8 Generation Lead Tips for Small Businesses

8 Lead Generation Tips for Small Businesses

Small businesses have to overcome numerous hurdles before making a name for themselves and ensuring an ever-increasing revenue stream. Naturally, some of the biggest obstacles are generating leads and inspiring loyalty.

At first glance, it seems simple enough – find a market gap and have your business fill it. Customers will flock to you without much effort on your part. In practice, it’s not nearly as effortless.

If you don’t want to be in the 70% of businesses that fail within a decade, you need to ensure that your lead generation tactics are flawless.

Let’s take a look at a few tips and tricks that will help set you up for success:

Start with an Impeccable Website

Most members of your target audience will have one thing in common – when they need products or services (that happen to be in your offer), they’ll first look them up online.

Over 97% of users search online to find local businesses and make purchases. So, only having a website will immediately up the ante on your lead generation.

Still, it’s not enough to simply have a website. You need to make it a great one if you’re going to generate and convert your leads.

Create a clean design that makes it easy for your website visitors to scan your pages and find the information they need. Be clear about who you are, what your business does, how it can help your audiences, and how interested prospects can contact you.

It’s also always a good idea to take a look at what your competitors are doing with their websites and gather some inspiration from that.

Perfect Your Landing Pages

With your website done, it’s time to start developing landing pages. One of the worst mistakes you can make in this regard is to use your homepage as the go-to landing page for all your ad campaigns.

Your homepage is already the most frequently visited page on your website, so there’s no reason to keep directing your audiences to it during your campaigns. Instead, create dedicated landing pages focused on converting visitors.

You’ll need to make your landing pages enticing, relevant to your ad content, concise, and direct. Present your offer, highlight your brand’s value, and include a clear call to action.

The better your landing page, the higher your conversions will be. Do some A/B testing to find out which landing pages perform the best, find out what your audiences want, and keep tweaking your pages until you get the desired results.

Improve Your SEO 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the biggest prerequisites for successful lead generation. By enhancing your SEO, you will:

There are a number of factors that impact your SEO ranking, including:

  • Page loading speed
  • Internal and external links
  • Quality of your content
  • Security
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Keyword usage

If you want to rank on search engines and attract audiences, you’ll need to develop a comprehensive SEO approach. You can’t just improve your page speed, neglect all the other aspects of SEO, and expect to rank first.

SEO is a slow and steady approach, so take your time perfecting it.

Provide Relevant Content 

One thing that will help you improve SEO and boost lead generation is content. In the online environment, content is king.

Content marketing allows you to improve keyword usage, take your external and internal linking to a new level, engage audiences, enhance your visibility, and display your expertise.

 Whether you’re creating blog posts, e-books, video guides, infographics, Facebook Stories, or any type of content in between, your focus should be on quality. Keyword stuffing and improper backlinking are a no-go. Here’s what you should do instead:

  • Provide valuable information that will help your audiences
  • Offer solutions to your target customers’ most common problems
  • Provide relevant insights
  • Entertain your audiences

Before long, you’ll notice just how helpful content marketing can be for your lead generation.

Make Use of Social Media

We can’t talk about lead generation for small businesses without mentioning social media. It’s a gold mine for attracting customers and inspiring loyalty.

Whether you like it or not, you need to have a social media presence as a small business owner – it doesn’t matter if you’re running a small antique shop, a dropshipping business, or a family-owned pizzeria.

However, before you join all the most popular networks and get in over your head, analyze your target audience. See which platforms most of them use and examine how they interact with other businesses on them.

Then, only join those platforms that you can easily manage. After all, you’ll need to stay active on these platforms by regularly posting fresh content and responding to comments and messages. If you’re on more than a couple of platforms, you’ll likely find it difficult to keep track of them and use them to your advantage.

Take Advantage of Lead Generation Quiz Makers

A reliable lead generation quiz maker is ideal for engaging your audiences. It makes quiz creation a breeze, allowing you to know your target customers better and offering you a chance to stand out from the crowd.

You can create any type of quiz you want:

  • A fun personality quiz that grabs the viewers’ attention
  • An assessment quiz that tells you how much your audience knows about you and your products
  • A market research quiz, which allows you to assess your target audience’s most common pain points 

Share your quizzes on social media to reach a wider audience, add them to your lead generation emails, and embed them on your website to convert visitors.

With a lead generation quiz maker, it will take you no more than a few minutes to create engaging quizzes that boost your visibility and help you attract customers. You can also integrate it with email marketing tools or customer relationship management tools to nurture leads efficiently.

Monitor Your Online Reputation

To generate leads as a small business owner, you need to keep a very close eye on your online reputation.

You could have the perfect brand persona, excellent products and services, top-notch support, and a bulletproof content marketing strategy – and yet your reputation could still suffer. You need to be careful to pay attention to what people are saying about you and your brand.

Your customers and even competitors will talk about your brand on forums, social media groups, review sites, personal accounts, and more. Keep a close eye on all brand mentions.

