strategy has been fruitful for BMO FINANCIAL GROUP, it took time to work. It is a product of a learning cycle where they tested different strategies, encountering failures and learning from them. Developing a workable strategy really is not easy in digital marketing.
“Given the amount of competition, you also have to adopt and innovate as quickly as possible to remain relevant”, Neable discussed, “To compete in the digital space today, one must continually invest and re-invent itself. This requires a different approach and thinking for established financial institutions. The ones that are the fastest to change to this way of thinking, will be the winners.”
This is where a good networking and linking up with fellow digital marketers becomes very important. Learning from others successes and failures allows you to expand your horizon and identify possible ways to improve on your very own marketing campaigns.
If you are seriously looking to improve your digital marketing strategies, the 7th Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit is the perfect conference to attend. This year it is happening at The Westin Harbour Castle Conference Centre in Toronto, on Wednesday June 21st & Thursday June 22nd 2017.
Here are five reasons why you should attend this summit:
Innovate at a digital speed.
Learn from C-level financial services leaders on how to create a competitive advantage.
Learn how to eliminate organizational roadblocks.
Connect with industry veterans and rising stars.
This is the only digital marketing forum for financial services.
BONUS Reason: Save 20% off your tickets (see below)
Boost your digital marketing and take it to the next level.
As Andrew Artemenko of Bank of America said, it is “encouraging to see innovative and creative ways to solve the issues, constraints and challenges in a highly regulated industry. It’s nice to get out of your comfortable home environment to meet peers face to face, who have new and inspiring ideas.”
As a business using social media marketing, you need to know what is the most important thing that you can do to attract customers to your business. You may be surprised to learn that the most important thing in online marketing is building trust.
Customers want a brand that they can trust and count on. They want a company that they can refer their friends to or that they can keep returning back to when they need similar services again. At the end of the day, the ROI (Return on investment) is not the biggest value that you are going to get from social media marketing. Through social media, you are going to be able to build up a trusting relationship with your customers, that helps them identify from you, and to learn from your insights. This will make you “front of mind” and become their first call when they need something.
The first step to gain this trust is to communicate with your customers and potential customers in your personal brand voice that is consistent always. This is most effective through writing social media posts in a manner that is human rather than through messages that seems very robotic in nature. You want to show off a relatable personality that will get customers to trust in you and your Company. Once you find the specific tone of your brand voice, you need to stick to it. Being consistent is key to gaining the trust of your readers and customers.
When it comes to actual posts, there are a few things that you need to do. You should post ideas that are unique and original for a few reasons. One, fresh posts help in ranking articles and two, when people see a different approach to a common topic, it can gain traction. These posts can be informative pieces or ones that are entertaining or a mixture of the two. You want to make sure these posts shareable so that your followers will want to share it with their friends, by having social media sharing buttons on each article or post you do. By doing this, you will gain more followers, which will increase the recognition of your brand.
A final aspect to using social media to gain the trust of your customers is through engaging with them. If a customer contacts you through social media about an issue with your products or services, be accountable and apologetic while trying to remedy the situation.
These are things that will help increase your customer’s trust in your brand. If a customer trusts you, they will be more willing to keep coming back for services and refer their friends and loved ones. Do not use your posts to market things all of the time, otherwise people will not want to follow you. You need to find a perfect balance between advertising and offering more value to your customers.
Remember this: Educate, don’t inundate.. Provide value, and people will trust and buy from you naturally.
Here is a secret that I want to give to you that I give to my clients that I train about Social Media Marketing techniques. As with a lot of other Companies out there, my clients are working on developing, implementing or adding in social media strategies to leverage social media in order to get results. We put a plan into place and I walk them through step-by-step how to attract more clients and increase profits using Social Media.
The number one thing that I see with a lot of Companies these days is to only rely on Social Media platforms to be their main “website” platform of information. This is a mistake. It really is, for a number of reasons.
I have always cherished the statement “You get what you pay for” and it is relevant in many avenues.
