CONSISTENT BRANDING AND ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT

online-reputation-managementYou’ve worked hard to build a good business and reputation, but how do you spread the word to existing and new customers? Are you being found online? Is your information consistent? Local SEO plays a role in helping businesses grow.

Through a new service offering, and by leveraging technology, the Edmiston Group can help you manage and maintain and consistent online brand and messaging. Think about all the business directories and online opportunities out there to put your business on the map. Be present, be consistent and be found!

Once people know you are out there, now you need to manage your online reputation! We help businesses preserve their brand and create a positive digital experience for new and existing customers.

Components of our service include:

  • We can integrate your business directly with 75+ business directories including all the top maps, apps, search engines, GPS Systems, social networks, and digital assistants, making it easy to update your business information in one fell swoop.
  • Know that you have control over how your business is promoted and listed over the entire web. You can continue to update and promote your business regularly with new services, imagery and/or special hours for holidays. Imagine if your business has to close last minute due to an emergency and drive relevant messaging. It would be important to let a potential customer know this as quickly as possible. You can ensure that updates are delivered immediately so your customers are always in the know.
  • With Reputation Management you can take control of your online reviews! Online reviews are necessary in today’s digital world and also help your businesses with local SEO if managed properly. Good third-party reviews help a business grow. People buy as a result of reading third party validation on service delivery. Being alerted to unfavorable reviews and responding to the customer before they go live is now an option. This service allows you to be proactive in making sure your online reputation is at the top of its game.

To schedule your online reputation evaluation, email autumn@edmistongroup.com. We are offering a free audit of your current web listings and can demonstrate how it can be improved.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

small-business-saturdaySmall Business Saturday celebrates and helps you discover small businesses. The Shop Small® movement began in 2011 and each year has continued to evolve and become a springboard for small businesses to leverage the holiday shopping experience.

According to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey commissioned by American Express and the National Federation of Independent Businesses, in 2017, an estimated 108 million consumers reported shopping or dining at local independently-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday — generating roughly $12 billion in reported spending.

As shopping small catches on in communities everywhere, Small Business Saturday goes from a cause to a day of community celebration. In 2017, there were 7,200 neighborhood champions organizing shop small events throughout their local communities. These champions spread the word about shopping small and supporting local businesses and encourage fellow business owners to unite in a community effort to attract new customers.

If you’re an independent business owner, now is the time to think about how you can leverage Shop Small Business on November 24, 2018!

By garnering support from fellow business owners, you can save by:

  1. Combining monies in a coordinated advertisement. Participating business owners, share in the cost of a print ad resulting in larger ad size at a fraction of the cost.
  2. Branded marketing piece featuring event highlights. It is recommended that this piece is professionally created by a marketing specialist and cost shared. Then each business participating in the event will be sharing the same message.
  3. Coordination of branded social media imagery and messaging. For those of you who manage your own social media – a joint calendar of standard messages can be created and shared amongst participating businesses. Therefore, all participating businesses are sharing the same message.
  4. Leverage newsletters and email lists. Tell your customers what you’re planning and to save the date. With each business sharing the same information, your business reaches new audiences.

Perhaps you’re a service business and not a brick and mortar store. How do you leverage this movement? Find a group of businesses to partner with. Participate as a sponsor. Have a grand prize give-a-way and collect contact information for follow-up. Be a breakfast or beverage sponsor.

The Edmiston Group works with a number of small businesses. By leveraging the power of the #shopsmall movement and planning ahead, small business owners can compete. Social media has made has helped to level the playing field. Create buzz around your event and get shoppers excited to see what each business has to offer. Download your Small Business Saturday Marketing Assets today. Need help to plan and execute? Give us a call at 724-612-0755.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT

Welcome-emails-first-impressions-countFirst impressions count and with 4th quarter fast approaching businesses want to make the most out of their customer contacts and how they view your brand. What processes to stay in touch do you have in place when you meet someone at a networking event, they walk into your office, or enter your brick and mortar store?

As part of your overall marketing plan, email marketing programs are very effective with many of the clients we work with. However, we have a process and customized Welcome letter when adding people to our newsletter list. But how about the first impression a customer has with your brand’s email marketing?

Have you put any thought into the type of experience you’re giving your customers or supporters when they receive an email from you for the first time? More often than not, those expectations will come from the initial experience that the reader had with your business or cause.

What is most often done wrong?

Welcome emails are the automated messages subscribers receive when they sign up for your email newsletter. These signups can be by way of text messaging or from a sign-up form on your website. When done correctly, business development people create a “pleasure to meet you” letter to add people they meet at educational or networking events. We typically like to include a headshot photo with the letter. How many times do you return from an event with a pocket full of business cards, yet can’t remember what the person looked like?

Because the welcome emails are automated, most email services provide stock content for businesses to put into them, but this isn’t reflective of your business or brand. Unless you take steps to change the content and brand, many business owners don’t even know what the first experience they’re providing their readers looks like.

With the average open rate for a welcome email is between 50-60 percent, it sets the stage for low expectations for upcoming emails. Make sure your Welcome Email delivers a fantastic first impression, is written in your words so you can establish strong relationships. It’s your opportunity to introduce your email marketing and reintroduce your business or nonprofit to your target audience. Make sure it’s written in your words and that it reflects the personal experience you plan to provide your readers.

Here are four things Your Welcome Email must do:

  • Reaffirm they made the right decision – thank them for subscribing or tell them it was a pleasure meeting them. Assure them that you will protect their information.
  • Inform subscribers what to expect in the future. Our message for the Edmiston Group is:
    • We will send you information to help you brand and grow your business, with a focus on:
      • Marketing
      • Business Development
      • Strategic Planning
      • Public Relations
  • Make sure future emails get through. Ask to be white-listed and add your business to their trusted contact list.
  • Personalizing your Welcome Email will not only improve the first impression you’re able to make on your readers, but it will also help set you apart from your competition.

By avoiding static and un-engaging messaging, you’ll be providing an experience that will shape the way customers and supporters think of your brand.

Don’t miss out on the value of First Impressions in your Welcome Email. Have questions, email or give us a call at 724-612-0755.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.

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