If someone is harming your reputation online, you’ll need to be ready to clear things up, highlight your brand value, and present your business in the best possible light.

Respectfully respond to negative reviews, engage in discussions on public forums, offer solutions to public complaints, and ensure that your online reputation is excellent.

Spread the Word About Your Business Through Different Channels

Even with the best strategies at your disposal, it can sometimes be challenging to significantly increase lead generation on your own. Sometimes, you’ll need a little bit of help. Don’t be afraid to ask for it!

Spread the word about your business through different channels. For instance, you could try guest blogging, wherein you create content for other websites in your niche. Doing so will help you expand your reach, showcase your expertise, and attract a wider clientele.

Alternatively, you can reach out to influencers who make sense for your industry and who can connect you with their followers. Influencers inspire trust among their followers, enjoy an excellent reputation, and can easily impact their fans’ purchasing decisions.

Final Thoughts

Lead generation for small businesses can seem like an insurmountable challenge. But it’s easier than you may think when you have a few tricks up your sleeve and know what you’re doing.

So remember, if you want to boost your lead generation and conversion, you’ll need to: 

  • Create a great website 
  • Perfect your landing pages
  • Work on your SEO
  • Create relevant, engaging content 
  • Make use of social media 
  • Use a reliable lead generation quiz maker 
  • Monitor your online reputation
  • Spread the word through channels, such as guest blogging and influencer marketing

Follow these tips to ensure the success of your small business and start generating leads like a pro. Your business could also benefit from some creative experimentation on your part to complement the ideas discussed above.

If you need further help developing a lead generation strategy for your business, reach out to the small business experts at HighClick Media. We’ll take the time to get to know your business, identify its particular needs, and come up with solutions that will help your business grow. Reach out to us today at 252.814.2150 or drop us a line here.

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Guest blogger Angela White is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing. Specifically, she writes in the areas of product research and marketing using quizzes and surveys. She is a researcher at a brand that’s known for creating delightfully smart tools called ProProfs Quiz Maker.

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Millennials Mean Business

Millennials Mean Business

I Have Never Met Someone Who Doesn’t Have an Opinion on Millennials.

We are condemned for our love of avocado toast (it really is good – you should try it!) and pinned as the self-absorbed generation.  But, on the flip side, we are known for being open-minded, collaborative, tech-savvy problem solvers. Making up a quarter of the U.S. population, it should come as no surprise that Millennials have a huge impact on brand marketing.

Who We Are:

According to the Pew Research Center, if you were born between 1981 and 1996, you are a Millennial. There are currently over 76 million Millennials in the United States, and this number just keeps growing. More diverse than other generations, nearly half of Millennials are people of color.

Having been raised in a damaged economy, we are drastically more socially and technologically connected than any other generation. It’s true; We are the generation of iPhones, social media, apps, and streaming.

To put it plainly, we have a different perspective than the generations before us. Millennials are all about transparency, culture, and moral responsibility.

Our Generation Stays Connected

A whopping 86% of Millennials stay updated on brands through social networks – 82% of us are active Facebook users, with Gen X not too far behind at 76%. Not only that, but we are 2.5x more likely to adapt to new technology earlier than members of older generations.

The Millennial Income

A minority of this generation is wealthy, but for the majority of young adults, this isn’t the case. The average Millennial today earns $10,000 less than young adults in 1989.

help me im poor

Millennials Are a Health-Oriented Generation

We tend to make healthier eating choices and develop stronger exercise habits than prior generations. Using fitness apps and the internet helps Millennials research the healthiest options – and we’re willing to spend more on compelling brands.

How Millennials Shop

We are more likely to search for a deal. Nearly half of us use our smartphones to search for a better deal on a product while in-store, and 92% have made a purchase on their phone. Approximately half of Millennials spend 1 to 3 hours researching their finance options before making a major purchase. More brand-loyal than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, 69% of Millennials have chosen the same brand for a major purchase in the last year. When Millennials were asked if they would try a new brand when making a major purchase, only 17% said they would.

Millennials Perceive Your Brand Differently

We appreciate brands that are truthful, ethical, and unrestricted. Seeking products and services that improve their lives, Millennials enjoy interacting and engaging with brands on a personal level. Thirty-six percent of Millennials expect an interactive experience when looking for solutions.

All of this matters to your marketing.

Having such remarkably different characteristics, tastes, and expectations than prior generations, Millennials challenge stale marketing tactics, emotionless branding, and lackluster customer service. They want their voices heard, they want to trust your business and they are looking for a brand that will be an experience.

If your audience is young and you lack a creative strategy for marketing to this fresh generation, reach out to us to schedule a meeting with one of our marketing geniuses! Marketing to Millennials is one of our specialties!