I am a huge believer in Social Media Marketing and what it can do for businesses. Social Media works and it works well. Having been part of the web business for over 17 years now with building sites, I have seen it all.
Here is what I want to tell you:
Facebook (or any other Social Media setup – Pinterest, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ etc) should NEVER be your main website platform.
Here is why….
1. You are ALWAYS playing in some one else’s sandbox: If Facebook wants to change your layout of your site when they want, they do and you end up with Timelines (I am a fan by the way). LinkedIn is now updating their Company pages and this will again upset people who have spent time and effort crafting the perfect look and feel to their site. With your own main website, you are in Control. No “social media handcuffs”.
2. The Social Media Platform owns the content that you upload: When you upload content to ANY of these sites, make sure you read their Terms. On Facebook, they own all the content so you really are just “leasing” a space from them and then can remove it at any time. That isn’t the best business model, right?
3. Everything goes in phases: Remember MySpace? It was Facebook 5 years ago and now it’s almost embarassing to be on there. Social platforms go in and out and granted, Facebook is very strong, but just like the Roman Empire, it will not last forever.
4. Google and other Search engines will not benefit your Social Platforms as they will your Website:Granted, search engines will still index your information IF the social platform allows it, however you will generally only have 1 page that is indexed versus many from the website you run.
5. A Place to call Home Base: By having your own website (a full website hosted on a paid service – not a free service), you can control all of your content and all of your information. Make this the place to lead ALL of your social platforms to. This is where you want clients and customers to come to. Facebook is great for interactions as is Pinterest and Twitter, but in the end, if you want true ongoing sales, you have to bring them back to your website. Always.
I want to ensure that your online business continues to do well with Social Media. If you already have your Facebook page, and all other items but do not have a site yet, please consider setting it up as the main place for people to land.
One last note: This doesn’t mean in any way that you stop using Social Media. I recommend to use it all the time, profitably however when you use Social Media combined with a solid website strategy, you will yield the best results.
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Any real estate agent or real estate investor worth their weight would take advantage of the biggest marketplace known to man, The Internet.
No matter how much you try or how clever the ads, the fact remains that TV or newspaper spots only reach a limited number of potential clients. Taking your advertising services and marketing approaches to social networking can introduce you to thousands of potential customers, you just have to know the best social networking tips.
Taking Your Business Online
You’d have to look far and wide to find somebody who isn’t on Twitter or Facebook, or at least doesn’t use their spouses account to browse through the newsfeed. Social Networking truly is the future of communication and people use the different sites for a variety of reasons from communicating with friends to playing games against strangers. Taking your real estate business online is a great idea and in truth it might be an inevitability. Facebook and Twitter make it easy to create professional accounts and you should start following developing your profile at once.
What To Do Once You’re Online
Once you’ve got a Facebook or Twitter profile developed, the first tip is to start slow and give people space. You should join groups and build up a network of friends and associates but lay off the selling at first. You don’t want to over hype your services or else people will simply ignore you. Instead, post interesting and engaging content but don’t flood people’s timelines. Especially when dealing with Real Estate, a majority of your online friends can be classified as potential clients instead of immediate sales candidates. As you build up rapport and trust, people will start coming to you asking for your professional services and they’ll often have friends of friends that will be looking to move into the area.
Using Social Networking For Advertising
One of the key advantages to starting off building your social networking profile at a patient pace is that you’ll have more time to develop a complete web site. Once you’ve got a professional looking site packed with information, you can start using your Facebook or Twitter address in commercials or ads. People will hear or see your ads that say “Follow us on Facebook” and you can build a better base of potential clients because these people have some sort of interest. It’s like a car dealership developing a mailing list by having people put down their names and numbers for a ‘free air freshener giveaway.’
Social Networking is a great way for real estate professionals to get their name online without spending hundreds of dollars in overhead. A few hours of time each week could lead to a windfall of business down the line.
