#DevelopStrategy – Relationship Life Cycle

This month we covered the differences in both relationship marketing and lead generation. While both of these have a place in your marketing strategy, in this article I want to focus more on relationship marketing and what I like to call the Relationship Life Cycle.
As a refresher, relationship marketing is essentially fancy terminology for the practice of developing a long-term connection with your customers, clients, vendors and power partners. Instead of focusing on gathering a lead or closing a sale, the aim is to provide a bond with the people you work with. The long-term benefits of relationship marketing tend to be more referrals, client enthusiasm and the development of brand advocates.
The course of the relationship life cycle is closely tied to the ole marketing adage of Know, Like, Trust.  If the new way to market a company is backed by the idea that people do business with other people (instead of companies) then the know, like, trust concept is absolutely essential. Here is how the relationship life cycle would apply to your marketing strategy using social media:
Know
The first step in any relationship is getting to know the other person. You simply can’t make a connection with someone you’ve never met and know nothing about. Think of it like dating – once you start to know a potential suitor then your curiosity will lead you to finding out as much about them as possible.
Whether it be an introduction at a networking event, a discovery call, or a visit to your website – getting to the Know step involves getting to know each other. When it comes to social media, this appears in the form and following your various social media channels. People can also get to know you by hearing about you from others, meeting you at events, reading your online content, or viewing any media you’ve been featured in. Once someone starts to know you, and gets a sample of what you are about, then they are more likely to sign-up for your newsletters, like you on Facebook or follow you on YouTube.
Like
Well, now that you’ve gotten a chance to spend some time with the individual – you have to decide whether or not you like them. In our dating scenario, are they worth going out on a date or two with to see what develops? Do you like them enough to begin to participate in their life?
Those who are paying attention to what you are doing will either begin to like you or they won’t. However, once you hit the Like stage you will find that they begin to initiate some true social media engagement with you. They like your posts, comment in your group, or participate in your polls.  This phase of the relationship life cycle involves interaction so be sure to participate in return!
Trust
Now you’ve gone on many dates and have been seeing each other for a while. At this point, they are becoming a partner and you have developed trust in them. You like them so much, that you want your friends and family to like them too! At this point, you are sharing their content.
This is the end game for the relationship life cycle…you want all the people you do business with to know, like and trust you. The goal should be that they trust you so much that they freely, and happily, share your content and business with the other people in their circles.
When you compare the relationship life cycle to how we operate with our personal relationships, the success behind relationship marketing becomes much more apparent. Our clients become more than an invoice. If you want loyal clients that will regularly provide free marketing for you, this level of connection is the way to go. Just another tool to add to your marketing strategy toolbox because everyone here at The Social Media Advisorwants you to #BeAwesome at what you do!
~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 
Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

#DevelopStrategy – Relationship Marketing vs. Lead Generation



Marketing strategies are not created equal. While everyone has a perspective on which is the most effective, two common ones that get lumped together are “relationship marketing” and “lead generation.” These two marketing strategies are not the same thing.

Relationship marketing involves the use of “direct response” campaigns that emphasize customer retention and satisfaction. This type of marketing strategy creates a bond with the customer through narrow market targeting, tailors offers to their customers, and usually demands a response that can be tracked by the marketing team. This typically requires an email address so that the company can contact the individual directly for exclusive offers, maintenance follow-ups, and unconverted leads. Relationship marketing is about the long-term value of a loyal customer and the connection that can be built beyond typical ads and generic sales promotions.

Pros:

  • Allows companies to tailor taste profits based on the customer’s preferences, activities, etc.
  • Focuses on customer satisfaction
  • Increased customer retention by enriching the purchasing experience
  • Brand loyalty becomes more commonplace
  • Referrals come from loyal customers


Cons:

  • Cost of acquisition is steep at the beginning in both time and money
  • Slow-moving marketing platform that requires patience as referrals build
  • Networking, not everyone’s forte, is a central piece in developing business relationships


Lead generation, however, focuses on the sales lead side through newsletter sign-ups, marketing referrals, events, etc. This is a key part of the purchase funnel method and is associated with pipeline marketing. It’s less personal than relationship marketing, but very effective in gaining new potential customers. Lead generation usually requires an opt-in of some type. Examples include landing pages, online surveys, and brand specific opportunities. Like relationship marketing, lead generation requires an email address to convert leads into customers.

Pros:

  • Build a list quickly
  • Ensures that your clients and customers want to be there (opt-in)
  • If combined with a sales funnel, this method can run itself via newsletter drip campaigns after the initial set up


Cons:

  • A relationship isn’t really built until they “opt-in” to something you offer
  • High turnover rate
  • If done poorly or in a sleazy manner, this can destroy your reputation (Don’t offer something you’re not willing to follow up on!)

Both relationship marketing and lead generation have their strengths and weaknesses, but the best marketing strategy involves a combination of the two. Ensure that you track the results for each style so that you can adjust your strategies as needed to ensure a long-term quality experience for both you and your customers.

The team here at The Social Media Advisor prides itself on developing their business through relationship marketing but also comprehends the value of lead generation and prospecting. A healthy balance of both can be extremely valuable for any small business. Want to find out more? Contact me to book a discovery call to find out how we can help you #BeAwesome with your marketing strategy. 