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Instagram Insiders Indicate its Increasing TikTok Turmoil

Instagram Insiders Indicate Its Increasing TikTok Turmoil

Since Facebook acquired the app in 2012, Instagram has snowballed to an estimated 1 billion monthly users. Instagram purportedly generates around $20 billion a year in advertising revenue. But this rapid expansion has coincided with a gradual loss of autonomy. Bloomberg reporter Sarah Frier, author of No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram, says that Instagram has gradually become less of a “company within a company” and more of a “product division” of Facebook.

This sentiment jibes with what a handful of former Instagram employees revealed to Wired in a recent article. (For privacy reasons, the names of these employees have been changed in this post.)

Jon, who recently left Instagram after two years at the company, details an envy-fueled relationship between Facebook and Instagram. “Initially, Facebook’s fear was that Instagram was becoming more of a force than Facebook. So. there was a real jealousy because Instagram was seen as cool and Facebook was not,” he says.

Jon asserts that Facebook’s paranoia gave rise to a “self-imposed dominance” over the other apps that it owns. “Now, if you go on Instagram or WhatsApp, it says ‘WhatsApp by Facebook’ or ‘Instagram by Facebook.’ So rather than embracing the fact that they had this new property [Instagram] that still had some cachet at the time, they just decided to ‘Facebook-ify’ it,” he says. “They thought: ‘the problem isn’t that people don’t like Facebook, it’s that they don’t know that Facebook owns Instagram!’ – which was obviously completely delusional.”

This unavoidable proximity hasn’t always been embraced by Instagram, especially as Facebook began to become more associated with older users, disinformation, and online radicalization. “If you look at the differences between the ways in which Instagram and Facebook are perceived, one of the great fears that Instagram had was its connection to Facebook,” says Kevin, another former employee who left Instagram earlier this year.

These concerns might not be unfounded. As Facebook has exerted more control over Instagram, there appears to be a growing disconnect between what its users want and what the app is delivering. This became apparent on July 30th, when Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, tweeted a video notifying users about some of the app’s current priorities. “At Instagram, we’re always trying to build new features that help you get the most out of your experience,” Mosseri said. “Right now, we’re focused on four key areas: creators, video, shopping, and messaging.”

At first glance, there’s nothing atypical about this tweet. Mosseri, who took over at Instagram in 2018 after 13 years at Facebook, frequently posts videos such as this. Sporting a variety of patterned shirts, Mosseri informs his followers about what Instagram is doing and how things like the algorithm really work. But this particular post went viral, and was quickly “ratioed” – with its quote-tweets and replies far exceeding the number of likes and retweets.

“You guys CONSISTENTLY undermine what made your app great in the first place,” Amber tweeted in response.

“All we ever wanted was a chronological feed to keep up with friends,” replied Jax.

“You do realize that what made IG great originally was that it was just an image platform, right?” asked another user.

One term that crops up over and over again when scrolling through the responses to Mosseri’s tweet is “clueless.” Another common theme is the idea that incessant updates are “killing Instagram from the inside” and that the app is having an identity crisis.

For its part, Instagram has stressed that the app has a “different focus” than Facebook and that Mosseri and employees make all major decisions about the app. The company also states that it tries to keep its product simple.

There wasn’t always such hostility between Instagram and its users. In 2010, Instagram’s mobile-first approach helped set the app apart from its social media competitors. The first app to genuinely fit with our lifestyles, “Instagram wasn’t something you were to supposed to update once you were back home on your computer,” Frier says. “It was something you’re supposed to bring around in the world with you and capture what you were seeing and experiencing.”

Other unique features drove the app’s popularity. “On your profile, there was no ‘reshare’ button, so everything that was on your profile was something you had created or posted yourself,” Frier adds. “In some ways, it was the truest reflection of how we saw ourselves, and we were able to use it as a way to present our lives as more beautiful and perfect than they actually were.” 

Celebrities’ use of Instagram was another huge draw for the app. Fans had already been able to engage with celebrities on Twitter and Facebook, but Instagram’s now-iconic range of filters forged a shared aesthetic – and the sense of an added level of closeness – between celebrities and everyday users.

So, what changed? In 2012, Facebook paid $1 billion to acquire Instagram. It’s been recounted numerous times that competition with Twitter (which supposedly made an offer before Facebook) incentivized Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg to purchase the photo-sharing rival. It has also been argued that, although Instagram was minuscule by comparison, the app’s mobile growth and younger user base was troubling for Facebook – thus, buying the platform would allow Zuckerberg to manage its growth as well as any potential threat. (It’s believed that the same thought process motivated Facebook’s 2014 purchase of WhatsApp, the third most-downloaded app of the last decade).

After 2012, the “Facebook-ification” of Instagram began. When the app launched, its simple premise – sharing photos, one at a time, with your friends – made it stand out. Conversely, Facebook was the home of large photo dumps, pokes, live chats, and “complicated” relationships. Twitter was all about posting as much and as often as possible. Instagram introduced new features more gradually, such as adding videos to the grid and giving users the option to add more than one photo to each post.