If you are looking for a program or tool to show you Exactly how to use Social Media in your Real Estate business, drop us a line as we have a Social Media for Real Estate Investors Online course that you may be interested in coming in September 2012.
Until next time….
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Have you seen this image before? It’s a white box with black (or coloured) boxes inside it and it does something.. but you are not sure what it does.. This image is a QR Code. and it will be your friend by the end of this article. We have been using them in our business for almost a year now with our clients and our own branding.
There has been a noticable increased use of the QR or Quick Response code lately and I wanted to let you know the benefits of why you should be using them in all your offline promotions.
The basics: A QR Code is really just a bar code that looks different from what we are used to, such as the ones we see on food and clothing we buy. It was created by a company in Japan to make the warehouse more efficient, in 1994. Since that time, they have become very big in Japan and Europe and recently over to North America where we see them today in Malls, in advertising, in magazines, on our food packaging and even on Clothing now.
How it all works is that a person would see the QR code in a mall, they can point their Smart Phone as if taking a picture at the Code, using any QR Reader software (most of them are free to download). Once the scan is done (it’s like taking a picture and very fast), your Smart phone will re-direct you to the page that it’s linked up to, say a Sales page or a Special offer page, on your Smart phone. So it captures your attention right away and can lead to sales.
I believe that QR code help to speed up the connection that is created between the Offline and online worlds a lot faster if used correctly. You can even link to your Social Media platforms of choice!
QR codes speed up the time of connection to your customers as you don’t need to remember a long URL to type in as it is Scanned in via the Smart Phone.
In your business, whatever you do, if you advertise in any way, QR codes offer benefits that a lot of regular lead generating tools do not. These include (but certainly not limited to):
– QR codes can dial phone numbers for you
– QR codes can link to email messages
– QR codes can link to Social Media platforms and images or even just text.
– QR codes can be read anytime and anywhere in any country, which makes it a great thing and convenient.
– QR codes can speed up purchases to generate sales (such as at malls, advertisements and mobile marketing)
Some ideas on where you can put QR codes:
– On Business cards (see the back of mine) to help speed up the connection with other people. Mine works well as people see it’s new and want to scan it.
– On food items and even restaurant menus to showcase the food content/ingredients/calories so the customer can choose the best for them.
– On your advertisement posters for your next event. Get people registered right from the Poster!
– Ticket purchases can use QR codes to be scanned at the point of entry
– Real estate agents can use QR codes to link to their website or more specifically to the property they are showing. It could even lead to a Virtual viewing. No need for the TXT messages that are on signs. Use QR codes. It’s 1 step and looks very professional.
One note on linking to a website via your QR code.. I want to show you an example of linking to a website. Please scan the image to the left with your Smart phone/QR reader and it will take you to one of my clients websites that we have done QR advertising with.
The Wine Ladies share the splendour of food and wine for all and the wonderful lifestyle it entails. They needed a way to advertise to their fans and new customers so they have begun using QR Codes in their promotional material to speed up the process of sharing information and generating sales from their Online store (by the way, there are some great things in there!)
When linking to websites via the mobile phone, if at all possible, you should ensure that the website is “mobile friendly”. What this means is that you create a separate template for mobile phones to see the site in a nice and concise way on their screens, rather than all the bells and whistles as you would on a normal computer screen. If you scan the image above and then click on the link to the site, you will see the same content but in a more manageable way for a mobile user’s phone.
How you create a QR code in a nutshell, is:
1. You would choose the URL you would like to take people to, such as your website, real estate property page, your CV,etc
2. Copy and paste that url into http://goo.gl/ for it to generate the QR code for you
3. Download or screenshot the QR Code that is generated for you (each on is individual to the system) and
4. Place it in your Marketing material
QR codes can be generated from services like http://goo.gl/ from Google and other websites for free, however these free versions are generally small to print so you may look around for a QR Code service that generates large QR codes for you.
So the next time you get something in the mail, or from the mail, take a look to see if you see the funny White box with black boxes inside and scan it. See where it takes you..