~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 


Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.


#TeamBuilding – Finding the Right Web Designer



Web design is an intricate part of your growing business. Your site must adapt to the needs of your clients whether that be through shopping cart integration, a portfolio of past work, smooth mobile transitions, or a variety of other requirements.
Having a dependable and reliable designer on your team is key to a successful customer experience. You may find that you require someone else to take care of this aspect of your growing business, but how do you determine what type will fit your needs?

Much like the SEO professionals mentioned in the previous article, there are three types of web designers: Independent Contractors, Design Firms, and Salary Employees. 

Unless your site sees close to one million hits a month, it’s not cost effective to keep a web designer on the payroll. 

Whether you go with an independent contractor or design firm, there are a few things you need to consider before choosing the web design guru that’s right for you.

  • Know what you want before you begin your search. Would you tell a roofing contractor to do whatever design he wants? What about a building contractor on your new home? Do you give her license to do as she pleases and trust that she’ll see right into your mind for the perfect home? The answer to those questions are probably no, and yet many inexperienced individuals will approach a web designer with a ‘do what you want, I trust you’ type of attitude. Take some time to research the type of site you want, have examples, be prepared. Your web designer needs a place to start. Remember: a designer isn’t responsible for your vision…they’re responsible for implementing it. 
  • Know their expertise. Look at their portfolio (if they don’t have one, you should move on to another designer). How are the sites? Check on both your desktop and all mobile devices to ensure clear and concise viewing. Do they understand SEO? This is very important. A movie intro or flash-based splash page may seem really awesome, but it’s not tracked by search engines. Remember, this is for your business. Are there customer reviews? Not just on their site. Check Yelp, Angie’s List, LinkedIn, their Facebook page (or other social media), or your favorite review site to see how they actually operate.
  • Most important of all, know exactly what work you will require of your web designer. When you design a contract (or sign theirs), ensure the following items, at a minimum, are spelled out: a) The exact work you will require of the designer and what they’ll require of you, b) cost per hour of work to include off hour pay (weekend panic, holidays, etc.) and payment options such as half up front/half upon delivery, and most important of all c) a break off clause in case your visions clash.


Keeping these three things in mind will go a long way toward finding a successful web designer for your growing team. I know some great web designers if you are looking for referrals or just advice on the best direction to head in. As always, I want you to be successful and #BeAwesome at what you do!


~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 


Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.


#TeamBuilding – Finding the Right SEO Expert



In this high-tech fast-paced world, having a solid SEO expert on your team is imperative to your company’s success. As your small business expands, outsourcing SEO may be a good idea. With all the options out there, how do you find the right fit for you?

What type of work is needed for your company’s site? There are three main types of SEO professionals: independent contractors, SEO firms, and in-house employees.

If you’re branching out for the first time, it’s imperative that you hire an independent SEO consultant to set up an initial strategy. This gives you a roadmap for future SEO employment.

Independent contractors are typically more cost effective for smaller businesses, and can be hired by the hour or by project. SEO firms are companies with teams who work on a contractual basis with clients. Expect to pay a minimum of $2000 for any project with a firm. An in-house employee is usually for a large or rapidly expanding company as it is the most expensive option.

If you choose an independent contractor or SEO firm, there are three types of payment structures: pay by the project, pay by the hour, or a retainer fee (a monthly fee that reserves their time to work on your site).

Whether you choose an independent contractor, a firm, or the in-house option, there are some questions you need to ask to ensure they’re the right fit for your company’s goals. In addition, you’ll be giving them access to your site, so trust is necessary.

  •  How will you determine the keyword target for your site? They should mention an audit of your site, a way to target keywords, and research plans.
  • What is your strategy? They should have a three-pronged approach to SEO optimization: technical, on-page site content, and off-page inbound links. This is the trust trifecta for search engines. Technicalis how easily a search engine can spider and crawl your site. On-page content involves well-optimized keywords and a good user experience, and off-page inbound links should be from respected sites that actually pertain to your site (your vendor, for instance).
  • Do you follow Google’s Best Practices? If they use corner-cutting methods and play it off as fine, this is not the “expert” you’re looking for. “Black hat” processes will get you banned from search engines. It could take months or even years to regain PageRank once you’ve been penalized.
  • How do you track changes and show results? Their SEO reports should include a summary of activities (for both your site and outside influences), search traffic and rankings, as well as conversions. They should provide them on a monthly basis, but some will give a weekly update.
  • Who are your longest active clients? A company or contractor without a sustainable track record of success should be avoided.

Remember, hiring an SEO expert should take a burden off your shoulders, not add to them. If you want some help deciding which option is best for you, or you are looking for a great referral, give us a call. As always, we want to help you #BeAwesomeat what you do!

~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

Learn how to use social media to grow your business online with our video series!

  • Learn the fundamentals of social media
  • Learn how to build better brand engagement
  • Learn how to enhance your visitors' experience
  • Learn how to grow your business using social media strategies.

If you want someone to break down aspects of social media to get more clients and build your business using social media, this is the program for you.


©2008-2020 Clere Communications / The Social Media Advisor