One of Instagram’s most beloved features, Instagram Stories, surfaced in 2016. Unlike the grid, this new way of posting urged users to share smaller moments more frequently. This also signified the first time that Instagram had blatantly mimicked a feature from another social media platform – in this case, Snapchat – with the explicit goal of stunting its growth.

Instagram’s plan was successful: Snapchat’s growth slowed by 82% after Stories launched. While Snapchat is still a multibillion dollar company with over 290 million users worldwide, Stories is a prime example of how Facebook has used Instagram combatively. “Facebook probably purchased Instagram to manage its growth, at a time when we were becoming increasingly popular and Facebook was starting to go on the downward spiral,” says Jon. “But Facebook also uses Instagram to neutralize threats from platforms like Snapchat who are popular with younger users in particular.”

Instagram Stories was a success from the standpoint of both users and businesses. Lookalike versions also appeared on Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn (though the latter two were quickly scrapped). But Stories also marked the moment where Instagram started going on the defense and playing catch-up. It was no longer the latest, greatest thing.

The next time Instagram clearly tried to emulate a feature from another app, it was nowhere near as successful. This happened in 2020, when Reels was introduced in response to the rapid rise of TikTok. Reels further crowded an already congested app, which was now jam-packed with new functions, including Stories, grid-sharing, IGTV, Instagram Live, shopping, and messaging. The update failed to curtail TikTok, which now has more Gen Z users than Instagram in the U.S. and over 1 billion monthly users worldwide.

So why wasn’t Reels as successful as Stories? Frier thinks that, regardless of the undeniable business motivations, Stories solved a problem for Instagram users at the time: many were feeling too much pressure in regard to what they were posting on the grid. “This was something that was causing some users a lot of anxiety and making them compare themselves to other people,” she says. “This was actually bad for growth, because the pressure to post meant that people were posting less, which means there were fewer posts for regular people, and the whole app was getting taken over by celebrity types. That’s not sustainable for a business.”

The launching of Stories was a win-win: it addressed a user problem and accelerated Instagram’s growth, while at the same time slowing Snapchat’s early surge in popularity. But Reels was nothing more than a business fix. “Nobody needed Reels, and there was no user problem that Reels was trying to solve,” Frier says. “Instead, Reels was purely about trying to solve a business problem for Facebook, Inc. – which was the rise of TikTok.”

TikTok didn’t become popular in a vacuum. And its ascent calls attention to another growing issue for Instagram: its aging users. As Facebook became associated with older users, Instagram was originally its way of connecting with younger people. But now that Facebook is regarded as an app “for Boomers,” Instagram is basically serving as a “Millennial Facebook.” These days, Millennials are getting older and are no longer the youngest, most coveted demographic.

With regards to this shift, there’s been a progression towards being more “youth-driven” at Instagram. Jon says there has been frustration behind the scenes, where there was a disconnect between expectations and reality. “As the Instagram audience began to age, you could see a frustration around what was trending and what people were interacting with,” he says. “They kept talking about having a ‘youth focus,’ but things like home décor and parenting became really popular on the platform. And these things aren’t cool or trendy to teenagers. So, even though they were growing in popularity and possibly [becoming] more lucrative, they just kind of ignored it and did everything they could to pretend that wasn’t happening.”

Instagram’s struggles go hand in hand with a reexamination of the role that social media platforms play in our lives. While the app might have steered clear of the negative political associations of Facebook and Twitter, – despite political influencers like Ben Shapiro, Candace Owens, and Donald Trump, Jr. being huge on the platform – Instagram’s association with influencers and brands has certainly come under scrutiny. It’s virtually impossible to avoid a flurry of ads and paid partnerships while using the app.

Global news stories such as the Fyre Festival – a doomed event that influencers like Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner promoted on Instagram – or the rise and fall of Australian Instagram star and “wellness guru” scammer Belle Gibson, have also tarnished the app’s public image.

On the topic of influencers, Jon says Instagram once again had its head in the sand. “‘Influencer’ was a dirty word, and we would never use it in any report or any internal-facing memo, because the connotations around influencers were not necessarily positive,” he states. But the issue with this approach was that influencers had become synonymous with Instagram whether they liked it or not. “We didn’t have control over the narrative,” he says. “We didn’t create the word – or even use the word – that ended up defining us.”

As Instagram became increasingly more refined and corporate, the window of opportunity for TikTok – a less pristine and deliberately tongue-in-cheek platform – widened considerably. TikTok has its own mega-influencers, like Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae. TikTokers can also earn money through brand partnerships. And unlike Instagram, the platform’s Creator Fund pays users with over 10,000 followers (or 100,000 monthly views) for engagement as well. Still, at the moment Instagram seems to be more negatively identified with influencers cashing in from brands, amidst a time when many are concentrating on TikTok instead. It’s a catch-22.

Lucas worked on Reels up until the time that was rolled out worldwide. He recalls that it was apparent that there was going to be a problem. “The product was essentially the same as TikTok, so people were just transferring over their TikToks into Reels, with the watermark still visible,” he says. “And then most of the original content that was being produced on Reels was much lower in caliber than what TikTokers were producing on a daily basis.”

The decision to push ahead with Reels, despite early indications, is seemingly typical of the way Instagram is run. “It’s a very strange work environment,” Kevin says. “It is a certain kind of tech company that still has the delusion that they’re a startup, or some sort of underdog.” Decisions often appear to be made quickly, whether the data supports them or not. “None of the ‘higher-ups’ would ever admit that something was not a great idea, even if it was obviously stupid.”

Mosseri’s commitment to focus on “creators” (because “influencer” still seems to be a dirty word) seems justifiable at a time when many are devaluing the platform. But the dilemma is that many users believe brands, businesses, and influencers are already too prevalent and are spoiling their experience on the app. The failure of youth-driven features like Reels and a new focus on shopping – when Instagram already feels like a massive online store – only reinforces the impression that the app is confused about its direction.

So, what now? It may be impossible for Instagram to go back to the basics, as many of its users appear to want. It’s progressed from being a new digital phenomenon to something that has been entirely normalized in our lives. But it’s striking just how much the app has changed over time.

When scrolling through Instagram, it’s obvious that the bulk of the content is recycled from other apps – whether it’s Reels lifted from TikTok or meme pages full of reposted screen grabs of viral tweets. In spite of all the new features, nothing feels especially new.

Frier believes this diminishing relevance boils down to Facebook. After all, as the app’s former VP of Marketing once said, Instagram is no longer a separate entity. “Instagram used to be about finding things that you didn’t even know you wanted to find,” Frier says. “But now, if you use Instagram, the vibe is a lot more like Facebook. What I mean by that is, you’re getting shown things based on what you’ve already viewed. So instead of discovering new things – like people can do much more easily on TikTok – you just get more of the same.”

When Instagram first arrived, its function was clear. Now that’s no longer the case. “Looking at Instagram today, it’s much harder to tell what it’s actually for,” Frier adds. “That might be solving a business problem for Facebook, but Instagram has ended up losing a bit of its identity in the process.”

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An earlier version of this article originally appeared on Wired’s UK site. It can be found here.

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How to Turn Your Followers Into Clients

One of the best ways to reach potential customers is through social media marketing. Social media allows you to build a brand presence, reach a wider audience, and engage with current and potential customers.

However, many business owners make some of the same mistakes when getting started on social media. For instance, they might limit themselves to creating awareness on a single platform. While this isn’t entirely unreasonable, you could be targeting the wrong audience.

Maybe this particular scenario describes you…

You’ve worked hard to build your follower base over time. Your content is amazing. You’re always sharing the best advice you can find. But something still isn’t right. Your conversion rate is low.

You’re finding it challenging to turn loyal followers into returning clients. This may be due to a number of reasons. But ultimately, it boils down to poor marketing strategies and tactics.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll explain how to convert your followers into clients as well as how to generate tons of leads via social media channels. Excited? Let’s dive in!

Start a Conversation

Create Unique Content

One of the most critical steps in converting followers into customers is to create unique content.

While it’s a good idea to consistently post on your social media accounts, if you keep posting the same kinds of content, you will quickly become ignored. Try to come up with some new and innovative ways to engage with your followers and potential customers.

If you can think of a way to reach out to your customers in a way that’s more interactive, go for it! You’ll find that this is one of the best ways to get more people interested in what you have to offer.

Don’t be afraid to try new things and invest time and money into developing new strategies for engaging with your customers. When everyone else is posting about the same boring things, your posts will stand out from the crowd.

Create Contests and Giveaways

Creating contests and giveaways is a great way to generate viral marketing for your business. Encouraging people to talk about your business by creating a contest can go a long way toward attracting more followers, clients, and customers.

A successful contest must have an objective that entrants can strive for. It should be fun, and engaging, and should also be easily measured. An excellent example of this is a contest to get the most tweets or Facebook likes.

To make the contest more enticing, you can offer prizes for the winner or runners-up. Be sure that your contest is easy to enter so all your followers will want to participate.

To further increase the number of entries, you could offer additional prizes for entrants who are creative enough to submit creative content such as photos, videos, or blog posts related to your product or business.

Turning followers into clients is more attainable than you might think. While you may assume that your content alone is enough to entice your audience, that isn’t always the case.

Today, social media platforms are littered with brands competing for brand awareness. In order to succeed at converting your followers into clients, you’ll have to be unique in your approach to positioning and branding your business. It’s essential to identify your unique selling proposition and maximize it effectively.

One of the easiest ways to turn followers into clients is by starting a conversation with them. Rather than merely posting content for the sake of doing so, engage with your community and ask relevant questions.

Be sure to respond to any comments or questions that visitors leave on your page. In doing so, you will show prospects that you’re interested in them – and that they’re being heard and valued by your company. This will help build trust with potential customers and make them feel like they’re more than just another potential sale.

To start a conversation with one of your followers: first, take a look at their profiles to see what types of things interest them and which companies or organizations they follow. Then, use that information to start a conversation with them.

Don’t introduce your website or product into the conversation directly when you do this. Demonstrate that you are an authority on the topic by giving more information than is asked for – and then mention your company as if it were an afterthought.

Build Relationships with Influential People in Your Industry

Like any other business, it takes money to make money – and social media is no exception. The problem with social media is that you can spend a lot of time and energy engaging with people for “free,” but there’s no guarantee that any of the relationships you build will lead to sales.

The secret to making sure your efforts are worthwhile is to focus on connecting with influencers – people who are capable of influencing the people you want to reach. There are several ways you can go about doing this.

Start by identifying influencers who are actively focusing on your particular niche or industry. You can learn more about them by searching for their names on LinkedIn, reading their blogs, and following them on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Take a closer look at prominent influencers’ social media accounts and see if they are posting links to content that’s relevant to your business (and your potential customers). You might also be able to find them by seeing who’s active in groups relevant to your niche or industry.

Once you’ve identified these influencers, engage with them by liking or commenting on their posts. Even if they don’t reply directly, they’ll see that you’re interacting with their content – and this might lead them to engage with yours as well. It’s a good idea to comment positively.

Take Advantage of Trending Topics

Businesses are often afraid to jump into a trending topic out of concern that their involvement will come off as inauthentic.

The fact is, if you’re not leveraging the opportunity that comes with trending hashtags, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to increase your awareness.

There are several ways to get involved in the conversation without forcing. If you want to be seen as an active participant, research the trend and make sure your answer is helpful and relevant to your target audience. Convince people that you’re an authority in their niche.

Once you’re recognized as an expert in the field, try linking your response to your business or industry. If you have something valuable to contribute, take the time to write out informative blog posts for the same. Ideally, your blog post should also point to your products or services as an ideal solution to readers’ problems.

The Bottom Line

Before you can convert followers into paying clients, you have to get them to know, like, and trust you. Building a social media following is time-consuming and requires a great deal of patience and consistency.

Once you’ve attracted your potential clientele, start sharing your work in subtle ways that encourage followers to contact you without forcing your work down their throats.

If you’re struggling to get started with social media marketing or you need help building your follower base and converting them into customers, HighClick Media is here for you!

We are a full-service digital marketing and web design agency, dedicated to helping grow businesses of all shapes and sizes by implementing comprehensive marketing solutions. Our talented team of creative thinkers, innovators, and digital marketers bring extraordinary skill to every project, positioning your business for blistering success.

Whether you’re looking for a website refresh, social media marketing, or brand development, reach out to us today by calling 252.814.2150 or dropping us a line here.

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Guest blogger Margie Heaneythe writes high-quality content and helps manage social media marketing efforts for Get Plus Followers. She helps save social media marketers time and money by finding active and engaging Instagram users for their personal profiles or business pages. Margie is proud to partner with LearningFuze, a premier coding and data science boot camp offering part-time or full-time courses, available in person or online.

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The Basics of Brand Loyalty: Transforming Your Customers Into a Lifelong Community

The Basics of Brand Loyalty: Transforming Your Customers Into a Lifelong Community

Chances are, we all have that one brand which has effectively, in its own way, stolen our hearts.

Brand loyalty is when a customer consciously chooses your product or company over that of any of your competitors – not just every now and then, but each and every time. It’s when customers don’t have to be pitched or pressured in order to make a purchase; they will invariably choose a particular brand over any other brand’s services or prices – even if they’re cheaper! Having cultivated trust with their customers which goes deeper than details like pricing, these companies often command their corner of the industry.

It’s critical to differentiate between customer loyalty and brand loyalty. Customer loyalty is primarily concerned with prices and services, while brand loyalty involves people’s perception of your business and the emotions connected with it. In this day and age, many newer companies lack brand loyalty because shoppers have easy access to compare details such as pricing and online reviews.

Establishing brand loyalty is no simple matter. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best strategies for building brand loyalty and transforming your customers into crusaders for your business.

Engage with Your Customers Regularly

It’s crucial that you’re connecting with your customers across every marketing channel. This includes – but is not limited to – emails, social media, and text messaging. Customers are people, and people naturally respond well to engagement.

Being available to engage with your customers on all the channels helps to humanize your brand. Doing so can build confidence in your brand and let your customers know that you and your brand can be trusted. Listening is half the battle. To really demonstrate to your customers that you’re paying attention to them, you need to bring about change based upon what they have to say.

With that being said, it’s essential that your brand is consistent in your communications in order to establish and maintain a high degree of brand loyalty. It makes no difference if you’re reaching out to people across all channels if you’re not doing it consistently.

Customers spot inconsistency and regard it as evidence of what it is – a business that’s disorganized and unprofessional. By maintaining a powerful brand voice and outlook, customers will come to embrace that tone as who your company is and will instinctively remember. Apple is a great example of a brand that is continually interacting with their customers across all marketing channels. Subsequently, their brand loyalty is among the highest in the world.

Reward Your Customers

People like to be appreciated. When your brand rewards customers for their loyalty, they feel cared about – and in exchange, they’re likely to demonstrate even greater brand loyalty. This is a progression that becomes stronger and stronger each time a customer redeems a reward.

Consider Starbucks – a brand that offers a commonplace product at a premium price, yet has consistently clung to a boatload of brand loyalty. Part of why Starbucks is so adept at this is because of how they’ve “gamified” their rewards program in a way that engages customers and gets them excited about using it.

Take the time to download the Starbucks Rewards app – as well as those of other prominent companies that loom large over their respective industries (e.g., McDonald’s, Nike, etc.) – and you’ll notice how seamless and innovative they’ve made it for customers to claim their rewards. Draw inspiration from these examples and attempt to recreate their success on your own website or via a company app as a means to further build brand loyalty.

Another spectacular strategy for rewarding your faithful customers is to do so in astonishing and unexpected ways. Sending them a small complimentary gift or even a simple text message on their birthday or during the holidays goes a long way toward showing your customers that you’re thinking about them. People enjoy being pleasantly surprised, particularly when it’s from someone they might not expect it from.

Building Trust and a Community Takes Time

Even the top brands didn’t achieve brand loyalty overnight. For all the brands mentioned above, it has taken decades to build up the loyalty they enjoy with their customers. So if you don’t get the results you want immediately, it’s understandable. You’re playing the long game, and boosting brand loyalty is one of the things that takes the longest.

A good place to start is by establishing your business as a trusted authority in the field. Accomplishing this demands taking your reputation management seriously and being diligent when it comes to adjusting your tone in order to win the trust of your customers.

Reviews are extremely critical in 2021. Responding to negative reviews can be tough, but it is essential. When you can effectively deal with unfavorable reviews, it illustrates to customers that you value what they have to say and will reply in a manner that resolves their concerns.

It’s only natural for people to want to demonstrate loyalty to their own communities. Take advantage of this characteristic of human psychology to establish greater loyalty and trust in your company.

Form online communities either on your website or even through social media with a simple, straightforward hashtag. This will serve as a nexus for your customers to interact with each other as well as with your brand.

Celebrate Your Customers By Sharing Their Positive Brand Experiences

Customers trust other customers above anyone else, including company representatives and paid spokespeople. Never underestimate the value of word of mouth. An excellent way to draw attention to this and impart it to your customers is by creating a testimonial page on your website.

A testimonial page allows you to highlight the positive experiences that other people have had with your brand. This varies from a review section in that you have the opportunity to handpick and highlight the exact testimonials that you want to be shared.

When a customer sees the testimonials, they may be inclined to think: “If those customers had a great experience with this business, then so will I.”

Even now, word of mouth is still the most tried-and-true method of marketing. If you celebrate your customers by rewarding them or sharing their experiences, there’s a good chance that they’ll tell their friends and family about your business. So don’t doubt what you’re doing simply because you don’t see instant results – these results will ultimately manifest themselves in your sales.

Working with Influencers

You can boost your brand loyalty by capitalizing on relationships with people who have already established loyalty with their customers or fanbase. Whether that’s collaborating with another brand or with social media influencers, it’s a remarkable way to encourage new consumers to trust you.

Take the average influencer, for example. Tens of thousands (sometimes millions) of followers already value their opinions and trust them implicitly. When an influencer promotes your brand, thousands of people will see it and – at the very least – be interested in learning more about your company, if not place their trust in you without question.

Final Thoughts

It’s essential to keep in mind that building brand loyalty isn’t something you can accomplish overnight. Keep at it and don’t lose heart if you don’t realize immediate results. Ultimately, you’ll be extremely gratified when you have a passionate customer base that will stick with your brand no matter what other brands in similar categories may have to offer.

If you’re looking to “up your game” when it comes to increasing brand awareness, marketing through social media, or updating your website design, HighClick Media is here to assist you! Reach out to us today at 252.814.2150 or visit the Services page on our website to learn all about how HighClick can help #elevateyourbrand!

 

A similar version of this article previously appeared on Business2Community.com.

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Marketing to Millennials: Here’s What You Need to Know

Marketing To Millennials: Here’s What You Need To Know

Marketing professionals for small-to-medium-sized businesses should be aware that when creating messaging and content for the Millennial generation and younger, different rules apply. Marketing approaches that might have been effective in attracting the positive notice of older generations might miss the mark for Millennials – or even send the wrong message entirely. This means you may be failing to earn the interest and loyalty of the largest living generation, even if it’s not the generation that has the most buying power – yet.

Why Are Millennials Important as a Target Audience?

The short answer to this is that everyone is important. Good marketing is accessible marketing,  taking diverse needs into consideration and leaving no one out. Neglecting Millennials simply because they hold less wealth than Boomers or Gen X is problematic from several standpoints. However, from a purely pragmatic perspective, marketing that ignores Millennials is sabotaging itself.

This is partially because Millennials will come into greater buying power in the near future. It’s also because Millennials are more likely than other generations to be the primary consumers of marketing messaging since they are the most plugged in.

Here are some key considerations if you’re developing a marketing campaign with Millennials in mind:

1) Quality of Design Is Important

Older consumers may not notice if a website is poorly laid out or looks outdated. They may notice if a site is difficult to use, but they won’t necessarily be able to pinpoint why. Millennials, on the other hand – having grown up alongside a variety of developments in the digital world – are extremely savvy about what constitutes good design versus what looks cheap, tacky, or cheesy. If you’re not confident about your capacity to design for Millennials, consider enlisting the services of a professional website designer.

2) Craft Content That’s Social-Media-Worthy

Millennials and other younger consumers are probably going to come across your marketing on social media. So, you’ll want to craft content that works well across different platforms. Social-friendly content types to consider include videos (both video Stories and live streaming), testimonials, contests, and holiday-themed content. Also, make sure that your marketing content translates well to mobile devices.

3) Short-Form Content Is the Way to Go

Optimize your social media content to cater to the shorter attention spans of this generation. In many cases, Millennials simply don’t want to waste a lot of time trying to absorb marketing material, and they probably aren’t going to sit down and gaze at a lengthy video, either. Shorter snippets and brief stories are better than earnest but lengthy infomercials. Avoid using clickbait techniques in an attempt to lure Millennial consumers to go deeper into the content. These techniques are glaringly visible for what they are and are a major turn-off for this generation.

4) Make It About the Experience

Millennial consumers tend to value experiences over ownership. They’re more likely to splurge on an adventure or an excursion than on expensive material belongings. And, of course, they’re also likely to want to translate those experiences into Instagram shares. So, instead of focusing on what Millennial buyers might want to possess or purchase, emphasize how your products or services can enhance their life experiences.

5) Deliver Prompt Customer Service

Digital tools make it possible to communicate far more rapidly and effectively than we did even a decade ago, and Millennials are well-accustomed to using these tools. Consequently, they expect others to have mastered these so-called “instant gratification” tools as well. Delayed response times, particularly when it comes to customer requests or service, are likely to provoke a certain level of impatience.

6) Don’t Try to Fake Authenticity

This is a big one. A lot of the pitches that were popular in marketing campaigns directed at Gen X or Boomers come off, in the eyes of Millennials, as just that: sales pitches. This is a generation that has learned to distrust too much smoothness or fakeness and will view rehearsed sales scripts as smarmy rather than smart. In fact, Millennials are more likely than preceding generations to distrust the motives of the business itself. This is why it’s important that your marketing campaign is backed by real evidence with regard to company ethics and influence.

7) Appeal to Their Values

Millennials tend to take values and ethics seriously. Shopping, for them, is not just about satisfying individual needs or desires or getting the best deal. It’s also about making informed choices that can contribute to a better future. Unlike the “me generation,” these younger consumers are likely to think more about sustainability and the future and ask questions about the values and mission of a company.

8) Make Affordability a Selling Point

Here again, Millennials are probably going to look past the pitch and determine whether this product or service is actually a frugal choice. The generation that made thrift store shopping hip cares less about showcasing expensive brands and more about making their spending money go further. When Millennials do splurge, they’re often motivated less by the need to have what everyone else has, and more by the desire to have something unique that reflects their personal style and brand.

9) Where Millennial Audiences Hang Out

In order to reach Millennials on social media, you’ll want to make use of the major platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as some of the newer ones like Snapchat and TikTok, where younger Millennials may be more active. Email marketing also is an effective way to reach your Millennial audience. Compared to Gen Z, Millennials tend to use a variety of platforms and don’t focus simply on those which are primarily video-oriented. Since you will need to diversify your digital marketing in order to capture broad Millennial interests, consider working with a local digital marketing agency like HighClick Media.

A good marketing strategist understands that while human nature remains relatively unchanged from one generation to the next, human trends, tastes, activities, and self-definition are very culturally relative. So, it’s important to understand the different tastes of diverse demographics, including Millennial consumers.

At HighClick Media, we’re ready, willing, and able to help with all of your digital marketing needs. Give us a call today at 252.814.2150 or drop us a line here.

About The Author:

Alyssa Strickland created millennial-parents.com for all the new parents on the block. She believes the old adage that it takes a village to raise a child, but also thinks it takes a village to raise a parent! Millennial-Parents is that village. Today’s parents can be more connected than ever, and Alyssa hopes her site will enrich those connections. On Millennial-Parents, she shares tips and advice she’s learned through experience and from other young parents in three key areas: Education, Relationships, and Community.

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